23 Tasting Notes
Oh wow. I mean…WOW.
This is the first tea I tried from the March Steepster Select shipment and I’m blown away. During the first steeping, the large whole leaves unfurled beautifully and danced in my mug.
The flavor is of a very high quality mountain oolong tea, with notes of vanilla, honey, and flower blossoms.
As promised, I was able to get 4 flavorful steepings out of just one little packet.
I’ll be ordering more of this tea for sure.
Flavors: Flowers, Honey, Vanilla
I found this tea at Marshalls (sister store to TJ Maxx), at the low price of $5.99 for 100 bags, what a deal! I picked up a box of the Organic Oolong, as well as the Organic Green and brought them both to share with the office.
I’m happy that the tea is certified USDA Organic, and comes in an unbleached teabag. That is more or less the extent of the plusses column.
The flavor is stale tasting, but I am able to detect hints of wheat, roasted barley, malt, and earth.
Similar to the TO green tea, there’s a high level of bitterness and tannin in this tea that make my tongue feel like it’s growing fur.
This is an unoffensive but unremarkable bagged oolong tea. I guess I got what I paid for.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Earth, Malt, Roasted Barley, Tannin
I found this tea at Marshalls (sister store to TJ Maxx), at the low price of $5.99 for 100 bags, what a deal! I picked up a box of the Organic Green, as well as the Organic Oolong and brought them both to share with the office.
I’m happy that the tea is certified USDA Organic, and comes in an unbleached teabag. My happiness ended once I brewed up a cup.
The brewed tea looks more brown than green, the color of a fish-tank that somebody forgot to clean.
It doesn’t really smell or taste like much of anything. Hot water? The inside of my ceramic mug? I get a little bit of bitter and tannins, but that’s it.
The box is stamped “Consume before Dec 6, 2016”, which is nearly 3 years away, but it tastes old. The flavor lacks all honey or fruit notes that I expect from green tea.
I used 2 tea bags the first time, I’ll try 3 bags next time, to see if I can tease out more flavor, but my expectations are fairly low.
This is an unoffensive but unremarkable bagged green tea. I guess I got what I paid for.
I imagine I’m getting the antioxidant benefits of green tea, and probably the caffeine, but I certainly won’t drink this one for the taste of it.
Update: I tried brewing 3 bags, plus 2 more from the first steeping, for a total of 5 tea bags in my mug. I got more bitter and more tannins, but still no flavor. I still have 95 bags left, so I might try using cooler water next time, but my expectations are pretty low.
See my review of the TO Organic Ooling: http://steepster.com/teas/touch-organic/17976-organic-oolong?post=227544
I generally prefer lighter less astringent teas, but this one is interesting enough and complex enough that I’m definitely glad I tried it.
Reading the reviews from my fellow Steepster members teabird, Lee, and Jace Lion Repshire really added to my enjoyment of this tea.
In addition to the wonderful honey flavors that are abundant and obvious in this gorgeous red tea, I also enjoyed the complex dried apricot, malt, tamarind, and dark wheat bread flavors.
BrewTEAlly Sweet’s description of the cinnamon flavors helped to identify those bitter flavors that other reviews did not detect, as well as the mint tea mouthfeel.
I probably won’t seek this tea out again, but I certainly am happy to have experienced it.
Oh wow. I don’t even know where to begin.
This is my favorite tea so far from Steepster Select.
The delicate smell and taste of sweet perfume and fruit are out of this world.
The leaves unfurl beautifully.
I’m looking at enchanting lush photos of Shan Lin Xi (http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=shan%20lin%20xi) and imagining the journey these leaves have taken to get to my tea-pot.
VISUAL: The dry tea leaves are gorgeous! Golden and green and feathered like dried flower petals. The tea itself brews to a beautiful rich dark caramel color. Surprising considering how light golden and green the dried tea is.
SMELL: I was surprised by this one, the first whiff smells very similar to an Assam tea like Irish Breakfast, although with more subtletea. Smelling more carefully reveals more floral and sweeter notes of a Chinese black tea.
TASTE: Oh wow YUM. It’s more delicate than teas from India, and like BrewTEAlly Sweet mentioned, not at all brisk. Others have already described this one perfectly, tobacco leaf and rich sweetness. Very smooth and creamy mouth feel.
PREPARATION: 16 oz of water, just off a boil, steeped for 2 minutes (stopped short of the recommended time because it tasted pretty perfect already). I don’t generally add any sugar to my fine teas but tried it on the recommendation of my fellow steepsters Michael Cutillo and Julie Stiles. A pinch of sugar did bring out the flavor nicely. Thanks! (For my second steeping I left the sugar out, call me a purist).
I’m thrilled to be among the pilot members of the new Steepster Select program. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to continue subscribing, as it’s well over my monthly tea budget, but for the moment I’m enjoying indulging. My first shipment arrived yesterday.
The Guiyuán Roasted Dong Ding is the first tea I’m trying from the Steepster Select shipment. I chose it because I’ve never heard of this varietal of oolong and it sounded like what I wanted this morning.
I brewed 16oz following the directions and got a strong cup of tea, on the verge of being bitter, but not. If I had it to do over again, I’d probably try slightly cooler water.
This tea is is true to the description, sweet and smokey. I do detect the coffee, brown sugar, concord grape, and roasted coconut aromatics as described on the pouch.
The mouthfeel is rich and wonderfully creamy, although by the end of the first cup the tannins gave me that pithy feeling on my tongue like you get eating an unripe apple.
A second brewing at 185º came out even better than the first. Some of the more subtle oolong flavors from the first brewing are able to shine. It’s also a little softer on the tongue, less rich, and with less tannins.
Overall I found this tea satisfied my desire for umami as well as my desire for a rich oolong tea.
I was about to say I couldn’t be more pleased, but it appears this Steepster sourced original is sold out! Shucks, I guess I’ll just have to surf Steepster for another Dong Ding. Any suggestions?