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Recent Tasting Notes
Not quite feeling this tea this morning. I should have gone with something stronger.
My bursitis in my shoulder has gotten really bad to the point I only got a couple of hours of sleep last night so I’m feeling kinda crummy.
I mentioned using this as a cold steep when I move. Well I move tomorrow! I won’t have access to all my stuff from storage still monday and even then it’ll take forever to unpack, especially trying to protect my shoulder. I still haven’t decided where the Giant Cabinet of Teas(GCT) is going in the apartment yet. Better figure that out soon!
But so excited I’ll be able to have an address and access to all my teas so I can do swaps. I don’t even remember half the teas in my GCT are! It will be so nice to get reacquainted.
Ok enough about my move. Back to the tea. As it cools it’s tasting much better to me. No longer weak, just delicate. The fruitiness is like a juicy peach. Peaches and cream. The cream note isn’t as strong as like a milk oolong but it’s definitely noticeable.
I’m certainly making an assertive black for my next cup but starting to relax into this cup and enjoy it.
Flavors: Cream, Floral, Orchid, Peach, Stonefruits
I wrote a long review of this and steepster ate it!
The sort version—a lovely fruity light oolong with notes of stone fruit and melon. With a definite touch of cream.
I think once I finally move into a house and get all my stuff unpacked and have access to my iced tea pitcher I’ll definitely be making this cold brewed.
It resteeps amazingly well. The problem with teas like this is they’re imposible to sipdown! I have almost 2 oz of this and it’s over a year old eeep. I better get drinking! I’m very grateful to have this one on the boat with me.
First to review this tea, eh? No pressure.
I got this at a little tea shop in Berkeley about a month ago. They had some interesting blends and I got this little sample packet, to try this oolong, which suggested notes of vanilla and clover honey, which are surefire discriptors to get me to buy a product.
They are not kidding with the term Light Oolong. This is so delicate and subtle that its taken me a few cups to really get a hold on this.
Light, but not bad. A watercolor wash of oolong, and, yes, a subtle after taste of honey floating by. Its very calming and gentle, and I like it.
I may not ever have it again, but this was a lovely pot of tea.
thank you CharlotteZero for a sample of this one! I had no idea how to steep this one, so I just wung it… but then I realized I had a Phoenix oolong from Verdant before. Verdant’s suggestions: Use 4-5 g of tea per 8oz or water. Rinse leaves once with 205 degree water. Steep for 25-35 seconds. Enjoy at least 5 infusions. Yeah, I kind of knew I was overdoing these steeps. Definitely should have looked it up before I steeped, as I usually do. I used two teaspoons and forgot the rinse.
Steep #1 // 8 min after boiling // 2 min
Almond oolong sounded interesting, but I don’t taste the almond here. The dry leaves are twisty, dark and dusty but once steeped they turn green. This cup wasn’t terribly overdone, but it did have hints of astringency. Rather than almond, the flavor was like juicy honey peach.
Steep #2 // a few min after boiling // 3 min
The first cup tasted like it probably should have, but this one was sadly ruined. Too bitter. I was tasting peach from Verdant’s phoenix oolong and really enjoyed that one (looking at the tasting notes), so it’s too bad I ruined this one. I have a few steep sessions worth to actually do this tea some justice…
I got a sample of this last year at Teance, but now I don’t see any reference to it on their website. Oh well! On to the tea!
This tea is strange. It is very smooth and balanced. It has a little bit of a fruity taste, but it is also almost savory. It isn’t salty at all, but it reminds me of salted preserved plums that you get at Asian markets. It seems well done, but isn’t striking a chord with me. I may try it again and see if my opinion changes.
Steeping instructions on the bag say 1tsp to 1c water at 205F for 1 minute and it is good for 4-5 infusions.
Trying this tea again! I had it without sugar and noticed it has a sweetness of it’s own and doesn’t need sugar. Again, the second steep isn’t as impressive. I may actually dump it. This tea is nice, but I’m feeling like if the price is on the steep side (and I don’t remember what it was), it may not be worth it for a tea that is only good for once steep.
So, this morning, Casey, my boyfriend of 10 months (8 months of which we were cohabitating) decided to break up with me. We weren’t even fighting. I asked him how he was doing this morning and his answer was (to put it only slightly more succinctly than he did): “not good”. And then he packed a bag. Life is weird sometimes. It was literally only yesterday afternoon that I booked us tickets to visit my father in New York on Easter weekend. I was encouraging him to stay at home because the tickets are expensive, he has limited PTO at his new job, and the trip isn’t exactly a vacation. But he told me that he wanted to go because he wouldn’t be able to sleep without me. He referenced a night recently when I stayed up all night working in our living room and he told me that he missed me in our bed and that really wanted to be on couch next to me all night…And less than 24 hours later, he spoke the words that amounted to he never wants to sleep next to me again.
I’ve been through enough in my life to know that I am okay being alone…But I loved and trusted this person more than anyone else. I always knew that, emotionally speaking, he wasn’t getting as much out of the relationship. He had a very hard time opening up and putting his feelings into words, but I thought that pushing him would only make things worse, and that it would get easier for him with time…But now our time is up.
Tea was fine.
Brought this tea to work today. I knew it would be a difficult day, and I figured an Assam would be a good strong tea to keep me going. This one’s getting a bit older, but it’s still very good. Its astringency is balanced and the aftertaste is very much like honey.
You can see how un-used to the new Steepster I am by looking at the three Teance logos I tried to upload, not realizing that the old ones would be kept. Please may I never accidentally upload a personal photo…
Got a sample of this when I went into their Berkeley store. The first steep was super flavorful! They aren’t kidding when they describe it as tropical. The lichee is very distinct and the tea is really smooth and balanced. I could have gone lighter on the sugar, but I was in a rush to get out of the house with tea on the go and just spooned it in quickly and thoughtlessly. The second steep isn’t as nice as the first. There is a strange taste to it like stale water or something. Maybe I need to clean my kettle, but I’m chalking the second steep tasting odd to user error for now.
This is a very lovely tea. This might actually be one of the highest ratings I’ve ever given!
Lovely complexity of taste in a subtle shade. I’m very thankful I followed the brewing instructions as the almost clear liquor packs a distinctively flavorful kick. Really this is what green teas should taste like.
Vegetal notes with subtle floral. Its hard to distinguish between (I got bok choy and spring peas, as well as green bell peppers as it brewed longer, all with the sweetness of roasted chestnuts and faint gardenia/rose). Really this is an amazing tea.
My one concern was that the price was a little high, but if someone bought this for me…(hint hint), I would gladly accept. ;)
CharlotteZero sent me a couple of these little things to try. I really appreciate it — thank you! I’m just now trying them, since this was my first little pu-erh cake and I was a bit intimidated. But it’s a rainy day here, so I thought this one would be nice to try. Originally I thought I should cut it in half or something, since I would be brewing western style… but the cake looks like a teaspoon sized bird nest anyway. So I rinsed the mini cake for a few seconds (until the cake was saturated) and poured out that water.
Steep #1: I waited a few minutes for the water to cool to pour the mug about 3/4 of the way full for maybe 10 seconds and took out the infuser. That may have been a couple seconds too long (according to the tiny bit of astringency.) But the flavor is exactly what I expected a “sweet rice” to be. It’s kind of like kettle corn! Just a bit less sugary sweet.(“Kettle corn’s a fun time snack!” says Troy from ‘Community’.) The pu-erh itself is hardly noticeable. There isn’t much of a typical pu-erh flavor, letting the sweet rice really shine through.
Steep #2: Eight seconds with the mug half full of water. This one is just as tasty. It’s so buttery. I could swear I was tasting some green tea here though.. which might be where the astringency is coming from. I’m not finding the “dark, earthy” taste from the description though. The leaves are entirely out of the little nest now.
A BUNCH more steeps around ten seconds with the mug half filled all tasted the same. Just as delicious and buttery! Then I steeped once at 20 seconds which seemed even more buttery… which led to:
The last steep: I decided to go with Teance’s instructions and brew this for two minutes with a full mug of water. It still has that buttery flavor, but it tastes a bit more like a pu-erh now. The one that I had from Verdant anyway: a bit like some sort of woodchip, in a nice way! It is still very mild flavored!
I have one more of this little cakes that I will save to savor! ( I think I just like saying “little cakes”.) I thought about buying some more of these but yowzas, these aren’t cheap… though they might be the cheapest thing on Teance’s site. I enjoyed this immensely though!
My coworker generously gave me pretty much an entire bag of this tea yesterday. When I asked her why she was giving it away, she said although she likes it, her husband doesn’t, and they typically enjoy tea together. They’re so cute! Honestly, this does not look like it was a cheap tea, so I feel a little bad about taking it all. It was harvested in 2009, though, and it appears that Teance has a recent 2013 harvest available, so not sure how long she’s had it. Ha!
I really enjoyed 3 steeps of this today. It’s yummy! And no worries, it doesn’t taste stale. ;) I got buttery, vegetal, and some floral notes. Very smooth and thick. I think the vegetal note is like an artichoke, although I’m still working at refining my palate. Overall, a very enjoyable oolong that I am happy to add to my cupboard! :)
The dry leaves are green-white finely rolled balls; they unfold somewhat but not completely when brewed to reveal high-quality full leaves.
It produces a golden-white liquor that honestly reminds me more of white than green tea.
The leaves and liquor share a fresh vegetal scent with strong floral/jasmine notes.
Astringency is extremely muted.
The dominant flavors are jasmine (surprise) and a fruity taste. I’d say it’s melon of some sort. There’s also a pleasant, mellow vegetal taste that I could say is snap peas or something like that. Unfortunately, to some degree the jasmine overpowers the vegetal notes. I do not have much experience with jasmine greens, so I do not know if this is a flaw of this tea or of jasmine greens in general.
I did a second steep, for 3 minutes instead of two. I noticed more of the melon-like flavor. It’s almost a green apple flavor on this steep. The jasmine’s definitely still there. I could say there’s something almost soapy about this tea. I wouldn’t call it that, but it’s bordering on that. I believe the potential issue is that the jasmine flavor is very strong and to some extent overpowering the green tea base. This is not to say it’s not a good tea – I like it a lot – but I would like the jasmine to be a bit milder.
Since Teance is close by, I’ve stopped in there store to drink gong-fu style tea at their tea bar a number of times. The quality of the teas is always very good, but I’ve refrained from buying any due to their steep prices. Then I found this tea in a local store for literally around half of its price in-store. So I bought it. I am thoroughly happy with it, although it’s not mind-blowing. Its most distinctive feature is its sweetness, which is really quite pronounced.
I’m almost out of this tea (very sad), but I’m excitedly looking forward to the Spring 2013 teas!
I don’t drink a lot of Darjeeling. This may be the only Darjeeling that I have had more than once. So, take this rating with an especially minuscule grain of salt. It has a savory aroma (as described) and a floral note that reminds me of roses after a cool spring rain. It is light bodied with a pleasant astringency. I think I finally understand what people are talking about when they speak of a “muscatel” note. When I smelled this tea, I was momentarily transported to a night this past summer when I opened a Martinelli Muscat Alexandria for some friends of mine.
This is a wonderful tea if you want something to drink many cups of or to go with food. (I brewed up a big pot of this at around 11AM to drink with my breakfast of curried lentils and rice.) I guess I should also note that this tea had a lot of broken pieces in it and really clogged up the narrow slots of my glass infuser.
Oh look, a backlog. A very backlogged backlog actually wot I actually wrote two weeks ago. But there you are. Also, my formatting appears to have been stripped at some point… Deal with it.
Here’s another one from Auggy. I feel a bit like I’m neglecting Hesper June’s parcel, but Auggy sent me so many!
Auggy and I have discovered on several occasions that on the subject of black tea we tend to be Taste Twins. We like so many of the same ones, and we seem to look for the same qualities in them. The one where we’re the most different is probably Assam. I’m slightly sceptical about Assam. Not because flavour as such, because I do agree with her that Assam can produce an immensely good cup. I like it, when it’s well brewed.
Unfortunately, it does not always like me, and that well-brewed cup is diffciult for me to attain. Even when I think I follow all instructions to the letter, it’s still sometimes a game of chance whether I get a good, pleasant cup, or something just a smidge too astringent and bitter. This is actually a big reason for why I prefer the Chinese black teas over all others. They’re idiot-proof. Some of them, although not all, are almost completely impossible to ruin.
So I’m going at this one with some degree of caution.
The leaves smell nice. Slightly woodsy, and quite malty, and this repeats itself in the brewed cup. Emphasis on malty. Many Assams, when I’ve managed to get a good cup, have for me had a strong note of raisins or similar dried fruit, but I’m not finding any such thing in the aroma here. I kind of miss it a bit. It feels a little like there an element missing.
To my relief, the raisin note is there in the flavour though, and it’s the first one I encounter when sipping, followed shortly by a fairly long malty note with a woodsy highlight. I’ve just had pancakes for breakfast, so I’m not currently capable of detecting any other aftertaste other than pancakes. As it cools a little it does develop that particular note that I think is what Auggy describes as ‘good cardboard’, and I can see what she means by that description.
I managed to get me a good cup out of it today. Yay me!
Ok I’m going to come back and write a better review later but I’ve been a bit obsessed with this tea since I got back from Berkeley where I got it from Teance.
3 word review—
Ok maybe a bit longer than that. I want to explain that this is a very good thing. It’s subtle not in your face but the sweet nutty flavors are there under the beautiful oolong exterior. I definitely get some grain notes that further emphasize the cheerio-ness I’m getting from it. Don’t get me wrong it’s no where close to being a flavored tea, not that I don’t enjoyed my 52teas(psst Frank, a honey nut cheerio green would be lovely me thinks)
Yesterday we made a trek to Teance in Berkeley which is definitely one of the more upscale tea places I have ever been to (with prices to match)
I decided I needed to pick up one of these little fragrant leaf shengs, it sounded so appealing from the description and the bamboo leaf wrapping could not be cuter…
I threw the first steep of this away after I realized I forgot to rinse it. The second steep here is pretty nice, I am getting the sticky rice aroma for sure, there is a slightly sweet taste with quite a bit of astringency in the finish. Slightly earthy. I steeped it for around 2 minutes basket style, I will try for less steeping next time around. It is a very young sheng but I liked it. My rating might go up when I’ve had the chance to do a proper gong fu tasting.
Third steep here has gotten a lot lighter with some more fruity/apple flavors…