167 Tasting Notes

96

I’m still somewhat of a neophyte when it comes to Oolongs, but I think I can recognize a truly spectacular one. This is both delicate and substantial at the same time with the perfect balance of melon, lemon and orange flavors. I’m still experimenting with steep times, but the tea is pretty forgiving and there’s something in each steep to enchant.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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95

This Sheng is developing nicely. The bitterness is fading and a strong throat feel is emerging along with camphor and mint. It takes a little while to get going but once it gets up to speed it’s hard to stop. Strong buzz from this one.

Preparation
0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 130 ML
mrmopar

This is a fine tea for sure.

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98
drank Hashiri Shincha by Den's Tea
167 tasting notes

I know I just reviewed this wonderful tea, but I wanted to also note how the experience of drinking this tea invalidates a lot of the thinking about tea types and caffeine. Personally, I’ve always felt that caffeine levels are not a true indicator of how a tea affects someone and that caffeine labels should be taken with a grain of salt. Case in point this shincha which shouldn’t be sending me for a loop based on caffeine alone but clearly has a chemical profile that is making me quite tea drunk! I’ve had many black teas that haven’t affected me nearly as much.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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98
drank Hashiri Shincha by Den's Tea
167 tasting notes

The 2016 version of this is absolutely delicious, incredible, and powerfully energizing. Getting my hands on some of this each spring has become a requirement and I’m not even much of a green tea drinker. But this transcends individual predilections and stands as a tea everyone should taste for its smooth, fresh vegetal taste.

The Greek gods ate ambrosia. . .this essential nectar can’t be too far off.

By the way, I brewed this three times in a Kyusu at 1 minute, 2 minutes and 2.5 minutes and didn’t experience any bitterness and the flavor endured.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
just john

I’ve been wanting to try this!

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89

I found this to be super flavorful with a heady perfume reminiscent of a darjeeling muscatel. Sweet apples and melon dominant the profile. Teabox has so much to explore and these Nilgiri teas definitely deserve attention. I’m thinking of signing up for their monthly subscription—there has not been one tea in the sample pack that I split with Big Daddy that I wouldn’t be happy to drink on a regular basis. So many seasonal varietals of Darjeelings, Ceylons, and Nilgiris!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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92

I’m actually commenting on zy83, purchased in the fall of 2015, but no matter—I find Upton’s Yunnan rare grade to be a reliably tasty brew that hits all the right notes for this style of tea: malty, caramel sweet, with a subtle peppery note. A great choice for those fans of Yunnan Sourcing’s Imperial Mojiang.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
TeaExplorer

I still have some ZY84 from 2014 that’s holding up quite well. I agree with your observation that it’s similar to the YS Imperial Mojiang.

Doug F

That’s pretty good endurance. I have to admit, I go through it pretty quickly!

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95

“I woke last night to the sound of thunder,” to quote Bob Seger, tremendously odd for February in Maine, and when I walked outside to 60 degrees, I knew I had to start my day with Spring Wonder. While this tea is less overtly honeysuckle-sweet than most first flush darjeelings, it is delicious nonetheless, with a buttery grape flavor and absolutely no astringency. I know spring hasn’t arrived yet, but for one day I can pretend it has.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank BaDa 2013 by pu-erh.sk
167 tasting notes

I had a very nice session with this Bada yesterday; last time the tea was mercurial, but this time I discovered a pretty stable flavor profile comprised of mint, nuts, and apricots, with a steady increase in sweetness throughout the session. The leaves were small, so even the early steeps were flavor-rich.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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This tea makes me feel so damn good! It tastes like white peach and bee pollen with a hint of sugar and has absolutely no bitterness. I’m left with a nice fullness in the back of the mouth and a feeling of intense well-being. It reminds me of some Nilgiri whites I’ve been sampling lately, minus the rosewater.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 130 ML
TeaBrat

sounds great :)

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90

Golden monkey style teas have always been a staple in my tea cupboard and Upton always offers a couple solid versions that serve well as regular drinkers. This one has a nice aroma—raisin, plum and a little smokey tobacco. The taste reminds me of the brittle caramelized top of a creme brulee partnered with the earthiness of prunes. It’s very smooth, moderately dark, a tad smokey and has a great, long-lasting aftertaste.

Everyone has experienced that moment when you stand in front of your stash, ruminating over your choice for the day, saying to yourself, “I really should drink this one today; it’s been awhile.” But then you choose that same comforting selection that you reach for maybe six or seven times out of ten. This golden monkey is one of the latter.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
TeaBrat

I want some!

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Profile

Bio

I love tea and living in a place that is cold or cool nine months of the year, tea is a constant source of warmth and education. I always drink tea straight and rarely drink flavored teas or Tisanes, except for the occasional Rooibos. I’m a proud father of two young boys, an avid skier, motorcyclist, reader, and runner. I have a doctorate in English (dissertation on Emily Dickinson.)

Location

Maine

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