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354 Tasting Notes

42
drank Earl Grey by Tea Desire
354 tasting notes

…Huh. Could have sworn I’d written up a tasting note for this.

Well, long story short, this was one of the two teas my aunt sent to me while I was working up north. I found the base rather bitter, and thus wasn’t much a fan of this.

However, I’ve been using it to make London Fogs with since I got home. Milk /mostly/ tempers the bitterness, although it still makes its way through. It’s just a really cheap black tea base, I suppose.

Used this one up with one last tea latte today.

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Wasn’t sure what to expect. Would the leaves be dry? You can’t “dry” honey. Maybe crystalized. Nope, I realized when I got the vacuum-sealed bag open and went in to scoop some out. Honey coated. Not leaves in a pool of honey, though. Really infused.

Couldn’t smell the honey on anything but my spoon after I’d scooped. Brewed in a gaiwan, the liquid is a cloudy, toasty yellow. Smells like a toasty oolong, no sweetness.

First Steep: Despite the obvious stickyness of the leaves, I’m not getting too much of a honey flavour. A nice oolong—not sharply vegetal, very pleasing, buttery notes. When I breathe out… Sweetness, I think, bordering on honey. As if the honey does not directly add any flavour, but somehow enhances the oolong itself so that I am enjoying this immensely.

More sweetness as I sip. I have a feeling the honey may have settled to the bottom—as it tends to do when you stir it directly into the tea anyhow. Starting to get a sticky honey taste with just a touch of sweetness.

Second Steep: Bolder taste in the second steep, as I didn’t actually rinse this. I think I’m getting more honey. Just a faint, sticky sweetness under the toasty oolong notes. I like darker, roasted oolongs, and I think the honey goes with it well.

Third Steep: Didn’t pay as much attention to this one. Still fifteen seconds. Didn’t get any sweetness.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
lizzi

It tastes all right, steeping it in boiling water? I’m leery of doing that with my oolong teas, ordinarily, and aim for a few degrees cooler.

AJ

Whoops, didn’t realize I’d set that to boiling. I let the boil fade completely (but didn’t take the temperature) before I poured, but still pretty close.

Yeah, most companies recommend that you don’t us boiling, but Teavivre and a few others recommend that you do, but also suggest very short steeps. Was playing with that first, and then was going to try cooler water and longer steeps with what’s left of the sample. It didn’t taste bitter with near-boiling, or flat. Luckily.

But I think a cooler temperature and longer steep would help the honey.

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62
drank Dan Cong Feng Huang by THE O DOR
354 tasting notes

Using up the last of this one. Accidentally used a bit too much and too long of a steep, so it’s sharp—bordering on bitter. It’s still unique and interesting to sip, and I’ve got room for many more steeps.

It’s a bitter cocoa taste. Reminds me of Dawn, but Dawn was a delicious powdery cocoa—no bitterness. The scent and taste are dark and earthy, rarely any fruityness to this tea.

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I went to remove this from my cupboard as I finished it off, only to realize it was never in my cupboard to begin with.

Huh.

It seems I am sipping a phantom tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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84

Finishing this one off as well.

I neglected to type up a steeping note when I picked it up a second time. I wanted so much to like it, and I couldn’t understand why the initial batch was so bitter. I got it in store again, and it tasted as wonderful as I remember, so I sprung for another two ounces.

I think I was write when I assumed it was something with the batch, because this one was fine all the way through. Probably one of my favourite tea blends. Grassy green and smoky, very unique—screams “Murchie’s”.

It’s up there with Library Blend as teas I will probably re-buy. Although I think I should truck through all their other green-black tea blends first.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I’ve had a smaller rolled yunnan tea before (rolled a bit smaller than a pea), but I wanted to try these out because they seem a great serving size for a small vessel.

I went in expecting great things, because I do love yunnan tea. I did one pearl for my 100ml gaiwan. Meant to do about three to four minutes, went a little over… Would have been fine with a shorter steep, though.

Definitely more on the peppery side. There’s still an undertone with a bit of sweetness, though.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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56
drank White Orchard by Mighty Leaf Tea
354 tasting notes

Another reminder that I should browse Steepster before buying. Avoid impulse buys.

It’s not bitter, at least, from what I’ve found. Found it pleasant enough—actually this would make a nice iced tea, if the flavours weren’t so subtle that they’d probably be lost if it were cold-brewed. Perhaps brewing it extra, /extra/ strong…

It’s okay, though. My OTHER purchase, however—Stash’s iced tea powders—eeeh.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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87

The dry smell isn’t strong, but subtle and smokey.

Did a quick rinse-brew.

First steep: Twenty seconds
Smells definitely smokey, although there are hints of a green, buddha oolong scent as well. Hard to explain. The deep, metallic scent I find they have.

It’s definitely green—definitely an iron buddha, anyhow, crisp, not as green as some oolongs. But there’s a strong smokey overtone that hits first before.

After a while, the smoke starts to taste almost sweet. Possibly a combination of the smoke and more mineral-butter-vegetal notes. Hmm.

I’m liking this a lot actually. I love smokey teas, but this is very different. In a good way. Not pure smoke. Subtle, smoke adding the right touch.

Second Steep: Twenty Seconds
Brewed darker than the first. Found this one more sharply smoky; the initial sips were sweet, but this has mostly faded.

Third Steep: Twenty Seconds
As I was brewing this steep, I got a distinct tobacco scent. Smoke seems to have dissipate in the taste, although there’s something akin to tobacco to replace it. Deeper notes. Not as green.

Fourth Steep: Twenty Seconds
Tobacco note is fading. Bit more like a new-styled iron buddha now.

Fifth Steep: Twenty Seconds
New day. Thought there were hints of smoke, but might have been mistaken. Starting to taste a bit spent, but still flavourful. See fourth steep.

Sixth Steep: Twenty Seconds
Still steeped a good colour, rather instantly, but the taste is a bit spent. Like steeping something a second time after the first steep was already three or four minutes long. Taste is still there, but most of the main notes have vanished.

Preparation
Boiling

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77

Finishing this one off, finally; the last of my A&D trio to go. Perfect timing actually, as Teavivre decided to include a free sample of their silver jasmine green tea in my order.

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Profile

Bio

I change icons often, apologies. On that note, they are usually Doctor Who related (so no, that is not me pictured in the icon, it is most likely one of the Doctors).

A tea-drinking transgendered Canadian, currently in the third year of college, majoring in geology (yes, “rocks and things”). I take most of my tea made straight into a mug, although occasionally if I’m not in a hurry (this isn’t often), I’ll have time to sit down with a pot. It’s the highlight of a good day if I have time for a pot.

My notes and reviews will often sound dis-jointed, repetitive and confused, as usually I don’t work on them as a whole, but rather add notes as I sip without rereading what I’ve already typed.

On most occasions I won’t take my tea with anything (I reserve milk for chai). Occasionally agave nectar if I want to test to see if it’ll smooth it out. Chais I will make with either the nectar or honey. Although on occasion I will sweeten unflavoured blacks the Russian way—with jam or jelly. Occasionally I will take it instead with a slice of a citrus fruit. Normally orange, occasionally lemon if I have any on hand.

When I was a kid, I used to experiment by ripping open bags of Tetley’s and stuffing in extra ingredients.

I prefer Earl Grey, and a good friend of mine (who considers himself a great tea enthusiast) hates me because of it. I cannot explain his irrational hatred of bergamot.

Also, I am a Doctor Who fanatic. As one may have noticed by my icons. For the record, my favourite Doctor is number three, Jon Pertwee.

“But you should never turn down tea, when it’s offered. It’s impolite, and impoliteness is how wars start.” ~Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann

Location

BC, Canada

Website

http://artoftea.teatra.de

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