2661 Tasting Notes

90
drank Golden Needle King by Shang Tea
2661 tasting notes

This is the second red tea I’ve had in the last week (the other one was at Taste SF – a local tea place) and I’ve discovered I like them!

This steeps up to be a beautiful reddish-brown and it has a cocoa and cinnamon aroma. I am very intrigued by it since it is made of fermented white tea leaves. It definitely has a smooth and delicate quality but it also a bit malty and chocolate-y, slightly fruity. Reminds me a bit of a golden yunnan… also resteeps well

On a side note I discovered my new $20 Bodum tea for one set is made out of plastic and not glass, and I really don’t like the way tea tastes in plastic… boo

ScottTeaMan

I know, I agree about the Bodum, and they say it doesn’t affect the taste of the tea, but THEY are WRONG! I had the same problem with a Bodum cordless electric teakettle, which I don’t use anymore. ://

LiberTEAS

In this case, Chinese “red” tea is actually black tea or fully-oxidized tea. They call it “red” because of the color of the infused liquid. Here in the States, the term “red tea” is sometimes used to refer to rooibos because of the color of the oxidized leaves.

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73

Thanks to Teavivre for sending some of this my way as a sample.

I’m really not a fan of smoky teas so this was a hard one for me to review and appreciate. I do like the smoothness here and it definitely is not as smoky as some I’ve had, but for sure my least favorite of their 3 black teas I’ve had the chance to try. It’s really too strong for me. If someone would like to swap for this I will gladly find it a new home to someone who really likes this flavor. :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec
ScottTeaMan

Amy, I just had a cup of Hao Ya B about an hour ago. Essentially, all teas labeled Keemun Hao Ya are Hao Ya B. I was thinking of how you said you really didn’t care for smoky teas, and thought if you reduced time to 2:30-2:45 you may appreciate them more. Well, I’m glad you were willing to give it the old college try. I do like my Hao Ya B. I’m not a big fan of intense smoky teas, but this one is just right for me if I steep it around 3.5 minutes, slightly below boling. There are less smoky teas out there and maybe you’ll find one you like someday-or maybe not. :))

TeaBrat

I think I’ll just give it up…. :)

K S

Amy don’t give up on this one until you drink steeps 2 and 3. I did not like the first either when I first tried it. After the first cup the smoke is gone and what remains is excellent in the later cups. The next time I tried this tea I went 2 minutes or less on the first cup and found I was starting to kind of like the first cup.

TeaBrat

KS – thanks, I’ll try it!

ScottTeaMan

Let me know how the multiple steeps go. I’ve never gone multiple with Keemun Hao Ya teas-LOCO maybe but not multiple. :))

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87

Finishing off the rest of my sample this morning, it really reminds me a lot of Constant Comment but better – see my previous tasting notes.

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76

Hmm. One thing you can’t help but notice is how strongly this tea smells, in fact I had to take it out of the bag it was in and put it in a ziploc bag and back in the other bag to keep the smell at bay a bit. It’s a very sweet and fruity aroma.

This is a Chinese green tea but I believe it tastes very strongly of the passionfruit flavor, not at all subtle as the description states. It’s a nice combination with the green tea but definitely overwhelms the other ingredients a bit including the flowers. I think this would be great iced for the summer time, regardless. It also seems a bit sweet at the finish, not sure if that’s from the passionfruit flavoring, the marigold or something else. I probably wouldn’t get this one again but I will certainly finish off the ounce I bought.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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86

Thanks to Teavivre for providing this sample for me to try!

I’ve tried a few different Dragon Wells now and this definitely seems like one of the better ones. I am really fussy when it comes to green tea and have only found a few that totally knock my socks off.

This is light, vegetal and slightly nutty. Definitely not astringent which is nice! I felt like this brewed up a little too light for my taste even though I used 1 tsb. of leaf in my mug. Perhaps I’ll just never be a real fan of Dragon Wells. I did appreciate the soothing and relaxing quality of this.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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94

This is a great lighter oolong, especially when cold brewed. I will most certainly pick up more the next time I am placing an order with Rishi. I love the lilac aroma.

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73
drank Jade Cloud by The Tao of Tea
2661 tasting notes

I realized I still had this in my stash recently and since it is a few months since I opened it I wanted to focus on drinking it. It’s a very light green tea, also very mellow, kind of a welcome change from the Lupicia sencha I just had but still not much to write home about. See my previous tasting notes.

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87
drank Sencha "Uji" by Lupicia
2661 tasting notes

I couldn’t resist picking this up yesterday at the Lupicia store even though I have a lot of green tea already. bad!

Anyway I steeped this at a very low temp (around 170 F, I thought) for about 2 minutes. Regardless, I don’t think I should be trying to steep anymore Japanese green tea until I get another thermometer or find the old one. They are just so tricky.

This steeped up to be a very light greenish/yellow and has a lot of brothy, marine and vegetal flavor but also has a lot of astringency which is overwhelming my palette a bit. After reading the other tasting notes I might try to steep this for one minute only. With Lupicia I was more a fan of Sencha Chiran, it seems it was sweeter, and I do not like much astringency in my tea.

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

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97

ooh, this one is really nice. It has nice large fluffy leaves and smells very flowery in the bag.

According to my little pouch this tea was picked on Nov 11, 2011. I steeped it at 5 minutes at around 195 F.

Yum! I happen to really like this flavor profile. It has a sweet malty aroma and also seems like it has a lightly toasted or baked quality. Biscuits anyone? I am also picking up the sandalwood aroma and the tea after drinking just gently coats your palette with no real astringency that I can detect. Slightly buttery but this is not one of the main flavors I’m picking up. At times this reminds me of an oolong and at others times it reminds me of a darjeeling but it’s really pretty unique which seems to part of the Himalayan terroir…

Slightly brisk and lingering according to the RTR website. Yes this does seem like an apt description. I do like tea companies that can really sum up the essence of the tea in a brief paragragh.

Very well done, all around. Also very pricey so would have to decide if I really need this in my stash or no…

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

The Jun Chiyabari Estate is tops when it comes to Himilayan teas from what I’ve read. I don’t really know if I need to purchase this from RTR, since I order from Upton’s and they carry a few JC teas. Or do I? I really trying to rationalize my own thoughts here while at the same time asking questions. :))

TeaBrat

Scott, I don’t know. I’d imagine estate teas are similar no matter who you order them from. :)

ScottTeaMan

Yeah, I agree…….but “they” say that different lots from the same estate can vary significantly sometimes. Unless I see several teas from RTR that I’m really wanting to try, I’ll shop elsewhere, but your reviews make it tempting. Also, I am trying to consume more of what I have in house now.

ScottTeaMan I can’t believe you’re the only one to post a review on this tea!
ScottTeaMan

Thanks for the info. :))

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78
drank Troika by Kusmi Tea
2661 tasting notes

After going to the San Francisco Russian festival today, it seems most fitting to drink this tea. See my previous tasting notes. :)

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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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