drank Spiderweb Oolong by Shanti Tea
243 tasting notes


I actually drank this tea all week and it took me most of the week to get the words just right about it. I used up the entire sample over the course of five infusions. So bear with me while I revisit my notes and describe each one.

To start, the leaves smell of faint oolong and a tiny bit of grape flavor. The grape is very difficult to detect, but I love grape and can find and look for it in a lot of things… The leaves are small, dark, curled very tightly, with the faint aroma.

The first infusion was five minutes, hot, no additives. The tea is sweet and malty, a delicious oolong with the slight wine taste finishing off the brew. I mustered two more infusions (5 minutes and 7 minutes respectively) with very similarly delicious results. This was day one.

Day two I added some sugar, hot infusion, five minutes. This was still good, but the natural sweetness of the tea itself and the added sweetness from the sugar made this infusion almost too sweet. Still good, but could be less sweet.

Day three, I put my tea in a travel mug and let it infuse with hot water, no additives the entire 45 minute car ride to work, taking little sips when there were stops along the route. The tea is much stronger now, not a gentle, definitely still oolong, but more malt then sweet when brewed this way. The wine aftertaste is completely gone. As an aesthetic note, this long of an infusion allowed the leaves to completely unfurl into long thick green oolong leaves…

Day four, attempting the 45 minute infusion again, but this time with 1/2 teaspoon of rock sugar. The sweetness is back, but I feel like it is kind of cheating, the natural sweetness is gone and overrun by malt, but the sugar brings some underlying flavor to life. Still no wine aftertaste.

Day five, my last bit of the tea, I decided to go back to basics and enjoy what it actually was, hot, no additives, five minute brew. After having experimented with the other ways I thought I could enjoy the tea, I now know, this was superior. An even balance of sweet and malty oolong, the slight hint of grape, with a crisp and clean flavor. Very well balanced, very delicious.


5 min, 0 sec

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I am a sarcastic perfectionist, a computer nerd, a game geek, an avid reader, a gadget guru, a wine (and tea) enthusiast, and (in my spare time) a chemist.

As I mentioned, I am a chemist, research and development to be exact, so when evaluating tea, it is much like evaluating my products: I will find the flaws and do my very best to fix them because it is what I love to do. Along those lines, nothing is perfect, but can have perfect qualities, I will highlight those also.

I made a preliminary guide to my rating scale:
0-19 – Did not like anything about the tea, feel it cannot be saved without being reformulated.
20-40 – Did not like the tea, it can be saved with extreme amounts of tweaking (i.e., sugar, milk, honey and or blending with another tea)
41-60 – Neutral about the tea, it can be helped or hurt by additives or blends, varied temperatures and steep times
61-70 – Decent tea, needs a little bit of help to get it in the place I like it, but definitely not out of reach
71-80 – Quality tea, liked it, will try again
81-90 – Really enjoyed the tea, high quality, will continue to drink the tea, not looking for something better
91-100 – Loved the tea, will continue to brew and drink and spread the word about the tea to everyone



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