125 Tasting Notes

Funny, I didn’t get any astringency from this cup, even with a 4.5 minute brew time with near boiling water. Instead, like El Monstro, I found this to be a fruity yunnan with medium body, a nice change from the very rich yunnans I’ve been drinking lately.

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I returned from my uncle’s funeral service and was compelled to have a cup of this tea as it represents the rebirth of nature after a long cold winter.

Rachel J

Very sorry about your uncle, Doug.

TheTeaFairy

These few words said it all…sorry for your loss.

Doug F

Thank you both.

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I haven’t had this in a while and I forgot how well-balanced and enjoyable this is for an everyday tea. More spicy than sweet, with a hint of raisin and cinnamon. Seems immune to bitterness.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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I like the soft wither style of darjeelings because I feel they result in a darker, richer cup. The current fashion is for darjeelings to taste more like oolongs, so it’s not easy to find teas of this style. Luckily, Upton always procures a couple. This cup has a pleasant roasted note and a deep muscatel aroma. There’s not a hint of the astringency that can make darjeelings temperamental and it tastes like wild grapes chased with water from a cold rocky stream. A tea like this one is always one of the pillars of my tea collection.

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

It sounds lovely, may need to try this

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drank Zhen Qu by Butiki Teas
125 tasting notes

This has a similar flavor profile to other Yunnan teas I’ve been drinking but it has less oomph than I would like in a black tea, even with extra leaf and a longish steep. It does have a nice flavor of bran muffin with raisin and a hint of honey, making it a pleasant, easy tea to drink.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
125 tasting notes

Sometimes I enjoy being a contrarian when the vox populi is overwhelmingly laudatory about something. But in this case, I just can’t. I don’t know what it is about this tea, maybe it’s the perfect balance between spice and sweetness, or the brininess encapsulated in each mouthful, but my thirst for this tea is never slaked. I’m drawn to it like Ishmael to the sea.

Bonnie

Well said.

Rachel J

Do you happen to know which harvest you got? I just bought this and am not loving the heavily roasted (almost burnt) quality. I was reading other tasting notes and some people say that is a characteristic more prevalent in the current batch.

Doug F

I’ve had it for a while, so I think it’s from last spring. It’s funny, for a tea I like so much, I forget about it sometimes. I think the small packet gets lost among the large silver pouches from Upton.

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I steeped this for a good 5 minutes, thereby ensuring that the the earthy, forest-floor flavor would be emphasized at the expense of any subtler flavors. That’s fine by me—what drew me to ripe pu-erhs in the first place is the muddiness. I’m more likely to do short, multiple steeps for green pu-erhs. This 2007 tea is very easy to drink: smooth and sparkly.

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

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The sun comes out intermittently and teases us with spring, but when it leaves it feels like March. I’m not sure whether to have a fresh or floral spring tea to remind me that warmer days are coming or a darker black tea to warm my core. I spun the wheel and ended up with the last of this very nice Assam—not too heavy, pleasantly fruity, easy to drink straight any time of the day.

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Word has it that the first=flush season is not a good one, so I’m glad I have some of this stellar tea left. It has held up well—a heady mixture of honeysuckle, peach and freshly-mown grass, with that singular muscatel essence that makes tasting first-flush darjeelings the non-pareil experience in the tea world.

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drank Hu Kwa by Mark T. Wendell
125 tasting notes

The smell of wood smoke ignites some primal pavlovian need inside of me, especially on this bone-chilling day. The beautiful red hue of this tea begs for a glass mug and the deep, mellow taste never disappoints. This will always be a part of my inner circle of teas.

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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.)

Location

Maine

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