248 Tasting Notes

89
drank Orchid Oolong by Art of Tea
248 tasting notes

Finals started today, and I just got out of a three hour math exam. Thank god I had something to look forward to when I got back. Once again, this is a rather pleasant tea with respect to flavor and aroma, and I can personally say that it is very relaxing. The act of taking time to brew this tea was very helpful for unwinding after a stressful final…

For further notes, see my other post about this tea. Everything turned out the same, and I don’t have time for a complete review due to finals.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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84

First of all, thanks again Teavivre for sending me this sample!

This is my first lightly-oxidized Tie Guan Yin, and also my first confirmed spring picking, so I was a bit excited. The aroma of the dry leaves was a bit fruity, with hint of flowers and nuts. The first infusion was had the same aroma as the dried leaves, but the smells were a bit more muted, which allowed them to become more harmonious. The taste was a bit fruity, with a slight aftertaste of nuttiness. The second infusion was mostly the same, but a bit nuttier overall, and with the fruity flavors starting to subside a bit.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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71

This is my second tea of the day, as very few teas that I own are “cold weather” teas. Anyway, the first infusion creates a wonderful aroma of toasted rice, with hints of grassiness and vegetation. The flavor is a mix between a sencha and the rice, but the rice is slightly stronger. The aftertaste is very much that of a sencha, but a bit more astringent than any of the straight-up senchas that I have in stock.

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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87

First of all, thanks to Teavivre for the free sample of this tea! It was another first for me, as while I have had jasmine teas, none of them had been pearls. Also, my previous jasmine teas have been from one of three sources: Stash, Yamamotoyama, or at Chinese restaurants. Needless, to say, this was a bit different.

The first infusion was very interesting, with a very pleasing jasmine aroma. It was "softer " than other jasmines I’ve had, and was much better than the Yamamotoyama jasmine that I have. The taste was also much better than the Yamamotoyama, with less astringency and bitterness. This is probably due to using a higher quality tea, as the Yamamotoyama appears to use cheap left-overs. It is also interesting to note that after the infusion, the leaves still loosely resembled pearls, which was interesting.

The second infusion was generally a bit weaker, but with a few exceptions. First, the tea tasted more flowery and sweeter. Also, an aftertaste on the tip of the tongue and the roof the the mouth became apparent. Thus aftertaste was a touch metallic and/or mineral, but still a bit flowery, and was generally very interesting, as my other jasmine teas do not exhibit such a characteristic.

I over steeped the third infusion, and there was a touch of astringency, and it wasn’t as sweet as the previous infusion. The aftertaste also strengthened and became a touch bitter. The forth infusion was rather plain, and even the scent seemed lacking by this point. The sweetness had also all but disappeared, leaving very little in the way of taste.

All in all, it’s the best jasmine tea I’ve had in a while, and was very pleasant. It also lasted a bit longer than my Yamamotoyama jasmine, which was a pleasant surprise. Anyway, I’m actually considering purchasing some of this in the future, after my other jasmine stock runs out.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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88

Most of my experiences with black tea has been cheap bagged stuff from Stash, Lipton, or Twinings. This has resulted in a certain dislike of black teas as a category. This tea changed that.

After brewing the first infusion (and accidentally over-steeping it), I was left with a very interesting tea. The tea itself was a very dark red color, as is typical of black teas, and it had a very strong aroma that managed to smell pleasing to me despite my bias towards Oolongs and greens. MY first sip of the tea was actually amazing: Never had I ever had a black tea that was so smooth and well balanced that it didn’t require sugar to make it tolerable.

An added bonus of this tea is that it lasts a long time. I’m on my third infusion right now, and the tea is still rather dark. I expect to get around 8 infusions before it gives out. Also, the flavors of the tea mellow nicely, and this third infusion is even better than the first two infusions. I’ll edit this post later to include the late infusions.

EDIT:
Changed the rating to bring it into conformance with my new rating standard.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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86

First of all, I have to thank Teavivre for sending me this sample. Secondly, this is my first white tea, so I was really excited to try this out.

After opening up the packages for this tea (it came in a Teavivre bag, with smaller sealed packages inside), I found a very interesting looking tea. All of the buds and some of the leaves of this tea still had some fuzz on them, which was rather quaint in my opinion. It also had a very pleasant aroma of spring wildflowers, if that makes sense.

The aroma of the first infusion was very delicate, with subtle flowery notes dominating vegetative undertones. The color of the tea was very light, so much so that it looks like the third of forth infusion of my sencha. The taste is much like the aroma: delicate. There are faint flowery tastes present, but they are very interesting. There is a faint aftertaste on your tongue and the roof of your mouth after you swallow, but it is kind of hard to describe. It actually reminds me a bit of the Wuyi yancha aftertaste…

Regardless, the tea very quickly loses its flavor, and only lasted three infusions, but that might be because I over-steeped the first infusion. Anothe thing to note is that i didi make a forth infusion, because the third had still been rather flavorful, but the forth was completely lacking in flavor, so I threw it out. Still, it was a rather excellent tea, one which I intend to keep on hand.

EDIT:
Changed rating to bring it in line with my new system of ratings :D

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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71

I started drinking this after my other tea gave out, but I don’t have time for a full review (Physics is snapping up my free time like it’s a door-buster sale on black Friday). It was just as good as last time, especially as the weather was freezing today. Again, I’m happy that I have a lot of this tea to last me until January or February.

For more details, just look at my previous tasting note.

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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89
drank Orchid Oolong by Art of Tea
248 tasting notes

Honestly, it’s hard to tell that this is an Oolong. This is a very light roast, an you can tell immediately just by looking at the leaves. The tightly rolled leaves are green, and smell strongly of lilac, completely lacking the usual roasted smell of Oolongs. Of course, my experience is mostly with Wuyi oolongs, that that might not be a fair comparison.

Anyway, the first infusion was interesting. The tea was very much like a green tea, with very strong vegetative notes and a flowery aftertaste. I was a bit surprised by the astringency that was present, but that disappeared after the first infusion. The aroma of the tea is something between an orchid and lilac, and is very pleasing. Later infusions become sweeter, and the flavors mellow nicely, but I only got six infusions out of the tea. Regardless, The tea did improve, peaked with the third infusion, and then mellowed until it was lightly-scented water with a bit of flavoring.

The bottom line about this tea is that it is light, flowery, and a rather pleasant tea that I look forward to enjoying again.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Bio

I am a university student, studying Computer Science, who found that I really enjoy a nice cup of tea. I finally got into loose-leaf tea in August of 2011. I am currently in the process of expanding my horizons, and have found that I have a particular fondness for Oolongs in general, and Wuyi Yanchas in particular. The unique mineral taste is very appealing to me, as well as a nice Sencha. More recently, I’ve developed a taste for Sheng puerh, white tea, and black teas. The only things I’ve tried that I didn’t like was Shu puerh, but that might have been because it was quite young. Regardless, I’ve been slowly expanding my horizons, so if you have any recommendations, please feel free to send me a PM.

Just for the heck of it, my other interests include classical musics (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi, Debussy, Shostakovitch, Rachmaninoff, Liszt, and Wagner, to name a few composers). I also have a fondness for a bit more modern music, like The Beatles, all Jazz (by all, I really do mean all), Gorillaz (I love Demon Days), and a couple of Indie artists you will never run across unless you play a lot of semi obscure Indie games. Also, I love cats.

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Fairfax, VA

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