Swap Sample Sipdown! (16 | 85)

This was one of many oolong samples that the lovely Kawaii433 saw fit to share with me!

So full disclosure, li shan and ali shan oolong are not my favorites. They have a tendency to be quite floral, which is not an attribute that I love in tea.

This one was quite floral as well. The rinse was creamy and delicious with light peach notes, and it probably should have occurred to me to start with shorter steeps because of that. But it didn’t, so I started my first steep at 25s. Next time, I think I’ll start at 15s (at most) for gaoshan.

So the first several steeps were very strong on the floral notes. There were also some sweet peach, grass, pea, and spinach notes in the background. I didn’t find the overall flavor to change a lot during this time, which surprised me. But this may have been a side effect of my poor brewing parameters.

I did really start to enjoy this tea in the last few steeps though, where the flowers faded a bit and I could appreciate the soft grass, vegetal, and fruit notes more.

I will say, every single steep of this tea had an amazing sweet aftertaste that lingered forever. I’m not sure if that was what is referred to as hui gan, or not? Either way, I could definitely appreciate that this is a very good quality tea, even if it isn’t my personal “cup of tea”. ;)

Flavors: Cream, Floral, Grass, Orchid, Peach, Peas, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Bio

•2019 Sipdown Challenge!•
•15 full sipdowns and
•86 sample sipdowns

I am currently doing the #365DaysOfTea challenge via Instagram and Steepster! Please find my Instagram profile at the bottom of this bio!

Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m 29 years old and currently living in Austin, Texas with my boyfriend of 5 years. We’re both software engineers working in the Semiconductor manufacturing field. I am a staunch lover of pugs and other squishy-faced dogs, although sadly I do not currently have one.

I am also an avid yarn collector (errr, I mean knitter!) when the hot Austin weather allows for it… Find me on Ravelry under the name LorenWeiss!

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I will often sweeten iced tea. I brew Western style, and fluctuate between using mugs or teapots with small cups depending on the season. I have recently started to brew gongfu cha style!

I love swaps! If you see something in my cupboard that you’d like to try, just let me know via PM!

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms, including black, green, oolong, and white teas, as well as maté, rooibos, honeybush, and herbal tisanes. I am open to more exploration of puerh, but it’s not generally one of my favorites. I am not often a fan of fruit-based tisanes.

My very favorite straight teas tend to be from China, Japan, or Taiwan. I also enjoy matcha!

Fruit: All of them! My ‘go-to’s tend to be in the red fruits, stonefruit, or citrus spectra. I also really love apple, banana, berry, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially mango and pineapple.

Dessert: Again, all the things! I love creamy vanilla and marshmallow flavors, along with anything in the caramel family such as butterscotch, toffee, or maple. Chocolate is also a favorite, though I’m often disappointed by it in tea. And don’t forget anything buttery, cakey, or cookie-y!

Floral: I’m a little bit more particular in this category. I do very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura and chamomile. But I’m not crazy about rose and lavender flavors, and I prefer hibiscus in moderation only.

Spices: I don’t generally find myself drawn to masala chai, but I do enjoy spices combined with other flavors. My favorite spices are the warm ones, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cardamom. A bit of heat from black pepper or chili is okay too, as long as it’s not overwhelming! Ginger can be a lovely accent, but I find it difficult to drink as a main flavor.

Aromatics: I’m obsessed with Earl Grey! I also love cooling flavors such as mint (especially spearmint), pine, juniper, and eucalyptus. I am not a fan of strong rosemary or sage in tea. Smoke can be tasty when it’s not heavy-handed.

Favorite Purveyors:
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Lupicia
Taiwan Tea Crafts
TeaVivre
Yunnan Sourcing
Yunomi

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age.

My profile photo is by inkpug!

Location

Austin, Texas

Website

https://www.instagram.com/cam...

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