2422 Tasting Notes

65

Peet’s is really the only chain where I can go and reliably get a decent tea – forget about Starbucks or that other place, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. I didn’t even know there was a Peet’s pu-erh until I went in there this afternoon nosing around.

This maybe not the best tasting of this tea, after all it was with a paper cup and a paper tea sac. It is very smooth, rich and dark. The thing this really reminds me of is chocolate milk, I was thinking that the entire time I was drinking this tea, weird. Also it seems a bit metallic and with a smoky aftertaste. Definitely I was hoping for something more/else. I should have saved the leaves to steep it again at home and see if I could make it any better. This is a $20 for a tin of tea and that is not a terrible price considering that’s a 4 oz. tin. But ultimately it just left me kind of unsatisfied.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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82
drank Purple Tea of Kenya by Butiki Teas
2422 tasting notes

I was pretty excited to try this unique tea and I do like supporting small local vendors who bring us offerings like this so that was definitely a great reason to try it.

I steeped mine with 180 F water for around 3.5 minutes in a glass infuser mug. This is such a curious tea with very interesting properties. I agree with TeaEqualsBliss that at first it reminds me of a sencha both in flavor and consistency but the color and strength are more like a dark oolong and it definitely has an astringent finish. That’s the only thing that bugs me a bit so I am going to try doing a few other things with it including steeping at a lower temp. and cold brewing so my rating may go up a bit soon. I am leery of astringent teas due to my issues with acid reflux but it doesn’t seem to bother other people. This is pretty unique so if you aren’t afraid of something unusual I suggest you give it a try!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec
ScottTeaMan

Amy, are there any qualities you do like in astringent teas (say in a Darjeeling)? I completely understand the astringency factor, and how it affects your acid reflux. I’m asking b/c sometimes, say my Cranberry Tea, gives me heartburn. Yet I do like the fact, that it is tart and yet sweet, with a good base tea.

Also, I really enjoy Darjeelings, yet if they are oversteeped, astringency does become a factor-but there usually are other dimensions in these teas I still enjoy.

TeaBrat

I like the flavor of darjeelings but since they usually make me kind of ill it’s difficult to separate the two, know what I mean?

ScottTeaMan

yeah….too bad. I was gonna try to send you a lighter Darj, but I don’t think its a good idea if they make you feel ill. Do you have reflux really bad?

TeaBrat

I’m fine as long as I stay away from things that make my stomach hurt… ;-)

ScottTeaMan

what about spicy things?

TeaBrat

let’s take this discussion to DM… :)

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100

I don’t work for the Red Blossom Tea company or own stock in them I just keep finding delightful treasures there and I usually only rate teas this high that I think I would be anxious to do without… this is one of them. :)

This was the boyfriend’s choice but he knows what I like. I had one infusion of 90 seconds and subsequent infusions of 20-30 seconds. I was drinking this last night and this morning I had to do a reality check to see if it was as good as I remembered.

If you’ve ever had a golden yunnan you know something about what this tea is like. It’s malty, chestnutty, sweet and creamy in addition to earthy! I do not detect much camphor here if any. It still has that pu-erh twang that comes with the aging process but this is now almost 15 years old and is delightfully mellow. For me this is a real treat that redefines my conceptions of what a pu-erh can be. Of course I am still newish to this sphere but if I had to pick one shou to keep on hand at all times this would no doubt be it.

I had the Emperor Pu-erh a few days ago and I am finding this one to be very different but the quality is there for both of them. I love the cleanness of these teas. I only wish they had small samplers so people could try the whole lot for a bit of a smaller price. Of course I am fortunate that I live in San Francisco so I can just go there. Yay!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

I am still drinking yesterdays Sheng. It has staying power

TeaBrat

Have you tried cold brewing the leftover leaves?

Charles Thomas Draper

What I do is brew as I normally do and then take the liquid and the leaves and transfer it into A Mason jar for an overnight cold brewing. My point is that the tea has weakened so I do what I can to make it stronger.

E Alexander Gerster

Your description makes my mouth water… I had not heard of Red Blossom Tea Company until this week, reading the reviews here on Steepster of their Pu-erh teas… then saw a short segment on them on the most recent Lidia Bastianich Christmas special on PBS. I guess the universe is trying to tell me something! :) They look to carry some of the most beautiful Dragonwell teas, which I might have to try when the new crops come in.

TeaBrat

Wow, I did not know they were on TV! You should check them out – my only complaint with them is they don’t offer smaller sampler packs!

E Alexander Gerster

On Dec. 20, there was a show called Holiday Tables and Traditions which you can now watch online: http://video.pbs.org/video/2175964061/
The segment on San Francisco and the Chinese New Year featured a few minutes at the Red Blossom Tea Company. Very interesting! I wish they offered smaller sampler packs as well… Maybe they will see our posts! :)

Charles Thomas Draper

I am happy with them. Great tea. Great service. Very fast delivery. Thank you Amy for turning us on. E Alexander I have to watch the show….

TeaBrat

Thanks for the link! I’ll check it out for sure!

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90

I got gaiwans, cups and serving vessels for an early Christmas gift. So excited! I decided to brew this up again this morning using the gaiwan. I upped the rating a little on this today. The first steep I did for 90 seconds and that was a little harsh. Second steep for 20 seconds. Very nice redwood aroma, fruity and earthy, beautiful dark red color. Associations with ceylon seem on the mark.

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67
drank Sakurambo by Lupicia
2422 tasting notes

sipdown! yeah I’m finally done with this one and am not too sad to see it go. I would love to find a good cherry tea if there is one out there that is not tart and smelly like this one. Hit me up with your recommendations if you have any.

LatteTeaDah

I’ve tried this one and I agree that it’s not great. But they have a Sakura Vert and Sakura Noir that’s the real-deal, sakura/cherry leaf versus the cherry “bean” – more of an authentic flavor and more subtle. Not sure why there’s such a gap between those and the Sakurambo – it’s all Lupicia, but so different.

TeaBrat

Ok, thanks for the helpful hint… i’ll look for the Sakura!

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97
drank Shi Zuo by Tea from Taiwan
2422 tasting notes

I need to get more creative with my tasting notes. I’m trying to figure out what to say about this aside from: yeah, that’s a Taiwanese oolong, all right.. lol

This is part of my Tea from Taiwan sampler, which so far I have been very happy with. This is probably my favorite of the bunch so far. I was just told by my friend that Taiwan oolongs are very popular in Japan and you find them all over the place in vending machines. This is getting steeped in a small ceramic infuser mug.

1st infusion – my tea smells like a mountain spring and is very buttery, sweet and slightly vegetal like peas or corn. Rich and delicious. I can hardly wait for infusion #2

2nd infusion – orchid floral aromas are now coming through intensely both in the aroma and flavor, this is very pleasant and soothing and also getting a bit sweeter. nom.

3rd infusion – sweetness is giving over to brothy chicken soup type home-yness.

ok, no more infusions for now, gotta go focus some attention on other things, and yes I have the attention span of a gnat. This one was very nice!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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90
drank Milima GFBOP by The Tea Emporium
2422 tasting notes

Niiiiice! Thanks to Indigobloom for sending me a sample of this! I’ve been looking for a kenyan tea to add to my repertoire and this one looks like it will fit the bill very nicely.

This is rich with some beautiful floral notes but without the astringency or the tannins of a darjeeling. I’m getting a nice bit of malt here in my cup as well. I did decide to drink this with soymilk and it’s quite a swell morning cuppa! It’s a bit fruity too.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Indigobloom

Teehee it’s one of my faves to! :P

TeaBrat

It’s a keeper!

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98

It would be difficult for me to top my sheng experience from last night but I was in the shop and before they managed to chase me out I decided to pick this one up also. It’s hard to imagine these people selling a really terrible tea so I did not think I was taking a big risk by buying this without tasting it first. They have so many gorgeous looking teas but I’m on a pu-erh kick for the time being it seems.

I infused this for 2 minutes the first time and then 30 seconds for each infusion after that (about 5). It’s very smooth with lots of plummy sweetness, deep earthiness and a malty roastedness. I am getting some camphor here in the finish which is not my favorite thing but fortunately the camphor is not totally overshadowing the other flavors so it seems somewhat subdued. It is quite a delicious mix for my morning here. I have a feeling their shan shou-puerhs may be more of my thing. This is a very tasty brew though, I am sure I will have no problems finishing it.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
yssah - Love is Tea (LIT)

what sheng experience?

TeaBrat

I had the sheng from Red Blossom…

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100

Finally I’ve had a sheng that makes me understand what shengs are all about and why anyone would want to drink one.

Dry leaves are so luxurious and smell of licorice and flowers. I want to bathe in this smell.

I’ve gone onto 7 infusions so far and they are all butter pecan delicious with a hint of creamy sweetness. Faintly musty and earthy but with a aftertaste that lingers. No sign of the flavor slowing down. No weird funkiness that make me wonder what this is and why I am drinking it. I love wild tea and this seems like a great showcase for it – a gorgeous mature and fully blossomed beauty that deserves my full attention and devotion. I wish I was better at describing these things. Bravo and A+. If I ever have a better sheng I will be amazed. I am seeing stars.

More accolades to come, I am sure….

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

Sounds amazing!! So glad they’re local!

Charles Thomas Draper

Amy I was going to order from them last night. An Imperial Shu or something like that. I chickened out when I saw the shipping was $7.00. After reading this I think I can handle the money….

Charles Thomas Draper

This is why I love Steepster. Amy I trust your judgement and I will buy this tea and I will want to bathe it too….

Charles Thomas Draper

I just placed the order. I am jealous that you have access to very fine tea in your area….

TeaBrat

Charles, i hope you like it! What else did you get?

TeaBrat

Stephanie, they are great but everytime i go in there i want to spend all of my money!

ScottTeaMan

At least you have all those places to go to get quality tea very close to home. :))

Charles Thomas Draper

Grand Shou ’97

TeaBrat

that looks delicious as well…

Charles Thomas Draper

That was my first choice until your review….

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78

A soothing genmai-cha. Very mild green tea flavor, this is very nutty and popcorny and is sitting well with me on this foggy afternoon. I can’t say I’m thrilled or excited by it but does anyone get that feeling with genmai-cha? There is matcha powder in here along with sencha… It works for me. :)

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C
ScottTeaMan

What Feeling??….A thrilling feeling

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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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