In Pursuit of Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

I got this in a Steepster Select box sometime last year. Well, it delivers in it’s promise of roasty, woodiness. On the other hand it looks like a bunch of sticks. I thought it was just rolled to be in that shape, but even when I steeped it for a long while, it was still just stems. I don’t know how I feel about that! The sample was 8g, and it says 4g per cup. So two servings.

I do like it, it has a mellow nuttiness to it that I don’t usually reach for much, but is pretty satisfying. I just can’t get over the fact that it’s a bunch of twigs. I wonder what the leaf would taste like?

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79

From my Steepster select box, December 2014!

I had almost forgotten about this one! The package it comes in is so stuffed. I was a little taken aback when I opened the package. Inside it looked like there was fresh sage stuffed into the package. The leaves were probably no picked within the last month or three, but they looked so fresh. The smell was interesting to say the least. It was peppery and herbaceous. The leaves produced a light green liquor with … well, peppery and herbaceous notes. It was pretty light. I even used over half the package. (4g+) the flavor was quite lacking, and very watered down.
Eh. It was a great experience. But I don’t think I would reach for it ever again.

Flavors: Herbs, Pepper

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69

This does taste a lot like kukicha. I haven’t had many versions of the latter, but this really has that same flavor after the first steep. I don’t really get any of the spice flavor in the two steeps, and right now I don’t know why I would buy this over a kukicha or even a hojicha. It is interesting to see how oolong teas can vary so much in flavor, but I don’t think I would buy it.

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78

From my December 2014 Steepster Select Box!

I didn’t think I was going to like this tea. But I was surprised! The first two brews were a miss, but once I got past those two, I got a sort of cinnamon-y pepperiness that was very reminiscent of an Asian Beauty. The little stick tea was actually interesting to see come alive in my cup. The little twisty sticks grew and straightened out, not unlike some sort of phallic appendage I can’t mention on the internet. It was like sipping on a beachside bonfire, minus the sand in my swimsuit and the fire. I also got a nutty, toasted rice quality to it, at the beginning and the very end.
What an interesting tea!

Flavors: Bark, Cinnamon, Nutty, Pepper

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85

I quite like this tea. I prefer a weaker steep on most teas as I find it brings out the brighter notes while really allowing me to enjoy the deeper richness of the brew on the back end. This is indeed, as described, toasty and woody; I would add the floral notes on top reminiscent of traditional oolongs. Also, the shape is fantastic! Really interesting to watch steep. The journey of the brew is surprising. Peppery finish on the third steep. (second steep 4 min, third steep 10 min)

Flavors: Floral, Nutty, Pepper, Roasted, Wood

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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77

Oh my goodness, I really wasn’t expecting this tea to be all that great. I thought it was just gonna be another roasty oolong.
I was partially right because it’s kinda roasty, but it also is floral. And totally tastes like flowers. Which is different from being floral.
It tastes like a lighter, sweeter floral…which reminds me of flowers. Therefore to me, I would say the main flavors are flowers and something roasted.
I was very pleasantly surprised by this one! (:
Thank you so much for the sample, LiberTEAS!
A nice finish for caffeinated teas tonight. Now onto the decaf teas, once again! (:

Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Honey, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet

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70
drank Golden Yunnan by In Pursuit of Tea
2765 tasting notes

Good Morning Steepster. I found this ancient sample in my tea stash when I was signed up for the Steepster Select box a few months ago. I like a drink a lot of yunnan teas so I’m not sure what made me wait so long to drink this one (aside from simply forgetting about it).

Have to say I am not overly impressed with this one. I think it’s a matter of personal preference as tobacco isn’t really a flavor I enjoy a lot in tea. Aside from that it seems very thin and light in body even though I used the whole sample to produce my tea, I don’t think I underleafed. There is a bit of sweetness that balances out the tobacco and also pepper.

I can see why this would really appeal to some palettes but it’s just o.k. in my book… also is leaving a very strong aftertaste in my mouth…

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

Great aromas here! This tea is bursting with lilac like a great jasmine tea. This tea also mentioned hyacinth but I’m not familiar enough to tell. First steep created a wonderful golden cup and the scent jumps right out of the cup.

From: Steepster Oolong Sampler

Flavors: Flowers, Green

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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I think I like the nice, flowery aroma better than the actual drink. I mean, it isn’t bad! It’s light and slightly sweet, but fairly nondescript beyond that.

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53

The dry leaf smells floral and sweet. There is also something spicy that reminds me vaguely of clove and cinnamon. Once water has been added, I detect that starchy scent that some Yunnans have. The spice is still very present, but I have a feeling that it will lighten up a little as the cup cools.

Sipping… wow, there are some really strong leather and tobacco notes here. It’s very savory, but also has mild notes of sweet potato and milk. This is a decent cup of tea with different layers, but I think it’s a bit too sharp for me. I’m not crazy about the leather/tobacco and pepper combination. Creamier sweet potato and honey flavors would really turn this tea around, but they’re so faint that the tea remains peppery and brisk.

I’m happy to have tried this tea, but I am not all that impressed with this particular Yunnan.

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70
drank Keemun Mao Feng by In Pursuit of Tea
10 tasting notes

A coworker gave me a 4 ounce bag of Keemun Mao Fang to try. When I first opened the bag I was pleasantly surprised by the aroma and leaf quality. The smell was slightly sweet and the leaves were intact (no broken leaves to speak of).

The only potential downside is that the tea is very light. While the first infusion is fine, the second infusion is very light which is a shame for a tea this expensive.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80
drank Golden Yunnan by In Pursuit of Tea
294 tasting notes

Samples Only TTB
I’m not much one for straight black teas usually, but the leaves were just so pretty that I decided to try this out. On top of being a black tea, the notes of tobacco mentioned scared me. I don’t smoke, so the idea made me think it would be like taking a sip of your soda, just to find out some jerk used it as an ash tray (true story, I was 10).
Thankfully it’s not like that at all. It’s hard for me to discribe the taste, hard pressed I would say sort of earthy, but also kind of sweet. I found this to be less intense than some straight blacks I’ve tried. I added a touch of sweetener and this is pretty darn good.
Resteeped, I like this even more. The sweet notes come out more, and the almost smokeishness is more subtle.
Very glad I got to try this because its something I would have never bought on my own, but I surprising quite liked it.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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20

Samples Only TTB

After the first Steepster Select tea I was very eager to try this one.
The description worried me… a rich tobacco tang that turns to cocao and honey sweetness.
Well… I was right to worry. It really does remind of tobacco… but whoever had the idea that this tasted anything like sweetness… I don’t even. BITTER is a better word.

It tastes like tobacco and bitter. I’m good.

Flavors: Bitter, Tobacco

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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77

mj1851 sent me a sample , and as I was standing in front of my tea selection, totally uninspired, I reached for this one, thinking that anything with the name “Royal” something had to be good. It is a very mellow tea, with pleasant malt notes and natural sweetness that I quite enjoyed. I’d have to have another cup to dig a bit deeper into the flavour, but I was glad I made this choice :)

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85

I received this as a sample from a Tea Expo, not from Upton or In Pursuit of Tea….it was just a benign little silver packet with “HIMCOOP Kuwapani Tea Plantation” on a label. it is the SFTGFOP version of their Orthodox black tea. No steep or temperature info…so today I was in the mood for something “else”, and I steeped this for 3 minutes western style at 212 degrees. I take milk and sugar in all my tea, and before I added anything I sniffed the tea. It was like a plank of oak came up and hit me in the face. BAM! Ok, this should be interesting. Not a note that the teas I’ve tried usually have, but let’s do this! The tea is a bit weak with the steep parameters I used to truly stand up against the milk and sugar, but I can tell you I’m still getting the woodsy oak, a bit of cocoa, some astringency and a touch of maltiness. Considering my steep was a crapshoot, this could be a really nice tea. I like the idea of buying tea from Nepal, so I may look into their teas a bit more and get some good steeping info if I ever get another sample!

Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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83

This is a tea I had in the Steepster Select box that I really enjoyed and left it on my wishlist. TeaSipper was nice enough to send me a sample pouch of it in our swap. Thank you! I get to enjoy this one more time.

This is another great green oolong that I am really enjoying. With a lot of green oolongs I start to get a bitter after taste. With this one it is just smooth, floral, and buttery. I get none of the after taste that leaves me iffy about a tea. Maybe I need to explore Four Season oolons a bit more? For as much as I like oolongs and as many varieties that are out there I have yet to fully explore this area of tea to its fullest. I have been eyeing some of TeaVivre’s sample packs, and What-cha tea seems to have some great priced sample packs. It may be a project for the spring!

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83

This is from the Steepster Select December 2013 box.

This is yummy! A green oolong, sweet, nutty, floral and quite a bit of buttery-ness in the first few steeps. This is really hitting the spot on this spring afternoon. This maybe a mood tea for me though. I believe when I tried this one back in December it didn’t stand out. Right now I just added it to my wish list. I would tread lightly if I were to try to purchase this again.

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80

This is from the December 2013 Steepster Select Box.

As I am trying my best to clean up all my samples I am finding I have a lot of teas in my cupboard that I don’t have logged in my Steepster cupboard. I remember trying this one in December and not being a huge fan of it, but not knowing what to write about it. I am drinking this from the gaiwan tonight. I am still not a huge fan. I see the tobacco, earthy taste. I also get a bit of fruity tart at the end of the sweet. No hint of sweetness for me. This is good, but I am not crazy about it.

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96

Even though I don’t drink caffeine, I think I may make an exception from time to time for Oolong.

Flavors: Flowers

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