Teas Etc

Recent Tasting Notes

91
drank Golden Monkey by Teas Etc
596 tasting notes

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94

Pretty extraordinary oolong. Surprisingly light for an Oriental Beauty, but also fruity. A delight.

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71
drank Keemun by Teas Etc
596 tasting notes

Tasty, smooth, but a bit more aggressive than other Keemuns I’ve tried. If you eschew Keemun on the grounds that it is wimpy, do give this one a try.

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89
drank Orange U Slim by Teas Etc
251 tasting notes

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68
drank Ginseng Oolong by Teas Etc
239 tasting notes

Searching for the correct temp and time to brew this tea. 180 deg F for 5 minutes didn’t get much into the cup. Has a slight garlicly aftertaste today….not sure why.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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50
drank Bohea by Teas Etc
161 tasting notes

MY 100th TASTING NOTE! Cue the balloons and confetti.

For my 100th post, I chose a tea that I have never had before. I’ve kind of been avoiding Lapsang Souchong teas due to their smell. Not that the smell is offensive, I’ve just never been in the mood to drink them. The tea’s liquor is much lighter than I expected (even lighter than most black teas). I think I was expecting a tarry, murky, dark color to match the smell. Surprise #1. The tea smells like a campfire. Well, maybe not like a campfire per se…but it smells like your clothes after you have been close to a campfire. The 1st taste (the second it touches your tongue) is that of a smooth black tea. Then an overwhelming flavor of smoke and ash (and I mean that in the best of ways) takes over. The after taste is that of residual smoke and a very light sweetness. Odd and interesting. Surprise #2.

I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it either. I’ll be open to try other LS in the future now that I’ve gotten the initial experience out of the way. I really do like the lingering taste. It’s not like cigar smoke that can hang on for a day or two. It’s like the aftertaste of a nice meal that involved eating smoked ham or something similar.

Now that the world of LS has been opened, it might be time to delve into pu-erh…maybe. Slowly.

Here’s to experiencing 100 more teas.

JacquelineM

Congrats on 100! clinks my tea cup with yours

Angrboda

Why, Lena! It’s your Steepsterversary! Congratulations. :D Shame it didn’t happen with an awesomesauce tea though, but at least you’re not completely scared away.

Dan

Congrats…may your tea cup never be empty.

Mike

Congrats Lena! ;)

LENA

@ JacquelineM – clink clink Cheers to your recent 100 too!

@ Angrboda – Thank you!!! It’s ok…I’m sure I’ll find something wonderful in the TTB. It should be making its way toward TN fairly soon.

@ Dan – Thanks for the kind words. :)

Ricky

Now how did I miss this! Congrats!

~lauren.

WOW! 100+ tea tasting notes! Congrats!

takgoti

WHEEEEEEEEE! Unfashionably late to this party, but congratulations!

Doulton

An auspicious occasion indeed! And cheers for discussing a LS for #100!

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89
drank Orange U Slim by Teas Etc
251 tasting notes

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90
drank Assam Reserve by Teas Etc
115 tasting notes

This is my afternoon tea today. I have to say each time I try this it seems to taste better to me. Today it tasted better than I remember and I have bumped up the rating even higher.

The appearance of the dry leaf of this tea is nice with black and gold tips mixed in. After steeping 2 minutes, the flavor is smooth with no noticeable astringency. It is sweet and malty with fruit notes, offering a kind of caramel flavor about it. Yes I am seeing why this won an award. It is yummy! It’s gray outside but this tea is brightening things up inside.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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72
drank Huang Jin Gui by Teas Etc
239 tasting notes

Resteep. Again a long steep…flavor isn’t as intensely green as the first go around, but still veggy. This cup is a nice oolong, but its not being slapped in the face with an oolong like the first cup.

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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72
drank Huang Jin Gui by Teas Etc
239 tasting notes

Have a new office hot water dispenser…it only hits 118 deg. F. Not hot enough for a good black tea (and the office microwave takes like 3 minutes to get the water any reasonbly hotter; I can’t be expected to wait another 3 minutes for tea, can I?). So, I tried going green with it. This is a green oolong that I purposefully oversteeped in deference to the cool water. Very good! Still brews pale and clear, but the flavor is intensely concentrated. Not so much of a floral overtone, but strong green vegetable, like asparagus or spinach. No it doesn’t taste like spinach…but the flavor is intense, concentrated like that.
I have some green tea that a friend brought back from mainland China…no idea what it is as the label is in Chinese…when it steeps, in unfurls to an actual twig with tips and one or two full leaves…this reminds me of that tea.

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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81
drank Assam Reserve by Teas Etc
48 tasting notes

Great tea. But I disliked the first steep. Too bitter. I only steeped it for 2 minutes with boiling water. I then took a few sips, was unsatisfied, then poured it out. I then steep the tea a second time for 4 minutes with boiling water. I was much better but didn’t seem to have as much maltyness to it. Next time I’ll steep it for 5 minutes for the second steep. I think that would be fantastic.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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77
drank Bai Mu Dan by Teas Etc
158 tasting notes

I got this as my sample from Teas. etc. when I ordered the assam that was the Select some time ago, and am only just now getting around to trying it. The leaves of this white tea are pretty crispy-crunchy and actually surprisingly green, which is a slight change from the silver needle and the Downy Sprout that I’ve gotten more accustomed to. There are still little white fuzzies, but they aren’t nearly so thick or prevalent here.

It still produces a very good cup of white tea. Not my favorite, but good. Once steeped, the tea feels exceptionally thick and heavy in the mouth. I’m not surprised that this white has a more ‘green’ and vegetal flavor than the other whites I have given the appearance of the leaves; I think it’s from this greenishness that the most notable quality of the tea stems. As I’ve been sipping I’ve been thinking, ‘salty’…but it’s not salty in a way that would compel me to describe the tea overall as salty…it just contains a note that seems to lean in that direction, which surprised me, as anything of the sort is notably absent in my other whites. Curious, I went and looked up their description of the tea, and it seems they’re characterizing this quality as ‘sweet cream butter’, which I think is probably reasonable…butter isn’t necessarily salty, but it does have some traces of that same aspect, and that must be what I’ve found here. The almost viscous heaviness of the tea seems to texturally underline that sweet-cream-butter description.

It’s pretty heavy for a cup of white tea. I don’t know that I would find myself craving this more than the flavor-saturated sweetness of the Downy Sprout I have. I’m glad that I have more sample left though. I think I’ll need to try it again to see whether or not it’ll grow on me or wear me out.

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

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67

I was in the mood for something sweet and light this afternoon, and glad to have this one on the shelf. I like it, it’s very smooth and mellow, but refreshing at the same time.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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70

I selected this blend as my free sample from Teas Etc. and was very happy with the result. It’s a white tea, so the subtle flavor was to be expected, but the rose petals added a nice flowery bite, and the coconut added a sweetness to the flavor that made for a great mix of aromas and flavors that unfolds with each sip. A definite winner, with a great story that just adds to the experience.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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72
drank Pink Grapefruit by Teas Etc
28 tasting notes

I was in the mood for something fresh and citrus-y this morning, and this fits the bill nicely. The base is a lovely tea without the harsh qualities often used in flavored blends, and the peels give it just the perfect amount of sweet-tart sensation and aroma. Very nice blend.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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90
drank Assam Reserve by Teas Etc
115 tasting notes

Based on an ad I saw here on this forum and the fact that one of my all-time favorite assams was called Assam Special Reserve from teasource.com (which is no longer available apparently) I opted to order this up. This is actually my third time to use this tea, the first two I must not have been careful in my prep as I rushed off to work as I wasn’t that impressed. So to give it a more fair tasting this time, I measured up the qty of both leaf and water, then steeped carefully for 2 minutes at boiling. I added sweetener but kept the tea black (no dairy.)

The leaf in my purchased bag was mostly black leaf not as tippy as the picture suggests. Initial impressions of the flavor this time around is with moderate boldness, not sure how well it would work diluting with dairy. Flavor has an initial slight astringency that fades as a moderate maltiness appears and then grows stronger as it lingers on in the aftertaste. This was a bit of a surprise for me. I now have a much more favorable opinion of this tea this time. This is very good. I look forward to my next cup.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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89
drank Pu'erh Tuo-Cha by Teas Etc
20 tasting notes

Enjoying a wonderful cup of this Pu’erh this morning. It’s not organic (I typically consume only organic foods and drinks), but, I haven’t found an organic Pu’erh that comes in the birds nest shape yet and I really like that special aspect of this tea (even if it has nothing to do with the flavor or quality….it still impacts the experience).

I read a few other tasting notes here and think that folks might be using too much of the tea. I use a Sorapot (newest coolest tea product I’ve purchased thanks to Steepster’s recommendation) and throw one nest in there unbroken. The first steeping is always my favorite as the color of the liquor is the beautiful rose pink (don’t over steep!). I then continue to steep another two or three mugs using the same nest (which is now broken up after the first steep) but only leave the water in the pot for about 30 seconds each time. These final steepings produce a much darker tea but it’s the perfect coffee substitute!

The tea has a nice rounded mouthfeel but it is definitely not too complex versus some of the other “rare” or “vintage” Pu’erhs I’ve tasted. If you’re looking for a first Pu’erh experience, this might be a good starting place. Just pay close attention to your steeping time of course.

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

High five on the Sorapot! Or perhaps, fist bump? Would that be less nerdy? Although, thanks to The Office, I can’t do fist bumps without blowing it up.

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50
drank Gunpowder by Teas Etc
429 tasting notes

I bought this tea at my health food store. The tea is in fine rolled pellets hence gunpowder. Its a very mild tea and I didn’t taste any smokiness which by the way I enjoy in tea. This tea was just bland to me. I have had Adagios gunpowder which I enjoyed because of the slight smoky flavor. The tea is organic but I really just did not enjoy this tea.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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68
drank Ginseng Oolong by Teas Etc
239 tasting notes

And yet another resteep…that’s two for those counting. I suspect I could get a 4th cup (3 resteeps) from the pellets, but I’ve had enough…time to move on :-)

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68
drank Ginseng Oolong by Teas Etc
239 tasting notes

Got a good resteep out of the pellets. They started to unfurl a bit with this steeping, so you can actually tell they are green tea leaves.

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68
drank Ginseng Oolong by Teas Etc
239 tasting notes

I was somewhat worried by this tea…my only experience with “ginseng” and tea was a Stash’s Ginseng Tea disaster. I was pleasantly suprised by this tea. Its very light..in fact I’m not getting much, if any ginseng. Perhaps a slight, little tingle after the fact.
The visual appeal of this tea is lacking…rabbit pellet tea, that’s what one co-worked called it; but, the taste is a nice, mild oolong. A bit of vegetable in the flavor, but not grassy.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Huang Jin Gui by Teas Etc
596 tasting notes

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76
drank Nilgiri by Teas Etc
596 tasting notes

I can’t get enough of this Nilgiri. Unfortunately I just used the last of it and need to order more.

TeaCast

hahah that’s kind of a problem ;)

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drank Pu'erh Tuo-Cha by Teas Etc
28 tasting notes

Dirty plant.

This is my first pu’erh. I didn’t prepare it, but I think it went something like 3 little nests for about 18oz water. I don’t know if the bundles were broken up. Should you break them up before you steep? Either way, this both smelled and tasted like dirty plant to me. Wait. I mean: “I detected earthy vegetal notes”. When I stared into my cup, it was dark. Almost an inky type of dark. A dirty dark. Should it look like that? Hmm. Maybe there were too many nests used? I think the tin says 1 nest for 2-3 cups of water. Do they mean 8oz measuring cups or 6oz standard drinking cups? Either way, I’m guessing too many nests. People like pu’erh, and I doubt it’s because it tastes like a dirty plant. I’ll have to play with this on my own. Stay tuned.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
teaplz

Yeah, definitely use one nest per cup! Maybe even a 12 oz. cup. I’ve never drank pu-erh in cake form (only loose), but it is pretty potent and a little goes a long way. :( Here’s hoping you can fix it to suit your tastes!

Laura

Ahhh, thank you teaplz!! So it was a case of over-nestatizing! I’ll have to try this again and see how it turn out. :)

LENA

LOL…I love how “dirty plant” turned into “earthy, vegetal notes”. People need to lighten up sometimes and realize that you can love tea without being snooty about it. Great post!

teaplz

Agreed, Lena! That part made me smile as well. And over-nestatizing is an awesome phrase. I’m trying to figure out how I can incorporate that into everyday conversation.

Laura

@LENA: haha! When I first started logging my teas I was so intimidated thinking that tea drinkers were mostly proper hoity-toits, but then I started reading everyone’s posts and got so excited that I didn’t have to rack my brain for all the technical sensory attribute jargon. thank you all for keeping it real! :D

@teaplz: Erm, yes. I tend to make up words as I go. :) Over-nestatizing: may also describe a talented robin’s abilities to build a mansion-like home, or one of those mothers who goes crazy and accessorizes her home with many toys and gadgets for her baby, only to find that it likes the cardboard boxes they came in waay more (true story).

fcmonroe

I love this review. It made my afternoon.

S

You are the best. Loved this post, and the comments :)

takgoti

Hee, awesome.

Oh, also, I do think that the cake/nests are supposed to be broken up, but I’m not sure where I’m pulling that information from source-wise.

Cofftea

Carolyn gave me a piece of pu erh cake and told me not to break it further as it would cause bitterness. Not sure if nests are the same way. As for ammount she also suggests 1g of tea/1oz of water.

Laura

@fcmonroe&shanti: aw, thanks guys. i appreciate you putting up with my ramblings.
@takgoti: yeah, i think i remember reading something about that, too! in fact i think it was an article steepster tweeted about a long time ago…
@cofftea: hmm. interesting. perhaps nests and cake are handled differently? or perhaps theres a bit of consumer preference involved? i’ll have to try both and see what happens. oh, and i’m going home and weighing my nests first thing! hooray for my new digital scale! :)

takgoti

@cofftea Was that raw pu-erh?

Cofftea

takgoti, yeah it was. Not sure if that’d make a difference since Carolyn’s preparation instructions were the same for cooked and raw- the only difference she suggested was to increase the steeping time starting w/ the 2nd infusion of the raw vs waiting til the flavor got weak for the cooked. I don’t really notice a difference not increasing the time though.

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