163 Tasting Notes

98

My husband (an oolong fan), and I received a sample of this premium Oolong (October 2012 harvest). My husband asked me to order more, telling me it was the best Oolong he has ever had. It has the floral aroma and taste you would expect from a high quality Tie Guan Yin. It has a clean, refreshing finish. Very nice.

Preparation
Boiling

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78

This was a sample generously sent from Mary at Teavivre. It is my second experience with this particular pu-ehr, and I recall enjoying it last time when I prepared it according to the package instructions. This time, I didn’t prepare it the same way. Instead, I went to the Teavivre website brewing instructions for the gaiwan. I rinsed the leaves (7 gm) twice, then steeped for 20s,30s,40s -later realized it should have been 10s,20s,25s,30s,35s etc. I usually add sweetener to all teas, but this time I didn’t. There is some bitterness by the 3rd steeping-still, not bad. Maybe this could be overcome with shorter steep, but the description on the website says it has some bitterness mid-sip. By the 3rd steep, I decide to add some stevia, and for me, this is better, because it cuts the bitterness. Now I wonder though, if perhaps I should just keep the brewing time shorter, because there was no bitterness for the 1st few steeps. And before, when I brewed it with more water, Western style, I didn’t note bitterness either. So now, for the 4th steep, I use 6 oz water for 30 seconds which pretty much eliminates the bitterness. From my relatively limited experience with pu-ehr, I think I prefer those that are ripened, and Teavivre has some that are quite good. Nevertheless, this was interesting to try, and you may need to play with the time and leaf/water ratio for optimal results.

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92

I’ve been experimenting with this Phoenix Oolong the last couple days, brewing it both Western and Gong fu style. Either way, I found it to be very tasty with a deliciously fragrant aroma. When brewed in a gaiwan with a lot of leaf, I got multiple steepings, and picked up on honey, floral, and nectar-like notes as I went along. Teavivre’s instructions are to use 10 gm with 3 oz water at 212 F, with a quick rinse, then 2-3 second steeps for the 1st 4 steeps, then increase time slightly with subsequent infusions, good for more than 12 steepings.( I modified Teavivre’s instructions a little and used my 7 gm sample in 4 oz water),with good results. I have run out of time, so haven’t made it to 12 infusions, but thus far, am very happy with this oolong. My husband is the bigger oolong drinker, as I lean more toward blacks, but I anticipate re-ordering this since this is one we both like it a lot.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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94

Having this for the 2nd time-it was a sample that was sent with my order last fall. Very nice balance of flavors, different than a Chai, and well suited to a coolish winter day. I had it with a little stevia, without milk, and am really enjoying it today. It makes a delicious dessert tea. I would order this again.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec

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drank Candy Cane by Della Terra Teas
163 tasting notes

This came in a box of things from Azzrian awhile back. I have not been in the mood for mint lately, which is why I haven’t had it yet. My moods can really vary when it comes to tea! Maybe I like mint better in warmer months. Candy Cane was better than I expected. The mint was not overwhelming-maybe the chocolate toned it down? This was pretty good, even as it cooled down. Glad to have the chance to try it, thanks to Azzrian’s generosity.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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94

When I saw TeaFairy’s review, I realized I hadn’t posted anything on Raspberry Chocolate Bark,though I’ve had it on the shelf for a few months. Since TeaFairy did a great job of describing it, I can’t add much more. I’ve tried several Teajo flavored black teas, and the fact that their single estate Assam base is good and is not overwhelmed by the flavors makes for a great cup of tea. Chocolate and raspberry go hand in hand beautifully in desserts, and the same goes for this tea, making it a very satisfying dessert tea. I’ve found that their teas are excellent hot or cold. You can get 10 cup samples for $2.95, giving the opportunity to trying several flavors. Their teas are organic as well.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

Donna, you are right about hot or cold:-) When I have my pot of tea at night, if I’m trying a new tea, I always keep some for the next morning to see how it compares as an iced tea. This one was delicious, more raspberry emerged. It will be interesting to try a cold brew eventually. I’m thinking it will turn out more fruity and less chocolaty that way. I’m also liking their Lemon ginger Sencha, so refreshing as an iced tea!

Indigobloom

organic… that is great!! this sounds really tasty

teajoteas

This seems to be a trend with many of our Assam based teas, that the flavoring really comes out when you ice it. The tea itself has a bold flavor whether iced or hot, but anything added gets emphasized when chilled.

GiggleGoddess

@teajoteas I’ll have to keep this in mind when I place an order to try it chilled. I’ve only been doing hot tea lately.

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I purchased this as part of Upton Tea’s Premium Darjeeling Sampler. Since my experience with Darjeelings has been limited, this has been a great opportunity to check out generous sized samples in tins. Today, after the excitement of sending my 20 yr old daughter on a full semester Georgia Tech Pacific Study abroad trip (Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji), I came home with a few hours until work and decided I would compare this TD74 1st flush against the TD54, another 1st flush from Thurbo Estate. As a sidebar, I read that Tumsong is known as the “garden of happy hearts”. With the Tumsong Darjeeling,the brew is gold and there are notes of tropical fruit, almonds, and a citrus pungency that I find quite enjoyable, despite an ever so slight bitterness.I am sensitive to bitterness,and though I made this according to instructions (boiling, 2 1/4 gm, 3 min. steep), there seems to be a hint of bitterness that I didn’t detect with the Thurbo. Perhaps this would be remedied by using a little less leaf or time on the steep. So,to sum it up, my 1st impression is that I favor the Thurbo, but I will hold back on rating it, and try adjusting the leaf and/or steeping time the next go round.

TeaBrat

Hi Donna
I enjoy darjeelings a lot more when they are steeped with water around 180 – 190 F, that takes the bitterness away.

Donna A

Thanks or the tip Amy. Will try that!

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88
drank Diamond Jubilee by Harney & Sons
163 tasting notes

My favorite Earl Grey thus far has been Harney’s Earl Grey Supreme so I was very interested in trying Diamond Jubilee which is a skillfully blended Earl Grey with a twist. This selection has a hint of grapefruit essence, which is a wonderful addition to the black teas and citrusy Bergamot. I initially steeped it for 4 minutes, but preferred it at 3 1/2 minutes. I liked it a lot warm, but also think it would be very nice cold, and I recommend it to Earl Grey lovers.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec
BoxerMama

I love this one!

Donna A

Had this again this evening. Really nice with the subtle grapefruit addition.

Donna A

Realized that I still had a little Diamond Jubilee left. Though I drink mostly unflavored black teas, this is definitely one I’ll buy again. The grapefruit notes are very appealing. Though it is different than Earl Grey, if you like Earl Grey, you should try this. There is free shipping on H&S for gifts in US today.

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91

I am using my last sample of this excellent pu-erh from Tea Vivre. I got it as part of the Pu-erh sample assortment. My initial tasting notes from last summer indicated at least 9 steeps which I enjoyed hot, at room temp, and cold. Nice and earthy, and especially good with a little stevia. Today, I had 7 gms which I rinsed twice to open up the leaves, then steeped in 6 oz boiling water at 30, 60, 120, etc. I haven’t had pu-erh in awhile, but wanted to share this with my son while he is home from school. It really hits the spot, and I highly recommend it, especially if you haven’t had pu-erh before. There is no fishiness, and I think it is a great example of what a good ripened pu-ehr is like. The Teavivre site shows low quantities of this. If you haven’t dealt with Teavivre before, I can recommend them as a company that provides excellent service and they offer free samples with your order.

Preparation
Boiling

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82

I appreciate the opportunity to try Immortal Springs Laoshan White as a sample with my order. I prepared it as advised on Verdant’s website and enjoyed 6 steepings. It may have been possible to get more. I would agree with the product notes which describe this as silky with honey and sugar snap-pea flavors. The taste is sweet and vegetative, reminding me somewhat of some green teas I have had. There is no bitterness whatsoever. If you are a white tea fan, take advantage of the fact that it is currently on clearance. I think you will enjoy it a lot.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C

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Bio

Tea became a passion for me a year or so ago. I fell into it almost by accident, but now I would say it has captured me. Tea is more than something tasty to sip on, it is an experience-it helps create a mood and is quite interesting to read about and study. I discovered loose tea at the tea store at my mall. I was looking for alternatives to Coke Zero and white wine. Say what you will about that mall chain, but I’m sure it has raised awareness about tea where I live, in the land of bagged mass produced black tea prepared with lots of sugar, Atlanta, Georgia. That’s what happened with me, and then I started perusing the internet and found Steepster.

When I take on an interest or a hobby, I go into it full force and become a little obsessive about it in the beginning. I have always been adventurous when it comes to trying new foods, and once I discovered there was so much more out there than the Lipton tea I saw my mom drinking when I was growing up, I started trying many different varieties of loose tea. I have discovered I like all kinds of tea. I I veer a lot toward straight teas, especially blacks, but occasionally drink flavored also, especially Earl Grey. I like flavored Matcha lattes too. I’ve completely given up diet cola, which was becoming too much of a habit. I think tea is a lot healthier. When I rate a tea, it’s just my personal taste, so I don’t tend to post on things I don’t care for. Also, I tend to sweeten my tea with natural stevia (a no no for some!) I am a married Registered Nurse, with two kids in college and one in medical school. My husband is not hooked like I am, but he often enjoys a cup with me. I enjoy many other interests, including reading, gardening, and the arts. I’ve taken up hiking in the past year too. Anytime I can include tea in these pursuits, I do! It has become a bit of an obsession for me.

Location

Atlanta, GA

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