2728 Tasting Notes

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
2728 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
2728 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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89
drank Zhen Qu Tea by Stash Tea Company
2728 tasting notes

Happy holiday weekend all (to those of you who have a holiday). I plan to get lots of relaxation in as well as some tea drinking. :)

Thanks to ScottTeaMan for sending some of this my way. I never even knew that Stash had loose leaf tea, I guess I’ve never been to their website.

These leaves are very fun to look at, they’re curly and fluffy which shows a bit of love on the part of the maker. I ended up steeping mine at around 205 for 3.5 minutes. It’s a very smooth black tea, with some caramel/honey type flavors similar to what you would find in a golden monkey. I think next time around I will try steeping this for a bit longer because I doubt it will turn bitter very easily and I think my brew needed to be stronger in order to fully get the flavors. There are some definite chocolate notes as well. This was good plain but I also liked it with some soymilk. I’m just now waking up at 10:30 am but this is wonderful cup to start my day. thanks again Scott!

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

Your welcome…….I’m glad you like it! It is one of my favorites, and has never been bitter, but I’ve not steeped it longer than 4.5 minutes. This tea reminds me of a black Bi luo Chun visually. I hope I gave you enuff for a few more steeps. :))

TeaBrat

yes, there is more, thank you!

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68
drank Red Rocks by The Tea Spot
2728 tasting notes

Finished off the last of this sample today and enjoyed it, seems better than I remember. I also feel like I have a lot of tea swap/samples to get through right now! I wonder what kind of shelf life rooibos has? Thanks again, QueenofTarts

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76

I don’t know a lot about ceylons so I decided to pick a bit of this up at Whole Foods since they have it in the bulk bin section. I doubt this is a first class example of what a ceylon can be but I wanted to try some. :)

I steeped this for 3 minutes at around 205 F. It is very pleasant, somewhat brisk, a bit fruity with some astringency. I don’t think this is an orange pekoe but it does share some similarities with that style. I was able to drink it plain just fine but I liked it better with a touch of organic soymilk added to it. It seems good but I don’t have much to compare it to. In any case I am not totally loving it. I might try steeping again at 2 minutes next time.

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

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drank Vanilla Nut by Teeccino
2728 tasting notes

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90
drank Autumn Laoshan Green by Verdant Tea
2728 tasting notes

This is my after lunch treat. I have had so many boring green teas lately and this one is really full of flavor – see my previous notes. I had to up the score a little bit today. I’m looking forward to more Laoshan teas from Verdant in the future.

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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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