2485 Tasting Notes

91
drank Orchid Oolong by Mighty Leaf Tea
2485 tasting notes

I was totally addicted to this stuff for the longest time. Lately I’ve been gravitating away from flavored tea but I still like it. Lots of coconut and just a little bit floral. Creamy and lush….

KeenTeaThyme

This sounds really good! I enjoyed Shanghai Orchid from Teavana; I’m adding this one to my list.

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89
drank Cookie by Lupicia
2485 tasting notes

My tea notes will not be that exciting this week because I brought some teabags and a few samples with me to try only.

This is a good choice for morning time, yes it does taste kind of like a cookie. Very caramel and vanilla with some rich and smooth black tea. It is providing me with an eye opening cup this morning.

It is pretty tasty but I don’t know if I would go to any trouble to stock this on a regular basis.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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94
drank Osmanthus Oolong by Naivetea
2485 tasting notes

Diary of a tea addict: time for one more tea before I head to the airport and will be most likely be stuck with teabags for 10 days… :-/

I don’t believe I have ever smelled an osmanthus flower and I don’t really like strongly floral teas. So why do I have so many? who knows. ;-)

Brewing method: short steeps in the gaiwan

First infusion: very light, creamy and custardy. Not a lot of flowers, good!

Second infusion: osmanthus coming up a bit more and it is getting a bit sweeter. A little vanilla-y, a little buttery. Very smooth mouthfeel and sweet lingering aftertaste. It’s a bit like a cookie. teee heeee.

Third infusion: tea is getting very assertive. Some vegetal notes are coming up a bit here. I am surprised. I may have oversteeped it.

Fourth infusion: steeped for only 20 seconds. Tea is happier and is back to sweet buttery lightness.

Fifth infusion: getting lighter still but now the floral is retreating and the oolong is emerging more as a clean, bright spring bud.

Now I am running out of time…

Even though I am not that fond of floral teas I would definitely like to keep this around. If you keep the steepings under control the flowers are very light. I was a skeptic but she has managed to charm me with her seductive ways. I could write a poem abut this experience. la la la – love!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Stephanie

Have a safe trip!!

TeaBrat

Thank you!!!!!

ScottTeaMan

Safe travels Amy. :))

Ryan Freed

Have a fun trip!

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77

I’ve had this sample for a few months as part of Adagio’s silver sampler (4 white teas). I don’t believe I ever logged the other ones and this is the last one I had finished so am determined to try it!

After yesterday’s experience I decided to go mild and gentle on the white. The instructions here say 195 for 3-5 minutes but I did mine for 2.5 minutes with 180 degree water approximately. This seems to have been a good decision.

I don’t really love jasmine tea too much but I can appreciate this. Very mild and sweet, the jasmine is relaxing and soothing. I’m trying to focus on letting the jasmine aroma waft up into my nose rather than focusing on what it tastes like. Good for a relaxing moment. I am not sure I will ever finish it so if anyone wants to swap please let me know!

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100

I have not been sleeping well lately due to my noisy radiator (grrr) and so I chose this today to give me a little vitamin and energy boost. the last of this sample from Arbor teas but definitely not my last experience with gyokuro.

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78
drank Florence by Harney & Sons
2485 tasting notes

I added a bit of my mandarin pu-erh to it this afternoon and am liking it better. :)

rmark25

I need to force myself to the Harney Tea Shop in SoHo this week before work…I want to give this one a try

ScottTeaMan

Hehehehe…….Amy, you’re slowly becoming the Pu-erh Queen! Hahaha

TeaBrat

rmark25 – it’s not bad, my favorite from Harney is the Paris blend though

rmark25

that’s another one on my list ;)

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75
drank Songyang White by Verdant Tea
2485 tasting notes

Thank you kindly Verdant for sending me a sample of this in my last order!

Everyone else has been raving about their Jasmine white tea but I was rather glad I got this one instead. Upon smelling the leaves I decided to brew them up in the xi ying and let it steep for about 1.5 minutes, very bitter. I thought perhaps the clay was throwing off the taste a bit so I transferred the leaves to the gaiwan and let it steep for about 20 seconds, still very bitter. Then I finally decided to heed the gong fu directions on the bag and let it steep for 8 seconds which basically meant I poured water over it and poured it back out into a cup. They recommend 205 F for whites but when I did that it got brackish really fast. I had to brew this like a green. Now I am getting the clean vegetal aromas were described. This is very interesting and reminds me more of a green tea than any other white I have had. I think I need to start all over again on a new day with a little less leaf and very short steepings. I was very surprised at how easy it was to mess this up but I really don’t have a very good track record with white teas. I will be glad to increase my rating if I can figure out how to make this more palatable.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec
ScottTeaMan

I always brew my whites gong fu and start steeps around 45 sec to one minute. It also depends on the amount of leaf you use and water temp. I use more leaf and start with lower temps (160-170) and gradually increase both times & temps

ScottTeaMan

Yixings are also usually used for Oolongs and Puerhs, but you can use them for blacks. I would not recommend Yixings for Greens and Whites.

TeaBrat

Hey, they said you could brew this western style with 205 F water for 4 minutes, I can’t imagine, it would be like a seaweed broth. Seems like less is more here for sure.

ScottTeaMan

Yeah, I never brew my whites 3 or 4 minutes unless I’ve steeped it a few times, but never for the first few brews

David Duckler

Hi Amy,
Thanks for the real-world field testing here. This is a very different white tea. I am of the school to use boiling water on white tea, brewed in a glass pitcher for 10-15 seconds, but it sometimes gets me in trouble with thse 175 degree crowd. HOWEVER- that works mainly for silver needle white, especially Yunnan silver needle. This Songyang, as you rightly point out, is closer in flavor to a green tea, and should probably be treated as such when brewing, even though it is technically a white tea due to processing. This one is slightly temperamental, but I think that when you return to it, you will hit the sweet spot and get all the good fresh green flavor. This one always feels very “alive” when I brew it, if that makes any sense. If you used up your sample, let me know and I will give you a bit more to play with in your next order.

I will play around with the Songyang this week and revise the brewing instructions to reflect how different it is from the other white teas I have encountered.

TeaBrat

David – thanks for your note. I still have more and I suspect if I treat it gently I will indeed like it more. :)

ScottTeaMan

I can’t imagine ever using boiling water for any whites or greens. Hhmmm Amy, was that a free sample with your order? If so, Major note to self: “Plan an order with Verdant Teas in the near future!” :))

TeaBrat

Scott, yes it was a freebie! :)

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92
drank Supreme Red Robe by Vital Tea Leaf
2485 tasting notes

yep, I am a sucker for any store that says it has a free tea tasting. This is a very large shop in Chinatown here in SF that has quite a wide selection of tea and a very friendly staff. This was the boyfriend’s selection so we brewed it up this morning in the Gaiwan.

I can’t say that I know enough about red robes to really say that this one is really so much better than any other one but I am enjoying it this morning. When the leaves are wet they are intensely smoky and smell of cherries and plums. This brews up to a nice reddish color – in the shop they call it “red tea” and not an oolong but I digress. Here is a nice composition of flavors with some fruitiness, some nuttiness, a bit of smoke and a tiny bit of sourness. It is holding a nice fizzy aftertaste on my tongue.

Preparation
1 min, 0 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

They are probably Chinese who refer to black as red….

TeaBrat

they also told me nobody likes raw puerh and they didn’t even sell any in their shop. tons of shu however.

Charles Thomas Draper

They probably do not like raw because they have not had a good one. When they are young they can be quite gnarly….

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93
drank Dong Ding by Naivetea
2485 tasting notes

Still one of my very favorite oolongs and my favorite thing from the Naivetea line. I’ve been all over San Francisco since tasting other dong dings and scads of other oolongs and none are really coming close, this is definitely unique. I believe it is the 30% roast which I am really enjoying. This is so nutty, creamy and buttery. Holds up to 7 or more short infusions in the Gaiwan.

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

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89
drank Keemun Queen's Hope by Lupicia
2485 tasting notes

We are having this tea for breakfast and I am quite liking it. It’s a very smooth black tea with good flavor. Others have remarked on the smokiness but I am not getting much, especially compared to some other Keemuns I have tried. It is very English breakfast-y. Fruity but without the astringency of a darjeeling. A bit pungent. Fairly mild for a Keemun IMO. I like this enough that I might want to keep some around for morning time. I also drink a lot of pu-erh on a regular basis so you see where my tastes lie… heh

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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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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