Tea Trekker

Recent Tasting Notes

81

This is a rather amazing tea, nuanced and full of flavor. If prepared really well, the first sip is almost shocking; the buttery note really comes through. However, I have only prepared it this well once. This tea is very easy to get wrong. After doing some searching, I found the “top-down” method worked really quite well in a glass or gaiwan. This involves dropping the tea leaves into the glass with the water already poured, watching them fall to the bottom and opening up.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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I saw this on Tea Trekker and had to order it. Especially since I was eyeing this tea and 1 other (a dancong grown ali-shan style!), and the other went out of stock. It was like man, I need to buy this one before it disappears too!
Very nice rich and creamy flavor. Definitely still tastes like dong ding, but with extra depth.

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I think I severely underleafed this. Tea Trekker states the sample I purchased was 14g, so I thought half the package (7g) would be perfect for 18oz of water. But, on the other hand their steeping instructions call for 2 tbsp for 6oz, and half the package turned out to be not much more than 2 tbsp. So, something is really off…

As I steeped it, it had very little flavor. Liquor was just a cream color.

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

Also… Though I have really enjoyed reading their books, I can’t say I’m having much luck with Tea Trekker teas. Could just be coincidence, but I don’t know…

Bonnie

Yep,sounds way underleafed for the amount of water. Some oolongs take a steeping or two to unfurl and release flavor. Having a gaiwan is easier for oolong tea in my opinion (smaller steeps with less leaf) since it’s also more expensive.

Rachel J

Thanks, Bonnie! Yes, I am starting to realize the error of my ways. When trying samples, I really have to brew much smaller amounts in order to have some room for trial and error!

Bonnie

Since there’s no picture of the tea it’s harder to comment on what type of oolong it is. Reading more on either Teavivre, Mandala or Verdant websites and watching their videos has been helpful to me.

Rachel J

Hi Bonnie, here’s a pic: https://www.teatrekker.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/product_full/ool-nepal_hh_jade-lg.jpg

I tried to add it to the tea description but can’t modify teas until I’ve been a member for a month.

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OK, so this is another roasted oolong. It is less coffeeish than the Butiki one I had yesterday, but now I’m starting to think I won’t be a fan of roasted oolongs. I’m not sure the smoky, toasted flavor is one I really want in my tea.

It was smooth, non-astringent, and flavorful. But, the flavor was largely the above-mentioned smoky, burnt thing. I was planning a second infusion, but didn’t get there because I just wasn’t in the mood for more of that flavor.

Again, not rating this because I’m working on a firm opinion about this type of tea. So far, I’m feeling it’s not for me.

Really want to find an oolong that’s oxidized as much as this one, but not roasted. Please comment if you know a good one! Then again, maybe that doesn’t exist. I’ll have to do some research into whether all highly oxidized oolongs are also roasted. Hmmm…

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Backlogging and based almost entirely on a few notes

Experience buying from Tea Trekker http://steepster.com/places/2820-tea-trekker-online-northampton-massachusetts

I got this as a free sample with an order from Tea Trekker in the spring of 2011.

This was a bud-only fresh spring green tea. The leaf was “dark green” while the wet leaf was “bright green!” I started a little cooler and shorter than my standard green tea steeping parameters, and I got four ‘good tasting’ steepings, and one more ‘decent tasting’ steeping out of it (for a total of five). “Tasty, vegetal.” That’s all the notes I have. I do remember being impressed with the freshness of the flavor and leaf (it was one of the first spring green teas I have ever tried), and at the vibrancy of the leaf.

It was originally $20 / 4 OZ, but now it’s one sale for $12 / 4 OZ either way, that seems to be a good price for a bud-only green tea.

Since I remember very little about it (and as it was one of my first spring green teas), I’m leaving off the rating.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Invader Zim

I’ve been eyeballing some of Tea Trekker’s green teas and I like that they offer samples, but the samples seem so expensive compared to the regular prices. Do you know if they offer sampler packs? I just ordered two from Life in Teacup and was hoping that Tea Trekker offered something similar.

SimpliciTEA

To my knowledge, no they don’t have any sample packs (however, it wouldn’t hurt to e-mail them as ask them what you want, and maybe they’ll knock off a few dollars if you order a bunch).

The way the price their samples is one of my biggest gripes about Tea Trekker: they are priced such that you may as well order a few ounces. One thing they have improved on though: until recently, their next step up from the sample was four OZ, now they have a two OZ option priced not much more per ounce than the four ounce option. I like that.

I am glad to hear you ordered from Life in Teacup! My experience is that Tea Trekker and Life in Teacup both offer quality green teas for very reasonable prices (and both have some steeply prices teas as well).

I’m looking forward to reading your reviews of the teas from Life in Teacup!

Invader Zim

I hate buying a large amount of tea when first trying it which is why I like samples, but I can’t justify their prices. I’ll have to email them and see if I can get some sort of discount.

SimpliciTEA

I’d be interested in hearing how they respond to your request (you can PM me) if you do e-mail them, and you are willing.

Invader Zim

Sure thing, I emailed them earlier today and am waiting a response. If they reply I’ll probably PM you.

SimpliciTEA

Great. Thanks!

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Backlogging and based on my memory and a few notes

Experience buying from Tea Trekker http://steepster.com/places/2820-tea-trekker-online-northampton-massachusetts

I bought four ounces of this back in the spring of 2011, and I have been brewing it off-and-on since then with temperatures a little lower than the ones I normally use for any other black tea.

I have had at least four Darjeelings to date. Here are my notes (almost verbatim): “Good flavor, not too brisk; good color. (My wife) and I really liked it. Muscatel → distinctive – floral? Beautiful clear amber color. Not bitter or astringent. Uplifting finish.” I started my first steep at 190F, otherwise I used my standard black tea parameters while steeping; my notes show that I got two good steepings and a third that was noted as, “mild, but still tasty”; I must have stopped at three.

I have noticed that Darjeelings do not seem to do very well with multiple steepings, beyond say two or three, and as cost conscience as I am, I prefer to get lots of steepings out of a tea that goes for $5 or more (I have been able to get five good steepings out of a number of quality Chinese red teas). I am intrigued by the various subtleties in the first and second flush Darjeelings, but still don’t feel I have to have a FF Darjeeling in my cupboard.

This is my first FF Darjeeling, so I’m leaving off the rating.

(I still have some of this, so I may update this review at a later time).

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Backlogging and based on my memory and a few notes

Experience buying from Tea Trekker http://steepster.com/places/2820-tea-trekker-online-northampton-massachusetts

I bought four ounces of this back in the spring of 2011, and I have been brewing it off-and-on since then with temperatures a little lower than the ones I normally use for any other black tea.

I have had at least four Darjeelings to date. The first time I had this I thought it was harsh, but since then I have some to appreciate that distinctive muscatel flavor that seems to be characteristic of Darjeelings. Here is an interesting note about this tea: “I liked it better at room temperature.” I think the last time I brewed this one up I noticed a degradation in it’s flavor, so I hope to finish it up soon. It’s hard to say if I will buy any of these from Tea Trekker again; I may instead try a few samples from Upton or order a Darjeeling from H&S that my wife and I both enjoyed a sample of.

At this point I don’t feel I have to have a SF Darjeeling in my cupboard (I hope your not reading this, Excelsior) for a number of reasons (one being that I would rather stick to Chinese red teas). I have noticed that Darjeelings do not seem to do very well with multiple steepings, beyond say, two or three (I have been able to get five good steepings out of a number of quality Chinese red teas). This is my first SF Darjeeling, so I’m leaving off the rating.

(I still have some of this, so I may update this review at a later time).

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

I agree. I can only get two steeps from the Darjeelings I have, and the there is a considerable loss of flavor on that second steep. So for large groups or if I want to drink a large amount of tea, I usually go with the Oolongs I still have from Taiwan. I can get 15+ steeps, and the 15-16th steep will still have flavor. I also like how the flavor changes during multiple steeps.

As for not having any SF Darjeelings, I take no offense. I have friends that are not too keen on Darjeelings and I cringe when they ask for milk and comment on how I should make the brew stronger. So for them, I have a nice tin of Cha Tai that goes very well with milk and sugar.

SimpliciTEA

Wow 15+ steeps on the Taiwan oolongs? I bet you have some of the really good stuff, though. Slowly, I am starting to get into the Taiwan High Mountain oolongs.

It’s great that you chose to comment on this tasting note (I didn’t know if you were reading them or not). I like hearing that you find that you can’t get many steepings out of a Darjeeling, either (so I know it’s not just me).

I still like Darjeelings, and plan to continue to explore them, but they are not as high priority as other teas are to me at this time (it doesn’t help that they are so expensive). Which reminds me, I have been keeping my eye on this online retailer https://www.assamteacompany.com/home.php because they have some reasonably priced Darjeelings, and when I order from them I feel I am ordering from a retailer that is ‘at the source, so-to-speak. I hope to order from them sometime (as they are have some Darjeelings that are ’green’—as in non-oxidized), possibly next year.

Excelsior

The 15+ steepings amounted to 5 liters of tea. We emptied my parents 4 liter electric water heater, added another liter and ended up draining that as well. I’ll try to post my review of the 2012 FF Ambootia over the weekend. For an oxidized Darjeeling, the taste was as green as it gets.

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Backlogging

Experience buying from Tea Trekker http://steepster.com/places/2820-tea-trekker-online-northampton-massachusetts

During the spring of 2011 I ordered eight teas from Tea Trekker: three 2010 green teas, one 2011 green tea, one 2010 yellow tea, and three black teas (with one free 2011 green tea sample thrown in). I finished all of the green and yellow teas by the end of 2011.

This was my first yellow tea. At the time it tasted pretty much like a green tea to me. I liked it. I still don’t exactly know what to expect from a yellow tea, so no numerical rating.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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