drank King's 103 by Ten Ren Tea
45 tasting notes

This is the 4th grade King’s oolong tea offered by Ten Ren, and I believe this is the lowest grade of the “green” variety of ginseng oolong which they offer. There is also a “dark” (darker roast) variety. I purchased a 5.3-ounce package for $19.99 at T&T Ginseng here in Las Vegas. It brews up an orange-tinged yellow color and has a slightly musty but not unpleasant smell. The taste is dominated by the licorice and it lends a pleasant aftertaste. The oolong seems to be a typical green oolong flavor with medium body, but not much character from the oolong is noticeable. You also get some hints of spice from the ginseng, I think. Despite this, I find this tea to be very enjoyable and would like to try some of the higher grades as well as the dark version of this oolong. The low grade on this is clear, with a good number of stems and broken leaf being present. Ten Ren’s packaging is excessive, with a cardboard box enclosing a tin which encloses the tea in foil packaging. I would rather not be paying for all of this packaging, not to mention the environmental impact. Ten Ren does offer 1-lb bag of these teas on their website, but I’m not sure this tea is such a great value at $61/lb. I would definitely be interested in trying some other brands in this style of tea.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I was a long-time coffee drinker, having worked at Starbucks coffee for about 10 years. Also had a twice-daily habit of drinking 16 oz sugar-free Rockstar energy beverages to fuel getting me through my two jobs and my college studies. And taking care of my family in between.

One day, I decided I was tired of coffee and I needed to kick my expensive energy drink habit (roughly $3-$4 per day for the Rockstars). Also, I was looking to reduce my caffeine intake. I purchased a nice glass teapot with a french-press-style infuser at my Starbucks, and I bought packets of Keemun and Dianhong tea from World Market (circa 2010 when they offered these).

The Keemun tea was my first love. It blew my mind with its deep plummy fruityness, leathery texture, and lingering heavenly aftertaste. The Dianhong I thought was a solid breakfast tea, but not as nuanced.

I use about 20 grams of tea per day now. 10 grams for a 32-ounce teapot once in the morning and again in the afternoon.

I do not re-steep my leaves. I only want one full-flavored pot of tea with the full kick of caffeine. Out of curiosity, I have experimented in re-steeping various teas and I have found invariably that the tea is just a weaker, unexciting, ghost of its former self after the first steep.

I am mainly looking at teas in the price range of $20-$60 per pound, but I have purchased somewhat more expensive teas (up to around $100/lb) on occasion. My goals are to keep my tea habit well below $90/month (what I had previously been spending on energy drinks) but also to have some really great tea experiences.


Las Vegas, NV

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