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Recent Tasting Notes
SUMMER SIPDOWN! got a packet of this in some long-ago Steepster Select box, intended for iced tea – so that’s how i made it. although i must admit the instructions called for 1 tsp/4g tea to 18 oz of water, i just used ALL the tea (8 grams) to an entire IKEA pitcher (3/4 gal?) of water, let sit overnight, served cold. i must say quite a nice iced tea, very refreshing here in the land of SweetLiptonIcedTea. however, as i’m not the biggest iced tea fan, this was most likely a one-off. i’ll enjoy while it lasts.
I got this as a sample with another purchase a few weeks ago. I then had it as a prepared cup for their sample day. They brewed it western style for that and while I thought it was good but not nessesarily “choicest” and I didn’t find it interesting enough to buy 2 oz. Now that I had a chance to try my sample brewed gong fu style I can see what all the fuss is about. The leaves have a very fruity smell reminding me of either a type of candy or dried fruit snack…can’t quite put my finger on it. The first steep was light and very fruity and sweet and in subsequent steeps toasty notes from the roasting started to come out.
I’m cold brewing my other half of the sample now since I saw that recommended and I could definately see this one as refreshing.
Another tea I had as a sample and had to buy. I’ve passed over this before because of the name as I thought it was some sort of flavored tea, but one sip showed me how wrong I was. It’s very oxidized so it’s wonderfully dark but doesn’t have the astringency of a black tea. I found it to be a bit peachy without much roasted flavor. I was a little put off to the description mentioning Ruby 18, but after trying the two side by side they do share some of that complexity that makes Ruby 18 so wonderful just without any of the liqiorice notes.
I had this as a part of a sample day sampler and walked out with two oz of it. Going in there I definately did not expect to be walking out of there with such a green oolong, but it had such a super silky mouthfeel I had to take some home. It’s very fragrent and floral with a bit of green tea bitterness. And.so.very.silky.
I’m also shocked by the number of resteeps I’m getting out of this. It’s like enough that I’ve lost count. Not bad for a green.
Flavors: Floral, Green
Picked a small bag of this up at the Tea Source after hearing intriguing descriptions of milk oolongs.
The tea taste is quite green, and mostly buried by the milk flavors. They impart a buttery, creamy flavor and texture. It’s an enjoyable drink, but not in the same way that most teas are enjoyable to me.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Tea, Vegetal
I love pearled tea. So easy to travel with and measure out. Nice large leaves when it’s all done. I’ve been looking for a black version for awhile so I had to snag some of this, and it ended up being an interesting tea in its own right. First off it smells rather amazing like dark dried fruit. In playing with this in the past few weeks I’ve found it to brew kind of light so I go heavy on the leaf and steep for at least a full five minutes. It has a bit of tannins that keep it bright, but don’t seem to make it undrinkable if oversteeped so this is definately a travel infuser candidate. The tea has a bit of cocoa notes and dark sugar plus a long lingering aftertaste as well as the feeling of a bit of tannins on the teeth.
This is a lovely rich oolong. If you would like to try something a bit darker than a typical Ti Quan Yin, this one does not have the lighter, vegetal taste. Very smooth, nice aroma and a nutty barley flavor. Perhaps adding some honey it reminds me of a puffed cereal but can’t recall the name of it. There is a dry slightly tannic mouthfeel after.
The leaves look to have a couple more infusions in them. As a good oolong should.
Flavors: Dark Wood, Grain, Hay, Nutty, Roasted Barley, Smooth
Hmm, not quite sure what to think about this one. The scent and flavor of a honeydew melon are definitely present and the smooth, light white tea base is a good match. But for some reason, I’m smelling and tasting a slightly yeasty note as well…unbaked bread dough is the best description I can come up with. No idea where this is coming from, but it makes for a rather disconcerting experience! Wondering if cold-brewing would amp up the melon and knock out the yeast? I’m going to have to do some experimenting!
Flavors: Hay, Honeydew, Melon, Sweet, Yeast
A sweet, very slightly citrusy, unchallenging tea. I get 3 good steeps out of it before the flavor starts to fall off sharply.
I think this would be a good tea to introduce someone gently to green teas.
Flavors: Citrus, Tea, Vegetal
So I was wondering what it would take to steep this tea to the point that it would be to astringent. Well, I got pulled into a meeting and forgot about my little pot steeping for a couple of hours, lol. That finally did, but surprisingly it wasn’t unbearably astringent. Just added a little extra water and ended up with more flavorful pu’erh with a little dryer finish I like. Of course, I am in now way advocating steeping your pu’erh tea for hours. :D