96 Tasting Notes

I’m feeling quite Tea Drunk so please excuse any rambly-ness.

I THINK that this is my first milk oolong? But I’m not really sure. Seriously I feel like milk oolong is soo talked up on all the various tea blogs and discussion boards that it’s been on my wishlist since I’ve been on Steepster. Thank you Green Terrace for the sample!

So I didn’t really know what to expect. I generally like oolong, and I have a love/hate relationship with milk. There are times when I really like it, and there are times when I really can’t stand it- and it’s not even like I’m lactose intolerant, well maybe a little, but it’s just the taste/texture. When I’m in a milk drinking mood, it’s almost always non-fat or whole, there’s just no in-betweens. So I’ve been in a ‘milk is OK’ run this week, so it was the best time to try this, I felt, just in case, you know? haha.

This is a light oolong, green and with a heavier mouthfeel. I think this is were others get the ‘milk’ texture. The heavier mouthfeel is denser and slightly creamy, but not in a fatty way. It’s a rather more green oolong than I’m used to. The taste is quite sweet and soothing. I can see why soo many people find milk oolongs addicting.

It doesn’t remind me of cow milk, or soy or but milk, or even milk candy. It’s mostly (for me) a textural phenomenon. But if I wasn’t tipped off by the name, I might not have associated it with milk at all. It would just be ‘awesome oolong’. =D

This tea EXPANDS. A LOT. I probably overleafed it. I used 1 tbs/12oz, but short steeps. I’ve gotten through 4 steeps of this one, and added to the other teas I’ve had this evening, I wonder if I’m ever going to go to sleep. The liquor with a short steep is quite green and bright. If you let it brew longer it deepens to a tan-green color. The liquor remains clear throughout the brews and sweet to taste.

This is the last of the samples Green Terrace sent me in exchange for reviews. I need to clean up the reviews before posting on their site, but I was glad to get the chance to try the teas. I definitely want to hit up their current sale too. Anyone have other recommendations? I’m thinking this one and Honey Black.

Marzipan

Li Shan black and Eastern Beauty oolong are great.

KiwiDelight

I love the Gui Fei oolong.

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This came in a Steepster box one or two months ago? I’m terribly behind on tasting/reviewing steepster box teas. One reason is that I’m not overly fond of the direction the packaging has gone. The other reason is that some of the teas are straight up not appealing, like the rooibos that came in this same month’s box- I will not be drinking that and probably will pass it on. This one though didn’t seem too bad.

It’s a good medium black base with a strong overlay of apricot scent. There’s some decorative orange petals (?) in there but I’m not sure how much that actually attributes to the taste. I’ve got a tbs grandpa brewing in a thermos- the way I’ve been doing things lately because of sheer laziness. The heavy apricot is appropriate for the season. It reminds me of the Mad Tea Party Blend from Disney, based on the apricot, but the base is more robust- more english breakfast. The scent is slightly candy, it’s really really sweet. On the side of apricot hard candies than juicy ripe ones, but the distinction doesn’t lend towards artificial tasting- it just smells really sweet.

It came in a larger non-resealable pouch, which drives me to finish it sooner and not be able to come back to it whenever. I have to say though, I miss the pre-portioning of teapot sized bags. This makes me think I’m getting less tea than I usually do.

I would recommend this tea, and I wouldn’t mind serving it, it’s just nothing extremely special and I probably won’t purchase on its own. It’s a good staple though, as the theme went “Cupboard Essentials”. If you’re just diving into the world of fruity blacks, this would be nice.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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How have I not reviewed this tea yet? My sample is almost gone! Thank you Green terrace again for the sample!

Yum. Sweet and smooth thoughout multiple steeps. An extraordinary tea, and my first Eastern Beauty! I don’t usually drink tea with food, I think it doesn’t let me enjoy the tea properly, but this brew is robust enough to power through sweet or savory foods. Also good on it’s own to enjoy throughout the day.

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I’ve been bad about posting tasting notes lately. I still drink lots of tea… I’m just not good about writing down my thoughts on them.

This one came in one of their cute little one oz tins. I think I’ve figured out how they manage to stuff soo much tea into these tins. My theory is that the caps and bodys are already attached, and they seal the bottom of the tin! I don’t know how else they get everything to fit!

Anyway. This tea dry looks like a flat long leaf intermixed with crasins. The cranberry taste isn’t too sweet thankfully. Rather tart and bright. But thankfully not tart like hibiscus tart. The green tea actually comes through quite strongly, which I love.

As usual I got distracted and let the cup cool, but it still tastes good cold, but the cranberry taste is much more apparent when warm.

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drank Black Manas by Teajo Teas
96 tasting notes

Heelllloooo tea!

This tea made me laugh. I expected the leaves to open up and put it in the cup infuser with the big holes. Then they just never got bigger and just slipped right one through! The infuser did catch the majority though, so not too bad.

This is what black tea is like in my head. Honestly I don’t drink much black tea at all and can’t tell an assam from a darjeeling from a …. is there more?

This is as it’s descried: a medium bodied black brew. No frills, and it doesn’t need them either. It’s bold and creamy and filling in all the right spots.

I don’t know if this would take sugar or milk well, although it probably will. I just associate those things with the teas I really don’t like.

Thanks to Piccolo for sending me this as part of the TEAcation promo. This is re-kindling my tea affair with Teajo teas. I haven’t reached for them in awhile, but this is reminding me why I was hoarding them.

Cameron B.

Don’t forget the Chinese blacks! :)

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A very apt name for a beautifully balanced tea.

I got a hint of berries and M&Ms during the first steep, but let me tell you that it (the steep) didn’t last very long. The third and fourth steep were a delightful chocolate cake. If there was ever a red velvet cake in tea form, Stacy has captured it beautifully.

Instuctions on the bag say to add sugar, but I didn’t. I might try it next time, but this tea doesn’t need it.

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

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This is NOT the version available through DavidsTEA.

I got this one at a Fantasia Coffee & Tea store. For those unfamiliar, it’s a coffee/tea/milk tea cafe with several locations in the SF Bay Area. $19.95+TAX.

I have two types of tea steeping thermoses, this and one from Barnes & Noble (~$15). The B&N one is also a 18/8 stainless steel tumbler but it has a fine mesh basket tea infuser and it doesn’t have a sipping lid. The DavidsTEA timolino has a fine mesh basket tea infuser that is attached to a sipping lid that has larger holes, plus another lid.

THIS timolino has a fine mesh on the sipping lid, but it doesn’t have the basket infuser. I’m totally ok without the basket infuser, I usually use my thermoses for grandpa style infusing anyway. The reason why I went for this one over the David’s tea one is that there’s no plastic in contact with the water except on the sipping lid/strainer. (The B&N thermos’ infusing basket is also stainless steel, and removable.)

I’ve heard such good things about the timolino. I was pretty disappointed. It’s not even because of a bad design, it’s pretty good for what it is, it’s just ANNOYING.
The thermos functions OK as a thermos, it keeps tea warm for a few hours, but not nearly as much as I was expecting. I expect alot out of my thermoses. But the biggest problem would probably be that it’s really really hard to get a good stream of tea out of the sipping lid. _.

I admit it, I take pretty big, slurpy sips usually. And as soon as the tea is not scalding, I drink it down pretty fast. I have to keep my drinks outside of the lab, so when I want some tea, I’m outside for 1-2 min for my hydration and then I’m busy again. For better or for worse, this fine mesh sipping lid FORCES you to sip. For me that wants my tea NOW that means going slowly, and losing time and even enjoyment. The problem would be because the fine mesh interaction with the water makes a type of vacuum inside of the thermos because of the capillary forces of water on the mesh not letting air into the thermos at the same rate I want the liquid to be coming out. So even as a portable teapot this is not really working for me because I’ll be able to pour out an oz maybe, then the flow stops, I’ll blot the strainer to remove the excess and the cycle begins again. It is impossible to get a nice steady flow of tea from this thermos until you have no more liquid inside, unless the lid is completely dry. Why not just bypass the sipping lid? Well then, what’s the point? I don’t know if the DT timolinos have this problem or not, at least no one has mentioned it to my knowledge.

Where this would be a PRO: driving, I totally see how this slow flow model would be helpful when driving and sipping. BUT the cup is too slim to fit into at least my car’s cup holders, and have fallen from the cup holders onto the car floor more than once.

So PROS/CONS versus the DavidsTEA timolino: It doesn’t have an infuser basket, so once your tea leaves are in there, there isn’t a way to take them out unless you clean out your thermos. This is basically made for grandpa style brewing. This can be either a pro or con based on your preferred style of brewing. Pro for me because lack of plastic in contact with the water and I don’t mind this style of brewing.
The sipping lid holes are fine mesh. From what i’ve observed, the one on the original DT timolinos are pretty big holes comparatively. If you drink alot of small leaf teas or herbals like rooibos, this could be a pro. No tea bits in your mouth! But yeah, results in that awkward sipping enforcement. I’m told though that the new DT timolino Carry Mugs have fine mesh on the sipping lid as well, so it might be the same.

It’s an OK item for what it is. I’ll keep using it, mostly because I like the color. But I won’t be purchasing another. I have two B&N ones though- I really like them, and if they had more than two colors, I’d be on it.

Marzipan

Great info!

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Bio

I get easily excited and tend to get into the habit of collecting things I get really really excited about- books, fountain pens, fragrance, tea and any number of things. Mostly I’m just really excitable.

I started really branching out into the world of different teas recently. Grew up with greens and oolongs, but am dipping into others slowly but surely.

My name is Christina, but there’s also another Christina with a cat as a profile picture, so I go by Flyawaybirdie.

Feel free to drop me a message anytime. I love messages/letters/etc.

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