104 Tasting Notes

Sample from teamore! Thank you kindly.
For starters, I’m not fond of astringency to tea. It’s a huge turn-off to me when I’m trying a new tea. I understand that yes, it doesn’t necessarily mean I steeped it too long, or used water that was too hot, or that there’s some fault in the tea itself. But personally, I don’t enjoy it. Anyway, moving on…
(first steep at three minutes)
The astringency in this cup is very distracting for me. I try to see past it. The more I drink the more I can pick out certain flavors: berry, citrus, floral. A slight creaminess and a vague sweetness. It tastes very green to me somehow. And the citrusy sweet aftertaste it leaves in my mouth is really pleasant, but as I said, it is VERY hard for me to pick it apart from the astringency, even if it is mild. I’m really sensitive to it. It could still be my fault; I didn’t wait very long after heating water to near-boiling….okay, I’m trying this again. Second steep here we go. I’m really hoping it was an error on my part.
(second steep at four minutes)
Astringency has stepped off a bit. It’s juicy and it dries my mouth a little. I’m getting more of the creamy-floral notes underscored by citrus. Still, this is not likely to be a tea that I find myself wanting more of in the future. I have enough to experiment a little more, thankfully, as I will. I just don’t think this is to my taste.
Thanks again teamore! I am still glad I had the chance to try this.

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I’m not very sure how to describe this one. There’s a brightness to this tea in both color and aroma. I definitely taste rich, fruity olive notes. Honey, but sparkling and lively, rather than sweet. In that respect it reminds me of Butiki’s Mi Xian Black. Leafhopper taste. In the second steep, the olive and honey notes intensify and gain more resonance. It’s much more SAVORY and nutty, while still remaining a relatively light-bodied tea. At the end of the cup I’m left with an intriguing hint of spice and sweetness. VERY good. Third steep…the honey sweetness explodes across my tongue like fireworks, and the meaty coconut taste steps forward. WHOA. I keep burning myself trying to sip the too-hot liquid. (: Still relatively light, not heavy or filling. Very pleasant sweet fruity aftertaste. Fruity creamy nutty. Wow. I’m seriously regretting not adding more this to the order I placed not half an hour ago. Many thanks for the sample!! I’ll probably steep this until there’s no flavor left. It was the last of the 7g that I had. ):

teamore

Great review :)

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This is freaking delicious. Slightly mineral oolong taste, with roasty cinnamon overtones and a touch of sweetness. The taste it leaves on my tongue is sweet, silky, and starting to verge on creamy. (This is on the second steep.) It makes me think of cinnamon raisin bread. SO good! It’s so hard to put the cup down. Absolutely getting this again!

Sil

hmmmmm maybe time to put this on my shopping list

Stephanie

Oooooh me too Sil

mrmopar

I will do the same!

kimquat

Later steeps were much more toned down, but the first two were fantastic. I’m on the fourth and it’s got a soft, quiet, and vaguely sugary quality about it. I really enjoyed this one. (: Thought I’d add that it’s hard for me to find Wu Yi oolongs that rock my socks off, so it was a pleasant surprise.

TeaBrat

Ah, I have a rougui from Red Blossom that is amazing also

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drank Milk Oolong by thepuriTea
104 tasting notes

Sipping on this one right now. I didn’t have any kind of instructions on how to brew, so I went with my standard for less oxidized oolongs. Pre-boil water, 5 second rinse, 45 second first steep. (Then a 1 minute steep, which I’m currently drinking.)
Hmmm. The smell of the wet leaves was very toasty and milky. It doesn’t carry over into taste so much, though. It’s sweet, nutty, vegetal, and slightly creamy. Kind of peachy-fruity. I’m getting more sweetness before I swallow and a lot more fruitiness in the aftertaste. The longer I wait between sips the more it leans toward a dry, white wine kind of fruitiness. That was unexpected. It’s not very “milky”, but that doesn’t make it any less appealing to me. I feel like I’m getting a hint of astringency—not very strong and certainly not unpleasant. Maybe I’ll use slightly cooler water next steep. Overall it makes a decent cup. Tastes better when it’s hotter! I might be getting some of this when it’s back in stock. (: I expect that I’ll be able to get at least 2-3 more infusions from the leaves. The third one will have to wait until I get back from a gallery opening! Grrr! I was so looking forward to it, but I’m out of time. Thanks QueenOfTarts for the lovely swap sample!

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88

Many thanks to Little Red Cup for the sample!

I used about 1.5-2 tsp to 12 oz of water for a first infusion of 40 seconds. It’s surprisingly crisp and a touch sour upon first sip, like the peels of white grapes. A bit fruity…Vegetal, light, and ends on a slightly sweet note. It leaves faint traces of a sweet, buttery, flowery softness in my mouth that makes me want to drink more.

Second infusion, 55 seconds. The smell of the wet leaves reminds me a lot of Laoshan Green, but the taste is more light and springy than hearty and bean-y. The second steep isn’t quite as sharp as the first but it’s still bright and a little sweeter than before! The buttery/floral notes become less shy and make more of an appearance. MAN this is good.

Third infusion, 1 minute 10 seconds. Back to sharp and springy, not so much sweet but with a lingering smoothness and a slight honey aftertaste. The more the tea cools and the nearer I get to the bottom of the cup, the more honeyed and rich and caramelly the taste is. Coats my mouth a little. Interesting. Still, I kind of wish I’d let it steep a bit longer.

It’s late, so I’ll pay these leaves another visit in the morning. (: Loving it so far! Very nice, and very much appreciated!

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91

The only way I can think to describe it: damp leaves, freshly picked berries still lightly coated with dirt, earth, and cream. I find it a bit hard to explain. Fruity, mellow, while still dark and earthy. Tastes faintly of sweet bread. Tends towards delicate. Not so much in-your-face. A lady pu-erh. Gosh, I realize I’ve been putting off writing a note because I didn’t think I would do it justice. I still don’t think I have. Probably my favorite from Mandala and my special occasion tea for sure.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
Stephanie

ooooOOOOOoooo!

kimquat

I distinctly remember that the first time I brewed a cup, I took a sip and my eyes went wide. “Wow.” Then I took another sip right after. “Wooooowwwww.” It was love.

Stephanie

I think I’m going to have to order this one too, hahaha! All the reviews make it sound so delish :)

Garret

Yay! I am so glad I bought all of this when I had the opportunity in 2009. It is aging nicely and several of the restaurants/tea and coffeehouses we sell to do very well with this tea. I’m so happy you enjoy it. And thank you for writing about it, my friend!

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85

I had a cup of this before and after work today. Used pre-boil water for the first and second steep, for about a minute each. It’s light and lovely with a floral undertone. Kind of sweet and buttery in a way that reminds me of kettle corn—which is strange because I don’t like kettle corn, but I love this! Not as creamy as the milk oolong but very smooth. The steeping continues…

Garret

Kettle corn, yes. There is definitely an essence in this tea that I could not put words to but you nailed it for me. Nice!

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Thanks to Stephanie for the sample. (:
This smells nice and pineapple-y. Tastes really weak to me because of the white tea base. (I almost always find it hard to drink white tea, because it tastes weak and very flat to me. Too mild, too gentle.) Still, I can tell this is a lovely blend. Crisp and creamy and refreshing all at the same time. I’m inclined to think it might be better cold brewed? I might try that with the rest of the sample I have! I really do enjoy the taste but I wish it had a little more “oomph.” Sadly my palate isn’t accustomed to white teas. I’ll refrain from rating for that reason. But if you do like white teas, you should definitely get this. Love the flavor but I wish it was much stronger.

Stephanie

Glad you sort-of liked it. I thought it was a fun one to try, but definitely not something I’d drink all the time!

kimquat

I agree! I would drink it if offered but I certainly can’t see myself wanting it often. I might enjoy it more with a green tea base.

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84
drank Cloud and Mist by Mandala Tea
104 tasting notes

I used 2.5 heaped teaspoons for (approx.) 14 ounces of water, let it steep for a minute. I had to stay and watch the leaves dance around. BRIGHT bright green leaves. So pretty. It brewed up a very pale shade of greenish gold. Almost colorless. My taste in green tea has become very selective lately, for reasons unknown to me…but at first sip I immediately loved this. Oh MY. It’s very delicately sweet with a taste that makes me think of clear springs and morning dew. Slightly buttery, yes! Very slightly. Not grassy at all, but softly vegetal. I’m getting notes of honeysuckle. Not the taste, but the texture calls to mind the soft insides of flower petals. As it cools I catch that “hint of cinnamon” spiciness, but it’s very quiet and subdued. Demure. A very gentle and well-balanced tea, I think. The name suits it well. I love it more and more with each steep.
Holy crap. I need more of this now.

Preparation
1 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

Sounds delish

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84

Light and delicately sweet; a taste that coats your mouth and leaves you wanting more. Very smooth and mild. I seem to be getting a hint of a fruity taste? Melon, maybe…honeydew. That’s what it calls to mind anyway. (: Absolutely delightful. Only two steeps in, but I can’t wait to see what it does in later infusions. Might be writing more notes later!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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Bio

I have been drinking tea all of my life, but I have only been drinking loose leaf since 2013. It has been a journey! I’m amazed at how much my tastes have changed just over the past year. I have met such lovely, sweet individuals on Steepster and am so glad to have become a part of this community.

My cupboard is reflective of the teas I have on-hand. (Though, of course, not quantities.) I’m always up for swaps so if you want to trade teas just send me a message!

I love, love love pure black teas. Definitely my favorite. I also quite enjoy white teas, puerh, and darker/roasted oolongs. Matcha is a secret love that I neglect too often. I try to stay away from flavored teas, but I do enjoy a well crafted blend. I drink dessert teas on occasion—usually when I’m craving something sweet. It’s a mood-driven decision. Things I (usually) don’t like: green oolongs, rooibos, artificially flavored teas, straight greens.

Rating System
90+ The very best! Teas that I always need in my cupboard!
85-89 Teas that I enjoy immensely and will try to keep around.
80-84 Makes a very pleasing cup. I will enjoy drinking them, but won’t necessarily try to keep around. (There are exceptions.)
70-79 Decent, but could be better.
60-69 Mediocre.
40-59 Gross. I might still try to finish the cup.
39 & under Undrinkable. I probably dumped this cup. Depending on the specific rating, I probably threw the rest of the tea out as well. It’s basically me saying “I hate it” with varying intensity and inflection.

Some of my favorite tea companies are:
-Whispering Pines Tea Co.
-Verdant Tea
-Mandala Tea
-Butiki Teas

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