Tealet

Recent Tasting Notes

88
drank Sencha of the Wind by Tealet
194 tasting notes

The very last of the Tealet tea boxes! This is a good one to end on. The tea has a really beautiful scent — honey and sweet peas. There’s some raw sweet pea flavor too, but mineral is the dominant flavor, and the pea is kind of an undernote. Right now this one’s vying with Sencha of the Spring Sun for the role of My Favorite Sencha. Spring Sun is smoother and mellower, something I generally look for in tea, but Wind has really interesting flavor. Hmmm, I’ll have to have a few more cups to decide.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86
drank Sencha of the Earth by Tealet
194 tasting notes

The label mentions a combination of sweetness and bitterness — I’m not really getting either. I do get lots of creamy pinenut flavor though. The tea is having a drying effect on my throat — normally I find this comes with astringency, so it seems kind of at odds with such a mellow tea.

Anyway, not crazy about the drying sensation, but love the flavor.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

87
drank Tecchan Shincha by Tealet
194 tasting notes

The instructions recommended using 1.5 Tablespoons of this, but I suspect that’s a typo (how could you possibly need 1.5 T of shincha?). This tea gets 5 out of 5 caffeine marks, and remembering how buzzed I got on the last tea that was marked that high, I used a scant teaspoon, and I find it is plenty strong.

I was curious to see whether this tea would really taste like buttered asparagus, as promised on the label, and it does! The stony mineral notes are also there, giving it a little zip, but it is primarily a smooth buttery vegetable tea. Good to focus with, as the caffeine brings plenty of alertness but the flavor is soothing. The steeped leaves are lime green, and the liquor is a pale gold.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

83
drank Gu Hua Sheng Pu'er by Tealet
194 tasting notes

Many thanks to AllanK for the steeping tips! This one turned out much better than my previous attempt at pu’er. I did the rinse, then a 30 sec. steep, a 15 sec. steep, and then 30 sec. again., and every time it seemed to gain a bit of flavor, so I’ll probably try a few more steeps later.

The predominant note in this was earthiness; I gather that is a common trait of pu’erhs. It also has a light touch of cloves. A pleasant tea for fall sipping, and far better than the spice bonanza teas I keep getting in the mail as free samples. I guess that’s the hazard you run of ordering tea in autumn.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

82
drank Gopaldhara Queen by Tealet
194 tasting notes

Hooray, Steepster seems to be up again (at least for now).

There are obvious similarities between this and the Gopaldhara Wonder — they’re both darjeelings with strong muscatel notes. They come from the same farm and, I suspect, the very same plants, but this one is a first flush and the wonder is a second flush.

I guess it’s unsurprising then that this one tastes noticeably “younger.” The liquor looks and tastes greenish. A very spring tea.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85
drank Gopaldhara Wonder by Tealet
194 tasting notes

The card that came with this touts it as an “unparalleled” example of darjeeling. I have to admit that I simply don’t have the darjeeling experience to know if this lives up to the advertising.

But it does have strong muscatel flavor, and the sort of papery teabag flavor that I’ve found in previous darjeelings is happily absent. So high marks for that. I thought that darjeelings usually have just a touch of grape flavor, and I don’t find that in this, so maybe it’s not as common as I thought. It has nice olivey-brown whole leaves, and steeps up quite light for a black tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank ChunJian Sheng Pu'er by Tealet
194 tasting notes

I’ve always avoided pu’ers because they seemed more than my meager tea-making tools could handle (and because I have no idea what to do with those big cakes). But fortunately this one doesn’t seem too daunting. The small clump broke apart easily and the directions said use a teaspoon, so I just steeped it like normal tea.

BUT unfortunately, I accidentally left it for 5 minutes when it was only supposed to get 30 seconds. It’s definitely stronger than it ought to be. Wow. I’ll just have to try this again some time when I’m paying more attention. Fortunately there’s enough for a few more attempts.

AllanK

Next time just try dumping that steep and resteeping for a shorter time. Also, you generally adjust the second steep down time wise so you might have resteeped it for 15 sec.

Tamarindel

Really? The second steep gets less time? Thanks for the tip, I never would have guessed that!

AllanK

That is because the first steep has “woken up” the leaves. They infuse more quickly after a rinse and a first steep. After the second steep you usually give it more time again.

Tamarindel

That makes sense. Well, I will definitely be better prepared the next time around. Thanks for the knowledge!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88

A very fresh, vegetal dragon well, with mostly green bean notes, but also a hint of sweetness and nuttiness. Very good!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

82

This reminds me of the Nepali silver, in that it is an oolong with olive and musk melon notes. This is a smoother, milder take on those flavors though. The leaves are small but whole, slightly bronzed. They look a bit like Russian olive leaves. The liquor is a light golden brown. While this isn’t my favorite style of oolong, it tastes very wholesome and natural, and now and then it makes for a nice change from the floral oolongs.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88

There’s an unusual amount of natural sweetness in this unflavored black tea. Bold plum and wine notes. Honestly, I was so surprised at how fruity it was that I kept wondering if I had scrubbed the steeper out well enough after previously brewing herbals, but I find the fruit flavor mentioned in several other notes, so it’s not just me. I love fruit, so very pleased with this one!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

87

I got a few dragon wells in a Teavivre sampler and really missed them when they ran out, so I was excited to find some in the Tealet boxes. Definitely tasting similarities between this and Teavivre’s, but while theirs was decidedly savory, this has some sweet and nutty notes along with vegetal flavors. I didn’t know there was such a range. Really nice, can’t wait to try the other dragon wells :)

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86
drank Teaneer Aristocrat by Tealet
194 tasting notes

The wiry leaves in this are so dark I was under the impression it was a black tea until I checked the label. Instructions said to use 2 tsp. and I took my best shot at that — it comes as such a tangled mass that it’s difficult to separate any and impossible to measure.

Dry this smells of citrus and hay. The wet leaves smell like sweet seaweed. It does taste like a green tea, but a very dark robust one. Now I taste the citrus AND the seaweed. It’s astringent, but only mildly. Not unpleasant.

Overall, this is a green tea with a LOT of character. Very interesting. Definitely worth trying.

p.s. It stands up very well to a second steep. No loss of flavor at all.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

It sounds really good actually! :)

Tamarindel

It is! A bit out there, but I have a feeling it’s really going to grow on me.I like that it has such bold flavor :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86
drank Midori Shencha by Tealet
194 tasting notes

This delicate tea is meant to be steeped at a cool 125F. I don’t know if I actually got it that low, but I hope I was close (it doesn’t taste scorched at any rate). It has a strong spinach flavor with some parsley bite.

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

60

Eh, this is my first houjicha and I don’t know what to make of it. It looks like miniature wood shavings. It smells like licorice. And boiling water, really? Is that how they’re usually prepared? The flavor reminds me a bit of some of the more mushroomy oolongs I’ve tried – like se chung and wu yi – but it’s not as strong. Loamy and woodsy. I don’t know, I think this one might just not be for me.

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

87
drank Vangedi Pekoe by Tealet
194 tasting notes

Bumping the rating up slightly. The pekoes from Plucky Farm are quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Fuss-free and rich on flavor. And this one tastes particularly brown sugary.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

87
drank Vangedi Pekoe by Tealet
194 tasting notes

Smells like brown sugar. Tastes like it a bit too, and also has some malt and a touch of citrus flavor, just like the label promises. This is another Plucky orange pekoe, and the flavor certainly has a great deal in common with the other pekoes I’ve tried from them, but the differences are noticeable. The OP1s had strong honey notes, while this one leans toward the darker side with the malt and burnt sugar notes. It’s also quite a bit brisker.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86

Mmm, I could smell the honeysuckle the moment I opened the tin. Now that I’ve had 4 or 5 honeyish oolongs from Taiwan, it’s dawning on me that this is no coincidence, this is the place honey oolongs come from, and my ears perk up now every time I hear the name. Such a great flavor. As The Snooty Tea Person noted, this one also has some interesting seaweed notes, and though it’s not something I’d think would go with the floral side of the tea, it actually tastes quite good.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

The label mentions dark chocolate as a flavor note, and I’m definitely picking up on that, though I think it might be a little closer to carob. There is also a touch of smoke flavor, and though I’m not really a fan of smoke, this is light enough to be pleasant. I think this is probably the darkest oolong I’ve ever had, both flavor-wise and the color of the leaf. At a glance, the steeped leaves look like shiny raisins. On closer inspection, they look like very knotted thick string, because even after a 3 minute steep, the leaves have barely uncrinkled. Smells a bit loamy and mushroomy, but this isn’t really translating to the flavor.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

87
drank OP1 by Tealet
194 tasting notes

Unsurprisingly, this is nearly identical in taste to the OP1 with tea flowers (also from Plucky Tea farm) that I tried over the weekend. It’s the same tea sans the tea flowers.

Still delicious though :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

84
drank Kukicha by Tealet
194 tasting notes

A pleasant savory tea to relax with. Spinach, green bean, and chicken soup notes.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

This beautifully named tea has light sweet and savory notes. It’s a little nutty, but mostly vegetal, and for a sencha, amazingly mellow. I find senchas have great flavor but can be on the astringent side, so I’m really glad to have found a non-astringent one. Delicious!

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

83
drank Orthodox Black Tea by Tealet
194 tasting notes

Does the fact that this tea comes from Assam make it technically an assam? I haven’t had enough assams to tell by taste, and the labeling doesn’t really say. To me the flavor falls somewhere between an English breakfast and a darjeeling. A hearty tea with just a hint of earth and fruit undertones. And orthodox is right — I feel like it’s “normal” enough that I could serve this to non-tea addicts without raising eyebrows. Certainly not the most exotic of the Tealet teas, but a solid offering.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86
drank Spring White by Tealet
194 tasting notes

The Tealet tins came four to a box, and simply for the sake of keeping some idea of what I’ve tried and what I haven’t, I’m making the round through each box before going on to the next one. Today’s box was particularly well-appointed in that it hit all the major tea groups: black, oolong, green, and this white that I’m finishing out the day with.

While I don’t think I would seek this tea out because I’m just not a fan of unflavored whites, I have to note that the tea has some fascinating spice undertones that give it a lot more character and body than a white tea usually has. It tastes like cinnamon and cloves, if you can imagine cinnamon and cloves as an aftertaste rather than the overpowering experience they usually are. I also get a bit of sweet hay flavor, which I find with a lot of white teas. It’s a very smooth tea, but with 4 out of 5 caffeine points, maybe not the most relaxing tea. Drink it to wake up.

Prep note: the instructions recommend using a whomping 2 Tbsp; I used 2 tsp, which to me seemed plenty strong enough. It’s true that this is a light and feathery tea, with many of the pieces consisting of 2 leaves attached to a stem, and all this means that it’s not going to fill all the spaces in the measuring spoon. But still, 2 Tbsp seems like overkill. Use your own discretion, I guess.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

87

The recommended serving for this is 1 Tbsp., but I just used a tsp. because (a) all I’ve got since my steeper went out of commission is a little basket strainer that fits in the top of the cup, and there’s no way 1 Tbsp of rolled oolong leaves would fit in it once the water hit them and (b) I wasn’t keen to use the whole tin in one go.

Now that I’m trying it, a Tbsp still seems unnecessary, but maybe 1.5 tsp would have been good. It is just slightly on the weak side. That aside, the flavor is great, very smooth with that classic Taiwanese honey-floral oolong taste. A bit of mellow pinenut flavor too. There are few things as comforting as a honeyish oolong.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.