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Granville Island Tea Co

Recent Tasting Notes

92

My order from Teaspring.com is waiting for me at the post office, yay!!!

… I wonder what I bought…? I can’t for the life of me remember what’s in it. I do sure hope there’s Tie Guan Yin, because this is the last of the good stuff that Jillian sent me. Unfortunately what with the closing times my local post office has, I can’t pick it up until wednesday. (Yes, I could probably find an order confirmation in my inbox and check what I bought, but let me have my little game, please.)

So now I’m still waiting for… uh… Well, I ordered from Nothing But Tea yesterday, so I know I’m waiting for that. And I seem to recall placing an order with 52teas a while ago. I think. I was definitely at the site, so the question remains, did I buy something or did I change my mind? (And again, if I did, I wonder what I bought?)

Just in case I didn’t buy any Tie Guan Yin (oh my gosh how will I cope if I didn’t???) I am savouring the last of this cup. There’s a reason it’s named after a goddess, I’m just saying!

Yummilicious!

Ricky

When the traveling tea box comes back there will be lots of Ti Kuan Yin inside! Well it might be all gone, but at least I tried =P

Jillian

It’s almost all used up over here too – some of what I didn’t give you is going to Takgoti in a tea trade (I think she saw you raving about it, LOL). I can always save what I have left to send to you – I can buy more for myself easily enough (I’ll be in Vancouver in mid-Feb). :D

Angrboda

I’m picking my order up tomorrow, then we’ll see if I bought some. (I think I did) Shame I didn’t save some, so I could have done a side by side comparison… But that’s too late now.

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75

A bit of a shorter steeping. Interestingly, while the rose is lighter I can taste the black tea more; it has sort of nice, unobtrusive, toasty sort of flavour to it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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55

Backlogging from this morning:
The vendor told me what’s in this tea blend but unfortunately I see to have forgotten it all. I’m catching a slight vanilla scent in the dry leaves mixed with what I think of as the standard tea smell.

Taste-wise it was light but at the same time rather astringent, so I’m thinking maybe darjeeling or a nepalese tea might be involved. I’ll experiment with it, but so far I’m feel rather ‘meh’ about it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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78

The scent of this tea is quite floral, I can smell it across the (albit rather small) kitchen, almost as though it’s a bouquet of fresh flowers rather than a cup of tea.

The flavour carries strong floral hints aswell, but there’s also a bit of a light, cooked fruit flavour aswell. It’s very light and smooth on the tongue with no astringency that I can find.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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80

The scent of this tea is rather unimpressively tea-like – although I did notice that it’s stronger than, for instance, a Ceylon. The flavour reminds me quite strongly of a milder version of Adagio’s Black Dragon Pearls with distinct notes of tanin and cocoa.

Not bad at all. :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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85

I feel like such a tea fiend, carefully heating my water in a temperature-controlled kettle and trying out my cool, new ultra-fine mesh filter. No sludge at the bottom of the cup – yay!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Cofftea

Tea fiend. I like that. That term applies to me too. =P

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75

I’m making myself a pot to fortify myself for the last minute Christmas things I need to do. It’s gonna be a busy day.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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92

Third steep of yesterdays leaves. It’s a mix of one part having tons of pre-christmas stuff to do, one part being lazy and one part wish to wring as much out of these leaves as I can.

First cup is a bit thin. It could have done with a ‘crutch’ or a slightly longer steep. The second cup will invariably get that, given my brewing method of leaving the leaves loose in the pot, so we’ll see if it makes a difference.

I would like to say that the tea had gained a sweet note, but to be honest I think that’s just the after-effects of the piece of chocolate I just ate…

Second cup with a significantly longer steep is better. It still has some of that baked flavour left, but I want to repeat the statement that it tastes like how bees look, because I’m picking up a small note of strong honey underneath.

Okay, that’s the morning tea. I’m going to get started on a to-do list and then my numerous chores.

Meg

granville island as in up in Vancouver? I’m sensing a new place to visit when I run up there next time…

Angrboda

I assume so. I got it in a swap with Jillian and she lives in that general area.

Jillian

Yes I got it from Granville Island in Vancouver. I’ve got family living there so I visit fairly often. Granville Island as a whole is an amazing place to visit if you’re ever in the area, and the tea shop they had in the Marketplace had a very nice slection of loose-leaf.

Meg

Yes, it’s lovely. I’ve been to the model boat museum and ran through the market quickly, but I was only in there for the beeswax/honey shop. Next time I’ll look for the tea, thank you!

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92

A proper pot of tea now, another Jillian tea.

I suggested this one on my ‘wishlist’ for her not because I was wildly curious about it, but because Tie Kuan Yin (which this is) is my most favourite type of oolong ever. I more or less knew what I would get, but I just couldn’t pass it over without at least asking.

The leaves look a bit darker than I remember of this type of oolong, but then I remembered that when I’ve bought it from Teaspring in the past, I’ve always gone for the jade variety. So the leaf difference is pretty obvious then, isn’t it? They have a slightly smoky note to the smell. Not very much, just a little bit. Apart from that they smell fresh. Leafy. Planty. A living plant, not a dead leaf.

It brews up very light in colour and almost lime-green. I checked Jillians notes briefly and since she seems to have used a shorter steeping time than I normally would I thought it best to follow suit on the first time. There is plenty of aroma though. A lovely, leafy, almost floral smell that makes me think green thoughts. (Not green tea thoughts, just thoughts that are green. This is a very difficult concept to explain. Sometimes it’s just as if thoughts have colours.)

Mmmm yummy! I suddenly understand, I think, what you lot mean when you say something has a baked taste. That’s another one that I’ve seen a lot of people use, and I’ve never been able to put my head around it. I totally get it now, I think. There is a lot of it. It both makes me think of baked goods and it also makes me think of leaves and greenery, and I can’t decide which is more dominant. And bees. This tea tastes sort of like how bees look. Please don’t make me try to explain that.

Yes, it’s summerly and springly and still my favourite type oolong in the whole world.

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96

I brewed up a pot of this for my boyfriend and I – he seems to take to rooibos more so than actual tea. Oh well, at least it’s a start.

I felt like something sweet so I added a dab of honey to mine, which brought out the chocolate flavour a little bit and pushed the mint to the back steat.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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85

This tea is practically MADE for multiple steepings. The dry leaves are loosely rolled and the first steeping, which is only 30 sec, is enough to draw out a bit of the flavour, but because the leaves haven’t unrolled it’s quite light, the infusion a pale gold colour.

The 2nd infusion is for 1.5 minutes and this time the leaves have started to uncurl into more leaf-like shapes. The liquid is the colour of golden honey and spinach-bread taste is more prounced and robust (I use the term ‘robust’ relatively – it’s no where near the robustness of an Assam or other black tea).

Upon the third infusion (2.5 minutes) I can see that the leaves are quite green-looking, interestingly enough. Are Ti Kuan Yins supposed to be some of the lesser-oxidized oolongs? The taste is more vegetal this time and not as robust as the last steeping. I think I’ll leave it at three steepings for tonight, although I’m sure I could probably get at least another two steepings out of this tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C
Auggy

I think traditional TKYs are more oxidized but more recently they’ve been going towards less oxidized. I’m sure there is some logic or deeper reasoning behind the migration but I don’t know what it is.

Marie

I was wondering about the TKYs. I haven’t tried them yet, but the Metropolitan Tea Co. distributes at TKY that I was curious about. Thanks for the tasting note! :)

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75

I’m drinking this sweetened with a bit of wildflower honey right now. I don’t normally sweetened black teas (apart from chais) but the rose flavour is actually complimented quite nicely by a bit of honey-sweetness.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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75

The rose is a touch too strong at this steeping temp and it’s almost all that I’m tasting right now.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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85

I did another resteep of the leaves from last night and result were quite neat. This time the vegetal notes have completely vanished, although it still had that rather baked sort of taste. But as the tea cools down the baked note evaporate and the tea takes on a sweet sort of fruity/sort of honey-like flavour.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85

Second steep of this tea and the honey notes seem to have disappeared and the baked flavour is slightly more pronouced.

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

Man, you’re braver than I am. Any tea named “Iron Goddess of Mercy” sounds too scary to drink. I appreciate you taking the time to do the reviews, though.

Angrboda

:D It’s just the western name for Tie Kuan Yin. :) She’s an important goddess in Chinese mythology. I really like the legend behind the tea. For some reason I can’t quite pinpoint, they really speak to my imagination. Check them out at wikipedia here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tie_kuan_yin
I like the Wei legend best.

Jillian

I like the Wei version too. It’s a simple story about the rewards of devotion, but it’s themes are something everyone can understand and relate to, no matter what their religion or country. :)

Rena Sherwood

Kuan Yin is a much better name for a tea than “Iron Goddess of Mercy”, because “iron” is inflexible, hard and doesn’t quite fit in with the concept of “mercy”. Also, people shopping for tea would read the name and may conclude that the tea tstes like iron.

Jillian

Actually I thought the name sounded kinda cool and intriguing, like I KNEW there was a story behind it – but then that’s just me. Plus you can’t really argue with a tradition as old as this one. ;)

Angrboda

For me, one of the big selling points on chinese teas are the names. Of course I have a hard time remembering which is what with most of them, but I like making mangled attempts at trying to pronounce them, and they all have such poetic meanings. Like this one, for example, or chun mee which means ‘precious eyebrow’. I’ve forgotten what bi lou chun means…

Auggy

Isn’t that something about a snail? Or is that another one?

Jillian

*Looks it up on Wikipedia" Apparently it means ‘Green Snail Spring’

takgoti

D’oh! Refresh fail!

Jillian

Bwhahaha, to slow! :P

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85

I steeped this tea a little differently this time, adding less dry leaf but steeping it longer. I am getting that vegetal/spinach-like taste still but it’s slightly, but distinctly honey-sweet aswell. It’s also still slightly baked though mostly on the aftertaste

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec
takgoti

ACK. I just realized it’s been a very long time since I’ve had an oolong tea, which makes me sad. And I have a lot of them that I need to try. I officially declare tomorrow oolong day. Oolong and…physics.

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96

I’ve realized that this tea tastes a lot like those After Eight chocolates without the sweetness. The chocolate is very much a cocoa-y dark chocolate flavour rather than the lighter and sweeter milk chocolate.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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85

This does smell and taste baked but it’s almost more a yeasty, fresh-baked bread sort of taste. But I’m also noticing a vegetable-like undertone, almost like spinach. Cooked spinach and bread? Spinach bread? XD

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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96

Not that many kids tonight so that means MOAR HALLOWEEN CANDY FOR ME, MWHAHAHA! XD

I’m drinking this to combat the sugar overdose, although it might be fighting a losing battle. Oh well, at least I can say that this is one chocolate that won’t go straight to my hips! ;)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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75

Made a pot for myself and the boyfriend this morning, as we both stayed up until ridiculous hours studying for midterm exams.

Steeped for 4 min and added skim milk. I was afraid the rose would be overpowering with the extra steeping time but that wasn’t really the case (or maybe we were in too much of a rush to notice).

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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75

Steeped this morning for 2.5 minutes and it came out very nice with the rose not too overpowering.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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85

This was a really interesting tea, the steeping recommendations were for 2 tsps for 30 seconds in 190 F water. Lacking a working thermometer I had to guestimate on the water temp, but it doesn’t seem to have hurt anything.

The first steep had a sort of clear, slightly sweet taste (I have no idead what to compare it to) on the tip of the tongue which faded into a baked flavour I’m familiar with in my Formosa Oolongs (although not as strong).

The second steep (for 1 min) tasted much more vegetal, almost like a green tea – did someone switch the leaves on me while I wasn’t looking?! It also had that hint of clear sweetness, particularly as it cooled.

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96

Forgot to log this tea last night.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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