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8 Tasting Notes

In comparing this to Assam, I can definitely taste the Assam, but there is a light briskness atop the Assam in which I think I can attribute to the Ceylon. Just like Assam it takes milk well. But that Ceylon adds a little bit extra on the pallet.

The color is lighter than Assam, more translucent and more of a malty color.

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

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81
drank CTC Assam by Harney & Sons
8 tasting notes

My first Assam, and I have to say that I really do enjoy this. I love the color, it is almost as dark as coffee. The taste is nice and bold, without any bitterness.

This tea just seems like a wonderful blank canvas. It is a very simple morning black tea, works great with milk and I would think sugar as well, even though I don’t use it anymore. I think this would be a great tea for coffee drinkers in the morning, who want to start trying tea.

It is also a pretty practical tea in price as well in the fact that I can enjoy it casually without doing that pause, smell, taste, and staring off appreciating the complexity. You all know what I am talking about. This tea won’t make me look crazy at work. I really like its simplicity, after all of the other teas I have tried with their complexity, this is actually a bit refreshing.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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57

This is my first pure white tea I am trying. I have had Pia Mu Tan before, however with pomegranate oil, which somehow reminded me of some non-sugary clear soda. But this isn’t a review about Pomegranate Pai Mu Tan.

I am doing this gong fu style, that makes me sound so badass, so I will try multiple infusions.

First impression, clean, light, nutty, and slightly sweet. I can definitely see this as a good tea to relax with in the evening when the day is winding down.

On an interesting note, I just looked at the Tropical Tea Company packaging and apparently I have Pia Mu Tan, not Pai Mu Tan, I wonder what the difference would be in Chinese. Haha. Also I think it is good to bring up that I have needed to replace the ziploc tea pouches for all of the tea I have bought from Tropical Tea Company, since it is weird, every time I open the package, half of the ziploc seal comes away from the bag, so I can’t reseal the bag. Did anyone else have this issue?

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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87
drank Li Shan by Harney & Sons
8 tasting notes

When I first got this sampler pack from Harney, I thought “oh it looks and smells just like Tie Kuan Yin” I am a bit of a noob to oolongs so bear with me. But when I took some out in the palm of my hand, I instantly knew that I was very wrong. These leaves are HUGE. I would go as far to say as almost twice the size of some of the Tie Kuan Yin I have had.

So first steeping, just from the smell of the steeping tea, it smells much more vegetal than Tie Kuan Yin and not as floral. I am still getting used to the vetegal taste, but the moment I sipped it, I didn’t get that at all. It is soo good. It is smooth, buttery and light. Where I was wondering where the floral-ness was, it definitely came out in nice and mellow in the taste. And then right on the end of the taste you get a sharp taste of grass, but it is still subtle.

I just think that it is very interesting that when I taste and smell the tea at the same time, they are really different to me. I can’t wait to do another steeping, but I can’t bring myself to chug this. This is meant to be enjoyed. I am definitely going to get this again.

Second steeping:
The leaves themselves smell more floral than before, and the vegetal smell has reduced a bit. And I think that the color of the tea is more yellow, and when before it seemed to be a light yellow-green tint. The taste is more grassy, and while the butteriness is toned down a bit. However, this is still very smooth. It just tastes fresh. This is like a taste of spring in my cup.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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68

Personally my first Darjeeling, and I have to say I enjoy it.

First steep:
Upon first sip it is nutty and slightly fruity. It doesn’t have as much body as Keemun, it is actually pretty light almost like a green tea, but it doesn’t quiet go into a vegetal taste. More fresh woody, as if it can be pushed a little bit into green but not quite.

Second steep:
I don’t really get that slight fruity tone anymore, and it takes a bit more woody.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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89

Another new sample I am trying from Harney & Sons, I am still branching out and I really want to get to know more pure teas, instead of blends. Now this one I really love. It is full bodied, little sweet, nutty, definitely chocolatey, but not an obnoxious chocolate taste, and a bit… woodsey. I didn’t really taste the fruity part until it cooled down a bit, then I got that description. It has a dark malty liquor color and definitely something that I will buy again. I think I found my standard black tea for the mornings.

Sadly it seems pretty expensive per ounce ($10), and Harney doesn’t sell more than two ounces at a time. Trying this Keemun, makes me curious about the other Keemuns, and also I want to see if I can find this cheaper, and in greater quantities elsewhere.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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61

So I really want to get in the habit of talking about all of the teas I have drunk, which means that I have A LOT of backlogging to do.

So I got the sample package from Harney & Sons, previously I absolutely adored the Jasmine pouchong tea, and I wanted to try the Black Jasmine, but it always seems to be out of stock, and they never replied to my query. So I picked the Yin Hao instead.

As compared to the other pouchong jasmine tea, I think it smells a tad bit more of jasmine, not as sweet as the Dragon Pearl, but who can top that? So I was excited to taste this tea.

Upon the first steeping, I agree strongly with ashmanra about the bitterness and a little sour tone to this tea as compared to the other pouchong Jasmine tea. But I have to admit it has a lovely golden color. I puckered a bit at the taste of it, I could definitely taste the jasmine, but it didn’t have that little sweetness to it of the other jasmine teas I have tried. It was kind of akin to tasting some watered down jasmine perfume.

With that said, upon the second steeping the bitterness, that made my mouth pucker, went away, and the sweetness came out. Finally it tasted like the jasmine teas that I knew and loved.

Right now I am on my third steeping, and it is nice and mellow, and more of a vegetal taste it coming out a bit. Still has that beautiful golden color. And I think it will be good for another steeping.

Will I buy this again? Probably not, again like ashmanra said, it is pretty expensive, and I don’t really think it is worth double the price an ounce to get a nice second steeping, which the other Harney jasmine tea can get on its first.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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84

This tea has been a staple in my cupboard for years. And coming from a kid that used to sneak full tablespoons of cinnamon when my mother wasn’t looking (I won the cinnamon test before there was even a cinnamon test), I love his cinnamon tea. Not that the taste is overwhelmingly only of cinnamon, I also like the citric touch on a base of that classic black tea flavor. Also the cloves make it so naturally sweet, so no sweeter needs to be added. I even use this tea to sweeten other teas, haha.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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Bio

Former barista at a coffeehouse, tea drinker for a few years but nothing serious. My cupboard was limited to two different teabags. But once I tried my first loose leaf tea, I was hooked and suddenly the world of tea is wide open. I feel a nearly desperate need to expand my tea selection as wide as I can make it, and to learn as much about tea and tea culture as possible. I am now actively looking for tea addicts anonymous meetings, but I found this site instead…

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On the run…

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