80
drank Four Seasons by Samovar
403 tasting notes

Inspired by LiberTEAS “daily oolong,” I decided to have Four Seasons today; it’s a lovely oolong, and I have a nice little tin of it, and there is no reason not to simply indulge on occasion. No hoarding!

Moving on: brief rinse with boiling water, as suggested, then a short first steep. Lots of leaf, a level tsp in my little oolong pot. Color is a saturated gold/green. First sip makes me think of a garden, possibly a vegetable garden in spring. Green, rich, fresh, and just slightly floral; a little bit grassy and vegetal, but somehow in the best possible way.
Steep 2: temp drops from 200 to 190 pretty quickly if I don’t preheat the pot;
Steep 3: still only about 1:30 per steep and going strong
Steep 4 is starting to get a bit more grassy – boo
Steep 5 at 2 minutes was a little weak, but there’s still plenty of room to increase the time. All of these later steeps have been boiling water into room temp tiny glass pot, and that seems to work pretty well

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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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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