Art of Tea

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85
drank Crimson Oolong by Art of Tea
2033 tasting notes

Sipdown! (18)

Finishing off this little mini tin that a friend gave me. So cute! And the tea is delish…

Really, this tastes like a Taiwanese black tea to me. I’ve had similar teas before, that were somewhere between oolong and black tea and rolled into little pearls. This has a lovely cinnamon honey-slathered toast flavor with some syrupy dried fruit notes, like fig or golden raisin. Malty, bready, thick, yummy!

I certainly wouldn’t order this, as they only sell 4 ounce bags and it’s quite overpriced compared to similar teas. But I was certainly happy to sip it down! :D

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Dried Fruit, Fig, Honey, Malt, Raisins, Smooth, Sweet, Toast

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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85
drank Crimson Oolong by Art of Tea
2033 tasting notes

This is another tea that I don’t have a date for in my spreadsheet. It was a gift from a friend – she regularly orders one specific tea from Art of Tea and I think this was included as a sample, so she gave it to me. It’s in an adorable little mini tin!

This is pretty scrumptious. Lovely thick and sweet cinnamon honey notes that remind me of a Taiwanese black tea, though this is from Fujian. Perhaps the tiniest bit of a syrupy dried fruit, like fig or date. There’s chewy thick bread and malt, backed by some dry autumn leaf and tobacco. I also taste a touch of molasses, especially at the end of the sip. There’s also a woodiness that makes me think of whiskey barrels. A floral note appears in the aftertaste and lingers long on the tongue.

This is really reminding me of a Taiwanese black tea, and given it’s 90% oxidized, I suppose it’s not far off. I’ll happily sip down this small amount, but wouldn’t reorder this one given the exorbitant price. Plus I tend to order straight teas from more specialized vendors…

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Dates, Dried Fruit, Fig, Floral, Honey, Malt, Molasses, Smooth, Sweet, Tobacco, Whiskey, Wood

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Courtney

Taiwanese black teas are just my favourite. ❤ Plus fig/date? It sounds divine!

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77

This was a free sample sachet that came with a recent order. Way back in the day Art of Tea used to sell sampler size pouches, but now they don’t… and their smallest offering is 4 oz. bags. Which I hate. I got hooked on some specific teas years ago from the samplers I had bought, and have wanted to restock for ages, but because of their freaking huge bag sizes, simply haven’t. During Black Friday when their stock was 25% off, I talked my friend Todd (he doing a homemade advent from me over here, btw: https://www.steepster.com/ashi ) into splitting the bags 50g/50g with me. Box arrived, and this was the only sampler — a single sachet — in the box. I haven’t had this tea before and am keeping it as my “repacking/reboxing” fee. :-P

Steeped the single sachet in 350ml (12 oz) of 205F water for 3 minutes. Getting a stronger bergamot aroma off this cup than I did from the Cream of Earl Grey sampler from DAVIDsTEA I tried recently; it’s waxing a bit toward the lime area of citrus to my nose. I can also smell notes of the vanilla/cream. On sip, the bergamot is much stronger as well! It’s a rather rich, full EG flavor, with a strong citrusy bergamot flavor (still reading lime notes from it, pleasant!), with a vanilla/cream flavor filling in late in the sip. I seem to be getting the hit of bergamot first, and the cream second. The tea itself it bold and smooth, though I can’t really pick out any defining flavor notes from it against the flavorings.

A satisfying morning cuppa.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Cream, Lime, Malt, Smooth, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML
AJRimmer

As my dad would always say, “You have to pay the troll toll!” Usually pertaining to him taking a bite of a food he bought/handed to us.

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70
drank Maui by Art of Tea
39 tasting notes

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Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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50

I think I have finally entered an acceptance with myself that I will never be a “proper” tea-drinker because I simply can’t find “enjoyment” in pu-erh; I never taste all the “nuances” one should taste in these expensive, fermented tea leaves, other than dirt or swamp water. Every. Single. Time. And I don’t enjoy either flavor note. Sue me. So after a week of not particularly looking forward to my morning cup of swamp water-flavored beverage (as that is the category this particular tea fell in for me; an earthy, yet marshy/vegetal taste, like something distinctly pond-scummy, which I taste very often in pu-erh) I have finally sipped this sample down (which I think came from Ost’s August 2018 cupboard sale, thanks for sharing!), and am quite pleased to have one less pu taking up space in my house.

Flavors: Earth, Marine, Mineral, Smooth, Vegetal, Wet Earth, Wet Moss, Wet Rocks

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 350 OZ / 10350 ML
tea-sipper

NO! You don’t have to like pu-erh to be a “proper” tea drinker! It’s understandable you don’t like it. And hopefully you aren’t basing this on mostly Adagio’s pu-erh, because I find those are very pondy. Maybe someone can send you small samples of very definitely not swampy pu-erh whenever your cupboard is pared down.

Mastress Alita

I have gone to tea expos, an nice tea shops, and sampled fancy, expensive, aged pu-erh from puportedly schmancy leaves that have rested longer than I’ve been alive, and have STILL thought it tasted like pond scum. Clearly it is my problem at this point. _;;

tea-sipper

Yeah, pu-erh just isn’t your thing then. Forget about it. haha But I wouldn’t call it a problem, unless you were bound and determined to be a pu-erh fan. :D

tea-sipper

Yeah, pu-erh just isn’t your thing then. Forget about it. haha But I wouldn’t call it a problem, unless you were bound and determined to be a pu-erh fan. :D

ashmanra

You don’t have to like puerh! I don’t love darjeeling…and the only other local tea lover I knew at first drank it nearly exclusively and I got the impression she was horrified that I didn’t love what was clearly best! Ha ha!

It seems you are drinking ripe puerh. Have you tried raw or sheng? It reminds me of green or white tea, depending on the type, but I find it too brisk and astringent, sometimes even sour, unless I make it way less aggressively than called for. But then I enjoy it very much! So maybe sheng is more your style, or no puerh at all, which is also perfectly good! A lot of purists would probably say only sheng counts anyway. Ha ha!

Mastress Alita

Come to think of it, I think I did drink one sheng at a tea festival that I actually liked. And i think my thought at that time was something along the lines of, “I can’t believe I actually don’t hate a pu-erh.” You may be right, perhaps I need to try more shengs. So far, other than a few flavored blends, my track record with shus has been terrible!

Martin Bednář

Honestly I prefer shengs to ripes too! So, I am totally on same boat as you; I like to drink pu-erh now and then, but sometimes they are way too time consuming. Or blend isn’t great. Depends!

If you won’t like it, not a big issue! I felt bit miserable when I came here and r/tea drinking mostly only tea bags, because of my collection. Now I am drinking almost everything.

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78
drank Tali's Masala Chai by Art of Tea
886 tasting notes

Saved a single tea bag of this from a previous tea box. It’s a light tea, but the flavor is pretty good. The spices are mild enough that I’ve decided to not add milk since I don’t want to overpower them. Though mild, they’re pretty balanced, and I enjoyed my cup!

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100

This is my favorite tea of all time. I buy it by the pound because my boyfriend I love it so much. It’s a delicious blend of green tea that isn’t sweet and isn’t overwhelming with fruit. It burns easily though so making sure you don’t over steep it or use too hot of water is important or it will turn bitter. I wish there was a decaf version because it’s my go-to drinking tea. I recommend it to everyone I know.

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80

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Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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80
drank Brooklyn by Art of Tea
39 tasting notes

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Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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75
drank Earl Grey Creme by Art of Tea
886 tasting notes

Grabbed a sachet of this from the tea box. The black tea is rather light. The main flavor is the fake creme flavor. I don’t mind it, it’s creme-like, but it’s definitely quite fake. There’s a hint of bergamot in the aftertaste. I added a bit of milk to tame the fake creme flavor. I do end up rather enjoying this one, but it’s definitely not very high quality compared to others I’ve had.

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100

Sipdown (804)!

Thank you for sharing Kittenna – this tea smelled incredible dry but also very familiar!? It wasn’t until steeping it up that I realized that sweet, dewy and overripe pear note tastes almost identical to my delectable and very overpriced pear rooibos blend from Las Vegas. I wonder if these two blends are using the same pear flavouring!? There was a slight difference; this is definitely a little sweeter and it does have a caramel note which is INSANELY divine. I could drink the shit out of this tea!!

I don’t think I’ve ever ordered from this company before, but if it’s cheaper than the fancy/expensive Vegas Tea then I think I’m sold as a customer!!

Mastress Alita

Art of Tea does a lot of wholesaling (despite being a commercial site that can be ordered from directly) — in fact, I usually have to search out their blends from other tea shops to get smaller packages because they only sell on their own site in 4oz packages, which is just too big for me. Are you sure it isn’t the same tea as the fancy/expensive Vegas store (cross-checked ingredients)? I wouldn’t be surprised at all if a place like that did some massive upmarking on wholesaled blends…

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30
drank Apricot Escape by Art of Tea
781 tasting notes

TTB #1

I was so excited to find the Traveling Tea Box waiting for me last night and couldn’t wait to dig in! It was already late, so I decided to grab an herbal teabag – something quick and easy to brew that wouldn’t keep me awake – as my first sample. I like apricot, so went for this one. Unfortunately, I didn’t take the time to read the ingredients list and see that this blend includes both rooibos and hibiscus…two flavors I avoid. I didn’t get much apricot from this tea: just a vague fruity flavor fighting with lots of woody rooibos and that tart hibiscus aftertaste I dread. I finished my cup but definitely wouldn’t drink this one again.

Flavors: Fruity, Hibiscus, Rooibos, Tart, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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78
drank Apricot Escape by Art of Tea
1204 tasting notes

From TTB 2019/2020.

Switching over to caffeine free blends for the night. I’m pleasantly surprised by this one. It smells of juicy apricots right out of the bag. I can’t get over how authentic it is. I much prefer this hot rather than cooled to room temperature. The honeybush/rooibos competes with the apricot as it cools and while I do enjoy those flavors, the apricot is what makes this tea so enjoyable. A nice tea for a nightcap.

Flavors: Apricot

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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72

From TTB 2019/2020.

I received the tea box a couple of days ago and now that the business of Christmas planning is over I can actually sit down and enjoy some of these amazing teas. I went through the full box and counted 52 teas. So incredible.

My first love will always be Earl Grey, so I picked out this tea bag for my inaugural sip. The bergamot is there but not overpowering, and I can actually taste the cream. I can’t say that’s happened before for me with an Earl Grey Creme. No vanilla as far as I can tell, but it’s still good without it. Thanks to Arby for including this one in the box!

Flavors: Bergamot, Cream

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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72
drank Apricot Escape by Art of Tea
886 tasting notes

Grabbed a sachet of this from the tea box. It was a little too heavy when it was hot, so I put it in the fridge, and it’s quite nice cold actually! It needed some sugar to bring the flavor out, but the flavor is a nice, clear apricot. It’s not the best fruit tea ever, but I do enjoy the uncomplicated taste.

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75
drank Velvet Tea by Art of Tea
886 tasting notes

Arby Advent Day 16
I love the designs on these tea bags! The flavor is a bit artificial – definitely more mint than chocolate. As it cools to room temperature, the flavor is a lot more pleasant. The tea gains an almost vanilla-like quality. I don’t taste the chocolate very much, but I totally get vanilla mint from this blend. It’s growing on me!

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73

I got this as a single teabag sample from a cupboard sale from Ost in August 2018, so thank you, Ost! I figured this would go well with my dinner of instant potstickers, so I brewed up the teabag in 205F water.

The tea is a lovely marigold color and smells like the Forever Spring oolong from Thunder Mountain Teas that I sipped down not all that long ago… a sort of floral purfumey aroma, but not overwhelming. It smells a bit like orchid, lilac, honeysuckle, and sweet cream. It tastes sweet and floral, smooth and a bit creamy, with a strong and lasting floral aftertaste. I like floral teas so I find it quite pleasant. It really does taste a lot like the Forever Spring oolong (was that also a Tung Ting?) but I do think that one was just a touch fuller in flavor.

Flavors: Cream, Floral, Honey, Honeysuckle, Orchid, Perfume, Sweet, Violet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML
Leafhopper

Forever Spring is another name for Four Seasons or Si Ji Chun oolong, so it’s probably not a Tung Ting (which is also known as Dong Ding), which is usually a roasted oolong. It’s hard when these teas have so many names, especially when some of them are made up by tea companies! Your Orchid Oolong does kind of sound like a Four Seasons, though a lot of those floral oolongs are similar. Anyway, sorry for the lecture. :)

Mastress Alita

It tasted like a dead ringer for the Forever Spring one, but Art of Tea’s website says “Tung Ting Oolong” in the top of the browser as an alternate name. It certainly doesn’t have any roasty flavor at all…

Leafhopper

Hmm. Sometimes Tung Ting is left unroasted, so that could be what it is.

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84

This was done in 190 degree F water with a three minute steep, and the resulting brew had a nice caramely color, but had a musky, earthy, roasted aroma. The flavor of the tea reminded me of roasted nuts (I was actually reminded a lot of TeaSource’s Roasted Chestnut tea), and the liquor was very smooth with a sort of sweetness that left a somewhat honey-like aftertaste on my tongue. The tea had subtle notes of deep, rich, earthy minerals beneath the sweeter, toasty, roasted nutty flavors. I found the tea very enjoyable! Smooth and nutty, with many of the appeals of a darker tea without the astringencies or bitterness. I think this would appeal to fans of nutty, earthy flavors that don’t like flavored blends.

Flavors: Earth, Honey, Mineral, Musty, Nutty, Roasted nuts, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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89
drank Lychee Peach by Art of Tea
791 tasting notes

This tea has a suprisingly smooth base; I was expecting a lot more astringency with this one, but it is very sweet and the flavor is fantastic! While I’m not much of a fan of the texture of lychee fruit, I love the flavor, and this tea has a great, rich lychee taste, with a softer peach note in the finish. I also notice this slight floral note which just rounds out the fruity flavors nicely. This is one of my favorite black teas to prepare iced as well, since it has a nice strong flavor and I find the stonefruit notes really refreshing and naturally sweet enough to hold well as a cold tea, as long as it is prepared as a hot steep first and then chilled.

Flavors: Floral, Lychee, Peach, Smooth, Stonefruits, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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78

Well, I returned from a lovely vacation only to have the whole thing soured by having my closing date delayed because my initial loan didn’t go through because a sleazy property management company owns over 10% of the units in the condo that I’m purchasing my unit in, which disqualified my loan under their Fannie Mae stipulations, sooooo I get to start all over with the loan process with a different lender. ARGH. I swear this whole house-buying process is going to kill me. And to make matters worse, I had handed in my 30 days notice to my apartment because my loan officer and realtor had told me everything was going absolutely great RIGHT before I left on vacation, so now I only have until the 15th of August to close before I’ll be homeless… the stress is so real.

I have a lot to write up on my Portland tea samplings/Tea Fest PDX, and eventually I’ll get to that. I bought way too much on vacation, and the sad part is I don’t even plan to break into any of it, it’s just going into the moving box. Siiiiiiiigh.

This was an old sampler from Fusion Teas, August Peach Oolong Tea, that I finished off quickly by making a liter of coldbrew tea, and then another half liter of coldbrew tea. Looking up the ingredients, it was easy to hunt down that this blend was sourced by Art of Tea, and is their 12:00PM tea (which was formally called “Peach Oolong”). I never bothered to try the tea warm, since we’ve been in a terrible heatwave (I’m already missing those Oregon coast temperatures!)

This is a toasty tasting oolong base, and the flavor of this tea actually reminds me a lot of Lupicia’s Apricot Mugicha, just a little less coffee-like… and since Lupicia no longer sells any of their flavored Mugicha, I suppose this at least scratches that itch for that particular tea a little. This tea has a nice roasted nuts flavor with some woody notes and the slightly earthy flavor of raw hazelnut/walnuts, with a bit of a honeyed sweetness to it that is really refreshing to me iced. The peach notes are noticable, but come out more of a subtle fruity note that compliments the honey notes and isn’t a distinct flavor that holds out on its own against the strong woody/nutty oolong base.

I like the tea, and I think renaming it to take the emphasis off the peach was the right move, as this doesn’t really read as a “peach-flavored tea” but rather as an oolong that has some peach/stonefruit notes. This makes a nice iced tea for those that enjoy a nice cold mugicha or houjicha.

Flavors: Hazelnut, Honey, Nutty, Peach, Roasted, Roasted nuts, Stonefruits, Walnut, Wood

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 5 g 17 OZ / 500 ML
ashmanra

I am so sorry you are going through all that! How frustrating! I pray it will all work out quickly and peacefully for you.

mrmopar

Hope they can sort it out quickly for you.

tea-sipper

I’m so sorry about the moving BS. I hope everything gets fixed soon.

Kawaii433

Ugh :( Like the others, hoping things will get fixed soon. What a pain though. :(

gmathis

Federal anything is an off-the-charts stress inducer. Hoping we hear good news from you soon.

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drank Big Sur by Art of Tea
307 tasting notes

I was just reading a thread on the boards about how spammy and dead Steepster has been lately, and that just made me sad. Unfortunately I also find myself drifting away from Steepster because I don’t make the time and I simply am hardly on my personal laptop anymore. Maybe once a week or so, but I generally check my internet stuff on my phone and Steepster is not phone friendly. I do drop by occasionally with a tasting note, but I’m never on the boards anymore.

Anyways, another reason I don’t always post reviews on tea anymore is because I’m too lazy to input it into the database if there’s no previous listing for it? If no one else is drinking it, does anyone care what I have to say about it? Shrug. This is a new listing.

I came across this tea actually months ago, in a little milk tea shop when visiting my friend in a town three hours away. They also carried some loose teas and the owner was kind enough to let me sniff the teas because I wasn’t so familiar with the blend. The company is california based and that intrigued me. This was the tea that caught me attention. He agreed to brew it for me iced, and oh boy, it became a minor obsession for me to obtain some. I can’t even describe how I remember it tasting now because it was so long ago. But the flavors overall lent to a great cup.

This tea is pretty expensive for me. A 4oz zip pouch is $23, which is about 5.75/oz. That may not sound too expensive, alot of teas go for around 4/oz, but that plus shipping for just the one tea I wanted from the company, it was alot. Especially because when I first stalked this tea, only the 16oz bag was available, which is alot to buy when you’ve only tasted the tea once. Nevertheless, it became one of those background tabs in my internet browser that I checked every once in awhile.

I finally gave in a got some a month or so ago and got a bag, and I’m still kind of tinkering with the brewing specifications. My habit is still to brew a large thermos to go for work, so I brew alot of tea at once, all usually off the same leaves. This batch was 2.5 tsp, 16oz water, three steeps into a large thermos.

The Vanilla came out STRONG, and the mint is nice while it’s warm but enhances cold when iced. I think I let it sit too long because the black tea was stronger than my preference, or maybe just I overleafed it. I think I’m looking for something like a creamy mint black, but I need to figure out how to brew it just right.

mtchyg

Thanks for the detailed review! I get so frustrated when I over leaf/steep my teas. Usually I have it down by eyeing it but occasionally I go to drink what I made and it’s god awful bitter

tea-sipper

That’s another interesting point, I don’t think was mentioned in the thread, if Steepster isn’t phone friendly, it might be a problem for people. I only use Steepster on my laptop. I wonder if it’s just us laptop users who are sticking around?

ashmanra

Ipad user here. Wouldn’t even try it on my phone with my eyesight!

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drank Hibiscus Cooler by Art of Tea
874 tasting notes

I received this as a gift from Mastress Alita some time back. I was waiting for a hot day to try this tea as she suggested, cold-brewed, in Trader Joe’s lemonade. I used roughly 2 tablespoons to 16oz overnight in the fridge then transferred the hibiscus red brew to one of my insulated flasks to keep cold all day. Holy crap, what an amazing treat while working without shade all day. It was like a berry-fruit punch-lemonade with some earthiness from the guayusa on the swallow. Perfect sweet-tart combination and a nice thickness from that sugary lemonade.

As far as I can tell, the guayusa didn’t effect me negatively in any way like its cousin yerba maté often does. They’re in the same genus, Ilex, but must have differing alkaloids and/or levels and combinations. Or maybe less caffeine? If I’m feeling motivated later on, I’ll check the journals and see what I can find about both plants.

I’ll try the last bit brewed hot and see how that goes before rating.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 6 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Mastress Alita

Oh, I think I have some lemonade concentrate in the freezer, I should make some. I’m now wondering if I’ve ever tried it as a warm brew…

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73
drank Orchid Oolong by Art of Tea
3228 tasting notes

Another single sample from Ost! Thanks again! (Hope you are well!) I LOVE the idea of an orchid oolong, it’s my favorite type of oolong — floral. However, I’m not sure what the age of this sealed teabag might be. The packaging is quite nice. I may have oversteeped the first steep.. the color of the brew was bright GREEN. uh oh. I guess the teabag might have contained more than a teaspoon and shouldn’t have went in my smaller mug. The flavor isn’t as floral as I’d expect. Buttery,sweet, a bit vegetal. I guess oolongs as they get older, tend to be harder to describe. It’s decent enough. I guess I just didn’t want to sip this down without writing SOMETHING. Poor tea. I see the site has a 20% off spring sale, if anyone is interested… though I’m not sure when that ends.
Steep #1 // 1 teabag for smaller mug // 10 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #3 // 7 minutes after boiling // 2 min
2019 sipdowns: 27
edited to add: Whoops. just got an e-mail from Art of Tea saying there is hours left in the sale….

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