2722 Tasting Notes

93
drank Yunnan Gold by Teance
2722 tasting notes

I am off to a late start since I couldn’t fall asleep last night. I don’t know what I am thinking by drinking puerh in the evenings. That is my favorite time to drink them but then I always have insomnia!

Anyway I haven’t gong fu’d too many black/red teas but I think that needs to change. I really enjoy this one but some of the other reviewers did not. I love the flavor profile which has notes of sweet potato, pepper, a bit of tobacco and malt. I discovered you can gong fu it for at least 5x before it starts to give up any flavor. If you’re into Yunnan blacks I would recommend it as a good one to try, though it appears they are all sold out of it on their website.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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93
drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
2722 tasting notes

Finally finishing off this sample given to me by a Steepster friend. Now I can’t remember who it was, it’s been so long. Whoever you are, thank you!

It was a difficult week for me. I am still sending out job applications and I had a very lengthy interview for a job I really wanted. Found out on Monday I didn’t get the job and I’ve been kinda down all week just burying my head in the sand, doing nothing but obsessing over tea and avoiding more job searching. I might be coming out of my funk a bit today but I am just so sick of this job searching process! I have to remember to enjoy life.

So here I am with a nice cup of pu in a cute yixing teapot. I’m not sure why I don’t have any of this tea but I will need to pick some up in the future. It’s so smooth and I’m really digging the cocoa taste. I also pick up a faint bit of cherries. Something about it seems a bit leathery too, not that I would normally be chewing on a piece of leather, but you know what I mean….

This is a nice companion to a quiet evening. It’s hard to go wrong with any puerh from Mandala but something about this seems almost decadent. Quite lovely.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
faybingler

Searching for a job is brutal. Last time it took me 5 months, and March is probably the worst time of the year. Just keep trying and enjoy your tea!

Amariel

Sorry to hear about the job interview…I have definitely had a few of those myself. It hurts and you think to yourself, “What did I do wrong?” and wonder what to do differently next time. This is certainly the tea to fall back on though. Hope it gave you a nice comforting hug!

TeaBrat

@faybingler – I’ve been looking for 8 months now!
@amariel – thanks… :)

faybingler

Wow, that sounds awful! I hope you find something soon!

MsWhatsit

I’m looking for work too. Hang in there.

TeaBrat

Thanks, MsWhatsit. :)

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67

Another sample from Tao Tea Leaf. This is very similar to the tea I had yesterday that I wasn’t terribly impressed with. Maybe roasted TGY’s are not really my thing, but if they are lightly roasted or green I seem to like them a lot. This is another one that just seems sort of bland.

I accidentally steeped it for over 3 minutes as I got distracted with something else and that was the best steep of the three I had. It seemed to take on a slight honey or brown sugary sort of taste. I guess I wouldn’t turn down a cup of this if offered, but I’m glad I didn’t buy a larger package of this. Nowhere on the website does it mention that this is a roasted tea.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I’ve tried this tea twice now after it came in. I was really hoping to love this as I was crazy about the 2013 mao cha from Misty Peak and its lovely fruity flavor.

To me this seems more like a standard type of sheng. It has a light color with light smoke notes, a bit of floral, lemon and a bittersweet finish. I threw the first steep out and have been doing short infusions of it. It starts to mellow out a bit after steep #3, but I am just not getting plum or peach flavor from this at all, even after 7 steeps.

So I am a bit torn on how to give this a rating for now. It is definitely a nice, young sheng but I was hoping for something a little different, or a little more like the product description, anyway. It isn’t terribly aggressive but I also think it could benefit from a few years of aging.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Tealizzy

I kinda feel the same way. I’ve had it a couple of times and it was nice, but it didn’t have as much flavor as I was expecting. I haven’t reviewed it yet because I was trying to decide what I thought about it.

TeaBrat

@Tealizzy – yeah it was pricey too in my opinion for something I don’t really love. Of course I know people pay a lot more money for shengs but generally I am not one of those people. ;)

Tea for Me Please - Nicole Martin

I find that I like longer brews with this one. I’ll do a really short rinse and then steep it in a gaiwan for about 30 seconds.

TeaBrat

Thanks Nicole, I’ll try it. I was a bit worried about steeping it for that long because of the bitterness factor.

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95

This is such a lovely tea from Nepal. I definitely enjoy it hot, but thought I’d try cold brewing it last night and am drinking the results this morning. It’s really, really tasty! Tastes oakey, with sweet honey flavor and notes of tropical fruit. I still prefer it hot but it’s nice to know I can cold brew it too. :)

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
MzPriss

I like this tea a lot.

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78
drank Ying De Black Tea by Tao Tea Leaf
2722 tasting notes

Sample from Tao Tea Leaf this morning. It’s an enjoyable tea, I would say sweet and smooth really describes it. It’s definitely a bit on the lighter side when it comes to body and has a good cocoa flavor. Amazing no bitterness or astringency at all. I steeped this for 3 minutes and it’s still a bit on the light side, overall I think I prefer black teas with a bit more heft. This was tasty but probably won’t be a repurchase for me.

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

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80

This is an interesting tea from Tao Tea Leaf, especially for me as I’ve never had a purple sheng before.

The package directions say to use boiling water and steep for 2-3 minutes. I was definitely skeptical about that but it turns out they were right. I did the first steep for 2 minutes, and the second steep for 3.

At first it doesn’t taste like much, just kind of woodsy. As I’ve been sipping on it I get some nice fruity notes, raspberry and cherry come to mind. I do get the bit of cocoa that TTL describes on their website but not vanilla or white wine. The flavor most closely resembles a wuyi oolong for me but is lacking the roasted flavor that wuyis have.

Soon I’ll have to try this using the gong fu method, but I kind of like it steeped Western style. It didn’t turn into a bitter mess like I was fearing it would. There is a slight bitterness but that compliments the raspberry notes well, I think. Bitterness seemed more prominent with the 3 minute steep so I’ll stick to 2 minutes or less with this one. Nice tea, I’m glad I got some!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
boychik

interesting

TeaBrat

very! :)

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69

I got some oolong samples at this shop in the Mission District of san Francisco.

The shop itself is really cute, the front part is a tea tasting room with teas and wares for sale and the back of the shop is a futon shop that carries other decorative Japanese items.

So about this tea, I used a gaiwan for my steepings and have gotten through 4 infusions so far. This is a roasted oolong which I wasn’t aware of when I bought it (my fault). It’s a fairly dark roast and I’m getting flavors similar to a Hojicha. Where hoji has a kind of bitter finish, this has a sweet finish. In fact, I would say the sweetish caramel finish is probably the best thing about this tea. I am getting some light fruity peach notes but overall it isn’t too impressive in my book. Will have to try this Western style soon to see if I like it better that way.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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76
drank Bungalow by Steven Smith Teamaker
2722 tasting notes

I’ve had this one for way too long (over 2 years, I think), but it came in the individually sealed packages so I’m hoping it will be good for a while longer yet.

This is a mix of first and second flush leaves and brews to be quite a lovely brownish-red. The flavor is fairly woody with some nice, sweet fruit notes. I know the teamaker describes this as having buttery and floral notes but I don’t get these and don’t think I ever did! It’s a fairly decent cuppa though. Nice for sipping on in the afternoon.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Peach Brulée by Tea Forte
2722 tasting notes

I’m happy to find something in my Tea Forte sampler pack that is actually tasty. This is probably the best of the bunch.

The peach tastes fresh, delicious and not at all artificial. As others have noted there is also a bit of mango and coconut flavor in the tea. I drank mine with soymilk and that gave it a creamy element that boosted the dessert type flavor this one has. If you’re into fruit flavored teas, I would certainly consider giving this blend a whirl. I bet this would be really good as an iced tea also.

Flavors: Coconut, Mango, Peach

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Ost

Was rather curious about this one! Glad to see a good review of it for if I ever order!

TeaBrat

It’s peachy ;)

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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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