2663 Tasting Notes

84
drank TJ80: Gyokuro by Upton Tea Imports
2663 tasting notes

It’s ok but nothing like the gyokuro from Arbor teas which was a revelation to me. It’s light and mostly sweet, very spinach-y/vegetal. Probably would not get this one again from Upton because it’s fairly costly.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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88

This was the only larger pack I got with my tea from Taiwan order…

Yesterday I had a bad day of feeling sick so I wanted something light and soothing. This is lightly floral but also kind of vegetal like Mercuryhime mention below, a bit like buttered peas. There is nothing quite like a taiwanese oolong when I’m feeling frazzled and poorly, relaxing to the mind and to the body. Probably not my favorite one out of the samples I tried but still very nice…

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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34
drank Laoshan Village Chai by Verdant Tea
2663 tasting notes

I tried this yesterday and didn’t like the way the flavors went together, then I got really sick which probably wasn’t the fault of the tea but I don’t think I want this anymore. Any takers?

Zeks

Yeah, I know the feeling. You get poisoned and all the stuff in the fridge immediately goes straight in the dump :)

mrmopar

if you still have any will work a trade or purchase.

TeaBrat

@mrmopar – got rid of it a while ago…

mrmopar

too bad but thanks! my sweetie had some and really likes it.

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80
drank Camel's Breath by Silk Road Teas
2663 tasting notes

This is something else that comes from the bulk bin at my local Whole Foods – I guess I am lucky since it seems like other people don’t have these different companies at their local W.F.

I am having a stomach upset so it seems like a good time for shu. I ate something really garlic-y and the tummy is not happy! This is one reason I started drinking shu pu-erh about a year ago. It does seem to help with heartburn & indigestion.

I thought this smelled a bit fishy so I did give it a quick rinse in boiling water and then steeped it for 3 minutes in a tetsubin. I am already feeling too lazy for more gong fu style tea brewings today.

This is very dark and smooth, and yes it does remind me of dirt but it is also very satisfying and relaxing. No camphor here. Lots of earthy flavors, a bit mushroomy. It also is not as gritty as some tuo chas I’ve had. I liked it pretty well, not doing backflips but will probably get some more of these when I run out, they are not that expensive and great for the office too.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
gmathis

I envy your proximity to a Whole Foods! Closest one to us is 100+ miles. Sigh.

ashmanra

I don’t think I have ever seen loose tea at the Whole Foods locations I have shopped. I wish!

TeaBrat

I don’t know why we have the loose tea here but I’m also not complaining!

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91

Thank you to Teavivre for sending a sample of this my way…

I thought this was very enjoyable, perhaps my favorite of the plain greens I have tried from the company. I stepped mine at 2 minutes around 180 F and used approximately 1 tsb of leaf for 12 oz of water.

The long and slender leaf really look very green after steeping and smell sweet and vegetal.

My cup is a light olive color and has delightful sweet and chestnut notes along with some slight vegetal ones. A bit artichoke-y, a bit spicy but not bitter at all. To me it seems more robust and flavorful than the dragonwell. It seems very “nourishing” and refreshing. I’ll definitely be tempted to pick some of this up when my sample runs out.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Sounds interesteing! I already need to order more tea from them, maybe I should give this one a try!

TeaBrat

I’ve had a few mao jians and usually end up liking them.

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98

Another set in my sheng sampler fom Bana. It has taken me a while to get through these but it isn’t like I’m worried about them going bad. :)

I put about 1/2 the sample in my gaiwan and did a quick rinse, then steeped for around 60 seconds with not quite boiling water.

I was a bit intimidated by this one as the description says it’s a smoky tea and those do not tend to be my favorites.

First steep: it’s a very light orange/yellow color. Smoke is present but is very faint. Aroma is a tiny bit sour as seems to be the case with shengs. It does seem a little woodsy and a bit savory. So far it is smooth and enjoyable.

Second steep: my brew got a little bit darker. The tea still seems savory to me but you can also taste a bit of apple-fruitiness there in the background. The aftertaste is ever so slightly astringent and seems to be slightly cleansing to the palette.

Third steep: the tea is getting a bit sweeter now and the smokiness is starting to retreat a bit. Unlike some younger shengs this one is not astringent or bitter, it’s already kind of mellow in the flavor which is nice.

I want to save this note now before Steepster loses it but I will edit if I have anything else to report :)

I really enjoyed this one much better than I thought it would and it is very tempting to pick one of these up to see how it would age in a few years. Although I don’t think it would make it very long before I started to drink it. Maybe I need two? ;-)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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78
drank Sweet Velvet Fog by iHeartTeas
2663 tasting notes

This sample comes from oOTeaOo – thanks for letting me try this!

Perhaps I should have read the description before I had this for breakfast. It is definitely a bit on the sweet side but it has nice flavors of butterscotch, vanilla and caramel, making for a slightly decadent morning. :)

I steeped mine for around 3.5 minutes at 205 F and I also added some soymilk.

This is nice for a flavored tea but definitely seems like more of a dessert tea than one I would pick up first thing in the morning. Still, I have enjoyed it. I am not really finding it too sweet but something about flavored teas often just strikes me as a bit artificial at times… not destined to be a favorite, I guess

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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85
drank Pu-erh Ginger by Rishi Tea
2663 tasting notes

I do not think this is a world class pu-erh but I like the ginger in this one. I wonder if I can just buy some ginger root and toss it into my other pu-erhs?

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90

For me this is a sipdown. Thanks to Verdant and Steepster for introducing me to Wuyi teas. I did 3 steeps of this in the xi ying. The xi ying is great for wuyis teas and I am considering getting two more for shus and shengs.

This is a lot maltier than I remember it, especially at the first steep. Reminiscent of beer! I would certainly consider getting more of this but I have another red robe in my stash that I need to drink first, me thinks.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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93

I was looking forward to trying this one, as Rare Tea Republic is quickly becoming one of my favorite sellers and – I’ve never had an oolong from the darjeeling region before!

Instructions for this one say to steep it at 195 F for 5 minutes, so I did that, steeping it regular basket style in a glass mug. I think the rest of this sample I may try in the gaiwan.

The tea steeps up to be a very light amber color and I am surprised at the light subtle flavor here. To me it seems a little woodsy with some light honey notes. The description says it has some light minerality which makes it evocative of a Wuyi rock tea, I am getting that only slightly. It reminds me a little more of a kind and gentle royal phoenix…

Because this is from a darjeeling region I was expecting a bit more astringency, but there really isn’t any. I wonder if that’s a typical feature of an autumn darjeeling or the processing method. I did a quick google search on other autumn darjeelings to find them described as more mellow and more forgiving than the earlier flushes. I am quite enjoying this but if you are in the mood for a typical darjeeling type of flavor with bite or muscatel you would be disappointed with this one…

I’m now eagerly watching RtR, Thunderbolt and others for the 2012 first flush teas to start appearing on their website. :)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

Amy: Everything I’ve heard about Autumnals (I can’t find it! ://), describe them as smoother, rounder, and much less astringent than first & second flushes. I’m glad you like it.

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Bio

My profile pic is of a pink dahlia at Golden Gate Park.

Hobbies include: tea, making art, animals, vegan things, buddhism, nature, creativity, books, writing, cooking, meditation, yoga.

I am a fan of many different teas but my favorites are blacks and oolongs, chai, also like darjeeling and pu-erh. I’n always learning and expanding my horizons!

Dislikes include: bergamot, jasmine, highly tannic or bitter teas, overly judgmental and bitter people. :)

Live in San Francisco, I’m a SINK (single income, no kids) and love the urban life, but traveling out to the middle of nowhere is always fun too.

I tend to not drink things I know I will hate so a lot of my tea ratings are on the higher side. Here’s my rating system, sorta

95-100 I love this tea and would like to keep it around

94-90 An excellent tea which I may or may not repurchase

89-80 Pretty good, above average

79-70 Acceptable

69-60 Mundane – Will probably drink it if I have it

59-50 Ick

49 and below Nasty

Location

San Frandisco

Website

http://sanfrantea.teatra.de

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