486 Tasting Notes

This was good, but I’m finding it difficult to describe. There WERE lots of different flavor notes, but they were all quite subtle and melded together and I can’t really but my finger on what they were, except I could identify a sort of eucalyptus note. So I would say this is advanced level tea, whereas I am still at intermediate level (at best). Also was never convinced I was preparing it properly since I only have a small gravity steeper, none of the gongfu equipment that was recommended.

Nicole

I make mine in a gravity steeper most times. :) Personally, I don’t care for it gong fu style, but I can see that it might make it easier to identify the flavor notes if you were developing them over multiple quick steeps.

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75

Received this as a sample in my ATR order. It is pleasant, but not something I would seek out. Despite the Nilgiri base, it seems on the mild side. I taste the blackberry — the blueberry, not so much. If I were a blackberry tea fan, I might be more excited about this as it tastes very natural, but there are really just so many other fruit flavors that I prefer.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

Got to visit the New Mexico Tea Company shop in person! It was super cute, and of course smelled amazing. I picked up a sample of this because I wanted to compare it to Metropolitan’s Monk’s Blend. I haven’t done a side-by-side test yet, but I think I’m leaning toward this one, mainly because of the base. It’s very smooth, and Metropolitan’s seemed a bit on the astringent side. The vanilla and pomegranate flavors are nice and strong, but still blend well with the base.

Flavors: Grenadine, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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86

I’ve never tried Whispering Pines before, but I’ve heard lots of great things about their tea, so I was super excited to try the $5 sample pack deal. Today the box arrived :) First up, this lovely Jin Xuan. It’s not a really ‘buttery’ milk oolong, and I can’t detect the pineapple and coconut notes listed in the description, but it does seem slightly fruitier than the average milk oolong, and the flavor and mouthfeel overall is very smooth. Nicely done!

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90

I really didn’t want to see the last of this, so I’ve found myself rationing this out as far as it will go. But since ATR offered free shipping this weekend, I scored a new bag! So now I feel alright about finishing this one. It looks like this is the second to last cup. Still so good :)

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80

Sipdown. This tea was incredibly astringent hot, but delicious iced.

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75

Sipdown. This was fine. The Assam always stood out the most to me in this blend. I wouldn’t seek this out just because I’m not especially into Assam, but it seemed like good quality.

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Many thanks to Oolong Inc. for letting me sample this! Wow, never expected to find beans in my tea! I was very surprised with how the bean flavor came through. It was hearty and earthy and savory, and lent a kind of gravitas to the oolong. Even though I’ve eaten black beans all my life, I don’t think I would have identified this as ‘bean’ flavor in a blind test. It didn’t taste smoky to me, though perhaps it’s because when I think of smoky tea, I’m recalling the knock-out smokiness of a lapsang souchong. The tea has a lot of staying power and was still going strong after 3 steepings. I probably wouldn’t have picked this out for myself, because I tend to go for green oolongs, but I really enjoyed it!

They also had these questions which I’m answering here:
1. If my tea were found on Teavana or Republic of Tea, how much would you pay for it?
This is a little tricky to answer, just because the pricing on Teavana and Republic of Tea has very little to do with the quality of the tea and everything to do with the brands. The base price for loose leaf oolong on their websites seems to be about $13, but may be higher if they feel they can make a case for it being a hard-to-come-by tea. So I guess $13, or maybe a bit more if you feel the tea is in limited supply. That said, I wouldn’t actually buy oolong from Teavana or Republic of Tea, their quality isn’t that great.

2. If my tea were sold in supermarkets, how much would you pay for it?
Hmmm, context is a big factor here. I think the most I’ve ever seen tea go for in the supermarket is $8, so I wouldn’t price it higher than that. But people who buy their tea in supermarkets seem to expect everything to come in a tea bag.

3. Would a connoiseur like yourself steep a cup of our tea alone, after lunch in the office?
Of course! I have no problem drinking tea alone (more for me!) and I always have some tea after lunch.

4. What are its advantages over tea bags and K cups?
A rolled oolong doesn’t have enough room to expand in a tea bag, much less a K cup, so it wouldn’t be very flavorful if the tea was stuffed in those.

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Many thanks to Oolong Inc. for letting me sample this! From the name and the smell, I was expecting some version of a milk oolong, but the description is accurate: this tea smells like butter, but tastes sweet. I’ve had sweet green oolongs before, but they always had floral notes to them — this is the first one I’ve encountered that is sweet but not flowery. The slight mineral taste balances out the sweetness of the tea. Overall, a nice light afternoon cup.

They also had these questions which I’m answering here:
1. If my tea were found on Teavana or Republic of Tea, how much would you pay for it?
This is a little tricky to answer, just because the pricing on Teavana and Republic of Tea has very little to do with the quality of the tea and everything to do with the brands. The base price for loose leaf oolong on their websites seems to be about $13, but may be higher if they feel they can make a case for it being a hard-to-come-by tea. So I guess $13, or maybe a bit more if you feel the tea is in limited supply. That said, I wouldn’t actually buy oolong from Teavana or Republic of Tea, their quality isn’t that great.

2. If my tea were sold in supermarkets, how much would you pay for it?
Hmmm, context is a big factor here. I think the most I’ve ever seen tea go for in the supermarket is $8, so I wouldn’t price it higher than that. But people who buy their tea in supermarkets seem to expect everything to come in a tea bag.

3. Would a connoiseur like yourself steep a cup of our tea alone, after lunch in the office?
Of course! I have no problem drinking tea alone (more for me!) and I always have some tea after lunch.

4. What are its advantages over tea bags and K cups?
A rolled oolong doesn’t have enough room to expand in a tea bag, much less a K cup, so it wouldn’t be very flavorful if the tea was stuffed in those.

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84

Just got the 2016 spring harvest of this :) The smell is amazingly fresh! I don’t notice anything really different about the taste — but all the long jing I’ve ever had from Teavivre has been fairly fresh, I think, so I wasn’t expecting huge changes. It seems just a little bit floral, but I also steeped it about a minute longer than I meant to, so we’ll see how later cups turn out.

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Happiness Is:
green tea
black tea
lots and lots of oolong!
fruit
vanilla things
mint

Not Really My Style:
spices (except for ginger. ginger rocks)
chai (because, you know, the spices)
rooibos (I don’t get it. Everyone seems psyched for it. Not me).
those smoky teas, like lapsang souchong, though once in a while I’ll need something really strong and then I like them.
darjeeling

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gypsy status

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http://illcallyoufromparis.tu...

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