Tea Source

Recent Tasting Notes

61

I’m not crazy about this one—not a surprise. I’ve had mixed reactions to China Blacks and especially the ones from Anhui. I do love Black Bud and Hunan Dark and Keemun Mao Feng, which is an Anhui tea. But hated Empire Keemun, and this is more reminiscent of that one. Just a bit too earthy, too smokey for my tastes—especially unadulterated with milk—a little dairy or almond milk does make this more drinkable, but hardly a favorite.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 28 OZ / 828 ML

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87

This came in my first Steepster select box. I haven’t tried many black teas because of the caffeine. I woke up with a terrible headache today and wanted something with caffeine. It smells divine! I brewed just like the package suggested in my Breville one touch. I did add creme and sugar to this one. It has a heavier mouthfeel similar to coffee. This certainly goes in my top 5 favorites so far!! It has a hint of a spicy fruit in it. But not a fruity tea. I taste clove and possibly nutmeg- fall flavors. This taste like Autumn!

Flavors: Clove, Fruity, Nutmeg, Spicy

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75

This is the first tea that I have tried from my steeper select shipment. From opening the bag to steeping the tea, the spicy aroma of cloves, citrus, and an array of other fall-like aromas fill my nose. This was a nice and sweet compliment to the poached pear and popcorn I decided to consume while drinking it. The re-steepings in my teapot were not as sweet. For cold mornings, this could be better than a chai to warm me up.

Flavors: Clove, Coriander, Licorice, Orange Zest

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 0 OZ / 0 ML

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85

Really liked this tea and the blooming aroma from the tea pouch, the teapot, and the cup itself. Felt like a great fall tea and really enjoyed the orange rind that added to the aesthetic.

From the Steepster Select Box; October, 2014

Flavors: Cloves, Cranberry, Nutmeg, Orange, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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79
drank Sheng 2012 by Tea Source
11 tasting notes

Tired some 2012 sheng last night. Bought a 200 gram brick for 8.99.
New brick not sure of any of the specifics about it.
All I know is using a puerh knife is mint I am getting way better taste since the leaves are generally more intact.

Used a small amount of leaves 4.5 grams to my 6 oz gaiwian, did a 10 second rinse followed by 30 seconds rest for the leaves.

First flavors noted were a Mellon like vegetal taste with a slight smokey aspect.
Very smooth for the first 5 infusions. Almost like water in a good way. Didn’t want too much buzz before bed sometimes tea gives me the most intense dreams if I over indulge before I fall asleep.
After around 7 infusions I noticed a minerally aspect to it with very little bitterness but some astringency found.

Not too much qi with this small amount of leaves but this morning I ramped it up to 8.5 grams of leaves to my 6 ounce gaiwian.
Same rinse and rest of the leaves but I found this is where I find this tea shines.
the taste was smooth just as last time but more flavor in each steeping.

The Muskmelon taste is back and more predominant.
I found a rather notable vegetal smokey flavor to take over the majority of the infusions.
I find the lingering taste to be more apparent but still no dryness to this puerh.
Took it to 20 steeping’s before I wanted to try something else.

Gonna experience this one a few more times before I age it.

Flavors: Hot hay, Peppercorn, Smoked, Sweet

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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70

I did really like this—and maybe I might like it even more iced. If I don’t rate it that high—well, I’m actually not a huge fan of herbals. I decided to get some hibiscus tea because I’d read it could lower cholesterol—so why not give it a try? But I found the pure stuff way too sour to tolerate.

I got Peach Paradise from TeaSource to see if I could enjoy it with a mix of things. It may be there’s too little hibiscus here or the Orange Blossom Special to be therapeutic, but at least I can enjoy them, and the hibiscus, though still apparent, is not overwhelming. I got the Orange Blossom Special to see if I might like it more than the other blend with Hibiscus offered by TeaSource—the answer is no—it’s enjoyable, but I do like the Peach Paradise more.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Hunan Dark Tea by Tea Source
588 tasting notes

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70
drank Hibiscus Punch by Tea Source
296 tasting notes

Received this from a TTB. I’m liking it quite a bit more then I thought I would. In fact, the longer I let it steep the better it is. Maybe it’s just because all the other flavors come out more to settle the hibiscus. Speaking of hibiscus, when I first steeped the tea it was super strong _. But the flavors have now melded into a wild and sour mix. I like! It could also be that I kinda accidentally dumped a table spoon full into the brewer that is bringing out such an intense flavor…

Flavors: Apple, Fruit Punch, Hibiscus

Preparation
145 °F / 62 °C 8 min or more

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90
drank Rare Orchid Oolong by Tea Source
12 tasting notes

This was a very strong floral tea. I was worred this tea might be too fruity tasting for me, but did not find this to be the case. This is one of my new favorites.

Flavors: Floral

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85

Huge buds look like albino grasshoppers. A great gateway white tea the flavor is more powerful than your average (white peony) white tea. Lovely lingering spicy note and the price isn’t bad either. Try it ices, its like drinking from a crystal clear faerie pool.

2001: A Buck Odyssey

Amazingly accurate description!

“like drinking from a crystal clear faerie pool”

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90

A lovely Japanese tea with the sweet grassy ‘taste of the sea’ and a lovely savory silky lingering aftertaste.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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33

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 30 sec 6 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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66
drank Silver Bud Ya Bao by Tea Source
2536 tasting notes

Hello Steepster!
I’m back from my trip to Minneapolis but we were so busy with my boyfriend’s family that we didn’t get to visit ANY tea shops much less do much sightseeing. Oh well. I’m bummed to have missed both Verdant and Mandala but maybe I’ll be back there someday.

This is from one of the Steepster select boxes, I think from March. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of these yabao type teas. The other one I had was from Verdant a while ago. I steeped according to the package directions and I’m getting a slightly sweet type of drink that reminds me of clover and/or hay. I wish this had more flavor to it… I’m definitely not getting the notes that other people seem to, but I will finish the cup.

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

Welcome back! Hope you had a nice visit with bf’s family.

TeaBrat

It was! They are very nice.

Cheri

It’s nice to have a trip where you have back up plans (visiting tea shops) but then you never get to those. Family visits can be hit or miss sometimes, so I’m glad this was a hit.

I’m also disappointed when I don’t taste what other people get out of teas. I try to drink at least half of my cup before looking at tasting notes, first to get my impression, and then to see if I can find what others taste in teas.

2001: A Buck Odyssey

@ Teabrat,

Try doing a 1 minute steep @ boiling instead of the recommended 160. This method brings out a much stronger flavour, and it won’t get bitter/nasty like a green tea would if you tried to boil it.

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drank Rare Orchid Oolong by Tea Source
340 tasting notes

Not bad. I don’t think I like oolong too much in general because of the floral taste. This one is not too strong though, so it’s alright. Nice, mellow, warm… but not something I would need more of.

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90
drank Rare Orchid Oolong by Tea Source
61 tasting notes

(1st steep: 4 min) There is a nice floral aroma to this tea that makes me glad I saved it for an end of the work day tea. There are some subtle fruit notes in this tea. I want to say it is close to melon due to the subtle flavor. It could be because it is summer, but I am thinking watermelon. Additionally, there is a honey flavor which pairs nicely with the fruit. All in all a great tea for a hot summer day.
(2nd steep: 4 min 30 sec) Almost no floral notes from before are present in the second steeping. The fruit and honey are actually stronger in the second steeping of this tea. There is a lovely watermelon flavor when you first taste the tea. This changes to a subtle honey flavor as the tea cools and remains for a short time after the tea has swallowed. I will be coming back to this tea in the future when I have more time to do additional steepings.

Flavors: Honey, Melon

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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drank Rare Orchid Oolong by Tea Source
2536 tasting notes

I got this in one of the Stepster select boxes and I thought it was supposed to be a wuyi oolong for some reason so I steeped it up in my xiying I have dedicated for wuyi oolongs. Whoops, I was wrong. So I don’t really think I can do a proper tasting note on this at the moment. It really does smell very flowery and has a nice sweetness about it. I do have another sample left, so I think brewing it in the proper pot or in a gaiwan will give me a better sense of this.

In other news, I can’t get myself motivated to do much since I found out I was losing my job due to my injury. It would be a good idea for me to get more exercise, but my gym is downtown near where my former office is. It takes me longer to get there and back than I would spend exercising. As Nike says — I just need to do it. I think perhaps I have a case of the blahs.

caile

The blahs suck! Maybe just go for a nice walk if the weather is good today. :-)

TheTeaFairy

Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that…That’s really bad, I hope you can find an even better job when you have fully recovered :-)

Cheri

The blahs suck. I’m sorry about that. Maybe find something else you can do closer to home instead? You could always just try starting back out with a walk and then maybe that would get you in the mood to try something else?

TeaBrat

thanks, I was able to do a bit of yoga and am feeling better now :)

Cheri

:) That’s great to hear. Sometimes just moving helps. Or some tea. Or a little of both.

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

Not keen on these teas as they are so subtle I basically need someone with experience to walk me through. Mostly flavors of oat-grass and a faint hint of sweetness but that’s all I got out of it. Heading off to my local tea shop (Tea Drunk) for instruction.

apt

if I lived closer to the east village id be making up all kinds of excuses to go to Tea Drunk haha

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86

Damn, love me my ooooo-longs. Used a small pot and this tea just didn’t quit with the flavors. Each sip bringing the florals and the honey. There is also a faint hint of almond in there as well. Started to fade after 7 steeps but I’ll take what I can get from this excellent sample.

Flavors: Floral, Honey

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 45 sec 4 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

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88
drank Hunan Dark Tea by Tea Source
4550 tasting notes

Backlog:

Here’s my full-length review on this one: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/04/16/hunan-dark-tea-tea-source/

My first infusion: I could taste notes of fermentation. In my tasting notes, I mentioned that it tasted a bit to me like a grape-y balsamic vinegar that has been thinned with wine. Earthy, but not as earthy as a typical pu-erh. There is a sweet, creamy note to it, I compared it to a vanilla frosting sort of taste. Honey and molasses. Remarkably smooth and mild.

My second infusion: Sweeter than the first cup, but not quite as creamy in taste and texture. Honey notes remain, and I’m noticing mineral and vegetative notes emerging.

A really lovely tea experience.

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81
drank Blueberry Fields by Tea Source
268 tasting notes

I had this tea at the Bad Waitress this afternoon- my friends and I don’t usually make it to brunch before noon haha. This tea smells AMAZING- like the blueberry smell from blueberry muffins. It tastes just as amazing too! I added some sugar and the blueberries just popped. Yum. If you like blueberries, you will love this tea.

Flavors: Berries

darby

This one made me think of blueberry pancakes! Dangerous!

mj

It made me think of blueberry pancakes too! Apparently there’s a Tea Source location in Minneapolis. I haven’t been yet, but I hear the minimum quantity sold is 2oz, which is kind of a lot.

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95
drank Rare Orchid Oolong by Tea Source
1598 tasting notes

I received this tea in my March Steepster Select. Let me preface this by saying that I am partial to oolongs!

Opening the packet revealed dark brown, thin and almost wiry leaves that had a gorgeous floral, malty and almost muscat scent. Wow, I love dark oolongs. It is as if they hold special secrets. I used the guidelines written on the small brown packet to brew this tea. After steeping, the liquid was a nice golden honey brown. This one was a complex and absolutely delicious flavor. There is honey. Enough said. Well, there are also darker florals (as in not like gardenias or peonies), malt, butter, and slight vanilla and cocoa. Best of all, there is no astringency whatsoever. This tea withstands multiple steeps, which is another aspect of oolongs that I love. The taste evolves with each steeping.

Flavors: Butter, Cocoa, Flowers, Honey, Malt, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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