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My first Steepster-logged oolong, woo.

Whoa, this smells very sweet, almost grape-y, that specifically sugary element. But—and I’m not at all familiar with oolongs in general so maybe it’s a thing with them?—it has a funky plant-y/vegetal thing going on all throughout too, which seems to intensify as it cools/I drink more, and an almost salty note towards the end of the sip. It is kind of a wonder how it can start out so sweet and end so salty/savory. I can’t decide if I like it or not. Hm. It is very smooth, I’ll give it that. And I find it a marvel that it’s possible to smell salt—not sure I’d ever realized one could before. Oh wait, I’m forgetting salt marshes, duh. (Speaking of…this smells a little like that, yes! Salt and plants and sand!)

It tastes sort of like when you slather salty melted butter all over summer vegetables that contain natural sweetness (say, freshly shucked corn on the cob)—that mix of salt, fat, sugar, and plantiness.

After I finish the cup, a bunch of complex flavors linger. A salted nut element comes through! Fascinating.

It’s bugging me because one of the aftertastes is distinctly something I’ve tried for years to remember the source of, where it’s like salty raw dough with a tinge of…I don’t know a word for it. But it dramatically evokes childhood and I hate that I’ve never been able to figure out what it is (and even stranger, a friend of mine tells me she knows what I’m talking about and can’t put her finger on it either). Like buttery play-doh kind of. Weird and cool that this tea has it in it though!

Smelling the wet leaves after steeping and cooling: all salt marsh and seaweed.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Cavocorax

Salty raw dough – home made playdoh maybe? That’s awesome I think of…

Sorry you didn’t like this one as much as I did.

ifjuly

It’s similar, yeah, but it feels like an actual food. A baked good I’m guessing. Since it makes me and my friend both think of being little I’m guessing it’s probably some cookie or something aimed at children, some dated lunchbox filler maybe…

And it’s all good. I have a feeling I’m just not ready to appreciate oolongs in general. I guess that’s OK—certainly have enough other tea to keep me busy!—but it does kinda make me feel like an uncultured tea dweeb. (:

Cavocorax

Bah! Maybe put it aside for a month or so and try it again later? You never know. I don’t think I was too crazy about oolongs either – coconut oolong was the only one I was really crazy about for a while.

ifjuly

Been meaning to thank you, by the way, for being so nice and welcoming. This community has so many experts it was a little overwhelming to join, but friendly folks like you make me glad I did. (:

And yeah, I’m totally happy to set it aside for a while and come back and try again. The nice thing about tea is that there are so, so many roads to go down it’s hard to get bored and easy to go for breadth—lotsa wide-ranging variety!!—or depth—immerse oneself in all the little details and nuance of, say, gongfu ceremonials and whatnot. Yay.

Cavocorax

:) You’re more than welcome! It can be a little crazy but you learn a lot very quickly. I’ve only been here since October, and I’m sure others have been here less than a year. It’s a great community though.

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Cavocorax

Salty raw dough – home made playdoh maybe? That’s awesome I think of…

Sorry you didn’t like this one as much as I did.

ifjuly

It’s similar, yeah, but it feels like an actual food. A baked good I’m guessing. Since it makes me and my friend both think of being little I’m guessing it’s probably some cookie or something aimed at children, some dated lunchbox filler maybe…

And it’s all good. I have a feeling I’m just not ready to appreciate oolongs in general. I guess that’s OK—certainly have enough other tea to keep me busy!—but it does kinda make me feel like an uncultured tea dweeb. (:

Cavocorax

Bah! Maybe put it aside for a month or so and try it again later? You never know. I don’t think I was too crazy about oolongs either – coconut oolong was the only one I was really crazy about for a while.

ifjuly

Been meaning to thank you, by the way, for being so nice and welcoming. This community has so many experts it was a little overwhelming to join, but friendly folks like you make me glad I did. (:

And yeah, I’m totally happy to set it aside for a while and come back and try again. The nice thing about tea is that there are so, so many roads to go down it’s hard to get bored and easy to go for breadth—lotsa wide-ranging variety!!—or depth—immerse oneself in all the little details and nuance of, say, gongfu ceremonials and whatnot. Yay.

Cavocorax

:) You’re more than welcome! It can be a little crazy but you learn a lot very quickly. I’ve only been here since October, and I’m sure others have been here less than a year. It’s a great community though.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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“…you can never know everything about anything, especially something you love.”
-Julia Child on food and cooking, and I think it applies to tea as well!

note: i am currently taking a break from swapping/mail of any kind as money is rather tight. i apologize! i do love to swap but i can’t afford to right now. hopefully in a month things will change.

my cupboard includes any tea i’ve ever owned, including things i’ve sipped down, in order to facilitate swaps with people and keep a record—this way i don’t get redundant samples/order duplicates to try. if you are interested in swapping, i have a separate ever-updated list of teas i actually have on hand i can PM.

i like strong, rich blacks (including some choice old skool CTCs); juicy-fruity flavored green blends; buttery chinese greens; light floral oolongs; flavored oolongs (how sacrilegious!); earl greys; smoky blends; second flush muscatel darjeelings; verdant’s straight oolongs steeped in a gaiwan (mind altering!); anything from laoshan village it seems.

favorite notes include lavender, bergamot, violet, fennel, cardamom, melon, honey, sandalwood, smoke, nuts, roasty/toasty stuff, malt, wood, leather, creamy lemon, steamed rice, artichoke, garden-sweet snap veggies, earth/soil, forest and wet bark, and mushroom.

notes i generally can’t stand (at least in tea) include jasmine, rose (ok in small doses but i often find it overpowering and then everything just smells like musty old lady perfume), astringent apple (and general fruitiness really unless it’s with green tea), and chamomile (unless i’m congested or tired).

my current favorite tea vendors are butiki and harney and sons. i’ve also found some delicious teas and/or had good customer service experiences with the following companies: capital tea ltd., the devotea, verdant, mandala, golden moon, teavivre, lupicia, taiwan tea crafts, yezi tea, den’s tea, the tea merchant, norbu, fauchon paris, tao tea leaf, zen tea, fortnum and mason, townshend’s tea, joy’s teaspoon, new mexico tea company, persimmon tree, teajo teas, whispering pines, della terra, upton imports, mariage freres, samovar, justea, teabox, american tea room, steven smith, steap shoppe, utopia tea, and andrews and dunham damn fine tea. when i’m at the grocery store my “you could do worse” brands include stash, bigelow, tazo, taylors of harrogate, whittard of chelsea, and pg tips. and it’s a fact: you can’t make classic southern sweet tea without luzianne.

top picks, fall 2013

black:
verdant zhu rong yunnan black
verdant laoshan black
thepuriTea hong jing luo (no longer available :( )
thepuriTea red dragon pearl (no longer available :( )
mandala morning sun
golden moon honey orchid
verdant golden fleece
taiwan tea crafts red jade
yezi tea zheng shan xiao zhong “scotch” tea
capital tea borsapori estate assam tgfop1 (spl)
butiki khongea golden tippy assam
butiki giddahapar darjeeling extra special
upton imports fikkal estate
golden moon sinharaja
harney and sons new vithanakande
persimmon tree vintage black
teajo teas black manas
justea kenyan black
harney and sons kangaita op

morning blends:
butiki the black lotus
harney and sons queen catherine
harney and sons eight at the fort
harney and sons big red sun
harney and sons scottish morn
golden moon irish breakfast
harney and sons irish breakfast
utopia tea english breakfast
fortnum and mason breakfast blend (needs milk!)
andrews and dunham double knit blend
steven smith no. 25 morning light
butiki irish cream cheesecake

earl greys and scented afternoon blends:
teajo teas silky earl grey
harney and sons viennese earl grey
upton imports lavender earl grey
american tea room victoria
lupicia earl grey grand classic
harney and sons tower of london
tao tea leaf cream earl grey
zen tea earl grey cream
della terra earl grey creme
upton imports season’s pick earl grey creme vanilla
upton imports baker street afternoon blend
harney and sons russian country
della terra professor grey
verdant earl of anxi

flavored black:
herbal infusions moose tracks
american tea room brioche
steap shoppe cinnamon swirl bread
della terra oatmeal raisin cookie
butiki nutmeg cream
kusmi caramel
david’s tea brazillionaire
lupicia banane chocolat
butiki hello sweetie
fauchon paris raspberry macaron
butiki blueberry purple tea
herbal infusions marshmallow snowflake earl grey
herbal infusions creme brulee chai

pu erh:
mandala loose and luscious lincang 2007 shu/ripe pu erh
mandala special dark 2006 shu/ripe pu erh

oolong:
verdant shui jin gui wuyi oolong
verdant hand-picked early spring tieguanyin
butiki 2003 reserve four season oolong
harney and sons formosa oolong
tea merchant silk dragon
golden moon coconut pouchong
zen tea coconut oolong
american tea room coconut oolong
teavivre taiwan jin xuan milk oolong
butiki flowery pineapple oolong
butiki lychee oolong
lupicia momo oolong supergrade
butiki strawberry oolong
butiki pumpkin milkshake darjeeling oolong
52teas tiramisu oolong

green:
verdant laoshan bilochun green
verdant autumn harvest laoshan green
tao tea leaf hou kui
harney and sons tencha
harney and sons gyokuro
new mexico casablanca
butiki with open eyes
american tea room nirvana
joy’s teaspoon mahalo
den’s tea pineapple sencha
harney and sons tokyo
butiki potato pancakes and applesauce
butiki holiday eggnog and pralines
den’s tea organic genmaicha with matcha
golden moon hojicha

white:
butiki cantaloupe and cream
butiki champagne and rose cream

no caf:
harney and sons soba buckwheat
butiki birthday cake
della terra lemon chiffon
52teas strawberry pie honeybush
butiki mango lassi
joy’s teaspoon italian dream
butiki coconut cream pie rooibos
butiki peppermint patty
persimmon tree mint chocolate chip rooibos
art of tea velvet tea
fusion teas chocolate cake honeybush
american tea room choco-late
steven smith no. 40 bon bon
townshend’s tea dark forest chai
utopia tea decaffeinated earl grey cream

sleep aid/medicinal/therapeutic:
new mexico extra sleepy bear
stash white christmas
verdant ginger sage winter spa blend
samovar turmeric spice
butiki the killer’s vanilla guayusa

coldsteeped wonders:
whispering pines manistee moonrise
harney and sons fruits d’alsace
utopia tea berkshire apple and fig
culinary teas peaches and cream
butiki peach hoppiTea
butiki ruby pie
whispering pines gingerade

besides tea

born in seoul, raised in new england and upstate new york, went to college in pittsburgh, currently in memphis with an eye toward philadelphia, portland, or asheville eventually.

i like cats, most beverages really (i also like good freshly roasted coffee, craft beer, wine, whiskey and gin-based cocktails, and soda/soft drinks like agua fresca), art (mainly writing but also visual and music) and critical theory, feminism/genderqueer politics, historiography, statistics, children’s literature and librarianship, travel, and food/cooking. also have recently gotten into weightlifting (mark rippetoe and stumptuous!) and sprint training (HIIT, plyometrics) and i love it.

Location

Memphis, TN

Website

http://facebook.com/ifjuly

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