122 Tasting Notes

drank Sencha Fuka-midori by Den's Tea
122 tasting notes

This sample is ancient at this point, but I’m about to receive a shipment of fresh senchas, so I’m really in the mood.
Bitter on the first contact with the tongue, but in a way that amplifies the sweetness later. It feels very creamy for a green tea, but not so far as oily or thick. The sweetness is familiar, like that of dragonwell aftertaste, almost a sugar snap pea cotton candy. Delicious. This tea is only vaguely seaweedish on the mid sip, I hardly even notice it. Definitely not a marine green and very little in the savory department. It is worth buying again, and has kept very well for being probably over a year old at this point!

Flavors: Peas, Sweet

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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drank Black Bean Oolong by Oolong Inc
122 tasting notes

I was provided this sample by Oolong Inc. in exchange for a review. That being said, I would never be anything but honest.
The dry leaf smells nutty and warm. Brewing it has a predominantly roasted oolong scent, with a bit of a salty edge. The flavor is smooth with honey tones, and a really lovely roasted nut aftertaste. This is really quite excellent. It preserves both the qualities of gently roasted oolong while providing a nice darker nut roasted flavor. It reminds me of fresh-pressed soy milk flavor with some chestnut flavor thrown in. I could see myself craving this tea when it is cold outside (or 50 in the office, like it is at the moment!). It is so strange having these lightly honey-floral and nutty notes in one tea- it is clearly not a black tea nor is it identifiable as an oolong. The aftertaste reminds me a little of the taste in the air of a real coffee shop (not Starbucks) – not sweet, but not bitter either. Kinda like the smell of coffee breath. I know that doesn’t sound very tasty, but I assure you it is! And very comforting as well. The tea has a rather thin body but a good amount of sweetness to it.
I’m continually astounded at the price point of this tea for the quality. It is definitely something I will purchase in the future.

Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Roasted Nuts, Soybean, Wet Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Received this and two other delicious-sounding teas this morning from Oolong Inc. (samples provided free for review). Rose is one of my favorite flavors and the directions on the website indicated that this would be a good office steeper, so here I am, Western brewing this beautiful melange.
It’s been a while since I had a flavored green tea, lately it’s been all fresh Spring greens, all the time, so this is a good change of pace!
The dry leaves smell heavily of stately rose and nectarine. I can’t really get a sense for leaf quality behind those two aromas, but they look like mostly whole unrolled leaves.
My office smells like a bubble tea shop-all fruity and fresh as this tea brews. Again, the nectarine, though it has some yellow peach notes now that it’s wet, and those dried rose petals that you put in potpourri, not quite as strong as rose oil, but not quite as sweet as candied petals.
Oh man, this is yummy! It reminds me a ton of the white peach and rose water sorbet I made last summer! Oh la la! I could see this becoming my go-to rose tea! And it is so reasonably priced! The steep was around four minutes long, and I can taste that in the slight metallic undertones of the base tea, but the rose and white nectarine (finally figured it out!) flavors are punch and leave a long-lasting aftertaste.
Seriously, with some sweetener, this would be an amazing popsicle, and I could see this iced as the hit of the picnic. While the base green tea is definitely nothing to write home about, it serves admirably as the toast to this jam. Generally, I prefer when floral scents accent the natural flavors of high quality teas, but this is a great flavored tea at a price that you might expect it to be not-so-stellar and I’m definitely going to add a quantity of this to my collection.

Flavors: Rose

180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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The aroma of this tea is indeed incredibly buttery and nutty, with vanilla-almond and cinnamon overtones, not unlike sticky buns, but I have an image of that shiny chestnut crust of brioche swimming in front of my eyes, so I want it to be yeastier than it is! It smells so incredibly delicious that I’m afraid I will be disappointed when I take a sip!
Sigh, the sip is not as delicious as I imagined, but the aftertaste is all BUTTERY candied walnuts. For that alone I’m enjoying the heck out of this cup! It is indeed getting moar buttery and sweeter as it cools, and now I’m getting a little more of that aftertaste on the sip. Overall definitely something I could see myself ordering in the future!

ETA: This was a sample from the fabulous Stephanie, thanks a bunch!

Flavors: Bread, Butter, Cinnamon, Nuts

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Gack! Fake coconut, harsh, very crushed-bitter-greens pouchong base. Oily mouthfeel. Smells a LOT like the sugared coconut flakes you use in Easter baking. The aftertaste is alright, but the rest of the tea is just not good. I think this sample came from LuckyMe, but I’m starting to lose track, haha! Thanks! I realize now that flavored coconut pouchong does not a Golden Lily substitute make….

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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drank Eugene Breakfast by J-TEA
122 tasting notes

Meh. I think this sample (from MissB) is a little old at this point.
Definitely a slight smokey note, and some malt, but you can taste the ‘dustiness’ of old leaves on this as well.
I get none of the fruit (maybe a faint zest sensation on my tongue) mentioned in the description or by others.
Looks like I’m going to have to look to a second black tea this morning to wake me up, since this one isn’t doing the job!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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drank Miss Dammann by Dammann Frères
122 tasting notes

Sorry for the long radio silence! I have been drinking tea and writing notes about them, they just have not made it onto steepster yet!
Here is an invigoratingly scented green tea that Dinosara sent along with my recent order of Salted Butter Caramel Oolong. These leaves smell like one of those ginger bath bombs. No matter how little they claim any flavored blend of theirs have floral flavors, every DF blend I’ve ever come across smells at least a little like the greatest florist’s shop on earth, and this one is no different. It is like a fresh, not nearly ripe enough passionfruit has been cracked open and accidentally dropped in a Spring bouquet and you bring it to your nose after using ginger soap. This is not a spicy ginger, but a FRESH ginger. Invigorating and appetizing!
First, I have to say NO WAY am I brewing this thing at 195 for 4 minutes as they suggest on their website! Falling back to my normal parameters for my other DF greens: 175/1 minute. The brewing liquid smells much more ginger-y than the leaves did. I’ll admit I tried it after 1 minute and decided it DID need some more time, and plopped it back in for another minute, then…. I forgot about it. So it steeped for 4:30 :(. It actually is a little fruitier and more floral now, and not bitter! I’m suspicious I underleafed this puppy.
Mostly, it tastes like floral grapefruit with a ginger-candy aftertaste. Pretty yummy, and also energizing! I like it, but don’t love it. I can see people who really like sweet ginger enjoying this a lot.

Flavors: Citrus, Ginger, Grapefruit, Passion Fruit

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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First time Western style brewing this tea.
3 minutes: Wow is the that vanilla kicked up compared to gong fu style! And the rock sugar aftertaste as well! Buttery, green backround. As it cools it gets strongly mineral, the aftertaste becomes vanilla-butter.
4 minutes: Less floral, vanilla persists. It really is better Western.
Packed the leaves up for cold brew overnight… Gonna be delicious!

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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This tea was less wow than the shui xian from the same farm, but had a very similar taste profile. I gong fu brewed this four times and the flavor only went up or down in intensity, but did not change at all. It was pleasant, but not super remarkable in the face of the shui xian. A far bit better than a big red robe, though!

Flavors: Mineral, Roasted, Sugarcane

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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I started drinking something other than Sleepytime in my first year of grad school, 2011. Enabled by a few decent local tea shops in a big city, I amassed a small cupboard of teas that I now find harsh and bad (haha, I’m getting in too deep!). With my move back to the US and subsequent geographic isolation from tea shops, I recently discovered the world of online tea vendors.
My cupboard is slowly growing but still small. Regardless I am interested in swaps, if you find something in my collection that you would like to try, ask away! I just can’t guarantee yet that I have a lot of it!
I’m very into Jade oolongs and anything that has a floral character (especially jasmine, rose, violet, and lychee scented things!). Most green teas, excepting the extremely bitter, are good in my book, and again I seek sweeter, fresher, greener types, though nutty/savory teas have their place (as long as they don’t tip over into salty!). I then to shy away from smokey or overly roasted teas and for this reason and the fact that I am not a fan of chocolate, everyone’s favorite blacks and wuyi oolongs tend to fall flat for me. White teas are alright but I don’t tend to reach for them unless they are floral scented. I rarely drink herbals, chamomile and I do not get along, but a basic vanilla rooibos, or some flavored green rooibos’ can be interesting.
In general, it could be said that I tend toward floral and sweet oolong, sheng (as well as moonlight whites and yabaos), matcha, and green teas.

As of now my rating system follows the school grading scale in terms of how well the tea performs and how well I like it (100-90 A, 89-80 B, etc.). Anything above 90 will eventually end up in my cupboard, though it’s fine to keep a B student around for daily drinkers!


Athens, Ohio

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