243 Tasting Notes

96
drank Blue Unicorn by Shanti Tea
243 tasting notes

Still working on seasoning my yixing tumbler (according to Teavana guy, this is going to take about a year). So I am brewing my favorite oolongs (which aren’t all the same, I know that, but I am going for general oolong – the floral, crisp aroma, the nutty, clean flavor).

Today’s choice was some more Blue Unicorn. I have ordered this a few times, thoroughly enjoy it and always forget just how much I enjoy it. See previous note for tasting.

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92

Pretty, nice design, keeps tea warmer for longer than expected and yixing, so in about a year, I will have a wonderfully seasoned tea tumbler!

Note: I always have such issues with yixing because I can not decide with what I want to season them. I have several mugs and tea sets that are yixing that go widely unused for this reason, however, I think with the travel mug all will be fine since I only drink one or two teas in the morning on my daily drive to work.

Kashyap

I was looking into sourcing these and find them interesting in concept. I have a beautifully cured yixing purple clay teapot that is dedicated to black teas/shou pu erhs and another dedicated to oolongs and another dedicated to sheng pu erh and each makes compliments the tea down the path.

Cinoi

These are very nice. I was warned it can break if dropped, but I have been very careful. The brushed stainless steel is very attractive, with rubber accents to seal the top closed and keep the bottom from damaging surfaces and possibly leaving a water ring. The outside can get a bit warm, though it holds heat nicely (about an hour and a half, I’ve found) so all-in-all I think that this was worth the purchase.

Cinoi

If anyone has suggestions – or if I am completely wrong with seasoning this yixing, please let me know. I have seasoned two mugs (one with the Chocolate Pu-Erh and one with a Dragonwell) but this is my first with oolong. I am having trouble picking, because honestly, I don’t have years and years worth of any oolongs, my two absolute favorites are discontinued/no longer available and I am trying to season with similar oolong tea so that I can enjoy what remains of those. This is most likely completely wrong, but not sure what else I can do…

Kashyap

season the yixing to a ‘type’ of tea….black, pu erh, green, oolong…etc….don’t worry so much about the specific tea…but I would suggest if you going to use flavored/flavor additive teas, that you use glazed or glass as the flavorings are often a mix of ‘natural’, artifical, and synthetic and you don’t want those elements to embue into ceramic

Cinoi

Excellent! Glad I’m doing it sort of right! Thanks!

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98

This was fantastic. I will resteep to give it a proper review later, however, for starters, this was amazing. I am very upset that there isn’t a lot of this to go around, this is something I could drink every day for the rest of my life.

The scent of the leaves is slight floral, a little nutty, smells divine. The liquor is a pale yellow with similar aroma. The taste is delicious.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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92
drank Zealong Pure by Chicago Tea Garden
243 tasting notes

So I’ve been holding onto this for a while, but being such a coveted tea, I wanted to make sure the conditions were perfect: I was feeling fine, I gave myself ample time to enjoy the tea, and most importantly, I brewed it correctly.

I tried to follow the Chicago Tea Garden’s direction for brewing (video number 2: http://www.chicagoteagarden.com/zealong-new-zealand-oolong), but wound up making some minor modifications.

I warmed the pot, using boiling water, drained it, covered the bottom of my pot in the leaves, then added enough water to cover them. Of course, they floated, so let’s say it was about a half cup of boiling water. Let the leaves steep for one minute like this. Drained the water, then filled the pot with boiling water. Allowed to steep for one full minute. Poured all the tea out and enjoyed.

The aroma of this is incredible; it is crisp, clean, sweet and actually smells mouthwatering, it is everything you would hope it to smell like and nothing that you would hope it doesn’t. In one word: pure. The liquor is a pale, golden yellow, not amber, yellow. The experience is cultivated in the drinking vessel, I used a matcha bowl because I wanted to get the full bouquet while drinking it. The flavor matches the aroma, clean, crisp, sweet, yet not overpowering, it tastes like the best of the best oolongs, it really just might be. I know I have had an oolong similar, though I am not sure where, it really doesn’t matter, because this is what I have now.

That was the first infusion. I did not repeat the whole tea ceremony for each infusion, just filled the pot with more water, steeped and drank. I got three full infusions out of the one sample and each was as good as the first.

All brewed hot, no additives:
Infusion 1: one minute
Infusion 2: one minute, 30 seconds
Infusion 3: two minutes

If you get a chance to try this, I highly recommend you do. I still have the other two (aromatic and dark) to give a go. Enjoy everyone!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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87

Two scoops, brewed hot, four minutes, no additives.

I forgot about just how astringent this can get, I have been taking too many liberties with other teas. Anyway, still good, has a great flavor while hot/warm, but once it cools down starts to get astringent.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

I really enjoy Yunnan Gold teas.

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93
drank Chocolate Puerh by Numi Organic Tea
243 tasting notes

Edit: This is not a full review, I have already done that many times for this tea.

Not feeling well, this is the perfect pick-me-up tea and it keeps me going. Has all the health elements of tea and does not require milk or sugar which can make symptoms of cough worse.

Put the tea bag in my travel mug and fill with hot water. Sip and enjoy. The best part about the tea is you can re-steep the tea bag, at least three times. Really helps keep me going.

LiberTEAS

I hope you get to feeling better soon!

Cinoi

Thank you! I hope so too…

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85

This tea was pretty awesome. The dried leaves have an oolong aroma, with an accept of butter and corn kernels. Steeped hot, 3.5 minutes, no additives. The aroma of the brewed tea is buttery, vegetal, and a hint of just popped corn (not strong, a hint). The flavor is smooth, sweet, buttery and a light vegetal base. Overall, very good oolong.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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99

As the holidays have mostly left us and we are welcoming significantly warmer temperatures, and longer and sunnier days here in NJ, I thought I would take a stroll back with this tea.

This is still wonderful! Brewed hot, four minutes, no additives. There is the same lovely flavor I remember – richness, almost-spice, tea flavor, smokey sweet. Absolutely delicious.

As a side note, I came on here to rate a pile of teas I got and tried this weekend. Unfortunately, it looks like none of them (or the first three I checked for) are not on here yet. I will rectify this this afternoon. Until then, enjoy!

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Genmai Cha by Adagio Teas
243 tasting notes

Finished my sample today. I have been finishing a decent amount of samples lately and unfortunately, not updating that they have now moved on from my cabinet.

I went with hot water, no additives in a travel mug. This means it was longer infusion time, with constant temperature. The tea has a wonderful toasty aroma – it is light, crisp, and toasty rice. Don’t let it sit too long, it will get bitter because you do not pull the leaves out, but I drank it over about 15 minutes, and then got a second infusion out of the leaves. The second infusion started to turn a bit bitter after an additional 15 minutes (30 minutes total on these leaves).

Final note: mixed feelings – sad my sample is gone, but excited that I can now open all the other Genmai Cha Teas I have collected. Until then

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92
drank Hot Buttered Banana Bread by 52teas
243 tasting notes

Let me start by saying, I LOVE Banana Bread. Especially hot and buttered Banana Bread, and since I have high expectations of 52Teas, I was extremely excited to make this. As soon as I received it, I had to tear the package open so that I could indulge, the aroma of the dried leaves is heavily banana and a slight baked/sweet smell that you would expect from banana bread. Very exciting.

Made this yesterday, hot, three minutes, no additives.

The main flavor is a slightly toasty/baked black tea. Then there is a sweetness with the banana flavor, not artificial at all, natural sweetness and just a touch of it to not overwhelm the tea itself. There is a hint of nuttiness and followed up by creaminess from butter.

I think this would be fantastic with milk/half and half or whatever you fancy. Will definitely have to give it a try.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

I am a sarcastic perfectionist, a computer nerd, a game geek, an avid reader, a gadget guru, a wine (and tea) enthusiast, and (in my spare time) a chemist.

As I mentioned, I am a chemist, research and development to be exact, so when evaluating tea, it is much like evaluating my products: I will find the flaws and do my very best to fix them because it is what I love to do. Along those lines, nothing is perfect, but can have perfect qualities, I will highlight those also.

I made a preliminary guide to my rating scale:
0-19 – Did not like anything about the tea, feel it cannot be saved without being reformulated.
20-40 – Did not like the tea, it can be saved with extreme amounts of tweaking (i.e., sugar, milk, honey and or blending with another tea)
41-60 – Neutral about the tea, it can be helped or hurt by additives or blends, varied temperatures and steep times
61-70 – Decent tea, needs a little bit of help to get it in the place I like it, but definitely not out of reach
71-80 – Quality tea, liked it, will try again
81-90 – Really enjoyed the tea, high quality, will continue to drink the tea, not looking for something better
91-100 – Loved the tea, will continue to brew and drink and spread the word about the tea to everyone

Location

NJ

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