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1851 Tasting Notes

71

I said I wasn’t going to buy any tea (outside of groupons) before I went to China, but I allowed myself to buy a hot cup of tea from the tea shop near where I get my hair cut. It doesn’t count if I don’t add anything to my stash, right? I don’t actually go there all that often, mostly because they seem to be mostly just wholesale blends and these days I dry to buy from places that blend their own tea. One thing I did discover is that they seem to carry Teas Etc.’s Fig Formosa tea, and since the smallest size Teas Etc. sells on their website is 3oz, I will be able to try it from You, Me and Tea in smaller quantity, which is great.

Anyway, I decided to get this milk oolong to go. The dry leaf smelled like your typical milky oolong, creamy and milky and sweet. I had no control over anything to do with the steeping parameters of this cup. The woman making it put some cold water in the cup before adding water from the presumably near-boiling water in her water heater, and it seemed like the timer was going for about 3 minutes.

When I first smelled the steeped tea it totally shocked me. It smelled like straight up vegetable broth, very savory, definitely not what I was expecting. Early on when the tea was still very hot I couldn’t detect any creamy aromas or flavors at all, but as it cooled they came out. In the end the tea was very much like buttered veggies and was decidedly the most un-floral green oolong I’ve ever tasted. It reminded me more of the Bi Luo Chun Green tea I had from Teavivre than any oolong I’ve had. It tasted pretty decent once I got used to it but it just took me a while to get past my initial expectations. I have no idea how much this experience had to do with the steeping parameters, so I’m not going to rate the tea, but I’m also not going to buy anymore, heh.

Indigobloom

S’ok, I caved and bought some this weekend to! it was one of those teas on my mile long hit-list that I’ve been itching to try and it did come highly recommended…
that makes it ok. right?! haha

Kashyap

it sounds lovely…

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75
drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
1851 tasting notes

Mm, I needed a nice decaf tea tonight to relax, so I busted out a sachet of Vanilla Comoro. I actually sweetened it a bit with some vanilla-infused sugar as well, so it’s extra vanilla-y, heh. Very yum.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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79
drank Four Seasons by Samovar
1851 tasting notes

This is another tea I’m revisiting after a long period of time in which I have tried a lot of different green oolongs. I think I appreciate it better now. It’s vegetal, it’s floral, it’s a little buttery, it’s a little nutty, it’s got that honeyish note that ties it all together. It’s also a hint astringent, but not in a bad way… it’s just on that end of the spectrum rather than the creamy mouthfeel side of it. All in all a very nice tea and I’m definitely enjoying it a lot.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Caramel by Kusmi Tea
1851 tasting notes

Drinking this tea almost back-to-back with Talbott’s Chocolate Almond Allure really makes me appreciate how much caramel is in that tea. Anyway, this is a tasting note for this tea, not for that one! I really enjoy this tea and it’s super delicious caramel flavor. It’s kind of one of those teas that I like a lot but I don’t know if I would need to keep it around all the time. Of course, I really don’t think I’m ever going to get down to some hypothetical pared-down cupboard of only essentials, and if I was in the Kusmi store in NYC I might pick up some more of this anyway. It really is a lovely tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
SimplyJenW

Hmmmm. I wonder if they have the Talbott’s at my Dillards?

SimplyJenW

(Not looking for a sample, but needing a treat to get me through a Girl Scout overnight at the mall….. ;) )

Dinosara

I totally understand! Best of luck with that… :D

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93

I was running low on this one, but I now have a good supply in my cupboard thanks to my swap with Wonks. Thanks! This really is one of my all-time favorite teas.

An aside: why are there never any tea groupons or groupon-style deals anymore? I used to come across them very frequently, but it’s been totally dead for a while now. I was thinking of it because I discovered this tea company via a Groupon. Not that I need to be buying tea groupons now, but still. I miss them. I’m a deal addict and I haven’t bought a groupon in ages because there hasn’t been anything interesting.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
TeaEqualsBliss

I agree! One of my all-times, too! I believe Wonks was going to send me some :) YAY!!!!

Wonks

Yep! I got someone to cover my dog-sitting responsibilities monday afternoon so your tea’s going out monday lol. I’ll throw in a few extra honey sticks for the wait ;)

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83
drank Dong Ding by thepuriTea
1851 tasting notes

I’m pretty sure this is my first ever dong ding… I’ve tried a lot of higher altitude varietals, but not one of these before. I just got done teaching the first class of the semester, then gossiping with faculty about other people in our field, so I’ve been talking a lot and my throat’s a bit sore. :D A nice oolong should help, I think.

It certainly smells nice… buttery and creamy and floral and a hint vegetal. And I’m really enjoying the flavors as well! Nicely floral, creamy mouthfeel, a bit of buttery vegetables. I’m thinking I need to try dong dings more often! I really like combo of the dark florals with the buttery, creamy notes. Now I feel like I should try more dong dings before I go to China, but alas I am on a tea buying moratorium.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

I loved Naivetea’s version of the dong ding – have you tried that yet?

Spoonvonstup

Ooh! You’re going to China? Also, congrats on finishing the first class of semester, and congrats on your first dong ding! Here’s hoping your students are all good ones.

Dinosara

Amy – I haven’t tried Naivetea’s dong ding yet, although I do want to now! I didn’t order the heritage oolong sampler set, but I wish I had. Next time!

Spoonvonstup – Yup, in a couple of months for some research. And thanks, I hope this will be a good class!

Spoonvonstup

Very cool! I hope you can pick up some Mandarin while you’re there (or find Chinese speaking-friends) so you can visit a tea market.

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90
drank Lychee by Harney & Sons
1851 tasting notes

I was going to go with a post-lunch green oolong—one of my untried ones from thepuriTea perhaps—but I felt like the lingering flavor in my mouth and scent on my fingers of the blood orange I had with lunch might skew my tasting. I wanted to go for something a bit more robust and fruity, so as I was going through my samples this one jumped out at me. Also I was making a “standard panel” tea board on Pinterest so that I can remember what teas I really want to always have in my cupboard and I wanted to try this one again, though I’m pretty sure this is a keeper anyway. I realize I could probably just look at my tea ratings list and go for the highest-rated teas, and it’s not like I’m going to easily forget my favorite teas, but I really wanted a separate list and there’s not really something that would serve that function here on Steepster.

Anyway, I love lychees and I love this tea. I want to go buy a big bag of lychees, and maybe I’ll stop at the asian grocery this weekend and do it. The base of this tea is just a perfect compliment as well. Yum.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
SimplyJenW

Oh, I am so stealing your “Standard Panel of Teas” board idea!

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90
drank Rosy Earl Grey by Teas Etc
1851 tasting notes

Can we have a real winter please? I like the snow, and I’m getting tired of the endless cold rain we’ve been having instead. Oh well, at least I have delicious tea to perk me up since this dreary morning didn’t help at all.

This is a sample I never want to end! It definitely goes on my list of standard panel, must have teas. I’ve written so much about this tea already that I don’t really have anything left to say except that I love this floral Earl Grey and it’s definitely my favorite of it’s type.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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68
drank Maté by Argo Tea
1851 tasting notes

I am so freaking tired! I don’t know what came over me this afternoon. I was just chugging along fine, and then out of nowhere, bam!, utter exhaustion. I really want to go climb into bed right now, but that is not really an option. Oolong seems to have done nothing for me, so I thought I would give this roasted maté a go.

Man, I used to really love this. Way back in the day before I was really a tea drinker, I loved drinking this. Now it’s not really my style anymore. It’s kinda sad, actually! Adding to the fact that it’s pretty old and I feel like it’s lost some of the almondy chocolatey flavor I remember and now it kind of tastes like toasted cardboard (with the almondy chocolatey flavors lurking underneath). Man this is totally not working because I am too apathetic to drink this cup. Oh well, hope I’m not getting sick.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
The DJBooth

Totally had that same feeling this afternoon. Sounds pretty good though.

ashmanra

That was my first thought as I started reading…“oh, no! I hope she isn’t getting sick!” I hope you can get some rest and feel energized!

Dinosara

Thanks… I am feeling a bit better so I hope tomorrow I feel fine!

Serendipitea

Fingers crossed you wake up feeling Awesome! – or at least pretty darn good :D

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74
drank Orchid Oolong by Tea Lux
1851 tasting notes

I got my sample of this tea back when I first started drinking green oolongs, which was apparently 6 months ago, and I haven’t gone back to it since. So many to try! But I thought it would be nice to go back to this one and see what I think of it now. I liked it back when I first had it.

The steeped tea smells very floral, and it’s kind of a mash-up between some of the “orchid” florals and jasmine ones. The flavor is nice and floral and reminds me a lot of jasmine teas. There’s not a lot else going on with this tea—even fairly cool I don’t get a lot of nuances in the flavor—but it’s certainly tasty and very drinkable.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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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: I’m in LOVE with these teas.
89-85: 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
84-80: Tasty teas that I enjoy, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but wouldn’t seek out. They don’t quite do it for me in one aspect or another; often just not quite my style
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.

Location

Ohio, US

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