122 Tasting Notes


I got this very fresh since I preordered it a month ago. Then, I wasn’t sure if it was my water or the very fresh scent of this tea that was giving it soapy taste. But I gave it a month to mellow out a little and it really paid off!
Gong fu-ing this today and it is so strong, sweet and floral that I could just die! Even my tea avoiding boyfriend tried it without complaint, and said it was good and very lilac-y! To me the jasmine is just as luscious as I remember, but a sweeter, almost pink lady apple, or maybe a light apricot flavor is remaining in my mouth! It’s just fabulous!
It’s seriously like cotton candy on my tongue right now, it just won’t quit and I never want it to!

Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Jasmine, Sweet

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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This, the fifth tea at Liquid Proust’s tasting event, was quite unexpected. It presented the maltery and mineral-sweet high notes of an assam, but the bitterness was absent, and the liquid was in fact a honey color. It was nice to enjoy the flavors of an assam less the “briskness”!

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This was the first tea on the menu at Liquid Proust’s lovely backyard tasting. It was my first sincha, and while good, still had a slight atringency, a predominantly vegetal taste, with a sweetish aftertaste. Overall, somewhat nondescript green. I will reserve rating it for now.

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There has been a lot said about “Golden Eyebrow” tea; it seems to have a reputation, and to be difficult to get outside of China. I have to say that my part-purchase of samples with Liquid Proust was worth it just so that I got to try this tea! I actually tried it as the third in the line up from his tea tasting event yesterday, and I’m very much looking forward to playing around with the steeping parameters of this loverly sample! In the cup I had, I noted a sugary sweetness, but with earthy, slightly minerally supporting notes, and a green-ness that lingers on the tongue. It reminded me of a less heavy-handed rock oolong, minus the amber part of the rock sugar taste, but with some of the purported sheng puerh notes thrown in. Complex and artful, and definitely worth a more thorough exploration!

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This was the second tea tasted at Liquid Proust’s lovely afternoon tasting, and boy did it blow me away! I have only ever had one sencha, but now I see why they charge so much for shincha! There is the lightest seaweed note on the sip and then your mouth is absolutely overtaken with sweet silk, with an incredible Spring-y freshness! It reminds me of a really nice tieguanyin without the floral flavors. By far my favorite tea of the afternoon!

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I haven’t been up to reviewing the teas I drink lately, mostly because I have been staying home and trying them at odd intervals and my computer is almost never out, unlike when I’m at work! I’m also convinced that the filtered water I use for the office is different from my tap filter at home, and it’s throwing off my tastes!
First steep, 3 seconds: Liquor smells very nutty, but tastes like uber-sweet water, with a very fresh greenbean juiciness to it, and a mouth-coating sweetness. It just tastes so FRESH. Like a dewy morning breeze! Holy yum!
Seconds steep, probably more like 5 seconds (on accident! It takes a bit to pour a gaiwan!): Even sweeter than the first steep! Less of the green bean flavor, like it has purified. Like silky mineral water! An incredibly pleasant experience! It feels very high-class compared to the others I have recently tried. I just keep sipping ans sipping again; I can’t keep away!
Third steep, 3 seconds: The sweetness is more upfront this steep, with a more honeyed flavor and a beaniness to the background that lingers for a very long time. Still very good.
Fourth steep, 6 seconds: A cardboard-y warm flavor is creeping into this tea. It still has some of the sweet and fresh elements that linger, but the overall flavor is reminding me of when you cook green beans too long. I think I may just give this one more steep, just to see.
Fifth steep, 6-8 seconds: Still beany, still off, but I think it just brings it down to the boring green level, like off water that you rinsed your green beans in…
I tried the suggestion on Verdant’s site of tossing the spent leaves in some of my good sesame oil- not bad! A bit astringent, but the aftertaste is still there, but now mingled with a good smokey sesame flavor!

Flavors: Green Beans, Mineral, Sweet

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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My third and final gongfu with DinoSara
THe dry leaf smell like a light ceylon
First steep 5 seconds, no rinse: Smells like a light black tea. The flavor reminds me of the smell of a peach cobbler, or maybe like sweet mash for horses, a grainy, molasses-y kind of flavor. It is very sweet once it cools off a little.
Second steep, 8 seconds: Sweetish/fruity note in the smell of this steep. It is slightly salty/smoky while hot and more like bitter oak when cooled. A slightly darker molasses on the breath.
Third steep, 8 seconds: It’s getting woody, but a malty flavor lingers. It smells like spend brewers’ mash.
Fourth steep, 10 seconds: Not quite as sharp as the last steep, more malty-floral. The floral is a different floral than my green oolongs, much more grainy.
Fifth steep, 10 seconds: Even breadier; the sweet is gone. Much like weak lipton.
The combined mug is much better all around. All of the depth of the last steeps combined with the honey and up-front florals of the first, which lingers a little. I think we have a western-steeper!

Flavors: Bread, Grain, Malt, Molasses

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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After the Tie Kwan Yin this was a breath of delicious fresh air! Second of the gong fu list with Dinosara today.
The dry leaf smells absolutely lovely. Sweet and almost grassy, like clover flowers. Dinosara mentioned alfalfa hay and that is totally the scent! Like orchard grass hay!
First Steep, 5 seconds: Oh my, this is delicious! It smells like fresh hay with a spicy flower nectar behind it, an it’s sweet like corn is sweet, but without the corn flavor. The liquor has a really nice body and is a light, pale straw yellow. I keep expecting a jasmine flavor because of the floral notes and the familiar body, but it is definitely not a jasmine tea! The sweetness has a spicy, almost marshmallow flavor; I know that mallow flowers are mostly for decoration, but THIS is what I expect to taste when I see mallow flowers in a blend!
Second steep, 5 seconds: Scent has honey notes after the hay this time. Someone put clear, floral clover honey in this tea!!
Third steep, 5 seconds: Smells like far away sleepytime tea with sugar in it. It tastes not quite as sweet and contains a slight nuttiness to it, like an almond pastry, with a sweetness like biting into a good fresh almond.
Fourth steep, 8 seconds: Floral honey aroma with a good honeyed, almost mead-like quality.
Fifth steep, 8 seconds: This steep feels more mature, still honeyed, like an icewine. has a thicker feel, but a spring mineral water back note.
Sixth steep, 8 seconds: Clover blossom smells, clover honey flavor with a dryness on the back of the throat. I feel like it’s fading.
Seventh steep: 13 seconds: This steep is almost amber. The floral scent is back, but the flavor has lost its bright notes.
We poured what didn’t fit in our teacups into a mug for a combined steep. IT iw much flatter in flavor, with none of the glorious notes of the gong fu steeps. In general it’s much more plain. Definitely a gong fu tea.

Flavors: Floral, Hay, Honey, Marshmallow

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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drank Tie Kwan Yin Oolong by Tea Ave
122 tasting notes

I don’t have a note for this, but it was one of my favorites when I first tried it. I remember that the roasting level just added a nuttiness and breadiness, and, despite not being that big of a fan of roasted teas, was totally forgivable because the luscious and incredible sweetness that lingered for DAAAAYZ. I remember really wanting to buy it. Which is what makes this session I had with Dinosara so bizarre. Maybe it was the different samples?
I found the whole gongfu session somewhat bland, and so charcoally that it was approaching bitterness. Because of this disparity, I will wait to rate this until I sipdown my last teaspoon.
The only one of the 6 steeps that gave me a hint of what it was before was the rinse (ironically), but it was almost salty it was so roasty. Overall, not what I remembered at all.

Boiling 4 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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It’s freezing in my office! I needed something warm and toasty to soothe myself, so this roasted bancha from my Den’s Tea sampler should do the trick!
First steep 30 seconds: Brewed, this smells salty, like the Laoshan Black from Verdant smelled salty, but this one doesn’t quite have as much body behind it. My office mate described it as “everything-bagel tea”. The roasted flavor is not nearly as strong as some oolongs I’ve had before, but more warming, like fresh bread out of the oven that you know will taste sweet! And once it cools off some, I am getting a sweet aftertaste! This is a super enjoyable cup, just what I want right this moment. I’m going to have to get me some houjicha before cold weather rolls around again (maybe sooner if the office is going to stay arctic).
Seconds steep of 15 seconds: Darker color than the first, but flavors much more muted. still smells very nice.

Flavors: Roasted, Salty, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 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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