Last oolong in the cupboard to taste and write an initial note about! Except that it’s not. Apparently, I’d already written a note about this one, and I thought I hadn’t? Perhaps it was because I was leaving off rating it.

So let me revise that to last oolong in the cupboard to rate — that’s better.

Awesome. Now all that is left in that category is pu erh.

On that front, I must make a correction. I thought I would only have 3 left after today but I discovered another cake that I apparently entered into the Steepster data base but didn’t place in my cupboard. And there are those pesky pu erh samples I haven’t tried all of yet.

So, current count:

Pu erh cakes: 4
Pu erh samples: 15

If you count the bagged, flavored pu erh from Lupicia, I guess it is really 16.

But back to this tea. It’s a special one. The color, and the slighly roasty/smoky aroma in the tin made me think this would taste like a dark oolong.

But no! It’s not. It’s more like a very full bodied green oolong with a hint of smoke.

Gaiwan. Rinse. 195F for 15 seconds, adding 5 for each additional steep. I did five steeps. I might have done more but I have a craving for a black tea and I don’t want to drink it too late in the day.

In any case, this is a special tea. It’s got the sweet, floral notes, and even the dairy notes of a green tie guan yin, with a smoky/toasty note as well.

Honestly, I could drink this one all day.

Flavors: Cream, Floral, Milk, Roasted, Smoke, Toasty

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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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