260 Tasting Notes

87

The first time I tried this tea, I gongufed it and didn’t like the musky, brothy flavor. But not every tea is made for gongfu and in this particular case, generic western steeping actually worked best. I dropped about 7 pearls into a 200ml teapot and brewed it for 3 minutes or so until the leaf began to unfurl. The tea had a lovely sweet incense like aroma. Soft, creamy flavor with a faintly floral aftertaste that reminded me of white tea.

I can see why this is used as a base in jasmine scented tea. The subtle flavor works well in many blends. I added a dried persian rosebud and the tea complemented the rose very nicely.

Flavors: Creamy, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML
Evol Ving Ness

What a beautiful idea for the appropriate tea! Will try. Thanks for the tip.

LuckyMe

Teavivre has a really wonderful pink rosebud tea. I like to add it towards the end of a session when the tea starts running out of steam

Evol Ving Ness

^ Thanks, LuckyMe. I still have some scented rosebuds that I purchased at our latest local tea festival. I’ll use those up first. However, I will take a look and add it to my shopping list. When I give myself permission to start amassing more teas. Because currently here I have reached the what-the-hell-was-I-thinking stage in the tea department.

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65

Backlog.

I tried Long Feng Xia for the first time a year ago and loved its elegant, citrusy flavor. However this batch from TTC reminded me once again of how drastically the same tea can change from one harvest to the next. It gives wonderful aromas of daffodils and tropical fruit but none of it comes through in taste. The flavor is mostly grassy-vegetal with noticeable astringency that hangs around for the first few steeps. Some fruitiness peeks through later but it’s muted and the flavor is flat overall. It doesn’t have the balsam notes nor the delicate floral quality of LFX of past. A very disappointing tea.

Flavors: Apple, Astringent, Orchid, Vegetal

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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88

Backlogged review. Another stellar Laoshan green from Verdant. This one sat in my fridge for 4 months before opening yet still tasted amazingly fresh and packed quite a punch. I love how potent these Laoshan teas are.

Dry leaf has a sumptuous aroma of soybeans and creamed spinach. The brewed tea is rich and vegetal. It’s got the signature soymilk flavor that’s characteristic of Laoshan green teas with slight floral hints and anise. Toasted grains appear in the second steeping along with some brothiness. Later steeps have notes of green bean and a little saffron.

A delicious tea for sure, but to my palate didn’t taste very different from their regular grade green tea.

Flavors: Anise, Cream, Green Beans, Soybean, Spinach

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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90

I was surprised at how much I liked this tea. I seldom reach for puerh and my experience with most sheng has been rough to say the least. But this tea was a different story. It’s super smooth without any funk and a mild earthiness that doesn’t overwhelm. Really nice and clean taste. It’s not quite sweet but it’s not bitter either. I’d describe the flavor as a hearty dried prune with a little earthy kick.

The tea brews to a rich, dark cherry wood red liquor that quickly stained my gaiwan brown (note to self: don’t steep this in white porcelain again). There’s next to zero fermentation flavor here. The flavor is quite mellow and aside from a hint of woodsiness and slightly tamer earthiness later, it changed very little in 6 or 7 steeps.

This is a mild ripe puerh that’s great for easy sipping. I enjoyed this one a lot and would recommend it as an introductory tea for puerh newcomers.

Flavors: Earth

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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83

If I had to sum up this tea in one word, it would be corn. There’s all sorts of corny aromas and flavors going on here.

The dry leaf smells like matcha popcorn and soybeans. Wet leaf brings out toasted nori.

After a quick first steep of 30s, I got what tasted like warm grass and creamed corn. The corn intensified in the second steep, this time with corn husk and silk notes and accompanied by toasted rice. The flavor smoothens out in the next two steeps and becomes more of a sweet corn on the cob affair.

This was a fun tea to drink. Compared to Chinese and Japanese green teas, there’s less of the vegetal and umami taste you typically encounter. I could see a resemblance to genmaicha in its toasted corn notes. I prefer grassier green teas so I won’t be seeking out this tea in the future, but it’s worth sampling to experience the unique flavor profile of Korean tea.

Flavors: Corn Husk, Popcorn, Toasted Rice

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 120 ML

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90

Picked this up from a Steepster stash sale and it turned out to be a good one. Being a flavored milk oolong, the milkiness is definitely assertive but not cloying or fake. The tea has a pleasant aroma of cream and dairy. Taste matches the aroma exactly. A soothing, creamy milk flavor that lasts through many steeps. Eventually the milkiness fades into the background and the tea becomes fruity and sweet.

The milk flavor is natural and doesn’t clash with tea’s own flavor. Not much else left to say except this a simple yet incredibly smooth and delicious tea.

Flavors: Cream, Milk

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

Where can I access the stash sale, or future sales if I missed that one?

Evol Ving Ness

Daylon, there’s a thread here on Steepster where people post what they want to sell from their stash.

Daylon R Thomas

Duh, in the conversations. I’ve tried using it before last year.

LuckyMe

It’s in the Stash Sales thread. I bought this one from tea-sipper, I think

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77

Can’t quite decide how I feel about this tea. It tastes different every time I steep it. The first time I tried it, it was very citrusy like orange dish soap with lemongrass and a bit of earthiness. Tonight, it veered more toward floral. Strong rose and chrysanthemum tones. I think the flavor is determined by the random mix of ingredients you get when scooping out the tea.

I got about 3 steeps out of this tea. The flavor largely fades after the initial infusion leaving behind just the chamomile in subsequent steepings. A decent caffeine-free herbal but nothing to write home about.

Flavors: Citrusy, Earth, Lemongrass, Orange, Rose

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 150 ML

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82

Backlog.

This one tastes like a darjeeling or bug bitten oolong crossed with a Chinese black tea. A pleasant cherry like fruity aroma greets you upon opening the packet. The tea opens up with lots of wood and a little chocolate and malt in the background. The chocolate becomes more pronounced as the steeps progress and the woodsy notes soften to smooth out the flavor.

I recommend gongfu brewing this one. Western steeping brings out a nice dark red color but loses its nuances and some chocolatey goodness.

Flavors: Cherry, Chocolate, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

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87

As much as I love green oolongs, every once in a while I need to switch things up a bit with a baked tea. Most dark oolongs are too roasty for me but light baked teas such as this one fit the bill perfectly: green with a warming personality

The first whiff of the dry leaf reminded me of cream and butterscotch. Wet leaf had a toasted nuts scent to it. It was too roasty gongfued so I steeped it western style and grandpa with good results. First steep was light bodied but very sweet with notes of honey and baked bread. Second steeping brought out toasted barley, nuts, and caramel. Starting with the third steep, the tea begins exhibiting a greener character. The baked flavor diminishes and eventually disappears by the 5th steep leaving a mellow fruity flavor behind.

Overall, this was a satisfying tea without the heavy char you typically see in dark oolongs. I enjoyed its sweet, caramelized nuts flavor but wished it had some more depth and the florals of BTTC’s light baked Alishan. Also the gradual transition from dark to green doesn’t happen as smoothly as the BTTC tea.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Butterscotch, Caramel

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Profile

Bio

Fell into tea years ago, and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and a few flavored teas. My tea epiphany came a few years ago when I discovered jade oolongs. That was the gateway drug to the world of fine tea and teaware.

With the exception of a handful of lightly scented teas, I drink mostly straight tea. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea my entire life, Chinese blacks are beginning to grow on me. I’ve dipped my toe into a few puerhs now but it’s still relatively new territory for me. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

Location

Chicago

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