2134 Tasting Notes

86
drank Magnolia Oolong by Tea Ave
2134 tasting notes

I had a much better experience, both gongfu and western, with this tea (#–3) than with the rose oolong. It’s been a long time since I had a magnolia oolong, so it’s hard for me to compare, but I did really enjoy this one. After using it in our gongfu session last weekend, I had a little over my normal quantity of leaf, but what was I going to do with half a teaspoon? So I used all of it but lowered my steep time to compensate.

I think perhaps the magnolia works better with the base? Here I get the creaminess from the Jin Xuan that I was missing in the rose oolong. The florals are thick and rich, but in no way overwhelming or perfumy. Just that they have body and substance. Magnolia can be slightly jasmine-y in flavor, I find, and I get hints of it here. A little fruitiness. Overall a very nice oolong.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80
drank Rose Oolong by Tea Ave
2134 tasting notes

Finally getting around to more of my Tea Ave samples. By now I’ve tried 2 of 3 (plus a bonus), and this one (#–2) is the last one to try. Funny, since by rights it should have been the first one I grabbed given that I love rose. I’m brewing this one western style using my typical green oolong method. I will take the rest home to gongfu, perhaps this weekend.

Some people may appreciate that this tea has light rose notes. They are definitely present, but playing around the edges. I myself prefer a much stronger rose flavor, since rose is one of my favorites. I could forgive that, however, if the base was anything to write home about. I find it a little meh. Vegetal, a little buttery, but lacking the creaminess I would expect from a Jin Xuan. I will say that I get a little bored by Taiwanese high mountain oolongs, although I have them as the base of a few other scented teas and enjoy them well enough. Even in Tea Ave’s own Ginger Lily, it worked better. I think this one is just so dominant in the flavor, and one-note (vegetal). Maybe it will be more nuanced in gongfu. That said, I drank it easily enough.

The thing that sets me off the most about this is the price. Right now, the sale price is more than double what I would pay for a rose green oolong from Dammann or Taiwan Tea Crafts. Now, I am not one to cast judgement at spending a lot on one tea, as I have done my damage with some reserve teas in the past, but their prices seem a tad excessive to me for the product. I am grateful that they sent me the samples to review (as well as the aroma cup set and such), but I will be perfectly honest in my review: I expect mind-blowing for that price, and this is decidedly not.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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83

My parents gave me this tea (#-1) for Christmas, but I am just now getting around to trying it. I’ve never gotten tea from this company before (in my hometown), but mostly because many of their teas seem to be wholesale blends and not unique to them. This one, however, seems unique. It also doesn’t appear on their website.

I love bourbon, and I love bourbon cream liquor. This tea is pretty tasty, but I don’t know that I would call it a bourbon cream tea. Chocolatey with a bit of cream, yes, no doubt due to the large amount of cacao hulls in the blend. Not sure why bourbon = chocolate. Their Mint Julep black tea, presumably also bourbon-based, also has cacao hulls in it. The most bourbon-y tea I’ve ever had was a shu puer, but that was more the taste of the barrel. I wish for more vanilla/cream in this, which is supposed to be a cream tea. Overall a tasty cup, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to restock it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Marzipan

You’re from Loo uh vul? Do you get back this way? I’m 2 hours away.

Indigobloom

I have a barrel aged oolong tea at home. So good. Only tea I’ve ever had an “alcohol” vibe from. Still, this sounds super interesting!

Dinosara

Marzipan – I get back pretty frequently to see my parents. Actually going back next weeked for Derby.

Marzipan

You know since you are from there, the way people pronounce Louisville is the way we know if they are from here or not.

Dinosara

Haha, too true.

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OMGsrsly also sent along this one (#0!), and I thank you, but this is a big NOPE for me. I don’t even like sage that much to begin with, and one sip gave me an intense “bleh!” reaction. Could not take any more. Super bitter and super sagey. I even steeped it cooler and shorter than I normally would have because I looked at reviews here before and people said it could go bitter. I don’t even want to know what it would taste like at boiling and 3 minutes.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Indigobloom

How… intriguing!

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78
drank Berry Victoria by Silk Road
2134 tasting notes

Another tea (#1) from OMGsrsly! Thanks! At first I thought this had been slightly contaminated by the Blackberry Sage that she also included, but I think I was just smelling the lavender. I was worried this would be too “herby” for me, but the lavender definitely calmed down a bit in the brewed tea.

This is a tea I need to drink fast, when it is still hot. Then it was quite nice, with red berry and bergamot notes, and no bitterness to speak of. But as it cooled the lavender came out and it became a lot more bitter and astringent. Alternately I do need to try it with less leaf, as suggested by the company and OMGsrsly. :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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87
drank Maple Taffy by Bayswater Tea Co.
2134 tasting notes

OMGsrsly kindly sent me samples of a few teas back when she sent me the Divine Temptation, and I just never got around to trying them. I never even properly added them to my cupboard (I did later). Well, here they are now! Thanks OMGsrsly!

This one (#2) is really quite tasty. Very mapley. Maybe not so much taffy? But I don’t know how you would really distinguish “taffy” flavor. I don’t really get much in the way of distinct spices, which is kind of funny, since I definitely see the cinnamon stick pieces in my infuser. Anyway, glad this one got sent my way! It was quite yummy.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 0 OZ / 0 ML

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90

I had to skip a tea (herbal, at home), and hopefully I will remember to drink it tonight. But that moves me onto this one (#3) next. Soooo deliciously nougaty. I don’t have much more to say about it except thanks again to OMGsrsly for being my tea mule and getting me more of this delicious tea.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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96

Yummmmmm. How do they do it? How does this tea (#5) taste so much like buttery caramel goodness? They are magicians over at DF, as far as I’m concerned. Never thought I would need two different caramel teas in my cupboard at all times, or that they would be from the same company, but there you go. I also would have thought that I would want to stick to fruits or florals for a green oolong base, but this one also dissuaded me of that notion.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Sil

no. no. and no. i tried one on a black base and it just doesn’t work the way salted caramel works with an oolong. soooooo drool worthy

Patricia

Sounds great, can’t wait to try it!

Dinosara

Yeah I think the butteriness is key for the salted caramel.

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86

The last time I drank this tea (#6), I said I wanted to try it at a higher temp to see how it performed. And I actually read the note before steeping it, so I remembered to do it! The answer is: not very different? It’s still hugely chocolatey and creamy and sweet, and the base tea is still a little thin. I think I would have been happier if this had been on their usual black tea base instead of a roasted oolong. Still, it is quite tasty.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Stephanie

I really like this one too but agree that the base is a bit light for it

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85

This one (#7) comes from the last ever Fauchon sale on the now-defunct Vente-Priveé. The last time I had this it was a little too robust for me and I ended up adding milk (I usually keep it at home), so today I lowered my steep temp since I am at work. It worked out pretty well. This is definitely burnt-sugar caramel, almost more like creme bruleé. I am happier with some of the other caramel teas in my cupboard, but I like this one well enough.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Dustin

Which caramel teas do you favor over this one?

Dinosara

My favorite caramel is Dammann’s Caramel-Toffee. I also love their Oolong Caramel au Beurre Salé, but since it is an oolong base not black tea it’s a bit different.

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Profile

Bio

I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: Mind-blowingly good, just right for my palate, and teas that just take me to a happy place.
89-86: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
85-80: Pretty tasty teas that I enjoy well enough, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but only if there were no preferrable options.
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.
Unrated: Usually I feel unqualified to rate these teas because they are types of teas that I tend to not like in general. Sometimes user error or tea brewed under poor conditions.

Location

Ohio, US

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