Life In Teacup

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Recent Tasting Notes

82

I think this one is definitely on my ‘to order’ list. It’s warm and toasty and peachy, and this time around, I got a whiff of cinnamon spice in the brewed tea smell.

Twenty-five second first steep. Using this to boost my willpower to work on my geology project. Doing a project on the Grand Banks earthquake of 1929. Fun! Working on the layout for my paper right now.

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

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82

Once I’ve opened the samples from Life in Teacup, I’ve been storing them in odd, empty tins. This one’s in Andrew and Dunham’s Earl Grey tin (I haven’t removed the label or anything—this is just temporary).

Dried, the smell of the leaves is a fainter ‘tea leaf’ smell, which is also somewhat sweet. I like it.

First steep I ended up doing twenty seconds instead of ten (didn’t use quite as many leaves—about two very rough teaspoons [the leaves are a fair size and don’t fit in my teaspoon very well], to six ounces water; also did a rinse-steep prior to the first steep). I’m not getting any smell from the tea. Hmm.

It has a darker oolong taste, I guess. I’m bad at explaining these things, especially since I haven’t tried many. It’s lighter than say Honeybee, but darker than ti kuan yin. However, it’s floral and sweet. In fact, the sweetness is kind of fruity almost, but without any tart. I suppose this is what people mean when they use fruits to describe teas. Maybe peach? I’m glad I got up early, this means I can experience a few more infusions before I leave for class.

This is VERY nice to sip. The sweetness sits as an aftertaste on your tongue for a bit.

Second steep, did thirty seconds. There’s definitely a sort of nectar-sweet quality, so definitely sticking with ‘peaches’. And possibly something else, but I can’t really place it.

Third steep, did a minute. Since I let the leaves sit overnight, this may be the reason I’m getting pretty much no flavour at all. Huh.

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

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86

I opened the free sample today, that I got from Life in Teacup, of my “An Xie Tie Guan Yin Oolong Traditional Charcoal Roast”. It came in a red vacuum-sealed bag, and had written in pin-yin on the side “Ou Nan Cha Ye” and “Hao Cha Hao Ren Sheng”.

Anyway, when I opened it, I was very surprised, because the color of the leaves was green, and not the brown roasted color I expected.
Not only that, but they smelled sweet and fruity, rather than roasted, smoky, etc. (more like a houjicha).

Going right along with that, after rinsing the leaves, I did the first steep…. AND it tasted very fruity, delicious, etc., but NOT roasted at all. It was delicious, but I assume this was actually the Grade II modern green (hence posting my note here). I still have more steepings left, but as of the 3rd steeping, this is awesome. It leaves a very nice taste in the mouth afterwards.

I also got a free sample of the Grade II modern green (at least, that’s what the package says), but I sure hope the charcoal roast is in there instead!

Gingko, is it possible that a sample could have been accidentally switched, or is it more likely that because of my inexperience with oolongs, this actually is the charcoal roast (though there are no hints of it having been roasted)?

Either way, this is delicious!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Gingko (manager of Life in Teacup)

Thank you for your nice review! The vacuum bags are generic and don’t bear specific product names. Is there a sticker on the pack with the English name, like found on other samples? From your description, it’s probably a modern green TGY. My last batch of traditional roasted TGY all have green packs and the recent batch of modern green TGY Grade II do have red packs. I am sorry for the confusions! Next time I will send you one of each so that we can be sure.

Shinobi_cha

Actually, you let me chose two, and I did pic the Charcoal Roasted and the modern green TGY grade II. On the red sample bag it had the English sticker saying it was ‘Charcoal Roasted’, but I think it was the green.
When I open the other sample (which has a sticker saying its the modern green) we’ll see if the stickers were switched, or if there was a duplicate, etc.

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81

And so I bid you adieu, sweet Formosa. I don’t think we will meet again. Not in this life. I thank you for allowing me to make your acquaintance.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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81

The brew is a very pretty honey gold. This one didn’t have any steep parameters on the site, so I after some thought, I decided four minutes couldn’t hurt.

The leaves are quite large (not as large as Dawn, but big), and didn’t need a strainer either.

The brewed smell actually REMINDS me of Dawn. Dark, dry, dusty. The taste is similar too, although not without its differences. I didn’t know how to describe that tea when I drank it, thus making this one difficult as well, but—it has a sort of dark dryness, like Dawn’s cocoay taste. This is lighter though; I don’t know how to describe HOW it’s lighter, just that it is. There’s an aftertaste that sits pleasantly, sort of sweet. Overall, it’s earthy but bright.

I really like this. Although I still think something’s been going on with my tastebuds for the past few weeks.

Edit: The tea cooled right down to room temperature, and from that I got a few notes of Assam.

Second steep SMELLS like an Assam. THat sort of… deep berry (but I doubt anyone else would agree with me using the term ‘berry’ with assam, but I don’t know). The dusty taste of the first infusion is completely gone, and it tastes somewhat like an assam, but different, milder.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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92

Drinking this again now – very enjoyable.

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92

I agree with TeaEqualsBliss – the dry leaves look very unique, grey-ish, and fine! I was very excited to try this tea. It’s quite vegetal and savory like all the greens I’ve tried from Life in a Teacup, and at least as delicious. It has just enough astringency to cleanse the mouth, and nothing more. I could see myself picking up a bag of this one day – it’s an all around great Chinese green.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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88

I just had a pretty good mild cigar and this tea stands up to the taste that was very recently in my mouth while providing a seemingly perfect contrast. Instead of prolonging the experience with a roasted oolong, puerh or red tea I opted for a more cooling tea. The real cool part, however, is not the contrast but the compliment this tea adds with a savory bottom end and enough body to satisfy the palate. The bright grassy finish is exactly in order and adds the cooling element that really makes this feel like the next course in a well thought out meal.

Extra points tacked on because I can still taste the cigar.

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83

Light and fresh with an easy going marshmallow sweetness and cool minty, floral aftertaste. I’m feeling perfectly lazy right now and this tea is doing me right.

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89

I bought this some time ago but am just getting around to trying it now! I don’t know what took me so long to actually try it – it is SO GOOD.

The sip starts with a nutty taste, and finishes with a light, fresh almost buttery taste with a note of tartness. It’s a very interesting contrast of flavors. Very nice.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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78

The second of my three samples from Life In Teacup. Oooh, the leaf here is VERY similar to Samovar’s Four Seasons – like, identical in scent and appearance. I’m using 2.5g, about 1/3 of the sample, in my little 4oz glass pot, which I think makes this a gongfu-light style steeping :P

The liqueur is quite pale, rather like a white tea. The scent is lighter than Four Seasons, but has similar notes: butter, gardenias (at least, I gather that’s the particular floral scent, from what others have said – I have trouble getting past “flowers”). The taste follows – buttery, floral, fresh. Like eating buttered bread in a garden.

This is lovely, rich, and not at all harsh. I’m pleased, though I’d like the flavor to be a little stronger, so I’ll make the next steeps longer.

One last thing: at $2.70/oz this is an absolute STEAL, assuming it lasts through several steeps. Compare to Four Seasons at $10/oz.

ETA: This is definitely better with hotter water – deeper color, richer and fuller flavor

Steep 1, 1 minute, 205˚F
Steep 2, 1 minute, 195˚F
Steep 3, 1:45, boiling
Steep 4, 1:45, boiling
Steep 5, 2:15, boiling
Steep 6, 2:15, boiling

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec
JacquelineM

Have you ordered from Life in Teacup before? I ask because from what I read the minimum shipping amount is $22 because it is direct from China? I really like the Yunnan I tasted but I don’t think I want to order $100 worth of tea right now in order to gain the most out of $22 shipping…if I am indeed reading it right.

teabird

I haven’t, other than these samples, but I’m planning to. The way I read the shipping policy, here http://www.lifeinteacup.com/shipping is that it’s $5 flat in the US. I think the “Buying Directly from China” section is more for wholesalers.

JacquelineM

Oooooh OK! I was thinking that it couldn’t be right! I’m so glad I asked!

LauraR

Wow, I really like Four Seasons from Samovar and this is anything like that…YUM

teabird

Laura, I’d definitely recommend trying this then! They’re very similar, in my opinion (I think I’ll be ordering this instead when my Four Seasons runs out), and Life In Teacup offers free samples with $3 shipping. http://www.lifeinteacup.com/tea-samples

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90
drank Yunnan Golden Bud by Life In Teacup
902 tasting notes

3rd steep: still amazingly strong! Tastes like caramalized honey. Definitely going to be going for a fourth steep!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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90
drank Yunnan Golden Bud by Life In Teacup
902 tasting notes

Second steep has less honey, more of a malted taste to it. Slight hint of caramel…actually, it’s more like the taste of sugar syrup just before it’s changed to caramel. There’s still a baked quality to it. Extremely hearty and rich.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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90
drank Yunnan Golden Bud by Life In Teacup
902 tasting notes

I’m brewing by the mug rather than the pot this morning, so I’m logging teas faster than normal. This is a sample from Life in a Teacup, and it’s a pretty darn big sample, too! There’s at least enough for 2-4 cups! The dry leaf looks just like the picture, and smells like honey.

Brewed 1 tsp in 8 oz of water for 2.5 minutes. Seems like that’s a long brew (most of the other people who’ve drank it only brewed for 1 minute), but I do like my teas strong.

This is some good stuff. Seriously. I’m getting a honey taste, and a baked taste. Almost like a warm rye bagel with honey smeared on it. It’s definitely more like an oolong than a traditional black tea, but seems heartier than many oolongs that I’ve had. It tastes golden, if that makes any sense. Wow, this is yummy.

Thanks, Ginkgo, for offering these samples!! I can’t wait to try the rest of them, and I’m definitely going to be getting more of this one!!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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100

I love the smokiness of this tea, ever since falling in love with teas from Yunnan, I got this tea as soon as I could get my hands on them. I am happy that I did. Thanks LIT.

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96

Not to be confused with jasmine tea one gets in grocery stores, this is an entirely refreshing experience.

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99

I must admit I have been ignorant to the teas from southwestern China but this is truly a delightful surprise. It’s rich and flavorful, perfect for an after meal tea treat.

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100

I didn’t know what to expect from this tea but it turn out to be great for times when I don’t want to bother with the whole ritual of tea drinking. All I need to do is throw in a few buds into the mug, simply add hot water and enjoy.

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98

wow, what a treat this tea is, thank you for introducing me to it.

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100

There are many way one can describe this tea but why beat around the bush, YUMMY!!!!!!!!!!

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85

Gently Toasted/Roasted type taste with a juiciness to it that makes it quite memorable! Pair that with the woodsiness and you get a nice cuppa!

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88

The infusion is a very pale golden color, very enticing. The smell has a salty vegetal-ness to it almost reminding me of edamame. The taste is delicious – surprisingly savory for a Chinese green tea. It takes a few sips for this to really develop (at least using the brewing parameters I did), but it is fantastic once it does. Although I am a vegetarian nowadays, I would imagine that this would pair well with chicken or turkey.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec
cultureflip

or a cigar

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