122 Tasting Notes


Backlog from two weeks ago; another gong fu session with Dinosara, this time with a delicious dragonwell (no wonder they are so expensive!) from the magnanimous purveyor of mystery boxes, MissB!
My notes start with a curious phrase: “smells so familiar…”
I obviously never figured out what was familiar about it, and now I don’t recall! Anywho, on to the steeps!
15 second: buttery, nutty, sweet in a fruity way.
25 seconds: just a touch astringent, in a way that is making me salivate. More vegetal/artichoke-like. Smell reminds me of a floral-spiced fruit.
30 seconds: Top notes are still juicy, but astringency dominates the flavor.
30 secodns: less astringent but also less flavorful. The saliva accumulating in my mouth from the astringency is leaving we with a sweet aftertaste, though, which is nice.
40 seconds: kinda generic green tea flavor…
1 minute: almost no flavor…
Good, but not as good as the one from Verdant. It might have lost something to age, I don’t know.

Flavors: Butter, Fruity, Nutty

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 3 OZ / 88 ML

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I remember this tasting like nothing but slightly green water when I first tried it. I had followed the directions on the package with one heaping teaspoon of leaves, but these leaves are really broad and long, making it a thin teaspoon. I think I super underleafed the first time, so I didn’t review it.
Today, I finished the sample off with a gong fu session, but I still didn’t have quite enough leaf, so I’ve only been filling the gaiwan half full. It’s still going much better.
My rinse was originally supposed to be a first steep, but 15 seconds was just too short and tasted like nothing again- over the fat-fat horse it goes!
First steep, 30 seconds: White sugar sweet and mid-hi floral flavors. Lilacs in the aroma cup! Reminds me of Verdant’s lilacy Spring tieguanyin, with added sugar.
Second steep, 45 seconds: Slightly green, but sweeter and lilac-ier! Very nice session with this one today!
Third steep, 1 minute: Still going strong, a bit greener, still so sweet! The nose is just amazing on this one, so thick and floral!
Fourth steep, 1:15: Still sweet! I’m really enjoying this! Fat horse isn’t getting any!
Fifth, 1:30: Greener, but still sweet! Fading just a bit.
Sixth, 1:45: Fading, but still so saturated with flavor! If this was still for sale I would consider it.
It’s basically like a nicely floral bao zhong, and I’m super into it!

Flavors: Floral, Sweet

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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Used my whole sample for a gong fu session with my fat horse pet!
Quick rinse- no flavor.
First steep, 20 seconds: Sweet-ish on the aftertaste, with a decent magnolia-like thick but light floral note. Not light in the Spring-y sense, but light as in not a very strong flavor. It’s quite good. If I hadn’t had amazing green oolongs, I would think this was pretty tops.
Second steep. 30 seconds: More sugary sweet, with a mineral note creeping in. Stronger flavor overall than the first steep, but the floral note is now gone.
Third steep, 45 seconds: Lost some flavor, and much greener now. Tastes really thin if I’ve recently taken a sip.
I did a fourth steep of about a minute, nothing significantly different from the third except weaker. This one is done.
It moved over the hill pretty quickly. Lingers like a decent oolong should, but I would call it more of an everyday, don’t-think-about-it-too-hard oolong.
Thanks for the sample, LiquidProust!

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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drank Lime by Perennial Tea Room
122 tasting notes

Drank this this morning as part of my random sample grab fun. It smells like lime. It maybe tastes just a bit limey? I think I need to make this iced. Pretty unoffensive base, with average maltiness and smoothness, with no cocoa or coffee, which is a good thing to me. Pretty meh, but at least some caffeine!

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Yum. creamy citrus is spot on. That’s really all I’m tasting as well. Creamy in the sense of a cream earl grey, but with a mellow citrus background instead of earl grey! Makes me think of my lime meltaways when I don’t use enough zest!

Flavors: Citrus, Cream

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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drank Zhu Ye Qing by Thé de Cru
122 tasting notes

I brewed this gong fu off of the recommendations of another company, since astringency was mentioned and I wanted to avoid it if I could. No such luck.
It basically tastes like the bitter part of an artichoke. It is a tolerable astringency, if there had been any other flavor to counter it. After three cups, the first at 30 seconds and the last two at 15 with no improvement in flavor, I think I may have to quit- it’s making my stomach upset :(.
Thanks, MissB for the opportunity to try bamboo green. I now know that I’m not a fan!

Flavors: Artichoke, Bitter

155 °F / 68 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 3 OZ / 88 ML

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drank Cucumber Cantaloupe by 52teas
122 tasting notes

My kickstarter package came today, and I just couldn’t wait! I had the marshmallow treat genmaicha this morning and loved it, but I think I underleafed it, so I will wait for the second cup to review it.
This one smells like walking into a bath and body works shop. You know all those cucumber melon soaps that smelled so good you wished you could eat them? THIS IS ONE YOU MAY CONSUME. Sooo fresh and tasty, just like you would have wanted!
I used a heaped perfect teaspoon plus a few leaves for my 6 oz taster cup and brewed according to the directions on the package. I think I underleafed again, but no matter, because the flavor comes through clear and lovely, even to my slightly garlicy-lunch tongue! (FYI: Not suitable for more than one steep. Just tried it and it was blah)
It brews up a nice amber color with a bit of a mineral/smoke scent from the base, but not to worry, the minerality from the base contributes to the cucumber notes, and there is no smoke in the flavor. Instead, you get a natural sweetness, finished with the luscious, almost vanilla flavor of a ripe muskmelon. I was a bit afraid because I’m not a fan of cantaloupe, but the thick honey vanilla notes from the fruit are present and the slimy/papaya musk flavor that I dislike is not.
The one criticism I have of this tea is really more of a warning. It seriously is flavored so much like how the hand soap smells that i think some that are sensitive to the “soapy” notes of certain tea flavors, like lavender, might mistake the flavor here. But it would just be your mind tricking you! The base and flavorings are good enough to not introduce any bitter or saponin-like notes, just a balanced blend of rock oolong, refreshing cucumber, and delicate muskmelon!
Congrats LiberTEAS on a great first out!

Flavors: Cantaloupe, Cucumber, Vanilla

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

Thank you for a positive review! I’m glad you enjoyed this and it’s encouraging to hear that even though you don’t really care for melon, it was something you still enjoyed.


Very much enjoyed! I love the cucumber melon scent, so I had high hopes for this tea, and they were met!

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For once, a black tea that is not offensively chocolatey, salty, smokey, or strong! What a pleasant experience! This makes me look forward to testing out my fresh Jin Jun Mei that Liquid Proust bought directly from the source in China.
The tea, though, is from the lovely MissB. It is malty and thicker feeling without being cloying or bitter. It’s dark and a little sweet without making my stomach upset. It smells quite sweet, but is not so sweet on the sip. Maybe a little woody or minerally, but melding with the maltiness; it reminds me of sweet potato skins, if that’s not too weird!
Thanks for the sample, MissB! I’m having fun playing sample roulette by dipping my hand in my sample box and coming up with something random!

Flavors: Malt, Sweet Potatoes

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Liquid Proust

Let me know how they compare :)
I’ve tried two other so far and the stuff I bought seems to be more potent as of now, but I’m always searching for the best!

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Pretty good, cookie-ish flavor. Mainly vanilla comes through. Honestly, I think the Upton Earl Grey Creme is much better at being a vanilla cookie, and I appreciate the base much more than here.
Thanks MissB! I have so many flavored black teas to try now!

Flavors: Cookie, Vanilla

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

Woohoo! This wasn’t a huge fun choice for me either – loved the name, didn’t sell on the flavor. Still fun to try.

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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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