106 Tasting Notes

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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drank Himalayan Gold by Capital Teas
106 tasting notes

I look forward to my infrequent work trips, mainly because I have the opportunity to visit tea shops and cafes, something I don’t have the luxury to do here in my culturally alive but tea bereft area. On a recent trip to DC, I stopped into Teaism and had a nice cup of Golden Monkey and then bought a tin of this Himalayan Gold from Capital Teas.

I have to say, I have quickly become enamored of this tea. Of course it has the same general profile as a darjeeling, but with a lingering sweetness—Oolong-like in its floweriness—that sets it apart from its more astringent cousin.

I only wish Capital had more unflavored teas to choose from; I would certainly purchase from them again.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

This looks like Himalayan Gold from Nepali Tea Traders (non-profit) in Denver. They source tea from farms in Nepal, sell direct and wholesale. This is one of my favorites in their line of black tea’s. www.nepaliteatraders.com The sample sets are a really good way to try their tea’s if you enjoy tea from Nepal. (I don’t mind plugging a non-profit that helps the farmers!)

Doug F

I noticed the similarities between the two and had always meant to try teas from Nepal tea traders. Thanks for vouching for them.

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drank Black Beauty by Mandala Tea
106 tasting notes

My first foray into Mandala teas and I couldn’t be more pleased. This is a delicious, aromatic and refined tea that reminds me of an Old Tree Bohea. A mellow chai-like spiciness mingles with a honey-inflected sweetness to create a perfectly balanced cup. I can’t wait to try my Mao Cha and the two samples that were generously included with my order.

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

So very happy that you enjoyed this tea. I really appreciate you taking the time to write about your experience with it. Thank you. We have had some customers enjoy this tea at 195 degrees as well as 205, 208. It’s a pretty versatile tea, for sure. Enjoy the mao cha, my friend!

TeaBrat

this IS good!

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94

As the note says, a lucky find. The liquor is clean and smooth—not fishy at all—which allows the spearmint and mushroom flavor to shine through. A little bit of cherry rounds out the robust profile. A really excellent 10-year-old Shu for everyday drinking.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 30 sec

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Tea of the afternoon is this refined, sophisticated tea that really blossoms in the back of the throat with a blend of cinnamon, chocolate and citrus.

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Glorious tea. Like eating cotton candy and chasing it with the best Assam. There’s an upgrade? How is that possible?

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

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89

This is just a really solid Assam that I enjoy more and more with each cup. It isn’t the least bit bitter and has a more pronounced cocoa flavor than most Assams I’ve had. Not a lot of leaf is required to get a tasty and memorable cup.

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

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97

I’ve been drinking Shengs for a while now, but other than a couple selections from Verdant tea, most of my purchases have been moderately priced cakes and samples; they’ve been enjoyable but I felt it was time to really explore the upper echelons of raw pu-erhs and from what I learned, Tea Urchin was the place to go. I bought four samples and Eugene generously threw in a fifth and suggested I start with the manzhuan. This is a young tea and I bought these samples with an eye to getting a cake and aging it.

The first couple of steeps were sweet and complex with that lovely eucalyptus taste and a fruity base. Successive steeps became quite bitter (as I expected) but still very rich and tasty. Quality Shengs also generate heat and energy in the throat and chest and this one was no exception. I was buoyed along during the day on a steady tea high.

With this sheng—and, I’m sure, with my other more expensive samples—I feel like I’m crossing the borderland from tea to precious elixir.

Doug F

Still delicious and complex, with a tart, fruity sweetness reminiscent of apricots and grapefruit. The real deal!

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drank Organic Korakundah by Butiki Teas
106 tasting notes

As a passionate tea drinker, I’m always looking to expand my horizons. One of my growing interests has been green teas from places other than China and Japan, specifically those from Ceylon and Mainland India. I find them to be more robust and fruitier with a pronounced peach/plum taste. This one from Butiki deserves a wide audience; it’s quite complex and hearty but still fruity and clean. An excellent selection.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °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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