Featured & New Tasting Notes

100

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

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85
drank Lime Deluxe by ESP Emporium
1295 tasting notes

From the EU TTB

I’m a bit of a sucker for flavoured teas, so I had to give this one a go. I figured it for a green, but I didn’t realise it was a white/green blend at the time I was drinking it. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees.

I have to say, I really like it. There’s a tangy, not-quite-sharp but pretty flavour-accurate lime, with a mildly sweet, deliciously creamy smoothness from the coconut. They’re not strong, in-your-face flavours, but rather light and refreshing. A perfect summer cocktail – only tea! The green base is pretty perfect; it’s mildly grassy, which works really well with the coconut, and fairly unobtrusive unless you’re really looking for it. This one reminds me a little of 52Teas Lime Jello Salad. A very enjoyable cup!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
Teatotaler

Sounds like my kind of tea. I really love lime flavor!

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78
drank Yunnan Fancy by Peet's Coffee & Tea
2786 tasting notes

Good morning Steepster. I have been drinking this as my morning tea this week and it’s a decent cuppa, it does have me pining for a really good yunnan black. I would say this is kind of average but it does have a nice malty heft this morning.

I was at Peet’s the other day and saw they are bringing back some of their tinned teas but with a Mighty Leaf label on them. I don’t know if they will relaunch the entire line; I only saw about 10 of them in the store and this wasn’t one.

What are your favorite yunnan blacks? Are there any I need to try? One of my recent favorites came from a hole in the wall shop in Oakland’s Chinatown. I do feel I need to do a significant number of sipdowns before buying a lot of new stuff, but maybe I can afford one or two really good ones ;)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Doug F

Jingmai mountain wild arbor black from YS is very tasty, as is their Da Hu Sai village wild arbor black.

TeaBrat

thanks! I was thinking a YS order would be a good idea :)

Teatotaler

Bamboo Temple from Carytown Tea is a marvelous Yunnan – Very deep and chocolaty. It works well as a breakfast tea – Rich and strong. Holds milk and sugar well. This gorgeous Yunnan is a perfect tea for autumn! Carytown Tea is closed until this coming Tuesday and I am not sure that it is even on their website yet, but it is in stock now. I have just begun swapping teas so let me know if you would like to try some! :)

Nicole

Cannot go wrong with YS and Mandala. YS Pure Bud Bi Luo Chun in particular is amazing. And their flowering black cones. And they have a sale on blacks through 9/7 IIRC. Black12 is the code. 12% off.

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Nothing to say that hasn’t already been said.
I’m still enjoying this tea, & still have quite a bit of it to enjoy!
I can’t quite get motivated to do anything this morning (although I already meditated, did tai chi, went for a 45 minutes walk, and ate breakfast).
I think I’ll make another cup & go take a hot bubble bath.
Yup…that sounds good…

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80

This was my choice tea at Remedy yesterday. I wanted their Chocolate Mint but they were out! The smell of these sachets, though? A heavenly waft of bergamot. I’m so used to EGC that this plays tricks on my mind and makes me expect a creamy note in the taste.

Without any additives, this is smooth and packed with bergamot. Maybe not the strongest bergamot I’ve had, but it’s oh so prevalent. It’s a great option to have when you’re out and about and have a hankering for Earl Grey when then house Earl Greys at places like Second Cup are on the weaker, boring side.

With maple sugar and cream, it’s good but I think I prefer it before I added these gimmicks to them. The bergamot stands very well on its own, plus the base is smooth so no need to calm it down with milk/cream/sugar.

Sil

if only their teas weren’t so expensive… not worth the price imo

Fjellrev

I totally agree! That’s why I’m so happy that Remedy has them so that I can try them without paying an arm and a leg for them.

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78

The dry leaf aroma sure smells like blackberries! Oddly enough, the brewed tea has no aroma whatsoever. Thank goodness that doesn’t translate into a flavorless tea! The sip is clean, hay-like white tea with a punch of vanilla and a subtle hint of blackberry. I’m definitely getting more cream than berry in the cup. This is good! It’s not big on flavor but all the expected notes are there. The berry comes out more as it cools. I will enjoy the rest of this one but I don’t think I’ll re-purchase it. I simply have too much tea!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Nichole

I was going to try this tea tonight. Curious if I get the same flavors.

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85

Having a tea the same colours as the Irish flag sounded cool. So I got this tea. The scent is more on the strawberry side, with some coconut. There is a sweet, creamy berry flavour. Not sure what I was expecting, but the tea is more smooth in the second cup.

Goes well with lemon pastries.

Flavors: Coconut, Creamy, Strawberry

Nichole

I like this one and it can be picked up super cheap on Amazon sometimes.

Lariel of Lórien

Amazon sells teas now?

Liquid Proust

Amazon has about everything now! That’s how I bought my BANA tea starter kit

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100
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
1323 tasting notes

Due to an very odd and somewhat distressing set of events last night, I did not sleep well at all.
This is a problem, as I have a job interview ish thing today- lunch with a lady who needs a personal assistant. So I want to make a good impression and not be a tired mess. Ugh.
Two things will help! Concealer (the wonder makeup), and tea.
Forget my sipdown attempts today- its all about the classic, beloved teas. May this delicious fruity cup lead me through the day triumphantly.

TeaNTees

Good luck! :)

Fjellrev

Best of luck and I hope your sleep deprivation won’t affect you too much!

Nichole

I’m sure you will impress and be fantastic! Good luck!

Isserly

Good luck!

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82
drank Assam by Joseph Wesley Black Tea
6501 tasting notes

tea from earlier today. We’ve had a nice lazy-ish sort of day today as our first weekend where we were both in town and for the most part, he wasn’t working. I enjoy this one, but it’s not my favourite assam. it’s a little drying while also feeling very juicy. That being said, i still really love these offerings from JW and they always make for an enjoyable cup to reflect on.

boychik

is this a new harvest? i have a new one. havent tried yet as im between 2 houses. Packing my tea to send back

Sil

mmm i picked this one up…in june.

boychik

i got it couple weeks ago. Joe said its a new harvest

Sil

oh nice!

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90

I’ve decided to stop hoarding the leaf for this blend, and just work on sipping it down.

Vanilla bean, vanilla custard, vanilla cake… Vanilla everything!

And on top of that mouth watering vanilla flavor, this cold brew had a lovely soft floral quality, honey notes, and a subtle graham/woody flavour from the rooibos base. This leaf might be somewhat older, but that hasn’t changed the wonderful flavour yet! I’d still like to try more teas with tonka beans in them though; I think they’re the key to this wonderful ‘triple threat’ vanilla flavour – but I can’t be sure if I don’t have something to compare with.

Old leaf; but not spent leaf.

VariaTEA

For never having heard of tonka beans prior to this tea, it certainly did peak my interest given it’s yummy flavor. Thanks again for sharing and also HI TEA TWIN! It’s been a while :)

Roswell Strange

Hello! Hopefully as the weather gets cooler you’ll find yourself falling back in love with tea

VariaTEA

I hope so. Plus, I plan to cut alcohol and junk out of my diet in the near future so hopefully I will be more inspired to drink tea again.

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87

Thank you Boychik for this sample. This is an outstanding raw tea. It is strong and punchy sheng. There was a fair amount of bitterness to the early steeps. I gave this tea fourteen steeps in a 50ml gaiwan. I would say I found bitterness in the first eight steeps. Then the transformation began. There was still a potency to this tea even in the fourteenth steep. It became something quite pleasant but still strong. I suspect that this tea is a good one for aging. Its strong and slightly bitter character makes me feel this. This one has a potent aftertaste to it also. After fourteen steeps I am starting to feel its qi. This is one I would consider buying if WHite2Tea has any left during their Black Friday sale.

I steeped this fourteen times in a 50ml gaiwan with 4g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, 2.5 min and 3 min. I think this tea would have gone 20 steeps and I may save the leaves for tomorrow.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 50 ML
teatortoise

Could it have been bitter so long because there was too much leaf?

boychik

You are welcome Allan. It sounds really good. I have cravings for bitterness lately. It makes it more complex. 4g sounds right for 50 ml!

AllanK

It was quite good. I have enough of your sample for another session since I used such a small gaiwan.

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100
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
1323 tasting notes

After months of no tea buying, I finally snapped and ordered a ton of teas. Heh, eeek!
But I am optimistic, and wanted to get some of the autumnal flavors in, getting an early start on that, so I grabbed up some beloved fall flavors, and also a few classics.
And, in my cupboard, Paris is a classic. Its fruity, without being a fruit salad, and a seasonless flavor.
I am very happy to have it back in the cupboard! And now, on to yoga.

Tabby

So tempted to do the same. But I SWORE I would wait until October to do my fall/winter ordering.

Rosehips

You are strong! I gave in to temptation almost at once. Ah well….

gmathis

Must…stay…strong…waiting…until…I…get…the…scraps…drunk….up….!

Teatotaler

Paris is very good. Have you ever tried Harney’s Tower of London? Very similar except the vanilla is replaced by honey. Very yummy too.

Rosehips

I love Tower of London! I wish they sold it in smaller sizes in the leaf, though.

ashmanra

Rosehips – they used to sell most of their teas however you want if you call the store! I think you can call Soho or Millerton. I used to do it now and then.

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95
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
2973 tasting notes

Been so bad at logging teas lately, though I do have a long list of teas I’ve drank, including snippets of what I thought (in some cases). Maybe I’ll get to them, maybe I won’t. I am managing to drink through quite a bit of tea, though, which is good!

AND I got a new kettle, guys! My ever-wonderful boyfriend bought me a Black&Decker stainless steel variable temp kettle. (I picked that particular one after reading a bunch of kettle reviews). For the price, I’m super happy so far. It likes to beep a lot (when pressing buttons), and LOUDLY, which is annoying, but on the plus side, it beeps when the water is ready! Which is great. The lid doesn’t open as far as I would like, but really, it’s not that big of a deal. And it seems perhaps a touch slower to boil than I would expect, but to be fair, it was probably boiling water straight from the fridge at the time I measured (it took about 8 minutes for a full 1.7L). Anyways, I’m now into the world of variable-temp kettles! Exciting!

Anyhow, drank this prior to heading to the CNE yesterday. It was delicious. That is all.

Tabby

Must get around to trying this tea!

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95

This is one sweet tea. I get a variety of notes. There is an apricoty feeling to this sheng. Notes of stonefruits too. I broke in my new 50ml gaiwan for this tea so I was able to put it through a lot of steeps. After fourteen steeps I am feeling the effects of this tea. Normally with my larger gaiwans I would stop at eight steeps because I have to watch my caffeine levels. It’s very nice to have such a small gaiwan finally. My other gaiwans were at least 100ml and that is just too big to give a tea 14 steeps in one session. This is a tea I would definitely consider buying more of. I only wish it were a 357g cake instead of a 200g cake. This is one of the best shengs I have ever had.

I steeped this 14 times in a 50ml gaiwan with 3.7g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, 2.5 min and 3 min.

Flavors: Apricot, Stonefruits, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 50 ML
eyitsrichard

May I ask where you purchased your gaiwan? I’ve been looking for a small one for a while.

teatortoise

Fourteen!

mrmopar

Its a humdinger.

Dr Jim

I can’t stand it any more! I just opened mine for a session.

AllanK

I’m sure you will like it.

Dr Jim

I do, though not as much as you do. Glad I bought it though.

Ubacat

This sounds like one I’d really like to try. I hope it’s in the monthly club package.

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88

Thanks Brenden! :D

Very clean shou, no fermentation flavors. Strong notes of caramel, cocoa.. slightly sweet. Didn’t last as long as I was hoping – only got about 8 steeps before the color faded, but still good flavor in the following steeps. Great entry-level shou for those who might be new to puerh. No off-putting flavors, delicious consistency.

Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Sweet

Preparation
7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
looseTman

Agreed! I purchased a 1/2 LB of the 2013 Ontario 1357 Loose Shou Pu-erh and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

No worries! Glad you enjoyed it! :-)

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drank Clover Patch by White2Tea
782 tasting notes

Man, this tea is weird. It looks like your typical dark roasted oolong — long, spindly twists of black leaf — and it even kind of smells like it too, with a sweet, strong smell of buckwheat and burnt sugar.

The first taste was of something extremely alkaline on my tongue, like I splashed some sort of industrial chemical on it. On the back and sides of my tongue the taste became more floral, like honeysuckle or lilies, with an aftertaste like rose or osmanthus. The colour of the tea was amber like beer.

Over subsequent steeps I felt that the texture and taste on my tongue was like that of fabric: cotton, denim, linen, thickness covering my tongue. The floral honeysuckle/lily flavour was also there — there was none of the juicy, grassy sweetness that the smell of this tea promised.

Then it hit me. Industrial chemicals? Flowers? Fabric?

It tasted like the tea embodiment of a dryer sheet.

You know, those little wisps of perfumed, polymerized fabric you put into the dryer with freshly washed clothes to make them soft and non-static-cling-y.

What the fuck? I’m mystified, but also kind of horribly fascinated.

Full review at: http://booksandtea.ca/2015/08/white2tea-august-2015-subscription-box-clover-patch-oolong-and-2-da-hong-paos/

DeliriumsFrogs

“the tea embodiment of a dryer sheet” lol

Marzipan

I love this review.

Christina

Dude, this tea was weeeeeeird. The spent leaves smelled quite orchid-like, but I think I prefer my oolongs to be more sweet/molasses-ish.

Ubacat

Wow, did we ever have different reviews of this tea!

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100

Sipdown. This is in the running for the most gentle, bready, smooth, wonder-filled, idiot-proof black tea I have ever loved. Need more!

Sil

woohoo!

Maddy Barone

I like the “idiot-proof” part!

gmathis

Everybody needs a couple of those in the pantry!

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85

This was a tea Christina generously sent to me. I have today off from work so could take my time learning how to brew this one. It’s not my first time having this type of tea and I’ve liked it in the past but find it a bit expensive compared to other teas.

Of course who couldn’t love the dry leaves of this type of tea. So flat & big and they smelled so fresh. I found Teasenz video on how to brew and followed their directions:

http://www.teasenz.com/tai-ping-hou-kui#.VeBJR5pRGpo

Here’s my cup:
https://instagram.com/p/67SW0rtDAP/?taken-by=ubacat

Okay, so I brew it in a cup but do I drink it in a cup? Doesn’t the leaves get over steeped? I gather I’m not supposed to drink from the cup since I time it two minutes so I transferred it to a pouring pitcher but it’s a messy business pouring from a cup.

It’s a beautiful light tea with green bean notes. It seems to have a bit of floral edge to it too. I don’t get much chestnut or buttery notes from this tea which is common in many Chinese greens. That makes this tea quite different and special. In the past I considered this tea too expensive but look at how much work goes into making it. I watched this video from Teavivre while drinking this tea:
http://www.teavivre.com/tea-videos/manual-making-method-of-tai-ping-hou-kui-green-tea-p-61/

I can really appreciate now this is a great tea to keep in stock for when I’m in the mood for something different and fancy. Thanks Christina for the sample.

Flavors: Floral, Green Beans

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I have played a lot of video games in my life, and I have been driven to fits of rage by many of them. Something that my dear fiance and I share is a tendency to get really ragey at our games, we just show them differently, where he is likely to just yell at a game, I take a page from the RageQuit book and get really imaginative with my vitriol. I bring this up because few games have made me rage as much as Terraria. Seriously, I hate the boss fights, I can have myself kitted up and buffed to the extreme and it never fails, I die at least half a dozen times before I get the ‘trick’ to killing a specific boss. Of course then I proceed to farm it mercilessly, giggling at my godlike power the whole time. Oh man, or that one time when you are mining and accidentally hit the TNT button instead of the pickaxe button and blow yourself up. It. Is. MADDENING! But I also love it because I can be a dark elf with a hoard of spider summons with a pet dinosaur who rides a unicorn while wearing feathery wings, gypsy robes, and a Spartan helmet. Skills.

Today’s tea from What-Cha is a funky little number, Thailand Sticky Rice ‘Khao Hom’ Oolong Tea, hailing from Thailand, this tea takes Jin Xuan and scents it with Nuo Mi Xiang Nen Ye, an herb from China whose leaves smell uncannily like sweet sticky rice. Used quite a bit with Puerh, (if you have ever seen sticky rice Puerh, this is the herb used) and I will be honest, mixed with Shou Pu, I find it utterly repugnant, usually because it is mixed with the really low grade fishy garbage and those are two things I do not want mixed. Ever. So I was really curious to try it in something else, specifically the glory that is Oolong. The aroma of this tea is something else, I advise not sticking your nose into these leaves, sniff from a distance because wow is it strong. Super sweet sticky rice notes with sweet cream, rice pudding, coconut milk, and an underlying almond nuttiness. So much sweetness, it is a little overwhelming.

So the first time I tried this tea I made the mistake of brewing it when I had a headache, one whiff of those brewed leaves and I needed to lie down, something about sticky rice scented teas make me feel really ill and dizzy if I have a headache (which is often) so I waited for a day when I had no headache to try the rest of the sample. It was a good idea because whoa, it is super strong, very sweet notes of rice pudding, caramel, flowers, green beans, grass, spinach…it is a bit of a cacophony, though oddly it blends well together. The liquid is more subtle thankfully, though not by much. That sticky rice scent is strong and sweet, notes of coconut milk, almonds, and rice pudding mix with a creamy underlying floral note.

I thought for a second, this could be one of those sensory overload things that happens to me with certain smells, so I got Ben to sniff it and he thought it smelled mild and sweet, where I thought it was like being face planted in pudding. The longer I sniffed it, the more I started developing a headache…oh dear. So, enough being nervous, I tasted it, it is smooth and sweet, and surprisingly cooling for an oolong. There are strong notes of cream, rice pudding, orchids, and warm milk. This moves on to caramelized sugar and a nutty aftertaste. There is however something ‘wrong’ about the rice taste, not wrong as in toxic or something like that…wrong as it tastes like rice but doesn’t. Like how stevia leaves are sweet but don’t taste like sugar, so when used as a substitute you can tell, it is uncanny and hard to process for some reason.

Second steep, the aroma at this point has permeated my tea area, which I am not entirely happy with. The taste is milder on the rice front, more of the underlying orchid and creamy notes of the Jin Xuan showing their color. The finish has a nutty rice note that lingers for some time. I called it quits after this steep sadly, the taste was quite pleasant, but the smell of the leaves was way too intense and killing my head, not to mention I spilled some on my tea table and just can’t get the smell out, whenever I get a whiff of it I am slammed with vertigo, it is safe to say that my sensory weirdness could not handle this herb. Clearly if I try to drink this tea again, I should do it with a nose plug, or maybe store the leaves in another room. It is a pity I had such a negative reaction to the aroma, the taste was really quite fascinating.

For blog and photos (and a link to a page entirely in Chinese about the fancy herb): http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/08/what-cha-thailand-sticky-rice-khao-hom.html

Flavors: Coconut, Flowers, Orchid, Rice, Rice Pudding, Sweet

Liquid Proust

Amanda, please delete this and repost it in September after I get paid… I didn’t even know a sticky rice oolong was out there and my will power is weak. must. click. purchase.

p.s. 100g for $14
That’s so cheap… but is their site in USD or not? It’s confusing me.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

but but but I don’t wanna write another blog tonight, I want to go game more :P

I know what you mean, I can’t tea shop until the first of the month and the new summer harvest teas came into What-Cha and there are some things I wanted to get with my last order that I want like right now sigh

Yeah that is what I am seeing, and I am signed into my account so it is showing USD. Holy crap that is cheap.

Liquid Proust

I’ll buy a lot and use some for swaps :)

Now time to upset you as I am upset that I don’t have this.
What Cha did have this: http://what-cha.com/out-of-stock/nepal-monsoon-flush-2014-pearl-oolong-tea/

Here’s the bad news, it’s not there no more :(

Liquid Proust

DAMNIT! You already had it :/

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

That is so sad! That was such a beautiful tea, though the real tear jerker for me is this http://what-cha.com/out-of-stock/korea-jeong-jae-yeuns-hwangcha-balhyocha-tea/ it was a glorious tea, though last time I looked it was retired…seeing more might be on the way, I think I just might faint!

I still kick myself for not getting more of both of those teas.

Liquid Proust

Maybe when that weird ‘citrus’ oolong is in stock we can organize a group buy :)
I haven’t had any What Cha and just realized how much they have on their site… not sure why I haven’t heard more about them :/

Spencer

Sympathizing so hard with the Terraria boss fights…I wonder if Adagio has Terraria fandom blends…

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Fair warning, they are addictive. I am trying to try all of the teas…but Alistair keeps adding more!!

Oddly no! I looked a couple weeks ago and thought about starting a Terraria line to go with my Minecraft line. :P

Spencer

Please do…I will buy every. single. one.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Hahaha! Will do! Any special monster requests for me to start with?

Spencer

Definitely the Guide, probably “wooden sword” (based on a pu’erh with something…sharp), “worm food” (another pu’erh), but definitely Eater of Worlds…though I have no idea of what it would be comprised.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Ooh making things based off the different items used to summon the bosses could be a fun challenge.

mmmm worm food! I think this will be a fun project! I also decided that I am tempted to drag all my perler beads out and make perler versions of some of the banners, I have become a collector of them.

What-Cha

Wow, I woke up to a lot of comments!

Thanks for the review Amanda, the aroma in particular of the tea can be rather potent and I’m sorry it was causing you headaches :(

I’m happy to say I’ve ordered 300g of the 2015 Korea Jeong Jae Yeun’s Hwangcha Balhyocha Tea, so hopefully it should be back on sale in 1-2 months.

@Liquid Proust

All prices are in GBP (£9.20 for 100g of the Sticky Rice Oolong) but can be viewed in USD on the website (which now update hourly to reflect the market exchange rate). The order total is payable in GBP and so if you choose to pay in USD via Paypal you will get a worse than market rate.

If you would like to place an order at some point, I could send you a paypal invoice payable in USD, with prices converted from GBP to USD at market exchange rate.

The Monsoon Pearls may finally be coming back in stock shortly (1-3 weeks)! Unfortunately they’re a really rare tea where the total production per flush is less than 10kg, so there’s been a big queue among vendors to get more.

@ boychik

I believe the Hwangcha you have from pu-erh.sk to be a different tea, produced by Jukro Tea Company, one of the foremost Korean producers.

Balhyocha is a very confusing term and as I understand it, is best thought as to mean a tea which is not green (i.e partially or fully oxidised).

Hwangcha is a subcategory of Balhyocha, it confusingly translates as yellow tea, but it is nothing like Chinese yellow tea in production, taste or oxidisation level. As I understand it, tea with an oxidisation level between 18-85% falls within the Hwangcha sub-category. These teas are perhaps best thought of as oolongs.

Tea with an oxidisation level above 85% are perhaps best thought of as black teas (they are still Balhyocha but not Hwangcha).

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Oh my, well, I plan on placing an order in a week, which excited me immensely. Now, when the Balhyocha comes back…possibly near my birthday…I foresee myself buying a massive pile of it. It is one of the few teas that I go all protective dragon on and don’t want to share, something about it is just magical and makes me happy.

Out of curiosity, and I understand if it is hush-hush, are you planning anything for Black Friday? I am getting my ducks in a row as to what I am doing for sales since Black Friday is right after my birthday and I tend to have happy shopping (fun fact, last year I bought a stuffed Minecraft spider)

As for the sticky rice, I am sad my brain didn’t seem to handle it, it makes me sad because it is so unique! And it doubly makes me sad because I didn’t dislike it, if it had been something I thought tasted awful then it would have just been me not liking it…this just seems mean spirited. Bad brain!! If it makes you feel any better, this is not the first time this has happened, strong smells are one of my migraine triggers and they seem totally random…like I can’t be in the house if anyone is cooking with Old Bay Seasoning or roasting grains for granola…but I can eat both of them just find. Just another one of those ‘the body is weird’ moments.

What-Cha

I can’t wait to have the Balhyocha back in stock along with some other interesting teas from Korea, including my first direct sourced Korean tea! I certainly understand your desire to purchase a massive pile of it, I only got to try a few grams last year before I had sold out!

To be honest, I haven’t even thought about Black Friday yet, but I’ll definitely try and put together some kind of special sale, probably a percentage off all teas coupon unless I can think of anything more creative.

I probably shouldn’t say this [but I do like to tease ;)] but I have some very big plans for October, including what will probably be a number of tea firsts for English speaking countries (including a Republic whose tea has never been sold in the West and almost never mentioned!).

Not to worry about the sticky rice oolong, we all have aromas and tastes which we react badly too. On the positive side, there may be a couple of interesting scented Vietnamese green teas appearing shortly, one scented with Citrus Maxima and the other with Chrysanthemum Morifolium.

Nicole

Gurl…. lemme know if you need a local to tag onto that order. I have an imaginary shopping cart all full… :)

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Hahaha! Will do!!

Well, I know where I will be spending my birthday money :P And a Republic you say, hmm, time to pull out my list of tea countries and see if I can guess which is it. I need to get back to work on that research project, I have been slacking lately (the shame!)

Seriously though, I got so excited reading this!!

Liquid Proust

If Amanda will allow me I can put together a group order :)

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Hmm, if you guys want to do a group order be my guest, currently my planned order is like close to $60 :P so I do not need to get in for free shipping and honestly find the whole group order thing immensely confusing…probably because I agonize and waffle over my order for WEEKS

Plus I am shy and bad at these kinds of things

Liquid Proust

I’ll PM you :)

Nicole

Let me know, LP. I’m sure I can get to free shipping on my own as well, but I shouldn’t get to free shipping on my own. :)

What-Cha

The ‘republic’ is a federal subject rather than a country, so it might be difficult to find listed, especially so as of 2013, there was only 6 hectares used for tea!

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85

I think this is what I’m drinking. The package only says "Aged Oolong 95C mountaintea.com). So, I’m taking a guess. The little pebbles are a dark brown and slight oily skin. They are heavily compressed and give off a dry wood and roast scent. I placed a generous amount in my warmed gaiwan and gave em a shake. The smell is quite potent and heavily fruited. There is an underlying smoke aroma and prominent raisin tone. I washed the pebbles once and prepare for brewing. The flavor is unlike the aroma. The liquor is pale bronze and very sweet. The taste is very fruity and juicy, yet there is an underlying roast that lingers on the tongue. This brew has a “fruit by the foot” flavor hahah. It reminds me of my childhood snacks. This was very good, and a decent quality aged oolong. I’m glad that I didn’t judge a book by its cover on this, for the packaging was not that attractive.

Also, there is a lingering sweetness that does last for what seems like forever. I feel like I just had a bunch of pastries with berries in them :)

Flavors: Berry, Fruity, Honey, Smoke, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
boychik

I want to try it for some time . Did you get it from Whatcha or MT?

Haveteawilltravel

this is from MT. Do you brew gongfu or western. I have enough for a western session.

boychik

Gongfu. Do you have 3g? i have my teeny 50ml gaiwan lol

Haveteawilltravel

Yes I do, msg me address, and I’ll have it sent out with some goodies :)

Haveteawilltravel

This fruit aftertaste lasts literally over an hour after drinking xD

boychik

thanks, i will :)

curlygc

Aaaaaand another tea goes on my wishlist!

Haveteawilltravel

I’m only here to help xD

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I initially liked this tea, but then suddenly every single time I brewed it, it was horribly bitter, which led me to avoid it for quite some time. Recently I started drinking it again, if nothing else just to use it up. The directions call for 1.5 tsp + 8oz @ 200 X 3min. Horribly bitter.
I tried a variety of parameters, and kept lowering the temperature, and FINALLY I’ve got it right, steeping it at 180 F for 3 minutes. Of course, I’m getting close to a sip down now, LOL, but at least I’ll enjoy those last couple of sessions, right?
This tastes like roasted brazil nuts today :)

Butiki Teas

Oh, I wonder if that’s the tea I mislabeled the directions then later changed.

Terri HarpLady

If you did, I missed the re-direct :)

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90

the water in Ottawa is slightly different from the water back home, so while i’ve been enjoying this one, it’s not the super amazing delicious tea that it is in Toronto. Still good but i miss what i KNOW this one can taste like haha.

On the upside, i have managed to get a few sipdowns in while i’ve been here, and made good progress on drinking up a few of my older teas. I’ll be happy to get home tomorrow to be with my full cupboard. :)

Kristal

Recently, I bought a Brita water filter to clean out the chlorine and whatnot from my tap water. HUGE difference.

Sil

i always use brita water :) the water is just treated differently here and there i think

Kristal

Ah, makes sense!

boychik

When im away i use Poland Spring

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91

Don’t like this harvest. I’ve tried to drink this version in multiple ways and all I get is dirt. I’m channeling my inner “omgsrsly” i think. Not the end of the world, but i have ZERO desire to drink the rest of this. So i’m not going to. A waste of tea but i am really not a fan of this harvest and i refuse to drink things that i don’t enjoy.

Original version of this was a 91 for me; this year is closer to a 54.

boychik

I gotta try mine

Sil

if you try it and love it, let me know. I’d happily send you the rest of mine so it goes to a good home.

boychik

Ok. Thanks dear ;)

Dexter

Such a great tea…. sad face that you aren’t enjoying that harvest. :(

Tealizzy

Agreed. I bought some based on the rave reviews and I’m just not getting that flavor everyone fell in love with.

Sil

i think that’s one of my complaints with Tao – would like to see harvests on his teas so that I could be sure i was getting the same year that i enjoy. The nice thing is, i can stop buy the store if i need to, but not everyone has that luxury.

Sil

@tealizzy – i’m sorry to hear that. the version that has the rave reviews, was a totally different beast than this version. it was wonderful. this is..dirt.

boychik

Do you think we should let him know? If new harvest is not that great why offer it at all :(

Sil

he might be out by now… that was 2014 harvest..i’m guessing.

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85

Wonderfully thick and rich.. Notes of earth and spice, a nice little kick. Smooth and creamy textured shou, mostly clear of unwanted fermentation flavors. I think this one would get better with even more age.
Thank you Brenden for this delicious sample :)

Flavors: Earth, Spices

Preparation
6 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML

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