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Recent Tasting Notes

I picked up some barley tea while I was in a Hmart earlier this week. The teabags are huge!! But from my research you really need to steep alot at a time, so I’m guessing they’re single serving. It was roasted, grainy goodness, but I don’t think it’s a tea that I can drink while I’m doing the fasting portion of IF, phooey.

Today is a super duper busy day, I have my grandmother’s death anniversary to attend, a musical show, and then a red eye flight across the country. But tomorrow I shall be in the ‘happiest place on earth’ so hopefully I won’t be too dead. Caffeine to the rescue!

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90

11/4/18

Because I have decided to brew the High Mountain Oolong tea for my ceremony, I have been making it pretty frequently to find out how I like it best in regards to steep time and amount of tea and water used. I have come to the conclusion that I like this tea best with 3 grams of tea and 12 ounces of water. I like to steep it between 3 minutes and 15 seconds to 3 minutes and 30 seconds, which is how I made it this time. This tea is the perfect amount of flavor for me, without it being too overpowering. I really like teas that have a very calm flavor, because it puts my mind to ease and I feel very peaceful and relaxed. It has a slightly sweet aftertaste too, which is nice. I enjoy this tea the most when I make it in the morning to get my day going in a positive way.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 15 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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90

10/7/18

After tasting several different teas, my favorite overall has been the High Mountain Oolong tea. I decided to make it again to see if this is the tea that I want to use for the tea ceremony. Last time I made this tea, it was very light and refreshing. Because the flavor was so light last time, this time I decided to make it with 3 grams of tea instead of 2. I also decided to brew the tea for a few seconds longer. I made this tea around 9 o’clock in the morning. After taking the time to enjoy it, I decided that this tea is definitely my favorite and I will probably end up using it in my tea ceremony. I also really enjoyed the stronger flavor, from using another gram of tea leaves and steeping the tea for a few seconds longer. I will probably make this tea several more times before the ceremony, to see which way I like the tea best (temperature, steep time, amount of tea and water).

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 15 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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90

9/11/18

I bought this High Mountain Oolong Tea from the Buford Highway Farmer’s market. I am not quite sure what brand it is because everything else on the packaging is in Chinese characters. I did some research, though, and found out that this tea is actually from Taiwan. I have had oolong tea before, and really enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to brewing it myself. I made it at 8 o’clock in the morning, because I have found that I really enjoying starting off my mornings with a cup of tea. After steeping this tea for 3 minutes, I let the tea cool down a minute before trying it. I really enjoyed this tea. It had a very nice, light flavor. I was a little bit sweet, but definitely not overpowering. I felt that this tea was very calming, especially the aroma. This is definitely my favorite of the teas that I have tasted thus far.

Flavors: Sweet

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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90
drank Jin Jun Mei by Unknown
29 tasting notes

It has a lovely golden brown color and nice musty woodsy smell, like a pleasant smell of burnt wood. A bitter and rice-like taste, but still full-bodied with a nice long sweet aftertaste. Being a black tea made of the buds, you have to be wary of not over-steeping.

Flavors: Musty, Rice, Sweet, Wood

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71
drank Chinese Black by Unknown
3574 tasting notes

This is a random Chinese black from, I believe, the Butiki box containing various samples of straight teas that Stacy didn’t end up selling in the shop.

It was decent, malty/hay-y, but definitely a single-cup steeper. Second cup was pretty bland.

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32
drank Unknown Black Tea by Unknown
16 tasting notes

This tea had a milder taste, did not smell very florally, was smoother and did not have a strong aftertaste.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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80
drank Jin Jun Mei by Unknown
5 tasting notes

The pleasant smell of this tea is almost reminiscent of chocolate. This is followed the standard bitterness, however this gives way to a very pleasant, lingering sweetness. In considering the process through which this tea is created, with the difficulty of picking the buds, and how the bushes grow from harsh mountains, the pleasantness of the flavor is all the more pronounced.

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86

A coworker came into work the other day with some kombucha she’d purchased from someone in town; I really wish I remembered where it was from because I’d very much like to credit the maker, but alas…

This was the best Kombucha I’ve had in a LONG time though – it tasted a lot like choke cherries, and reminded me of summers spent at my Grandmas. Also, a lot of kombucha has that acidic vinegar quality and this one very cleverly leaned into that and used it as a way to play up and enhance the ‘sour cherry’ taste/vibes. It was just really good overall.

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This tea was a gift from a family member’s trip to Europe. All of the other teas were herbal blends that were brought back. I have a pretty big bag of this along with the big bags of the herbals. The package is called “Lakrits” and says it’s made in Stockholm,Sweden. My family wasn’t sure if this was tea or potpourri when they bought it but it’s tea.

Flavor wise this tea reminds me more of anise than licorice although I’m only basing this off of herbal licorice teas consisting of licorice root. I’ve never had a black tea with licorice before. My guess is that the black tea base is an assam because of the taste and slightly malty flavor. It’s far from a favorite tea but is not a bad tea. It’s just not a flavor of black tea that I’d choose.

Flavors: Anise, Licorice

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Mastress Alita

I love licorice root, I think you are right, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen it blended with black tea before (I have it in some pu-erh blends, but that’s the closest I’ve seen). Is the licorice root able to sweeten up the astringencies of the Assam base, or because black tea is so strong are they naturally conflicting flavors?

Lexie Aleah

It seems to sweeten up the assam just in the slightest/keeping away bitterness. I would have preferred an anise herbal myself because the flavors are so distinct. I do see some people out there who would really enjoy this though. Probably someone who loves all types of anise candy/ licorice. I’m specifically thinking of those old fashioned anise candies.

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35
drank Decaf Friendship Chai by Unknown
4297 tasting notes

Latte Sipdown

Thank you Arby for the share but I did not like this one at all. It had a void in spice flavors and those that came through were all muddled and dirt-like. Just not for me.

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100
drank Masala Chai by Unknown
36 tasting notes

PERFECT for any time of the year.

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drank Uji Gyokuro by Unknown
9 tasting notes

The Wegmans brand (varietal unknown) was quite good. This was the first gyokuro I had the opportunity to try. I looked online and everyone had a different opinion on how to prepare it. I picked one and went with it, with good results! No bitterness whatsoever.

Flavors: Sweet

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84
drank Dragonwell by Unknown
4 tasting notes

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drank Darjeeling by Unknown
1789 tasting notes

This tea totally matches my mood today – slight bitterness, with a bit of brightness peeking through. if I can ignore the astringency it’s not a bad tea, but it reminds me why I usually stay away from Darjeeling teas in general. (I’ll take any Assam or Yunnan over a Darjeeling)

Why am I bitter? Oh! Thanks for asking. :P

Turns out when I went to update my tea spreadsheet last night, I broke the sort order in my columns and now my ratings are no longer tied to the teas and it’s a huge mess and several years of data that’s just… nonsensical? I saved after I broke it so I don’t see how to get back.

But, fine. Ok. New start. I’m here. I can add my cupboard here. I can create a new spreadsheet, and why not. My tastes have adjusted over the years, along with my budget. :P (That’s the brightness poking through! :D)

Dexter

Sucks that you need to start your spreadsheet again…. :(

Sil

dope.

Cavocorax

I was able to salvage half of it! I have my overall rating, but no notes. So, hey that’s not so bad.

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65

I am using this for a Ginseng Oolong because I have no idea what company it came from. My friend from my tea book club went on a two week trip to China and brought me back a gift tin of Ginseng Oolong. The tin and vacuum sealed bag is all in Chinese and she couldn’t tell me much about it. The only English it has on it says “A taste of zen.” I looked it up and couldn’t find a tea company with that name so I don’t think it is the company name.

This is my first ginseng oolong. It certainly looks pretty cool. The flavor I am mainly getting is the vegetal and slightly floral flavor of a lightly roasted oolong along with almost a sweet licorice type flavor that I assume is the ginseng.

The smell of the brewed tea didn’t appeal to me as it smelled very green and most greens and lightly roasted oolongs are not exactly my favorite. But the flavor, while being much of the green oolong, is saved a bit because I do enjoy whatever flavor the ginseng is imparting along with a throat coating sensation which I tend to enjoy.

Flavors: Floral, Green, Licorice

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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77

Had a small sample of this — not sure who made it. I’ve never had a golden earring tea before, so I was fascinated by the appearance of the leaves. Dry, this tea looked like tiny balls of rolled-up thread. It was fun watching them uncurl into silky olive-green leaves. It has that mild mineral note that is kind of characteristic of a roasted green tea, and the liquid was very pale.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Got a large bag of thIs from an Asian grocery, and have been having it iced every few weeks. I think I got a bad bag since it brews up kind of bitter and I definitely can’t brew it as strong as I’ve been able to in the past. Some of the smaller grains are black and burnt so maybe it’s just overtoasted. It’s a shame because I really enjoy iced barley tea. Hopefully I’ll find a better bag before summer.

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75
drank Vanilla Black Tea by Unknown
12 tasting notes

I’ll use this one for the Vanilla Black tea I have – that I have mixed from vanilla pieces and a none-too-good black tea of unknown origin.

As the vanilla pods were really good, this tea has a nice vanilla taste, covering up the less-than-perfect black tea (it is drinkable, mind you, just not up to my usual standards).
Needs a bit of sugar, but can be drunk without milk.

Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 34 OZ / 1000 ML

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drank unknown Sencha by Unknown
880 tasting notes

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drank Sassafras by Unknown
880 tasting notes

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drank Lishan Oolong by Unknown
880 tasting notes

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