90 Tasting Notes

93

Actually, this is really quite nice. I brewed it up super strong as a chai on the stove yesterday and it didn’t need any honey – the apricots sweetened it enough without being overpowering. Had a weaker, normal-teapot brew today with a bit of milk and sugar and it was also pretty good (got the thumbs up from my dad as well, not the most adventurous tea drinker out there). The apricot taste actually still came through ok as it didn’t when I tried it just black the first time. May re-think about sticking this one in the shop, following a bit of further experimentation.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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79

This tea was kindly sent to me by Tony from High Teas in London. I don’t have a huge amount left. It’s rich and pleasantly astringent, a great accompaniment for sweet things as well. No need to add milk or sugar to this one that’s for sure, it’s perfect just as it is.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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84

Ok… so this is asample I bought from Serenity Tea House in Box Hill, Vic. It’s not like any oolong I’ve had before, even other highly-oxidised ones. The dry leaves smell of musky roses and maybe orchids (as opposed to gardenias or peaches); they’re dark and fine but only loosely twisted, so I didn’t bother with a rinse to open them up.

The liquor is dark amber and, again, tastes nothing like any oolong I’ve ever had before… it tastes smooth and dark and sort of chocolatey like the Keemun I had from Santion a few weeks ago. A second infusion and both the taste of the liquor and the scent of the wet leaves is beginning to take on fruity Darjeeling notes…

Most odd. Quite enjoyable though. Like drinking several different teas in one!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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88

Drinking this again this afternoon, the last of the batch. Shall have to get my friend to bring me some more from Sydney when she comes down at Easter time, I think.

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67

This is nice so long as you don’t use too much – 1/2 a teaspoon per cup is plenty – the quantity of leaf seems to be more of an issue than the steeping time; I let this go for up to about 20 minutes as I couldn’t finish it all in one go and it was still pleasant, not astringent. Nice smoky smell but not overpowering like a Lapsang Souchong. I added some fresh mint to the teapot too for a Moroccan-y experience.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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88

Peachy, buttery, sweet… this is just a delicious tea. You can get 3-4 infusions out of it easily. It also cold-brews beautifully if – as I sometimes do with oolongs – you don’t have time to keep going gong-fu the whole day long. Going to make myself another pot of it now, don’t have much left though!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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88

So this is different… green tea from Yunnan? Didn’t even know the region produced green tea. The dry leaves are amazingly delicate looking, fine silvery-green twists. They smell like the Yunnan Golden Tips that I’ve also had from SanTion – caramelly and rich with a hint of strawberries – but the infusion tastes more like a Pi Lo Chun, though not quite as apricotty. The wet leaves have a scent that is kind of green-vegetal in the first infusion, more fruity/sweet from the second. The flavour follows suit – green-vegetal and quite rich, then a bit more fruity. Nice sweet aftertaste that lingers a little. This is a really tasty tea, I recommend it!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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79

This is a pretty ordinary tea but sometimes that’s just what you want. Comforting and reminds me of the tea my dad used to make us with our breakfast when we were kids. Brews up nice and dark, a little malty and a little sweet, and takes milk well. Doesn’t really need sugar unless you totally overbrew it. I use this as a base for the black teas that I blend up for my etsy shop, and keep a supply of this on hand, plain, to serve to my folks who are not renowned for being adventurous tea drinkers. Surprisingly refreshing in the hot weather.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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79

This is a dark oolong, plenty of toasty fragrance overlaying an orchid-y, fruity sweetness in the dry leaves. I got 4 steeps out of this, one minute duration each, by the 4th it was getting pretty ordinary so I don’t think I’ll bother with a fifth. Orchid flavour in the first and second steeps, and for some reason ‘melon’ popped into my head as well… mellowing out to toasty, new-leathery and woody flavours in the 3rd and somewhat in the fourth steeps. This is a great tea for a grey, cool and rainy day which is what we’re having in Melbourne today (not that I’m complaining after the heat we’ve had the rest of the week).

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Heyes

Congrats on the rain.

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88

This is another of the samples I purchased from SanTion, think I’ll be going back for more. Beautiful dry leaves, thick with golden buds and some smaller dark leaves, finely twisted. The dry leaves smell of dark caramel, milk chocolate and hints of something musky like rose. The wet leaves are kind of malty, burnt caramel possibly? The liquor doesn’t have a strong aroma but is an awesome dark amber colour, like maple syrup. The flavour is slightly burnt and bitter, in a good/chocolate kind of way; I’ve read that some people find molasses-y tastes in Yunnan and I see how that could be one way of describing this flavour. Medium body I think, and slightly astringent with a bit of malt. I liked this so much I drank the whole sample (4 single-cup pots’ worth – 2.5g at a time, 2 steepings) this afternoon. The second infusion had good colour and the same but slightly less flavour, although it was pretty good considering that I steeped the leaves for about 4 minutes each time.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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