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Far Leaves Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

88
drank White Tip Oolong by Far Leaves Tea
114 tasting notes

As far as simple oolongs go, this one is actually pretty nice.

The flavours are clean and well executed…I get notes of a tart fruit – maybe plum? – and some toasted (rice? wheat? barley?) hints that linger at the end of each mouthful.

There’s a smooth mouthfeel – no astringency or bitterness – and it’s just such an enjoyable tea that I’m sitting here happy to be drinking it. I’d highly recommend it for days when you just want a simple, easy cup that doesn’t really ask a lot from your tastebuds.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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70

Just got up a few minutes ago, so feeling a little foggy.

Picked this out of the sample box at random. 1st sip: It’s interesting, nothing I’d want to keep around however. Fortunately I am able to keep sipping the cup. sleepy smiles

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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92
drank Dragon Well by Far Leaves Tea
4227 tasting notes

Backlog:

A delicious, buttery Dragon Well. Really nice! It tastes pure and refreshing. This is really good … sweet, vegetative, and buttery … like freshly steamed vegetables that have been lightly buttered. YUM!

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/03/30/dragon-well-green-tea-from-far-leaves/

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60

Just an update. I tried resteeping this tea tonight, in hope that other flavors would come out more. No dice. Second steep is generally the same, a little weaker overall. 3rd is about the same.

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90

This morning I woke up and all I wanted was a cup of this oolong. This time I steeped it with 4 blossoms called Red Roses that I got from the Far Leaves Tea Shop. I can’t add it to the database (I get an error) but you can find it here:
http://www.farleaves.com/shop/tea_page.php3?tea_id=147

Anyways, it was great. The roses added a beautiful aroma and a slight sweetness to the tea. It’s even better with a little honey (seriously, a little, like 1-2 drops) as it brings out the roses even more.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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60

The aroma of this tea is great. The chamomile is dominant with the peppermint and lavender come out just enough to appreciate.

Like the smell, the chamomile has the strongest flavor. The peppermint leaves a slight cool feeling on the tongue but it doesn’t come through as much as I’d like. Still, It does a good job of rounding out the flavor. Unfortunately the taste of lavender is completely absent.

Overall, this is a good tea. I was expecting more but if you like chamomile and you are looking for something slightly different, I’d recommend it.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 45 sec

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90

This is the first loose leaf tea I’ve ever made. I used my brand new IngenuiTea. I was impressed. The tea had a very earthy, nutty flavor. Very happy with my first foray into the tea world.

Side note: If you live in the area, the Far Leaves Tea in Berkeley is a great store and they even gave us a free cup of tea.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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93

I found the Far Leaves tea shop near me while Yelping ‘loose tea’ in Berkeley. Quaint, authentic tea room with a very earthy feel, and nice ‘indie beardie’ counter guy. I went in hoping to find a straight up lavender tea and straight up spearmint, as I have been doing my own concoctions and was thrilled to find both in their Lavender White tea. The dry tea smells almost exactly like the taste, and its a beautifully balanced tea. The (what I think is) spearmint is prominent, but not overpowering, and the lavender is understated-exactly what I wanted. A wonderful tea-great price too!

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

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87
drank Dong Ding by Far Leaves Tea
4227 tasting notes

Backlog:

A really good Dong Ding. I really like this company, I’ve been very impressed with their quality. Lovely mild floral notes, sweet, nutty and hints of caramel. Good for many infusions.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/02/12/dong-ding-oolong-from-far-leaves-tea/

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87
drank Dong Ding by Far Leaves Tea
807 tasting notes

First sample of a Far Leaves Tea and this is quite nice. Here are my snippets from the full review that will post on the 13th of April.

The dry leaf is typical for a green Dong Ding oolong and has a lovely light floral aroma. I am getting a bit of a white lilac aroma from the dry leaf.

The taste in the first steep is more toward the floral side with just a hint at nuttiness, not as buttery or creamy as some Dong Ding, but there is a slight vanilla undertone to the taste. If you swish the tea around in your mouth you will feel more of the creaminess and richness. The resulting aftertaste is floral.

I generally prefer a dark roasted oolong but this is quite lovely and the quality of this tea makes me want to explore more of Far Leaves options.

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82

I had my doubts about this … as I tend to do with any herbal infusion, but, I’m very pleasantly surprised at how much I like this. It is very soothing, and I like that none of the ingredients are really overwhelming the cup… I taste each of the ingredients without any one of them tasting too strong, it’s all very nicely balanced.

The peppermint does’t have the peppermint ZING here, it’s very smooth and adds a nice, sweet element to the flavor, and the chamomile and lavender tastes floral without sharpness. It’s very pleasant.

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92

This is awesome!

I think that the brief description of this tea on the Far Leaves website pretty much sums up my first impressions of this tea: it has qualities that remind me of green, Oolong and black teas … and even a white tea. It is rich and flavorful, but, there is a certain delicateness and sereneness to this that reminds me so much of a pure, crisp white tea.

It is smooth and it has a sweet and sour kind of composition, reminding me of a plum … it has that sweetness of a plum, but also the tartness of it. A really enjoyable, complex tea. Earthy with hints of flower, but it isn’t an overly floral Oolong. Not a strong vegetative tone, but there are hints of vegetation in the background.

Just a really lovely, interesting Oolong that is a delightful departure from the Oolong teas that I’ve been drinking lately. Not that I’ve disliked what I have been drinking – they’ve been amazing – but sometimes, its nice to find something that is just different and off the beaten path.

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87

A great floral oolong!

Preparation
0 min, 45 sec

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80
drank Wenshan Baozhong by Far Leaves Tea
40 tasting notes

First tea of the day, and one of my favorite “go-to” oolongs to drink casually in a cup. Today, I switched things up a little bit and properly weighed out 4.5g of tea for my 100ml gaiwan in order to test a hypothesis: I’ve been doing it wrong.

See, I’ve always found this tea to be a little on the “lighter” side, with soft, floral notes and elements of stonefruit and honey. But, as previously mentioned, I normally throw caution to the wind and just “wing it” with a sprinkling of leaves in my cup that I refill as the water gets low. This time, I used stricter brewing parameters in order to see if I could get a richer, more buttery flavor.

Results? A moderate success. The first infusion was a little “thicker” and sweeter, with a green edge that I particularly like in this tea. I did notice the second infusion was much “richer” than usual, but I seemed to have missed a little of that delicate floral touch that I love about this tea. After letting the third and fourth infusions sit for a little longer with boiling water, I noticed a more astringent edge to it developing that I usually pick up after the fourth or fifth infusion.

In the end, I was able to coax those flavors out of the leaf, but I’m not sure if it was my favorite method of brewing this tea. The aroma is so strong and wonderful, I really missed it brewing in my cup. If I’m looking for buttery and sweet, I think I’ll stick with my Si Ji Chun oolong (KILLER bang for the buck).

Side note: this tea is well over a year old and purchased “on clearance.” The new batch was noticeably more flavorful in shop.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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100
drank Earl Grey by Far Leaves Tea
1 tasting notes

A beautiful, fruity earl grey that never gets even a hint of bitterness, no matter how hot your water or how long you steep. My favorite!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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87
drank Purple Bamboo by Far Leaves Tea
40 tasting notes

What an awesome and interesting green!

I’m not too familiar with Chinese greens aside from the bagged and the basic (bi lo chun, dragonwell, gunpowder), but this tea was so curious I had to log it. I got a small sample from Far Leaves the last time I stopped in for some oolongs, and finally got around to giving it a try this afternoon. I think it may have just changed my whole outlook on chinese greens!

As the description suggests, this tea starts off surprisingly “kelpy” and vegetal; but with a surprising buttery sweetness that caught be completely off guard. The first few sips were so smooth and soft on the tongue, I thought someone had sprinkled some karigane in my cup!

After the first few buttery infusions, the tea slowly shifts into a darker-colored (yet light and grassy tasting) brew that tastes more like the Chinese greens that I’m used to. It’s a curious little tea — I just might have to give it a try again!

Preparation
155 °F / 68 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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90
drank Dong Ding by Far Leaves Tea
40 tasting notes

Made my first trip out to the Far Leaves Tea store the other day, and I immediately fell in love with the simple surroundings and all the delicious teas that I tried. After enjoying an awesome pot of Bi Lo Chun at my table, I asked to sample some Taiwanese oolongs in hopes of getting a better idea of what I like in an oolong. The owner, Donna, asked me if I’d like to try one of her all-time favorites that she had just hand-selected and flown over from Taiwan. How could I refuse? After two sips, I was completely sold on the Dong Ding — she packed me an (overflowing) tin, and I’ve been enjoying it ever since.

I don’t possess the palate (nor the adjective set!) to accurately describe the intricacies of 7+ tiny cups of tea, but what I can tell you from my various cups over the last two days is that this particular Dong Ding has an INCREDIBLE floral aroma that I simply cannot get out of my head. Every sip and sniff of this tea just explodes with the sweet scent of blossoming Gardenias, while the flavor slowly transitions from sweet and soft; to astringent and “full.” It takes about three infusions for the leaves to fully open up, but it’s fun watching and tasting the tea as it deepens in color and flavor over the next ~4 infusions.

I’ve been using the directed amount of rolled leaf in a “normal-sized” gaiwan (about 1tsp/~70ml of slightly cooled water), but I haven’t been very precise with my timings or temperatures — I’m still new to gaiwans and gong-fu, so I’m taking it a cup at a time. I do have to admit that I have been enjoying a break from all the fuss I normally make preparing greens.. :)

I’m off to bed now, but I have a feeling I’ll be thinking about this tea until my next cup.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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