481 Tasting Notes

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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86

Sipdown. I bought an ounce of this and it went pretty fast. While it’s not something I have to have around all the time, I would definitely like to drink it again, so I’ll probably get another package in a few months. I haven’t found the bee pollen flavor from any other company; it tastes quite unique.

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70

A friend kindly sent me a sample of this. I really like the idea of pairing blueberry and currants — but neither is coming through strongly here. I get a hint of the currant, but I don’t think I would have guessed blueberry if it wasn’t in the name. I guess the acai is responsible for that hint of bitterness. Though I’m not that crazy about white tea, I think it’s a good choice here, as anything stronger would overwhelm the fruit flavors. Overall, not a must-have, but still a pleasant lightly-fruity tea.

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32
drank Je t'Aime by Nina's Paris
481 tasting notes

So I got a new bag of this in the mail today, but in contrast to the last batch I had of this, which was rich and strong and delicious, this batch just tastes old. The flavoring seems to have completely faded away; even the base tea tastes weak and worn out. Considering what a knock out the base is normally, I’m pretty disappointed :(

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87
drank Birthday Cake by DAVIDsTEA
481 tasting notes

The David’s order arrived! I first tried this in a sampler, and despite my emphatic no-rooibos policy, I liked it so much I ordered an entire rainbow tin. You can’t taste the rooibos at all, just decadent buttery frosted cake. It’s kind of over the top, but every once in awhile it’s nice to have something that just tastes fun.

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80

Sipdown! I think for me ATR’s Brioche edges this one out, but there are still a lot of nice aspects to this tea, and I definitely enjoyed it while it lasted.

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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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