10 Tasting Notes

Phatty cake, phatty cake how I love saying phatty cake.

I had a sample of this from the time when Mandala was having its shou sampler set (In 2014 IIRC). Unfortunately for me this one was forgotten and neglected in its plastic baggie at the back of my tea box. After surviving through two moves and an equal number of years in a ziplock bag the flavors were slightly muted. I still get whisps of the wonderful flavours other reviewers have described but I definitely should have tried reviving it first by reintroducing some humidity. Still a good tea, but I wish I had enjoyed it sooner.

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I got a pair of samples of this tea during the anniversary sale and decided I would do a side by side to see if I could tell the difference between brewing in a gaiwan and brewing in one of my yixing pot. Turns out the differences seem to be quite minor at this point. I guess with more frequent use the pot might take on more of the oolong character and change the flavor more. I’m not sure which method is best for pairing a pot with a tea so I’m trying different kinds in the pot to see which ones do better.

Anyways..the tea. It’s good. It tastes like a Taiwanese oolong and has a creamy background flavor. The “green” oolong flavor (maybe vegetal is the right word?) is very present and strong in the beginning and as the leaves open up they release more sweetness. At $12.90/100g the price seems right for it to be a solid daily drinker!

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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It feels kind of weird writing a tasting note TWO YEARS after this tea was released. I must admit I do feel a bit guilty about having some of this left in my tea collection, but in my defense I bought it in December of 2014, received it in February of 2015, and forgot about it during a move in April.

I have to say it doesn’t seem to have really decreased in taste or smell at all. Of course memory can play tricks when it’s been so long so it’s possible it was better before. Still a very fruity, plummy black tea (as I think might be typical of purple varietal leaf) that lasts surprisingly long. I’m looking forward to sipping down the rest of it. Now that it has a permanent spot on my desk I’m far less likely to forget it again.

Flavors: Fruity, Honey, Plums

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Received this cake in the January edition of White2Tea’s monthly club. Before I even tried the tea I was grinning at the wrapper.

This is my second time trying it and it’s got amazing tea mist! I’m really enjoying watching the beautiful patterns forming at the surface of my cup. I get a nice bittersweet flavour that ends with a bit of lingering sour tartness. The first time I drank it I thought it was an aftertaste from something I ate before. To be clear, the sourness is not unpleasant or even very strong. Some people might not even notice it unless they’re looking for it.

Old Reliable is a solid shou with a name that suits it. Definitely a solid daily drinker with strong flavours that don’t give out too quickly.

Preparation
Boiling 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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This is the best Keemun out of the 3 I’ve ever tried. It’s pretty smooth and has a nice fruity and sweet flavor. I got a couple samples of this during the teavivre anniversary sales.

Flavors: Fruity, Lychee, Smooth, Sweet

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I got a cake of this in July and it’s already more than 2/3 gone! If I’m honest I bought it because I like the goat on the wrapper..but I wasn’t dissapointed!

I think this tea may have changed a bit since I got it because I broke the cake up and put it in a earthware jar to air out.

While there is still a bit of the fermentation flavor, the dark chocolate flavour and creamyness of this tea overpowers it pretty easily (and I hardly notice it anymore). A good candidate for gong fu or grandpa style although I find it doesn’t stay strong enough for very long as grandpa style. A very easy to drink quality shou.

Flavors: Creamy, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate

Preparation
8 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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78

This was a sample given to me for review. As posted on Zen Tea’s review section:

I brewed this one Gong Fu style, keeping the temperature at about 80C for all infusions.

The first infusion was very light and seemed to have notes of coconut accompanying the green tea flavors. The expanded leaves are really beautiful (as are the dry ones but you can see those here)! Most of the leaves are whole with a bright green color.

The second infusion had more of a bitter background flavor that I personally really like in green tea. I think it happened because I steeped it for longer, creating a stronger brew. At this point there is an aftertaste that lingers and the coconut notes are gone.

The third infusion has had the bitterness recede and give way to sweetness.

The fourth and fifth steep were really weak and only had the lightest of flavor so I probably wouldn’t do a repeat of those but 3 infusions is pretty good for a green tea.

Thanks Zen Tea!

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68

I got this in the $1 Box from Simple Loose Leaf Tea. I’ve had it a few times now with different brewing methods.

A lightly roasted oolong that starts off with a robust roasted/raisiny taste and dies down quickly into a mellow sweetness.
I enjoy this tea but I would say it’s not really worth it to brew it Gongfu. I could only get 3 solid infusions from it before the flavor was quite weak. Still pretty tasty for those first 3 infusions though.

Flavors: Raisins, Roasted, Sweet

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Bio

Alright let’s try this again shall we?

I’m a tea enthusiast who has been toying with the idea of starting a blog for a while now. Unfortunately as with any sort of journal keeping I seem to be terrible at keeping it up for any length of time. I figure short steepster reviews might help me get into the habit of writing about the teas I drink on more of a regular basis.

We’ll see how it goes!

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