405 Tasting Notes

57
drank Champagne Oolong by PuerhShop.com
405 tasting notes

More deep orange-gold in color than pale, but I suppose that will fade on later steepings – still, a lovely color. Definitely getting the fruity/muscatel flavor, and maybe a bit of amaretto nuttiness as well as the roastiness of a Formosa. Good, but not my favorite oolong

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec

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80

First steeping is being a bit harsh this time, more smoky than sweet; I’ll try a higher water-to-tea ratio on the next. Milk softens the harshness, but it feels like a shame to add anything to such a normally classy tea. For those who found a caramel taste – do you add anything? Cream/sugar/honey?

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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51
drank Summer Kiss by Red Leaf Tea
405 tasting notes

More tart than sweet, a dollop of honey would likely do some good. Tastes predominantly of hibiscus, but to be fair it is… softer, if not sweeter, than plain hibiscus tea. I was disappointed that the rosebuds didn’t come through more. Still, if you like the floral tartness of hibiscus and rosehips, but want something a little less sour, this may be the tea you’re looking for.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Fujian Baroque by Adagio Teas
405 tasting notes

My go-to black tea, lately, this is a solid pick. More cocoa and spice on the nose than the palate, but I am drinking it with milk, to be fair. Adagio calls it “velvety” and that’s not wrong. I also haven’t managed to oversteep it, despite my best attempts – soft, with little or no astringency, without being bland. I’ll likely buy more when this 4oz runs out.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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61
drank Huang Jin Bolero by Adagio Teas
405 tasting notes

Aroma, flavor, and after taste are all faint, but enjoyable; Hints of honey and flowers. Color is pale green. There is a slight astringency – it’s possible 3 minutes is too long. The 2nd steep is at least as good as the first.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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89
drank Dancong Aria by Adagio Teas
405 tasting notes

On a second steeping the color is just as vibrant if not more so, and a bit yellower than the first. I think it got sweeter too, though that might just be because my water was a little cooler. The honey/tropical fruit flavors are more pronounced.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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89
drank Dancong Aria by Adagio Teas
405 tasting notes

Several seconds after sipping, there’s an intriguing tropical fruit aftertaste; I’m not too familiar with orchids, but there is certainly a floral aroma. I’m suddenly tempted to try drinking this out of a wine glass to concentrate the aromas! There’s a warm roasted flavor on the front of the tongue, but the overall impression is fruity, probably due to that aftertaste. I like it – but I think I like it more after drinking than while drinking. ETA: As it cooled, the roasted notes gave way to a much peachier taste – not a bad thing.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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75

Quantity matters as much as steeping time: last time I steeped exactly 4 minutes, but went a little overboard with the leaves (I usually like my black tea strong) and it came out harsh; this time I used an even teaspoon on an 8oz cup, and with a bit of milk it’s just perfect. Warm, malty and satisfying.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

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76

I’m not usually a big herbal or mint tea fan, but this is great for what it is (a remedy tea). The taste is pleasant, mild, and minty. I have a cup whenever I have cramps or general stomach pains, with a bit of honey, and usually find it soothing. Way cheaper than similar blends from Traditional Medicinals.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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Bio

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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