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1855 Tasting Notes

Drank this one yesterday while Steepster was not behaving. One of my favorite things about the Verdant reserve club is the oddities we get… like this one. Wuyi oolongs are always roasted, so one that’s not is really interesting.

I have to say from the dry leaf this smelled to me like a fairly standard wuyi oolong, including some roasty-toastiness. And that’s what I get from the early steeps too… Don’t get me wrong, it comes off like a very nice wuyi oolong, but to me it seems like the others I’ve had. It’s rocky, it’s sweet, and it’s a bit like fall leaves, brown and crackly. It is perhaps not quite as roasty as some others I’ve had, but green and floral like a TGY? Not really. I certainly have an unrefined palate when it comes to these teas, so there is probably some of that coming into play as well. But whether it comes across as unroasted or not, it was definitely a nice oolong.

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86

I didn’t order many green blends since I haven’t been as much of a fan of those lately, but the ones I do still like are Dammann, so I figured it wasn’t too much of a risk. This one was especially intriguing because it is definitely not a sencha… it’s actually green tea from Vietnam, which I don’t think I’ve ever tried before. Cool!

The dry leaf smells like lychees and a bit of banana, but not too much. Kind of reminds me of a smoothie made with banana, in that you can taste it but it’s not the main event. This is actually supposed to be banana flower, so I guess that makes sense. The flavor is definitely floral, as lychees tend to be fairly floral on their own, plus the addition of other, distinct florals blends well. The banana florals are pretty neat; I typically am not huge on banana flavoring, but these are nice and banana-y without overkill. This isn’t a mind-blowingly awesome tea, but it is tasty and I bet it would also make a killer iced tea. A nice, light fruity blend for when I’m in the mood.

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

neat. :)

cteresa

Does it have lotus? Vietnam related names seem to be code for lotus as an ingredient and I am just not a lotus person – but this sounds pretty awesome to me, as long as it is lotus free!

Dinosara

I don’t think there are any lotus flavors in here… None listed, and I didn’t get any that I recognized. It says only banana, and bamboo flowers!

cteresa

That is good to know, thank you! banana (and lychee) are interesting, lotus is lovely but very much not my thing.

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85
drank Pu Erh Gourmand by Dammann Freres
1855 tasting notes

Another from my box of Dammann! I’m not usually one for flavored puerhs, or puerhs in general, but the chance to get only 50g of this (instead of the required 100g in store) was tempting enough to jump on. I mean, cookie, caramel, vanilla, and almond? How could I say no?

The dry leaf smells deliciously like all of those things. At first the scents coming from the brewing tea were mostly those as well, but slowly as it steeped longer more and more puerh notes were coming to the forefront. After steeping I find this to smell like a pretty woody puerh, like sawdust or oak bourbon barrels, without too much dirt/earth. As it cools more and more vanilla and caramel come out as well. Mmm caramel wood, haha.

I love Dammann’s caramel flavoring (see their Caramel Toffee tea, which I restocked in this order), and it is present in full force in this tea. So that works out pretty well for me. I can definitely taste the puerh, woody and even a tad minerally, but fortunately for me it is not too strong. I am definitely enjoying this tea; I guess I prefer my woody puerhs doused in caramel, vanilla, and a hint of amaretto-y almond. :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

omg… i may need to beg you for a taste lol…along with the caramel toffe… just saying..

Dinosara

Yeah I’m certain we could set something up… This one seemed like it might be up your alley. :D

Sil

haha maybe YOU need to come over to the “dark” side bwahahahaha see what i did there… sigh yeah i’m a dork i know.

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95
drank Figue Fraîche by Dammann Freres
1855 tasting notes

You know when you get a lot of tea at once and you don’t know where to start? That’s how I feel about my order from Instant Thé that came yesterday. I ordered 13 teas and got three free samples, bringing my cupboard up to 144.

I chose this one as the first from the box, as the whole box smells like fig (actually at least two of the teas I bought have fig in them, maybe more) and it was making me crave a fig tea. It unsurprisingly smells, and tastes, very figgy. If you like figs, you would love this tea because it is very intensely figgy. I love figs (fig season is perhaps my favorite fruit season), so this tea is AMAZING. Perhaps a bit more black figs than green figs, sweet but not too sweet, rich and delicious. So pleased with this one!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

OOOH gracebtlb needs to try this one!

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80

Sipdown, 128. I had a little more than I would normally use left in the pouch, so of course this is overleafed. I reduced the steep time to compensate but it is still a tad stronger than I would prefer.

A tasty tea, but I’m glad I only picked up an ounce of it. For me, I don’t need any wuyi oolong in my Laoshan Black. :)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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87

Why don’t I drink this tea more often?? It is delicious. Although this is an older tea it has been stored in an airtight pouch and so it’s still very flavorful. The bergamot, orange and jasmine are awesome together, and the white tea adds a nice depth to it. For some reason in just the past week I have been enjoying white tea more and more than I ever used to.

It’s also a shame that I will never be able to get more of this tea now that Ovation is gone. I do think I could probably come close with Harney’s Winter White Earl Grey and some jasmine pearls, though.

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

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75
drank Black Dragon Pearls by Teavana
1855 tasting notes

All my tea has been stored in boxes for the last couple of months but now that I have moved they are even less accessible… I need to get a small set of drawers for my office. So this was in a box that was easy to access and it got chosen. The thing about black pearls is that it is easy to count up how many servings you have left… I actually did that today and it turns out I have five servings. When I finish up these I will let myself make an order to Teavivre to get some of their pearls, so there’s some incentive to use them up.

With 6 pearls per 12oz water (unlike 5 as I had been doing before) this is better but still not excellent. I am looking forward to getting through these.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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90
drank Royal Wedding by Harney & Sons
1855 tasting notes

Today I moved into a new office that is a pretty sizeable upgrade from my previous desk. The only thing that does suck is that I no longer have a sink super near, so cleaning my tea infuser is a little more of a hassle. I think I will get another infuser mug, that way I only have to clean them out once around lunchtime… my max tea drinking tends to be twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon.

Today I steeped this for two minutes instead of three and it took care of the surprising bitterness that I had last time. Yay! Back to it’s delicious, coconutty, almondy, vanilla-y self. I think its the combo of those notes with the white tea that almost give it a chocolatey note. This is an old one that definitely needs to get used up.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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76

I really need to get through some of the older teas in my cupboard. This happens to be one of the oldest I have, and I haven’t had it in forever. I loved it the first time I had it but then started tasting a bitterness in the base, and I have had so many other teas in my life I haven’t gone back to it. Well, time to have some today. I really have quite a lot of this left (it came in a 4oz pouch when I bought it… so much tea!), but reading my older tasting notes I see it makes a good cold brew, so that should help me get through it.

Brewing it at this cool of a temp seems to have helped, but this is definitely a tea that is still a bit rough around the edges. I am definitely more sensative to low quality base tea than I once was. Still, otherwise this is nicely floral and vanilla-y, and for me it’s a good combo of flavors. Reminds me of DavidsTeas Vanilla Orchid Oolong but on a black base instead of an oolong one.

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

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77
drank Lemon Drop by California Tea House
1855 tasting notes

I’ve been having some stomach discomfort today throughout the day so I grabbed some of this one this afternoon. I really need a strong lemon and ginger tea, but until then this will have to do. This is one of the oldest teas in my cupboard, and it has definitely faded in flavor, but all in all it’s holding up pretty well. I still have a ton of it, too!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °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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