1938 Tasting Notes

86
drank Qing Pin by Yezi Tea
1938 tasting notes

Finally getting around to trying one of the samples that I ordered from Yezi Tea! Of course whenever people start raving about a Chinese black tea on Steepster, I know I need to try it, especially when its a type that I’ve never tried before.

This one definitely smells tasty. It actually smells a bit like the Laoshan Black Genmaicha, like toasted rice/grains, chocolate, and a hint of molasses. When it was still pretty hot it was a tasty but not too exciting cup of black tea, but as it cools it definitely becomes sweeter and more chocolatey. This one definitely reminds me of LB with more toasted grains in the flavor. I think this is one of those Chinese black teas that does well with a fair lot of leaf when brewed western style, so I may reduce the amount of water for the remainder of my sample. Or maybe just steep it really long… I have a feeling it will just get rich and lovely. Definitely a very tasty tea!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Sipdown, 142. Yes, my number went up substantially after that Teavivre package. Well, nothing to do but keep sipping down. Thanks to Sil for a sample of this one.

So keep trying with puers but I haven’t been able to get into them. This makes up Mandala’s phatty cake that everyone raves about, so once again this is a tea that am trying as a semi-last ditch effort to try a type of tea I tend not to care for.

I will say, this is the sweetest shu I’ve ever tried, at least on the first couple of steeps. But otherwise all I get is wood. Sweet wood, haha. I’m afraid I still don’t get shu. Oh well.

Stephanie

Have you had the Special Dark? Mmmmm

Dinosara

Not yet, although I am curious about it after hearing so much about it!

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92

Thanks so so much to Teavivre for continuing to be awesome, for providing me with this tea to sample, and for sending a completely surprise free (!!!) gaiwan with my last pack of samples. I am, of course, using it to try out this tea now!

I used one pack, gave it a quick rinse, and did a few steeps to start before the gaiwan got so hot I couldn’t hold it anymore. After the first couple of steeps the tea leaves exploded and were bursting out of the gaiwan. It smells initially like a nice, green TGY, that is buttery and floral and a bit sugary, but this tea caught me a little off guard. What I wasn’t expecting was the intense juicy, fruity flavor in the tea. Unlike other TGYs I’ve had, for sure!

This does have the expected elements: it’s very floral, it’s very buttery, it’s a bit sweet like spun sugar. But this kind of bright almost citrusy note to it is so cool. Really interesting tea, and I look forward to trying it with various brewing methods. Thanks again, Teavivre!

Tea Sipper

Teavivre keeps getting more and more and amazing! Wow!

moraiwe

That’s insanely awesome!

TeaVivre

it’s hard to control Gaiwan when you first use and easy to Scald your finger. When you use it several times and have experience, then it’s easy to control.

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88

Funny that I just had a flavored dragonwell and I chose this dragonwell-style laoshan green for lunch. Totally unintentional.

This is so so good. Buttery, sweet, nutty, lovely. It somehow totally lacks the generic green tea vegetal-ness. That’s not to say that there aren’t notes of vegetables, but they are things like peppery arugula and sauteed fiddlehead ferns in butter. Yum.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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82

Ahhhh, snow! We just had a brief snowfall here… perfect day to stay inside and huddle with blankets and tea.

So, I broke my don’t-buy-52teas rule and bought this tea. I have not have much success with them, and they are often just not to my taste. I have bought pumpkin teas from them in the past because I want them to work for me, but they never do. This one got through because dragonwell. I don’t like their black tea base, but this is dragonwell! And maybe it won’t cover up the flavorings so much.

The dry leaf, of course, smells AMAZING. They always do. Like pumpkin and spices and toffee. Brewed, I still get a good amount of pumpkin and spices from the scent, with perhaps a bit of buttery toffee, and the dragonwell base comes out.

It’s interesting. The dragonwell is an interesting choice of base because it is buttery, but it’s also green, so I feel like it lacks a bit of heft I might want from a pie tea. That said, the pumpkin is nice here, and I actually taste it as pumpkin, which is saying something. Pumpkin itself is often lost in pumpkin spice teas. I normally wouldn’t sweeten a green tea but… I think this one would really be awesome with an added hint of sweetness, which might bring out the green tea. Overall I am reasonably happy, although my mind isn’t blow or anything.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

This one sounded pretty good to me too, but I’ve had to stop buying from them unless I’ve tried a sample first. They are very hit or miss with me too!

Uniquity

Snow?!?
Oy.

Tealizzy

I haven’t written a note on this one, even though I’ve had it a few times. Still trying to figure out whether I like it.

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72

Sipdown, 137. I wanted to try this assam because a lot of people rave about it and it seems to be a pretty classic assam. So thanks to Sil for sending me some to try. I have always thought I didn’t really like assams, but then I started trying them here or there and was unsure. I have to say that if I don’t love this one I will probably give up on most assams, haha.

I’m not sure what to think of this one. I do think it’s funny how some people say things about certain teas like “this one never ever gets bitter!” Do we have different definitions of bitter? Because I do find this one to be bitter when steeped at these parameters. I’m not sure what other flavors I’m getting… a hint of malt, but I don’t find it super malty, some other flavor I can’t quite identify. After one small cup I also kind of felt a little ill, so I think straight strong assam and my stomach doesn’t really get along (even though it’s not on an empty stomach!). I had this reaction to the Antarctic Expedition Blend the other day as well. Super bold teas, maybe not for me.

Anyway, I added milk and a bit of maple to smooth it out. It works a bit better for me, but I’m not in love with it. I think the only assam I like are the Taiwanese varietals.

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

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75
drank Oolong Creme by Sloane Tea Company
1938 tasting notes

Sipdown, 138. Only one sipdown today but I did have three yesterday, so that will have to do. I had this one at “tea time” at my office today, and it was pleasant. I like having a non fussy oolong for the tea time get together, and this one fit the bill. Creamy and floral and just a bit vegetal.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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78

I ordered some Taiwanese black teas from this company after they posted a $20 coupon to the discussion boards, and after I tried some other Taiwanese blacks that I really liked.

So I brewed this to exact specifications provided, which was perhaps a higher tea to water ratio than I would normally. This one reminds me of the first Taiwanese black tea that I tried, rather than the recent ones. It’s a little flat, without a ton of flavor, honestly. It smells floral and a bit fruity. But no caramel, no chocolate, not really any honey. I’m not the biggest fan of naturally fruity/floral black teas for whatever reason. There’s also a bit of astringency here, but that may be related to the ratio.

I think I will try it with my usual ratio before I rate it. Interested to try the other blacks that I got as well.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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81

Sipdown, 138. Cold brewed the last bit of this tea! It was only a tiny bit left, but I did a tiny cold brew and it worked. It was kind of amazingly sweet! The pear came out moreso in the cold brew, and even toyed on the slightly fake edge of things, but it still maintained itself. White teas can be tough to cold steep, I find, but this turned out pretty well.

Preparation
Iced

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73

Sipdown, 139. Thanks to Sil for this sample. The history behind this one is pretty cool so I am interested to try it.

I have read tasting notes on this one that say it is “bold” and a little rough around the edges. I would imagine that is what you need when exploring the antarctic. I knew I would likely prefer this one with milk and sugar, but I didn’t want to try this one only with milk and sugar. So I brewed it two ways: one straight, and one with additions.

I also brewed it a bit cooler. Straight it’s not as rough as I thought it would be, but it does have a hint of bitterness/astringency around the edges. With additions, it’s a reasonable black tea but nothing that really jumps out at me. I mean, I guess that’s what it is, a sturdy black tea. But if I were exploring the antarctic today, I would bring a slightly more interesting tea with me. :)

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

I like the part in the description for this tea that talks about the daily ration of tea for men on the expedition was 0.7 oz or 20 g. There are days where I certainly drink much more than that and I am not in the frozen expanse of the Antarctic.

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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.
89-85: 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: 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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