2488 Tasting Notes

93

I had to go in today to replace a gaiwan I just broke… how sad. I hope I can make the new one last a bit longer, I had accidentally dropped my lid on the floor and it broke.

Anyway far be it from me to resist trying something new. I wanted to try a white tea that I had never heard of before. I was told you could steep this in 190 F hot water for a minute or two but it wasn’t that sensitive to oversteeping. This new craft tea is supposed to be a hybrid of sorts between white and green. I also used a pretty high leaf to water ratio. I might try it again with a little less leaf.

This tea is a golden color when it’s brewed up. It doesn’t seem really flowery like a lot of other white teas. It reminds me a bit of an oolong – probably due to the higher oxidation here. It’s a little sweet like honey and has a nice soft finish that’s a bit apricot-y. This I can see being a really nice every day tea, especially for the afternoons since it’s gentle and kinda low in caffeine. I am saving some of the leaves for when I wake up from my afternoon nap.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 30 sec
ScottTeaMan

Amy, Read my last 3 tea reviews- Hand Rolled Sencha, Puttabong SFTGFOP1 CL/Queen, and Feng Huang Dan Cong. Those are 3 I’m sending you-I wanted to review them first. I may look for a good white tea too, since they’re growing on you. :))

TeaBrat

okey dokey :)

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100
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
2488 tasting notes

I felt that I just needed this today… :)

rmark25

you just reminded me that I need to go to Harney & Sons in SoHo before work and get some Paris!

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83
drank Pina Colada Honeybush by 52teas
2488 tasting notes

I am notoriously fussy when it comes to honeybush and roobois teas, don’t really like most of them but hope springs eternal, I guess… :)

This is a really nice offering from 52 Teas. I find that it needs to steep for at least 5 minutes or the flavor is a bit “thin”. The honeybush provides it with some natural sweetness but the pineapple and rum are the things that really stand out for me. I happen to be a coconut freak so ended up adding in some of my own organic coconut extract. Pretty tasty!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
rmark25

or coconut milk( the beverage one)? hmmm nice idea ;)

TeaBrat

yep – I definitely think that would be a great combo!

Amariel

I don’t like most of them either.

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Sample provided courtesy of Teavivre…

I think I’m going to hold off on rating this for now because I really don’t love jasmine tea for the most part, however I did like the jasmine pearls from Teavivre a lot. This pretty much tastes like the jasmine green tea I got from Adagio and I really feel like I don’t know what I’m talking about. It’s pretty much like any other decent loose leaf jasmine tea I’ve ever tried. It is pleasant enough but very floral and a bit drying.

ScottTeaMan

Sometimes shorter steeps lessen the floral intensity.

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16

This came as a free sample in an ancient Teavana order I placed months ago but I decided today was the day I needed to try it. I kinda knew I was in for trouble when I opened it up and it looks like a bag of dried fruit, yeah I think i saw one or two leaves of white tea in there… lol

This is really not my thing.
1) I do not EVER use sugar in my tea so this sample is instantly way too sweet.
2) It tastes like warm fruit punch.
3) No tea flavor whatsoever
4) If I want to drink a fruity tea I would prefer less hibiscus/rosehips/tart-ish crap

I decided to pour it over ice and it is better as a cold drink. I Teavana should really market this as a cocktail, mix it with rum and stick an umbrella in it.

Mélissa

They seem to have a hard time on the marketing department.

TeaBrat

agreed.

Tamm

I really didn’t like that the chai/chai blend also came with sugar pre-added to the mixture. Then whenever you ask about the tea in shop they instantly want to sell me sugar. I never use it so I get sick of getting bothered about it.

momo

as soon as I got that sample, I opened it up and removed all the sugar. I think I weighed it and it was around 7-8 grams

Ninavampi

Sugar that is pre-added is a very bad idea…

ScottTeaMan

I like the cocktail idea! :))

Camiah

Did they use rock sugar? I have a sample of this and was contemplating just picking the sugar out, since I don’t sweeten my teas.

TeaBrat

yes – mine came with rock sugar already mixed in

Honey

I think that Teavana’s youthberry is the most disgusting tea I’ve ever had. The wild orange blossom is decent on its own though, but nothing can make youthberry taste good :(

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94

I cold brewed this is the refrigerator overnight and it is absolutely divine! Buttery lilac nirvana! Upping the rating a tad. :-)

Charles Thomas Draper

I told you cold brewing oolongs brews out the flavor…

TeaBrat

you were right! It was good when it was hot but even better this way!

ScottTeaMan

Amy, since you’re not over excited about scented teas…….did you brew the hot tea differently than before, so that this may have strengthened your opinion? Or was it the tea?

TeaBrat

I don’t know if I can explain it. The floral here is mild. It is just enough but not “too much” for me!

TeaBrat

@Scott, also to my knowledge this is not a “scented” tea meaning this is a natural flavor, but who knows…

ScottTeaMan

Correct. “Scented” was the wrong term. Jades are greener and floral in nature. Before this post, I read your post about the Magnolia Oolong, which tend to be scented…….like Jasmine teas. :))

Stephanie

“Buttery lilac nirvana”—I love it!!

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90
drank Nepali Oolong by The Tao of Tea
2488 tasting notes

More oolong for me today. I’m trying to see if I can get used to drinking any of my tea with lemon. This was kind of a nice one to play around with. I still prefer it plain tho’.

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93

Another thing I found at the Bulk bin in Whole Foods…

I wasn’t sure how the magnolia gets in here, if it’s natural or what. hmmm. Does anyone have a guess?

These are long and slender dark leaves. I was really expecting something like a wuyi tea when I brewed this up but instead I got a light yellow infusion that is full of wonderful flavors. The magnolia is very nice here, it provides an exquisite aroma without knocking you over in flowers. The tea itself is very light and creamy with a slight apricot flavor. When I first smelled it I thought “pastries baking”. This is pretty intoxicating stuff, it feels like an elegant luxury… yummm. I am definitely a fan!

Infused 3x at 180 F for about 3 minutes.

I have kind of a hit or miss relationship with floral teas. If they’re too sweet or too perfumey I don’t like them as much. This one strikes a nice balance.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
E Alexander Gerster

I believe the magnolia aroma and flavor in a good Dancong Phoenix Oolong like this comes from the tea bush, the care taken in processing and the season in which the leaves are picked. I have read that a single tea bush can produce three or four aroma types of Oolong depending on these factors!
The “pastries baking” aroma comes from the light roast that the leaves get during processing. For me, this is one of the reason I love roasted Oolongs. It makes your mouth water just to inhale the aroma! :)

TeaBrat

yes – I wasn’t sure if the magnolia was added afterwards but it is delicious! I am quite a fan of roasted oolongs myself.

ScottTeaMan

I believe it is naturally scented—all of the Yu Lan teas I’m aware of are. Here’s another Yu Lan, but it looks totally different:

http://uptontea.com/shopcart/item.asp?itemID=ZM65&from=search.asp

ScottTeaMan

Looks like it is more floral to me.

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64
drank Caramel & Rum by Lupicia
2488 tasting notes

hmm. I was trying to figure out what to do with this in order to make it more palatable… ended up steeping it with a cinnamon stick and a couple of cardamom pods. And now, with some soymilk it’s definitely a lot better and more like a chai. Still, kinda lame when you have to doctor up a tea so much with extra ingredients in order to make it bearable.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec
LiberTEAS

I would recommend blending it with either “cookie” or “rum raisin” tea from Lupicia. I think that would make a really yummy blend.

TeaBrat

They’ve been out of Rum Raisin for months – I keep wanting to try it!!!

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94

mmm. I’m a sucker for such nifty packaging! I had to get this to try it out! It’s all even enviro friendly because there is no plastic anywhere… luckily pu-erh likes to breathe so you don’t have to mummify it in a plastic bag!

These Pu-erh “coins” are stored on top of each other in a beautiful cardboard tube that provides DETAILED information about when and where it was produced, how to store it and steeping instructions. I love the beautiful box, for one thing… these coins are bigger than I thought they would be, 1/2 a coin is plenty for a small pot of tea and 1/4 of a coin is perfect for gaiwan.

I brewed this in the gaiwan, they recommend very short steeps so I’ve been going with these 20-30 seconds jobs. This brews up to a lovely dark orange color.

It’s no surprise that I would like this since the leaves come from wild trees up to 500 years old. This has the depth and beauty of an old forest with a bit of stone fruit, charcoal and smoke. VERY smooth and nice, slightly creamy… with a lingering aftertaste of cocoa. yum yum. I like it! These coins are great for convenience and they are also better than most tuo chas I have had. I’m glad I have a lot of them so I can do a bit of experiments with flavoring them. Oh Mini Cha-an Lucky Coins, you are adorable and tasty!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

Sounds like a must-have

TeaBrat

they are fun!

Ninavampi

I would not be able to resist this I am sure!

ashmanra

This is neat! Have you seen the puer that comes stuffed in a bamboo shoot on purepuer.com? I would love to try that one someday but I think it is sold out right now. The instructions say to peel the bamboo back like a banana skin. Apparently it is often packaged this way in China.

ScottTeaMan

THANKS AMY…….I’m going to be trying these tonight. What did you break them with?

TeaBrat

@ scott- my hands… lol
@ ashmanra – I’ve seen those puerhs in bamboo, I think Norbu sells them too, I want to try one!

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Profile

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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