104 Tasting Notes

91

Such an amazing blend of citrus-flavored green pu-erh leaves-beautiful to look at as they unfurl in my SamaDoyo glass mug, but even better to drink. No trace of bitterness with a thirst-quenching snap! Love it!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Garret

Hi Doug! Thanks for writing up your thoughts on this tea! This particular mao cha is the autumn 2013 picked. Great stuff now, better in 1 year. I just had 500 cakes of this same mao cha pressed into pu’er in China. If you haven’t tried the Wild Monk cake from spring 2012, I recommend it. Our customers are flying through it here, but we still have 200 or so cakes left. Definitely worth the try. You will see differences and similarities between it and what you are sipping right now.

It’s what I drank before and after my 6 mile cold and snowy run this morning. It kept me feeling light and strong!
Grateful,
Garret

Doug F

Hi Garret, I do have the small cake, but I wanted to try it again before writing a review. Maybe this evening after I make my way home in yet another snowstorm.

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drank Qing Pin by Yezi Tea
104 tasting notes

A delicious tea and everything you would want in a China black. Chocolatey and fruity with an interesting hint of licorice—smooth, refined with a lingering honey sweetness. It also provided great sustained energy. I’m loving this trend towards farm-sourced teas!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Black Beauty by Mandala Tea
104 tasting notes

Maybe it’s because I’m an INFP on the Meyer’s-Briggs scale, but my choice of what tea to drink usually comes down to opening the cupboard, twirling the lazy Susan and waiting for something to jump out at me.

When I find myself reaching for the same tea over and over, I figure it should be a staple in my collection. Well, the Black Beauty qualifies. Unlike other people, I find this to be quite dry and clean in the mouth balanced by a nice burnt sugar taste and an almost chai-like spiciness. It’s definitely becoming one of my comfort teas—perfect for these bone-chilling New England days.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Anna

…and I like to methodically go through my teas in accordance with a predetermined structure. There’s always a plan B, C, D, E and F, of course, just in case. (INTJ)

Doug F

Hmmm. Do I sense sarcasm?

Anna

No, not at all, that’s actually how I do it, haha!

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I think Ceylon teas might be the MUTs (Most Underated Teas) of the tea world. Like the classic design of a Corvette Stingray or a Schott leather jacket, the crisp, lemony flavor of this Kirkoswald Estate offering will never go out of style.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
boychik

Agree. I would never say no to a good Ceylon. My husband’s coworker brought a tin of a excellent Ceylon from Sri Lanka. He said that he never had full leaf himself only CTC because its very expensive for Sri Lanka people.

Doug F

That’s funny—even a good whole leaf is pretty affordable here—$5 or $6 for a quarter pound. Upton always has a bunch of good ones and usually some green Ceylon teas as well, which I really like.

BigDaddy

Can’t fit in my Schott any more, never could afford a corvette but I can drink Ceylon teas. Thanks for the review will give it a try sometime.

yyz

To put things in perspective when I was in India I stayed at a basic hostel geared to Indian workers for a little over $12 ( probably less than that, I am using modern exchange rates) a month. My friends Dad paid $9.00 for a small flat inside the old part of Jaipur and a room in a poorer part of Old Delhi was the same. Although rents were comparable to here in other parts of the city. You could get a kilo of bananas for under 10 cents. I took a 6 hour bus ride for under a dollar and it puts into perspective why higher grades of tea could be seen as expensive by a large part of the population.

TeaBrat

My favorite from the Region is Sam Bodhi by Palais de thes

Doug F

Yes. It’s all about perspective. I imagine that the same Ceylon I pay five dollars for 125 grams costs a lot less in India. I’m definitely grateful for everything I can enjoy as citizen of a prosperous country.

Doug F

Thanks TeaBrat! I’ll have to try the Sam Bodhi.

yyz

Definitely! I have no idea how much loose tea was there. Most of my friends just bought it from chai stands you’d order it for about 2.5 INR. Less than 5¢.

yyz

As well the economic situation is very different there now, then when I was bthere. For example the pink box Lopchu ( higher grade) didn’t seem to make it over here this year suggesting that there is more of a local demand for it.

boychik

It’s by MlesnA Victorian Blend selected Orange Pekoe. It’s in a pretty tin 200 gr

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drank Golden Monkey by Teavana
104 tasting notes

I have not been a Teavana customer, but I found myself with a couple of Starbucks gift cards courtesy of co-workers and decided to see what the coffee giant has done with the place. The Pittsburgh location (I spent the holidays there with my wife’s family)was glitzy and the selection weighted towards flavored teas. I always love a good golden monkey and thought I would give it a try (though it was overpriced).

Let’s just say that I was a bit underwhelmed. The tea was fairly weak and I really had to breathe in while drinking to grasp the flavor profile (cherry tobacco/red wine/nutmeg). A frustrating experience—like straining to run in a dream and flailing.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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A tea to be savored, this delicate Keemun does not feature the smokey tobacco flavor of some, but the alluring blend of spice (cinnamon and allspice) and red wine is delicious. This is not an in-your-face tea, but often restraint is the essence of beauty.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Himalayan Gold by Capital Teas
104 tasting notes

I’m really digging this tea. It’s a little more syrupy than a darjeeling, less astringent. I just want to chug it.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Bet this is from Nepal…fruity but not a real darjeeling, much richer. If it’s from Nepali TEA Trader’s it’s very good. (They sell there tea to shops)

Bonnie

Their not there

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When it comes to green tea, I’m pretty much a meat and potatoes guy. Other than first-flush senchas, I don’t really search out anything too refined. I’m satisfied with a good basic tea on those occasions when I want something with less caffeine; still I favor robust greens, and I remember drinking this gunpowder and liking it.

Well, it’s even better than I remember it and quite a bargain (a little leaf goes a long way). I love the wood-fire smokiness and the thick broth. It really is the lapsang suchong of green teas. A perfect winter green.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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This might be my favorite Ceylon tea from Upton so far and a true bargain. The tea is light, lemony, minty and very refreshing—one of those do-it-all teas that is great at any time of the day and should satisfy a wide range of tea drinkers.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Trying to finish this up so I can, in good conscience, dive into my new Sungma second flush. It’s more roasty than other darjeelings but I like the richness.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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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.)

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Maine

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