147 Tasting Notes

90

I’ve been working on this one since I got the shipment yesterday afternoon, and it just keeps getting better. I’m somewhere around 10ish steeps in and the little ball has only just come completely apart. My little teapot is stuffed with huge leaves and buds. Lovely to look at.
I’ll have to give it a proper review when my arms stop feeling like they’re filled with helium. I didn’t even know it was possible to get this tea drunk.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 OZ / 120 ML

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80

Sipdown (well, until my Verdant order comes in)
I’m not big on flavored teas, but this is just so delightful I had to pick up a bit of it to enjoy this winter. At first I had been brewing for only 3 minutes, but after a suggestion from Sil I found that around 5 minutes is a good place to start for the first infusion. It doesn’t seem to get bitter at all. I’m still missing the citrus though, I wonder if that’s because I add soy milk to it.
Thanks a ton for the sample Sil!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 1 OZ / 29 ML
Sil

:) glad you enjoyed the longer steep!

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90

Sipdown This was a really lovely tea. With the ridiculous amount of Assams I currently have in my cupboard, I don’t think I’m going to pick up a full-size tin of this one any time soon. But I will certainly take an oz or two with my next Tao of Tea order. I did have to lower the rating just a bit, because it seems super dependent on temperature. Even 5 degrees off and it looses a bit of its magic. But no matter how I brew it it’s still quite lovely.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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95

Sipdown Boo :( While I’m definitely happy to get a sipdown in, this one will be missed. I really do want to buy a full cake because it’s just a complete delight. But 357g seems like so much tea. I can’t help but wonder if I’m still going to love it 6 months from now, as taste seems to change quite rapidly. I’ll have to try the other two moonlight whites puerhshop has available and see if this is worth the purchase. Maybe I can make do with samples here and there.
I had to take a picture of the gorgeous leaves that drew me toward it in the first place http://instagram.com/p/wzblQzRWE7/

Flavors: Honey

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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Flavors: Anise

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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Flavors: Menthol, Smoke, Sugarcane

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Huh, well this is an interesting tea. I’ve never had a bitter shou before, but there is definitely a good deal of bitterness here. Not astringency but more like a coffee-esque bitterness. Not quite as pleasant though. I tasted and then tossed the first two steeps (after 2 rinses) and by the third it was much more palatable. But not particularly special. Overall pretty weak bodied for a pu-erh and quite bland.
Happy to try it, but I’m glad it was a free sample.

Ugh. How many times is it going to take to save this note?

Flavors: Bitter

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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95

Sipdown, yay! As much as I love this one I probably won’t be replacing it anytime soon. While it’s a bit smoother and sweeter than the Harney version I generally have in my cupboard, it’s hard to beat Harney’s price (and constant sales). And, in all honesty, it isn’t that much better. If you’re a hojicha/hoji kukicha fan it’s certainly worth a try, and if I place a future order with Den’s this will certainly be in it. But I won’t go out of my way to re-stock.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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95

Oh man this is goooood! In all honestly I was sure I wasn’t going to like it as I’m not fond of whites or greener oolongs which the description said it could be considered either. I only picked up a sample because the leaves looked so pretty. But Lord, am I happy I did. It tastes like liquid honey.
I wasn’t sure how to go about brewing this one so I did two rinses and brewed at a low temp (175º) for 20 seconds. Beautiful. Just pure honey. Crisp light colored liquor and mild scent.
Second infusion – same temp. Accidentally forgot about it and brewed for 45 seconds. Liquor looks like light amber maple syrup. A bit greener tasting with lots of honey. Omg.
Third infusion – Tried it at a higher temp probably around 185º or so for 45 seconds again. Beautiful. Going to have to pick up a full cake of this for sure.
Fourth Infusion – Almost boiling 45 seconds again. Much deeper color. Honey is still there but I can taste more tea at this temp/this infusion. A little fruity and green. Kind of like a Gui Fei. Still zero bitterness even with the high temp.

Flavors: Honey

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Profile

Bio

My favorite teas are unflavored Chinese blacks, especially Yunnans & Fujians, and I’m also partial to strong Irish Breakfast blends and Assams. In addition to black teas I like heavy roasted oolongs and less-grassy green teas. I enjoy my blacks and oolongs unflavored, but have a soft-spot for flavored green teas. I always take my tea without additions except for masala chai blends which I always add milk to. Generally unsweetened soy or quinoa milks, occasionally I’ll splurge with some sweetened vanilla soy milk.

Likes: Anything roasty, toasty, smoky, or malty. As well as citrus and cream flavors.

Dislikes: Anise/licorice/fennel, stevia, & coconut flavoring. Rooibos, honeybush and mate tisanes.

Allergies: Peanuts & Tree nuts

I’ve decided to use a simplified rating system in order to keep things consistent.

100- The best tea I have ever tasted. Can’t live without it.

95- Wonderful teas that I drink almost daily, and will always have on hand. Probably the first teas I will recommend and serve to guests.

90- Teas I greatly enjoy and will restock often, though I may not always have them on hand.

80 – Good teas that I may purchase occasionally, or drink when I’m in the mood. Perhaps seasonal teas.

70- Enjoyable teas. I wouldn’t turn down a cup but may have to be in the mood to consider. Probably not a consistent in my cupboard.

60- I finished my cup/sample but wouldn’t purchase, and would turn down a cup if there were any other options.

50- Didn’t finish the cup. Would not drink again if offered a cup.

1- Nothing could make me try this tea again. And it has probably reduced my opinion of the entire company.

Location

USA

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