81
drank Oriental Beauty by Lupicia
2000 tasting notes

If I hadn’t read the note that says this smells like makeup, I might not have pinned that down but I totally see what Cynthia Lam meant. There’s a smell, even in the dry leaf, but that is more pronounced in the aroma of the tea and in the flavor, has a sort of perfumed powderiness that you might smell in a compact.

The dry leaf also has a peppery aspect to its fragrance.

Gaiwan. Rinse. 195F, 15 seconds adding five with each additional steep.

The tea’s aroma/flavor doesn’t have the pepper note. I expect that what is reading through power of suggestion as makeup is what the description means by fruit. I don’t really get a honey note in the first couple of steeps, though the tea has a sort of honey-amber color.

By the third steep, the perfuminess dissipates and the honey note does come out. In the third and fourth steeps, there’s a floral note that is elusive, but when found, is quite pronounced.

It’s an interesting tea. While it’s not my favorite, it gets points for being unique.

Flavors: Floral, Honey, Pepper, Perfume

Preparation
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

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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