Life In Teacup

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Recent Tasting Notes

100

It probably didn’t help that I didn’t observe a typical gongfu prep for this. It also probably didn’t help that I was eating sharp cheddar-laden chimichangas at the time. That said, I brewed this as I would an oolong (but with boiling water), and it was a perfect sheng. Muscat grape notes, shades of maple leaf, pear, and some earthiness trailing on finish. When I think of aged sheng pu-erh, I think this. Flawless.

Thanks to seykayay for this little treasure.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec
CMT 雲 山 茶

Mmmmm. Puerh Chimichanga. Maybe 52 teas will do something with that.

Geoffrey Norman

@Seykayay – Do it! Right this second!

@Cloud Mountain – Y’know…I would actually drink that. Heck, I had their bacon tea and liked it.

Batrachoid

How about arroz con habichuelas? What’s a savory dish more earthy and pu’erh friendly than the staple protein combo of the western hemisphere?

Geoffrey Norman

Can’t say I even know what that is.

Batrachoid

Sorry. I’m from Florida, so you might know it as arroz con frijoles? Also known as rice and beans.

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87

This fragrant, flavorful tea has captured the summer in its tightly furled deep green and olive tea leaves. It has sweet grassy and floral smells, and once infused is like drinking in the warm flavor of roasted nuts while breathing in the honeyed aroma of summer’s wild flowers.

This tea is awesome and very good. It’s quite resilient and would make a great everyday tea. For pictures and my full review: http://www.leafjoy.com/2010/12/taiwan-sweet-summer-oolong-life-in-teacup/

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92

This oolong surprised me in many ways. I did my best to mimic a Gongfu prep for it – somewhat to no avail – but still ended up with three twenty-second steeps of differing excellence. Common traits were a contrasted vegetal and fruity lean with little or no astringency. Worth a look…but definitely not an on-the-go tea. This requires ritual.

Full Review: http://www.teaviews.com/2011/01/05/review-life-in-teacup-dong-ding-oolong-traditional-greener-style-3/

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

Okay, since I’m an idiot/bumpkin that has no clue…can you tell me what gongfu prep is? I’ve yet to find a source that simply states the facts.

Gingko (manager of Life in Teacup)

Geoffrey, your 20-second steeps sound perfect gongfu to me :D

Geoffrey Norman

@Jamie – Truth is, I’m still a little lost on the details also. Just Wiki it to get a better idea. I have no clue how to do the actual ceremony.

@Ginkgo – I do my best. Wonderful product, sir.

Jaime

Okay, finally found a video for it that actually had the ceremony demonstrated/explained. I still kinda don’t get it. And I think I’m okay with that.

Gingko (manager of Life in Teacup)

I guess a lot of people wouldn’t agree with me on this. But I personally do NOT think there is “tea ceremony” in Chinese tea tradition. I think that’s a big difference between China and Japan in tea culture. Most of the Chinese ceremonies we see nowadays are for performance purposes, which is good, but isn’t essential in people’s tea life. Besides, everyone can have/create his own ceremony :D

Geoffrey Norman

That’s the first I’ve heard of that. Well, I’ll take that as a go-ahead to just do whatever I want. heh

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88

SIPDOWN!

I know I have had this one before because the bag was opened and half gone…must have forgotten to log Oooooops!

Anyhow…this one is VERY forgiving! I over infused by several minutes and it’s still YUMMY! It’s almost ‘crust’ tasting like toast. It has a sweeter finish. I think this is a nice tea!

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99

I call the taste “lilies”!!! I love all the comments on this tea, trying to explain its aroma and flavor and feeling. A few years ago I bought a bit of this type of tea from another source and at first I didn’t think I liked it, but then I found myself drawn back to trying it again and again. From the very first, my thoughts went to lilies. It tasted like lilies! Or how I would think they would taste based on their aroma. Smell a lily, it is pungent, strange, not unpleasant, but not sweet like other flowers. A lily is not as bitter smelling as a tulip. Originally the tea I bought did not mention charcoal, and I was new to oolongs, so the only thing I could use to decribe it was lilies. Every time I drank it, the vision of lilies got stronger. I grow lilies, Asian ones and daylilies and Easter lilies. The tall stalk lilies are stronger smelling, and when they are in bloom their aroma hits me every time I walk out my front door. The tea was my lilies! Soon I loved this tea so much that I hoarded it and was afraid to finish that last bit. Why? because the place I got it from didn’t have it anymore! They had something “similar”, but it was awful compared to my beloved “lily tea”. It was bitter, and not of lilies, and could not take multiople infusions. Then I found Gingko Bay on ebay. They had samplers of many oolongs, and with some lovely discussions I chose my samples. Tada!!! here are my lilies!!! The it is it, and in fact, even better as I still did have a little of my old tea left and compared them., This one was smoother and lingered better. So I finished off that last bit of old tea and am on to a new, better tea and a great source, lifeinteacup.com (or ginkgo bay on ebay).
In the winter, when the lilies are sleeping, I can drink their aroma with this tea, and think of the next coming june! You can all have your charcoal, I will be drinking lilies! :)

PS – this tea can take sitting in the yixing pot for long periods without getting too bitter for me, and this is an important trait for me. I start sipping it at 5-6 minutes or later, and continue for as long as 30 minutes or until it is gone. I don’t even mind it cool. Then I re-infuse. If I infuse a third time, I may add a few fresh pieces to perk it up a bit, I like my lilies to produce a full bouquet!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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98

This is the second Yunnan gold I’ve ever tried, and – man – does this type of black (or red) tea have a track record. I don’t know what sort of alchemy goes into making these, but you won’t find a tea that translates from sight, to smell, to taste with such consistency. It looks gold from leaf to liquor; it smells and tastes like creamed almonds or unroasted, buttered barley. Aside from an almost-negligible astringent note in the middle, I am hard-pressed to find a flaw.

Full Review: http://www.teaviews.com/2010/12/24/review-life-in-teacup-yunnan-golden-bud-3/

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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82

Backlogging from yesterday…this was a nice cup. It didn’t taste as charcoal-like as I thought it would. I would say mostly in the end of the sip and on to the aftertaste if anything. It was slightly juicy , but not overly so. I think my favorite of the 3 would have to be the Superior version to this and the regular. All I can think of when I see this name of tea is someone saying “Fo’ Sho’” Like “Do you Love tea?” “Fo-Show!”

I need some sleep! I’m starting to get silly!
LOL

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83

Lovely! Had 3 cups today…3 separate infusions…must say I prefer the Superior tho! This is still yummy tho…backlogging because it’s been a bear of a day…

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78

Sweet and pungent . . . black cherry chocolate in the wet leaf aroma that gives way to burnt bittersweet florals in the liquor. This is an excellent example of “rock tea” (yan cha) because, amidst the sweet, chocolaty subtlety, the mineral core is undisguised and prevalent. Delicious. Rock.

Later steeps lighten the tone considerably and the deep sweetness transforms into delicate florals and pit fruit. The underlying latticework of the Yan Cha is further exposed to be refined and minimalist.

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81

Very nice fruit-like flavors, with a slight roastedness at the end.
I was expecting/hoping for a more houjicha-like roasted flavor, but perhaps that would have killed all the nice fruit flavors.
It can supposedly go 7 infusions, perhaps if one uses all 7g from the pack (I just had this 1 sample), but I split it so I could try it twice, using perhaps ~3g the first time and ~4g the second. It seems like after 5 infusions, it didn’t have enough flavor to continue (though I did go to 7).

I’m not sure whether I liked this or the modern green more, but it was very enjoyable.
Going to have to keep trying different Oolongs to see if I find one that I love as much as Japanese greens. So far the closest contender has been pricey – Phoenix Yellow Stone Oolong.

The biggest surprise is that out of 3 samples, I was really excited to try this TGY (charcoal) and the TGY (modern green), while the real sample originally offered was Yunnan Golden Bud…. However, in the end, the Yunnan Golden Bud was my favorite!!

A big thanks to Gingko for the free samples! (Btw, I realized that you DIDN’T duplicate the samples…. I originally thought the Charcoal Roast was going to be packaged in the Red bag, and the Modern Green II in the Green bag, but it was in fact opposite).

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87

slightly vegetal yet sweet and almost nutty. I like this very much!!! Smooth.

Peggie Bennett

How can you not with a name like “Dong Ding Oolong”? :-)

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96

Truly a WONDER Tea. It’s been a while since I tried this and once I tasted it – all the positive memories came back! Awesome!

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96

Plain and Simple…I LOVE THIS.

Okay, so you want a more detailed reason as to way…here goes…

This smelled like sweet-floral and mellow yet juicy fruit…of the citrus variety. The Infusion color is a light-oolong type. The taste is out of this world! A pure delight! It’s very pure and crisp and thirst quenching. It’s juicy yet floral. You can tell it’s an Oolong by taste but it’s so much more than that…it’s incredible! I really, really like this! The flavor of the oolong is one thing but the Bergamot is another. I’ve never tasted a bergamot flavor like this and I must say after tasting it – all Bergamot should taste like this! Very nice!

Michelle Butler Hallett

Oh my WORD, that sounds incredible!

Geoffrey Norman

Bergamot-scented oolong? I’m sold…

Brian

i MUST have this…..*drool

Jim Marks

Is this a toasty kind of oolong, like a dim sum tea, or the greener, more floral varieties?

TeaEqualsBliss

inbetween toasty and green/floral…I do have the roasted/charcoal version coming up soon too so stay tuned!

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90

Very toasty!
Strong roasted flavor but it tastes “fresh” at the same time, almost green-like. Extremely tasty and smooth. I love toasty flavors and this tea has it in abundance.
Super large twisted, charcoally-looking leaves. Very cool. :)
Super generous sample. Thank you Gingko!!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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70

Wet leaf aroma is of dark chocolate and raisins. There is a soft bittersweet depth and the heavy roast comes through nicely for a warm, friendly cup. Good price for an easy everydayer.

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88

Had this again today…roasty! See my other review/tasting notes!

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88

This is VERY different than any Oolong I have tried and it was good, indeed! It’s roasty and toasty and I like it! Woodsy and leafy…hearty and strong! At first I thought it smelled like “New Car Smell”…but it was a little more leaf-like than that, I suppose. Regardless I think the reasons this is different is the key! This is tasty and interesting! If you are into roasted oolongs – try this!

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86

Thank you TeaEqualsBliss for sending me a bit of this tea.

This is a wonderful Oolong. Strongly floral. Light buttery taste. Slightly astringent. Very pleasant!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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91

Woah! I think this is now my favorite black tea!
I’ve had a lot of Keemun, sampled one kind of Darjeeling, and had other black blends, etc, but as an unflavored, single source black tea, this was delicious!

I thought I even tasted a hint of honey and chocolate (yes, it almost tasted like it had a hint of sweetness, but no, not the bitterness of chocolate, but something about the way it smelled) It was really smooth.

It’s not exactly cheap, but not terribly expensive, either. Definitely going to have to get more of this some day.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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71

This one went fast. Woody, nutty, and sweet with a little bit of a wild, smoky edge. Mostly sweet on the back end. Nice.

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90

Yum!

Malted barley-like in flavor. Cereally with subtle sweetness. Aroma is reminiscent of cocoa or carob. Very smooth.

I’m really enjoying this tea! It is delicious. :)

Thank you, Gingko, for the generous sample!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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82

This is my last cup of this and I am going to savour the HELL out of it.

I can tell it’s starting to get on in age, and that’s entirely my fault for delaying the inevitable. It’s taken away much of the fruityness I remember.

It’s overall lighter and greener and fruitier than The O Dor’s, which is considerably sharper and more “black”. This is why Life in Teacup’s is still my favourite, and I have plans on buying more. Probably once I run out of The O Dor’s, though, as I’ve been cutting back on my Tea Expenses so I don’t bury myself.

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

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