580 Tasting Notes

Made for me at a DavidsTea store.

What is this?

All I got was faint brine and some bitter vegetal.

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1.5tsp for 300mL water #100C, and another batch @95C.

Undrinkable. Maybe I have a bad batch. All I taste is twigs and earth and something faintly vegetal. Nothing about this tea suggests it is a Darjeeling. The liquor is murky, especially distressing for a first flush. I could finish neither cup.


Maybe, I find the straight teas at Davids to be hit and miss at one of the stores near me they always taste stale. Whereas at the other they have always seemed fresher and tastier.

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1.5 tsp (estimated, bulky needle tea) for 300mL water @100C, steeped 10 minutes.

I did the long steep on purpose … for a change.

This is a fresh packet, just ripped open. I feel so badass drinking this tea — the name, the flavour profile. So, what do I get with a 10-minute steep?

Mahogany liquor. Cocoa, sweet potato, roots, and something wild — wind in the trees, maybe. Some mineral in the finish. A slight sharpness that does not become astringent. Strong flavours but no bitterness.



Haha! i like badass tea drinkers :-)

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1.5 tsp for 300mL water, @90C, steeped 3 minutes 30 seconds.

So I’ve been thinking for a whole I had a less-than-stellar batch of this from DavidsTea.

Turns out DavidsTea are using a flavoured version, by their own admission: “A luxurious creamy blend of oolong and all-natural milk flavouring.”

Quangzhou milk oolong is created by temperature change and harvesting practices, not spraying “milk flavouring” on leaves.


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1.5 tsp for 300mL water @90C, no rinse, steeped 3 minutes.

Forgot to rinse.

After a disastrous two attempts to make something potable out of DavidsTea new First Flush Darjeeling (Chamong Estate), I turned to this beautiful oolong. Not rising the leaves gives this infusion a heaviness and a savour I quite like. This is a complex tieguanyin with lots of nuance, worth every penny.

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1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped five minutes.

I just found half a tin of this tea. I’d forgotten I had it, and I bought it well over a year ago. The tea has taken on one of the winey notes you get in an ageing Keemun, and the honey sweetness has intensified. Some down in the copper liquor. Delightful.

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1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, second infusion, steeped, uh, 10 minutes 45 seconds.

I got distracted. I intended only a 5-minute steep on this beauty.

So what I’ve got her is no darker than usual but is a little astringent. It’s not bitter, but it does taste unfolded — deeper — just more itself. I can really pick out the white and the pu-er. I expect a bit of a caffeine buzz.

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(Backlogging from yesterday)

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @90c, steeped four minutes.

Something’s not quite right here — a bitter musty note. It’s still a milk oolong, but I’ve had better from DavidsTea. (I’ve definitely had better from another vendor.) I have to wonder about the last few batches form DavidsTea. Either that, or I’m getting jaded.

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1.5 tsp for 300mL water @90C, second infusion, steeped four minutes Western style.

I made a cup of this for my husband yesterday, because the tea’s name in trigged him. He loved it. I saved the leaves for a second go.

As I’ve noted before, the second steep gives more mineral notes. The scent is sharp and floral, that classic tieguanyin aroma, so enticing. Some cream in the finish. Such a beautiful tiguayin, lots of nuance.

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1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C. Steeped 3 minutes 15 seconds.

When, oh when, will I learn to stick to a 3-minute steep? Those 15 extra seconds make a difference. If you really like astringency and pucker in your tea, steep over 3 minutes.

I’ve need a while to warm up to this one. It’s bright and cheerful, with some pucker — but with no bitterness, no acid. The body is medium to heavy with a creamy heft that I really like. Mouthfeel is smooth; I can see lots of down floating in the dark copper liquor through the walls of my glass mug. An assertive India black tea that will wake you up and remind you just why you started drinking tea in the first place.

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I prefer straight teas but will try almost anything … so long as it’s not tainted with hibiscus. I loathe hibiscus.

Floral oolong and complex black teas are my favourites.


St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

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