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Recent Tasting Notes
The first thing that I noticed about this tea was the sweet, floral aroma. On more than one occasion I found myself sticking my nose into the gaiwan and inhaling deeply. The floral aroma was echoed in the taste along with a pleasantly vegetal finish.
I’m almost completely certain Oriental Beauty is my favorite type of oolong. I’ve enjoyed every variant I’ve tried of it, thus far. And this is, by no small margin, my favorite. No, not just because it had the words “wild” and “arbor” in the title. (Although, that certainly helps.)
The taste is all tart, sweet, fruity, and some form of magic not known to us humans. I would say more…but that might be windbagging it a bit.
Like I did here: http://steepstories.com/2013/09/19/wild-arbor/
Yum, this pu’er is fantastic! It is surprisingly on the light side and easy to drink. I’m thinking this pu’er is the opposite of Mandala Tea’s “Special Dark”.
There are sweet amber and vanilla notes. Loads of creamy textures. Hardwood and tobacco notes. Crazy good aftertaste that is really strongly floral apricot.
You’ll miss that aftertaste if you drink this tea too fast – ya need to take your time with it, despite its easy to drink lightness.
I’ve tried Tea Setter’s Sweet Fragrance Pu’er and this so far, and I feel the EAGP is my favorite! Love the aftertaste and the mass creamy and vanilla flavors. I might have to get more of this tea!
Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2013/09/19/ethical-agricultures-wild-grown-puer-tea-setter-oolong-owl-tea-review/
Guest Squid appearance!
Our Iron Goddess Medium Grade Oolong starts off in the bag as floral, no doubt about it. Some of the jasmine is covered up by a vegetal scent, but this is erased as soon as you brew up that first infusion. Now, for “medium grade,” this tea still knows how to make a very good first impression. Jasmine is a fact of life when it comes to Iron Goddess Oolongs, or Tie Guan Yin, so skip ahead if you don’t like flowers between your teeth. For the petal pushers, don’t miss out on this oolong–just the aroma brings with it a feeling of being clean.
Normally, floral teas can get oily on the aftertaste, but this one leaves your mouth actually refreshed! What joy! With an understated, Pinot Grigio liquor, our humble jasmine allows other flavors to sit in for a chat. You’ll find yourself in the tea-lightful company of… Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/09/14/snooty-tea-review-tea-setter-round-2/
The Iron Goddess High Grade Oolong holds an entirely different type of divinity. This goddess rocks your world, plain and simple. She may even induce a sense of spirituali-tea.
The dry leaves exemplify “herbaceous”. All the notes are culinary veggies straight from the East: bok choy and mustard greens, thrown in with some kale and broccoli. (Be careful where you drink this, lest you get mauled by slavering Buddhist vegans.) Once steeped, the aroma takes on more delicacy, but never, not once, are you hit with the flowery notes that characterize most Tieguanyin.
The first infusion represents what’s possible when an oolong tastes honestly good of its own accord. No complicated flavor-patterns that force you to shut your eyes against in the the onslaught of their loquacious haze. This is sheer accessibili-tea. Nothing Iron about this Goddess; she is all about giving–giving you the experience of… Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/09/14/snooty-tea-review-tea-setter-round-2/
The dry leaves of Wild Arbor Oriental Beauty Oolong come with a musty hazelnut smell, so it would seem that we’re steering away from the vegetals and the florals. There’s a touch of dried fruit in there as well, perhaps black cherry. This coalesces in the cup as some true fruitiness overlaid with cooked nuts–caramel apples at the peak of the holidays. Dare I call this a Thanksgiving tea? The aroma gets more and more savory as it sits; at least now we know where the turkey got to.
Luckily, the tea itself has no poultry notes. (Could you imagine the audaci-tea?) Rather, the first infusion brings in all those apples in full force, pummeling your mouth with that fructose flavor. The other main player here is… Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/09/14/snooty-tea-review-tea-setter-round-2/
Although Ethical Agriculture’s Pu-erh is “wild grown,” it bears a very un-wild, refined aroma before you steep it. You couldn’t call it “sweet”–more like quietly dignified. A tea with self-respect. It won’t dump you in a Cabin in the Woods, as might happen with the others. It’s only when you have the drink steaming in your cup that you can go back and say, “Yep, we’ve got sweetness here!” The dusky gold liquid gives Sweet Fragrance a run for its money.
Your first infusion is pretty airy, but be on the lookout for endearing little fruity hints. We’ve got the usual pu-erh smoke setting it all off, but don’t be surprised when some tangerines take you for a mango tango, bumping into guava on the way. It’ll make you forget how dry pu-erhs can be. (Don’t forget to hydrate with these!)
On the next few cups, your now-darkened tea really puts those initial flavors out on the dance floor. If you let it cool a bit… Full review: http://snooteablog.com/2013/09/11/snooty-tea-review-tea-setter-round-1/
The Old Capitol Pu-erh starts off with a loamy dry smell in the bag. You’re settling in around the campfire with a trusted friend or two, and your butt’s going to be a little damp as you perch it on the wet leaves from last night’s little thunderstorm. Not much to say for the steeped aroma, though.
The sip-’sation is a lot more subtle here. With that post-rain vibe, you’ve lost a lot of the smoke that characterizes most pu-erhs. This leaves you free to explore the other first-infusion flavors hidden in their bath of peachy rose. We’re talking Fuji apples sitting on a tray of balsa wood–light stuff, not the kind of tea you’d worry about when serving to friends. Tea Setter is hoping to bring less popular teas into the game, and for those of us who struggle to even say “pu-erh”–let alone steep it–this one is a good place to start.
Once again, the liquor does that color-switching thing with your following infusions, so the drink is now… Full review: http://snooteablog.com/2013/09/11/snooty-tea-review-tea-setter-round-1/
The dry leaves of Sweet Fragrance, amusingly, don’t have much fragrance. It’s only when they hit the cup that your nose gets nudged awake. Since this is a pu-erh, after all, “sweet” is going to be in the eye–or nostrils–of the beholder. Beneath the usual brassy smoke, there lurks a bit of honey that’s been charred by the flames. Something fruity wants to come out, but it’s just not quite there.
That undertone makes a better case for itself once you taste it. The fruit and honey melds into something more substantial: roasted, caramelized rosehips and just-before-ripe cherries. We’ve got a touch of fish in here, but it’s ignorable knowing that it’ll fade in successive infusions. That’s the nice thing about pu-erhs and oolongs–treat them like the Energizer Bunny and they just keep going and going… (The other nice thing about these teas in particular is that the steeping times are mere seconds. Pu-erhs and other “exotic” teas usually put off the casual tea drinker, but in fact, the quick prep means that you don’t even need to hack ‘em when you’re on the go.)
The next few infusions… Full review: http://snooteablog.com/2013/09/11/snooty-tea-review-tea-setter-round-1/
Sweet Fragrance Pu’er is an easy to drink pu’er. It’s a ripe 1992, however has a light to moderate flavor intensity. Plenty of woody amber sap sweetness in early and final steepings, with earthy wet wood, charcoal and steamed leaf flavor notes. There is a silky texture which remains throughout all the infusions, which was pretty nice.
Overall, I loved how easy to drink and sweet this tea was. However, I wished for a bit more complexity since the flavor of this tea stays pretty consistent between each infusion. Either way, this is a great beginner pu’er that has no fermentation notes that would appeal to tea drinkers that like roasted oolongs vs deep dark thick blacks pu’er drinkers.
Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2013/09/09/sweet-fragrance-puer-from-tea-setter-tea-review/
Featuring sad pu’er pick Owl.
This tea was wonderfully earthy and robust yet sweet and mild. It is the puerh for people who think that they don’t like puerh. Another awesome one from Tea Setter.
Iron Goddess Medium Grade Oolong Tea from Tea Setter is a pure delight! I’ll get right to it, folks! It’s been a while since I have enjoyed a Medium Grade Iron Goddess this much! It’s Semi-Floral and Semi-Juicy with a touch of juiciness and a hint of sweet. It has a fair amount of thickness to it for an Iron Goddess, too!
It stands up to multiple infusions. It’s amazing as-is and straight-up but very nice both hot and cold as well as with additions such as agave nectar. Delightful!
This one may be my favorite so far (I know I keep saying that about each one!) Again, amazing color, loved the taste, and I totally smoked my husband and grandson in Monopoly Jr. while drinking it. (Twice!) What could be better than that? Took my little tray with all the fixin’s into the living room to play on the floor and it worked perfect!
Holy peaches Batman! This tea is super aromatic with heavy notes of peach and a touch of citrus. The sweet aftertaste lingers in the nicest way.
Loved this tea! My favorite so far…gorgeous color and loved the taste. Helped turn my bill paying session into a relaxing experience for a change!
This one definitely has a more flowery smell and taste than the Wild Arbor Oriental Beauty Oolong.
This tea is a delight to the senses. I love the aroma and the gentle, yet flavorful taste. I enjoyed 7 steepings from 4g. of tea, and I could have made more. It was perfect for my afternoon tea break!
This is a very aromatic tea. I recommend only 10 seconds for the first infusion, because it is a stronger tasting tea. It also has a beautiful color.
This is one of my favorite oolong teas. Iron Goddess High Grade is smooth and very pleasing to the pallet. Each steeping is just as good as the last, and I enjoyed 6 from 4 g. of tea.