Tea Centre

Recent Tasting Notes

75
drank Sun Moon Lake by Tea Centre
4704 tasting notes

had this one again this morning before we headed out for a bike ride. My other half is home all weekend so we’re going to try and settle down and do some wedding planning, cleaning, board game playing and some general relaxing. It’s supposed to rain all weekend in the afternoons so that should make it more doable…though it’d be nice to get two rides in this weekend.

While this is a tasty cup through a few steepings, it’s not my favourite. It was nice to try another variation on the sun moon lake theme but i do prefer the TTC ones. as always though, love trying new teas and appreciate all the teas that folks send my way!

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drank English Breakfast by Tea Centre
1373 tasting notes

Umm, ok. So there’s no notes for this tea? That’s weird, since I’m almost done my 100g of it (thanks mom… ;) )

Unfortunately, this tea is nothing to write home about. It’s an Assam blend, that seems to pull those cardboardy flavours instead of delicious malty and fruity and somewhat astringent flavours. I think I prefer Grandpa’s Anytime Blend, or their Rungagora for an early morning kick in the pants. They are both CTC, but somehow the maltiness overpowers any cardboard.

I know. Talking about a tea tasting like cardboard. At least it’s not chicken soup?

Flavors: Cardboard, Malt

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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86
drank Hattiali by Tea Centre
4704 tasting notes

12/28 sipdowns i’ve got a few backlogs but as i’m still working it’s hard to be logging tea while i’m drinking it :) I am a tired girl and i’m pretty sure i’m goign to fall on my face at some point today but for now i’m doing ok with the tea and comfy clothes lol thanks again for sharing this one omgsrsly i think this one ranks pretty high in terms of assam for me. i can see this one just being a good all around sort of tea :)

Terri HarpLady

hang in there!

Sil

i am slowly going crazy. 1,2,3,4,5,6 switch!

OMGsrsly

Oh, Sil! Yeah, the Hattiali Assams are a favourite. I love the ones Butiki carries as well.

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86
drank Hattiali by Tea Centre
4704 tasting notes

another from omgsrsly while not a sipdown, i’m having this today so that when i have it again, it WILL be a sipdown haha. Need to make sure i keep working on getting things down as well as finishing them off :) i am really enjoying this one today. it’s not a BOLD tea, but it is smooth and i drank it all before i realised it. There’s a ittle astringecy in it but that just makes it enjoyable for me. thanks a ton omgsrsly!

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75
drank Sun Moon Lake by Tea Centre
4704 tasting notes

omgsrsly sent this my way and though i only took the first steep with me to work i was going to have more when i got home..but my other half cleaned up :( at least i’ve got another serving of this to play with and write a better note on lol

OMGsrsly

Oh, I was going to ask you about this. Mom’s planning on dropping by the tea store again this weekend, so if there’s anything that interests you… :) I just wish they sold less than 50g!

Sil

NO NO MOAR TEA! must resist purchasing. I’ve been good so far. only 1 purchase this month for my birthday and that was only 3 teas…. three…soo saaaad.

OMGsrsly

I should resist as well, honestly. But if Mom’s buying… :D

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Oh wow. This tea.

I had it yesterday morning as well. I’m really pleasantly surprised, as this is a CTC Assam, and those tend to be “knock your socks off” strong.

While this tea is strong, the curled leaves are actually pretty decently sized, and they don’t unfurl in the first steep. Even a 4 minute steep. The tea does not go over the top bitter or astringent, although it definitely leans that way at 4 minutes – I added milk this morning. Yesterday I steeped 3 minutes and it was delicious and malty, and a little fruity. I had it plain.

So. A kick-in-the-butt morning CTC that is actually pretty hardy. I have a feeling it would steep well a second or third time as well. Fairly different from Grandpa’s Anytime Tea, in that the flavours are… more bold. More Assam-y (which is a terrible description, but), more like they’d hold up to added flavours of a masala chai with lots of milk and sugar. I definitely have to try that at some point soon.

Now I don’t regret getting the Tiger Assam during the free shipping sale, BUT I also have this tea and Grandpa’s Anytime Tea for the mornings now. Oops? :)

Flavors: Fruity, Grain, Malt, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
yyz

Are these the huge ones that are closer to the size of a small rolled oolong? I haven’t seen them in a while.

OMGsrsly

Closer than Grandpa’s Anytime Tea (let’s try that again).
http://instagram.com/p/qFEN0cR5B1/
http://instagram.com/p/qFERnrR5CA/

yyz

Cool comparison, the CTC I have right now is about that size and it does make great chai. I’ve seen ones that are about the size of an average pearl on an earing before.

OMGsrsly

Oh, that would be super cool to find. The other black pearl teas I have are whole-leaf Chinese teas, so quite different.

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drank Sun Moon Lake by Tea Centre
1373 tasting notes

3 steeps later and I’m neither tea drunk nor awake. Is it bed time yet. Mom says it isn’t, which makes me sad.

This tea is delightful. I haven’t had another sun moon lake before but I couldn’t resist because of the name. Nice and sweet assamy malty flavours. Sil and MissB will definitely be getting some of this.

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74
drank Decaf Vanilla by Tea Centre
46 tasting notes

Simple decaf black tea with sweet vanilla. Impressed at the intensity of the vanilla and tastes like the authentic bean. It is quite sweet; a total dessert tea and I wouldn’t add sugar at all. I like the tiniest bit of milk with mine to offset the sweetness a little

Edit: some steeps have been very sweet and some have been a little bitter. I think it depends on the amount of vanilla pieces you get in each teaspoon. But generally, it tends to go a bit bitter if brewed a little too long or left by itself for a while. Easily fixed with milk/sugar though

Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 15 OZ / 450 ML

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85
drank Hattiali by Tea Centre
377 tasting notes

i am beginning to believe that MissB is having fun with me, lol.

samples are arriving with less and less information on them. hmm, am i a social experiment? maybe!

i got a wicked sunburn yesterday at the fair. slept 11 hours and woke up with a sun hangover. i needed a solid tea to stagger to class with. hattiali? what was it? i had no idea… sure, why not? =0)

this is a brown sugar beauty. reminds me of the bricks of brown sugar you can buy in china town. lovely and smooth, a hint of malt without any acid… ever so light on the malt even with a 5 minute steep.

very nice MissB! oh, and TeaCentre, lol.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
OMGsrsly

Ha! I stole this from my mom. :)

JustJames

yay stolen OMGsrsly mom’s tea! has she discovered it yet?

OMGsrsly

Well yes. She was the one who found a baggie for me to take it home in!

JustJames

yay mom!

OMGsrsly

She is a Tea Enabler. Much like everyone on Steepster, only she buys me a lot of tea!

MissB

Yep, this came from OMGsrsly, through me. :P

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85

I love this tea. One of my current favourites.

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86
drank Hattiali by Tea Centre
1108 tasting notes

Brewed this up much earlier today and only got to it now. I found this a bit weak, honey-like and surprisingly sweet. I may have under leafed it slightly by accident, and thus the weak bit.

Huge thanks to OMGsrsly for sharing this slice of Vancouver Island awesomeness with me!

Flavors: Honey

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Suziqzer

Oooo… I wish I was within driving distance to an island!

Suziqzer

Count me as jealous :)

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drank Hattiali by Tea Centre
1373 tasting notes

I stole a baggie of this from my parents the last time I visited. :)

Drank it for the first time today. This is a delicious Assam. It’s not quite as golden as the Golden Lion I got from Butiki, but it is delicious and smooth. I didn’t add any sugar to it, and really enjoyed my mug.

Hopefully they have it the next time I make it over, because I’d like to stock this tea!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Lala

When I read “I stole a baggie of this from my parents…”, I laughed out loud. It doesn’t sound like a phrase that would be used when you are referring to tea. Ha ha.

OMGsrsly

:D Swapping is shipping little baggies to people. Pretty much always makes me laugh.

MissB

I sent a box of tea to a friend in Australia, and it was held back as it entered the country because they’d assumed I was sending this big haul of wink wink little baggies. When my friend picked up the package, they had a good laugh… whomever opened it to check was mighty disappointed it was just tea.

OMGsrsly

That is pretty hilarious! But then, you are from BC!

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drank Royal Tajiri by Tea Centre
1373 tasting notes

Having this again at my parents. They have hid all their full bags of tea so we’re drinking up leftovers. Heh. Normally they have ~20-25 varieties of black tea to choose from, but I only see 7. Boo!

Oh well. It’s a nice strong delicious tea. I’m having it with almond milk because I steeped it for 3 min and the tannins were a little strong. Mmm.

Instead of waking me up like usual they let me sleep in. So I’ve made my breakfast and some tea, and as soon as I’m done we’re gearing up for a walk in the mud and ridiculous pouring rain.

Fjellrev

Damn, your parents are disciplined. But I try to do the same.

OMGsrsly

I know, right? :) They get 100g-250g at a time, too.

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Hi my name is Dex and I’m really new to the world of loose leaf tea. I’m hoping that some of you wonderful Steepster members will help me. I am seeking tea lesson, I need to learn more about the different varieties of tea and their characteristics. Any help in this regard would be greatly appreciated.

I received this tea in my wonderful swap package from MissB Thank you so much for sending some of this my way.
This tea is beautiful, large dark twisted leaves with WHITE tips – not golden but pure white. It’s a nice mild, slightly astringent but well balanced black tea, there are some fruity and slightly sweet tones. This isn’t my favorite style of black, but am enjoying the sample I have. OH WAIT – this is an oolong – I’m so confused. This looks like a black tea, this smells like a black tea, this tastes like a black tea. There isn’t anything oolongish about it. I need some serious help…..

yyz

This type of tea is also known as Oriental Beauty. It has a relatively high degree of oxidation hence some of it’s similarities to black tea. I am by all means not an expert ( I have 2 but the only one I’ve tried is a cheap box of a higher grade sea dyke brand one from the Chinese grocery store;), the other I haven’t touched yet). This article gives you some history and information about this style of tea though.

http://teamasters.blogspot.ca/2007/02/study-of-oriental-beauty.html

greenteafairy

I had this experience with my first and, thus far, only Bai Hao recently! It was hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that it was indeed an oolong.

Dexter

Thanks for the link yyz. I did read it, I now understand that the sweetness/honey notes come from the cricket bites on the leaves, I understand that it’s highly oxidized and therefore would be closer to a black than a green tea. I’ve had lots of highly oxidized oolongs and they all (other than Black Pearl Sumatra – but that’s another one that makes my head hurt) still have some oolongishness too them. If someone had just given me a cup of this I would have sworn it was a black… Oh well, thanks for the info, I’m going to file this tea under confusing and move on until I have a better grasp/understanding.
greenteafairy – that’s exactly how I feel. It looks like a black, it smells like a black, it tastes like a black….but it’s an oolong…

MissB

I remember when I bought this tea; the lady who sold it to me told me the history behind it, and had met the tea farmers face-to-face prior to buying it for her store. I wish I could remember more of the story, however it was (and still is) one of the most expensive teas I’ve ever purchased. I was curious as to what extra money bought (I know it sounds silly, however I really was curious) and so I grabbed 50g of it. The way they made it in-store blew my mind. Somehow it tasted like a black, yet was sweet and fruity like an oolong… I managed to get that out of it the last time I brewed it, however have yet to try again. If you’re really curious, I’m sure the folks at the Tea Centre in Courtenay, BC would be happy to talk to you about it ([email protected]; http://teacentre.ca/bai_hao_oolong.htm)

OMGsrsly

Maybe I’ll ask my mom to get me some of this for Christmas. :D

Dexter

There is no doubt this is a beautiful high quality tea. It’s just so strange to me. Can’t comprehend how it can go so far against everything I thought I understood about tea.

yyz

I think sometimes that the categorization of teas is maybe a little more fluid than we sometimes like them to be here. I know that on Aliexpress that Dancongs, and Da hong Pao are often sold under black tea vs oolong.

MissB

OMGsrsly, I will give you the rest of what I have, if you’d like it
– or anyone else who would like to try some. Oolongs hate me right now, and as much as I love this tea, I’d rather it was enjoyed than just sit in my cupboard.

OMGsrsly

My mom only buys her tea from there, so if someone further away is interested, share with them first. :)

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94

Now I remember why this sat in my cupboard for so long, even as much as I love it. Within 20 minutes of my finishing the first cup (which is so big it’s more like two cups), I felt so nauseous, I almost got sick all over my kitchen. Then it came to me in a flash: oolongs (usually) give me a horrible stomachache, especially on an empty stomach. A quick bite to eat helped, however as soon as I started drinking the tea again, the nausea returned in full force.

Dammit. I love this stuff, however it’ll just go to waste in my cupboard now. Quite a bit left – anyone want me to send it to them?

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94

Found this at the back of my tea cupboard, and am a bit worried it’s been there too long (even though it’s well packaged). Bought this at an amazing tea shoppe in Courtenay, BC, where I had many a discussion with the owners when I lived there about their yearly jaunts to Asia to find the perfect tea. This was one of their highest recommendations, and it’s still (by far) the most I’ve ever paid for tea.

I forgot when steeping that I needed double the amount of tea, so this one’s a bit weak. Still, it’s divine. Smells faintly of hay, jasmine, and a touch of sweetness I’m struggling to place. It’s light and airy yet fully flavored, and while I’ve been on a real flavored kick of late, I forgot what truly exquisite tea tastes like. This, along with their matcha, is what got me into tea initially, and I think I’ll be sipping this pot all day as I re-steep it over and over again.

… I remember getting four steeps out of this one way back when, and it just got better each time. I wonder how many I can get today?

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Had this with loads of honey this morning. It’s certainly a Ceylon. I do like Assam teas better.

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drank Royal Tajiri by Tea Centre
1373 tasting notes

Had this one at my parents place. Delicious dark and malty tea. I had it with milk and sugar, and enjoyed it all. :) Very similar to the JusTea one, but less malty I think.

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Nomming this as my second tea of the day. Sadly I’m just starting it!

With milk and sugar this performs well in a travel mug. Heh. I shouldn’t have my mug in the lab anyways, but if I don’t, I won’t drink, and then I get dehydrated and that sucks. My rationalization is that I’m not near a work bench, and the mug is one of those Contigo sealing ones…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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61
drank Earl Grey Special by Tea Centre
1373 tasting notes

Made cake. With tea. http://www.shutterbean.com/2012/chocolate-earl-grey-cake/

It’s all I can do to not dig into it right this minute, but I have to save it for tomorrow.

It’s so good, people. So. Good. The extra floral of this earl grey really adds to the cake, but I imagine it’d be excellent with pretty much any tea you favour. Jasmine, chai, vanilla, strawberry, rose…

(I just use milk with lemon or vinegar to sour it, since I’m lazy and don’t always have yogourt. I also use 1 1/2 cups sugar as I prefer my baking less sweet.)

(Also, I really dislike this tea for drinking, unless I’m super careful and do a hot brew then pour it over ice. And add some citrus pieces. Too floral for me.)

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

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100

One of the finest Formosa teas I have ever had. A full leaf black tea, with the sweetness of honey, and no bitterness to speak of. A tea to make you close your eyes in bliss.

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81

Blend of Keemun, Jasmine, rose congue, rose petals and lavender. Floral bouquet, without the overpowering perfume that comes with Jasmine. The taste of rose lingers, while lavender keeps the tea from becoming bitter.

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Today i steeped this with cooler water then dumped it into my mug. Very floral, very fruity. Not enough maltiness or depth of flavour for a morning tea for me when steeped like this. Maybe i need more tea leaves? I only used 2 tsp for a 16oz mug.

It’s a nice tea, and i get why my mom likes it, but it’s not something i’d purchase.

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Hmm. I don’t know what’s up with this one, but I disagree with the “tawny tips” in their comments about the tea.

Otherwise, it’s a good basic black tea that I’ll probably drink with honey and milk. I had it this morning and steeped for the recommended 3 minutes. The flavour isn’t as bold as I generally like in a morning tea, but it was not astringent or bitter at all. Very smooth. I didn’t get rose from it, but that’s possibly due to my additions and possibly because I just don’t like rose in my tea.

This is one I hope my mom picks up for me again next Christmas. She has a good taste for plain black teas, even though she’s super picky! (I just visited, and I brought 8 teas for a tea tasting. She liked one. Dad liked most of them.)

The nice thing about doing Christmas this late is that I now have enough money for one of those programmable water heaters! I have my eye on a 3L one at a local Asian market. I hope they have another sale coming up soon!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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