SOKO Tea House

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65
drank Vanilla Bean by SOKO Tea House
412 tasting notes

When Soko stopped selling tea to go and let the coffee shop across the street from them take over serving their teas, this was the one I usually got (since they didn’t carry their whole line and Soko’s has since stopped carrying most of my favourites…) to go while studying at the library. There’s nothing much to it, it’s just simple vanilla over a ceylon base. There’s actual pieces of vanilla bean, and I feel like it relies more on the dried bean than flavouring oils, because the vanilla was never particularly bold. But I like simple pairings, so.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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76
drank Laos Xiao Ye 2006 by SOKO Tea House
412 tasting notes

This has always been my favourite, so when Soko’s was discontinuing pretty much everything but their flavoured teas (catering to the tastes of the demographic in the area), I went back and picked up a bunch of what they had left; unfortunately a lot of it was pretty broken up. Maybe it’s because it’s been a while since I’ve sipped it, but.

Rinsed, then first two steeps at 5-10 seconds (a mishap while pouring). The smell is thick leather, which is carried through the taste; there’s something like tobacco as well, the leather is chewy and a touch sweet, but there’s also a slight bitterness at the end of each sip, almost burnt, which I think is due to it being so broken up since I don’t remember it being as present in the past.

This tea was originally from camellia sinensis (Soko’s source), so I might buy a bingcha from them at some point of it, because I still like it as an everyday drinker non-pu “pu”.

Unrelated, I’m working on two, possibly three stupidly long blog posts. On unorthodox tea processing mainly, as well as another book review, and, if I can track down a source for a random fact/rumour, maybe a post on yue guang bai. We’ll see. In other news, scored an NES Advantage: https://66.media.tumblr.com/e3a6a9b5a49879288db89862ea0ad9e9/tumblr_o7flv66oLI1r78eh9o1_540.jpg

Third steep’s softened the bitter edge (it wasn’t strong to begin with); leather’s not as deep. More woodsy, I want to say. Fourth is similar, with it being more woody, with a sweet finish. It continues in a similar fashion for the next few steeps, no leather by about the third, just light and woody.

Preparation
Boiling

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78

Sipdown (114)!

First off, thank you OMGsrsly for the sample!

I enjoyed a large pitcher of this one last night brewed in the style of Lazy Man’s Gong Fu; something like six or seven infusions worth (minus the wash) all poured together. I was skeptical that I’d be able to taste this tea clearly given that my being sick and lent a slight ‘foggyness’ to the flavour of everything I’ve steeped recently. However, prior to drinking any tea I had a neo citron which for a brief period afterwards left me feeling and everything I drank perfectly clear. No ‘flavour fog’.

I’m still finding my sea legs when it comes to Pu’erh but it’s hard to learn without experiencing so I’m happy my observations with this tea can contribute to that growing knowledge.

First off, I thought this was definitely earthy in a particular ‘wet soil’ or petrichor type way. Those flavour notes were very smooth, and rich with this lovely depth to them that created a well rounded full bodied flavour. Even though it was literally Christmas Eve I felt the strong desire to go camping while I drank this tea because those very natural, earthy flavour notes strongly reminded me of the bed of a forest floor after a heavy summer rain. Additionally, the thickness and brothy texture of the liquor reminded me of a heavy vegetable stock with mushrooms and sort of green peppers? It’s a semi-sweet well rounded vegetal flavour with a meatyness to it and just a very slight bitterness. Finally, I also tasted hints of what I’d call walnut notes.

This was really interesting to me because I didn’t get to taste the evolution of the flavours; but rather all of the flavour notes combined. I enjoyed this immensely though; it’s one of very few Pu’erh that stick out in my head as having such a prominent vegetal taste. And hopefully I’ll get to experience that some more in the near future as one of my Christmas presents this year was $75 towards an order with Camellia Sinensis which I decided to use almost entirely on Pu’erh so I could continue this learning experience without any personal financial risk. Since I don’t really know where to start I just grabbed an assortment of things which were more affordable and which the descriptions appealed to me. Here’s the list of my Pu haul:

Pu Er 2005 Jingmai Mini Brick Organic – 50g
Pu Er 2005 Haiwan – 25g
Pu Er 2006 Macao Scenary – 50g
Pu Er 2011 Yibang Malishu – 25g
Laos Pu Er 2015 Ban Komen – 25g

For some of you major Pu heads it may not seem like a lot, but for someone just tapping into that area of tea I’m sure it’ll go a long way towards learning more about this massive category of tea and how my own personal tastes fit into that.

OMGsrsly

I love your flavour descriptions! I don’t think I’ve ever gong fu brewed this one. Always western steeps, but 3-4 of them, starting at 1-ish minutes. :)

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This is a sample sent to me from Sil, who got it from OMGsrsly.
Aged cedar, peatmoss, shroom compost…
There is also an underlying sweetness & a hint of chocolate milk…
and a potent camphor effect, immediately felt in my sinuses…
I’m having horrible horrible allergies, in spite of all my efforts to the contrary…not the kind of allergies where your sinuses are stuffed full of gunk, I don’t usually get stuffed up in my head, I just feel a throbbing pain instead (yeah, I know, that rhymed, unintentionally, I might add, but when you’re a songwriter these things happen automatically).
Anyway, I’m leaving tomorrow for the annual pilgrimage to visit my parents in Orlando, FL (they are in Apopka actually) & as bad as my allergies are at home, they will no doubt be worse in FL, it is always so.
This tea is actually helpful in releasing the pressure on my sinuses.
Most Puerh teas help, so maybe I’ll bring some along for the visit…
Sipdown 276

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drank Coconut Oolong by SOKO Tea House
666 tasting notes

Oolong flavour is not as robust as I would like it- results in a rather thin-tasting brew. I may try using a higher concentration of dry leaf next time.
Thank you to Sil who shared this with me!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 13 OZ / 375 ML

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drank Coconut Oolong by SOKO Tea House
7981 tasting notes

5/28 sipdown

soooo if this WERE something i actually enjoyed drinking, this would be up there in terms of teas. It’s got an excellent flavour to it and the tea is smooth and unassaulting. The oolong and coconut blend well together and thereisn’t much of a floral note. I’m just not a fan of coconut or oolong lol so it’ll never be up ther ein my books BUT if you like coconut oolongs, try this one!

thanks for sending this my way omgsrsly

OMGsrsly

Well, I had to try. :)

Sil

always!

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drank Imperial Keemun by SOKO Tea House
412 tasting notes

Of the keemuns I’ve tried, this is definitely bolder and smokier than most. There’s still that undeniable sweet nutty taste that I love about keemuns. Also I discovered a little while ago that keemun black iced is /fabulous/.

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87
drank Blueberry Rooibos by SOKO Tea House
7981 tasting notes

yep…this is one of my favourite blueberry teas. Thanks for sharing this one with me omgsrsly i’m pretty sure this IS the same as the one MissB sent me, but either way i ama satisfied blueberry fan :) the rooibos isn’t overpowering and it’s a delicious blue berry tea…what more could a girl ask for tonight? NOTHING!

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87
drank Blueberry Rooibos by SOKO Tea House
7981 tasting notes

omgsrsly sent this one and i think you’re right in that it’s like that other one missB sent me. delicious. bluerry.yummy. MINE! :)

OMGsrsly

:) I really really like this one. I, uhh, may have bought 100g after drinking through 50g in just a couple weeks.

Sil

Hahaha awesome..

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81

Sipdown of a sample from OMGsrsly!

I honestly couldn’t really tell you the difference between all of the coconut oolongs I’ve tried in the past, but I’ve enjoyed all of them, and this one was no exception.

I think my favorite is still the one from Davidstea, but this one was also very tasty! Creamy, buttery, and coconutty without tasting fake.

Thank you for the sample, OMGsrsly!

mj

Did this one have lemongrass in it? The one from DT did and I HATED it because of that. I love my coconut pouchong from Golden Moon Tea though :-)

whatshesaid

That’s a good point…The original Davidstea version of coconut oolong had no lemongrass, and that’s the one I love. I haven’t tried it since they brought it back with the lemongrass, this one has none! :)

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90

I have a hard time telling coconut oolong from different companies apart, but this sample, from OMGsrsly, has a sweetened coconut-cream finish that makes it stand out in my mind.

I did two steeps with the first serving and four plus steeps with the second serving. The flavoring holds up surprisingly well. I might even like the latter steeps better; I’m a sucker for mellow or smooth things.

Right now, I have a giant tin of Zen’s coconut oolong, which is still delicious. However, when I run out, and if I’m in the right area, I might go with this one instead. I just wish Soko did the e-commerce thing.

Flavors: Coconut, Cream, Flowers, Sugar

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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92
drank Coconut Oolong by SOKO Tea House
2185 tasting notes

I am exhausted after an early and packed morning of teaching, and a large lunch including a alcohol. Nap time?

I saw this one peeking out of my stash at me and decided I had to have it. And now it’s brewed and smelling delicious and being too hot to drink. Mmm so much coconut macaroon. I had a HUGE one the other day at an art fair, and this is so much like it. Thanks again to OMGsrsly for my sample of this one!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Memily

I’ll bet this is everything I wanted Argo Tea’s coconut oolong to be. (It’s full of licorice root, weirdly.)

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92
drank Coconut Oolong by SOKO Tea House
2185 tasting notes

Yay, a tea from my surprise package from OMGsrsly! And she put the samples in tiny individual bags that are one serving each. Such ease!

I love a good coconut pouchong/baozhong, so I am always up for trying a different company’s offerings. They are usually all similar but some stand out. This is a standout! It is one of these coconut pouchongs that tastes intensely like a coconut macaroon. Sweet, baked coconut and meringue cookies. YUM. Thanks for the samples of this one OMGsrsly, it is delicious!

Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Cookie, Sugar

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
OMGsrsly

Yay! This is my favourite, but they recently put it into their clearance bin and I am full of sad.

Dinosara

Oh noes! Stock up now? Have you tried Golden Moon’s Coconut Pouchong? This is closest to it of the ones I’ve tasted.

OMGsrsly

They finally got back to me! Apparently they pack up a few bags of random teas and discount them to encourage people to try new tea. :) So PHEW.

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Soynog latte!

This tea is just TOO good as an eggnog latte. And I’m liking the soy right now because it’s less thick and sweet than cow. Although… I have almond nog waiting in the fridge! (I may or may not have 4 litres of nog at the moment…)

Blueberry custard. Divine. Yes. Thank you. More, please.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sami Kelsh

I keep seeing these eggnog latte reviews, and MAN, I miss soy nog. Or any nog. Apparently it’s not a thing they sell in shops here. I’ve been tempted to get Starbucks to do an eggnog latte without the espresso, but I guess I missed the boat on that one, boooooooo.

OMGsrsly

There are loads of recipes for eggnog, whether vegan or regular or paleo! I’m actually planning on making my own with almond milk and coconut milk and eggs and dates. I love it in my coffee as well…

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Another one. As an eggnog tea latte.

Yes. Blueberry Rooibos EGGNOG latte.

It works SO well. Delicious fruity custardy amazing yum yum yum. I would highly recommend trying some fruity teas as eggnog lattes now.

Thanks for the comment about Blueberry Jam working well, VariaTEA! :)

(16 oz drink, mix of milk and eggnog)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Sil

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

VariaTEA

Yay! I am glad this was a success and that someone agrees with me about the great combination of fruity teas and eggnog lattes.

OMGsrsly

It was like liquid custard!! And nutmeg goes well with blueberries, so why not eggnog?

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I had some of this with a bag of plain tulsi added to the mix. Interestingly, I can’t really taste the tulsi. I can feel it a bit, as it has a somewhat minty cooling flavour, but I can’t taste it. The blueberry is strong in this tea. :)

I had a surprise trip to Ikea tonight. I have my friends car for the weekend, and she was going to bus to a concert tonight… only she realized she forgot her change at her BF’s. So I went to drop off change, and ended up playing with makeup then driving her there! And since I was downtown anyways, I picked up another friend and we drove out to Ikea to SHOP. :) I got some tasty things (cake! lingonberry-apple soda juice stuff! apple glogg!) and some pretty things (a rug! a tablecloth I can use as a bedspread!) and some useful kitcheny things (moose and hedgehog cookie cutters!). My friend got… furniture! Yay! She’s not looking for a permanent position for at least another year, so she decided to get some furniture for her place. This is exciting. I was concerned she was going to find a job in some horrible place and then I’d never see her again, or she’d find a job in some amazing place and I’d have to save ALL the dollars to go visit her. Which. #2 is definitely a good option, don’t get me wrong… but staying here is pretty awesome too. :)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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Yum yum yum. A nice tea that doesn’t call for milk to be added. In fact, I think the hibiscus would probably end up curdling the milk, so it’s probably best if I don’t try adding any.

A nice, tart, fresh, blueberry-y tea.

Definitely a favourite. SO good iced in the summer. I haven’t tried a cold brew, I don’t think. I tend to not cold brew rooibos, but I probably should try at some point.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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A gigantic mug. Plain.

Yum.

Flavors: Berries, Blueberry, Hibiscus, Rooibos

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML

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Made a thermos of this iced to take to see Guardians of the Galaxy last night!

I AM GROOT!

ahem Yes, well. It was a super fun movie. There are some language and story choices I’d have preferred to be different (Seriously they tried to stick in some love interest stuff?!?! Pfft. Groot and Rocket BFF 4 eva.), but that doesn’t change the fact that it was fun, had a great soundtrack, and I laughed a LOT during the movie.

The tea was awesome as usual. Delicious blueberry with a bit of rooibos in the background. It was a good choice for a late showing on a hot Sunday night!

Flavors: Blueberry, Hibiscus, Rooibos

Lala

My dad’s review of the Guardians of the Galaxy : “good, but a little risqué”. LOL

Sil

haha

OMGsrsly

It’s a total comic book movie, and reading up on Wikipedia they did change the story fairly significantly. But I think this flowed better, and allowed for character growth throughout the movie. That being said, I saw it for the fun factor, not because it’s a cinematic masterpiece. :)

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Iced.

YES. Perfect.

(Below, plus ice to make about 34 oz.)

Flavors: Blueberry, Hibiscus, Rooibos, Strawberry

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 15 sec 5 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I made this iced yesterday and I like it SO MUCH.

My BFF seriously hates rooibos and spat it out.

More for me.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 6 tsp 68 OZ / 2000 ML

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Yum.

Tastes like blueberry juice.

Has strawberry and hibiscus, although the hibiscus is strangely mild and unassuming.

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I wouldn’t say that this is a “golden” Yunnan – it has a few golden tips but that’s about it. Having said that, this is a decent Yunnan – nice and rich. Yunnans are my favorite black so it’s not surprising that I like this one, but I don’t think it’s REALLY special.
Thanks Sil for passing a sample on to me.

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76
drank Pu-er 1990 Kunming by SOKO Tea House
7981 tasting notes

Sipdown 2
I received this one from omgsrsly aaages ago, well at least in my world as far as swaps go :) I haven’t had time on weekends to really sit and enjoy my puerhs so it’s taken me some time to get to this one. This is an earthy, bold puerh. it’s not a puerh for those who don’t like earthy, mushroom sort of puerhs. I had a few steepings of this, and all were that strong delicious sort of wake me up kinda of puerh that i enjoy, though more so in the morning. Thanks for sharing this one omgsrsly!

OMGsrsly

Welcome! This is one of my favourites. I mean, the bready ones are amazing too but this one is just… forest.

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