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1161 Tasting Notes

drank Taiwan Osmanthus Oolong Tea by Teavivre
1161 tasting notes

I wasn’t sure what osmanthus was before opening this. As soon as I cut open the sample I had a pretty good idea. The bag scent was strongly floral to the point of almost perfumey. The scent reminds me of lavender, at least that is the closest comparison I can muster.

Despite the initial scent shock, the cup is much lighter in strength and flavor. It is osmanthus first and then the fresh green oolong quickly moves in to share the sip. Very sweet, coming from one with a sweet tooth. No bitterness. No rough edges.

This is very easy to sip. I had some doubts and apprehension at first but found the cup emptied in record time. For fun I did add sweetener later in the cup. It was almost too much even for me but the floral turned more into grape candy.

This is an interesting tea that I am going to resteep a few more times.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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I don’t drink oolongs often. It isn’t that I don’t like them because I definitely love them. The problem for me is they resteep so well that I feel like I am abandoning them if I stop before the leaf does, which is almost always.

Accepting my lack of ability to commit to the entire journey – I opened this sample and prepared 12 ounces of water for my mug. Once steeped, I could catch the floral aroma across the room. The sip is different than the aroma. It is like sipping buttery vegetables (spinach?) with a hint of bite. This is definitely oolong tasting and not like a green tea despite the similarity of my description.

Initially it only seems slightly sweet. The floral aspect swells late in the sip then recedes into a long nice lasting fragrant much sweeter aftertaste. The second mug (also 12 ounces) was as delicious as the first. It would go at least once more mug (probably more) but I am walking away. But hey, if this were gaiwan style brewed I would be like eight cups in, so forgive my poor bladder.

The pellets become full leaves after they have relaxed. They look so fresh and green I could almost imagine they were just picked for this very mug.

Teavivre says this is a beginner Taiwan oolong. Obviously Angel has access to far better tea than I can buy locally as none of my beginner oolongs ever approached this level of depth and flavor. Yes, I have had more complex teas but that takes nothing away from this excellent everyday version.

Terri HarpLady

I can almost never commit to fully steeping out a tea, at least not as long as they recommend. Once the flavors start to subside, I tend to want to move on to something else. Which is too bad, because on the occasions when I have stuck around, interesting things sometimes happen with the flavors. oh well…

MegWesley

I’ve only been able to fully steep out a tea maybe three times. That is usually because I either get full or get tired of the taste. Or want to brew something else. But I do love oolongs!

K S

When I first was introduced to quality loose leaf (by Teavivre!) a couple years ago I would steep it for two days if it would keep going and it usually did. Nowadays two maybe three are about it for me. Back then I was chained to a desk all day, now I never seem to have enough time for serious drinking. Uhmm, I mean tea of course. ha

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81

Ok, what am I going to drink on our Thursday shopping outing when the temp starts to plummet? I can’t stand coffee and don’t like hot tea out of a paper cup. I have a lidded ceramic cup I could use but it doesn’t cool down fast enough for me. I hate winter already and it hasn’t even gotten here yet. :)

Oh well, I’ll figure it out.

Today I had the medium size (whatever they call it) with only one pump of syrup. I think I actually prefer the desert like sweetness of two pumps (if you don’t specify they use three). Anyway, with one the matcha is more earthy and green tasting though it is not bitter as I was expecting.

Lala

Have you tried the green tea latte? I think it tastes the same as the frapp, but just hot.

K S

Lala – do they use cooler water like they are supposed to with the frapp? Doable with my ceramic mug.

gmathis – Yeah, definitely a good idea. I hadn’t thought of this route and it does sound good. Wonder if they have little marshmallows?

gmathis

Hubby usually gets their salted caramel version—-his all-time favorite I think they called “signature blend,” which has now been discontinued. (But you can fake at home with two packets of regular Swiss Miss and 1 packet of dark chocolate.)

K S

My wife had a salted caramel today. She told me I could get it without coffee. I tasted hers, without coffee would be a good thing.

Lala

You would be able to drink it in a ceramic mug as far as I would guess. I have only ever had it in the starbucks paper cup.

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94

When I first tried this, my thoughts were I preferred the premium version. I’ve realized now the earlier premium was based on water when I was working and the superfine was home water. I have since fixed my home water with a Brita filter pitcher. Day and night difference. Seriously, if your tea always seems a little bland go get a filter. You will not be sorry.

So today I steeped this for two minutes in my press with 176F water. OH MAN! I can smell the butteriness across the room. This is very lightly golden colored and leaning towards green. The taste is so fresh and green. It is buttery and vegetal. A nice bite at the end. An excellent contrast to the smoky lapsang I just finished.

I have changed my mind. This is definitely tastier than the premium. Love! I’ll be sipping this probably until I go to class this afternoon.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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88
drank Moscow Nights by Tea Temptations
1161 tasting notes

The red Spanish safflower against the black lapsang souchong and Ceylon base accompanied by a rich smoky aroma makes for an almost ominous looking leaf. Perfect for October. This also has bergamot but honestly it is so light it isn’t particularly noticeable. It is satisfying my LS craving from yesterday.

gmathis

Can’t envision LS with bergamot—wouldn’t that be like two cats fighting in a cardboard box?

K S

To me there is little better than a lightly smoky earl grey. I had one from Utopia (I think), that was excellent. This however is a LS with just a touch of bergamot. You really don’t notice it. I was craving smoke. Its got that handled.

Terri HarpLady

I’ve had a couple of lapsang/earl grey combos, one that was nicely done, & another that was like a chick who visited the perfume counter at the mall & then came to the BBQ, if you know what I mean :D
I think blending those 2 is a real balancing act!

K S

Terri – lol. Reminds me of an old Confederate Railroad song, I like my women a little on the trashy side… and sometimes my tea.

Lala

Harney’s also has a smokey earl grey that is very well done. Called the earl of Harlem.

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100
drank Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavivre
1161 tasting notes

I have a bunch of Taiwan samples from Teavivre waiting that need reviews and in fact I have started tasting them (incredible so far) but I got sidetracked. My intention today was to experiment with new ways of preparing various comfort teas. Like my plan to get started early that didn’t happen either. As I started for the den I was contemplating a frozen chai. Then lapsong souchong popped in my head like a dog spotting a squirrel. As I dug into the pile I hit Golden Monkey and my knees quivered. This is better than a squirrel.

I believe this is still the only 100 I have given and I still mean it. The only way this could possibly be improved upon is if it were an Earl Grey (kidding – sort of – don’t shoot me), but I can’t imagine doing that to this leaf. I am snacking on a bowl of dry mini wheats and it has intensified the malty grainy even wine like characteristics of this most glorious of teas.

With one little scoop I can easily get 36 ounces of tea that improves with each cup. I may not make it to the oolongs or comfort teas today. I think the monkey on my back is completely in love with the monkey in my mug.

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93
drank Candy Cane Lane by Celestial Seasonings
1161 tasting notes

From last night. Love it.

My intention for the day was to get up very early and drink tea all day. I thought I set the bar low enough to accomplish. However it is now going on 11:00 and I haven’t even started yet. Well I have placed some tea orders does that count?

silvermage2000

Hi I was wondering if you bought this online or is it in your store yet? Because this is a tea I enjoyed but this online shipping on the celestial seasonings.com is kind of high to me.

K S

I found it this summer in a local store leftover I’m sure from last winter. I can’t wait for this one and Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride to show up this season so I can stock up. Amazon carries it but you pretty much have to buy 6 boxes of it.

silvermage2000

Thanks for replying to my comment.

gmathis

Same boat here hunting for seasonal Sweet Apple Chamomile.

K S

I’ll have to look it up but Twinings has a Christmas apple chamomile that I loved last year.

K S

It was called Winter Spice. Apple, chamomile, cinnamon, cardamom, and maybe clove. Really tasty.

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drank White Peony by Concept Teas
1161 tasting notes

This one is of Fuding, Fujian province origin. Concept teas is a China based company specializing in white tea. This is one of the best looking white peony leaf I have yet encountered. The buds are silver down covered like the best silver needle and surrounded by leaves of green, gray, and olive. The aroma of the dry leaf greets you the moment you open the bag like dew soaked hay. The taste is hay with malty undertones. Mellow, slightly sweet, with a long lingering aftertaste. There is excellent (IMHO) depth to the cup and it only improves as the cup cools. I am really impressed with this one.

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90

I was reading the company description of this one and they mention maple. At first I’m thinking, maple? I don’t taste maple. Then I realized I associate maple with sickening sweet syrup. But if I strip away the overly sweet aspect then yeah I get the maple idea now. This is slightly sweet, mildly drying, woodsy, fruity, and maple! A nice everyday Nepal second flush.

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drank Silver Needle by Concept Teas
1161 tasting notes

Spring 2013 Fuding leaf. Looking at the picture you can see this is exquisite to gaze upon. The dry aroma greets you the moment the bag is open. It is sweet hay. Once steeped the leaf turns shiny pea green with a scent that is vegetal and earthy. The liquor is honey yellow. The sip is sweet, hay and light earthiness. Late in the sip it develops light melon notes. The sweet aftertaste lingers long after the tea is gone. As the cup cooled it took on more of citrus profile that I found appealing. I prepared this in a gaiwan and a press. I preferred the press method. The dance of the leaf enchants me and honestly I thought the flavor was more developed in the press.

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Bio

Having a passion for tea and living in rural America is a tough combination. The nearest tea vendor is 65 miles away. Joining Steepster has completely changed the direction of my tea journey.

My Rating System

90-100 Love it enough to keep around
80-90 Like a lot, would drink often
70-80 Above average
50-70 Average – take it or leave it
0-50 I don’t like it and don’t want to like it

Location

Indiana, USA

Website

http://theeverdayteablog.blog...

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