41 Tasting Notes

94

Wow, I’m already out and I don’t have a tasting note? Must be good tea then!

Smells of malt and spices, a really pleasant aroma. In addition I am getting just a hint of some sort of fruit as well. I love to simply hold the cup under my nose and inhale. Taste is a very pleasant combination of white and red tea. As much as I liked the Bai Lin Kung Fu from Shang Tea, I think this is better.

For a red tea this is pretty mild. The reason being this is (as stated on the package) made from white tea leaves.

Taste is less malty than the smell, it resembles their silver needle king and yet is obviously changed at the same time by the fermentation process. This is a wonderful special occasion tea in which you will not realize you have drank it all if you are not careful. Highly recommended!

I am typically able to get around 3 steepings from this, unlike other red teas which you seem to start suffering at around two steepings.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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92

Prepared with two mounded teaspoons to a little over one cup of water.

Steeps a pleasant golden color making me look forward to a silver needle…

Smells slightly of fresh cut hay, but has something sweet added to it… Maybe clover some smell from my past that I can not quite pinpoint tonight. I got two bags of this and they were individually dated with the date of harvest. This one is from March 26. Taste is mild, very pleasant and subtly layered. I am definitely going to have to order more of this after the next harvest! Using a sip with air, I get a hint of sweetness that may be the clover smell coming through on my taste buds that I smelled before. Slight notes of what seem to be cereal grains, mixed with sweet and a very slight hint of dryness after swallowing.

If you like silver needles this is a very good one. If you have not had one before, expect a subtle pleasant crisp tasting tea. If you are looking for bold flavors or something to assault your taste buds go somewhere else. This is a tea for quiet contemplation which in this household (with a four year old) doesn’t happen very often, however it sure is appreciated when it happens, and this tea makes this quiet moment better yet.

I have another bag of Silver Needle King from ShangTea that was dated April 2. I will hopefully get some free time to write about that as well. After this one, I am looking forward to it!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Ti Kuan Yin by Adagio Teas
41 tasting notes

The last of my Ti Kuan Yin just was subjected to its first steeping. I am going to miss this stuff. I still have some new teas to write about and hopefully I will get to them soon. Right now, it is time for me to sit back read the email and sip!

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75
drank Himalayan Black by ineeka
41 tasting notes

The throw away tea infuser is nice for when I’ve forgotten my hardware at home after taking it home for cleaning. Basically I bought this as a back up for when forgetfulness happens so i can leave the tin at work and still drink some tea.

This is definitely a black tea, smells strong especially when drinking it after the Bai-Lan Kung-Fu from Shang Tea that I typed about earlier today. This is robust and strong when brewed in a small mug. The aroma starts with some wood and something slight subtle darkly sweet… maybe hints of brown sugar? It is only a hint, but I am getting something there.

Taste is a nice combination of typical black tea with almost a coffee note right after swallowing. My mouth feels dry afterwards as well which I definitely notice with some teas. It is a solid, but not superior black tea in my opinion.

All in all a fine back-up bagged tea for when you forget your hardware at home.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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89
drank Bai Lin Kung Fu by Shang Tea
41 tasting notes

So my order from Shang Tea came the other day. First let me state how happy I am with the customer service from them. So a big thanks and from what I’ve seen and tasted so far more orders will be coming your way (at the very least from me).

So this tea is the one that I expected the least from in what I ordered from Shang Tea and thus it is the one that startled me with how much I liked it. Having drank it multiple times up to today I can already say it handles multiple steepings well. The flavor improves after it cools a little and makes me look forward to each additional cup/steeping (3 seems to be what I can get from this). This tea is a black tea but made from white tea leaves. Since I love both…

So lets start with aroma. It has a typical smell of red (or black as some of us call it) tea, however this one has notes that I normally expect from a white tea as well. In addition I get a sweetness of honey and something slightly but only slightly floral. Very layered in the smell department and quite a treat for my nose.

Taste is good, varied and interesting. Again the mixture of styles here is probably why it hits me this way. I’m tasting both red tea and white tea notes layered in a way that I find starts bold (and primarily red tea like) and then switches gears to subtle tastes (and more white tea like) near to swallowing. In trying to compare the taste to other teas basically I am thinking of a good lighter red tea crossed with a white peony or silver needle… Quite a mouthful from the taste standpoint.

This easily is better than Ceylon from Adagio which before I found the Red Dragon was my morning cup of choice. Everyone I’ve shared it with so far has also liked this. This tea is now on my list of teas that I always want in my cupboard. I’m looking forward to the two other teas that I have ordered from Shang Tea. Until then happy steeping everyone!

I typically have been using two slightly mounded teaspoonfuls of tea to a little less than 2 cups of water steeped for 1:30 and added 30 seconds for each additional steeping.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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drank Organic Mint by ineeka
41 tasting notes

Drank this last night, got it cause it was on sale cheap and the packaging was unique enough that it intrigued me. Was better than I expected. I will have to drink this while “steepstering” (yes, it is now a verb!) so I can properly record things here.

Smooth and minty doesn’t nail my taste buds screaming “MINT” quite like other mints have before…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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56

I don’t know what I did last time, but something was definitely off. However recovering from a mild flu or bad cold is not a good time to taste new teas. However this tasted much better than I remember it.

Nose isn’t working well, but the aroma that did get through was pleasant and the tastes seem to be quite good and layered. I’m glad I bought the second sample thinking something was amiss.

I’ll rate this after I’ve recovered and can try it again.

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34
drank Dragonwell by Adagio Teas
41 tasting notes

No rating on this yet, I can say that so far I have not liked this, I picked up a nose which had hints of tobacco and taste just wasn’t “my cup of tea” I will try some more with this to see what I come up with but so far, this is definitely not that “cup of green” that I am trying to find.

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

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80
drank Jade Oolong #18 by Adagio Teas
41 tasting notes

Steeped greener than I expected, to a greenish gold, thus the name Jade Oolong? Smells of green, if green actually were a smell (no not Purple-ish grins at Angrboda). It definitely smells of greenery freshly washed by a spring rain (okay now I’m being silly, or maybe not so, it does smell fresh, clean and green!). It also has a slight spiciness in it tickling the deep recesses of my nose. As it cools the smell I’ve been calling a hint of licorice is being revealed, reminding me of Ti Kuan Yin.

Taste starts wet and ends dry…. (okay I admit the fey silliness will continue). The starting taste is slightly a pleasant wet hay, slightly greenery, and ends with a slight dryness that I typically like in many of the oolongs I’ve tried. It isn’t as complex as Ti Kuan Yin, but does not seem to suffer much with what flavors remain.

The leaves seemed to be rolled into little balls like the Ali Shan that I have typed about earlier, and seem to take about two steepings to fully unfurl. Not quite as good as the Ali Shan or the Ti Kuan Yin from Adagio but a pleasant green oolong this definitely is.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Muiriddin

Second steeping is less green in scent and taste, and more spicy licorice-like taste. Slightly bitter that was not in this before, maybe I oversteeped things this time? It actually is greener gold than the first steeping in color. Steeped 4 minutes for the second steeping.

Angrboda

That was a green rhubarb, the purple-y one. :p I don’t think I’ve ever had colour associations with pure green type oolongs. But if it helps, sencha is a dark, warmish pine green while chinese greens tend to feel more yellow-y green.

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83

Strangely light for a darker oolong. Leaves in the package smell floral, like some other darjeeling teas that I have had my nose in before. Once steeped the slight floral notes are still there but not overwhelming. In addition I get a hint of black tea and something else… Maybe a slight malty nuttiness… This will require further research in the smelling department! laughs

Taste, is not overwhelming, slight notes of fruit, yet hard to nail down, fig maybe? Slight woodiness kind of like a very light Rooibos tea. All in all I may need to add more leaf in my next steeping (4 teaspoons to just under two cups of water, however the leaves are long enough that I can’t say they were a full four teaspoons). As it cools the floral notes are fading and the tea is tasting like a lighter black tea. The nose is still slightly of fig… A nice cup I will say…

A great late morning dark oolong tea that still has some kick but isn’t the typical morning black. I may need to buy some more of this than just the sample.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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A man, not a myth or legend. Inspired equally by Muir and Merlin (hence the exotic spelling of the welsh latter). I’ve been drinking tea for many years now, but got pushed into loose leaf by observing my co-workers and realizing that there might be something more here than just boiling water and a tea bag. I’m glad they gave me a push… It has been fun so far!

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