45 Tasting Notes

70

Smells like… alcohol. Well, at least the dry leaf does. Add water and it smells sweeter. Not nearly as caustic. I really did not enjoy the smell of the dry leaf and I’m anxious to see how this one plays out.

At first sip I definitely taste the melon. Honeydew and cantaloupe. Lovely. After that the taste kind of diminished and takes a background part to the white tea which is soothing and quiet. A very pleasant tea. I wish there was a bit more melon flavor but it’s good. My first few sips were without any sweetener. I added some unrefined sugar after that but I wouldn’t recommend doing so. The tea took on a sort of “diet” flavor which I did not understand but it became decidedly less pleasant.

I might someday purchase more of this. It’s definitely the better of the two flavored whites I’ve had – the other being Adagio’s tangerine white.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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60

Another one of my recently acquired teas from Red Blossom and I have mixed feelings about this.

Following Red Blossom’s instructions to brew this for a minute yielded a cup of something that didn’t taste much different than hot water. There was a whisper of flavor but… that was about it. The next steep was for two minutes and this cup was a little more flavorful. The tea is delicate and sweet and tastes kind of like a weak dragonwell or pi lo chun. I’m not sure what bamboo tastes like but I don’t think I’m getting that flavor from this tea despite Red Blossom’s claims.

It’s a nice tea but nothing special. Maybe it’s just not my taste or maybe my palette isn’t sensitive enough to pick up the subtleties of this particular chinese green. I like my teas flavorful and complex. This is simple and subtle. It’s a tea I could gulp down not one I can savor. I much prefer dragonwell and pi lo chun over this.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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80

Joy of joys! My order from Red Blossom Tea Co. arrived today. My first shipment of new tea since joining Steepster… almost makes me a little misty-eyed.

New teas: Silk Oolong Formosa, Organic White Monkey, Pi Lo Chun, Ming Qian Lu Jian, Jing Xuan, Silver Needle. Plus I got a very pretty little gaiwan and samples of Phoenix Eye Jasmine and Jade Kuan Yin. Yay!

I was very excited to try this tea. Steepster was how I discovered silk/milk oolongs and the idea was wonderfully new and exciting to me. I think I fell in love with milk oolongs before I even tried one. So it’s fair to say that I had very high expectations for this Silk Oolong Formosa.

The dry leaf smells like caramel or maybe those White Rabbit chinese milk candies (love those!). It smells sweet and creamy – like no tea I’ve smelled before.

The first steep: 2 teaspoons, 6oz water at 195, 2 minutes. The rinsed leaves smell like peach ice cream. That was the first thought that came to mind. Fresh fruit and cream. Such a wonderful aroma. I can’t wait to taste this. The liquor from this first steeping had a light cream flavor but that was kind of… it. I steeped it for another minute and it developed a somewhat thicker mouth feel. The tastes I got were all over the map. At times it had no creaminess, at times I got a very lovely milk flavor at the back of my mouth. For the most part it tasted like a fine tung ting oolong with nice fruity notes. Not bad but also not what I built this tea up into. I can’t really blame the tea for that. The second steep (195, 4 minutes) tasted like a nice oolong. Sometimes like a nice oolong with a little milk added. This tea, on both steeps, leaves a nice, sweet, fruity taste behind. Occasionally there’s a caramel taste.

It’s a very nice oolong. It’s exciting to drink since you never really know what taste you’ll get. I’m definitely a fan. The description leads me to believe that this is an oolong scented to taste like a jing xuan which, based on my research, has the milk flavor naturally. Although the information about milk oolongs on the web is sparse and varied… what I’ve gathered is that jing xuan teas are the “real deal” and then there are milk scented teas. So I’m excited to try the jing xuan.

ETA: Also! Do you rinse the leaves between steeps? I didn’t do that but I’m wondering what the general consensus is…

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec
takgoti

I do at the beginning but not in between steeps. I guess I never thought to.

Auggy

I think you can do it in between steeps to sort of wake the leaves up if they’ve gotten cold or something, but I’ve never done it or really heard much about it so the fact that I think it exists is pretty much all I’ve got.

LENA

never thought to rinse between steeps. maybe it’s just a personal preference? congrats on all of the new teas. looking forward to reading all about them.

Pithy

Your research is correct! The silk oolong is a flavored tea. It is steeped in milk and then roasted to give it that “creamy” flavor that mimics the natural thickness of the oolongs grown at higher elevations like the Jing Xuan. I recommend having a comparison tasting side by side to really taste the difference between them! And no need to rinse the leaves between steeps.

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50

Well, I’ve learned a lesson today. Don’t review teas based on memory.

I’m in my kitchen sipping on a cup of this lychee black and I’m unimpressed. This doesn’t seem the same tea I first reviewed. Bad batch, maybe? Recessionary loss in quality!? Agh!!

The fragrance of the dry leaf is still good. However… dusty, watery flavor with a slight lychee taste at the front and a weak flavor of whatever kind of black tea was used at the back. Maybe a longer brew would help it out but not enough to make it worth purchasing again.

I maintain that it would make an above average iced tea, though. I’m not picky about iced tea.

I still intend to send you some, takgoti! You’ll probably be able to blast it more thoroughly since I think you have more sophisticated taste bud than I do. Haha.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
takgoti

Hah! Hardly more sophisticated, but I’m always down for trying a new tea. I think that the rest of the stuff I ordered should be in this week, so I’ll probably have stuff out to you the week after.

Hyrulehippie

I actually feel this way a lot. Even if I reviewed something whilst drinking, I come back to it and don’t feel the same way. So sad :(

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70
drank Chai Spice by Stash Tea Company
45 tasting notes

New years day! My mom made quiche this morning and I made this chai. Breakfast in the kitchen nook. A quiet, overcast day and snow on the ground. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m really warming up to this chai. I gave it a long steep and added a tablespoon of raw sugar and probably a tablespoon and a half of heavy cream. It’s sweet, silky, and the spices come through near the end of a sip. The tea flavor isn’t quite as strong as I’d like – a little watery I suppose – but, I think if I used two tea bags next time it would be perfect. Nevertheless! Chai Spice gets a bit of a ratings bump.

Happy new years, everyone! I hope it’s a good morning for you, too.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

Quiche and chai… hmmm… never thought of pairing those.

Micah

Any strong black tea would probably be great with quiche since the tea would cut through the heaviness of the eggs and cheese nicely. But this was also good! Savory and sweet.

Micah

Although… I suppose if you don’t like a “thick” feeling in your mouth you might want to drink your tea without any dairy added if you’re eating quiche.

Cofftea

thinks to self… Matcha quiche/omlette?

takgoti

That sounds like a beautiful way to kick off a decade.

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80
drank Tea's Tea Golden Oolong by Ito En
45 tasting notes

This stuff is so refreshing on a hot day. Definitely my favorite Tea’s Tea product and I’m so happy they sell at the campus convenience store!

TeaCast

We have Honest Tea at my campus, but it’s not as good as I would have hoped :\. I can’t get over how bitter it can be!

Micah

We have Honest Tea also but drinking it has been thoroughly disappointing. Not flavorful and, I agree, it can be really bitter.

TeaCast

My friends always tell me to try it and I do and then proceed to make a sour/bitter face haha, they just don’t understand :P

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55

I was tired yesterday. So tired, in fact, that I slept from 5pm yesterday until 6am this morning. I guess that’s the nice thing about Christmas break for college students like me. If I need to sleep for 13 hours, I can. I don’t normally do this. I usually sleep for no more than nine hours but I guess my body clock is just that messed up right now. I start school again this coming monday so hopefully I get it righted in the few days ahead of me.

So I woke up at 6am this morning and then I laid in bed for about 45 minutes listening to music on my wonderful KOSS PRO4AA headphones. They’re big, heavy, and churn out a beautiful sound. I need to get alone with these headphones and my music more often. In any case, after that I kind of stumbled downstairs in the darkness of a winter morning and flicked on the kitchen light. A flash of pain… and a bright turquoise box! Stash Jasmine Blossom tea. Good morning!! I didn’t even know my parents had this but it was on the counter and I wasn’t about to say no to this and yes to my mother’s Red Rose tea bags.

The dry leaf smells… well, like jasmine. And that’s about it. The first sip was… subtly swell, fragrant, the taste a little murky and dusty but not bad. As I progress through the cup there’s more and more of a slightly bitter aftertaste. Perhaps I’ve over steeped it. Oh well. I’m groggy.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec
takgoti

After so many nights of 4, 5, 6 hours of sleep, the first thing I did on break was sleep for, I think it was 14 hours. Very few things in my life have ever felt so good as that first solid night of sleeping after depriving yourself of it.

Also must second your love of big headphones. I’ve been looking at those Beats headphones because I’ve heard some very good reviews, but I love my Bose.

And since this comment is already really long – too bad about the tea. Though I rarely trust my tea making abilities, especially with a new tea, after such a heavy night of sleeping.

Micah

The Beats headphones look really nice! I need to get some nice earbuds, too. As much as I love my big headphones I can’t walk around campus wearing them. It just doesn’t work.

As far as the tea-failing goes, it’s probably because I just don’t pay attention to tea bags unless they’re full leaf ones. I don’t expect great things from them unless they’re herbal and you usually don’t have to pay much attention to herbal tea, anyway.

takgoti

Honestly, I just use the ones that come from Apple. They’re really not that bad. I had some Bose ones before my idiot roommate fritzed them in the hot tub. I was pretty pissed about that, but they weren’t much better than the Apple ones, really. I’ve been meaning to pick up some Shure ear buds [they’re really nice], but complacency and the fact that most of my money gets funneled into tea nowadays has put a huge hold on that.

Carolyn

My beloved is a college professor and at the end of the semester after he’s done all the grading, turned in his grades to the administration, and done the administration work the first thing he does is sleep 12-14 hours. (Then he gets a cold for a week.) So students aren’t the only ones on overdrive during the semesters.

Micah

@Carolyn Oh yeah! I can’t imagine being a professor at the end of the semester. Yikes… especially one without a TA.

@takgoti Those Shure one’s seem nice too… I have a pair of $40 Sony earbuds but after two and a half years they’re kind of falling apart. They were nice, though so maybe I’ll just get another pair of them.

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65

This has been my morning staple for about three years. The first time I had Yunnan tea it was a Yunnan Gold from Tea Source, I think. My friend thought it smelled like a horse. I was a little more optimistic. I have very faint memories of that tea but I remember it having a bold, deep, earthy flavor.

My next venture into Yunnan territory was another Yunnan Gold from Adagio and, after that, I was hooked. I went to what was, at that time, my local tea shop in Minnesota and picked up a bag of this Yunnan. I’ve been drinking it ever since. It’s the best coffee substitute I’ve come across so far. Strong, deep flavor. Nothing fancy like a Yunnan Gold. Definitely not as complex or rewarding but, for early mornings, it’s perfect. I go through way to much of this stuff to make upgrading to a Gold feasible, anyway.

Stands up wonderfully to cream and sugar.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec
TeaEqualsBliss

a Horse!? Oh my! :)

Micah

I know!! Although comparing drinks to farm animals is something I also do on occasion. I remember a yerba mate latte that, upon first sip/smell, made me think “goat.” However, with about a tablespoon of honey, it was perfectly drinkable.

Angrboda

I can recognise the horse thing. I’ve had a few teas too where I thought ‘cow stable’ when smelling the leaves. A spicy sweet sort of cozy smell.

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Profile

Bio

Loose leaf since high school. I drink mostly greens and oolongs but will try and probably enjoy anything. University student. 3rd year. University of Montana. Studying: English Teaching. ~ Music: Bat For Lashes, Broken Social Scene, Camera Obscura, Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton, Fleet Foxes, The Knife, Mirah, St. Vincent, Vivian Girls, Yeah Yeah Yeahs. ~ Interests: food, tea, coffee, literature, music ~ Books: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Shipwrecks by Akira Yoshimura. Thomas Hardy

Location

Missoula, MT

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