80
drank Four Seasons by Samovar
405 tasting notes

Alright tiny pot, here we go. 1 level tsp/4oz water. I did rinse the leaves with boiling water, for about 10 seconds, but I’m going under the recommended temp here because the leaves look pretty green and I’m desperately afraid of cooking them.

Steep 1: 2-ish minutes, 195°F
The first steep, hot out of the pot, smells like the most delicious butter I have ever tasted. A little bit cinnamon, a little bit cream. It tastes buttery too, and something else I can’t put my finger on (of course). It’s strikingly like drinking a soft buttered dinnerroll, in any case. There’s a sweet floral aftertaste though, very pleasant. It’ll be fun to see how this one goes.

Steep 2:
2:45, 185°F (I didn’t warm the pot as well this time). The color has been a bright yellow-green for both steeps; still smells very rich and buttery, though the scent fades as the tea cools.

Steep 3:
3:30, 200°F Should I be smelling chocolate in an oolong? I’m getting chocolate more than butter on this one. The color is a deeper yellow this time, probably due to hotter water. The flavor is starting to get a little more vegetal, but only a touch.

Steep 4:
4:30, 195°F Still good color, but the flavor is starting to weaken a bit – I’ll up the steep time more on the next. Definitely getting more vegetal tastes.

Steep 5:
~8 minutes, 205°F Seemed to still have some caffeine in it, which I didn’t expect. A bit bitter, but plenty of flavor left. These leaves probably could have done more, but I am well pleased.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 15 sec
JacquelineM

It sounds like 1 tsp is the way to go!

teabird

I might actually try it with less next time, and definitely didn’t feel like it needed more

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JacquelineM

It sounds like 1 tsp is the way to go!

teabird

I might actually try it with less next time, and definitely didn’t feel like it needed more

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Some notes on ratings:

I’d have separate rating scales for tea types if that were possible (probably Black, Flavored Black, Darjeeling/Dark Oolong, White/Green/Light Oolong, and Herbal) because the flavors and quality markers are just too different. A flavored black rated 100 isn’t better than every oolong I’ve ever drunk, just delicious for a flavored black.

Ratings are a combination of my enjoyment and the perceived quality – I do often demote teas a few points for artificial flavorings, small quantity of steeps supported, or weakness of flavor (requiring extra leaf).

I pay less attention to the number than the order of my ratings; I don’t necessarily keep a stock of everything rated 80+, but if two breakfast blends are rated 82 and 84 I consistently enjoy the 84 more.

And in case it’s not obvious? I am not an expert. I don’t even know what I like until I taste it sometimes, but I’m ok with that :) I like learning to like new teas, as well as enjoying the comfort of familiar ones.

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