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Life In Teacup

Recent Tasting Notes

88

It was last night’s sip down. There went my ounce of it. I have a whole bunch of Eco-Cha’s Dong Ding to try now, so… I’m not panicking! Dong Ding stock is under control.

However, I must bring the rating of this one down quite considerably. While this was a delicious oolong, the ounce that I got from Life in a Teacup never actually managed to excite me as much as initially did the sample of this they sent me before months ago (See the previous note). I am not sure if this was some different batch or if something happened to my taste buds then. It’s yummy, vegetal oolong with a wonderful flowery aroma, but I feel I can’t rate it 99 anymore.

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76

I have WAY too many teas on my backlog list now, so I might start reviewing them first thing since opening my laptop, right?

This oolong was a little odd. Green pearl-shaped dry leaf gave a light, straw-colored infusion that tasted pretty vegetal and a little astringent (which was that odd part – I didn’t expect it to have such a bite). I also got some milder roasty notes there. I remembered it smelled slightly funky. I am pretty sure I resteeped it at least once but the resteep didn’t yield any new notes.

It was enjoyable but nothing that could enter my Oolong Hall of Fame. But then perhaps I was too distracted when I had it. I still have more of this, so I will definitely try it again.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
keychange

haha at oolong hall of fame!

Kat_Maria

Yep, when writing this I realized I do have a hall of fame like that, but it still doesn’t have a whole lot in it.

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drank 2006 Nannuo Bama by Life In Teacup
135 tasting notes

Dry – Wood and earth notes, some thin sweetness.
Wet – Wet wood notes, some faint sweetness, faded floral.
Liquor – Dark Amber

1st 7secs – Woody, damp floor, musky and some savory notes up front. As it goes down, it has some hints of sweetness but doesn’t quite delivers much, it feels thin and somewhat flat.

2nd 7secs – Cleaner woody, damp floor and some savory ‘mushroom’ notes up front; it feels cleaner but still not that pleasant. As it goes down, it has some more sweetness, but again it is flat although over some time there’s a faint floral note.

3rd 10secs – Same body up front and going down, the finish is slightly better, but still nothing I’d look for in a Nannuo cake.

Final Notes
This cake had to be stored in wetter conditions, it has lost much of the Nannuo character for its age and it feels rather flat, while I expected something sweeter, floral and thick with some age taste. It is a good tea if you like those wetter notes with out overly aggressive notes of really humid storage.

If you have time visit my blog
http://thetinmycup.blogspot.com/2006 Nannuo Bama Arbor Tree Sheng

Preparation
Boiling
boychik

Thank you for the blog reference. Learn a lot today

TheTeaFairy

Agreed boychik, JC’s notes are always insightful :-)

JC

Thanks for taking the time to read my mini rants! LOL

boychik

Not rants, good reads;-)

Sammerz314

Very nice blog. I agree with the notion of “taste fatigue” =)

JC

Thanks for the positive feedback :) Sam, I was surprised at how I had noticed the ‘fatigue’, but never thought too much about it. When I finally did, I couldn’t describe it properly, the reddit post commenting on the beer article was perfect explaining it, and a I learned about beer.

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90

Thanks to J.C. for this one, I hope I have added my tasting note under the correct tea…

I don’t always know what to do with white teas to make them shine, I feel like they sometimes end up tasting liked boiled straw. For this tea I ended up steeping it in a gaiwan for about 45 – 60 seconds with a water temp. less than boiling. This has produced a very gentle, sweet tea which has a light creamy quality. I am liking this one very much. Something about it is very relaxing. Maybe it’s time to check out some offerings from Life in Teacup? Thanks for sending this J.C.!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML
JC

Glad you liked it. I know what you mean about boiled straw lol. I feel like White Peony can have that trait. Life in teacup has great greens and Oolongs :)

gmathis

Good analogy. I need tea that wears sturdy walking shoes, not satin slippers :)

TeaBrat

I was checking out the Life in Teacup site but I want to wait until more of the 2014 teas are in!

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88

I absolutely love this. It could be my favorite oolong, as of today.

It smells like brown sugar, plus there’s a definite floral element. The way it tastes emulates the aroma almost in every detail. Sophisticated vegetal-floral sweetness that just stays in your mouth for a while after each sip. It gets itty-bitty bitter as it cools down (but that is barely detectable) and the smell of it turns even sweeter. An amazing experience.

I swear that some oolongs feel more like desserts than the “dessert teas”.

I can’t wait for another steeping of this, but before I make another cup I will take a nice relaxing bath… Oh, this is going to be a lovely weekend. I hope it is going to be just as good, or better, for all the Steepsterites :)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

Sounds yummy, nice review :-)

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Quite smooth. Nice aroma. Notes of fruit-like sweetness and wood. This is a surprisingly calming tea. Lasting, pleasant throat.
Update: I’m about thirteen or so infusions in… does this tea ever end? Wow…

Slight side note: I just want all my sheng to age about 40-50 years… like…. right now. Gosh, that would be heavenly.

JC

I know right?! I want to grow really old just to keep drinking more tea. lol

boychik

JC, lets hope when we grow really old we won’t forget to drink it:-)

JC

LOL! ‘why are there disc shaped compost piles all over my house?’

mrmopar

I prefer the grass Frisbee description.

Tea Pet

Funny note: Just an hour ago, my SO asked me if we could use pu-erh as Frisbees… :-/

mrmopar

Hah that is funny! I told my bestie that they could double as birds nests if needed be. At least it helps me justify my cupboard. LOL!

JC

Lol. Well, in all fairness I have bought some Puerh that would work best as a frisbee than tea :P

mrmopar

Yeah got some of that too.

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So first of all, I totally blew it on my database, leaving out teas (that thought I’d already added) from 3 friends. Now that my negligence has been corrected, my actual starting teacount for today was 382 teas (shut up, Sil, I can hear you laughing all the way in St. Louis!)

This is sipdown # 5 for today, # 39 overall since Saturday, and my NEW total, subtracting everying I drank today so far, is 377.

This is a sample gererously sent to me from KS. Thanks! I’ve wanted to try teas from Life in Teacup for awhile. The description says this is a traditional green oolong. The dry leaf of this smelled a bit like Nori to me. Warmed up, the leaf smelled of wonderful caramelized stone fruits & charcoal. There wasn’t really any fruit flavor to the tea itself, more of a bready charcoal taste, with an after feel of mintiness.

Sil

hahaha hey at least you were under 400? riiight? :)

mrmopar

Hah don’t check how many I have.

Terri HarpLady

I just re-read my review, which makes it sound like the tea wasn’t very good. I rather enjoyed it.

Terri HarpLady

Sil, I don’t know how you ever got down to under 200 teas!
Mr M, you probably shouldn’t encourage me! The sad truth is, there are SO many teas in my collection that I won’t be able to live without now. And I just keep discovering new ones, that I at least have to try!

Sil

Terri. Sheeeeeer willpower. I’m a VERY stubborn only child.

Terri HarpLady

Hey Sil, remember a year ago when we were first talking about a trade, & I kept talking about cleaning my office? I’m still working on it…

mrmopar

I am in enough trouble so I can’t order anymore tea…. Yeah right! Intercept the mail and I am good. I just have to remember to get rid of the boxes before cleaning day!

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85

Backlog:

OK, folks, I feel like I’m slowly getting caught up. I’m only like two months behind at this point. It’s happening … I’ll get caught up. No matter what Sil says! hahaha!

A gentle, earthy aroma to the dry leaf of this tea. Not an off-putting earthiness. It’s a subtle and even a sweet earthy kind of scent.

The flavor is gently earthy, sweet, woodsy … with even … a slight “wild” sort of taste to it. Notes of fruit. A pleasant, mellow Sheng.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/12/02/2005-lao-lin-cang-ancient-arbor-sheng-pu-erh-tea-from-life-in-teacup/

Sil

:) I’d hate for you to catch up and not post as much lol

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88

Just finished a cup of this and immediately made another. I’m impressed. I ordered a few of the free samples from Life and Teacup and so fr I’m 2 for 2. Absolutely delicious! Very smooth and fantastic quality. I think this is one of the best oolongs I’ve tried so far. I will probably be purchasing a few ozs of this in the next week.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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this is a nice mellow Phoenix tea…it is probably the least astringent one I have tried…the flavor profile is typical Mi Lan Xiang(slightly subdued)with good qi…it’s quite easy to brew and it would be a great introduction into the realm of Phoenix/Dancong teas…110ml gaiwan 7g tea…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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Just before Christmas, I received a wonderful surprise in the mail…goodies from K S! In all the hubbub and getting decorations up and then down and then having the wedding, I didn’t get started on them. But hubby suggested we do yoga together tonight and I thought this one looked like a prime candidate to sip between sets and after cool down.

The first pot was a combination of four steeps made by youngest. I had given her a short steeping time because I thought it smelled like it could get strong, but instead this was cool, clean, clear snow melt,with a hint of baby sugar snap peas. We drank all of that and wanted more, so I took the remainder of the sample and made four more steeps. I gave it a little more time and now it is a little more assertive, more like green bean hulls. I wouldn’t have noticed the light smoke if I hadn’t read about it, but as I swirl air around in my mouth I pick up on it.

Thank you, K S! This was a perfect tea for relaxing tonight. Lovely!

K S

Glad you enjoyed it.

JC

I love this tea. I ordered together with other spring greens and found that life in teacup has some really good greens.

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drank Rou Gui by Life In Teacup
2485 tasting notes

I’d like to thank KS for sending me a sample of this one to try out. I’ve wanted to try several of the teas from Life in Teacup for awhile now. I love Roasty Wuyi oolongs! Opening the package, the smell of the dry leaf is yummy fruity & sweet, like dried apricots have been simmered down to a rich compote. The dry leaf is a rich mahogany color, long twisted strands. Poured into a hot dry yixing, the aroma quadrupled & became thick & tangy. A quick rinse, which I drank (how could I not?) yielded a hint of what was to come. Let the steeping begin!
5G + 4oz yixing (rinse) 10sec/20/30/40/50/60/2min/3min/4min/5min…

10 sec – This is a sweet infusion of hazelnut butter & gently tart apricot. With each steeping new layers were added: creme brulee, a sprinkle of cinnamon. Steep number 4 took on a shiny smooth quality, like obsidian. Then the tanginess faded briefly, replaced by a creamy pudding. Then the tanginess returned, so that my mouth felt as if I’d been eating tart berries. The last steepings were like a sweet nectar, a gentle sweet artesian spring, flowing into a rock fountain, with faint notes of peach, hazelnut, & cinnamon.
…sigh…

K S

Wow, can I borrow your taste buds?

Starfevre

Your ability to identify flavours leaves me in awe.

Terri HarpLady

All I can say is it works better some days than others. In the dead of winter, when I’m not having any allergies, & I have time to just relax, I can taste all kinds of things. I’ve always been hypersensitive to tastes, smells, sounds, textures, etc. Otherwise, we can probably attribute at least part of it to my heavy use of hallucinogens in my youth ;)

Starfevre

I’m hypersensitive to tastes but I’m shit at actually identifying them. :(

Starfevre

Possibly my youth needed more hallucinogens. I had none except the nyquil that one time I had a fever of 103.

Terri HarpLady

I often notice tastes that seem familiar, but I can’t quite place them.

Amariel

Sounds yummy!

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87

Real nice black tea. Has some very pronounced creamy, thick, malty cocoa notes – even reminencent of a black Assam. Delicious in every sip and very warming to the body.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Having this one today. It reminds me a lot of Heritage Honey Oolong from Mountain Tea. That one is from Taiwan. This is Fujian. Very nice cup. I was expecting heavy smoke or roasted notes. Nope. It is fresh and fruity with hints of osmanthus, ginger, and cinnamon, all wrapped in nuts and orchids.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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drank Bai Ya Qi Lan Oolong by Life In Teacup
1160 tasting notes

I resteeped the leaves from two days ago and this still seems very flavorful. The unfortunate thing is I was filling a candy dish with spice drops and of course I had to have one (or three), now the tea has little flavor. Mostly I taste the roastiness and smell some floral.

My dad always has these spice drops around because we both love them, especially the purple ones – they taste like black jelly beans. I hate the green ones and the white ones, they taste like toothpaste. For fun I poured the bag out and put back only the green and white ones. The rest went in the candy dish. I’ll take the bag to dad. He will find it pretty funny.

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drank Bai Ya Qi Lan Oolong by Life In Teacup
1160 tasting notes

This is really an interesting oolong even if I didn’t get the marshmallow others mentioned. The dry leaf smells like you put your face in bunch of vines and inhaled. The taste of the liquor is green and by that I mean alive. It is kind of earthy. There is a light roasted element. It is only lightly floral to me in comparison to tiequanyin – those I often find to be geranium or latex like. Not this one. I have never been around orchids so I can’t compare but this is very pleasant in taste. The interesting thing to me is an almost pineapple taste. All of these aspects come together to make an amazing cup at only $3.99/oz.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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drank Rou Gui by Life In Teacup
1160 tasting notes

I don’t have a picture or a seller description for this one.

The dry leaves a big and dark. They turn black after steeping. While steeping the roasty aroma pours out of the press. This appears to be a medium-heavy roasted Wuyi oolong. The taste is not what I expected.

Sure it has the heavy dark roasted flavor but it also has a prickly fruity/floral thing going on that is somewhere between mango and geranium.

Next I added sweetener to see how it would react. It did not cover or bring out any flavors. What it did was warm the flavors so the melded together. The roasty notes a less dominant early in the sip and explode later. The fruity/floral is now more developed into something resembling tieguanyin.

If you like the darker oolongs this was an interesting one.

Terri HarpLady

I have been contemplating an order from Life in Teacup for quite some time.

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drank Wuyi Jin Jun Mei by Life In Teacup
1160 tasting notes

Remember a few mornings days ago when I needed black tea and couldn’t read the labels? This is the tea I was looking for then in my zombie like state. As much as I needed it, I’m glad I didn’t find it until today so I could enjoy it with my mind and senses in operating order. I think I could almost give up Earl Grey for Fujian black tea and this is a very tasty example.

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drank Wuyi Jin Jun Mei by Life In Teacup
1160 tasting notes

Wild Thing you make my heart sing. Fujian Jin Jun Mei do I need to say more? I found I prefer this with steeps around one minute. It can get a bit drying with long western steeps. Keep it short and this delivers the goods. Honey, caramel/cocoa, and lighter malt than I normally associate with this tea. Re-steeps well.

Terri HarpLady

I’ve been wanting to order from Life in Teacup for awhile now.

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This is actually the 2013 version of this tea. It has Yunnan in the name so I immediately come up with an idea of what this should taste like. I’ll learn someday. The leaf is captivating. I’m glad no one was around to watch me playing with the leaf. Non-tea people already look at me with concern. Long and twisted with some heft to the appearance. For Chinese green tea the dry leaf is big. The taste is really hard to define. It isn’t weird. It’s just different. If I am using the term correctly it is umami. It is also quite subtle. The liquor itself has a kind of broth like quality – or at least this is what I’m perceiving.

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