2418 Tasting Notes

90

I received this lovely sample from Teavire to try. I’ve never had a Jasmine Pearl before so I was pretty eager to try one.

In a word: delicious. This is easily one of the best Jasmine green teas I’ve had. The aroma here is intoxicating but the flavor is sweet and subtle and does not knock me over the head tasting like a shower gel. I’m pretty happy. Plus the craftsmanship of these pearls is just so darn cute. I feel like such a lady…

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec

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90

A very nice shu pu-erh offering from Verdant. The purists will scoff at me but I sometimes drink these with soymilk. I am trying this one without it.

Very aromatic leaves after steeping. Smells like dirt, earth and shitaake mushrooms. Aroma is definitely that of a campfire but this is not smoky tasting like a lapsang souchong. Reminds me of a good roasted twig tea when I keep the steeping time to around 90 seconds or so. Not astringent at all, delightfully mellow.

For the third steep I am bumping up the steeping time until it tastes like mud. Ha! I did that last week and it was still delicious. If you like coffee I would recommend checking this out…

Preparation
1 min, 0 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

I have this in my sampler. It is for my days off….

TeaBrat

It is a nice tea to be able to relax and enjoy… nice to save the best ones for home. :)

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67

Sometimes I wonder if Maeda-en is like the Lipton of tea in Japan?

In any case this is a good basic tea for me which I have been drinking for years, I get it in Japantown and the price does not break the bank. I like the toasty, nutty flavor here which goes nicely sometimes as a breakfast drink when I want something mild.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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92
drank Wen Shan Bao Zhong by Naivetea
2418 tasting notes

A nice light offering from Naivetea. I now have 1 oz. of this bad boy which should keep me happy for a while. I have no idea what osmanthus smells/tastes like. There is a slight hint of floral here but not nauseating like a floral scented tea. To me it’s brothy and buttery. I also let it steep for 3 minutes or so, I like it a bit stronger and it does not seem to suffer at all with a longer steep time. Gentle and precious.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Jim Marks

osmanthus is a flower frequently used with the greener oolongs, often labeled “monkey picked”, which tends to give you something much stronger than a jasmine scented tea. If this isn’t nauseatingly strong, then it probably isn’t actually scented with osmanthus.

TeaBrat

I got some of their osmanthus flavored tea but I have not tried it yet. I suspect after that I will be knocked over by the osmanthus and be able to pick it out of a crowd. ;-)

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88
drank Eastern Beauty by Aroma Tea Shop
2418 tasting notes

A short foray into the Aroma Tea Shop this afternoon which is in San Francisco’s Richmond District. A very unpretentious little store. The Owner is quite nice and humorous and offers free tea tastings. I probably tried about 10 different teas before I ended up taking this one (the Milk oolong was also quite good).

So the Eastern beauty or Oriental Beauty is known as the champagne of oolongs. There is a good reason for this comparison. I am not an expert by any means on this tea, but I found this to be slightly sweet with a faint plummy/nectarine base and light minerality. I don’t get “malt” at all here, I’m reminded a bit more of honey. Not bitter or astringent in any way. Really hit its stride for me after the first steeping. This will be a very forgiving oolong you don’t have to worry too much about oversteeping. I will also have to try cold brewing this as I am sure it will make a fantastic iced tea. I need to experiment a bit with my ideal tea/water ratio. The rating will most likely go up if I get that figured out.

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96

Upped my rating of this one today. A VERY short steeping time of 45 seconds or so seems to do the trick with this one. Smooth minerality with stone fruit flavors… yum yum

I have two Wu Yi teas but it took me a while to get my brewing methods down. If steeped too long they can turn bitter very quickly…

and if you are interested in the history of Wu Yi Tea check out this documentary.
http://teamasters.blogspot.com/2011/11/wu-yi-tea-documentary.html

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

You would figure I would drink a Wuyi today too….

TeaBrat

After 2.5 hours of Wu Yi propaganda? How could you not? :)

Charles Thomas Draper

I received my shipment from Asha yesterday which contained the Pure Heart Alishan. I am on my 6th or so steeping. When I go to work tonight it will be Verdants Big Red Robe….

TeaBrat

That red robe blew me away…

Charles Thomas Draper

I did drink it at work. It is a top flight wuyi. I only have a sample now. I have to place an order….

Angrboda

I was just looking at a Rou Gui from TeaSpring like ten minutes ago. I didn’t place an order (yet) but I made a note of it. You are totally boosting my confidence in that one here, and it’s not even the same company. :)

Have you tried the Heritage Aijiao from RBT? I love that one to bits. Wombatgirl sent me a whole great big bag of it, and I’m hoarding it like a squirrel. :)

TeaBrat

@Angrboda – I have not had the Heritage Aijao yet. Maybe next time! I need to stay away from RBT if I want to have any money left! I’ll check it out next time I’m there.

I’m not that familiar with Tea Spring but $13.40 for 50g does not seem like a bad price. I wonder if they would fix up a small sample for you?

Angrboda

I tend to shop big when I shop at TeaSpring. :) They have the Tan Yang Te Ji, which is my favourite black of all time ♥ I’m out, so I’m planning an order with them soon. The thing about TeaSpring is they have very low shipping and if you order for more than a certain amount it’s free shipping. I seem to compulsively go above that limit. :D
They do most teas in several sizes though, so it should not be possible to start out with a smaller amount. I distinctly remember buying only 25g of a higher grade variation of aforementioned Tan Yang once just to see if it really was worth being almost twice as expensive (it was not).

TeaBrat

well, if you end up getting it I hope we get the benefit of a full report… :) I am new to wuyi teas, I am still learning about it…

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93
drank Li Shan Oolong by Naivetea
2418 tasting notes

Not my favorite thing from Naivetea so far but still very good. Some people seem to go nuts over Li Shans and Ali Shans. I think they are nice but perhaps a bit too light for me? Or maybe I have not had the right one for me.

In any event this is a very delicate and fresh tasting tea. After brewing the leaves smell of spinach and green pea. Light flavor, mostly floral with a bit of buttery-ness. Very pale gold color. If you are a fan of green tea I would recommend checking this one out…

Preparation
1 min, 30 sec
Thomas Smith

I kinda go crazy for a few Lishan Oolongs, but only when they are roasted (not to the point of tasting very roasty though). Jade Oolongs are nice and all, but in general are kind of a “Meh” for me compared to ones with just a tiny bit more oxidation or roast to ’em.

TeaBrat

I agree that a slight roast brings out a nice nutty element.

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93
drank Dong Ding by Naivetea
2418 tasting notes

Slowly I am working my way through two sample packs I got from Naivetea. This must be the last thing I drink with caffeine today if I ever want to go to sleep!

I am very happy with this. The word sublime comes to mind. It is slightly sweet, honeyish with a bit of caramel flavors. It has a lovely golden yellow color and a bit of peach in the aroma. I am getting some buttery notes in the finish. I feel a bit like I’m drinking liquid gold. I’m amazed there is no added flavoring in here. It’s pretty flavorful on it’s own… still going perfectly strong after 3 steeps here of about 2 minutes.

It is quite good so I will probably end up wanting more of it. After the third steep, I was about to cry due to pangs of regret. How could I have wasted so many years of my life drinking crap tea? Naivetea does have a lot of tasty oolongs… :)

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 45 sec
Nicole

Yeah, once you discover good tea, you wonder how you lived without it. :)

Honey

This tea sounds beyond amazing. I love oolongs so I must make room in my cupboards to try some from Naivetea :)

TeaBrat

@Nicole – so true!
@Viva La Tea – Naivetea some very nice sampler packs. To me they were worth every penny.

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92
drank French Verveine by The Tao of Tea
2418 tasting notes

I still love this stuff. If you cold brew it in the refrigerator it makes a great iced tea. See my previous notes. I will miss it when it’s gone and will certainly have to order more.

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My first Sheng, I don’t really feel like I know enough about them to rate this one. I drank a lot of shu pu-erh when I first gave up drinking coffee and I enjoy them quite a lot.

I brewed small amounts of my tea in a glass infuser mug. I kept the steeping times short, to around 60 seconds or so.

First impression: this reminds me of the Heritage Rougui I picked up at Red Blossom Tea Company. According to David’s notes this one has anxi oolong as a base. I am getting cedarwood, and spice with a slightly earthy and smoky flavor. A hint of smoke. My first two infusions were slightly bitter but I think my water was also too hot. I learned (also at Red Blossom) that if the water is too hot for you to drink it is also too hot for the tea.

Around the 3-4th infusion this is really hitting its’ stride for me, I used a lower water temperature and was now picking up more of the oolong base with some smoother chestnut notes.

The fifth infusion yielded some vegetal and honey flavors but I decided not to steep it again after #5.

This was a pretty fun tea drinking experience! Next time I will try it with less hot water from the very start.

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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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