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31 Tasting Notes

68

Third steeping — back to tasting green. not really my type of tea. But if you like green teas and oolongs, and you want a tea that will take many steepings, go for this one. It’s just not quite right for me.

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68

Steeped for just 30 seconds as per other people’s suggestions below. I don’t have a kettle that does exact temperatures, so it was about 4 or 5 minutes after boiling, which I figure to be somewhere between 180 and 200 degrees. Possibly less.

Disclaimer: I currently have a cold and am drinking this to soothe my throat and sinuses. As such, I may not smell or taste as much as other people. But I still want to make a point of reviewing it!

First steeping: definitely greener than I would like. To compare it to the Sanctuary T Iron Goddess of Mercy oolong, it’s much sharper at the first sip. It’s actually not too bad, and I think I really like it for a change of pace from what I usually drink. It reminds me faintly of my favorite Irish Breakfast CTC from Upton Teas – possibly because I tend to slightly oversteep and get a hint of bitterness/astringency. There’s also a hint of flavor to the astringency…it’s almost a spicy feel, with an extra burst of heat. The complexity is growing on me. I think I really like this cup for cutting through the awful coating of mucus on my throat!

Second steeping — water temperature probably about the same, but who knows. 1 min 30 seconds steeped. The leaves are definitely more unfurled now, and the liqueur is more golden than before. It’s a weaker cup than before (maybe I oversteeped the first time?) but the flavors are more mellow now. There’s still a jangly note of that spicy astringency but it’s not all I taste anymore. This is more akin to the Sanctuary T oolong, but still with that extra hit of green-ness.

Since this is a rather weak cup I don’t think I’ll go for a third steeping on this set of leaves. Maybe next time. If I change my mind I’ll do a second note rather than add to this one further.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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85

I think the most important thing here is not to get the water too hot…I’ve only just started drinking this again after temporarily running out of filters and it’s quite pleasant, but it does seem to get bitter faster with close-to-boiling water rather than cooler fare.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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Bought at au bon pain to accompany a snack. Unimpressive overall. Could be a tad sweeter and there’s a bit of bitterness to it. That said, the peach and black tea flavors do blend well once you get past the bitter. I hope I just got a meh bottle, as it seems promising. VERY important to shake first and possibly a bit during drinking too.

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89

Mmm. One of my favorite bagged teas — you have to treat it quite harshly before it gets bitter. When I ran out of tea filters with no backup teapot I turned to this tea to get me through until I can get more. :)

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

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50

Meh.

Although the aroma does have a nice hint of chocolate and oranges, it really tastes nothing like it. I’m surprised that orange doesn’t even come out much in the tea itself, even after a long steep time. Maybe I shouldn’t use the boiling water — however, every other rooibos tea I treat that way, and it tastes just fine. It’s also rather weak. Out of the flavor that is there, this is overpoweringly…hm. “earthy” is what I’m tempted to say as I’ve heard that described for rooibos before. I usually go for the sweeter rooibos brews so maybe that’s why I’m displeased with this, but it really tastes nothing like chocolate or oranges. Just smells a little like it.

note: I did find it tasted better with two teabags per cup instead of one. Still not the chocolate and oranges I had hoped for (and am usually pleased by with the Republic of Tea) but nicer.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Milk Oolong by thepuriTea
31 tasting notes

This smells exactly like milk Pocky. Well, it might be closer to honey-and-milk Pocky, as it’s got a sweet scent to it. It’s very densely curled so I’m trying it with a bit less than a teaspoon to start, since the sample is enough for at least 2 cups if not 3. Steeping in a paper filter (my last tea-making device went kaput after I didn’t clean it good enough and it grew nasty slime mold) for about 4 minutes, I had to run get my timer so it’s definitely not exact. water temperature between 195-205 (someday I will get a thermometer).

Result…not bad, once I let it steep long enough. (I tasted it at about 4 minutes and it was too mild — 4:30 and it was GREAT.) It tastes a little more toasty than sweet when brewed, but I’ve learned that with other teas — overpowering sweet aromas often lead to pleasantly sweet brews. This wasn’t overpoweringly sweet-smelling in the slightest so I’m not surprised to see the sweetness go all subtle. I can definitely see where the milk name comes from but the flavor overall reminds me of toast — as in, bread. This would make a great breakfast tea! It has a lovely flavor. I wasn’t impressed at my first tasting but letting it steep longer did the trick. I think I may need a little more of this after I finish my sample… :)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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90

I think this tea must have been destiny. I won the first Sanctuary T trivia contest and decided that I had mostly enough tea leaves on hand, so I bought tea ware primarily. (I brewed this with the help of my oh-so-cute wooden sandtimer!) But this was the one tea I made the exception for, and I’m so glad I did. The flavor is a little hard to describe — if I could be completely fanciful I’d describe it as “genmaicha’s big sister”. It has a similar warm and toasty feel with a slight sharpness similar to green tea. I’m not a big green tea fan, and it’s not too strong here. The flavor reminds me of genmaicha, but a bit richer and deeper, and not quite as rice-y. For me, this is perfect. I think in addition to the food suggestions above (fried + basil/garlic) that this one would also go well with some slightly spicy foods, and probably smoky as well. I think it’ll be a great drink when I try out my Smoky Black T-Dust.

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

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93
drank Formosa Nut Oolong by Teavana
31 tasting notes

Okay, I definitely need more of this. It’s warm but light, not too heavy for a summer tea that I can drink hot. I want to know what could replace this. If anyone has any ideas for substitutes, or blends I can make at home, PLEASE let me know!! I really want more of this as I don’t think my 4oz will be enough for a lifetime.

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55

Finished my sample yesterday. I ended up drinking it just to get rid of it rather than because I liked it. It’s not bad, it’s certainly drinkable, but it’s not to my tastes either. I’ve got myself a lovely new tin of the CTC Irish Breakfast and I will be sticking with that! mmm.

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