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Spaghetti of the leftover variety is sitting to the left of me. I honestly do not like the smell of leftover spaghetti. Made me nauseated when I was pregnant with my second. Why am I telling you this? Because aroma can change everything about your tea experience. I’ve made the offender go sit elsewhere.

Dry aroma: Petichor. Gardenia. Mineral
Dry appearance: Light green and dark green. Tightly balled.

Flavor: Peas. Mineral. Wet rocks.
Mouthfeel: Smooth.

Wet aroma: Buttered popcorn. A moment of apple crisp.

I have to be honest… I need to revisit this one. My ears are ringing… not sure why and I can’t seem to concentrate. This is a delectable tea though.

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This is part of my Christmas gift from my husband. I’m not sure of why they need to use superior in their name. I guess like matcha with culinary, premium, and ceremonial, it kind of plays a role for the Western drinkers who like the terminology. Either way, it’s a da hong pao. The dry leaf is highly drying. Dry desert woods with intense dry minerality. If you gong fu (and you really should!), smell the tea as you pour the water on the leaf.
I found it started with sweet floral tropical notes and then switched to charcoal. Now creamy butter. If you put the cap on right away or drink it Western style you won’t get quite the same experience. The flavor is nice. Nothing that blows your mind but still lovely to consume. Charcoal, wet rocks, lots of minerality, plum, fresh rain on rocks, Petrichor. The mouthfeel is smooth, almost buttery. As I go further into the infusions (I think 5 now) the mouthfeel is less smooth but more like you licked a rock. The wet leaf is unique, a bit of raisins, a bit of charcoal, and slightly fruity.

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Ahhh… green oolongs smell so wonderful. Lightly floral, slightly buttery, and mouth-wateringly mineral. The first infusion has a very smooth mouth feel. Leafgreen flavors like fresh spinach, and deciduous forest leaf. Slight mineral notes of wet rock and popcorn butter. The second infusion shows lots of fresh florals and a bit of apricot. I wish there were more mineral notes but

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My husband bought me a bunch of tea from this company for Christmas and I think he is finally starting to understand my pickyness. The leaf is sort of boxey smelling. Like you just opened up a cardboard pallet of fresh paper. There are golden trichomes all over the bag. Twisted leaves with stems of varying shades of dark browns and dark olive greens. The inital aroma is filled with relaxing creamy and woody notes. Which were almost promptly ruined by the smell of spray paint wafting in from outside after my husband opened the sliding door. First taste at 30 seconds reveals squash notes and cherry wood. One minute shows more of the same. The mouthfeel is smooth. And now at two minutes, I’m finding so interesting bready notes. The second infusion at one minute isn’t as strong but there are still plenty of notes to keep going. A bit of caramel and cinnamon to round this one out nicely as it steeps for around three minutes.

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Ah, the dry aroma is wonderful. Sweetgrass, a sweet pastry, slight stone fruit, and a bit of grass. The leaf is so pretty. Glossy green and needle-like. 1ish tsp. Water temp 145.
10 seconds – grass. too light
20 seconds – smooth mouth feel. Fresh-cut grass, sweet grass, umami,
30ish seconds – umami, grass,
uh 1 min? Umami and grass.
This is a lovely green. Plenty of umami notes.

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100 ml gaiwain. 190F because 205 seems very hot for a green. Then again Chinese greens tend to do better with hotter water. But I also hate burning my tongue… Lots of fuzz on the packaging. Harder to see it on the actual leaf. The aroma isn’t quite there but I think that is just the odor-absorbing packet doing its job. The leaf is finely pressed. A perfect flat leaf. A mix of olive green hues. Ooo I love the aroma coming from the infusing leaf. Man, it’s been a while since I’ve had a Dragonwell. The difference between the steaming and the pan frying is so amazing. The notes are closer to the toasty notes found in a hojicha with a springtime greenness to it. Also notes of hay


Something about this lousy weather is making me crave green tea—-no doubt because it reminds me of spring!

Marshall Weber

It is wild how much the processing affects the taste!

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A snapping cold. When it gets to a certain negative the houses crack. It can be rather frightening in the middle of the night. I had a point to this but I’ve lost it amid the kids badgering me for stuff… Moving on to the notes I took before this Aroma from the infusing tea – Cream and veggies. Very slight stone fruit. Hay.
Liquor aroma – spinach water and a … green beans cooked too long?
Liquor color is clear, lightly green, lightly gold. Clean.
Flavor oh is that nice. Vegetal. Bits of hay.
Smooth mouth feel.
Wet leaves: An interesting note.
First infusion is definitely the best. Bits of spice in the second. Like a slightly pepper-forward blend. Vegetal notes of corn husk, fresh spinach, green beans?

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Look at that glorious leaf! And the trichomes all over the inside of the package. Fuzzy, silver buds with olive green first leaf, and sometimes a second leaf too. The aroma is a mixture of farm and late summer florals.
First impressions are a hint of nuts (cashews), hay, and a mix of other barnyard notes. Surprisingly the barnyard notes are not as strong as I figured they would be. Third infusion. Sweet hay, increasing sweet notes. Increase the infusion time with each infusion. Some savory white pepper notes. Aroma of slightly cooked green peppers. Super silky mouth feel and incredibly wet and heavy.

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The solution to this one-overleafing the hell out of it. I think I put close to 10 grams in my 5 oz gaiwan, and did a bunch of flash steeps. The mango and nutty tones were a lot more obvious with some honey like sweetness, all under the distinct TGY orchid flavor. I’m happy with this one-it’s essentially a high quality TGY for daily consumption and a cheap price. I’m going to plow through it fast though to make some cupboard space.

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Got this one last year as I waited impatiently for the What-Cha one. I saw Tea and Whisk advertise themselves on Gong Fu Cha on Facebook, and I wanted to give them a try.

They have a pretty good selection of Taiwanese and Chinese teas; I was actually impressed with their picks for Yancha and Wuyi Black Tea, specifically the Jioatang Lapsang Souchong Black Tea. I decided against it because I have an embarrassing excessive amount of Lapsang I need to drink, but this oolong sounded like it hit all the marks I was looking for. Past Taiwanese Tie Guan Yins have been really good, and this one seemed like a steal for $16 for 2 oz. It’s 40% oxidized, and the company suggests it’s fruitier than the usual tie guan yin, and the oxidation would add more complexity. Some of my favorite oolongs are in the 30-35% oxidised range, so I thought this tea might be perfect.

Looking at it, the tea is a healthy green with darker earthier shades amidst some yellow and lighter green. Brewing it up, it took some coaxing to open, and actually turned about to be a little trickier to manipulate. I went back and forth westerning and gong fuing it and was having a hard time finding the right balance. The dryleaf aroma is very sweet and fresh, but the wet tea itself is actually subtle and not super flavor forward in either brewing method.

Over leafing it at 6 grams made it flat, under leafing it at 3 grams made it too thin. When I got it right by giving it a longer and hotter rinse, it has a really nice mouthfeel, yet the flavors are hinted at. Orchid and spinach are the main flavors I get from the tea in every steep western or gong fu, and I really don’t get the mango or fructose honey sweetness touched on until steep three and four. More like lemongrass in some ways, but very faint because it disappears under the orchid and vegetal body. There some nuttiness, but not a lot.

I’m still not sure on what to think on this one. The company say’s it’s one of their most complex, and while I admit there is more dimension to this tea compared to most flower or roasted char bombs that are Tie Guan Yin, yet the subtlety is bugging me because I know this tea can offer more flavor. It does have a little bit of TGY tartness and some orchid, but the fruity mango note replaces the usually apricot note of this type of tea that somehow makes it more subdued. If I were to taste this blind, I’d guess it’s a Tsu Yu or a Meishan Jin Xuan because of how the florals combine with the texture and subtle fruit and more prominent vegetal elements.

I’m being a brat with this one. I expected more fruit notes, but this tea was more vegetal than I expected. I’m holding off on rating it because I still think I need to figure it out. I’m open to suggestions.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Green Beans, Lemongrass, Mango, Orchid, Spinach, Vegetal

Sierge Krьstъ

I find Taiwanese oolongs more acidic, could be soil but apart from using different clay, another way to manipulate taste is using mineral water for brewing, it counterbalance high mountain aspect of different rainwater fog descending on leaves

Daylon R Thomas

I actually like the acidity of Taiwanese oolongs-this one actually didn’t have as much acidity as it did vegetal notes compared to other oolongs I’ve had. I will definitely try it with mineral water-that sounds fun! And nice to make your acquaintance, Sierge!

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drank Satemwa dark tea by Tea & Whisk
109 tasting notes

This is an interesting tea that I have mentioned a few times on the board, its a puerh style tea from Satemwa estate in Africa. This is a loose leaf style dark tea, or hei cha, though it called be called a ripe puerh as well. But that is a regional title, so hei cha or dark tea would be accurate.

I started by giving this tea a very quick rinse , then I brewed it for about 15 seconds at 200 degrees, in a small yixing. I got a very intense aroma of earth, peat, plums and chocolate. No wet or off smells at all. It was very clean, pouring it into a pitcher. I got a mostly clear dark liquor , looking the color of cola.. actually it looked alot like cola. Dark, red and rich looking. Tasting it I got peat, wood, plums, sweetness and chocolate. Its very smooth with a very clean finish. Again no fermentation flavor at all.

Second steep produced much the same flavors, getting slighter darker as well, which is pretty normal for a post fermented dark tea. It was still pretty clear and not cloudy much at all. The flavors stayed the same and very clean, there is also another flavor in there I cant quite place, but I feel like its something I should know.

Third steep was much darker, and there is the explosion of color Ive come to expect from a ripe puerh. This is still really smooth , with no hint of wet or fermentation smells or flavors at all. Still getting peat, and wood and dark foresty aroma’s.

Fourth steep and its starting to trail off a little and staying very clean , but dark. More plums, dark fruit, red wine type flavors and but of sweet chocolate at the finish. Im sure based on this it will steep out many times, probably around 12.

Im actually curious what a few years of age would do to this.

Highly recommended for anyone who likes clean ripe dark tea.

Flavors: Earth, Peat, Plum, Sweet, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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Even more ginger-y than Super Ginger from DT. It’s strong and spicy but still has a little bit of licorice sweetness.

Flavors: Ginger, Licorice

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I absolutely love this tea! I didn’t realize I was such a lover of floral teas until I purchased this. This tea is very heavy on the lavender and rose (see picture) and has a slight sweetness from the papaya and apples. I have drank this almost every single night since I’ve purchased it, about 2 weeks ago.

It is a luxurious tea that is the perfect ingredient to unwind with at the end of the day. I do steep this at boiling but only steep for 4-5 minutes. Any longer and the flavor and scents becomes a little too strong bordering on the side of soap.

It is lovely to try a new tea that is different from my usual caffeine free blends.

More on my blog > http://playdoh-heart.blogspot.com/2017/01/starting-my-first-tea-post-with.html

Flavors: Lavender, Rose

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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