Streetshop88

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Recent Tasting Notes

86

More Streetshop88! On my last order, I asked my wife to choose a tea based on how she felt about looking at it. Sort of an ESP kind of thing. This is the one she chose. I ordered a cake knowing nothing about it. It turned out to be a pretty good tea. It is very light in flavor, but quite smooth. The cake is really nice, it has a pretty wrapper which uses very thick high quality paper. I like that. The leaf quality is very good, big leaves. The soup is medium brown, no fermentation flavor. There is not much complexity, but it feels nice and my wife likes it. If you’re looking for a light safe non earthy ripe pu erh to try, I think this is a good one. Anyone know what company this is from the picture?

AllanK

I just got this in the mail today. Glad it’s good as I bought a whole cake.

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I bought a sample of this tea with low expectations: a ripe cake that purports to be both organic and from LaoManE? I had my doubts. But I thought I’d give it a shot, I’m the curious type and I couldn’t resist. As for being organic, who knows. Probably not, as we all suspect the organic label on Chinese tea is often not for real, and in fact, I don’t see the word organic on the picture of the label. But as for being from LaoManE, it very well may be. The tea is interesting, and quite bitter. The kind of bitterness you would expect from a LaoManE tea. And it is interesting to taste this level of bitterness in a ripe pu erh. I wonder whether the bitterness will age out, or if it should already have been aged out since the tea has been fermented into a ripe? Underneath the bitterness is a smoothness, if that makes sense, and a hint of that plum flavor and earthiness, though these other flavors are hard to detect because of all the bitterness. It is hurting my stomach like a young sheng. I may buy a cake of this just to see what happens to it. Maybe I’ll stick the rest of this sample into the Pu-erh Traveling Tea Box for this round to see how others like it. You can, of course, buy a reasonably priced sample from Streetshop88 like I did.

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88

It had been quite a while since I last drank this tea. Rich expressed an interest in it but I could not give an opinion because it had been too long since I drank it. This tea is good. It has a lot of flavor. I thought it might have lost flavor in nearly two years of Long Island storage but it doesn’t seem to have lost flavor. There was a moderate amount of fermentation to this tea. More than I remembered actually. However, this went away by the fourth steep. This tea started as a fairly bittersweet tea. It had a fair amount of natural sweetness to it (not meaning sugar sweet) and a fair amount of bitterness. The bitterness went away and I was left with a tasty, somewhat sweet ripe puerh. I steeped this tea eight times and I think it would have gone twelve steeps had I not had enough caffeine already.

I steeped this tea eight times in a 170ml teapot with 10g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse then let the leaves rest for ten minutes. I know more time is recommended to let the leaves open up but I didn’t have the patience to wait any longer. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec.

Flavors: Bitter, Earth, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 6 OZ / 170 ML

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83

I decided to buy a sample of this tea from Streetshop88, in part because it is a ‘gold award’ winner. I wonder what gold award it won? Maybe it is smack talk. But Streetshop was kind enough to offer a sample for sale at my request. It wasn’t that great, but definitely pretty good. Maybe I’d give it a bronze award. Smooth, medium fermentation. Good flavor and nice broth.

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91

This tea is really yummy. I think we have Allan to thank for discovering it. Very smooth, great flavor, deep and rich. Some fermentation funk permeates all steepings, but I suspect it will fade and this tea will turn out top notch. I’m going to get a tong, the cakes are only 100g and reasonably priced.

AllanK

I originally bought five of them and am tempted to buy more to age. I think this one will age well.

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Oh. My. Goodness.
This is amazing.
It’s everything I love about ripe puerh….
Mineral notes (which always come out as baked-good…almost baking powder/cream of tartar notes to me)…. raisin like, sweet and so deep…
Yes. This is a definite ‘add to cupboard when you can!’ type tea….
Thank you SO MUCH Dexter for sending this to me to try… It’s even better than I had hoped! :)

Sil

it’s relatively inexpensive too and streetshop ships SUPER quick!

DeliriumsFrogs

…..It’s only $10.98 for 100g!!?? eeeh…..
I know I shouldn’t, but it’s SOOO GOOD!!!

OMGsrsly

TREAT YO SELF! Why not get a cake? :D

Dexter

LOL that is a cake – it comes in 100g cakes for $10.98 USD… I really should be looking at getting another one, but need to try the one Sil sent me first…..

Sil

i thought i bought this one.. but i guess not? lol

Dexter

And the wrapper is pretty…. I thought you bought a cake of it?

Sil

oh i figured it out…. ebay streetshop versus streetshop listing.

OMGsrsly

Ohh! Even better. That’s a good size for a cake. :) I wonder if I’ve tried this one yet.

OMGsrsly

LOL. Thanks, Dex. I think I need to go get some hot chocolate or something, I’m all over the place today.

Dexter

I’m drinking another StreetShop88 pu’erh right now – it’s really good too…. sigh …. it’s not like I don’t have a mountain of pu’er in my house right now

DeliriumsFrogs

You are all the best. :) Just had to say that. lol

Sil

I’m trying to get my cupboard down enough to be able to possibly place a mandala order by the end of the month…but man another streetshop order would be great…

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94

oh dexter. can we buy more please? when you get to being allowed to buy more? I pulled this one out randomly today because i always try to take time for at least one puerh when i work from home because even if it gets busy, i generally have time for a few steeps in between meetings. Today i christened my new pot that i picked up from the tea festival with this one. I’ve only had a couple steeps so far, so more to come if life doesn’t get busy..but i really love this. It’s rich. i have no other way to describe it.

it’s smooth…and deep…and rich…and just downright satisfying.

sneaks over to ebay

OMGsrsly

We’re not allowed to buy more yet! Not yet! Soon, though. Sooooon the precious.

Sil

i might have just said eff it and bought a cake

Indigobloom

Gah. Puerh cake is the one thing I didn’t get a chance to buy this year at the festival (though I did grab a tiny oolong one). While I am on hiatus, this is the one thing I’ll allow myself an exception for heh

OMGsrsly

That oolong cake seems so neat!

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85

mmmmmm delicious! working from home today so i’m trying at least a couple of the samples dexter sent my way since i have time to enjoy them…sort of haha

there are malt notes in this tea and some underlying chocolate notes that are very faint i had a couple steeps of this one and it was thoroughly enjoyable. This would be one that i would consider picking up if i place an order through streetshop88 :)

DeliriumsFrogs

I just checked out their ebay store after reading this note. I’ll have to add them to my ‘favourite sellers’ list. All the tea looks so good!

Sil

yeah allank? i think and dexter have ordered from them…i have not, but these samples are tasting delicious!

Dexter

DeliriumsFrogs – I’ve just ordered once – two teas and a teapot – fastest shipping ever from China. Ummmm – I would like to put a little care package together for you. I can include some of this in that. Will talk later…

Dexter

Sil – I found this one changed drastically with different steep parameters – water temp really brought out different flavors. I think boychik has also ordered from Streetshop88 – allank for sure :)

looseTman

“mmmmmm delicious! … thoroughly enjoyable. This would be one that i would consider picking up if i place an order through streetshop88 :)”

Sounds great! So why only an 85?

Sil

honestly? as with all my ratings…because that’s how i felt lol my ratings are a spectrum of the teas i’ve had and i try to drop them in against other teas.

looseTman

Just curious as your description sounded so good. No offense intended.

Cavocorax

Personally, I’m always careful about rating something that I’ve only had once, and only have enough to try once – I wouldn’t want to rate it too high because I’m in a great mood, and then find that the tea itself doesn’t meet my expectations later on if I get more. An 85 still sounds like a should buy though. :P

Sil

yeah no worries loosetman. sometimes i just want to remove my ratings…but then they help me figure out rebuys so i don’t

looseTman

Thanks, whatever works for you.

Since there’s nearly an infinite selection of teas in the world:
When tea reviews include a rating, I tend to focus on those rated 90 and above, like an interviewer faced with hundreds of resumes to consider and a limited amount of time to devote to the task. However, many times the language and tone of the review appears to be more positive than the numerical rating. Thus, sometimes asking clarifying question leads to an enlightening and enjoyable dialog.

Sil

totally get that loosetman! :) sooo many teas…so little time! on that note…highly recommend the puerh i had today. heh

DeliriumsFrogs

oh, wow, Dexter! What can I do for you??!!

Sil

delirium…don’t send her tea LOL

Dexter

LOL Sil is correct – the best thing would be nothing at all. :))

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87

This is a fairly tasty, and fairly malty flavored black tea. The malt is prominent. I also get another note that I think can be described as baked bread. There is a third, sweet note too. No time for a long review as I have to go to work.

I brewed this one time in an 18oz teapot with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 2 min.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML
Dexter

I looked at this one when I placed that Streetshop88 order – I passed because I have LOTS of Jin Jun Mei. Will file this away for next time (if I’m ever allowed a next time…)

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100

First time sampling it I decided to just go forth and use my zishi.
I don’t use gaiwans for shou anyway.

Used my ~90 ml zishi dedicated to shou and around 6 grams of leaf.

The cake had very light compression for me. I easily broke my sample from the cake without use of a cake-tool.
Very beautiful leaves. Had a strong aroma too.

Used two quick washes after adding the leaves to my warmed up pot.

Steep times:
3/5/5/5/8/8/16/40/90/180

First steeping was a bit fishy and bitter but I could tell it was just waking up. The true flavors were yet to come out.

The second steeping I was getting hints of creamed wheat with a Bittersweet Malty aspect going on, still little fermented taste but nothing major.

The chaqi was very warming in the chest and stomach.
I felt alert and energized but was perfectly content sitting listening to peter tosh and sipping this delicious tea.

Can’t wait to try this with company and see what they think of the taste.
To me it’s a winner.
Perfect price, smaller sized cake, decent delivery speed minus customs in my case, and a great taste.

Flavors: Creamy, Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Malt, Wheat

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 90 ML
AllanK

I really liked this one too.

AllanK

This one has two catalog entries in Steepster.

Marcus reed

I bought this based from your earlier review on it.

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95

When I saw Dexter’s Instagram post on this tea I just had to try it. In a short phrase, I will buy this again. This was an excellent black tea. The notes of malt were quite subtle and there were chocolate notes in there too. I added a small amount of sugar to this tea which I think intensified the chocolate notes for me. It reminded me a little of Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha, just a little. The chocolate notes were not as strong but this was an excellent tea. I am glad today that my work schedule tomorrow does not relegate me to decaf and low caffeine green tea for I was able to enjoy this tea. For several days I had been drinking decaf teas even in the afternoon and it was annoying.

I steeped this four times in a 230ml glass teapot with 4.2g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, and 3 min. Even after four steeps the tea wasn’t finished had I wanted to continue. I am sure I could have gotten at least two more steeps out of it.

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 230 ML

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Of course there are two listings for this tea. It wouldn’t be Steepster without excessive duplications! :P

This sample is from Dexter, thank you! I have enough for one more pot, or a “terrible treatment” in my thermos. Haha.

I really like this one. Especially in later steeps when it starts getting so fruity. It’s still steeping up pretty dark although I’ve done 7 or 8 steeps already. Every time I go into the kitchen I flick the kettle on and do another cup. :) The only downside, and I think this is because it’s such a tightly packed puerh, is that there are lots of “bits” that need to be strained out. The Huron I had yesterday didn’t need to be strained at all, but then again it was a loose tea.

And I think I might prefer this one.

Thanks so much for sharing! Hopefully I’ll be able to come off hiatus at some point this year so I can pick up a cake. :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Sil

haha that’s why i used the ebay one – there were a few more listings from a tea perspective from this store.

OMGsrsly

This is the one I used last time so I’m sticking with it!

Sil

neener neener!

OMGsrsly

Besides! You have a note on this one too. :P http://steepster.com/Silaena/posts/287127

Dexter

I don’t want it alphabetically by company under "e"bay – I want it "S"treetshop…

OMGsrsly

YES! That is very true.

Sil

haha i wish we had it as streetshop-ebay

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From Dexter, so I can decide if I want to buy a cake or not. :) Thank you!

I have an online meeting this morning, and a tea setup on my desk. So of course I had to take advantage and try to gongfu a tea while taking minutes. :D

1 quick rinse, because it was pretty compact. Then it rested FOREVER while my fancy kettle boiled.

1 steep, IDK about 5 seconds. Maybe I’ll drink this. Hmm. Oh hey that’s pretty good. I have coffee lingering still, but the tea is pretty sweet. There’s a bit of that musty-fishy smell in this rinse/steep still, but it’s super mild.

2 steep, whoops I got distracted. BLACK TEA. Smells yummy though. Kinda fruity. There’s a bright bitterness at the end of the sip.

3 steep, distracted again. I accidentally mixed 2 and 3 in my milk jug.

4 steep, … I got busy with typing. But I’m drinking all the tea! Yum yum yum.

? ? ? How many steeps did I get? I honestly have no idea. But so far, so good.

(CRACKLES! http://instagram.com/p/yXXRHbR5A9/ )

Edit: I’ve gone through just about 2 litres of water drinking this today, with about 1 cup of waste product… WHOA.

Preparation
5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
DeliriumsFrogs

CRACKLES!!!!!! They’re so beautiful. :D

OMGsrsly

So many crackles!!!

Sil

oh shit… i was supposed to try this one…

OMGsrsly

Do it! Doooooo it! :D

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Wow this is good!!!!
http://instagram.com/p/yGVOtIuE9Y/?modal=true

Edit: I need to write more than just it’s good. This is a perfect hybrid between a fuzzy golden bud Yunnan black tea (malty, sweet, chocolatey, sweet potato) and a really nice smooth ripe pu’erh (earthy and subterranean). There is nothing nasty in this tea. It’s flavorful without being in your face. I love it. Great way to step outside my comfort zone into the wonderful world of shou pu’erh.

yyz

Yay! I’m glad you like your new purchase!

boychik

ok since you like Allan suggestions and streetshop88, here is another one im getting from them. Allan sent me a sample. AMAZING.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/2014-year-Supreme-Yunnan-MengHai-LangHe-7599-Puer-Puer-puerh-Tea-Ripe-Cake-/331373126445?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&var=&hash=item4d2760a32d

DeliriumsFrogs

Dexter…. I adore your tea photos.

boychik… is that a WHOLE cake for $7!!??

DeliriumsFrogs

Ok… I see the cake is $25 (I’m sleepy…gah! lol)… That’s still a great price, though, right??

Dexter

boychik – I’m frightened – I haven’t really been exploring pu’erh too much but I’m starting to get interested. There is just so much to learn and so many to try…. I got that order in 10 days – NEVER get stuff that quick from China. Well packaged – nice teapot – amazing tea – I need to write more about it than what I did. Based on this one order I have nothing but good things to say about this seller. I will be buying another of these cakes and I’ve marked that one you mentioned – I probably won’t buy a whole cake, but will get a sample of it. Thank you. :)

Dexter

DeliriumsFrogs – thank you – my photos aren’t as good as a lot of them on Instagram, but it’s fun. :)) At 25.00/357g – that’s 0.07/g or 7.00/100 compared to what I’ve been paying for some of the black tea I’ve been buying recently it’s a steal….

Dexter

yyz- I LOVE my new purchase – both this cake and the teapot – will try the black tea tomorrow. :))

boychik

get youself a sample . who knows, you may not like it. and i just found them on Ali. they confirmed that its the same shop. the selection is not the same but 7599 is $2 cheaper and they give a discount above $50

boychik

Dexter, im afraid to recommend you knowing that you and me, we have a lot of tea. but some you just need. i cannot let you miss out. some pu is just amazing.

OMGsrsly

You people are DANGEROUS.

Dexter

OMGsrsly – and you wonder why I need to share tea….

Dexter

boychik – is this the same cake? It’s worded exactly like StreetShop88 on ebay – is this the seller that you think is the same? http://www.aliexpress.com/item/2014-year-Supreme-MengHai-LangHe-7599-Pu-er-Puer-puerh-Tea-Ripe-Cake-Chinese-Black-Tea/32230862750.html

Dexter

OHHH on ebay they have that tea in 150g cakes – added to watch list….

OMGsrsly

Oh, Dexter. I totally get why you need to share tea. :D (Ooo, more window shopping!!)

boychik

Yes, it’s the same seller. I asked and they confirmed. But you need a sample . What if you won’t like it

Ubacat

Love the pictures!

Ubacat

Dexter, I got a sample of the 7599 from Goshopstreet Tea and let me tell you, it is VERY chocolately! You will love it. And it’s cheap too! I can always send you a sample from my sample if you like.

Sil

oh god you guys are killing me….want. all.

mrmopar

More converts in the making……;p

boychik

haha @mrmopar.
@Sil. you know, sometimes i say nice, sometimes i say lovely. this time i say NEED and WANT immediately (referring to 7599;)

Sil

dexter…if you’re thinking about a 7599 cake, we could always split one…

Dexter

I have lots of thoughts regarding these comments and I’m suddenly very confused at how I want to go about buying tea in the near future. Work is exploding busy – I work with idiots. The old Dex would just buy another of this cake, a 150g cake of the one I posted and 50g sample of the 7599 (and probably would have bought it last night). New budgets and thought patterns are confusing me….. need to ponder how to go about doing this….

Sil

i’m happy to split puerh anytime if it makes sense…

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95

You are probably at this point (or even earlier) wondering what happened to Tea Book Sunday, well it has not died, it has evolved to Tea Stuff Sunday to encompass all those things that are related to tea but not exactly tea. I figure I will run out of tea books eventually, and there are some weeks when I am too swamped reading books for review purposes on Netgalley or Goodreads that I just don’t have time to read a tea book (tragic, I know.) So have no fear, there will be more books, but there will also be other cool tea themed things.

Like today! I am looking at the newest addition to my tea gear collection, Jing De Gongfu Porcelain Plum Blossom Bamboo Gaiwan Tea Set from ebay, it was a birthday present (by way of a monetary gift) from my grandparents (fun fact, while visiting them I taught my grandmother how to use a gaiwan, she loves it!) I added this unusual collection to my wishlist months ago, but ended up buying the bat gaiwan instead because it would be more versatile.

This set is very much so not perfect for all teas, well that is not true, the cha hai and cups work for anything, but the gaiwan is more specialized. I bought it specifically for ‘needle’ teas, long curly leafed teas, and basically ones that do not need room to unfurl. Not a gaiwan suited for my much loved balled up oolongs, that is for sure. While some people might consider this limitation a negative, I love it because it means I have a gaiwan with a really unique shape. Also, the width of the gaiwan’s lip means I have not once burned myself with it.

The cha hai might be my favorite part of this set (even if it oddly lacks the red coloring on the plum blossoms) because it reminds me of a calla lily, each time I pour with it I feel like I am pouring nectar from a flower. It adds a bit of whimsy into my tea brewing, which I love. It also has a mostly clean pour, the only time it drips is if I goof and hold it at a weird angle while pouring

The cups are lovely, they are a tiny bit translucent in their thinness, and this is beautiful. It does also mean that the heat transference is pretty intense and they get scalding hot quickly, so I really have to be quick if I am handing the cup off to someone (so far that someone has been my dear mother) and even then there is usually a chorus of the both of us going ‘ow ow ow’ the whole time.

As a fun finish, I am including a video I recorded, fair warning it is not professional quality! I filmed it with my camera which makes mediocre movies, and I have no idea how to edit things so you get to hear instead of just read my rambling. This video shows my gaiwan technique (a facebook friend asked how I do it) and some practice methods I recommend if you are just starting out.

For blog, photos, and video: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/11/jing-de-gongfu-porcelain-plum-blossom.html

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91

Man… Another winner from AllanK.

One rinse only, and this had just a subtle earthiness, definitely not much. It was smooth and lovely. The tea brewed up to a topaz shade. Very lovely.

I had a long and unpleasant Sunday, into today, in a war with an Ikea bed frame. I’d like to say that I won, but it was more of a tie. I’m not feeling super poetic, but this was damn good. I’m just gonna leave it at that!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML
TheTeaFairy

So glad you got good tea through all this IKEA ordeal!!

And yo, Allan knows how to shou!! Sounds great :-)

KiwiDelight

Is it just me, or does it seem like every time someone has to assemble Ikea furniture they’re in a war?

Sarsonator

Unfortunately, the IKEA war of 2014 isn’t over. It’s on hold til my stepdad can come over on Saturday. But the frame is together and sturdy enough to sleep on, so I’m at least happy about that!!!!

KiwiDelight

You won the battle but not the war!

Sarsonator

Exactly, KiwiD!

AllanK

At least you drank some good Shou after the battle. I’m glad you liked the Lucky Dragon. I’ve had good luck from that seller, not as good as the Song of Chi Tse, but then again they don’t sell many Dayis at Streetshop88. Are you going to buy the Lucky Dragon? It’s a 200g cake.

AllanK

The 2010 Golden Needle White Lotus is even better, only not as aged with a little more fermentation flavor.

Sarsonator

I may wait, A. Not because I don’t like it, but because I need to slow down.

I’ll try the Golden Needle tomorrow then :)

Cwyn

Hey that Streetshop88 is the guy from whom I bought my Overlord Drunk puerh cake, lol. Scratch from the street for us addicts on a jones.

AllanK

I may be waiting several days to try the next one of yours. I want to give these teas multiple steepings and I have to be up at 5am for the next several days. Looks like three nights of rooibos for me. It tried the Port today, it was good.

mrmopar

I am glad Allan came over to us from TeaChat.

Sarsonator

Same here :)

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70

I am not sure if I should recommend this tea or not and I am pretty sure I didn’t brew it quite right.I steeped it in a 220 ml gaiwan with 8.5 g of leaves. The dry leaves had the smell of tobacco, for lack of a better description. I used boiling water. I first rinsed it twice. The rinses were quite light in color so I steeped it for thirty seconds. This seemed oversteeping so I steeped it again for 15 sec. This steeping came out better. It had sweet notes, sour pungent notes, sour berry notes and an overriding flavor I did not identify. It was my first experiment with Fuzhuan teas and was an interesting flavor. I sourced it from Streetshop88, an EBay tea shop that has sold me some excellent Puerh and Oolong. I think it is worth exploring more in a couple of days or weeks.

Flavors: Berry, Sour, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 8 g 7 OZ / 220 ML
AllanK

I am unsure what a Fuzhuan should taste like? Do you think I brewed this right?

boychik

I prefer shortest steeps possible especially with unknown tea.

yyz

I am by no means an expert but tea source suggests brewing dark teas other than puerh at 195- 205 so perhaps the temperature was too high.

I’m not familiar with this tea the two source I ’be looked at have suggested different things
Tea source suggested 195-205 ° tea for dark teas other than puerh.

This source suggests using a lot less leaf 4g/200ml
http://hojotea.com/item_e/d01e.htm. Than using a 60 s steep after a rinse than very short steeps afterwards.
http://hojotea.com/item_e/d01e.htm

AllanK

Thanks, I shall try first lower temperature, then if that doesn’t work lower temperature and fewer leaves. It was a tea I wanted to try and appeared to be good quality.It may just be I don’t like the flavor.

yyz

That’s possible, have fun experimenting!

yyz

Sorry for the convoluted message at top. I started to write it and then it seemed lost. I’ve never seen it merge too messages together before.

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70

This tea has an interesting flavor that is a mix of ginseng and oolong tea. It is not bitter but a little sweet with the pungency of the ginseng. Is is a flavor that is hard to describe but good. I added sugar but I think it has some natural sweetness and little of the wood notes common in oolongs. I brewed this with boiling water because I read that you need boiling water because of the ginseng shell around the tea leaves.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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97

Ah, freshly dyed hair is always such a good feeling, especially when it is a shade of blue. I have spent most my life envying vibrantly blue birds, wishing my drab Peahen ash blonde hair was more of a Peacock blue. Then I grew up and realized, Holy Plumage Batman, I can dye my hair whatever color I want thanks to the art of science…and cosmetics! So having had my hair pretty much every color of the rainbow, I tend to stick with either Grackle Blue Black or some shade of blue, this time dark teal. Rock on my feathered friends.

Oddly enough, for all my rambling about feathers, this review is centered around bats. Specifically my new amazing tea set procured from China by way of ebay shop StreetShop88. This lovely blue set consists of a Gaiwan, a Cha Hai (or pitcher, fairness cup, or tureen) and a pair of cute cups. A little backstory, I have two other gaiwans…my fish themed travel gaiwan and my now quite chipped white gaiwan, I wanted a third one specifically I wanted a third matched set for everyday use. It took me about a month and a half of window shopping till I found the one I wanted.

I had a few specifications: it needed to be 100ml or less, it had to have a wide rim, it had to be less than $35, and lastly it had to have an awesome design. I had originally settled on a Phoenix themed set from the same store and then I saw the bats and it was all over, I had to have that one. Bats and the round Shou character are very auspicious symbols in Chinese art, five bats, according to A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols by Wolfram Eberhard (my go to source for all Chinese symbolism) represent the Five Blessings-a long life, riches, health, love of virtue, and a natural death. The Shou character represents Longevity, it is a symbol that I like to have around.

Symbolism and aesthtics aside, how does this set function? First off, I don’t burn my sensitive little fingers, I love my fish gaiwan to pieces, but its fairly small rim tends to heat up very quickly meaning on steeps that go on a big long end with me going ‘ouch’ a lot. The really wide rim and equally wide and somewhat squat body means that leaves get to really roll around and unfurl beautifully.

This set was put together beautifully, when you pour off a steep from the gaiwan into the pitcher, there is a perfect amount for both cups. No leftover and no one gets left out, this is the first set I have had where I get that result. The Cha Hai makes me exceptionally happy, it pours wonderfully and looks like a creamer. Also I absolutely adore that inside the gaiwan and cups the Shou character is printed inside.

For the most part there are no real flaws with this set. There are a few errors on the printed design of the key pattern on the rim of the gaiwan’s lid, but oddly I find this a bit endearing. The only other problem is it is fairly thick porcelain so the temperature tends to stay pretty warm, this might make brewing green teas a little difficult, but that is easy to adjust with cooler water or shorter steep time.

Over all I love this thing, I recommend it if you are looking for a new gaiwan tea set, especially if you love bats!

For photos and blog (including my blue hair!) http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/07/an-auspicious-tea-set-tea-gear-review.html

mj

I love bats too! That set is so cute

Sarsonator

Awesome review! What a cute set!

Love the hair :)

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