After not enjoying my cup of roasted Tieguanyin yesterday, I switched back to some “plain Jane” Tieguanyin (more or less). Actually, this one is a little fancy and has a succulent honey flower aroma. I’ve never actually sniffed a chrysanthemum (ala Verdant description) before, but it’s a deep sweet flower smell.

The flavour is an interesting contrast; I thought it would be a syrupy sweet to taste but it’s more a “pasty” nut. Verdant’s soybean description works, but husked sunflower seeds also come to mind. The floral note has a syrupy “texture” to it but it isn’t what you’d call sweet, unless you’re thinking of the subtle sugars picked up in grass, tofu, or nuts. It’s altogether a very smooth, fluid cup that is at once mild but also contrarily rich (butter, vanilla).

As per Verdant’s description, this does taste like the (extremely mild) smell of marigolds but it definitely doesn’t taste like the “taste” of marigolds- at least not mine (spicy floral veggies). The steeped oolong leaves do kind of smell like the taste of marigolds though.

A spiced note comes into play in subsequent steeps. I can also see where the matcha note comes from. I’m chuckling that I want to write that this tea tastes like TEA, but when you think of that sweet, grassy, nutty, floral quality that good, fresh matcha can have you’ll get it (hopefully).

Steep Count: 6

Pine, nut and mineral notes are particularly noteworthy on steep 4 and onward, with the return of vegetal spice on steep 5.

(2016 fall harvest)

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Grass, Honeysuckle, Mineral, Nuts, Pepper, Pine, Soybean, Vanilla, Vegetal

185 °F / 85 °C 5 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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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.

Favourite Flavours/Ingredients:

-Vanilla, Maple, Caramel, Cream, Toffee, Nougat, Marzipan
-All Citrus: Lime, Grapefruit, Lemon, Bergamot, Orange, Yuzu
-Anise, but not licorice
-Ginger or Clove-forward chai
-Grass/Marine/Vegetal/Nutty Green teas
-Florals: Rose, Lavender, Jasmine…
-Musky and/or Woody Incense-like stuff: Sandalwood, Frankincense, Eucalyptus
-Berries: Blackberry, Raspberry, Currants, Blueberry, Elderberry
-Bananas, and most fruits actually.

Less Preferred Flavours/Ingredients:

-Stevia and most sweetners
-Cinnamon-forward chai/blends
-Apple & Cranberries
-Mango pieces (love mango outside of tea though)
-Coconut pieces (as a sub/filler ingredient)
-Metallic or overly artificial teas
-Cocoa Nibs, 95% of the time.

Subjective Rating System 3.0:

90-100: My absolute favourite tea. I’ll impulsively buy in large quantities and hoard like a dragon.

85-89: A favourite tea. I’ll try to keep this one around when it’s practical.

76-84: A good tea, but not one I’m likely to order again.

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

50-69: Average to mediocre cup.

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

1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This tea is the embodiment of the primordial swamp, the unholy abomination that is a chimera. It’s very gross and I’m almost positive it doesn’t exist.


BC, Canada

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