765 Tasting Notes

100
drank Black King 2015 by Harney & Sons
765 tasting notes

Oh… This is a lovely tea all around. The leaves are beautiful mix of golden and black. The taste is malt, nut and that sweetness you get from buttery nuts like pecans and walnuts. A bit of hay note in the initial sip. Some cocoa and at the same time, savory overtones. I’m so glad I splurged on this tin. Hello, my precious. You will be… adored.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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94
drank Golden Monkey by Harney & Sons
765 tasting notes

Up first for today in the long weekend of not waiting to drink the favorites is this delectable GM. A practically perfect, consistent, GM. Lovely leaves and superior flavor. Such a smooth way to begin the day.

looseTman

YUM! An excellent incisive & concise review! Is this GM consistently great each year??

Nicole

TBH, since the smallest size (aside from samples) is 3 oz, I have only purchased twice so I can only speak to probably 2 years but in those 2 years, the flavor profile was very similar.

looseTman

Agreed, their GM is very pricey. When is their most signifigant sale of the year? Thanks!

Nicole

It is really hard to tell these days. Seems like it used to be that they had a sale around Black Friday and Christmas that usually included free shipping. For the last year or so, they’ve been having sales of varying kinds and specificity about every week for a couple of days only. There is usually a free shipping w/ $25 purchase towards the holidays. I don’t recall them generally having the 30-40% sales a lot of the smaller guys have, it’s usually 10-15% and it’s been on Breakfast Blends or on new teas or other similarly limited categories. Best way to tell is to sign up for their email notifications.

Nicole

And to me, it seems pricey because you are getting 3 ounces at once. The GMs I buy from other, smaller companies runs about $8 an ounce as well so it isn’t actually any more than I pay elsewhere.

looseTman

less than a minute ago
$8 an ounce = $128/lb – this makes sushi-grade yellowfin tuna look inexpensive. This is why I asked about their most significant sale of the year. I already receive their email notifications and haven’t yet noticed a compelling opportunity.

" … it’s usually 10-15% and it’s been on Breakfast Blends or on new teas or other similarly limited categories.”
This is why I’ve been patronizing other Steepster-recommended suppliers.

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100
drank Eros by Tealeaves
765 tasting notes

In keeping with the theme of the day of not waiting for special moments for special tea, I’m revisiting this one. Still yummylicious orange and vanilla but now that I know more about what I’m doing, I can pick out more of the tea base. It is pretty light but balances well with the flavors. I underleaf and understeep this and I don’t approach an unpleasant bitterness or dryness. Now the choice is, since I can see the bottom of the tin, do I put this one with my Tealeaves order in 2 weeks or do I wait until October when I will probably go to tea at the Grand Floridian where I first tried it? I think they sell it there. But, it’s taking a chance that they are still serving it… Hm…

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93

In light of recent discussions I’ve seen here about paring down to the teas you love but yet still not avoiding drinking the teas you love just for special occasions, I had some of my finite supply of this beauty today. Two steepings of a happy place. This truly is The Stuff.

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I was honored to have a very limited pu-erh shared with me on Monday. I was at Shang Tea and Shang shared a pu-erh with me from one of his friend’s farms. It is called Meng Hai County Pu-erh because of the county it comes from. It is a shu from 2006. Fermented 6 weeks. It was the only pu-erh served in the Olympics Tea House in 2008.

I liked it quite a bit in the store. I told Shang it was pretty much the first pu I’d had that I could honestly say I really did like. I came home with some.

Making it here at home and I could not duplicate the flavor. Not even close. It was much more like what I expect of pu – earthy and musty but not in a way I enjoy. I could drink it but it would never be my choice. So I emailed to find out how it was prepared at the shop that day. Found out that by that point in the day, the pot had been mixed with Golden Needle King! That would explain why I thought it was drinkable. I lumme some Shang Golden Needle.

I didn’t make an entry for this tea as they only have a very limited amount in the store and it is outrageously expensive. If you are in town and interested, stop by the shop and inquire. :) I’d be interested to hear what a real pu-head thinks of this.

yssah

That’s not right. Were you able to return it?

Nicole

It was gifted to me so I’m not worried about returning it. I’ll keep experimenting. I keep hoping to find pu that I like and now I have enough of what is supposed to be very high quality that I can afford to try different temps, times, etc. without thinking that it is just a bad tea. :) It may be something that a fan of pu would love I just haven’t an experienced enough palate to discern the good stuff that might be there. But I’m trying to learn!

boychik

I believe it will happen. You just need to drink more of it. Rinse it twice . Also I’ve noticed some people don’t drink it in summer. Wait when the weather cools

yssah

ah, that’s good! you could also try mixing it like they did and probably in time, you will develop a taste for it too. hmm now that i think about it, it is actually a good idea: benefits of pu and the deliciousness of white :)

yssah

try some sheng too!

Sil

if you ever want a puerh sampler i can send you some Nicole.

yssah

That must be some really good needle to not be overpowered by a shu

Nicole

Bear in mind that this was toward the end of the business day so they had probably steeped it over and over for hours. I likely got the 6th or 7th steeped pot. :) But it is really good needle…

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drank Anji Black by Harney & Sons
765 tasting notes

Ooo… this is bizarre. I had this at work today with filtered water, Western style. Having at home tonight, gong fu style, bottled water.

Here are my notes from work: Oh, hello, honey & bread! Moderate body but big flavor. So close to Taiwanese Wild Mountain black but from China. Dry leaves have a yeasty, fermented fruit and wine-y single origin chocolate type of scent. Steeped liquor is mainly a bready scent. Flavors of honey, yeast and fruit. There must be more of this obtained before they are out again. Western, 4 minutes, 205F, 2 tsp/10 oz.

And tonight at home: Similar scents, but sweeter. The liquor actually has a sweet aftertaste that is making me think of what licorice root does to my tastebuds. It creates a weird sweetness that lingers on my lips and in my mouth. It’s nothing I enjoy. I actually rinsed out my mouth three times to make sure I didn’t have anything sweet lingering from food earlier. I’m only going to get through 10/30/45 seconds. I’m giving up and not wasting the rest. I’ll steep again Western style and see if it is my water or the steeping method. If it’s like this Western style at home, then I don’t need more of it which is both disappointing and a relief. I won’t spend that much on work tea. I don’t drink cheap tea at work but nothing this expensive either.

Bizarre.

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85
drank Jin Jun Mei (2015) by Verdant Tea
765 tasting notes

Scent of dry leaf is very sweet and brown sugary. After steeping, taking the lid off the gaiwan and inhaling I get an overlay of smoke on top of an underlying sweet rock smell. Tasting at 30 seconds and this has a mild bit of smoke but not unpleasant, somewhat woody and sweet but at the same time highly mineral/rocky and a little dry and dusty. At 60 seconds, while inhaling the aroma from the gaiwan is sweeter and more malty, the flavor is more dusty and the campfire smoke is more pronounced along with a barnyard note.

A pleasant and good quality jin jun mei but not one I personally need to keep on hand. Luckily I still have a good stash of my ultimate jin jun mei so I have time to find a replacement. :)

Dexter

Is your ultimate JinJunMei not available anymore?

Nicole

Sadly, yes. The Last Dodo & I grabbed a bunch at MinRiver Tea’s going out of business last gasp. Someone else has to carry the same source (of which I have no idea what it is), but I haven’t found one comparable yet.

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Hm. This is more a roasted oolong taste to me than a black tea. Very mineral but thin feeling. Reminds me of a cross between a lightly roasted oolong and a Darjeeling. It’s fairly dry. Per pkg directions, 30 sec, 40 sec starting at around 205F.

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I have tried this twice now, once gong fu and once Western. I preferred it Western I think.
This is either a much lighter Yunnan than I am accustomed to or I underleafed. I did steep for 5 minutes when I did it Western and it was still tasty, as I would expect.

I still have some to experiment with, thanks for a very generous sample from TeaTotaler! It is quite a nice, balanced cup.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Holeee cats – the chili pepper & ginger in this just about knock you out to smell the dry leaf. Without sugar, the pepper is the foremost taste. Definitely a bite. Unfortunately, it kind of consumes the tea which is one of the main reasons I was anxious to get this blend. With sugar and cream it becomes an excellently scented, but moderately spiced chai and the pepper is moderated by the cream. Need to try again with some different parameters before rating.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Single Origin Teas

haha, guess coming from Texas I have different ideas about spice! ;)

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Bio

Tea afficianado & founder of the Midwest Tea Festival. 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. :)

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Kansas City, MO

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http://www.midwestteafest.com

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