127 Tasting Notes

85

This is unlike any Lapsang Souchong I have ever tasted, and I wondered if the labeling was correct as there was no smokiness to the dried leaves and barely a hint in the brew. It is definitely a nice tea, with beautiful small twisted leaves and sweet aroma. To my senses it smells of honey and hops, very pleasantly reminiscent of a late summer day. Maybe even aroma of honey locust and hay. Very, very faint hint of smokiness in later steeps — not at all like the “strong smoky flavor with a smooth finish” stated on the label.

This sample was received as part of the January ’15 Steepster select box, and I do wonder if tea direct from Silver Needle tea Co. has these same characteristics, or whether another tea was substituted.

Flavors: Honey, Hops, Smoke

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 30 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

A flavorful morning blend that is rich and hearty. Not as strong as some Scottish blends I have tried, but a nice pleasing brew with a bit of malty overtones. I have been drinking this blend often this past week, and enjoy the caffeine kick and full rich flavors. Plus a visit to Tin Roof Teas, or a visit to their website is always fun and I come home with new teas to try…

Flavors: Brown Toast, Malt, Roasted

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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89

I love Masala Chai, and this version is a wonderfully light version that allows the tea to shine through and not be overwhelmed by the spices. I steeped for a bit more than 3 minutes which yielded a light/medium orange brew with an excellent flavor and aroma. Nothing added, just enjoyed it in it’s natural state. Excellent.

I received two pyramid tea bags/sachets from Nepali Tea Traders, and both were gone and brewed the day they arrived. Nice flavor, spicy aroma and a tea I could drink all day long. Thank you to Nepali Tea Traders, I look forward to ordering more tea from you soon.

Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Ginger, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

Received a loose leaf sample of this wonderful tea direct from Nepali Tea Traders, and was very pleased. It is a Darjeeling oolong, partially oxidized, that brews up a lovely medium orange brew. The flavor is a remarkable combination of spiciness and muscatel, yielding multiple steeps that has a very pleasant mouth feel or texture. Highly recommended.

I don’t see this currently listed on their site, but I think I might try one of the other Darjeeling oolongs listed. They are a wonderfully different breed from the Chinese and Taiwanese oolongs that I love.

Flavors: Muscatel, Spices

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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93

Another wonderful sample from Tea Ave, that I brewed up in my gaiwan as per the instructions on the packet. Longer brewing time, with less leaves than I usually use for this type of tea yielded a truly wonderful series of steeps!

An aroma of dried fruit, roasted barley and a touch of sweetness, was followed by the fantastic taste of the same. Second steep had an additional touch of roasted sweet potato flavor and deep, rich mellowness. Third and fourth steeps were only slightly less intense and continued to please.

Having a medium oxidation level, and medium roast really gives this Tie Kwan Yin a wonderful flavor/aroma to sit back and enjoy. A truly excellent tea!

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Roasted Barley, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 130 ML
Teaave

E Alexander GersterThank you so much for reviewing all three samples from Tie Kwan Yin, Alishan Jin Xuan to Dong Ding Oolong. It will help us a lot if you don’t mind spending a minute of your time copy these reviews to our website where you can rate and comment on these teas. So more viewers can know the thoughts of people who have actually tasted the teas before :)

E Alexander Gerster

Thank you again for the wonderful samples. I will do this soon and will be putting in an order sometime this week. Love your teas!

Teaave

Oh thank you so much for putting up the reviews! When you feel like you need some yummy oolongs, we will be here :)

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94

Such a smooth and elegant tea. Light, refreshing and with the fruity floral aroma and flavor that is so particular to teas from this region. Brilliant. :)

Flavors: Floral, Fruity

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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80

I received a sample of this tea from Republic of Tea and was impressed enough to keep the outer packet to remind me to write a review. I like some of Republic of Teas loose teas, but never have been a fan of bags, even if they are the round, environmentally friendly, unbleached bags used here. And another disclaimer, I have never watched Downton Abbey so don’t understand all the marketing hype. I just know I enjoyed this tea which is essentially a nice blend of black tea with natural fruit flavors and dried bits of various berries. Nothing artificial tasting, just a light fruitiness and bold black tea base. Above average and very pleasant.

Flavors: Berry, Brown Sugar, Toast

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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92

Thank you Tea Ave for the wonderful samples, and I look forward to the launch of your online store! First, I must comment on the packaging of the sample packaging I received, which has a wonderful labeling of information that is sure to please even the most tea aficionado by listing: tea name and description, origin, growing altitude, roasting level, cultivar, oxidation level and brewing instructions for gaiwan, tea bag, tea pot and cold brew! Most companies don’t even have this much information on their website, much less on the package. It is much appreciated and graphically well done to convey lots of information in a clean and simple design.

I have been tasting a wide variety of oolongs this past year, and this DongDing by Tea Ave is one of the very top three of this type that I have had the pleasure of tasting. I brewed mine in my gaiwan, as per the instructions on the packet of 8gr/130ml for 1 minute, adding time for multiple steeps. It has a wonderful silky texture or mouthfeel as I believe gmathis’ review noted. Definite aroma of dried fruits, light amber color and held up well through 6 steeps. It has a nice light roast and med/light oxidation level that is approachable and suitable for drinking alone, with a snack or after dinner. Very, very pleasant! Not too bold, not too subtle, not too complex, not too simple. Just right!

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Nutty, Roasted Barley

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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95

If you like yellow tea, then this is one you have to try. I was so happy when this arrived in my Steepster select box this month. Brews up a beautiful light yellow, and if you leave it for the full 2 minutes recommended brew time (175 to 185 degrees F ) it yields up some amazing flavors and aroma. Although subtle, I definitely get tones of baked fruit and light vegetal background. I have never had a tea that actually has such a silky texture. Warm and soothing all the way down.

Flavors: Fruity, Vegetal

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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90

I have been drinking a variety of Houjicha teas over the past few months, and this Kyoto “Akishun” Fall tea is truly one of the best for my taste buds. When you look at the leaves, you can tell this is a green tea, that has been roasted carefully to bring out it’s distinct flavor. The aroma (dry) is nice mix of toasted rice, nuts, and hay that accurately reflects the flavor yield when you brew. A nice accompaniment for onigiri rice balls or just on its own any time of day. A really comforting tea.

Flavors: Hay, Nutty, Toasted Rice

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I have been drinking tea for most of my life, and enjoy learning about Tea Culture from all around the world. I learned early about Russian and British traditions first, since my parents came from Europe, followed by the teas and culture of Ceylon/Sri Lanka and India. Since I have been a practicing Buddhist for the better part of 25 years, I have strong ties to Asia, and have slowly been learning about the teas from each part of the world I encounter. It is a wonderful and interesting journey.

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