589 Tasting Notes


I’m so very glad and lucky that Verdant had all my favorite teas in stock when I made my last order! This is definitely one of my favorite black teas. Just the delicious and complex combination of malty and potato-y flavor is so perfect. Today, I think I detected a hint of smokiness that was surprising. I can’t remember if I thought there was smoky flavor in this tea before. Maybe I’m just going crazy today. In any case, it’s such a lovely tea, and I’m thinking that I probably should have ordered more of it because I’m going to run out pretty quick at the rate I’m going!

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After yesterday’s successful experiment with LB/Wuyi Mountain Big Red Robe, I wanted to sip on just the Wuyi oolong today at work for comparison. For the first two Western style steeps, I was getting a lot of nutty and chocolate-y flavors along with that wet leaf taste that I find in a lot of different oolongs. The third steep was significantly weaker in flavor (and oddly a little bitter), but I went ahead and did a fourth steep anyway just to see what would happen. The fourth steep was pretty much just like slightly flavored hot water.

In conclusion, I think that this is a 2 steep max kind of tea for me (Western style anyway). I’m so happy that I reordered this from Verdant because it’s just the perfect delicious, clean cuppa I need to motivate me through the workday.

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Thank goodness my Verdant order got here because I just finished off the last of my previous batch of Laoshan Black. I actually only had enough for about half a cup, so I made up for the rest of it with Wuyi Mountain Big Red Robe. I’m no expert at blending teas or anything, but I thought it sounded like a good enough combination.

So the first steep (Western style) was very much like Laoshan Black. It started off with a punch of chocolate flavor and ended with a nice, sweet maltiness. I was confused that I didn’t taste too much of the oolong, but I figured that LB has a pretty strong flavor, so it was probably just overpowering. Surprisingly, the second steep was totally different. I think the LB took a little step back because I was getting a pretty strong roasty oolong flavor out of it. There was still some malty flavors from the LB, but it played nicely with the oolong flavor instead of dominating.

On my third and final steep, I was getting that kind of generic nutty water taste that I get with both LB and Wuyi when the flavors start getting weak. Even though it is weak, I do like the taste of the nutty water, so I don’t mind too much.

Even though I mixed these two teas together because of convenience, I actually quite enjoyed it. It reminded me a lot of the LB Genmaicha, which I’m pretty sure has an oolong in there with the LB. I may try this again in the future to mix it up a little :)

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Backlog. And sipdown (92)! This was quite a lovely oolong, and I will miss having it around. I think it has a nice balance between floral and roasted flavors all at once. For my first steep, the water was a bit hot, so there was an unpleasant metallic, bitter taste in the background, but when I use lower temperature water (maybe around 185-190?), there was no bitterness and the sweetness really shone through. I’m sad to see this one go, but I think I have enough other oolongs to put me at ease for now!

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Backlog. My Verdant order came in! Yay for restocking on favorites like LB! I ordered a sample of this oolong because based on the reviews here on Steepster, it seemed like a tea that would be right up my alley. I neglected to look up any steeping parameters, so I left the tea steeping for about 3 minutes, oops. The resulting tea reminded me a lot of Laoshan Black, but it had a bit of a musty raisin-like taste. That was unexpected and confusing, so I looked up steeping parameters, which turned out to be 30 seconds.

So after my first mug, I resteeped a few times at around 40 seconds or so each. I think that my first long steep kind of drained a lot of the flavors out because the resteeps tasted a bit more like nutty hot water than anything else. Anyway, I’ll probably bring the rest of the sample back home where I can pay more attention to it and steep it right.


I usually like this one steeped for a long time. I do 1.5 tsp for 4-6 mins.

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I’m sipping on this tea this afternoon because I have just been drinking so many black teas lately that I needed a bit of a change. My friend bought me this tea as a congratulations on my new job. She knew I liked tea, so she picked one up for me! So sweet. I am a fan of Mighty Leaf’s White Orchard, so I was pretty excited to try this one, too.

First off, I have no idea how hot my water is at work, so I may have steeped it at water that was too hot. That being said, I wasn’t too impressed by this tea. It did have a pleasant, generic tropical kind of taste that was to be expected. However, it verges on the edge of tasting medicinal to me rather than natural, juicy fruit flavors. It’s nice enough to have at work, so I’ll probably keep it around my desk somewhere.

Edit: As it’s cooling, the flavor becomes more medicinal, eek. I’ll just have to gulp it down while it’s still hot!

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Backlog. I think I may have underleafed this tea this morning. It was less maltier than usual and just not quite as flavorful in general. I mean, it was still a nice, solid black tea, but it tasted a little more generic because of the weakness of the flavors. Fortunately, I have enough left to make a few more cups and figure out the best leaf ratio for my work mug!

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
589 tasting notes

Backlog. I brought this lovely tea in for my first two days of work. It was super comforting when I was running around to various orientations and meeting a ton of people whose names I have almost all forgotten. I don’t know if it was the way I steeped it (finally broke out my Finum brewing basket!) or the water at work, but I was getting first and foremost chocolate notes. When I steep at home, I feel like the chocolate mingles with all the other flavors. Anyway, I will have to experiment with my new set up at work, but I’m glad that I put in another order with Verdant for more of this tea because I’m definitely gonna need it!

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drank Zhen Qu by Butiki Teas
589 tasting notes

Backlog. I had this wonderful tea this morning. I accidentally left it steeping for a whopping 8-9 minutes because I was distracted with filling out forms. To my surprise/delight, the tea wasn’t bitter! I mean, it was definitely stronger than I would have liked and there was some astringency, but all in all, not bad for steeping almost 3 times the recommended time.

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drank Bubble Tea by Custom
589 tasting notes

I was in Berkeley today to see a friend off before she moves to New York for a fancy new job. So sad! A few years ago, she introduced me to Asha Tea House in Berkeley, so we went there today. I was really craving bubble tea, so I did skip the many many tea options there to get a nice milk tea. The honey boba was delicious and chewy. The tea itself was not quite as good as I remembered, but I liked that they let the black tea shine through by not adding too much extra sugar and whatnot.

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I’m a California girl temporarily located in Boston for school (brrr). I only recently got into teas because I’ve never really liked coffee (too bitter), but I have been a daily barley tea drinker since I was little.

Through some timid tastings and exploring, I so far like:
-Japanese green teas (genmaicha, hojicha, sencha, etc)
-Oolongs! (Most kinds except formosa and dan cong so far)
-Straight black teas
-English Breakfast teas
-Fruity teas (peach, apple, strawberry, other berries)

NOT a huge fan of rooibos, matcha, heavily artificial tasting teas, or anything gingery or peppery, but I’m trying to keep an open mind and taste everything that I can!

I’m trying to sample more straight teas and have been having pretty awesome discoveries so far. Thank goodness for sample sizes!

My tentative rating system:
90-100: Woohoo! I’m loving it, and I’m definitely restocking when I get the chance and/or crying when I’m out.

80-90: Yum! I’ll try to restock if it fits in my budget when I run out.

70-80: Probably would not buy again, but it was nice enough to finish the cup.

50-70: Would not choose this tea for myself if given the situation, but would not reject it if someone offered it to me and would gulp down politely.

50 or less: Nope. Don’t care to taste that tea again, sorry!

I’m always down to swap, so send me a message if anything in my cupboard is calling your name!

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