1979 Tasting Notes

An afternoon gongfu session with this one. I haven’t loved a lot of dancongs I’ve had in the past, but I’ve been getting more into darker oolongs lately so I am excited to try this one.

The first few steeps were light and sweet, fruity and lightly floral. Definitely a delicate, refined flavor on this one. There is a light roastiness, like flavor of baked fruit. Later steeps lost the sweetness and became more orchid-like, though it is still subtle. Overall this was very pleasant and I enjoyed my session a lot, although I still think I don’t know enough about these to really appreciate the subtleties here.

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82

Sipdown, 129 (I decupboarded a couple of teas that I have decided to give away to a friend of mine). I cold brewed this one, and it was delicious! Mega yum. Apple and caramel and a hint of cherry.

Sometimes you cold brew a tea that you feel generally ambivalent about and it turns out SO MUCH BETTER than the hot steep. That’s how I feel about this tea. Also I love apple teas cold brew, so that may have something to do with it.

Preparation
Iced
Sil

wonder if i’ve tried this as a cold brew yet…

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80

Sipdown, 132. I made this one strong and added milk and sugar, which made for a decadent, almondy-chocolate cup. Very delicious this way! This isn’t one I would go for again, partly because I think the base is a little rough around the edges and I prefer Chocolate Almond Allure for a chocolate almond tea. But this is a nice one!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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88
drank Campfire Blend by Verdant Tea
1979 tasting notes

Finally getting around to tasting this one from last month. I should be able to finish it off in two more sittings with the given leaf to water ratio in the instructions, so that’s a plus when it comes to my sipdown goal. Considering I’m having three more of the blends coming soon!

This one smells really interesting. Spicy and orangey, but also rich and sweet. The wild rice, vanilla and carob in this is giving it a really interesting scent of cookie dough or perhaps sweet challah bread.

I really like this one. To me everything really works and I love the toasted wild rice as a base for an herbal… it almost reminds me of the buckwheat tea, except with a lot of other extras. There’s a faint lingering sweetness from the dandelion root, I think. This one certainly screams fall to me. Mmmm, I would like to have this one to curl up with in the evenings occasionally.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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85

This is a quick note as I drank this while taking care of a lot of things… going out of town for a conference tomorrow! So again a halt on sipdowns, sigh.

Anyway, this was really nice. I am really enjoying these roasty green oolongs more and more, especially when they are nice and bready like this one. A touch sweet, especially when cool/cold. I should try cold brewing this because I think I would really like it iced.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
El Monstro

I got a bunch of their oolong samples when they were having the sale, looking forward to trying this.

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81

I could tell from the instant that this was done brewing that I would not be into it as brewed. With the Red Rhythm tea from this company I had followed the provided steeping directions on the box, which were 5g/8oz water, boiling, 3 minutes. This time I went for 5-6g/12oz (which is still a bit high for me) 90°C, 3 minutes. I think I need to go for less leaf or way less time, or both.

This is one of those teas that smells astringent. It has a particular scent that I encounter in black teas sometimes that just kind of turns my stomach. Taste is bitter and astringent. Definitely need to brew this one differently.

Ok, take two, because I have the time and I’m curious. Less leaf (3g? I eyeballed it), less time (1 minute). It still has a bit of that stomach-turning astringency smell, but not so much of it. Now it also has a fruity and floral scent. This is much better. Now it is pretty sweet and fruity.

Definite raisin notes, as well as a rich, cooked-fruitiness like jam. There is a hint of astringency, but it is almost like the fruity astringency of grapefruit. I still don’t love the tea because it’s fruity-floral in a way that doesn’t quite suit me. But I am still so glad I tried this one like this because it is a lot better and I am much more pleased with my experience.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Dexter

I am so happy to hear that I am not the only one who likes black teas steeped at a lower temp. 90 C for black seems about right for me.
I am not happy to hear that this is astringent even with the lower temp. I have all three of these blacks and haven’t tried any of them yet. LOL may let you play with it, once your find your perfect steep parameters let me know. :))

K S

I tend to use about 3g/12oz especially with new tea. Though the dryness of astringency doesn’t bother me, my stomach can’t handle some black teas especially Assam.

Dinosara

I updated the note with a new steep of it. I was using more leaf than I usually would as directed by the company, but this is one of those cases where that was a bad idea. With less leaf and less time (and still a lower temp) this is a much nicer tea.

ashmanra

I often do my black teas at 203F just to be on the safe side. Astringent tea makes my stomach very angry.

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69

Sipdown, 133. Maybe I should have drank this first this morning, but after the deliciousness that was Paul et Virginie this one was a big no for me. Bleh. I wanted to write a more thorough review of this but that isn’t happening. This is definitely not the yunnan for me; I prefer them less earthy and more sweet potato-y.

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

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88
drank Paul & Virginie by Dammann Freres
1979 tasting notes

Sipdown, 134. It’s always a sad day when a Dammann tea gets sipped down.

I overleafed this but it still turned out amazing, as I have often found with Dammann. They are hard to mess up! This one is lovely with it’s red fruits and caramel. An eventual reorder, perhaps!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Earl of Grey by The Tea Spot
1979 tasting notes

Note for posterity: do NOT cold brew this one. The liquorice root, which provides a light sweetness when brewed hot, became sweet in a gross way when cold brewed. Sickeningly sweet, really. I could only drink half my bottle, and only because I was drinking it with lunch.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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87

Sipdown, 135. So glad to get another sample of this from Teavivre because even though I’ve tried it before, I really like it! Also it’s always nice to have teas you haven’t tried in a while to reassess your love of a tea.

This one definitely has more of a buttery/creamy smell to it than the Yezi Jin Xuan I just had. It also has quite a distinct taste from other Taiwanese oolongs, namely it isn’t as floral and has more of a creamy character that grows with each sip, and a very light sweetness playing around the edges. Still really enjoy this one, and it’s still my favorite Jin Xuan so far.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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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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