85 Tasting Notes


Of all the BTT samples I ordered, I liked this the best. This is a pleasant oolong with light floral notes, slightly vegetal and an unexpected hint of seaweed. When I took the first sip, I thought my sencha somehow got mixed up with oolong. The grassy undertones dominate the initial infusions and then the sweet, orchid/plum notes begin to emerge. There’s really no mouthfeel to speak of or thickness.

Overall, I thought this tea was okay. It’s a perfectly acceptable high mountain tea but nothing to really get excited about.

Flavors: Orchid, Seaweed, Vegetal

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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I am decidedly a green oolong person but I do enjoy a good roasted oolong every now and then, especially iced. This tea from Verdant is an interesting offering. It feels like a hybrid between a Dan Cong, Shui Xian, and Laoshan black tea. It has the sweetness of a Dan Cong, the deep mineral notes of Verdant’s Shui Xian tea, and a hint of chocolate/cocoa as it goes down reminiscent of Laoshan. I had to dial back the leaf quantity because the cocoa and mineral notes become too heavy for me.

It’s not as floral as I was expecting – which was a little disappointing – and less floral than other roasted TGY teas. I tried this side by side with Adagio’s TGY and thought Adagio’s was more balanced though not as full-bodied as this one.

This is a solid but unspectacular TGY with a slightly unusual flavor profile. I’ll probably cold steep the rest of my stash because it tastes a lot better cold.

Flavors: Cocoa, Mineral, Wood

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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drank Mint Oolong by Naivetea
85 tasting notes

This mint flavor of this tea is quite different. I’m used to the dried mint found in most teas and steeped fresh mint leaves. The flavor of this tea is akin to those red striped peppermint candies. You get a blast of peppermint that hits your throat and leaves a tingly minty/menthol sensation in your mouth. The strong mintiness overpowers the flavor of the oolong too much for my liking. My least favorite of NaiveTea’s infused oolongs.

Flavors: Peppermint

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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The tea itself is visually beautiful and the salt pickled flowers have a sweet cherry blossom aroma. But the taste doesn’t match the intensity of aroma.

Following tasting notes from other Steepsterites, I rinsed two flowers with hot water (140 F) for one minute and then steeped the leaves in boiling water for 3 minutes in glass teapot. The tea tasted like salt water with a very faint cherry flavor. To boost the cherry blossom flavor, I kept the flowers submerged in hot water and put the teapot on a warmer to help it continue brewing. 15 minutes later the cherry blossom notes were a little more prominent but saltiness still overpowered the tea.

I still have a few flowers left so I’m going to troubleshoot this tea to see if I can subdue the saltiness a bit and coax out more cherry flavor. I would not recommend this tea if you want to flavor your sencha or want a strongly floral tea. Den’s Sakura Sencha has a lot of real sakura taste and would be a better option. I also discovered freeze dried cherry blossoms on Amazon which may produce a better tasting tea.

Flavors: Cherry Blossom, Salty, Vinegar

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 5 OZ / 147 ML

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I steeped 1 tsp of this per package directions @ 175 degrees for 2 minutes per package directions and the resulting tea was pretty nondescript. Increasing the amount of leaf roughly 3x produced a much more robust cup.

The flavor of the liquor was smooth and vegetal with hints of savory grass. As it goes down you get a light butteriness and brothy mouthfeel. Not much sweetness here nor any bitterness for what matter.

Personally, I found this tasted like a generic green tea. Good, but nothing special. I would reach for a long jing or sencha over this any day.

Flavors: Dry Grass, Green Beans, Vegetable Broth

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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drank Lavender Oolong by Naivetea
85 tasting notes

This is the tea I was most looking forward to in my NaiveTea sampler pack. I love lavender in chamomile and with NaiveTea’s flair for flavored tea, I figured this would be winner. But I’m sad to say this was not one of their best.

The oolong base doesn’t taste as good as those in their other blends. The tea has a mild lavender flavor but also tastes like flat wheat and a bit stale. It lacks depth and body and isn’t very floral – something I thought would mingle nicely with the lavender.

I’ll try play with steeping variations to see if I can coax out some more flavor out of this tea. In the meantime, I’ll continue to reach for my jar of dried lavender buds for when I want some lavender flavor in my tea.

Flavors: Hay, Lavender

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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This is a nice, lightly floral green oolong with a balanced mix of sweet and vegetal. I was surprised at how dramatically different this tea tastes when alternating between western and gongfu style brewing. Steeped western style, I get a lot more vegetal notes and a slight bitterness. The florals are mostly muted and the overall flavor is more like green tea.

But this tea’s true colors really shine when steeped gong fu style. It’s flavor changes to sweet and floral, slightly fruity with a soft vegetal finish and almost thick mouthfeel. Gongfu brewing is definitely the way to go with this tea.

Overall, a very pleasant jade oolong with a nice, balanced flavor profile. Eco-Cha’s price ($7 for 75 grams) is an excellent value for such an impressive tea.

Thank you to curlygc for the sample.

Flavors: Flowers, Vegetal

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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drank White Peach Oolong by Naivetea
85 tasting notes

I’ve been working my way through my flavored oolong sampler pack from NaiveTea and peach oolong was next in the lineup. This is a really delicious tea with lots of bright peach flavor. The base milk oolong contributes a very smooth, buttery taste of this tea and accentuates its sweetness.

As good as this tea was it wasn’t life changing. To be honest it tasted similar to many other higher quality peach flavored teas and I would say it’s only marginally better than Lupica’s Momo Oolong, another excellent peach oolong.

Like other NaiveTea flavored teas, this made a great iced tea and IMO tastes better cold-brewed.

Flavors: Butter, Peach

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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This was an enjoyable, great quality sencha especially for the price. Full bodied and very well balanced sweetness and mild astringency. I started off steeping it at 155 F and then dropped the temperature by about 5 degrees with each subsequent steep. The tea got lighter and creamier as it progressed. On the fourth steep, I bumped up the temperature to 165 F and let it go for 2.5 mins. Still produced a tasty cup. A very refreshing sencha overall!

Flavors: Grass, Smooth

155 °F / 68 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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This one is not for me. It tastes like black tea which I really don’t like. I didn’t pick up any of the flavor notes that others described. No honey, no peach, no butterscotch, nothing except a generic black tea flavor.

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

You know, I find that Oriental/Asian/Eastern Beauty Oolongs really remind me of black tea as well. I’m not the biggest fan of black teas either, which maybe explains why I don’t care much for these oolongs or many Wuyi/Rock Oolongs.

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Fell into tea years ago for the health benefits, and for a while my palette was limited to just Japanese greens and a few flavored teas. My tea epiphany came a couple of years ago when I discovered Taiwanese oolongs. That was the gateway drug leading to my tea and teaware collecting addiction.

I mostly drink straight teas however there are a handful of flavored teas that I can’t go without. I’m on an oolong kick these days but will always have a soft spot for green tea. Sencha/gyokuro and green oolongs are cupboard staples. Also beginning to explore white tea, flowering teas, and herbals. Still have not acquired a taste for blacks and pu’erhs. I enjoy blending my own tea flavors and whipping up tea-based concoctions (chais, boba milk tea, traditional teas, etc).

Other non-tea interests include: cooking and being a foodie, geekery, reading, traveling when I can, alternative medicine, nature, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.



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