Life In Teacup

Recent Tasting Notes

99

Thick lush water-filled spring fresh orchid petals. That is what this tea tastes and smells like. It’s unbelievable. I am absolutely buying this.

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97

2010: A Tea Odyssey. This tea is full of stars! Its like drinking a garden bouquet. I am completely in this tea’s awe. If this grade II blows my mind I can only imagine the Euphoria of the higher grades.

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67
drank gunpowder by Life In Teacup
702 tasting notes

this time did the rest of my sample in zarafina green-loose-medium
light, sweet, delicious, slightly vegetal, slightly astringent
no bitterness

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67
drank gunpowder by Life In Teacup
702 tasting notes

Steep Information:
Amount: a bit under 1 tsp
Additives: none
Water: 6 ounces / 8 ounces boiling filtered water let cool to 175 then steeped in cup with mesh basket
Steep Time: a little over 2 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: AmazonV: Nothing / MilitiaJim: Faint green tea
Steeped Tea Smell: green tea (slightly vegetal)
Flavor: green tea (slightly vegetal)
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: sweet
Liquor: translucent green (MilitiaJim: de-neon-ed mountain dew)

This was a sample from Life in Teacup

I was very pleased that this tea is not bitter! I tend to over heat or steep greens and get bitter tea. This is a nice mellow green tea and I am enjoying it. I wouldn’t mind getting it again, although I know I am more a black tea / red tea person than green.

Post-Steep Additives: honey = sweetened green tea

images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/03/life-in-teacup-loose-leaf-green-tea.html

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
AmazonV

Resteep: 2 minutes, with honey, was similar to first steep only had more particulate (i don’t mind) and slightly more astringent and bitter (briefly) at the end.

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70

Very unusual tasting green. I drank this first thing in the morning and perhaps my nose was still blocked but it seemed to smell of Turkey dinner. Not in a unpleasant way. Not something I would drink daily but enjoyable.

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67

I tried a shorter steep this time, and the tea was a bit different — it tasted strongly and smelled even more strongly of raisins! I’d heard people describe tea as tasting of raisins before and always wondered what that would be like, since I’d never found it before. Well, here it is, and unfortunately it’s reminded me that I don’t like raisins. Alas!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 30 sec
__Morgana__

Interesting! I didn’t get raisins at all. Now that I’m alerted to your tasting of them I’ll see if I can find them as well. (I do like raisins, so it wouldn’t bother me to taste them and might be kind of cool…)

Cait

Good luck in your raisin quest! :)

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67

Hmm. I used the brew-in-mug method here again, with cooler water, and this tea began and ended very strong, although it was smoother in the middle. Oddly, the leaves never floated at all, but only unrolled slowly at the bottom of the mug. I was liking it in the middle, for the second steep and around the edges into the first and third steeps, but there’s a bitter aftertaste lingering from the third steep.

Still, many thanks to Gingko for letting me try it! (I feel more than a little embarrassed to have forgot to actually, y’know, sample this for several weeks! All the excitement of the very first tea of the year — and then I let it go to the end of March.)

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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90

You know, I’m starting to wonder if I didn’t do something wrong in storing this — I put it in a tin, but it’s a biggish tin for a small sample. This pot, like the previous one, is just not as flowery as the very first one. I mean, on any other tea I’d be calling this flowery, but here? Only barely.

Well, I’ve already ordered a bit more. I’ll have to see if I can treat the next batch better!

Mmm, flowers.

JK Tea Shop

Yes, Tie Guan Yin is famous for its exquisite light orchid aroma, which is the aroma I like the most. Prefer smelling the aorma than drinking the tea. haha .

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90

Interesting! I made this in my larger pot this morning because I wanted to take a full-sized mug and go, and I don’t know if it’s that I got the proportions different or that the bigger pot is making the water temperature change or what, but this is a much less flowery tea this time! It still tastes of orchids and sugar, but they’re much farther back and the tea taste is much thicker now.

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

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90

My god, it’s full of stars flowers!

When I ripped open the little sample foil packet, I couldn’t smell much of anything, but when I gave the leaves a rinse and set the pot back on the counter, I turned around going, “Wait, why does it smell like flowers in here? Is that coming from outside…but it’s not spring flowers…it’s more like orchids…wait just a moment!” And yes, it was the tea leaves.

So I poured myself a fifteen-second steep in my teeny-tiny pot and promptly burned my tongue trying to discover if it tasted like flowers. One glass of cold water and a cautious two-minute wait later, I can tell you this: it doesn’t taste like flowers. It tastes like candied flowers. It tastes like someone dipped orchid petals in sugar. It tastes like spun sugar in a field of orchids. I didn’t know tea could do this.

Fifteen-second steep number two: still full of flowers! It’s getting a little bit rounder, but this is still the sweetest airy-fairy-flowery tea I’ve ever tasted. I can’t believe there’s caffeine in this.

Twenty-second steep number three: the flowers may have come down to earth now, but this tea is still best described as “flowers flowers flowers flowers flowers flowers flowers!”

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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89

Raisin hunt unsuccessful. Ah well. I still like this one an awful lot.

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89

For the record, it’s not asparagus I’m tasting… I had asparagus for dinner tonight and drank a cup of this right afterward. Maybe it’s bok choy?

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89

I was one of those fortunate to get a free sample of this through Ginkgo’s generosity. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t have a great deal of green tea experience which is one of the reasons I wanted to give this a try. In fact, it’s my first loose leaf green. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t let that bias what I said here, but I didn’t have to worry. I think it is wonderful!

The dry leaves are, overall, a deep green color with variations in the individual leaves ranging from slightly brownish to bright, silvery flecks. They’re a medium length and generally straight, or with a tiny bit of curl. There’s a gently vegetal smell about them; I’m going to say asparagus, so Jacqueline probably wouldn’t go for it. ;-)

The liquor is tinged with light green, but otherwise almost clear. It smells much like the dry leaves, but rounder. The taste is quite sweet and vegetal, with something of a nutty undercurrent. It has a buttery feel to it, as though it is melting in my mouth. Very smooth and reminiscent of spring without being grassy, great for a day like today. I’m not getting smokiness, but I wouldn’t mind if I did.

The leaves unfurl prettily, and carry their smell with them post-steeping. The second steep worked reasonably well, too, though I can see that significantly lengthening steeping time could yield some bitterness. I went 90 seconds on the resteep and there was just a tad of bitterness in the aftertaste, but it was just enough to make things interesting rather than unpleasant.

This is going on my shopping list. I can see myself becoming fond of greens! I should add that I didn’t read the notes on how to prepare this until after I’d made it but that obviously didn’t hamper my enjoyment. I just wonder how different it would have been had I heeded them.

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

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87

Oh so pretty!

I would post a picture, but my new glass mug has my company logo on the side and I’d rather not post that on the ‘net, so you’ll just have to take my word for it!

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87

Oh, it is too hot out for more caffeine that this. Please please please let my building turn on the central air soon.

Today’s photo:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cait_tea/4502757992/in/set-72157623664718933/

~lauren.

Love the cup/mug – such a pretty color!

Cait

Isn’t it a lovely mug? I got it from a renfaire years ago!

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87

Interesting! I dropped some leaves in my mug and poured down-a-bit-from-boiling water in, then spent several minutes going “ooh” as the leaves gracefully unrolled and arrowed down through the water. The water started darkening almost right away and was a pinkish sort of gold by the time most of the leaves were off the top of the mug and I could start sipping.

The first steep of this was really strong. Not bitter, but certainly harsh. I wasn’t enamored, but I figured I might as well keep going (if nothing else, the excuse to get up and walk away from the project documentation I’m writing for long enough to heat the water was a draw!).

By the second steep, all of the leaves were down on the base of the mug, but many of them were just barely touching down, like they were dancing around down there. To my surprise, this steep was very different, smoother and with a lingering sweet aftertaste to each sip. For the third steep, it’s sweet almost all the way through, with a lingering astringency and juiciness.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 30 sec
Cofftea

I used vastly different steeping parameters, but yes it IS an interesting tea! And I like it:)

Cait

I’m always intrigued by the way Life in Teacup’s steeping suggestions are so different from the standard set, and how often there are two or three different ways to do it. It makes me want to try them all and compare!

It was also surprising to me how different each steep was, given that I wasn’t drinking the leaves dry but kept about a quarter (I never remembered to stop at a third!) of the water each time….

Cofftea

Way too complicated and type B for me… it’s funny- I’m only type A when it comes to my steeping parameters.

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86

My Life in a Teacup samples are here! I grabbed this one 1st because it’s so unique. I love bamboo shoots, but I rarely eat them so I can’t really remember what they taste like… So I’m kinda winging my description.

The sample is 6.86g. YAY for getting a large sample, but not yay that the bag isn’t resealable.

2.25g of leaf/6oz water ~200 degrees F.

Wow! what an interesting tea. The leaves look very needley like silver needle, but are much more sharp on the ends. Once I add the water, this is one of the most gorgeous non blooming/rolled teas to watch steep. The leaves start floating on top of the water, but then some of them slowly begin to drift down in a verticle position. The liquor is a wonderful golden color.

The aroma is incredibly sweet- not fruity or floral sweet, but almost honey-esk. This is the 1st time I’ve had a tea that smells like honey.

The flavor is also really sweet and honey-esk… but there’s also just a hint of something else… I just don’t know how to describe it… is it bitterness? Astringency? If it is, it’s not a bad thing. If it wasn’t there, this’d be too sweet.

It’s a very sweet tea so it’s not something I’d drink all day every day, but I will be ordering it again. Thank you, Gingko!

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

2nd infusion, 4min. Slightly lighter liquor and aroma, but still strong flavor. Still very sweet, but not honey tasting.

Cofftea

Drank this while I talked to my special someone… unfortunately the convo only lasted as long as the cuppa… 3rd infusion, 5min. Liquor is the same as the previous infusion. While not weaker, the flavor is less sweet and more smooth.

Cofftea

Um… yeah… wow… 4th infusion, 6min. The liquor fell off the roof and died… Thank GOD there is still a light, but sweet and clean, flavor. Against the opinion of my eyes, I think I may try another infusion.

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33

I finished up the last of this a few minutes ago. Overall it is a decent black tea, but nothing that really stands out. It was good while it lasted.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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33

My second infusion of this tea. Still good, but has a strange aftertaste that I can’t really place. Hmm….

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33

I am having this with breakfast and it is really good. Granted, it is a plain black tea, but a good one. I’m enjoying this with milk and sugar as I do for almost all my breakfast teas.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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76

When I requested a sample of Life in Teacup’s first picked green tea of this year, I told Gingko (LiT’s manager) to surprise me on the two other free samples he offered with the green tea. The teas on LiT are more “serious” looking than any teas I’ve had so far, it was late at night, and I love surprises. This jasmine green tea is one of the surprise samples I received (and you’ll just have to wait until I review the other one to know what it is). I should add, since this my first tea from LiT, that Gingo responded to my email quickly and I was emailed when the teas were shipped. A+ for customer service to LiT.

So, I’ve never had a jasmine tea before. I wasn’t sure I’d like a jasmine tea, or any floral tea for that matter. I worried I’d have to write a “I don’t like this” tealog for tea samples I was kindly given. Turns out I didn’t have to worry, not only did I like this jasmine green, I really liked it. I didn’t expect to like teas with smokey notes (A&D’s Yunnan and Jackee), but I did. I do have to brew them on the mild side so I don’t know if I’d like a truly smoky tea. So far, I’ve liked all new tea types I’ve tried, despite any prior expectations. Good, right? Maybe. I can only store and drink so much tea.

The tea sample packets came with no steeping instructions so I had to look on LiT’s website for them. They are also on Steepster. I did find them a bit vague. My leaves did not float mostly, only a dozen or so with most at the bottom, so I had to guess at steeping time a bit. Luckily, I seemed to have guessed pretty close to right.

I opened my sample packet and looked and smelled. The leaves were small dark, dark spring green curls. There were very few jasmine petals in my sample, but I think such is the luck of samples. The smell was all flower. I’d call it gardenia since I’ve never smelled a jasmine flower. The wet leaves lightened in color a bit and smelled like gardenia’s on a hot summer day after a rain shower. The tea had the same smell and was a warm, bright tan.

I tasted. Flower! Just what I’d expect a flower to taste like if I were to decide to eat one for some bizarre reason. I like flower taste? Really? Weird, but I do! The green tea is light with absolutely no bitterness.

I oh-so-rarely steep a second time as soon as I’ve finished my first cup, but I did. In the middle of writing this tasting note, in fact. Same steeping parameters as the first cup. Lighter in color and only slightly lighter in flavor.

I wish I’d made this tea during the day so I could have resteeped it as much as I could or until I tired of it. (Oddly, after tofu coconut curry leftovers for dinner tonight, I wanted to try this tea. It sounded like it would go with Chinese/Thai foods. As it grew later, I wasn’t even sure I would make tea tonight but I kept thinking about trying this.) Although, I might do a third steep even this late at night. Luckily, I should have two more tries out of this sample to enjoy. This tea makes me eager to try my other samples from LiT soon.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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90

This is an interesting tea. When I requested my sample, I thought it would have bergamot added to it, but after I did some reading, I realized that this tea has a citrusy flavor and aroma on its own. It doesn’t have that kind of Earl Grey slap in the face bergamot that I love so much, so don’t compare it to an Earl Grey. It has a citrusy aroma and a green refreshing taste. It’s a grassy kind of flavor. It reminds me of picking citrus on an unseasonably warm day in February. You’re not eating the fruit, but you know it’s there.

I’m having a little trouble explaining this tea, but I’m enjoying my sample a lot.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Have you tried your other samples yet? Mine came on Thursday but I haven’t tried them yet. The Spring Yunnan Green and two surprise samples.

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94

This is a very bright, fresh tea. There is definitely a vegetable kind of flavor, and it has a very fresh green odor. Drinking it made me feel I was doing something very good for myself. There was no trace of bitterness at all. It had a very smooth feel to the tongue. I’m very, very glad that I got to try such a wonderful tea! It made me hope that I’ll use up the teas I have quickly so I have room to order some of this tea.

It’s very good, and I’m looking forward to reading some of the other reviews. Thanks Gingko!

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