293 Tasting Notes

98

Well I have to agree with my fellow Steepsterites about this one. I have to admit certain people influence my purchases. I only got a sample of this because I am not familiar with Darjeeling. I should buy more. The dried leaf smells heavenly. Of springtime. Sunshine. The brew is utterly intoxicating. I have 3 samples of FF Darrjeeling from Upton and this is the clear winner. This is truly a winner.

Doug F

That’s the way I feel about first flush darjeelings. The smell of the leaf alone is almost worth the price. And then there’s that sweet honeysuckle flavor!

TeaBrat

I have certainly been infatuated with FF darjeelings this year but too bad I didn’t try this one. :)

Jim Marks

This year’s FF are so good I cannot wait to get my hands on the second flushes.

Jim Marks

Amy, I still have some of this one if you want to coordinate a swap.

Charles Thomas Draper

Amy your reviews made me thirsty for these FFs

Charles Thomas Draper

And yes, Jim of course….

TeaBrat

Is this Singbulli FF TD 95 or TD 93? (I am such a nerd, I know)

Jim Marks

Mine is the TD95

Jim Marks

For the less nerdy, this is the organic option.

TeaBrat

Jim, thanks for the offer but I’m planning an order from Upton as we speak so I might as well throw a sample into the mix. :)

Charles Thomas Draper

I gave up coffee when I was in the hospital. I am planning on ordering samples of breakfast teas from Upton. Any suggestions?

Jim Marks

I don’t actually like breakfast blends, myself. I don’t like blends, in general, honestly. In the same way I don’t like blended scotch. The predictability brings with it a cost of a kind of flatness that I don’t like.

I find shou style pu-erh a better coffee substitute than anything else.

Doug F

I’m not a big fan of blends either but I have found that Upton’s African teas pack a big punch and are pretty tasty.

Charles Thomas Draper

Actually, I am looking for that early morning punch. The eye-opener

ScottTeaMan

Charles, I like either TB51 East Frisian BOP, or TB52 East Frisian TGFOP. TB52 is smoother than the BOP version.

Charles Thomas Draper

Thanks Scott. I’m ordering both

Jim Marks

Assam or African would be the way to get bold punch.

Also, broken grades or fannings steep faster and will be much bolder than whole leaf.

Less nuance and interesting flavor, but “pow”.

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This is my first tea other than Lipton in many days. All through Memorial Day weekend I was feeling fluish. Sick. I had know idea how sick I could get. Finally on Wednesday I called my Mother and she took me to a doctor. When he took my blood pressure and it was 50 over 35 it was off to the emergency room. After explaining my pains, the nurse asked me if I was bit by a tick. I said yes. According to my symptoms they treated me for Ehrlichiosis. The IVs went in and it was 5 days of intense fever, coughing and body aches from hell. This is my first good tea since then. I am sipping it slowing. I will comment more in depth later when my sense of taste returns. In the meantime, this tea has made me feel so much better.

Bonnie

I’m so sorry you were ill and hooray for the sense to call MOM! Welcome back to tea world! We’re here if you need us!

TeaBrat

Yikes – I am so sorry to hear that! Glad you’re better.

ScottTeaMan

Wow!! So glad you are better Charles.

Charles Thomas Draper

Thank you. It was without a doubt the sickest I have ever been.

Joshua Smith

I’m glad you’re feeling better!

TeaVivre

Glad to hear you’re better, and take care!

JC

I’m sorry about this, I hope you get better. I have a friend who went through the same, just make sure that feeling tired keeps you from moving around and becoming weaker. Eat well, get well; welcome back.

Doug F

I hope you can get back on your board soon.

Erin

That’s scary!! I hope you get better quick!

ashmanra

Oh my! So thankful that is behind you. Rest and restore!

Charles Thomas Draper

I am feeling much better. Thank you again kind friends.

TheTeaFairy

glad you’re feeling better…life gets scary sometimes, guess it makes you appreciate it even more…

Charles Thomas Draper

Thank you Tea Fairy. Thank you everyone

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91

I love starting my day with a cup of this wonderful tea. I am always generous with steep times which borders between 6 and 8 minutes. The result as always is splendid. There are dark fruit notes with a touch of smoke. Rich, invigorating and flavorful. All in all this is a very nice tea. I am now deciding on a Darjeeling order from Upton. Lately my fellow Steepsterites have made me very thirsty for some….

TeaBrat

Do it! hee hee…

ScottTeaMan

The last few years I have been leaning toward Thunderbolt Tea-I have never been disappointed. Now I sampled the Glenburn-YUM, & Amy got me hooked on the Risheehat from Upton’s! :))) I can’t speak to other ff darj’s, from them but the Risheehat is “…Real, and it is SPECTACULAR!” IMO, it was so good, it made my mouth water, and stimulated my hunger reflex.

Charles Thomas Draper

Yes the two of you. And Jim Marks. You are making me crave Darjeeling. I respect your opinions. I know I’ll be in for a treat….

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99

This is what I chose to rejuvenate myself. I brewed this basket-style for 3 minutes. I wanted this to be strong and flavorful and it is. This is one of the better Dragon Wells that I have had the pleasure to enjoy. It is an opener of the eyes and the mind. The dried leaves look very fresh even though this is a harvest from 2011. When I drink this tea I feel I am sipping something very special.

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89

This tea is developing a bite since last time I indulged. The flavor profile has remained the same. The calm, soothing feeling has intensified. This is a Sheng that I recommend for late evenings. I drank 2 steepings from my Yixing and started to feel sleepy. So it’s back to the tea cabinet for some late noon rejuvination. My third steeping will stay in the Yixing for a few hours and we will see where that goes….

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97

Another beautiful Sheng. I tried yesterday to buy the whole cake and it was sold out. All of the Xizhihao were sold out on JAS eTea. He who hesitates is lost. My loss.

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90
Today I am able to sit and not only taste, but review. A 30 or 40 second steep with a generous amount of leaf has yielded a refreshing and flavorful cup. It brews quickly. I can see this tea being able to withstand multiple steepings and still maintaining its flavor. I really cannot comment on the energy because I am getting a wee bit tea drunk today. Overall, this is a very fine tea that will be purchased from Teavivre. I would like to thank Angel again for her kindness. Teavivre has a brilliant idea. They know they have a great product. They let us try it and we will buy it.
TheTeaFairy

I was also amazed at how much flavor came out of these small leaves in just 30 sec. Even the other steeps did not require more than 45 sec. I stopped at 3 ( lack of time) but I ‘m sure I could get more out of it next time… the taste is also very different from other greens I’ve had, lovely tea!

Charles Thomas Draper

A very interesting tea ….

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86

I let this steep for 5 minutes in the Yixing and I knew what to expect. A strong, dark very flavorful brew. No rinse. This went straight to my head. I could feel this tea immediately. I noticed a vast improvement since my last tasting. I have several young Shu such as this that I will sip from time to time to see how they are aging. This one is getting there. Another raising of the score….

JC

How do you store your Shu? I have a few that I want to store but I’ve been given mixed advice on proper Shu storage. Thanks in advance.

Charles Thomas Draper

I have a cabinet in my dining room where I store all of my tea. It’s dark. Cool and airy. No odors. Most are kept in the cardboard box that they were delivered in.

JC

Ok, great! that’s the kind of setting I was going for. Thanks! now I have to chen how to keep shengs.

Doug F

I tend to brew my ripe pu erhs for around five minutes in most cases. Ilike them strong and musty!

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99

Everything you could ask for of a black tea. See my previous notes and all of the others who have loved this wonderful selection. I still have a touch left of last years spring picking. I would love to do a side by side tasting. This is an awesome tea.

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I am an avid surfer, gardener, golfer and freespirit. I have been a tea drinker forever. Tea has provided me with contentment. I love White, Oolong, Green, Black and Pu’er. I do not care for flavored tea and nor will I comment on it.

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