805 Tasting Notes

81

This was a free sample provided by TeaVivre. Thanks so much!!

I was initially quite hesitant about trying this (as is evident by having tried everything else quite a while ago) both because I didn’t think I had a glass suitable for viewing, and because I wasn’t really sure about the floral nature of the tea.

But, I found the perfect glass mug (in my cupboard, who knew?) so I set out everything and got it out and ready to go. My particular ball took a while to open fully (like, well over 5 minutes) and I’m assuming I should have taken it out but it was such a beautiful thing to watch that I lost track of time. When I finally poured the tea out and into a different cup it was quite dark and smelled very floral.

Luckily it didn’t taste overly floral – I mean there were obvious notes but I also think that there was definite green tea (kind of even buttery!) in there as well. It was slightly bitter (my own fault because I was distracted by the show). Definitely a nice tea, but nothing spectacular – the bloom is really the selling point, and it is nice if you’re into that sort of thing.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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96

This was a resteep of my initial leaves that I then iced. 8 minutes even in 180 degree water. With the leaves from thepuriTea, a resteep iced at these parameters still gave me quite a strong peachy note that I was hoping would happen here too.

Meh, 8 minutes was pushing it for sure. There’s no real flavor besides the roasty green and its bitter (still drinkable, but bitter) so you can’t let it stay in your mouth too long. (I’m drinking this while eating something really savory so that’s helping me avoid the astringence). Maybe a straight cold brew will help bring out those apricots? It is rather refreshing cold, despite the bitterness. I think it’d be even better if that got taken out of the equation though!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 8 min or more

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81
drank Jardin Sauvage by Lupicia
805 tasting notes

Another selection from the Lupicia lucky bag. I couldn’t decide between the Piccolo or this one tonight so I let the boyfriend do a blind smell test and this is the one he picked.

Green and red rooibos are both kind of uncharted territory for me. I’m think one of them has disagreed with me before, but I’ve never really bothered to figure out which one it was and so stayed away from them both. At least with Lupicia sending me one of each I can figure out my tastes a little more concretely!

Preparation notes: 6 ish grams of tea (about 3 tsp.) to 500 ml. water and steeped in the Breville at the below parameters. No additives used.

Dry leaf: The dry leaf was quite small with little bits of flowers (and bigger chunks of mango!) interspersed throughout. The smell was very fruity, specifically a lemon lime kind of note.

Steeped tea: The tea steeped up to a light orange color, which I wasn’t expecting for some reason. I guess I just assumed it would have more of a green tint to it.

Anyway, the smell is woody and citrus (lemon) sour – with mango coming last. Someone mentioned hot orange jello as what it tasted like and that is definitely what I’m getting. No astringence or aftertaste, just a sweet orange flavor that would be killer iced.

Not bad!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

I kind of liked this one myself.

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96

So, I’ve had one other dan cong to date and that was from thepuriTea. I loved it but unfortunately came to terms with the fact that it was quite…expensive for my very limited budget.

Still, the dan cong has been my most favorite oolong to date and I really wanted to have one on hand at all times. Enter in that awesome Teavana sale and the dan cong being 75% off and I just couldn’t resist. Even though I had not tried their particular stock, I bought a half pound and hoped it would be good. I got $100 worth of tea for $25, so it was a good deal, if nothing else!

Preparation notes: 2 tsp. per 8 oz. (about 6 ish grams tea total) for 500 ml. water in the Breville at the below parameters.

I must note that these were not the parameters Teavana recommends. I will try it at their parameters next, but for now I went with what I used with thepuriTea’s sample to compare them.

Dry leaf: Smelled very roasted, even a tinge malty. I got impressions of salt water/air, and honey as well. It reminded me of a black tea. The black, needle like leaves were surprisingly unbroken, despite the transport of shipping. So far, so good!

Steeped tea: The steeped tea smelled amazing! It smelled like a roasted green. The taste was roasted and nutty, with a slight hint of a vegetal layered in there somewhere. Really, the nutty and roasted notes take center stage during the sip, though. As it cools there is the slightest whisper of a hint of astringency, but I don’t find it unpleasant and am sure it would go away with a slight decrease in steep time.

The texture of this tea is thick and nectary, with the end of the sip bringing out a kind of honey/sweetness. My favorite part of the dan cong before was that prolonged peachy aftertaste and I was most hopeful that that would be recreated here. While I don’t get peach, I do get apricot, and though the aftertaste was prolonged, it was nutty rather than fruity. I have plenty of this tea to experiment with, though (squee!!!), so I will play around with this to see if it changes.

My overall impression of this is that it was an awesome deal and I’m glad I sprung for it. I probably won’t rebuy it (it probably won’t be available anyway by the time I’m out), but I will definitely be seeking out other dan congs when I have the money.

Yum! My favorite oolong varietal without a doubt.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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100

Another breakfast spent with this tea – a tea made for this time of day.
Steeped and prepared the usual way – it never gets old.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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97

This is up there on my ‘top 5’ 52teas list. Mostly because with milk and sugar this tastes exactly like the banana bread my mom made when I was little (that I asked for instead of a birthday cake one year, incidentally, because I loved it SO MUCH).

I’m rationing this one out, though, as this is not in the permanent collection (NOOOOOO!!!), AND I’m low in the funds department probably until the middle of the year (at least). But as soon as I get a regular paycheck and graduate, I will likely be going in for a full pound.

Nostalgia is a powerful, powerful thing.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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88
drank Paradise Green by Lupicia
805 tasting notes

Afternoon study break tea.

This is one of the bagged teas I scored from their Lucky bag. Initially I was worried about getting so many fruity green teas because generally I find I like my green teas plain, and the smell of the dry leaf didn’t do much to help my apprehension – it smells a lot like fruit juice, orange or pineapple mostly.

But once steeped that super fruity aroma turns into a green sencha-esque smell – the fabulous smell of steamed greens that I know and love. I was surprised at how much the scent changed in only two minutes.

Tastewise I get sencha with slight notes of pineapple. It’s really the only fruit that I pick up on and you know what? It really, really works. I’m pairing this with some strawberries and the two are PERFECT together. The flavoring doesn’t taste artificial at all, which is a huge plus. And it is perfect without additives, another bonus!

I could also see this as being really refreshing iced, so I will be sure to save some for just that purpose. Definitely one of the best I’ve had from the Lucky bag so far!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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100

My favorite standby for any morning, but especially a cold one that started earlier than I would have liked.

It always gets (and keeps!) me going….

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

I’m leaving mine at work for those mornings when I need extra help. :)

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85
drank Cha Yen Thai by Teavana
805 tasting notes

1 tbsp. leaf prepared latte style on the stove, using milk and brown sugar.

I haven’t had this in forever, but was in the mood for a nontraditional type of chai tonight, and remembered purchasing this a while ago. It’s mildly spicy with notes of coconut that tie in nicely.

Not bad – but not one I consider to be a staple.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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68
drank Ali Shan by thepuriTea
805 tasting notes

After my palate was…startled this morning with the pu er I decided to go with a lighter tea this afternoon to calm it back down a bit, and since I had just enough of this for a full cup, I put the leaves in a tea ball, heated the water to 180, and steeped at the below parameters.

Last time I had this I used 6 grams of leaf for 2 cups of tea, and got no real defining flavor from it. This time, I used 6 grams of leaf (my last of the sample) just for the one cup, to see if I could get any notes besides “greenish oolong”.

So far, nothing is sticking out besides a slightly salty, floral aroma. I will say the texture of the tea is very nice and creamy, though not as creamy as the milk oolong from thepuriTea. Also, the creaminess isn’t in the taste, just the mouthfeel. Yep, just getting floral with a vague grassy sweetness on the swallow.

I’m thinking overall that I just prefer darker oolong (mmm… dan cong) but I will give this a second steep and see if anything changes.

edit: Second steep was for about 6 minutes with slightly cooler water. The floral notes are really evident here – specifically jasmine, I think. Since I’m not the biggest fan of floral, I can’t say I’m particularly a fan. The mouthfeel is thinner, too. Meh. Today has not been my day for tea! :(

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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Bio

I have come to the point (as of October 2014) where quality in tea is more important than quantity. Especially because I’m a seasonal tea drinker where hot tea is concerned, and a SLOW one to boot. I generally don’t resteep only because I’d be here all day if I did, though I do break out a gaiwan from time to time.

I adore French teas in practically every iteration, Japanese Sencha (specifically from the Uji region, as they offer the most seaweed flavor), and Dan Cong oolongs. I am trying to focus on plain teas and so companies like Verdant, Upton, and Butiki are on my favorites list.

When it comes to tea, I feel like the 10th Doctor says it best:

“Tea! That’s all I needed! Good cup of tea! Super-heated infusion of free-radicals and tannin, just the thing for healing the synapses. "

Location

Atlanta, GA

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