60 Tasting Notes

81

I’m confused! I mean it happens easily but I just can’t seem to get a grasp on what I like and what I don’t. I’m pretty sure I don’t like green teas, not even green oolongs, then this happens.

So thank you LiberTEAS for this sample. I don’t have a lot to say about it. Moroccan Mint is… well, minty. I’m sure that this is a stark revelation for many but I’m known for having a steely sense of discernment so don’t feel inadequate or anything.

On top of minty this drink is crisp and refreshing. This would be a good tea to clean the palate with. I like it…mostly because I don’t taste the green but that’s beside the point. It just means I can’t completely scratch anything off of the list yet.

tunes-Widespread Panic=Pickin’ Up The Pieces/Diner/You’ll Be Fine/Gimme/Impossible/jam

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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72

Happy anniversary to me! I’ve been on Steepster one month now. I know, I know…it feels like ages since you’ve first started seeing my posts make my way onto your computer screen…kinda like when I’m talking to my wife about one of my many aches and pains and she says “you’ve been complaining about that for ages” or “it’s been ages since you’ve done something romantic for me”. Hopefully not too many of you associate me with a negative overtone but either way I’ll keep writing until I hear otherwise.

Again I had an errant expectation about today’s tea. I hadn’t read the maker’s description and was unaware that this was a greener oolong. I’m still in an inexperienced state so I’m not sure if the spring picking is why it is that way, but can only assume it to be. The liquor was somewhat a darker brown. Dry leaf was floral and once infuzed it took on a wood/dry grass aroma.

First sip I found to be pretty grassy with a bit of nutty notes and it left a faint sweetness I noticed when I licked my lips. A few drinks later and the nutty had transformed into a wood/acorn note while the grassy notes had increased. More and more I’m seeing the greener tastes phasing out of my personal selections, though this being an oolong and not a straight green tea has made it much more tolerable. I can definitely say that there is little to no astringency.

All in all it’s a fine cup that I could keep on drinking but won’t steep past the second steeping because I have darker oolongs to drink instead. I’ve read online a little about oolongs trying to decipher the greener from darker ones but haven’t seen a formula yet.

Wife was going through her old college CD’s, so the selection of music hinged on that.
tunes-Dave Mathew’s Band=Captain/Grey Street/Two Step/The Stone/ Granny/Minarets

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

The green oolongs are less oxidized. The darker ones are usually “roasted” one way or another. Why heat at all? If you cut up an apple, it turns brown pretty fast, it oxidizes. If you bake that apple, it doesn’t. The heat arrests the oxidation. Same with tea. Leaves are bruised or withered, and oxidized. How much oxidation and processing determines, more or less in order, whether it is white, yellow, green, green oolong, dark oolong, or black. I am not that smart, I stole this from somewhere that I read it, don’t remember where now! Correct me, everyone, if I got something wrong!

Butiki Teas

You will definitely want to look for something that is more oxidized. Our 2003 Reserve Four Season Oolong was oxidized between 20-30%.

Butiki Teas

So anything that says lightly oxidized, is something that you will want to stay away from.

Azzrian

I don’t know ashmanra but I do love this tea. :)
Happy Anniversary! Tomorrow is my 6 months anny!

Butiki Teas

Oh yeah and happy Steepsterversary!!!

HyBr1d

Charcoal dark roast dong ding’s or tieguanyin’s all the way! They tend to turn to fruity and roasty, instead of flowery and perfumey :) I’ll be doing tasting notes again around the middle of October, not enough time now :( Hopefully you will zero in on your own optimal flavor profile, tunes! Happy cupping :)

Bonnie

Happy one month! Love that you include music notes!

Hesper June

Happy one month anniversary!

TheTeaFairy

Happy one month, hope you stay around!

Ninavampi

Yay! Happy Month!!! :)

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60
drank Bananas Foster by 52teas
60 tasting notes

Sadly, it pains me to write this note. I guess I shouldn’t have had the high expectations that I did, though. So many people have written their ravings over this tea and I love bananas and so I thought that this tale would end with me penning, typing rather, the words ‘and everyone lived happily ever after’…such is not the case.

As I said I shouldn’t have had such I high expectation. To clue you in to what this tea was for me I could first mention that I should maybe change my name officially to ASTRINGENCY WEENIE MAN. It seems it has come into play during several of my recent notes. This will be no exception.

I will go into little detail. I will simply say that the drink started out with strong cinnamon flavor with the vanilla/banana coming soon after. The obvious problem is that I could not get through the strong astringent ‘like licking chalk’ sort of ‘mouth devoid of all moisture’ effect it played on my tongue.

I’m certainly sure it’s me, it’s all me (sounds like every other break-up I had in my yoot-youth). Too many others had nothing but good to say about it so don’t consider what I’ve had to say, though my wife didn’t like it either.

no tune,flick (kinda like’no Coke-Pepsi) The Grey/ with Liam Neeson

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
ashmanra

Is it okay if we just call you AWM? It’s lots shorter.

tunes&tea

Touche, ASH, touche.

LiberTEAS

Try brewing this at just under boiling water (I brewed my cup at 200 degrees F), and this should help lighten the astringency. I did not notice it much at all.

Azzrian

I thought this was okay but I am not in love with it myself. I will try your advice LiberTEAS

ashmanra

LOL! I would be your trusty sidekick, because I am definitely “Astringency Weenie Lady.”

Daniel Scott

I really dislike astringency as well. It’s something that will bump a cup down from “good” to merely “interesting” for me – as in, that’s interesting, I can tell it’s well-blended…but I’ll never like it.

tunes&tea

Glad to see that wasn’t scoffing Ashmanra,especially after the women lumberjack thing.And Daniel also, I’m glad to see I’m not the only one.I was starting to feel like an outcast to true tea connoissuer-ism.

ashmanra

I couldn’t drink Assam or Darjeeling for the longest time, and that was why. It has to be REALLY good ones and I give a short steep to keep the astringency down, but mostly I just avoid lots of Indian teas. The astringency gives me heartburnas well as being distasteful to me,

Finn88

ugh disappointed to hear that, Banana Foster sounds delicious until the chalk description lol

CHAroma

I’ve never licked chalk, but I can imagine it would be an all-together unpleasant experience. Sorry this wasn’t a winner for you. :(

Ze_Teamaker

Out of curiosity how much leaf to water ratio did you do? I made up a batch today and put in a bit more leaf then usual and noticed it had a more pronounced astringent flavor then normal.

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79

Thank you LiberTEAS for this sample. I’m gonna jump right in and say that this is a bold cuppa. My palate was a little sleepy from the half hour I laid down- that was supposed to be sleep (4th week on third shift that this has happened) so the first sip GRABBED me. I was about to write something to the effect of ‘if this is Canadian breakfast I’m starting to think that they’re all lumberjacks and steelworkers-including the women’, but within a few sips I got used to and started to really appreciate the boldness it has (and yes I realize that women can equally fill the roles of lumberjack and steelworker. My wife and I are both commercial/industrial painters who may be climbing steel,hanging off the side of a building,or just painting the walls of a brand new hospital on any given day,so no offense intended).

Soon after I got used to the initial boldness I started really seeking out the malt aspect. I must agree with the makers description that there is an oak characteristic, though I’m not too sure how flowery it is. For me the touch of sweet I find is subdued by an equal touch of smoke…almost a mesquite, but ever so slight. I- ‘THE ASTRINGENCY WEENIEam shocked to find that the astringency most other taste notes spoke of was hardly present…at first. This may be because, out of fear, I elected to steep this for two and a half of the three to five minutes suggested. At first, I only found slight dryness on the roof of my mouth with very little on my tongue not sure if that’s normal or not.
As the cup cooled, as cups always do, the astringency rose a bit as well as the malty notes. Now my tongue was getting that dry, almost chalky, feeling.

Second steep was three minutes with a little less water. As before the cup started out smoother before cooling. Out of curiousity I checked it when pouring my cup-one hundred ninety degrees farenheit. It’s not as complex either. Maybe a little less water still would be in order. Mostly what’s left is a semi-sweet malt flavor that gains astingency when it cools. That’s all I got, a pretty good cuppa especially to start the day with.

tunes-Benny Goodman=Mambo Swing,Louis Prima=St.Louis Blues/Just A Gigolo(David Lee Roth didn’t write this song),Charlie Byrd=So Danco Sambo/A Carol For All Seasons

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
tunes&tea

Not sure how I ended up crossing out that portion of note, but I meant for it to be in there.

Charles Thomas Draper

I used to see Sam Butera and the Wildest {I do not know if he wrote it but he made it popular way before Roth} perform at the Rendezous Lounge at Resorts International in Atlantic City in the early to mid 80s….

Autumn Hearth

Ha, your judgement of Canadian Breakfast made me laugh, I have not tried one but I remember thinking similar things of Irish and Scottish Breakfast. Also the first time I tried an Oriental Beauty I read the back of the tin and it said it was a favorite of Queen Victoria. After the first two sips I declared out loud “Well the Queen’s taste in tea was rubbish!”. I actually ended up enjoying it on later infusions, I never wanted the buttery notes to end, wasn’t able to replicate it in subsequent sessions though :/

TheTeaFairy

Hahaha! As a Canadian WOMAN your review worried me at first with the lumberjack thing, but great recovery!

ashmanra

I get a little breathless on anything over the third step of a ladder, so props to you and your wife. I did FORCE myself to go on my mom’s roof often to sweep just so I wouldn’t have to call it a phobia. And I painted the outside of my mom’s house, even the fascia boards and soffits, and only hyperventilated a little bit! LOL!

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78

Thanks LiberTEAS for this sample. Let me start by saying this is a good tea to break me (or anyone else needing broken in I suppose) to green teas in that I’ve not had but a couple I enjoyed and I am an oolong fan so obvious deduction= green oolongs.

Dry leaf is, as you would expect- green (shocker) and smells floral and maybe even fruity. The liquor steeped to a bright yellow with just a tad of greenish brown. Wet leaf smells very green indeed, kinda like seaweed maybe.

I was happy to see that, although this is a green oolong, it starts out not overpoweringly green and with a certain amount of nutiness in the sip. A faint sweetness is present, aside from the organic kind of sweetness I associate with grasses,but there’s not a strong enough presence for me to decipher what it resembles. The level of astringency is within my embarrassingly low threshold of tolerance for enjoyment. It, as I’m learning, leaves my palate feeling clean without any kind of bitter aftertaste. As the cup cools the grassiness becomes stronger, thereby reinforcing my earlier statement that it’s a good drink to break in to greens with. With the utmost of manners it brought me along into it’s vegative flavor and in turn kept itself from being poured out prematurely. Who knew that common manners could be so self preserving.

Since the cordial mannerisms of this tea were worthy to make mention I also deemed it worthy a second steeping. Fret not those of a frugal mindset; I shall not waste this sample but rather once this note is finished will continue steeping for any family members enthusiastic about drinking it during the wind down moments before bed.

Second steeping; a little info to start- often times I try to split even small samples in half in case I oversteep or something. I’m not stocked up on teaware yet so to do this I use one of those two cup glass pots with the finum basket inside you see at Asian groceries. It loses temp quickly. That said, when I went to steep a second time I forgot to set a timer (do not mock my primitive means you fortunate ‘Breville One Touch’ owners) and it went for maybe ten minutes. To my surprise it wasn’t bitter or overly strong…it seemed fine. I can only now assume that with the rapid temperature loss that the tea ‘stopped’ steeping once it got low enough. It was greener still,with a slightly more dry mouthfeel which may have been due to oversteeping. Generally this was a good tea, just not so much for me with my slowly but surely leaning away from green stuff palate.

tunes-Johnny Cash=Hurt/Rusty Cage/Thirteen/God’s Gonna Cut You Down

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

Once you learn to like oolong you will find it re-steeps many times. Often the third cup is my favorite.

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85

WOOO!!! It’s the weekend! Sorry for any of you who work weekends, but surely you get some form of weekend or time off or you atleast make alot of money because you work so much and your happy about your days off or all the money you make and I will be happy for you, but right now it’s my weekend…. A HOLIDAY WEEKEND, and so I’m elated, not to mention that I can finally do some tasting notes (deep breath of air), which I’ve been too busy to do all week.
Now that that’s out of the way…

I started a tasting note on this tea last night, but did not pay attention to the time and ended up having to shut the computer off and lose what I had started to go to work (boo hiss).

I want to thank LiberTEAS for this sample that I was very glad made it into my sample box. The dry leaf smelled like something I would eat for breakfast-sweet and syrupy. The color of this tea was a deep redish brown. I can’t seem to make out in my hand written note what the wet leaf smelled like though.

The first few sips I got a strong woody/walnut impression that leaned toward, but not quite, malty. Within a few sips I started to detect the buttery sweet notes that would end up being present throughout. I was second geussing myself as to whether it was a floral sweetness or not, so I won’t commit either way.Then came the malty! I’m not overly excited about malty tea, but this one has a great balance of malt/wood/sweet worth noting. There’s enough malt to give it more depth, yet still allow it to be a sweet gulper once it’s cool enough. It’s got a little dryness, but not bitter at all, and there’s a woody aftertaste with just a little sweetness mixed in.

All in all, a fine cuppa and a wonderful suggestion by LiberTEAS.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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80

Another from AZZ’s generosity. Though I saw mixed reviews on this one I still went into it optimisticly, yet this optimism was soon tempered once opening the bag to smell the dry leaf- a strong artificial cinnamon smell that you often find with scented candles. The color of the liqour was a deeper brown and the wet leaf smelled slightly more appealing than it did dry.

First drink I was surprised, intrigued actually. There was a certain degree of complexity right away. The nutty tones mingled nicely with the dark chocolate ones. It’s so nice when flavors can play well together and no ‘time outs’ need to be administered. The slight astringency was easy to overlook when considering all that my mouth had to process. The chili was so faint it was barely detectable, which I was glad since I’ve not had chili in tea yet and didn’t want to be overwhelmed by the spice. The bold black flavor played well in this drink for me too.

My wife loved the tea and stated “this may be my favorite so far”…which she ended up saying three times today in all. To be fair she is even newer than me and so I try to bring her along as much as possible. I must also note that, in general, when I list low to moderate astringency in a tea she tells me she doesn’t find any at all. Again I’m an astringency weenie.

We liked it, my soon to be sixteen year old as well, though the wife liked it most. This tea made it on her "one to buy’ list until,that is, she tried another tea. That is another note altogether isn’t it.

tunes-Richie Havens=Freedom/Eleanor Rigby/Motherless Child/Here Comes The Sun

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85

Thank you so much for this generous sample,Butiki Teas. Once again, I have to comment on the pristine condition of the leaves. I am just so impressed at the care with which this sample was obviously handled. They infuse beautifully as well, yeilding a bright yellow liquor.

I just did a note on a Bao Zhong and wasn’t too impressed so the fact that greener teas are not among my favorites could dictate some of what I write. For me the Bao Zhong leans hard toward the green side of oolongs. That said I am still impressed with the overall taste I’m currently experiencing. There are delicate intertwining notes of citrus,vanilla,floral notes, and green sweetness. The pineapple is genuine tasting-I’ve heard complaints about other teas attempting to create this flavor unsuccessfully. There’s a buttery creaminess that seems to come from the vanilla that is so prominant in the aftertaste as well. The green portion of this tea gives me that tidbit of dryness, though it’s still juicy and mouth watering. My wife insists that she detects no dryness or astringency whatsoever and she only finds the buttery creaminess throughout.

I ended up steeping this tea three times. The flavors all settled down into a mellow tasty cup. Somewhere in there I was able to appreciate the Bao Zhong part alot more with the subtle blending of added flavors. Thanks again Stacy, a wonderful drink indeed. I look forward to the other samples you’ve sent me yet to be tried. I’m sure to love them.

tunes-Adele=Crazy For You/Fool That I Am/Make You Feel My Love/Lovesong
I enjoy her classic jazz songs best and she chooses some greats to do covers tunes of.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 45 sec
canadianadia

What an amazing description you gave! I can almost taste it ~ slurp

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84

Thank you LiberTeas for this sample. I hate to admit that I was busy choosing Beatles songs, wow what a list they have, and I oversteeped…twice. This note is then suspect by default.

The color-a nice pale golden green, lead me to believe I was OK since it hadn’t darkened. There was a little bitterness that may or may not have been there under normal circumstances. The wet leaves were crowded in my little infuser pot and had I read K S’ note first I woulda used my press as well. The smell was more grassy than nutty/woody.

The first sip threw me when I tasted that same grassy flavor. There was less wood and more vegetive flavor-like dry grass I think. This gave way to nuttiness that then gained a malty coppery edge. All of this happened within the first two steeps, I lost track of which steep I was on in the descriptive notes I was jotting down. Don’t let me forget the overall but slightly muted honey sweetness. The second steep (I believe) added a tiny bit of charcoal too.

Did a third steep and saved a little face with myself,though I know I missed out on some stuff in first two go arounds. Sweeter note more pronounced. More floral notes to the smell. And finally, it’s now less like dry grass and getting up into lighter wood flavor. You win some you lose some, right? I hold nothing against this tea and rather fault myself. We shall meet again I may have to force myself to listen to top 40 pop during tasting so that I have absolutely no fear of getting distracted.

tunes-as I said The Beatles(said in Ed Sullivan voice with the gesturing of hand)=Norwegian Wood/Ob La Di,Ob La DA/I Saw Her Standing There(where I started to get got)/I Want You-She’s So Heavy(where I finished getting got)/Rocky Racoon

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

You speak of things I remember seeing. The Beatles on Ed Sullivan and I remember going to a ‘Sock Hop’ when the new song hit was ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ (Not, I Want To Hold Your Hand)….at Leigh High School in San Jose,CA. My cousins and brother were surfers going over the hill to Santa Cruz …loved me some Beach Boys!

ashmanra

I was totally shocked a couple of weeks ago when an instrumental version of Norwegian Wood came on and hubby said he didn’t know the song. Naturally I made him listen to the original! He usually knows a lot more music than I do, but I guess having a brother who was 17 years older than me exposed me to some older music hubby would not have heard.

TheTeaFairy

Hard to pick a Beatles favorite song, isn’t it? Been a fan since I was 4 years old… kept begging for my mom to put the “white album” on, OB-LA-DI, OB-LA-DA made me giggle :-)

gmathis

I grew up thinking Rocky Raccoon and Piggies were children’s songs!(Was the youngest by 11-14 years.) Oh, yeah, and “I’m En-er-y The Eighth I Am!”

Lynne-tea

Rocky Raccoon!! That brings back such great memories

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75
drank Bao Zhong by Rishi Tea
60 tasting notes

I wasn’t blown away by this tea simply because I’ve not gotten into greens much. Beautifiul gold color and nice floral aroma. The drink was like fresh cut grass-wet grass,very green. There was a crisp water chesnut tone in there with a melon sweetness as well. I think the floral was more smell than taste. The astringency was low, but enough to make it not shine for me. By the third steep it had lost alot and only had simpler oolong notes to remain. Even though less grassy is a plus for me I opted to move on to another oolong so I can crank out another note this morn.

This is the third weekend that I skipped a night’s sleep due to the third shift adjustment to first shift for the weekend. This forty year old body is not digging it.

So I talked to Incindiare earlier and she reminded me of my heavy metal background as a yoot(youth). So I blew the dust off of some old grunge for this tasting. Not metal, but as close as I can get at 5:00am with no sleep.

tune-Alice In Chains=Love,Hate,Love/Nutshell Mad Season=Long Gone Day Pearl Jam=Garden/Release Soundgarden=Gun/4th Of July/ Nirvana unplugged=Where Did You Sleep Last Night

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

nice review! Also love your taste in music, oh! Alice, Pearl, Soundgarden and Nirvana, bring them back memories! Still listening to them from time to time! I remember when I first saw that MTV unplugged Nirvana concert and how Kurt Cobain’s sensitivity had touched me…miss him.

CupofTree

Yes good tastes.. Unplugged is still one of my favorite albums.

HyBr1d

Lol I have been playing guitar for somewhere around 14 or 15 years :) Soundgarden is probably my favorite band, or more accurately, Chris Cornell is probably my favorite guitarist! Complex, challenging, yet still ‘grungy.’ Oh and he’s great with alternate tunings(which is probably the biggest influence I’ve picked up from him!)
Btw, hybrid is something I’ve used in all my Internet/gaming names since linkin parks hybrid theory came out, and has nothing to do with hybrid cars! Too bad lp sold out, I can’t listen to anything they have done since meteora :(

Dylan Oxford

You’re missing out if you stopped listening after Meteora. Minutes to Midnight is probably one of the best nu-metal albums ever released.

HyBr1d

I’ll respectfully disagree, after the fort minor side project, the whole rap rock synergy was lost. Of course it’s a difference of opinion, let’s just say that my sis was never really a rock listener, but lp was something her and I could always listen to together. She feels the same as I do. No big deal though, I understand that they probably appeal to a much wider audience now and are able to make more money. If I were ever in a big time band I would probably do the same thing, but as an old school lp style fan, I can’t listen to the new stuff. And I tried with the cd after meteora which I think was mtmn, there were only two songs I liked, and personally I won’t listen to a cd where 2 of 12-16 are songs I like. Again, not bashing your opinion at all, just wanted to give an explanation for mine :) With meteora and hybrid theory I could listen through the whole albumn, maybe 2 or 3 songs between the two I didn’t care for. But what can I say, things look a lot different after you have been playing guitar for a while. I always say that I loved nirvana until I started playing! Lol I feel that may prompt a big response :(

As for tea, I would recommend The Formosa classic dong ding dark roast from aurateas. It has a nice fruity type flavor that kinda reminds me of a dancong oolong! I’ve only taken it to maybe 10 steeps, so there could possibly be some vegetal/floral flavors I haven’t picked up on yet. I am not a floral/vegetal fan, so a dark roast dong ding may be something you may like :)

Btw I have somewhere between 16-19 guitar tracks up on YouTube, I could pm the link if anyone would want to check them out(feel bad enough I diverted so much from tea I’d rather not do it publicly)

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Profile

Bio

Dave here.
I’m trying to get back into the swing of things as far as writing reviews. my tastes have changed greatly from when I was last on here, Now I typically drink sheng puerhs daily, though I’m really looking forward to getting enough good blacks to equally divide my time between the two. I occasionally drink white, yellow, & greens but still stay away from blends & non-camellia sinensis. I’m no authority & always welcome suggestions.

I’m a wimp when it comes to astringency so take anything I say about this characteristic with a grain of salt(ASTRINGENCY WEENIE MAN, or AWM for short).

Other ramblings;
About tunes; I, like many, love them. I like adding them to my notes, but I feel like if someone were, let’s say knitting or painting or reading a book, that it would help the readers to get a better feel for how the writer may be impressioned about his environment toward his tea experience.

I wish I would have paid more attention to the grammer teachers so many years ago and not doodling band insignias. I should revisit the proper use of commas for starters, which I love.
I also love, and probably over use, parenthesis (the use of them may be a second personality coming to surface).

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