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14 Tasting Notes

90
drank Hunan Dark Tea by Tea Source
14 tasting notes

This is the first high-quality pu-erh I’ve tried and it’s unlike all that came before it.

It doesn’t brew nearly as dark or pungent as the previous ones I’ve tasted.

The first sip tastes of malt, maple syrup, and vanilla. Further tasting reveals peaty, mossy, and earthy flavors.

Overall, this tea is quite enjoyable.

Something about this tea reminds me of going to Dickens Fair at Christmas time. I can’t quite place it, it’s not cinnamon or cardamom, nor douglas fir trees. It has a holiday spice quality that I really like but can’t name. Roasted butternut squash with brown sugar maybe?

Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Earth, Malt, Molasses, Peat Moss, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100

Oh wow. I mean…WOW.

This is the first tea I tried from the March Steepster Select shipment and I’m blown away. During the first steeping, the large whole leaves unfurled beautifully and danced in my mug.

The flavor is of a very high quality mountain oolong tea, with notes of vanilla, honey, and flower blossoms.

As promised, I was able to get 4 flavorful steepings out of just one little packet.

I’ll be ordering more of this tea for sure.

Flavors: Flowers, Honey, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 9 OZ / 266 ML

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100

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30

I found this tea at Marshalls (sister store to TJ Maxx), at the low price of $5.99 for 100 bags, what a deal! I picked up a box of the Organic Oolong, as well as the Organic Green and brought them both to share with the office.

I’m happy that the tea is certified USDA Organic, and comes in an unbleached teabag. That is more or less the extent of the plusses column.

The flavor is stale tasting, but I am able to detect hints of wheat, roasted barley, malt, and earth.

Similar to the TO green tea, there’s a high level of bitterness and tannin in this tea that make my tongue feel like it’s growing fur.

This is an unoffensive but unremarkable bagged oolong tea. I guess I got what I paid for.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Earth, Malt, Roasted Barley, Tannin

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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25

I found this tea at Marshalls (sister store to TJ Maxx), at the low price of $5.99 for 100 bags, what a deal! I picked up a box of the Organic Green, as well as the Organic Oolong and brought them both to share with the office.

I’m happy that the tea is certified USDA Organic, and comes in an unbleached teabag. My happiness ended once I brewed up a cup.

The brewed tea looks more brown than green, the color of a fish-tank that somebody forgot to clean.

It doesn’t really smell or taste like much of anything. Hot water? The inside of my ceramic mug? I get a little bit of bitter and tannins, but that’s it.

The box is stamped “Consume before Dec 6, 2016”, which is nearly 3 years away, but it tastes old. The flavor lacks all honey or fruit notes that I expect from green tea.

I used 2 tea bags the first time, I’ll try 3 bags next time, to see if I can tease out more flavor, but my expectations are fairly low.

This is an unoffensive but unremarkable bagged green tea. I guess I got what I paid for.

I imagine I’m getting the antioxidant benefits of green tea, and probably the caffeine, but I certainly won’t drink this one for the taste of it.

Update: I tried brewing 3 bags, plus 2 more from the first steeping, for a total of 5 tea bags in my mug. I got more bitter and more tannins, but still no flavor. I still have 95 bags left, so I might try using cooler water next time, but my expectations are pretty low.

See my review of the TO Organic Ooling: http://steepster.com/teas/touch-organic/17976-organic-oolong?post=227544

Flavors: Tannin

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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67

I generally prefer lighter less astringent teas, but this one is interesting enough and complex enough that I’m definitely glad I tried it.

Reading the reviews from my fellow Steepster members teabird, Lee, and Jace Lion Repshire really added to my enjoyment of this tea.

In addition to the wonderful honey flavors that are abundant and obvious in this gorgeous red tea, I also enjoyed the complex dried apricot, malt, tamarind, and dark wheat bread flavors.

BrewTEAlly Sweet’s description of the cinnamon flavors helped to identify those bitter flavors that other reviews did not detect, as well as the mint tea mouthfeel.

I probably won’t seek this tea out again, but I certainly am happy to have experienced it.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec
teabird

I love reading about the flavors other people pick out of a tea :)

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100

Oh wow. I don’t even know where to begin.

This is my favorite tea so far from Steepster Select.

The delicate smell and taste of sweet perfume and fruit are out of this world.

The leaves unfurl beautifully.

I’m looking at enchanting lush photos of Shan Lin Xi (http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=shan%20lin%20xi) and imagining the journey these leaves have taken to get to my tea-pot.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Jace Lion Repshire

Right there with you. This tea definitely transports you. It’s really the first tea I’ve had that distinctly gives me that feeling.

Eco-Cha 一口茶

Hi Callipygian and Jace – thanks for the notes!

We’re really glad that you are enjoying this tea. It’s also one of my favourites. I always feel energised after a drinking this tea.

Have a great day and thanks again for taking the time to rate!

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89

VISUAL: The dry tea leaves are gorgeous! Golden and green and feathered like dried flower petals. The tea itself brews to a beautiful rich dark caramel color. Surprising considering how light golden and green the dried tea is.

SMELL: I was surprised by this one, the first whiff smells very similar to an Assam tea like Irish Breakfast, although with more subtletea. Smelling more carefully reveals more floral and sweeter notes of a Chinese black tea.

TASTE: Oh wow YUM. It’s more delicate than teas from India, and like BrewTEAlly Sweet mentioned, not at all brisk. Others have already described this one perfectly, tobacco leaf and rich sweetness. Very smooth and creamy mouth feel.

PREPARATION: 16 oz of water, just off a boil, steeped for 2 minutes (stopped short of the recommended time because it tasted pretty perfect already). I don’t generally add any sugar to my fine teas but tried it on the recommendation of my fellow steepsters Michael Cutillo and Julie Stiles. A pinch of sugar did bring out the flavor nicely. Thanks! (For my second steeping I left the sugar out, call me a purist).

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

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Profile

Bio

I’ve been a lover of tea for as long as I can remember. A hot cup of Bigelow Constant Comment will bring back a flood of memories of working at a summer camp outside Yosemite when I was 18. When I’m sick with a cold there’s nothing that helps more than Celestial Seasoning’s Lemon Zinger with a heaping spoonful of honey.

Now that I’m older I’ve learned to appreciate delicate and complex oolong and green teas. Right now I’m discovering I really like teas from Thailand. (Going beyond Thai Iced Tea, which I’ve always loved).

Location

San Francisco Bay Area

Website

http://about.me/callipgyain

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