Sipdown! This tastes way better when I’m more generous with the amount I put in the glass gongfu pot.

The first steep is extremely nutty, like raw almonds, with a bit of sweet grassiness. I ruined the second steep by forgetting about it for a minute, and the third one tastes like a creamy bright salve in comparison.

Fourth steep is unbelievably sweet- aftertaste of banana cream. I never achieved this the first go around (where it tasted more like sparkling apple juice and pastry). Prevailing nuttiness on the sides of the tongue and back.

Fifth steep has a finish of vanilla cream. It’s pretty tasty and I’ll bump up my arbitrary rating by a few. There is a pleasent tickling puckering astringency, but nothing bitter here.

eighth steep and up, is seeing a return to a refreshing zippy leafiness. It’s almost like it has come full circle!

Side Note: My silver sample packet of this was open and exposed to the elements for slightly over two weeks, if that has any bearing.

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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.


BC, Lower Mainland

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