2007 Tasting Notes

drank Rose Tieguanyin by Custom
2007 tasting notes

Good news, guys, I got myself some Claritin (or “Clarityne” as they say here) and I am definitely feeling better. Not perfect, but much better.

This morning I made up the rose version of this tieguanyin, and I threw in some ginger for good measure. I didn’t taste much ginger (surprising with the amount I put in there), but that’s ok, it was all rosy and lovely anyway.

Preparation
Boiling
TeaBrat

glad you are feeling better. Do you think the pollution is the cause of it?

Dinosara

I think the pollution is the cause of my nagging cough, and it certainly isn’t helping with everything else, but I think I’m also just allergic to pollen of chinese flowering trees, though I’m not allergic to any other pollen. Now with a fair amount of allergy medication I’m doing better.

SimplyJenW

I think the body gets used to your regional pollen over time. I know when I travel anywhere in the Spring, I am in for problems. I am a sneezy, weepy mess. We used to visit my In-Laws where I currently live and my allergies here were almost unbearable then. Now that I live here, it is not quite as bad as when I was just visiting prior to 14 years ago. I try to eat my local honey, too, which helps.

And glad you are feeling better. It is such a downer to be sick on such an adventure!

Invader Zim

Glad you got some meds and are feeling better.

ashmanra

Have a wonderful time now that hopefully the allergies are under control!

Dinosara

Thanks everyone!

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66

I haven’t had this plain since I first got it, mostly because I wasn’t that excited by it in the first place. I’m just not as much a fan of roasty teas, and this one is a roasty, more traditional tieguanyin, not a floral green one. How can two teas have the same name and be so different tasting? sigh For this cup I let the water cool (though I’m not sure to what temp), and I steeped it for only 2 minutes. The tea is perfectly fine tasting, but not very exciting.

Honestly I’m not sure that this note has much relevance because I can hardly smell anything right now. My congestion is one of the reasons that I haven’t tried to go tea shopping yet, because I feel like I won’t be able to taste anything properly. Hopefully it will clear up or I will find a remedy soon.

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

Good luck clearing that congestion! fingers crossed for you :)

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91

I discovered this bottled milk tea at the grocery store in Xidan Joy City the other day and snapped it up… I love love taro flavored anything, and especially taro milk tea which I usually get as a bubble tea. Maybe I’m overreacting but I am so in love with this bottled milk tea right now. I will be very sad when I can never get it back in the States. It’s milky and taro-y (which I always associate as kind of an almond flavor, but not quite), and the black tea (apparently a blend of Yunnan and Keemun) peeks through a little. I mean it’s not much but for me the star of the show is the taro so I don’t care. I have a bottle of regular flavor in my fridge so we’ll see how that goes, plus I found out that the green bottle is apparently jasmine so I am super excited to try that one too. When it comes to milk tea I am a girl obsessed, though I am sad to find that rose milk tea is not as prevalent around here as I had hoped (or at least, I haven’t found it yet).

At this point my sickness/allergies/reaction to pollution symptoms come in predictable waves… I have horrible coughing fits in the morning when I wake up, the middle of the day I often feel pretty good, and then night comes and my nasal passages close up completely and I feel generally like crap. Today I spent all day outside but a little ways outside the main part of the city, so hopefully the air was better there. Although I did pretty much confirm that the flowering trees are pretty much the only thing on the planet that I’m allergic to. Remind me to avoid Beijing in spring in the furture!

Indigobloom

ahhh! I loooove taro!!! so yummy. In fact, I had a taro bubbletea (my friends and I pm it as “bbt”) the other day. So good :P

Mercuryhime

I love sweet taro flavors as well. If you live by any Asian or Hispanic markets in the US, they usually have taro and you can make your own taro whatever. I particularly love the Chinese sweet coconut taro soup my grandma would make on occasion. It’s so simple. See this link:
http://userealbutter.com/2011/02/03/chinese-taro-tapioca-soup-recipe/

Also, Beijing air is terrible. I went several weeks before the Olympics so they had shut down the factories and restricted the use of vehicles for quite a while already, and still I developed this cough. Ugh. I totally understand why people are constantly coughing and hacking up phlegm right on the streets.

Dinosara

Awesome, thanks for the recipe Mercuryhime! My local grocery store in NY has taro root (it trends toward hispanic).

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drank Lemon Ginger Tieguanyin by Custom
2007 tasting notes

Today I used two lemon slices and it was almost too lemony! I think I’ll stick to one large or two small. I must have ended up with less ginger because I didn’t taste it as much, so I’ll try to remember to put more in. Added plenty of honey, too.

The air quality is supposed to be better today in Beijing (yesterday the air quality index was “Unhealthy”), so I’m hoping my lungs will get a relief.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

That’s one thing my friends didn’t like about Beijing…….pollution! Other than that they really liked China.

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drank Lemon Ginger Tieguanyin by Custom
2007 tasting notes

I debated making a listing for this blend, but I figure I will likely be drinking it often while I’m here so I went for it. I went to the grocery store today, originally hoping to find just some bagged tea with lemon and/or ginger. Right when you walk in the grocery store, though, they have a ton of bulk loose green and oolong tea of various kinds, and while I was looking at what was available I realized that on the table there was also a ton of dried “mix ins” for your tea! All kinds of flowers, mostly, but also some herbs, goji berries, anise, etc. I picked up a bag of jasmine flowers to try, but I was most excited to see a lovely bag of dried lemon slices. Score! I couldn’t find any dried ginger so I picked up a fresh tuber. This cup of tea was made with a small scoop of the Wu Yu Tai Tieguanyin Third Grade, one large lemon slice, and about a half inch of ginger root. I also added honey for its throat soothing qualities. The result? Yummy! My random blending worked out. I could maybe go for a tad more lemon, but I can still taste it there no problem. The ginger is perfect. And it is soothing on the throat, with soothing vapors for my poor, battered lungs. This is definitely the fastest I’ve ever had a cough go from zero to very painful (1 day), and it probably won’t get any better until I leave Beijing and it’s pollution behind (a little over 2 weeks). So yeah, I’ll be brewing up this one often.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
SimplyJenW

Hang in there! Can you find some fresh lemon or citrus fruit? A jolt of vitamin C will really help. (The honey is great, too!)

ashmanra

I thought you were in China!? It sounds like you are on heaven! Bulk tea?? Add ins?? Swoon!

SimpliciTEA

That description of your shopping experience with all of the loose leaf tea and the ‘mix-ins’ sounds wonderful. I think I would feel like a kid in a candy store. : )

Dinosara

Yeah I was just thinking about how I wanted to try to bring some of the “mix-ins” home since they are so cheap. I haven’t tried the tea yet but I am thinking about picking up some to add some variety to my life.

Jen – I have been going for lots of vitamin C lately, including supplements. Hopefully things start looking up soon!

Indigobloom

if you can find a place that serves Congee, with preserved egg and ginger in it… that stuff works wonders for me when I’m sick!! better than chicken soup! I can’t imagine how good it’d be from the homeland. Mmmm.
and mix-ins for tea… omg, that IS heaven!

Dinosara

Mm, that does sound good! I’ll have to try and find some. :)

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drank Rose Tieguanyin by Custom
2007 tasting notes

I feel like death warmed over this morning. I immediately caught some cold the first day I was in China, and it’s not improving so far. The fact that I don’t have easy access to western medicines I would normally turn to (omg I would kill for a cough drop) isn’t helping. Yes, there are places that sell western medicines, but there aren’t any around me and I don’t have the time or energy to go off looking for them. And it’s not like I can just waltz into a Chinese pharmacy and ask for cough medicine because I speak next to no Chinese. Trying to do that to find a decongestant got me some nasal allergy spray which is helping some but not exactly what I wanted.

Anyway, a cup of hot tea is helping a bit and I’ll probably try to go to the grocery store again and look for some others with some helping herbs. This tea isn’t as rosy today, or maybe I just can’t tell.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

Would be an excellent time to seek some eastern remedies which I prefer anyway :)
Go in point to your throat and see what they hand over. It has to suck big time being sick on vacation though! So sorry.

ashmanra

My oldst just left Budapest to go to Northern Ireland and she is in the same shape! She thinks they got overtired traveling and trying to see so much so fast. The happy news is that is buying tea for me everywhere she goes….local things mostly that we can’t get here in the states! :)

ashmanra

You could try a saline nasal rinse if you can get some non-iodized salt to mix n warm water. Maybe that would help? I hope your tea soothes your throat!

Birdman

Ashmanra is right about the rinse. It will make a huge difference. I’m sure you can’t be too far from a neti pot retailer. Or if you’re really desperate, use your tea kettle? Just don’t post any tasting notes…lol. Hope you feel better!

Dinosara

Thanks for the thoughts, all. My stuffy nose is on it’s way out already, but I now seem to have contracted a bad case of “Beijing cough” due to the extreme dryness and pollution in the air. I don’t have anything against trying Eastern medicines, but without speaking any chinese I don’t want to risk taking something without knowing what it is. I did pick up some new tea additives today, though, so I am looking forward to trying new blends.

Amariel

Buy an onion and some honey…peel the onion and put some in a bowl, add some honey and keep layering the two. Let it sit overnight and about a cup of cough syrup should be there. I’ve not tried this myself, but I have have tried garlic and honey, and whoa…this should be a bit gentler on the palate I think.

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drank Rose Tieguanyin by Custom
2007 tasting notes

When I bought the tieguanyin from Wu Yu Tai, I also bought a package of dried rosebuds because why not? I love rose in tea, and I figured I could mix it with the tieguanyin to change things up. For lunch today I used one scoop of tieguanyin and one of rosebuds, and the results are awesome. The rose is very much prevalent but definitely not overwhelming, and it pairs very well with the roasty oolongy flavor of the tieguanyin. Every time I take a sip I am like “daaamn that’s good”. It’s like giving some florals to this oolong that it lacked in the first place, and because I feel like rose is such a “dark” and “rich” floral, it’s great with the darker oolong. A+ blend, self.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I’m drooling. I will have to have some Rose Scented Black today! Have an amazing time there!

MegWesley

Mmm, that sounds awesome!

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66

This morning I doubled up on the leaf (two “scoops”) and dropped my steeping time to only a minute to do kind of a semi-gongfu brewing. It’s more vegetal but also a little more floral maybe… it’s hard to pin down the difference, but it does taste different in a way that I like. But then that vegetal flavor gets too much for me, in a way that I don’t like. The second steep (same parameters) is sweeter but also kind of overly vegetal in almost a bitter way, which is definitely conflicting. Maybe I’ll try a scoop and a half of leaf next time to see if I can find a happy medium.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec
Tina S.

Totally off topic but your two scoops reference now has the two scoops of raisins song in my head! :D

Jessie

Now it’s in mine! Ahhh.

Tina S.

SORRY JESSIE! And anyone else!

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drank Green Tea Blizzard by Dairy Queen
2007 tasting notes

I just had to add a tasting note for this. I have an epic love for Dairy Queen Blizzards, but Long Island has absolutely no Dairy Queens so my intake is limited. Imagine my shock when I came out of the subway yesterday and found a Dairy Queen selling Green Tea blizzards. No way!! It blew my mind. Of course, I had to have one. I chose to get a green tea almond blizzard. From what I can tell, they used their regular vanilla soft serve, added a metric ton of powdered green tea, some very crunchy almond slices, and blended. The DQ there had a sign saying if your blizzard doesn’t get served to you upside down it’s free, and they definitely turn it upside down before giving it to you (only occasionally to you still find ones in the states that do that).

This thing was powerfully green tea flavored. I guess somewhat generically, though it did kind of remind me of matcha-flavored foods I’ve had in the past. After a while it was almost bitter despite the vanilla ice cream base. I could have done with maybe half the green tea powder and it would have been awesome. They have a green tea chocolate option and I’m wondering how that would be. Well I have plenty of time to try it.

Jillian

Hmm too bad the DQs up here in Canada aren’t serving this flavour.

Invader Zim

Sounds really good! Minus the bitter taste.

The DJBooth

Wow! I did not know of this.

MegWesley

This is interesting. I will have to check with our local DQ to see if they are serving this too.

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

I need to look into this in my area and hope they get the ratio right

Dinosara

Don’t get too excited, guys, I think this is a China-only flavor. :P

Angrboda

Upside down??? What is this odd beast you call a blizzard anyway? Is it sort of like a super-thick milkshake or dessert smoothie?

Uniquity

Oh man, I want a Mint Oreo blizzard!!
@Angrboda, it is soft serve vanilla ice cream with additives mixed up in it. it is still as thick as (soft serve) ice cream but treated sort of like a smoothie. Most of the options are chocolate bars (broken into tiny little peices) but there is mint, chocolate, caramel, etc etc.

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66

Greetings from Beijing! Can you believe that I’ve been here for a day this is the first time I’m sitting down and having a cup of tea? I was just running about so much yesterday and never had time to stop and relax. So I’m having a few cups early this morning before I go do some research. One thing I did yesterday was hit up Wu Yu Tai, a tea store chain in Beijing, to get some tea I could drink in my hotel room (yay for electric kettles and tea cups provided). I went to their big store in the shopping area of Wangfujing, which was pretty busy. Iooked around for a bit then waited for someone to become available to help me. Of course they spoke almost no english, so I pulled out my iPhone with my “tea flashcards” I made to facilitate. First I asked for a gong fu black and struck out completely. Since I knew the kettle in my room was one-setting (and I’m not good at judging water temps), I wanted a tea that could stand up to boiling, so my next choice was a Tieguanyin. This one, of course, they had. They had a few different grades but the lowest was 500RMB for 500g, and since I just wanted something to drink every morning in my hotel I didn’t want to spend too much, so I went for that. If it’s the same as the third grade Tieguayin that’s on their website, I paid a premium for buying in-store, or at least that store.

This morning I brewed it up. The hotel provided me with two tea cups with lids, so I used one like makeshift gaiwan and decanted into the other one. It worked pretty well, but was also pretty messy, no doubt partly because I don’t have experience with a gaiwan and partly because it’s not a gaiwan (double wammy!). I guessed on the amount of tea to put in (one somewhat rounded teaspoon-y thing I got at the grocery store), so I look forward to playing around with amounts. Steeped, it was a fairly dark yellow-amber color and it smelled roasty and pretty vegetal. This is definitely a more traditional Tieguanyin as opposed to the more green ones I’ve usually had. The vegetal smell was a bit off-putting because it smelled like it might even be a bit bitter or too vegetal for me, but my first sip was smooth and not over steeped to my taste. Roasty, vegetal, without florals, not very buttery, this isn’t what I typically look for in a Tieguanyin, but it’s pretty tasty just the same. It just kind of seems like a generic “oolong” tea though. It will make for a good everyday tea while I’m here. The experience did reinforce that buying tea here is going to be difficult with the language barrier, but I will try my best!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

Oooh exciting!!! I can’t wait to hear about the rest of your adventures :)

Azzrian

So wonderful an experience! :)

TeaBrat

the language barrier must be a challenge, I hope you have fun tho’!

Ninavampi

Enjoy Beijing! :)

Jillian

It might be worth learning some basic tea terminology in chinese to help things along. Have fun you lucky girl! :)

Kashyap

lucky minx have a fantastic time!

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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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