48

May Flowers! So, this ended up being another overleafed gong fu attempt… I wonder when I’ll figure out the secret? Seems that any time I look up what I should be doing based on the amount of water it holds and the type of tea I’ll be brewing, I need to take about a gram off of what the estimates say or my results are too bitter to drink. Because both times now that is what I’ve done, and my second attempt has been fine…

I used 4g of leaf in my 150 ml beginner’s gaiwan (though to be fair, I only fill it about halfway since I’m making a single cup, and even then I end up emptying a bit of each infusion into a “drainage” cup), at 190 F using a first steep of 20 seconds with subsequent steeps starting at 10 seconds and increasing in 5 second intervals. My session was a quick 7 infusions before my tea felt weak enough that I decided to wrap things up.

This tea has a very vegetal dry smell, but steeped has a very strong, perfumy aroma. In fact, the aroma was almost as perfume-floral potent as Jasmine Pearls… phew. And that isn’t exactly my tea, because of the extremely heady aroma. So the first few infusions were a bit strong for me, with a very thick floral orchid taste and scent. This is probably the most orchid oolong I have ever had! There was a very subtle hint of a nutty taste and a bit of cinnamon left on my tongue in the aftertaste. Around the fourth and fifth infusions the tea mellowed out a bit, and those were probably the most pleasant infusions, as the floral had tamed itself a bit more to my liking, and the aroma wasn’t so overwhelming. By the sixth and seventh steeps, the flavor was still pleasant, but noticably starting to loose steam.

Unlike many oolongs I’ve tried, I didn’t really notice the flavor changing from infusion to infusion, so in the future this is probably an oolong I’ll prepare western style instead; I think that may also produce a slightly less overwhelmingly “perfumey” experience out of the gate as well, which is the one thing about this tea I didn’t like. Perfumey teas tend to aggrevate my head the way strongly scented hand lotions or perfumes do, as far as migraines go, so I tend to avoid them. The mid-infusions didn’t have that problem, so I think a western brew will do this tea well, so I do plan to explore it again.

The tea was just a bit one-note… granted, it was a note I enjoy, flavor-wise, but the strong aroma, lack of flavor versatility, and short staying power don’t make this a favorite oolong overall. It is certainly a good choice for a strong floral hit that isn’t jasmine, though!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Floral, Nuts, Orchid, Perfume

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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Bio

Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud asexual and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little condo!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Dessert/chocolate/vanilla/caramel/cream/toffee/maple
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Vegetal/grassy
-Floral/lavender/rose
-Spices/chais
-Fruity
-Tropical/pineapple/coconut
-Bergamot (in moderation)
-Roasted/nutty
-Tart/tangy/hibiscus/rosehip

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

Currently Sipping Down: What-cha teas, Rishi teas

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.

New Teas Tried for 2020: 145
Sipdown Count for 2020: 177

Inventory:

My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AvGT1XwgJUTErt3zhjpHbXf6HNS3k_Ym85zoHJPmhX4/edit?usp=sharing . A downloadable spreadsheet version with more detailed information can be acquired here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D2J0sUMNItRsf0jBRBR6XDFUimm60f0o/view?usp=sharing . I am currently strictly limiting tea trading/ordering to get my collection under control! I cannot participate in any tea boxes, tea exchanges, or accept any tea gifts at this point in time. I may participate in specific group orders depending on the company. If there is something on my spreadsheet that I have in large quantity (50g or higher) that you would like to sample, feel free to contact me about it, as I am open to limited gifting (USA only!)

Contact Info:

The Steepster PM system has been broken for some time. If you need to get ahold of me, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.

Location

Idaho, United States

Website

https://teatimetuesdayreviews...

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