813 Tasting Notes

81

The florals add dimensions to what is actually more of a honey green tea. We have jasmine, rose, elderflower, and some other florals I’m not too familiar with, but nevertheless add a bit of something to the mix! Mallow is a pretty indisinctive flavour but it’s here too. The Young Hyson (chun mee?) base isn’t too exciting but it isn’t unpleasant either; sweet grassy notes reaffirm this tea’s alliance with late spring/early summer.

I thought this was mainly a jasmine flower tea when I picked some up; the honey was a pleasant surprise and exactly what I needed tonight.

Flavors: Floral, Honey, Jasmine, Rose, Sweet, warm grass

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

Other than the jasmine, sounds lovely!

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76

At first glance, this is your typical AQ2T sweet dessert tea, with a dash of fall scent and spice. Salty-sweet caramel brittle flavour is delivered (strongly) as promised, followed by the oily-nut quality of pumpkin seeds. The spices remind me of those fall candles or what you’d find in one of those pumpkin muffins- something cinnamon-nutmegy, mixed into icing, that lingers as an aftertaste.

My main complaint is some of that spicing/flavouring comes across as a bitter powdery texture midsip.

Not sure that I love it, but it is a tasty seasonal cup! The loose blend is also delightfully festive, with green pumpkin seeds and orange pumpkin sprinkles.

Flavors: Caramel, Nuts, Pumpkin, Spices, Vanilla

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Outlaw by August Uncommon Tea
813 tasting notes

Smoky black teas are not something I reach for regularly, but they have some sort of allure that keeps me coming back (albeit irregularly). Outlaw has a little more allure than most and kept me amused all last night (erm, unintentional Tobias moment).

Honestly though, I think I like this one. It’s something to do with the flat cherry vanilla coke vibe I’m picking up (I mean that in the most flattering way). It also reminds me of the time I got to lick a cave in Poland (mineral notes, kay). It’s a lot of fun, and I’m sitting somewhere in the 80’s on it. I’m going to hold off rating for a bit because I’m not having as strong a reaction to it as I did with the Black Lodge (I think someone thought that name to be nostalgic and homey, but all it makes me think of is some horror story).

And just look at all the parentheses it inspired me to use!

Flavors: Cherry, Mineral, Smoke

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec
Dexter

I agree that this is better than Black Lodge – but Outlaw is still a strange tea. Happy you didn’t hate it….

CrowKettle

I usually have a pretty large “this is alright” threshold when it comes to tea; my reaction to Black Lodge is an extreme oddity for me! I also had more warning and a wariness going into Outlaw, so it’s strangeness was just par for the course. I kind of want to try it with ice cream or whip cream. :)

Dexter

I go into all AU teas with a bit of wariness – IMHO they are all a little strange. I really like the company because their teas are usually outside the box, but that means some are OMG this is so weird I love it – or OMG this is so weird I hate it. That’s good though – I would rather love/hate than indifference. :)
Icecream….. that’s a great idea – wonder how we could turn this into Outlaw milkshake….hmmmmm

Evol Ving Ness

How about a float with French vanilla ice cream?

CrowKettle

Yes, to both of you! That’s exactly what I want: milkshake/float thing. Maybe I can try steeping it in milk or something and using that in a blended drink?

Dexter I agree with you about love/hate over indifference. Luckily, so far I’ve been on the more positive side of that spectrum when it comes to the majority of the AU teas I’ve tried; they’re a lot of fun!

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76

“Remedy enough for anything ranging from a cold to a bad day.” Oh, yes, that’s me, sort of. The AQ2T order arriving unexpectedly was a nice surprise though.

Although I enjoy it immensely and consider it an essential part of my tea cupboard, 75 is my default chamomile score. This one’s pretty standard, with the usual apple, hibiscus and rose petal additions, so it falls about on that scale too. Licorice root adds a hint of sleepy herbal sweetness.

I’m going to try putting some fresh burning ginger in it tomorrow, since I prefer it more than the sweet ginger typically found in dry blends (there’s a bit of burn at the end but it’s too faint for my preferences).

Flavors: Apple, Dandelion, Floral, Ginger, Hibiscus, Licorice, Tart

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more

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35

Do you know the horrific Nina-chimera from Fullmetal Alchemist? Do you remember all of the raging emotions you experienced upon seeing that thing? This tea is like that. It’s an unholy merging of pure things that brings one to weeping in disgust and horror.

(If you’re not into anime/manga this explains that reference somewhat: https://kotaku.com/a-tribute-to-one-of-the-most-depressing-moments-in-anim-1787400241)

If you’ve ever wondered what truffles, smoked bacon, and banana would taste like in tea here you are. Don’t get me wrong; I love all of those things in different dishes, but tea… The truffle makes this monstrous in my opinion (tone it back). Milk helps to curb down the flavouring, but it’s so… overwhelming and absurd.

This tea is probably just perfect for someone out there, but that person is not me! Still, I’m glad I got to experience it? Maybe? I think I could learn to love it if I sacrificed some small part of me. I don’t know if I want to go down that rabbit hole though. It’s definitely a unique tea.

Flavors: Banana, Meat, Mushrooms, Olive Oil, Smoke

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

Hmmmmmm I have an unopened tin sitting here. AU tea is always a little odd but that sounds really far out there. Will have to try mine soon and see what happens. I had a hard time with Outlaw until I found the right steep parameters. Maybe play with it? or just let it go…..

CrowKettle

You may love it, especially if you love black truffles!

I will drink all of my 15g eventually, and will definitely play around with it and update my rating here if something changes. I sense (hope) it’s very much an acquired/predisposed taste- like Stilton blue & port, or peanut butter & celery? Fingers crossed (the truffle flavour lingers hours after drinking it).

Dexter

Outlaw – which is their smokey cherry tea – I found better with less leaf, cooler water, and longer steep (than my normal black/flavored parameters). I’m not sure if that will help this one, but if I find it offensive that’s where I’m going to start playing….

CrowKettle

Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll keep it in mind when I open my Outlaw sample too.

Sil

uh oh. I think variatea and i picked some of this up haha

Evol Ving Ness

Hmm, I am wondering how I would fare with this. I am a big fan of black truffles. Dexter, if you can spare a bit, would you be kind enough to add this to the samples so that I could try it?

Evol Ving Ness

But, hmm, yeah, it could go either way.

Dexter

Evol – yes – I will send you some. It’s something you have to experience.

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you. :)

Evol Ving Ness

And now, I am worried. :)

VariaTEA

Sil we have a tin coming but now I am incredibly grateful we are splitting it.

Sil

@variaTEA – watch it be some weird thing where one of us really wants it…

Evol Ving Ness

hahhaha, we await with bated breath as this story unfolds.

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79

This sample is from Arby. Thank you!

It’s been so long since I’ve had a nice cup of Silver Needles of any kind. It’s like coming, although this one feels more robust than I’m used to. I like it when they are a little more.. ethereal? The second steep fulfilled my wants for an even lighter sweet tea though (playing with steeping parameters).

Personal fun fact: I hated cucumbers before I was introduced to white tea. This type of tea and Dragonwell got me into vegetables!

Steep Count: 2

Flavors: Banana, Cucumber, Floral, Hay, Lemon, Lychee

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

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78

“Making a small clerical error which ends up costing so many marks on what should have been an easy, grade boosting assignment” consolation tea. I’m full of so much self loathing right now.

This tea is just like the letter grade I’m likely to end up getting in that class: A solid “B.” (Although, sometimes I think of this one in the 80’s; it’s dependable). I have so much of this tea in my life.

Flavors: Strawberry

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Lexie Aleah

I do the same thing unfortunately. I had a similar situation a few weeks ago.

Evol Ving Ness

No self-flagellation! Be very kind to yourself. You will have the opportunity to do better another time.

CrowKettle

Sorry, steepsterites! Self-depreciating tea notes help get over silly stress and disappointment, but it means you all are sometimes subject to my “diary.” And it’s definitely a mistake I’ll never make again; that’s what job training is about- get the common mistakes and oversights out of the way!

I suspect I’ll have a lot of happy tea notes in a few days though :)

gmathis

Points to you for caring about the details—now let them go! (I am the Queen of Ruminating Over Small Mistakes For Inappropriately Long Periods of Time. I don’t need any competition ;) Good tea choice. Strawberry tea is happy tea!

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77

Sipdown!

Vibrant, green, and clean floral bouquet tea. It has a grassy aroma and flavour that reminds me strongly of matcha, with ensuing hints of cream and butter, which may or may not be there.

Now I want matcha. I’m a little “oolonged” out at the moment, especially when it comes to tieguanyins.

Steep Count: 3

(2016 harvest)

Flavors: Floral, Grass, Honeysuckle

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sil

i still have less teas than you…neener neener neeeeeeener!

CrowKettle

What was that, Sil? You want me to send you a nice fat parcel, full of Verdant green oolongs and Earl Greys, for Christmas? I’ll get on that. :P

CrowKettle

(Luckily, I don’t have anything new or noteworthy enough to send you)

Sil

hahahahaha

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Apologies in advance: this note contains references to decay and cremation (TW). If you’re not into that or are currently enjoying delicious food, please skip on over.

Nope. Roasted oolong is not for me. Something about burning the florals and char reminds me of one of more bittersweet aromas of Varanasi (not really into thinking of pyres while drinking oolong).

This is actually a nice tea when I can get past my own personal hold-ups. It’s a lot less potent in the burnt department than one would think, and there is a pleasant sour tang of grapefruit for an aftertaste. Lingering notes of sea-salt create a compelling portrait.

Unfortunately, my mind is going back to Varanasi again, and that cow floating down the river. It was very green (but not really), just like this oolong! There’s a part of me that finds it poetic and moving that this tea is like a burnt offering; it’s a shame that aromas, colours, and memories are so strongly linked.

Flavors: Char, Floral, Grapefruit, Marine, Nuts, Salt, Smoke, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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This is not bad. For a Rooibos.

Very rich and dark; there’s a light vanilla note that reminds me a tad of Vanille Coco perfume from Comptoir Sud Pacifique (Sephora). The brown sugar/caramel borders on boozy. Apple and blackberry leaves are detectable and bring out fall fruity notes. The pumpkin is baked, and is a thing I notice on my tongue more-so after I’ve finished my cup.

When I first smelled the blend I thought there were sunflower seeds. After drinking it, I still swear there are sunflower seeds.

Flavors: Apple, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Molasses, Pumpkin, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 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.

White teas, roasted/fired green teas, and the not so roasted green oolong varieties are my favourites. I enjoy the odd shu puerh too.

Currently looking for the most buttery and sweet green oolong I can find.

Ingredients/flavours I enjoy (in moderation): anise, butter, caramel, cedar, cream, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, lemon, lilac, lime, maple, marshmallow leaves, melon, mint, orchid, pine, rice, rose, vanilla.

Ingredients/flavours I tend to dislike: apple, cocoa nibs, licorice, marine, peach, stevia

Subjective Rating System 2.0:

91-100: My absolute favourite tea. Will impulsively buy and hoard like a dragon.

86-90: A favourite tea. May have quality flaws that I choose to ignore.

76-85: 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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