91

Uh oh, first to review this one? Eep.

Dry tea smells quite vegetal. Almost overwhelmingly.

First infusion (204F/30s)
Smells floral. Smooth, light, buttery. Delicious. I think I’d prefer it to be stronger, but it is delicious.

Second infusion (204F/1min)
A bit vegetal, and there’s a bit of a sharp spicy almost astringent flavour that is quite lovely. That flavour is familiar, but not always as strong in other teas. Still somewhat floral, and an oolong aftertaste.

Third infusion (205F/1min)
Less floral, again I think I’d like it a bit stronger.

Fourth infusion (205F/1min (I think))
Losing flavour, more of a fruity, round sweetness with lingering oolong aftertaste. I think if I continue steeping I’ll bump up the infusion time. Nearly did it earlier.

Ooh, returning to the first sip, it’s definitely sweeter. Mmmmm. I take back my comment about it being too weak. Retrospectively, the second infusion is actually too strong.

Oh, this is fun. I’m sipping back and forth between my four cups, tasting them all in and out of sequence. Yum yum yum.

I think next time, I’ll go with 30, 45, 60, 120 seconds for my infusions.

I have to admit that during steeping, when smelling the wet leaf, I was very worried that this was going to be intensely vegetal, but only the second infusion was a bit.

Man. This was good. I’m going to have to compare it to the Autumn Tieguanyin, and the one from DavidsTea. I don’t know whether a “good” oolong is judged by its longevity (i.e. how many good infusions you can get), or its flavour. I’m not sure I’ve yet had a “bad” oolong. Or at least, not a bad green tieguanyin-style one or milk oolong.

I just read this over and apparently I am incredibly scattered tonight! Ah well. I was in lovely oolong land. Forgive me :P

ETA: Love how I reviewed this, and was promptly followed by two others :P I guess everyone received their orders last week and waited to try things until the weekend! Fifth infusion (203F/2min). The aroma is wonderful – I don’t know if this is because the leaves sat overnight, or what. But Yum. All oolongy and floral. The flavour is surprisingly strong for a fifth infusion. I am getting some grassy notes and astringency along with – oh, there it is, the oolong aftertaste! Nom nom nom – the rest of the deliciousness, but they’re manageable. Looks like I should be taking this to a sixth before throwing out the leaves so I can try my shu nuggets…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec
momo

I couldn’t resist anymore with people reviewing all the teas I was going to order that I finally just ordered. I want this one now!

Lynne-tea

Oh jeez this post makes me even more impatient for my Verdant Tea order to show up!

Autumn Hearth

Must try this in the next three days, I’ve been putting it off due to migraine land. Question is do I bring this in to work to let others try, or savor at home first? Hmm.

Kittenna

How much do you like your coworkers? :P

smartkitty

I’m waiting for more spring greens to arrive before I place my Verdant order and the anticipation is just KILLING me! Gotta make the last of my autumn TGY last. rocks back and forth hugging it

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Comments

momo

I couldn’t resist anymore with people reviewing all the teas I was going to order that I finally just ordered. I want this one now!

Lynne-tea

Oh jeez this post makes me even more impatient for my Verdant Tea order to show up!

Autumn Hearth

Must try this in the next three days, I’ve been putting it off due to migraine land. Question is do I bring this in to work to let others try, or savor at home first? Hmm.

Kittenna

How much do you like your coworkers? :P

smartkitty

I’m waiting for more spring greens to arrive before I place my Verdant order and the anticipation is just KILLING me! Gotta make the last of my autumn TGY last. rocks back and forth hugging it

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Bio

I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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