2188 Tasting Notes

91

Finally drinking up the rest of this tea. I got it in China years ago, and it really needed to be drunk. It aged well but green teas can only be hoarded so long. I don’t think I have any jasmine green teas left in my cupboard (just a little Yunnan White Jasmine), which is weird, but I rarely crave them anyway. I may not buy another until I end up in China again!

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78
drank Sans Complexe by THE O DOR
2188 tasting notes

I decided that this, brewed hot, wasn’t really my favorite (something about the base) so I cold steeped the rest of my ounce. It was quite delicious that way. For the very end I had slightly less than needed for a cold brew, so I supplemented with some bonus caramel tea and a touch of Earl Grey. It was very tasty! Makes me think I should do caramel EG cold steeps just to see how come out.

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78
drank Berry Victoria by Silk Road
2188 tasting notes

Had the last of this sample this morning. As always, I had a little more than I would usually use, so I dropped by steep time a bit. It was pretty tasty, although I find the flavor combo a touch overwhelming. Perhaps it is the lavender, even though it (thankfully) isn’t a very strong flavor. Still, a pleasant tea.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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90

I had a bit more of this tea left than I used last time, but not enough for two cups, so in it went. Mostly because the tea is so fluffy and spindly that teaspoons aren’t really a great measure of the leaf amount anyway, so I knew splitting it would be a mistake.

This is really quite tasty. I looked back at the notes for this one and I have to say I don’t get any wood or leather in this at all. It is just nice sweet grains and molasses. Yum. Maybe because I am treating it with a lighter hand? I often find these fine Chinese black teas need to be brewed more like oolongs than people are used to brewing black teas.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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99
drank Passionfruit Oolong by Naivetea
2188 tasting notes

When I was going through my cupboard I would often try to arrange it so I drank a black tea in the morning, and an oolong (or green or white, but mostly oolong) in the afternoon. Obviously if I was able to keep that up I have a lot of oolongs, but I think before my sip-through I had gotten out of the habit of drinking them. No more! I am going to continue my black-in-the-morning, oolong-in-the-afternoon habit and try to drink them more often.

Anyway, this was my choice for today. I thought of some other, older ones, but my taste buds really decided they wanted this one. I bought some passion fruits at a big international grocery store yesterday, so I guess they are on my mind. As always, this is lovely. Delicious hot, cold, and every temp in between. Having recently tried some other scented oolongs using a high mountain Taiwanese base, I appreciate the sweetness and floral notes that the base brings here. It’s really what I think of when I think of high mountain oolongs (other than Jin Xuan)… no butter, not creamy, but a rich, thick texture nonetheless, with sweetness, floral notes, and a freshness that pairs well with fruit flavors. Definite yum.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Fjellrev

After reading about you raving about them for a couple years, I finally caved, emailed them, and asked if they would be willing to ship to Canada. :)

Dinosara

Oh, I hope they can work something out for you!

Fjellrev

Yeah! I mean, why wouldn’t they want my money?

Equusfell

I’m going to have to try this again/order this now that my tastes are more refined. I think I will enjoy it a lot more now! And I have been hanging that lychee oolong over my own head for so long now…. Gah!

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87
drank Maple Taffy by Bayswater Tea Co.
2188 tasting notes

Finished this one off today. Thanks again to OMGsrsly for the sample; it was yummy! I had no problem reaching for it this morning, and am a little sad to see it go. I think the various additions besides maple all support the maple and give it a depth of flavor that is sometimes lacking in single-flavor teas. Another nice offering from Bayswater!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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87
drank Maple Taffy by Bayswater Tea Co.
2188 tasting notes

As I alluded to before, now that I’m done with my sip-through of my cupboard I feel paralyzed with indecision over what tea to drink. My tea drinking was so prescribed for 4 months, and now I have to make a choice?!?!?

Last year at this point I decided to work on a few sipdowns, which is what I shall do again. This is not a sipdown but the penultimate cup of this tea. I almost didn’t drink it but then it smelled really yummy so I couldn’t resist. I accidentally forgot to take the brew basket out after my timer went off, so it was probably in for another minute or so. Fortunately, it does not seemed harmed by the experience. Not bitter or astringent, but there is definitely more cinnamon in this cup than there was in the first. Still, a very tasty cup and still very mapley.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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This was mistakenly attributed to the Ali Shan when instead it was apparently this tea instead. So this is a reposted note!

This was our final gongfu of the afternoon. There was almost too few leaves for this one, so my steeping was fairly wonky. This one was pretty much exactly as I might of expected. The steeps were all variations on the same theme: floral and sugar snap peas, with perhaps a hint of butter. Some were more floral, some were more vegetal, but they were all pretty similar. I kind of drank this one without really thinking about it. It was a perfectly fine tea, but not overly memorable for me.

ETA: Oh, I almost forgot! There was one steep near the end that was really nutty, almost like some chinese green teas. That was an interesting steep, I haven’t gotten a ton of nuttiness from high mountain oolongs before.

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82
drank Golden Turtle by Mandala Tea
2188 tasting notes

This was my other free sample from Mandala, and it is also officially the last tea in my cupboard (#–7)!! Of course, I skipped a few teas here and there for different reasons, but I have once again sipped-through my entire cupboard. And it took me 3 less weeks than last year! Once again it was really fun, and reminded me of all the teas I have forgotten. But I never know exactly what to drink after I’m done with this.

Anyway, I thought about saving this tea to have at a gongfu session, but then I just decided to drink it. Sorry Equusfell. :) I had a little more than I would normally use for my 12 oz cup, so I steeped it a little shorter to compensate.

I had a sample of this tea something like two years ago, and reading my note I can say that I found it much the same as I did back then. It smells really sweet and floral, with a bit of butteriness, like a really good TGY. But the flavor is more vegetal and less floral, with some butter but not much cream. A tiny hint of sweetness comes out as it cools, but it is still predominantly vegetal, a little like snap peas but not quite. Overall a pretty tasty tea, but when I drink it I just kind of wish I was drinking a TGY instead.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Equusfell

It’s okay! I have the other half of my sample still, and I was lukewarm about it as well! There are more fun things we could be gong fu-ing!

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90

A free sample from Mandala in my last order. I contemplated several of their black teas, but didn’t purchase any of them so it was nice to get this one (#–6) as a sample.

No steeping instructions on the website, so I went with a somewhat conservative wiry-Chinese-black-tea western steeping method. I should note that I was somewhat concerned my water filter wasn’t working properly since yesterday the two highly-rated Mandala teas I drank were lackluster. But I changed that filter recently, so I didn’t think that could be it. This tea convinces me that it was not.

It smells amazing brewed; a bit of grains, molasses, perhaps some notes of caramel and chocolate. The taste is lovely; sweet, with most of the notes from the scent. There is also a bit of raisin. It really reminds me of some of the Fujian black teas I’ve had, although I know it’s not from Fujian. It does also have a little bit of sweet potato, like a tippy Yunnan, but it’s not a strong component. The liquor has nice body and is oh so smooth. All in all quite a delicious black tea, and I’m really happy to have gotten a sample of it.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Profile

Bio

I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: Mind-blowingly good, just right for my palate, and teas that just take me to a happy place.
89-86: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
85-80: Pretty tasty teas that I enjoy well enough, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but only if there were no preferrable options.
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.
Unrated: Usually I feel unqualified to rate these teas because they are types of teas that I tend to not like in general. Sometimes user error or tea brewed under poor conditions.

Location

Ohio, US

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