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Recent Tasting Notes
I wasn’t feeling like a black tea this morning, so I decided to give this a try. I think last time I made it I used my gaiwan, but this time, in my perfect mug, it was… well, rather perfect for the moment!
My school house tea-making is rather lax in general, so I think this steeped for something like 10 minutes while I made copies. I was kind of on autopilot, so I added sugar like it was a black – I never do that for greens, but in this case it worked out well.
Tea #26 from Another Traveling Tea Box
I wish there was more grapey, winey goodness that was promised in the description. It’s lightly floral, lightly grapey and kind of lightly there. I like the qualities it has, it just comes up a little underwhelming in them. I need more OOOMPH. It does leave a really clean feeling in my mouth, though.
I’ve had a number of blueberry rooibos or honeybush teas, and this is the first one that I was willing to drink without sugar. The blueberry flavor is definitely there but it’s not sweet, more like a subtle extra that mixes with the rooibos. It’s actually almost savory.
I just added some sugar to see what that did to the taste. I think I actually prefer this tea without sweetening. The sugar makes the blueberry flavor taste artificial.
This is not my favorite rooibos but it’s passable, and good in a pinch.
Went to the doctor who told me my blood pressure was high. Immediately downing rooibos because when I was drinking it non-stop after I gave myself tendinitis, the doctor told me I had good BP.
Anyway, I like this. Surprisingly yummy, considering I haven’t been that impressed with some other rooibos teas from Enjoying Tea. I didn’t even have to doctor this with sugar. It’s subtly citrusy, though I expect it would be more so if I put in some sugar.
YUM. As I was brewing this one, the caramel scent was driving me WILD! It is a heavy, rich and earthy puerh base, but the sugary sweet caramel overtones complement it wonderfully. Thanks very much BrewTEAlly Sweet for including this in our swap! I went on the Enjoyingtea website and am sad that the smallest amount they sell is 4oz. With the kind of stash I have, I try to buy 1oz or less of most teas.
It’s not a particularly amazing or impressive tea. All I can really say is that it has a certain dryness to it. I’m unsure how drinking tea can make me thirsty but it happened here.
Dry leaf scent: It reminds me of sweet earth and fruits in scent. Actually it reminds me of a keemun!
Wet Leaf scent: Very strongly sweet-earthy. The greatest thing I could attribute to this would be wet leaf litter but it’s not nearly off-putting as that.
The tea: Smells like a yunnan. Dark chocolate with a bit of pepper. The earthiness is less pronounced than in the leaves. The color is a dark, slightly opaque amber after a 3 minute steep. In fact I worry I oversteeped it a bit. It tastes strong as I like them without any bitterness or astringency. There’s a malty-sweet to this, with a lingering almost fruity aftertaste. This is a very mellow tea and it’s not particularly tippy, although there is a noticeable amount of tip.
I was originally pretty skeptical- I figured with its price it would be pretty bad, maybe barely scraping mediocre. I suppose I can say I’m pleasantly surprised.
I had this tea a few days ago, so my memory is a little rusty. This is a good oolong, but the taste of the first steep was a little too leafy for me. The second steep was softer, but suffered for being less flavorful at the same time. I’ve read that sometimes you should quickly “rinse” leaves with hot water before steeping them, and I think I’ll try that with these leaves next time (hoping to get a flavor somewhere between what I tasted with the two steeps this time).
(I just realized that I’ve actually tried this tea before, and looking at my first log my impression seems to be pretty similar. Nice to know that my taste is consistent.)
I had Teavana’s Phoenix Mountain Oolong just a few days before trying this one again, and that one was so smooth that this one hurt by contrast. But I think I will try the “rinsing” method with this to get the right balance.
(Tea from silentrequiem. Thanks!)
I got a sample tin of this from EnjoyingTea as part of their Rooibos Sampler. This is a much lighter flavor than I’m used to in rooibos – usually, the flavor is so strong! I think I like this. I can’t really taste the lavender, and the fruit is subtle.
I added a bit of sugar but it wasn’t very sweet even with that.
I’ve decided that I really like this tea. I brought it to work and while it didn’t taste as good as the tea I make at home (something about the water, perhaps? It’s the same with all the teas I make at work), I still found it delicious. I steeped it twice (the second one tasted nearly identical to the first), and the second time I didn’t get to touch the glass for about an hour after steeping it due to a meeting. Surprisingly, it still tasted quite good at room temperature.
A sample of this tea, in a cute little tin, came free with my last order. I did over-steep this one a little (hectic morning = forgot to set steep timer) but I don’t think a couple minutes would have done it too much harm. It doesn’t taste like Lipton or Twinnings, and while I’ve been going crazy with Earl Greys, I still think of those two brands first and foremost when it comes to English Breakfast. This tastes kind of chewy, with a slightly bitter flavor and high astringency. Hopefully a lot of that has to do with the over-steep, and I will make sure to set (and mind!) the steep timer next time.
Tea #22 from Traveling Tea Box C
The dry leaf smelled less like smoke and more like fish-something, so that was a little off-putting. I have some seafood/shellfish anaphylaxis stuff going on, though, so I’m a bit hyper-sensitive to anything that is remotely fishy.
Nothing terribly complex in the cup, though. It has an earthy quality, like freshly turned soil, and a bit of stone mineral-ness going on. It’d definitely a ‘cool’ feeling oolong, despite the notes of smoke. There’s a nice sweetness to the sip, too.
Definitely not an outstanding oolong, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Surprisingly, I’ve never had early grey tea before… It’s funny that my first time trying it is as a white tea.
I steeped this three times. The first time I made the water too hot and it was a little bitter. My reaction to the first sip was, “WHAT! What is this?” The bergamot oil was a totally novel flavor to me, and I actually didn’t like it. But with each sip, I enjoyed it more… To the point that I was loving it by the end of the cup. The second steep was delicious (better water temperature), and I think it actually tasted the best after the third steep! This is a tea I look forward to having again.
(Tea from silentrequiem. Thanks!)
Most of the oolong I’ve had to date has been flavored, except for Teavana’s Monkey Picked Oolong. That makes this the second regular oolong I’ve had. The flavor is good overall, but it has an extra taste that’s a little burnt, smoky, or something else (I don’t know how to describe it). The monkey picked oolong has the same basic flavor, but a light airiness and a silky quality that makes me think of gems (I don’t have synesthesia; these are just the weird things that come to my mind). Compared to that, this oolong is not as good. I’ll have to try more regular oolongs (I have at least two others in my cupboard) and then reevaluate this one.
(Tea from silentrequiem. Thanks!)
Tea #6 from the traveling tea box. This one won’t be continuing on, it’s all mine! Now I just need to decide what to replace it with since there was a fairly large amount.
I don’t generally care for rooibos which is why I was surprised how much I loved this. I can’t really taste the rooibos because the fruit, lavender and rose help cover it up. I love that there are so many flavors going on in this, but they still seem to balance each other out.
Tea #4 from the traveling tea box.
I generally drink much more complex oolongs and so I found this a little plain for my tastes. It is slightly sweet with a subtle smokiness that I noticed at the end of each sip. Not bad, but not one I would order for myself.
I bought this after reading a novel in which a character drank Lapsang Souchong, so I guess I deserve what I got.
I hated it. Smells like the house is burning. I tried to give it a second chance at work and the smoke was so strong I was afraid someone would pull a fire alarm. People were looking around for the source of the smoke.
I won’t give it a number, since I know there are people who really like the smoke, but caveat emptor.
I was very pleasantly surprised by this tea. It was just wonderfully smooth and layered, and so nice to just sit back and enjoy.
You can read my full review here:
This is not the best Phoenix Mountain Oolong I’ve drunk. However, it’s still a solid oolong of reasonable quality for the price – which is good because I bought 8 oz. of it.