517 Tasting Notes

I steeped this according to boychik’s suggestion (I think that was who sent me this…).

I did a short-ish steep for 1 minute, then another minute, then another.

First impression is butter? Shortening? Not texture, but taste. Ah, got it – pie crust! Or a croissant. Not bready but simple pastry-ey. Lightly sweet, very lightly. Smells very strongly of pie crust. This is very light. The second minute it became a little sweeter and much more strongly pie crust. At 3 minutes it is still pie crust but becoming somewhat watery, though I haven’t added any more water to the cup.

This is an interesting oolong and maybe my first Oriental Beauty? Can’t remember. I wish our tealogs were sortable by name, not just most recent and most popular. Thanks for the sample, boychik!

boychik

Nicole, I hope you still have some left. try gongfu. short steeps like 10-15 sec. you maybe surprised

Nicole

I do have some left. I must have misunderstood the instructions you sent. I saw that you said you liked short steeps, but I thought the 1 minute was your suggestion! I will try again. :)

boychik

My short steeps are 5/10/15sec.;). And I rinsed that tea too to wake up leaves

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85
drank Morning Sun by Mandala Tea
517 tasting notes

This is simply one of the most gorgeous dry leaf teas I have seen. Tight little curls of gold and brown and black. This tea steps right up and says “Hey, baby, how about a smooth breakfast?” I seriously heard Barry White in my head when I smelled this, even though the fog of allergies. This is sweet, deep, bright and fruity. The leaves unwind amazingly. This is malty but not overwhelmingly so and not as much as some others I’ve had recently. It doesn’t specify on the website, but I’m guessing this is a yunnan or relation thereof. The second steep was more minerally and had a taste of brown sugar and dusty hay.

I did use filtered water at work for this. Next up, I try it at home. :) And it will probably say 1 teaspoon of tea used but I use 1 1/2 when I’m using my work mug and this system doesn’t accept .5 as a valid entry. :)

Allergies = no rating for now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zfxZRBm3EY

Update: Still indubitably delish with tap water. Maybe a bit more on the dusty hay side of things in the first steep this time, though.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
gmathis

Can’t decide what I like better in this review: the cute little coils or Barry White!

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90
drank Pure Buds Black by Mandala Tea
517 tasting notes

Another winner! Malty, sweetish but also with a bit of sour, cocoa-y, somewhat savory. Not as deeply bready as Golden Strand or Morning Sun but still a baked kind of taste. Beautiful, beautiful leaves.

Again, I went with the longer single steep. Will resteep in a bit to see how it fares. Right now I’m wishing I’d done a 16 ounce cup instead of just 8!

And again, no rating at this point. Need to give this a shot after allergies have subsided to make sure I’m doing it justice. Also I want to try it with filtered water at work. Using my tap water at home doesn’t provide a very good review for someone else since it’s not like they can use my water! :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

This is just gorgeous. The leaves almost look waxy in the package. Man, it smells awesome and tastes even better!

Malty, caramely, sweet, smooth, bready perfection. I lurve teas like this. I went with the single prolonged steep and it is a deep reddish brown in color, hefty and luscious. I will definitely be resteeping to see how that turns out but I could see myself zooming through this package and wanting, nay, needing, more very soon.

I am tempted to rate this but since my allergies are going crazy I am going to hold off.

Oh, and let me just say – this was freaky fast shipping. I’d be tempted to say they were an offshoot of Jimmy Johns. :)

Update: Second steep is good, but not as good as the first. Probably my choice of lengthy steeping time impacted the taste of the second steep. It’s a tiny bit bitter and not as smooth. Also a little dustier.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Jennkay

Sounds delicious! Adding it to my wishlist :)

Nicole

If you like yunnans, and I think I recall several being on your reviews, this is definitely one to get ahold of. :)

QueenOfTarts

Mmm.. yum! Have to try this one!

Kat_Maria

Ah, this goes on my wishlist! Nicole, you are my Chinese black teas mentor :D

Garret

Yahooo!!! Freaky fast shipping… gots to be our new slogan at Mandala Tea!

Nicole

Awww…ya gonna make me blush! Kat_Maria, you could do so much better for a mentor. I am pretty much in deep smit with most yunnans and fujian blacks. So I’m not too discriminating. I want them all in my cupboard forever! :) That said, I’d be happy to share with you if I have some you want to try.

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97
drank Peach Brulée by Tea Forte
517 tasting notes

So… yeah… this is gone. Man, was it good. Peachy, sweet, smooth, creamy, lightly coconutty. Now I have to work on the Orchid Vanilla so I can have a bigger reason to make a restocking order!

I need to take something like this into work. The hub has an employee appreciation/workshop type thing coming up in May. They are sending employee +guest to Vail for a week. So… I have to be the mingling and socializing spouse. I’ve never had to do this before really. I mean, yeah, at a bar in blue jeans and a nice shirt with drunk people from Missouri. You know – my people. :) But this is international and I know none of the spouses/sig others already. I’m really not a mingling person by nature and I’m certainly not a Vail/Aspen/ski/shop person by nature. I am excited about going but I kind of feel like I need to at least make an effort to not look like a total slob… so I’ve been really trying to be good. Plus, I have to get down in weight if I want to think about riding horses while I’m out there! I wanted Ho-Hos soooo bad today at work. And it’s only the first week of being good – well, better, anyway. :(

I need to take some dessert tea in to help me!

Sil

you can doo eet!

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drank Dian Hong by World of Tea
517 tasting notes

I feel like a copycat but I have to echo TerriHarpLady and Sil – this is a decent, non-spectacular but good dian hong. Nothing to keep around, but nothing to turn down. Maybe a little lighter than some others.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75
drank Raspberry Macaron by Fauchon
517 tasting notes

Courtesty of boychik… :)

This certainly smells floral enough to knock your socks off. Steeped, it is still really floral. I don’t get any macaron but there is definitely rose and definitely raspberry. I get more rose than raspberry but it’s pretty good nonetheless. A nice girly kind of tea fit for a floral tea party.

I probably overleafed a bit, but I generally do. I took it easy on the steeping and it turned out well. However, I can see how this could easily get yuck at higher temp/longer steep.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
boychik

;-) glad you kinda liked it. It is too floral for me.

Nicole

Wow. The cooler it gets, the floral-er it gets. Oof. Not for me unless hot.

ifjuly

i love this one, but yeah, you have to drink it fast (i think it’s gross tepid too!), and be gentle with it steep-wise.

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85

This is a very good unflavored oolong. It’s not exactly roasted and not exactly green. It’s mellow, smooth and yummy. This is a good oolong. Thanks for sharing, Ysaurella!

Ysaurella

I am particularly glad you liked this one I simply cannot live without it now

gmathis

The name makes me smile—I’m envisioning little girls in oversized hats whose feet can’t touch the ground in their big chairs :)

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80
drank Earl Grey Tea Time by Fauchon
517 tasting notes

I had some more of this the other day at work. It was good hot, but once cooled off, there is a luscious smoothness that wasn’t there before. This could go on a list of teas to have cold in the summer…

I guess the difference between this and Le Earl Grey is that the other has green tea as well?

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95

As expected, this is a very good tea. Malty, woody, smooth and deep. I don’t quite remember the Lion well enough to compare in detail but except for a tiny bit of astringency in the Lion that is not present in the Paw, I think they are largely the same. Wonderfully tasty and with a lot of depth. I’d be quite happy keeping either in my cupboard.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Bio

Tea afficianado. I wish I could make a living creating and serving tea parties, but alas, bills prevent that possibility. :) So I make do by catering tea parties for friends and co-workers and drinking tons of tea with my cats on my lap. :)

Location

Kansas City, MO

Website

http://www.travelswithstinky.com

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