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Tea Source

Recent Tasting Notes

97
drank Rare Orchid Oolong by Tea Source
17 tasting notes

This was very delicious! It had a sweet finish as well as smokey floral notes. I was very pleased with this tea. Will buy more!

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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97
drank Rare Orchid Oolong by Tea Source
17 tasting notes

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62
drank Silver Bud Ya Bao by Tea Source
34 tasting notes

I had never seen a tea like this before! I was even a little skeptical that pouring water over it would result in tea after 2.5 min, but it did.
Let my water cool a little too much before adding- steeped for 2.5 min as directed at 150F. I wish I had let it go for a little longer- the flavor is nice but a little too light.
Second steep, let it go for about 5 min, taste was roughly the same.
Grassy and fresh- exactly how you’d expect something that looks so fresh to taste. Didn’t love it though.

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85

Rare Orchid Oolong is quite the experience. Because of it’s ability to re-steep, this oolong continues surprising long after its first infusion. It is distinctly floral with mentionable sweet undertones. The flavor evolves as it is re-steeped, certainly a great investment for those who like exploratory teas and flavors!

Flavors: Honey, Orchids

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Hunan Dark Tea by Tea Source
34 tasting notes

My second tea from Steepster Select and a second hit! Packaging said this was good for 5+ resteeps, but I have to say it was only good for 3 cups for me. Three delicious cups.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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85

An interesting tea to say the least. Fuzzy silver buds come tumbling out of the package when you first open it, giving way to an herbal scent with sweet undertones.

The flavor is surprisingly mellow, allowing me to agree with the listed tasting notes. The tea sits at a nice green/gold color.

The package suggests a 2.5 min steep, I think a little longer is better for my personal taste, but I like the tea a little stronger.

*A great tea if you’re into this sort of flavor, but I prefer teas with a little more kick. It’s not a bad tea by any means. It tastes similar to a jasmine tea in my opinion.

Flavors: Flowers, Fruit Tree Flowers, Honey

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 3 min, 15 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90
drank Hunan Dark Tea by Tea Source
14 tasting notes

This is the first high-quality pu-erh I’ve tried and it’s unlike all that came before it.

It doesn’t brew nearly as dark or pungent as the previous ones I’ve tasted.

The first sip tastes of malt, maple syrup, and vanilla. Further tasting reveals peaty, mossy, and earthy flavors.

Overall, this tea is quite enjoyable.

Something about this tea reminds me of going to Dickens Fair at Christmas time. I can’t quite place it, it’s not cinnamon or cardamom, nor douglas fir trees. It has a holiday spice quality that I really like but can’t name. Roasted butternut squash with brown sugar maybe?

Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Earth, Malt, Molasses, Peat Moss, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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87

Lovely—if I don’t rate it at the tippy top, it’s because I try to rate my teas in such a way as to make it easier to know which ones to buy again, so my favorite gets 100, and the next 99 and so on. Of the Oolongs I’ve tried, the only ones I liked as much or more were Sweet Silk, Big Red Robe—and my favorite tea of any I’ve tried—Oriental Beauty. Rare Orchid I’d definitely order again. It’s honeyed, silky smooth and fruity, but in subtle very drinkable ways that aren’t overwhelming. That’s just with the first steeping, I haven’t had a chance to try others—but it’s wonderful right from the top.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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89
drank Hunan Dark Tea by Tea Source
18 tasting notes

This maybe a fermented tea, but it’s unlike any pu-erh I’ve ever tasted. That being said, I really liked this tea. It tasted like roasted grass to me, and unlike any Hojicha. I get the mahogany notes too. Not really tasting the grapes or much sweetness. The tea is complex and different from black or pu-erh teas.

Flavors: Grass, Wood

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47

I had a very different impression of this tea than that in the other tasting note. I don’t taste the vegetal/broccoli note—which for me is a good thing. I did find it astringent, even bitter, and I steeped it at a lower temperature than the other reviewer, at 160 F, the low end of what was recommended, rather than 190, which is the temperature more for an oolong or Darjeeling. But really, a higher temperature and longer steeping time should make it more bitter, not less. It’s drinkable, and my aunt liked it, but among the several green teas I’ve tried from TeaSource, thjs is no favorite and not one I’d order again. Among their unflavored Green Teas I prefer Houjicha, Iccha Kariban , Clouds and Mist and Pi Lo Chun Imperial.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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drank Rare Orchid Oolong by Tea Source
8 tasting notes

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100

This was a wonderfully light, sweet tea. Almost tasted like I had added a touch of honey to it. It’s now one of my favorites. And it is fun to see a tea that visually looks a little different. Instead of shredded leaves, this is small, silver bud tips. I ordered a pound of it and will share with friends. I’m trying to get a dedicated group of tea drinkers started in my area so we can meet and try teas and talk about teas…a tea club.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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84

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91
drank Hunan Dark Tea by Tea Source
8 tasting notes

This is my first pu-erh ever! And I really liked it – my favorite from the Steepster Select box besides the roasted buckwheat tea. The tea tastes complex and balanced, not too earthy. Even the first steeping has a lot of depthy. I like the grape notes and the gentle astringency.

Flavors: Grapes

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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100
drank 88th Night Shincha by Tea Source
151 tasting notes

I love the special day they pick this tea and how prized it is.
The dry leaves smell minty , not vegetal. I think this might be my first Shincha so I only know how Gyokuro is and they look very similar with the grass-like thin strands.
It has the light spring-green colored liquor that is my favorite color. The wet leaves look like chopped green spinach or herbs.
The liquor has a faint scent of vanilla then lima bean and green spring pea come in stronger.
The flavor is really excellent. It has the slightest vanilla flavor as well with lima bean, pea, and a buttery mouth feel and note. There is an umami end with a salt note. This is Springalicious!!!!!!!! An excellent one for my cupboard.
This tea is exactly as described by Tea Source which I like. I like to know that I can trust the tasting notes and will buy from them again some time.

I read about Shincha and it means “new tea” and is the first picked, that it is that year’s earliest tea, and is timely and seasonal.


I steeped this first for 2 minutes then after the leaves opened up, all my other steepings were short as 1 minute or less to keep the tea from being burned or bitter.

Flavors: Butter, Lima Beans, Peas, Vanilla

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

From my Steepster Select box March 2014. You’re gonna hate me for saying this, but all oolongs taste alike to me. WELL…all GOOD oolongs taste alike to me. I don’t notice a difference between this guy and the Iron Goddess we sell at Tea Hugger. Mayhaps the Fuijan Provence is steady in it’s water/soil quality so teas out of that region are similar. Mayhaps tea is complicated. Mayhaps I should have tasted our Iron Goddess side by side with this little Orchid. (Though “should” is the dirtiest of dirty words there is, y’know.)

Anyway, my tips are:
Don’t oversteep
Add a sprinkle of sugar to bring out the sweetness of the leaves

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Nothing new to share. I enjoyed this one during the early evening. It was my reward for the official ‘start’ of this year’s garden. I inventoried all of my seeds, took a garden walk while making a to-do list, & then picked one thing to do, which was pruning my apricot tree, & I did it. I feel pretty good!

Stephanie

Apricot tree…nice :)

Terri HarpLady

I need to start my blog up again, Terri’s Airy Fairie World, hahaha. I have posted anything there for months, even though my goal was to keep a weekly blog of my various loves: gardening, tea, food, & music. The Apricot is on the verge of blooming, & it’s beauty should be shared, without a doubt!

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95

This was my favorite in the March 2014 ship of Steepster Select. My husband agreed – it really did live up to the tasting note it came with: “Silky mouthfeel with fruit and honey overtones.” Wow! The instructions said it can be steeped up to 5 times, but I thought it lost all the flavor by the 4th brew. But still, it had a lot of flavor.

Flavors: Honey, Stonefruits

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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90

This was one of my top two in the March 2014 shipment of Steepster Select. It had a beautiful floral note in the first brew, with a bit of melon, and a slight licorice in the after taste. It lost flavor fast though – it did not have any flavor left by the third brew. Still worth it for the first two brews!

Flavors: Flowers, Licorice, Melon

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Silver Bud Ya Bao by Tea Source
174 tasting notes

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93

Got this in my Steepster Select box this month. Oh joy!!! I’m typically a black tea drinker, by my day has been made by this special little white pile o’ fuzz. The buds look like pussywillows! Steepster recommends you use the whole amount they give you for one cup and I think they’re right. I only used about 2/3 of the envelope and wish I would have used the whole thing. My internal tea clock tells me I brewed it for about 4-5 minutes. As soon as the tea starts steeping, you can SMELLLLL the sweet floweriness of this cup. The flavor is the same—sweet flowery happiness.

If I had it to do all over again, I’d do 3tsp in my mug and keep the brew time around 4-5 min.

Flavors: Fruit Tree Flowers

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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76

This tastes rather one dimensional to me.
It isn’t until it starts to cool that you start to get any floral or fruity notes.
This is not a bad tea, but certainly not great either.
I prefer to begin sipping my tea hot…While it did not deserve to hit the drain,
It is undeserving of accolades…JMHO

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72
drank Silver Bud Ya Bao by Tea Source
18 tasting notes

The first steep was flowery and had a nice caffeine punch. Second steep had a bit of honey sweetness added, and the third steep was just a bit too diluted for my taste. I’m not a big fan of white tea, too delicate, and too much caffeine to drink a whole lot without getting jittery. That being said, I did enjoy this cup.

Flavors: Flowers, Honey

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