This is a sample tin I have had for a while. I know I’ve had this tea before, and I’m perplexed by the absence of a note on it. So here I go, solving that problem.

I’m going to rinse, then steep this one with short steeps in the gaiwan for this initial note foray. Later I may try it in the yixing.

I am a big green oolong fan. I generally prefer them to the darker ones, though there are always exceptions. This one looks pretty green — the leaves are a jade color rather than a brown. The dry leaves also have that wonderful green oolong floral smell.

Starting with a 15 second steep, this tea makes a light butter yellow liquor that also smells of butter and flowers. This is what makes green oolongs one of my favorites! I wish I was better at discerning floral scents. I want to say it is gardenias I am smelling and tasting here?

The second steep, 20 seconds, if anything, brings these flavors out even more. There is a mild, vegetal undertone in the sip and a nuttiness to the finish. I find myself agreeing with the description that it is reminiscent of almond.

Third steep, 25 seconds. The leaves have fully unfurled from their balled state and doubled the volume of leaf in the gaiwan. The steeped leaves have a sharp, woody scent.
A little toastiness is coming through in this steep. The flavor is less round and buttery than the first two steeps and is fresher and perkier this time.

Fourth steep, 30 seconds. Less floral, more vegetal this time. A little like snow peas. After the tea is gone, the cup smells sugary.

Fifth steep, 35 seconds. The flavor is starting to fade, but is still floral and nutty.

It has been a while since I had a green oolong. I didn’t realize how deprived I was feeling until I had this one. So while I’m fairly sure this isn’t the best I’ve ever had, I’m inclined to rate it based on my experience today — which my pent up demand undoubtedly influenced.

Flavors: Almond, Butter, Floral, Gardenias, Peas

195 °F / 90 °C

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



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