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1851 Tasting Notes

74

Ok, after having my gongfu session with this tea today, I can say that I am kind of disappointed in it considering it is supposed to be very high grade.

So first off, the flavor is not very complex or interesting. I look for butteriness, florals, perhaps a hint of fruit, and fresh leafy flavor. The first couple of steeps (post rinse) were kind of bland and almost savory, which is just wrong in an oolong like this IMO. As it progressed I steeped a bit longer and got some florals to peek out, but the savoriness got stronger as well. Then the florals left and there was only spinach soup. When I steeped this western style I thought I had oversteeped it and masked the delicate flavors, but now I see there just weren’t really any delicate flavors to begin with.

Also, I pulled a few leaves out and they were not whole, but rather with raggedy edges and missing ends. No attached leaf-bud pairs, and no intact, non-shredded leaves. Yeah, not the quality I was expecting. Disappointing, but there are plenty of other TGYs in the sea.

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90

I totally did not look at my previous tasting notes for this one and I was convinced that I was going to have a bitter cup… I remembered to underleaf it (relative to what I normally would add) but I definitely brewed it hotter and I initially set my timer for longer. I pulled it a bit early, and it turned out great! Lots of crisp, citrusy bergamot and a substantial (but not too robust) tea base. A good cup to start my (late) morning off. :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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67

I have to admit, I wasn’t thrilled to see that the January blends club theme was tulsi. I haven’t had a lot of tulsi (and never just tulsi), but what I have had I haven’t been fond of. But I will try it nonetheless!

When I smelled the dry leaf I was a little put off, and I think it must have been the tulsi because there isn’t anything else in this blend that should be objectionable. Fortunately after steeping it evens out a bit and smells better. Herby, cocoa-y, almost minty even though there isn’t any mint in this. It honestly reminds me a bit of the scent profile of the Peppermint Bark herbal. The taste has a lot more oolong in it, and I’m definitely tasting the toasty, minerally flavor of the Wuyi oolong. A bit of cocoa, and a bit of herbal, root beerish flavor. Considering this blend contains a few things I’m not really a fan of (wuyi oolong, tulsi), I don’t mind it too much, but I wouldn’t say that I really like it that much either. Ah well, can’t love them all!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
gmathis

That does sound like a bizarre combination: tulsi needs light, lemony, spicy, minty companions. Cocoa…just can’t see it.

OMGsrsly

Aww, man! I cancel the Blends Club and they put out something I think I’d like. BOO.

Dinosara

OMGsrsly – if you want, you can have the rest of mine! I was thinking of listing it for swap anyway, it wasn’t really my thing.

OMGsrsly

Ooo. That would be super fabulous. What could I do for you? :)

Dinosara

Do you want the Puer Tonic (also this month) too? It’s also probably not my bag either. I would take Master Zhang’s Genmaicha and the Jolly Earl off your hands if you are still looking to get rid of them (I saw they weren’t your faves on your notes).

OMGsrsly

That sounds great! I have both, although some of the master Zhang’s is heading out in a swap. I’ll message you my “not in cupboard swap” list. :)

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82

Finishing this one off this afternoon. Steeped in a gaiwan but each steeping combined into one cup. There is something about a snowy day that makes me think of a light, springy green tea. I do enjoy a nice, crisp, nutty green, but I think the “reserve”-ness of this is wasted on me, haha. Perhaps one day I will need to restock a plain green but right now I think my cupboard is fine without one.

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82

I brought this tea home because I planned to do some cold steeping with it… I do enjoy this tea, but I don’t LOVE it, which means I won’t reach for it as much and it will sit around longer. I figured it would probably be really tasty cold brewed and that way it will move through my stash faster. However, this morning I really wanted a black tea I could have without milk and sugar, and I have so few of those at home, so I reached for this one!

And it was quite tasty this morning. Lots of red fruits, a hint of vanilla. It will be good to have at home for drinking on the weekends as well, it seems!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Assam Calcutta Auction by Lupicia
1851 tasting notes

I was originally planning to just sell/trade this tea unopened as I am not much on assams and even less on plain assams. However, this evening I really wanted to have hot cocoa with tea steeped in it and I realized that I didn’t have anything really suitable. So I popped this open… I am thinking I might keep it around for when I need a really robust tea (to have with milk and sugar), for steeping in hot chocolate, and perhaps for cold brewing occasionally.

For the record I tasted this a little bit under the chocolate, and it was assamy. Haha.

Sil

mmmm that sounds good…

Rosehips

Tea and hot chocolate? What an interesting idea!

Dinosara

Yeah this seems like a tea you could like!

Sil

i’ll have to steal a cup or two from you later :)

gmathis

Cocoa and assam…that is absolutely brilliant!

Tea Sipper

Yeah, I’ll have to try the cocoa/assam sometime!

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93

Remember how yesterday I was complaining about getting up early to teach? Well I got up an hour earlier than that today to go birding, haha.

Since it was stupid early in the morning, I made some of this cold shaken with milk in the hopes it would give me a boost. I guess it did, but I would have hated to have seen myself without it!

Fjellrev

Wow, go you! I hope you had a great time.

ashmanra

My son and I had these this afternoon!

JustJames

what did you see? anything rare?

Dinosara

It was a “raptor extravaganza”, and we had distant looks at Golden Eagles and super close views of a Short-eared Owl. Also great views of a Northern Shrike!

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84

I ordered a sample of this tea because dates! figs! sesame! sounds like a good tea to me. I don’t think I found this one on Steepster beforehand, somehow, because I remember not seeing any reviews. If I had, I might not have ordered it since people talk about smokiness in it and I have no tolerance for smokiness.

The dry leaf smells INTENSE. Very sweet, definitely figs, dates, and nuts. Steeped, the tea started smelling a little smoky, and I was worried. However, this came out ok for me. I think because it’s more of an intense roast/toast than it is a charcoal smoke (which often makes me ill!). Nutty and figgy for sure. It’s less sweet seeming than I might have guessed, but it works. Similar to Toasted Fig, but still unique. I ended up enjoying this more than I thought I would!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Thanks for clearing things up for me on the smoke! This is one of the few ATR teas I’ve been interested in, and like you, was hesitant to ever order it (or from ATR in general since very few of their teas seem to appeal to me) since I don’t care for smokiness either.

Stephanie

Interesting sounding tea :)

Dinosara

Fjellrev – If you want, I can send you some of my sample. If there are few that appeal you might be better off satiating your curiosity that way :)

Fjellrev

Nono, don’t worry about it! If I end up liking the Brioche that Sil sent me, I think I’ll end up taking advantage of the 20% off sale right now and order samples anyway. :)

Dinosara

Ok just let me know if you change your mind :)

Tea Sipper

Aw, this sounds NICE.

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94

My stomach apparently doesn’t like it when I wake up really early, which I have to do almost every Friday to teach an early class. Ugh. When I got out of class I wanted something to settle my stomach and I remembered this has citrus and ginger in it. Perfect.

Sweet, citrusy, with a slight ginger kick. Although I have a lemon ginger on green base, I prefer the (green) oolong base because I feel like it gives more body. This may become a somewhat regular post-class tea on early days.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
keychange

odd—I seem to have stomach issues when I wake up earlier than my body would like as well. I wonder why that is.

Fjellrev

Weird. Actually, when I have to get up ridiculously early, the same thing happens to me. I have a feeling it has to do with the increase of ghrelin production when you don’t get as much sleep (naturally, I tend to get a lot less sleep when I have to get up earlier than usual, regardless of how much earlier I go to bed).

Lynxiebrat

Alot of people’s bodies seem to work best when we get to sleep the sametime every night and get up the same time every day. (Or vice versa as the case might be for some folks.) Myself: for the most part I cannot handle much food when I wake up, and if I can…usually not breakfast food. Now if I have that for lunch (If I’ve been up for a few hours.) I’m fine with it…though depending.
Cereal-I love having that as a midnight snack. heh.

OMGsrsly

I used to be like that but for the last month I’ve been waking up hungry. Bodies are weird, yo. :)

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drank Momo Oolong Super Grade by Lupicia
1851 tasting notes

I had a sachet of this last night at my departmental tea time. I got this along with a few other bags of sachets in my Happy Bag this year. Initially I wasn’t enthused about most of them (although this one I did want to try), but I figured out the perfect use for them! I’ve donated them to tea time because most of the girls there have some fear of loose leaf and never drink the loose leaf I bring. But they seemed more interested in the sachets. One of them had a cup of Chocolate Strawberry Puer and loved it!

Anyway, this tea. I have to say that I was underwhelmed by this. Although the peach flavor was fresh and juicy, it was very light. That normally wouldn’t be a problem for me except that the oolong didn’t seem to have much flavor either. I mean, what was there was very nice, but I wanted more. Maybe I should try two sachets next time (though I’ve never had that problem with Lupicia sachets before). Actually it might be the unfiltered water that we use at tea time. That’s probably it, so I won’t rate it just now. I guess I’ll have to try another sachet of this with filtered water.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
__Morgana__

Is there a word for “fear of loose leaf”? Steepphobia?

Tuscanteal

LOL Steepaphobia…

Tuscanteal

But wait, wouldn’t that be the fear of steeping all tea? looseleafteaaphobia?

__Morgana__

Yeah, I thought teaphobia was too all inclusive. ;-)

Lynxiebrat

Maybe increase the steeping time? How do other teas (Like ones that you know well.) fare with the unfiltered water?

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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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