885 Tasting Notes

80

No temperature variant kettle at the office means lots of black tea. The Cardamom French Toast has found its niche (although I prefer not adding milk to my office tea so who knows how long it will last).

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cardamon, Cinnamon

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80

This tea smells and tastes like a confectionery store (also Mainstreet Disneyland, aka ice cream central) and I’m 100% ok with that.

There isn’t much of camellia sinensis about this sweet and sugary dessert tea but it fulfills a need. Sometimes something sweet and rich is necessary to prevent eating that whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s or equivalent. I’ve been on a cardamom binge for a while now so this tea satisfies the cravings in ways that my favourite plain teas don’t.

I’m coming to the Cardamom French Toast Latte party a little late but.. better late than never, right?

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cake, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Coriander, Lemon Zest, Pancake Syrup

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Sipdown!

I did terrible unspeakable things to this tea in order to drink it. Maybe I’ll revisit roasted oolong later in life… For now, the roasted flavour is too much for me, even with a thorough rinse and dumping the first handful of steeps. I’m sorry XD

Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Honey, Nutty, Roasted Barley

boychik

Have you tried other roasted oolong? There are diff level of roasts. 3 roast is very drinkable and after couple years is smooooooth

CrowKettle

Yeah, I’ve tried various types of roasts levels although never mindfully; Teavivre and Verdant have thrown me a few samples here and there. I think I’ve had bad luck with them; maybe I’ll learn to enjoy them one day.

boychik

I’ve had some wonderful Taiwanese roasted oolong and yancha. Let me know if you need any recs

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60

I had this iced as a tea to go and all I can say is I’m glad I didn’t pick up any? It has all of the desired bright red berry/hibiscus/rhubarb notes but something about the second half the sip comes across as musty to me (I think this is it trying to be creamy). C’est la vie.

Flavors: Hibiscus, Mango, Rhubarb

Preparation
Iced

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86

Tea & Paper Nook used to be SOKO Tea house, and is located in Port Moody, BC. It’s a pretty cute set up but there is no way to order online; their selection isn’t online to reference either but the SOKO steepster catalogue here is still accurate if limited.

With Vancouver-based Zen Tea gone, and Golden Moon so hard to get across the border, this is the quickest and most reliable way to get my coconut oolong fix. This blend looks and tastes on par with Golden Moon’s Coconut Pouchong oolong, with thin, twisted green leaves and a creamy floral coconut taste. It fills a void.

Steep Count: 2

Flavors: Coconut, Cream, Floral, Grass

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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82

I tried to make it last, but I polished this one off in no time. I guess it’s strawberry lemonade season?

The basil was a nice touch to this refreshingly juicy tea- it came out a little more strongly when I steeped it in hot water, as opposed to overnight steeping it in cold water, but it didn’t dominate like basil is want to do. Although, if it ever did become too much I likely wouldn’t have noticed since cooking with basil is a current trend at this house (may the little herb growing in garden survive a month longer and grow some new, less chewed, leaves).

Anyways, this one was neat. Would order again.

Flavors: Citrus Fruits, Herbs, Strawberry, Vegetal

Preparation
Iced
Mastress Alita

Mine just came, I am looking forward to making a nice cold brewed quart myself!

CrowKettle

Hurrah, new tea! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did! :)

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67
drank Ben Shan by Verdant Tea
885 tasting notes

I’m on my second last cup of this and I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. The matcha-like grassiness of the last few sessions has actually grown on me a little but I’ve still never resteeped it more than twice. Oh, well! There are other amazing teas out there!

Steep Count: 2

(2016 harvest)

Flavors: Cream, Floral, Grass, Jasmine, Lime, Mineral, Powdered sugar, Vegetal

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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86
drank Bananas and Cream by 52teas
885 tasting notes

“Banana Cream Pie without the pie crust” lives up to expectations. Good times.

Steep Count: 2

Due to the nature of the bai mu dan and my brain, I taste something kind of like a blueberry milkshake on the second steep. The banana has toned it back a little from the first steep, letting the tea base (fruity flowers) and vanilla cream flavouring shine (hence blueberries and milkshake).

Flavors: banana, Cream, Custard, Fruit Tree Flowers, Vanilla

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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78

I love that the maple isn’t overpowering- just a nice highlight to the roasty and grassy matcha genmaicha! There’s a hint of something boozy going on too.

I still prefer my original Marshmallow Treat but this was a fun rendition that particularly pleased the mother.

Flavors: Grass, Maple Syrup, Marshmallow, Toasted Rice

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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78

Out of all the green tea samples I got from Teabento this one is probably the most distinctive from the others. As an assamese plant grown in Lao Cai, Vietnam (northern/China border), this tea has a profile reminiscent of a sheng puerh. Rich mushroom, string bean and other veggie notes provide an intriguing spectrum of sweet, sour and smoky. It’s a smooth cup, and a lot less nippy than some of the younger shengs in their early steeps. I still get a bit of smoky-sweet cedar woodchips though, which is something I associate with my limited exposure to sheng puerh.

I’m steeping this one western style with a 1min steep to start. I’m using a cup that I originally steeped the last of What-cha’s rose oolong in and I think it’s adding some creamy, floral (and possibly berry) notes to the profile (they’re a nice addition but not helpful when trying to discern an already complex tea).

Will do a gongfu steep next time! This tea deserves it.

Flavors: Cedar, Green Beans, Mushrooms, Smoke, Sour, Sweet, Vegetables, Vegetal

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

Ingredients/flavours I tend to dislike or stay away from: apple, cocoa nibs, marine, peach, stevia, dairy products

Subjective Rating System 2.0:

90-100: My absolute favourite tea. Will impulsively buy and hoard like a dragon.

85-89: A favourite tea. May have quality flaws that I choose to ignore.

76-84: A lovely tea, maybe of high quality or masterful blending, but not one I’m likely to order again.

70-75: Enjoyable, but I may have few minor problems with quality, consistency, ingredient chemistry and/or personal preferences.

50-69: Quality, consistency, blending, or personal preference problems are apparent, but I wouldn’t pass up a cup.

11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea. I don’t give a lot of these ratings out, since I tend to grab teas I know will appeal to me.

1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This is last year’s low-grade bancha mixed with rancid coconut, stale cocoa nibs, over-enthusiastic hibiscus, and stevia sweetener. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t exist.

Location

BC, Lower Mainland

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