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Life In Teacup

Recent Tasting Notes

68

I tried adding milk to see if it would improve the flavour at all – sadly, it didn’t seem to make much of a difference.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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82

Very dark leaves. They smell too yummy. Like fresh grass plus yummy hot roast chestnuts. Smells like winter. And funny enough today the cold weather has started here. This could easily be the best smelling tea leaves till now.

But lets see how it tastes :)

Tea is bright yellow. Smells similar to the leaves.

Mmmmm first impression is full roast taste. Smooth, nutty, roasty. It didn’t wow me but it’s quite a good one.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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89

This is a fantastic green tea from Life in Teacup. That comes as no surprise, really, though, as I am always quite impressed with any tea that I try from this company. I can’t recall ever trying something I’ve disliked from them.

The description of this states that this is a roasted tea, and with the first few sips, I don’t really taste any distinct roasted flavor to this, but as I continue to sip, more toasty nutty flavors start to emerge. The first few sips are really quite refreshing, tasting fresh like spring and evoking thoughts of dewdrops on new spring leaves. Sweet and light and crisp. As I continue to sip, those fresh notes remain, but I begin to also notice the nutty notes, sweet and toasty, but without a real STRONG roasty-toasty taste. Just a sort of baked, toasty warmth that would emanate from something that is roasted.

Really lovely.

2nd Infusion: some vegetative notes begin to emerge … still not overtly vegetal but more significant than in the first cup. I am also noting a distinct smoky tone to this cup … yes, I taste more of a roasty-toasty and even a slight smoky charcoal-y note now. Here is where the roasted note really comes in to focus.

I think with this tea, as much as I enjoyed the lightness of the first cup, this second cup is even better! Definitely worth the effort to brew this one a second time.

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83

Leaves smells sweet, flowery. They look a fit lighter than usually.

Tea also smells floral. Tastes the same. Gentle. Tasty.
This is a boring review…

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

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88

Preliminary (and perhaps only) review

I got this as a courtesy sample from Life in Teacup with one of my orders from them this spring (thank you Gingko!). I have lots going on tonight, and I wasn’t thinking at all of doing a review, but this tea was so good I told myself to set aside the perfectionist, and simply take about 10 minutes to write and post a short-if even terse-review (OK, I think it ended up taking about 25 minutes, but that’s not bad for me!).

I feel I am coming to know what to look for in a quality spring Chinese green tea having tried many dozens of them (not to include all of the flavor-added varieties) from almost as many different tea retailers. I am very particular about what I want to experience in the best Chinese spring green teas in that I expect them to be appealing in every way, most notably in appearance, aroma, and taste (a clear-colored tea liquor is good, as well). For example, I want the dry leaves to look and smell fresh, and I want them to look the way that that particular type is tea is supposed to look (if I happen to know what that is). I want it to be comprised mainly—if not entirely—of whole leaves and buds. I would like it to look beautiful while steeping in my glass teapot. I want the tea liquor to have a fresh and preferably mild, aroma. And finally I want it to taste fresh, without any odd or off flavors (preferably when at room temperature as well as when hot).

So, all that to say, this tea meets just about every one of the above criteria (the leaf just hung out on the bottom of my glass 14 OZ mini-teapot for the first two steepings, and I prefer that it hangs from the top so I can ‘see’ or appreciate the leaves in their fullness). The dry tea is comprised of tiny curls with a nice variance in light and dark green colored leaves, all of which are beautiful and remind me of Bi Lo Chun (a quality spring Chinese green). It smells fresh. The wet leaf looks whole, with a mixture of and light dark green colored leaves, and smells fresh. How re-fresh-ing! And, on taste, although I still struggle with the best way to describe the exact flavors, it seems to be vegetal, nutty, fresh. Nonetheless, it clearly has a flavor that I have come to expect in only the finest grades of Chinese spring green tea.

I also wanted to post this because after trying a number of green tea samples from Life in Teacup (some from her blog sale), it has become apparent to me that she truly knows quality Chinese tea, and it seems that she knows where to get it. I am grateful for what Gingko has to offer to us ‘tea enthusiasts’, and I am grateful for Steepster, as that is how I discovered Life in Teacup, Gingko, and her wonderful teas!

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

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84

Leaves are dark green, they smell raster fresh grassy.

Tea is very light yellow. Also smells grassy.
Surprise, surprise, it tastes very grassy! It’s quite delicious. First sip seamed a bit watery but I changed my mind with the second one. It’s just as smooth as it should be. It only has a hint of nutty taste, mostly grassy tho. More green that oolongy.

(sipping further)

Leaves a really nice aftertaste in my mouth. Mhm, I like this one…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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84

I am pretty sure this is the same tea… Mine is labeled “An Xi Tie Guan Yin Oolong Traditional Green Roast”
Shrugs
I’m using the entire sample packet, which I believe is 7g? All good – my cup is about 7 oz!
1st, 200F, 7s: Yumm.. the wet leaves smell of apricots and peach candies. Very light sunshine brew..Yes! It reminds me of a complex veggie broth. With sweet spinach.
2nd, 10s: Leaf smells of sweet apricot reduction with almonds overtop steamed asparagus. Another cup of sunshine too (which is great because we’re supposed to get 150mm of rain tonight…hello fall. I get it. You’re officially here!) This definitely has a TGY smell, but the taste is slightly different. It’s a sweeter version. The veggie flavours have disappeared and were replaced by complex floral notes with lilac highlights. These floral notes are balanced by what reminds me of a challah… sweet delicious bread, slightly buttered.
3rd, 15s: Leaves still smell like an apricot immersed in TGY =) mmmm this steep is like buttercream frosting. It’s even thick and rich on the tongue. Slight vanilla leaf notes.. caramelly too. Scrumptious!
4th, 25s: Smells really buttery, and the taste is silky. And sweet like thick vanilla honey. Yummy
I did enjoy this tea, but I have had been more astounded with other TGY’s

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85
drank 2009 Shou Mei by Life In Teacup
4224 tasting notes

Revisiting this tea this afternoon. A nice tea with which to unwind. My full-length review of this beauty can be viewed here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2011/10/23/2009-shou-mei-from-life-in-teacup/

Geoffrey Norman

More-than-slightly jealous. I love me so aged whites. I still have a 20-year Shou Mei that holds up pretty well.

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68

Taking on another sample from the depths of my cupboard. This one has a wonderful sweet, honey-like scent, particularly the dry leaves. However I found the flavour to be a bit disappointing. Perhaps I just need to steep it longer, but it strikes me as bland and weak, especially compared to other Keemuns I’ve tried liked Adagio’s Anhui Keemun and Granville Island Tea Co’s Keemun Grade 1. There are some honey notes tacked on to the end of each sip but it’s altogether too light and weak.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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91

Oh jeez. So yummy. I forgot how yummy you are.
Sipping from a large starbucks mug featuring my new bombilla and these leaves scattered throughout. It’s a perfect system.
Sweet creamy caramel mixed with some deep leafy green flavours. Really really good.
My second addition of water (when cup was 1/3 full).. reveals a very sweet buttery caramel brew.. thats salty. It’s like a salted caramel. Except no chocolate but I’m not complaining in the slightest. I think this is going to be my new way of drinking oolongs on the go!

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87

Oh wow… this one is GOOD! Sweet, light and crisp.

The vegetative tones are a little bit grassy … but not quite. They’re like steamed baby spinach, only grassier than that. Does that make sense? It isn’t quite grassy, but not quite spinach-y either… somewhere in between those two tastes… but the delivery is very delicate. It has a nice creamy texture and taste too, very smooth from beginning until a slight astringency at the end that is cleansing and refreshing.

A really nice tea, I like this one a lot!

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94

Leaves smell very grassy green teeish, promising.

Mmmm the smell of tea is quite powerful and nice. Color is bright yellow.
Tastes sweet, very flavored, super smooth. Idk how I would describe the aroma. It has a bit of a nutty thing but also something almost a bit fruity and also flowery. Yeah, complex but yet so simple and delicious. Just yummy.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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89

OK, lets see…

Leaves are of darkish green color.And it smells like it’s been drying in a warehouse for quite some time. Really dry.
Tea is gentle, bright and the flavor is quite delicious. Subtle and smooth, grassy and even more nutty.

As master Yoda would say: smooth and yummy this one is.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Rabs

malomorgen! I just want to let you know that even though I have hardly been on steepster in the past year or so — anytime I’ve seen a fish on teaware I’ve thought of you! :D

malomorgen

awww :) i’m glad to hear that ;) cheers from croatia!

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90

I drank the rest of my sample while I was camping. Shared a sip with my family and they all loved it! The cleanest, non-smokey LS that I have tasted. Very delicious malty notes and boy was it nice and sweet. I really enjoyed this as a black tea.. but if I was looking for a smokey tea, this would not be it. I’m getting more of this when my tea budget comes in =)

Fjellrev

I stay away from LS because of the smokiness. So, a non-smokey LS? Intriguing!

Lynne-tea

So good! I enjoy the smokey side of the LS if it is not too overpowering, but this LS had no real smokiness that I could pick up easily. It is such a lovely black tea though that I look at it as just a black tea, and not a LS. (I brought it along camping as I thought a LS would be nice to sit around the campfire and eat s’mores with, but I forgot how mild (…or perhaps missing) the smoke aspect was in this tea. I will be getting more only to add to my delicious black tea collection, not for my LS collection.) I suggest you try this tea! Perhaps when I get some more I can send you a sample!

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92

Finally getting around to trying out this sample. I feel like I am stalling on some of my samples as I do not want to drink them and feel sad I no longer have them in my stash and therefore need to buy them… This would make me sad as I don’t have a tea budget right now. I talked myself into drinking some of the samples as they are there to be enjoyed, not hoarded.
So here I am.. a beautifully warm summer night watching the meteor shower from my bedroom window and doing phage research. What a perfect time to enjoy a sweet summer oolong. Plus, the man of my dreams just gave me a call and made my night.. really, what perfect timing? =)
20s, ~200F: The result is a sweet, floral smelling brew with a light, sunny hue. Initial sips reveal a lovely sparkly taste…with almost a green tea aspect to it. Perhaps I should have done a rinse and a bit of a longer steep to be able to pull out more flavours…
40s, ~205F: Oh sweetness. It’s a natural tasting sweetness though.. like nectar. Thick, lovely nectar (it actually feels thick on my tongue).. Perhaps nectar from a lovely bursting flower in the sunshine. I like to imagine this tea is similar in taste to nectar from a big yellow trumpet flower (google it if you do not know what a trumpet flower looks like.. THEY ARE AMAZING!.. ps.. I’m obsessed with flowers.).
It’s like a big huge flower cup filled with nectar. I guess this means I find a lovely floral aspect to this tea as well as the sweet nectar flavour. This tea brings back really great memories of an adventure I had recently that involved these flowers.. though the adventure was in the night time, I am associating the memory with sunshine now =)

I will continue to enjoy this tea as I force myself to start writing a research paper. Hmph summer… You’re bad for my studies!

Indigobloom

man of your dreams?! can you ask him to call me to… ;P

Lynne-tea

Haha I would, but then he would be calling you and not me! :P

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87

Thank you LiberTEAS for this sample!

There is some nice tanginess going on in this cup of tea. At first you taste what you expect, grassy – more of a raw cabbage flavor, then it turns sharper, more acidic in tone. This tartness develops into something much sweeter, peachy even. I thought I was mistaken, but yep, its there again – like homemade peach preserves!

Need I say any more? There was a lot of enjoyment in this cup! I’m very new to yellow teas, however this one is nice no matter the process phase. Can’t wait to continue steeping this one, there’s bound to be more goodness waiting!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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86

Lynne-tea – is this what you sent me? It was in a little red package, so I’m not entirely sure.

Anyways, when I opened up the little vacuum-sealed package of this tea, I was surprised to see that the leaves looked somewhat crushed! I had been hoping to use my little glass teapot, but its strainer would let the leaf pieces through easily, so I had to use an infuser instead. I don’t know if this was a consequence of mailing or not, but oh well! Still smelled deliciously green/vegetal.

I haven’t had a TGY in a while for whatever reason, and I definitely have missed them, as I just sniffed this one and nearly swooned! Hahaha. Buttery/vegetal/delicious. The first sip unfortunately screams ‘under-infused’, so it’s a little weaker than it could have been. I was worried about oversteeping because of the broken leaf, but apparently that was unnecessary. The flavour is smooth, a bit buttery, and “green”, but not too strong on the latter element. It isn’t really particularly floral to me, although I could see someone saying it is. Just a tasty cup of tea. I do think I like Verdant’s more, but this one is quite tasty as well. Looking forward to more infusions tomorrow!

ETA: Second infusion, accidently for 4.5 minutes, is still quite tasty and pleasant. Less bitterness than the second infusion from my sticky rice tuocha, and a lovely oolong aftertaste. Almost a touch too “green” for me right now though, but still good.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Lynne-tea

Yes I do believe you are correct! It was hard for me to figure out which was which at first too.. sorry – I could have labeled it a bit better I guess. I do think that the mailing may have crushed it a bit. So sorry for that >.< I know how to pack for next time!

Kittenna

It’s ok – usually the tea companies label things properly! Anyways, no worries, because it was super tasty regardless. Everything else seemed to be fine, so I was wondering if this one was pre-crushed. Ah well!

Lynne-tea

Yes I agree.. that taste absolutely makes up for it. Bummer about the crushed leaves though..

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100

I’d love to try steeping this tea gong-fu style one of these days but since I don’t have a scale sensitive enough to weight out 5 grams nor an appropriate teapot/gaiwan, this time I had to do my usual method of 1 teaspoon in my strainer mug. I did follow the directions that recommended a quick initial rinse and short, high temperature infusions.

I have a soft spot for Tie Guan Yins and in my opinion when they’re good they’re really good.

This is a really good oolong.

It starts off sweet and floral before changing into a richer roasted or baked flavour with some nice fruity notes. I’m not tasting the smoke that other people seem to be, or maybe I’m just interpreting it differently, but given how good this tea is I’m not fussed. It has good staying power too – I did three infusions and could have done more if it wasn’t getting so late. It’s quite good at keep its flavour, though I noticed that the second steep was a bit more floral and the third one was a bit more fruity.

A+ for this one.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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84

I’ve tried this one before and thought I would revisit it. Roasted Green Tea and Veggies from my previous experience still apply but I’m enjoying it much more than a 73 as I rated it before so I’m increasing rating. This is dandy! Especially while eating my lunch – today I have Vegan Thai Lime Rice. Great pairing!

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88

Revisiting this one. Here is my full-length review of it: http://sororiteasisters.com/2011/07/12/dong-ding-cui-yu-oolong-competition-grade-iv-from-life-in-teacup/

A really delightful Oolong: sweet, nutty, slightly toasty with hints of charcoal. Lovely floral notes, hints toward fruity flavors.

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88

Semi-Nutty and Semi-Charcoally-sweet! It’s even a bit juicy! This is tasty! Another winner from Life In Teacup! YUMMO!

JC

This sounds amazing. You made me crave some Oolong!

Azzrian

Sounds very nice!

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86

Channeling my inner-hippie (which seems to be a daily occurrence…but anyways…)

This has an earthy-dusty wood type aroma to it but also has a hint of that pu-erh type smell, too…moreso on the pleasant side, tho.

This is a cross between a pu-erh and and oolong, I suppose…it has characteristics of both that I am personally picking up, that is.

It’s slightly sweet but slightly earthy. It’s a bit ‘dusty’ but in a good way. It’s a little nutty and has that nice roasted flavor, too!

I want to burn incense now.
Groovy Man…

Bonnie

Far out! I can dig it! Power to the people!

gmathis

Groovy :)

ashmanra

Way to go, man!

Bonnie

Keep on truckin! Boss! Bitchin! All right and out of sight! Bet I’m the only one who saw James Brown trading stamps at the grocery store in Washington D.C. in 1967! Huh!?! Say it loud!

TeaEqualsBliss

Oooot! Oooot!

K S

Far out, heavy, and sol-id. Oh, and don’t eat the mushrooms.

Bonnie

There were dances my people, The Jerk, The African Twist, The Slide, The Hully-Gully, The Mashed Potatoes, The Monster Mash to name just a few and I can still do them all!

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92

Prior to infusing this smelled like a cross between a green and oolong but with a little extra something! It was like smelling a Citronella Candle while in the woods! A very unique aroma that I enjoyed!

The flavor is out of this world! It’s sweet and floral but has natural lemon hints as well as a little bit of toasty-business happening, too!

This is pretty special!

Azzrian

Interesting!

Alphakitty

This sounds fantastic, I adore Citronella candles! When I was little I ate the wax from one once… it wasn’t that delicious.

Joshua Smith

Qi Lan is a delightful type of Oolong. I’ll have to keep this one in mind for when I run out.

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92

I’m so grateful today a local bakery did a VEGAN Falafel, Hummus, and Veggies in their very own Pita Bread. It’s FAB! I’m sipping on this white tea while eating my lunch and it goes REALLY well with it!

I Agree with Gingko this is reminiscent of Bai Hao (Oriental Beauty). It’s a little different, still, tho, but I sure can taste the similarities

It’s lightweight, gentle, juicy, sweet, and smooth! It’s Crisp and clean! A real winner!

TeaBrat

Yummy! I want some! :))

Azzrian

I want falafel, hummus, and veggies!

Kittenna

Me too, Azzrian! I had a falafel pita with tzatziki last weekend and it was super tasty.

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