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The Tea Smith

Recent Tasting Notes


Normally I absolutely love this tea but I felt like experimenting some tonight with another Rooibos (Market Spice Rooibos) that I like to see how the flavors would combine… unfortunately the flavor combated too much for my tastes. I could taste the mint but not really the chocolate in the beginning and it slowly gave way to the spices and the surprising pleasant aftertasteof mainly the MS, but overall not a fav.

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Moderately astringent, high on body, yet light on mouth feel. The leaves are whole, large and very dark, but the brew is relatively light. If you are in the mood for a mild tea with lots of body this is your cup of tea.
5 min, 0 sec

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drank Lapsang Souchong by The Tea Smith
255 tasting notes

Today I rolled a “1” in the fabulous Geek Pride game created so wonderfully by RABS. Right now I have only two packets left and both are “8’s”. I was, of course, thrilled to see a Lapsang Souchong because that’s my personal favorite default tea. But because it had a label of “1” I thought that there might be a flaw.

Lapsang Souchong does not always work. It ALMOST always works but not always. I don’t know, for example, what that stuff is that Tea Farm sells under the name. This is better, but I gave Tea Farm a rating of “3” out of “100”. I wanted to give it a “0” but the furthest to the left I could go was a 3. I digress.

This is a better Lapsang Souchong, but I would call it only marginally better than Tea Farm. This one does have some taste but I kept drinking it and hoping to get something more. I felt a bit like a Marlboro smoker who was suddenly trying the lightest cigarette out there—-(not having been in the situation, my metaphor may not work). Sometimes you see smokers frantically sucking on their cigarettes as if they are trying to pull in even more tobacco. Well, I was slurping at this tea trying to find more flavor, more smoke, more something. It’s got enough taste to remind me that I love a good Lapsang Souchong but not enough taste to provide any satisfaction.

I felt glad to sample this tea because I am collecting Lapsang Souchong experiences and it’s good to know the gamut.

Thank you, Rabs for giving me a new one to try!

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

I’m so glad to get your opinion on this one! This is from the shop where I had such negative customer service experiences, so I was concerned that those associations were tainting my experience of this tea. I now feel that my scathing review of this one was based on the tea itself and nothing else.

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drank Jade Oolong by The Tea Smith
356 tasting notes

I’m actually backlogging this one from 2 days ago before I realized that this tea was already listed in Steepster. I just wasn’t feeling motivated to add a tea.

I had this tea to go at The Tea Smith and really enjoyed it. It had the asparagusey aroma I associate with oolongs along with a pleasant floral note. I really wanted more and was sad that I didn’t get to try more steeps of it – it seemed like it had amazing potential. So when I returned to the shop I picked up a packet. I now wish that I had only bought a small sample.

With many of the oolongs that I’ve had the tea grows in its complexity and yumminess with each steep. This tea’s brightest moment was its first steep. Each consecutive steep got more and more bland and my mouth never did do the “happy dance of joy” that many oolongs create for me. Maybe this is typical for Jade Oolongs – this is my first one. But I’m not impressed. M

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Lapsang Souchong by The Tea Smith
356 tasting notes

This had a lighter smoke scent than what I’m used to. I’d put the scent as even mellower than Golden Moon’s LS. The fragrance of the cup was also smoky, but without the fragrance of pine that I enjoy.

Oh my. Um…so it’s lacking the sweet undercurrents that I love in the few lapsangs that I’ve had. It has a harsh, almost stinging bitterness that’s assaulting my mouth – especially at the back of my throat. I keep clearing my throat. That astringency comes and goes (one time I came close to tossing my cup), and it’s the first time I’d call a LS “ashy.” It’s like I rinsed out an ashtray and drank the runoff water. I am very glad that I only purchased a sample. I’ll finish it off over time, but there will be no resteeps here (I did do a resteep today with very little change in taste). My temp accuracy (or lack thereof) should be fixed by next week when my new electric kettle arrives (squee!) – so I will try this again with the for sure recommended steep temp and will update if my rating changes as a result. GA

So, to sum up:

Adagio’s LS = RAWR!
Golden Moon’s LS = Meow
The Tea Smith’s LS = a dirty alley cat hacking up a furball

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

SUM UP = Classic!!! LOL


What can I say? I call it like I taste it (or them in this case). =^.^=


lol!! Boo to Tea Smith’s LS!

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drank Kukicha by The Tea Smith
1 tasting notes

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Gong Fu Cha Style I used:
Rou Gui, Cina oolong, 4,5gr in Yixing 5oz (~150ml); water Sant’Anna sorgente Rebruant 95° (most easy to find water in Italy).
0 – foot’s water
1 – 30’’
2 – 30’’
3 – 1’
4 – 1’ 30’’
5 – 2’ 30’’
6 – 4’

Not more. From 1 to 3 infusion the tea was in his upper moment. It was austere, during 3 steppes it changed from a hard impact with flower dry and spice to an absolutely equilibrated mouth with note of mature summer fruit like apricot and peach. Since 4 infusion the tannins slowly rise to come up and it will be the dominant.

I like this tea. I suggest to try every one to like oolong tea.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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drank Dark Goddess Oolong by The Tea Smith
11 tasting notes

Oh wow, this is quite a different tea indeed. Take the Dancong Aria tea base flavor, and replace the flowery orchid taste with strong roasted coffee and chocolate tones, and that’s what this tea tastes like. Moderately astringent, high on body, yet light on mouth feel. The leaves are whole, large and very dark, but the brew is relatively light considering this…maybe I used too little? It tasted fine though. Definitely one of my favorite exotic flavored oolongs.

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Ginger Peach by The Tea Smith
197 tasting notes

Oh sigh
not my
cup of tea
oh gee
Too chemical in the flavoring, not much ginger, needed too much sugar to bring out the peach

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Steepsterish free verse? I like it.



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This is one tea I wanted to like more than I did, although it wasn’t bad. It tasted a little muddy to me, which is one thing I really don’t care for in a tea.

3 min, 0 sec

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drank Blacksmith Blend by The Tea Smith
197 tasting notes

A really good tea that’s driving me crazy because I can’t quite pin down the smell or taste. But it is very good, with none of the drawbacks one often finds in black teas

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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Very, very chocolate – really good dark stuff with a strong whiff of cherry and the warmth, but not the bite of chili. Really good hot, not so good as it cooled. My husband loved it and he is not a big tea person.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

I’m gonna cry… you had me right up until you said cherry… :(

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Shorter steeping times are the key to good 1st flush Darjeeling brews!! I was unaware of this at first, creating very bitter brews, but since I corrected my prep methods, I’ve found a new love for them. This one is excellent. For all of you who know the taste of 1F Darjeelings, this one has all the right characteristics in the right quantities…the sweet floral hints (different than those of light oolongs) light mouth feel, light astringency, not bitter at all, with that lovely Darjeeling “trademark.”

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Ooooooh this is a good one! While adding the water, I noticed that natural sweet aroma that makes a malty black tea wonderful. It has a much heavier mouth feel and maltier taste (I love both qualities in a great Assam) than Ceylon Sonata from Adagio, my other daily black drinker. I accidentally oversteeped a cup yesterday by two minutes. I was surprised to find that the extended steep time did not make it bitter, but made the tea that much more malty. Excellent! :)

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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Had a cup when I stopped by durning my cross country tea trip and when I got home I had to order more. This currently is my favorite tea. I feels butter in your mouth. So Good.

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Very good as a hot or iced. I perfer it as a Iced during the hot summer months.

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An acquired taste, but very worth it. Darjeelings have an edge to them that I can’t quite square with, but 1st and 2nd flush varieties are light enough that I can enjoy drinking them.

Daniel McCash

I think I might begin to agree- “light enough to enjoy”, I think that this tea must be kept far from steeping too long or that ‘edge’ starts to grow to sharp of one.

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