2542 Tasting Notes

90
drank Nepali Oolong by The Tao of Tea
2542 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
2542 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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90

so I’m pretty new to white tea but I’m warming up to it quickly. As others have commented this is a beautiful long sage green leaf with lots of white fuzz.

I steeped this in approx 170 – 180 F water for about 2 minutes.

I’m just sitting here trying to figure out what to say about it. I was thinking vaguely spearmint but somehow that isn’t quite right. It seems lightly floral with a touch of lilac, with a lingering bit of fruit like lychee in the finish. I don’t think I’m enough of a white tea expert to know if this is better or worse than other white needles but I am enjoying it a lot. It has a very smooth feel in your mouth.

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

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87
drank Gyokuro Matcha by Teavana
2542 tasting notes

Oh Teavana, why did you need to blend these two things together, I just don’t get it…

I’ve seen other people make matcha out of gyokuro but this gyokuro has powdered matcha mixed in with it so a nice green dust emerges when you open the bag. To be fair I’ve also seen this done with some more inferior/cheap blends like genmaicha but you shouldn’t need to add anything to gyokuro to make it better…

Anyway I digress. Perhaps it is done because of color as this steeps up to a brilliant neon green. I did this for around 90 seconds in approximately 160 F water. It is pretty nice, there is the familiar sweetness/lovely mouthfeel of the gyo. I just wish there was no matcha in here because it is making the tea chalky with a lot of sediment at the bottom. Don’t you normally whisk matcha for this reason?

I will most certainly finish this and it is no doubt a very healthy drink… the second steep is better because most of the matcha dust got washed away in the first steep. I might rinse this off before steeping next time.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 15 sec
E Alexander Gerster

I agree! I think a really good Gyokuro should stand on it’s own, and is much more appealing without the matcha. Save the matcha for a good whisking instead of using it like an added flavoring… :)

TeaBrat

It does have a nice energy boost, I will say that for it.

noordelijk

Yes this does seem a bit strange. Both Gyokuro and matcha are lovely on their own, and it’s almost like a waste to mix them together. I guess it does add a nice health/energy boost bonus to your Gyokuro though.

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94

oh, this is nice! Like others I have noticed the sweet smell of the leaves when you open up the bag, it is quite lovely!

I did steep this in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, it is delicious this way but I should have paid attention to the instructions that said 185… A nice lingering flavor of sweet potatoes and raisins. It’s malty and delicious. I could not not resist adding some soymilk to mine. I am still not used to drinking a lot of black teas plain aside form pu-erh. So I will try this gong fu style again some other time, I think that will be an endeavor well worth my time. Definitely a cuppa worth having around!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Amariel

I need to try this again to try to capture these flavours.

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74

Sample provided courtesy of Teavivre…

I’ve never had a Chysanthemum pu-erh before and I was looking forward to trying this one. It was very nice the way the flower opened up after this steeped. 195 F water for 2-3 minutes. I should have used boiling but that’s what our water boiler is set to currently.

First steep: This is pretty earthy and woodsy! It’s also a bit seaweedy with a hint of smoke. I wonder if I should have tossed the first steep?

Second steep: Floral scent is emerging! I am getting a bit of the sweetness here and it’s a lot less murky than the first steep. I need to get into the habit of rinsing these a bit in boiling water before steeping them.

When it comes to pu-erhs I am biased and picky. I do have definite preferences and flavor profiles but I don’t think this is one of them. I may have to spend some more time with this tea before I can really assess it. I was glad I had the chance to try it but I’m a little confused by it.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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49
drank White Tea by Triple Leaf Tea
2542 tasting notes

It was free but fairly mediocre in my opinion. Difficult to pick out much flavor here, of course having it in a teabag doesn’t help either.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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67

I just discovered this is a nice thing to steep along with some dragonwell tea…. much better!

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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

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San Frandisco

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http://sanfrantea.teatra.de

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