New Tasting Notes

I can not believe I have only reviewed this tea one time, and it was frightful review about how adding lemon to this tea made it turn vicious.

What a different day! You see, after I tried that sample, I bought a one pound bag of lavender from Harney and Sons. I was planning to use it for the occasional cup of tea, for adding to other teas or tisanes like tulsi, and for making sachets and such.

I recently got the idea that since I like rosemary water very much, I might like lavender water. I simply put about two teaspoons – maybe a tablespoon – of lavender blossoms into a carafe and filled it with cold water and put it in the fridge. At first the water stayed clear, for hours and hours. By the next morning, it was yellow. I poured it through a strainer and tasted and found it a bit strong, so I drank it mixed half and half with cold water. It was perfect! This also stretched my carafe and gave double the cold tea I had anticipated. I think this will be a regular thing to alternate with my rosemary water, since I don’t have quite as much rosemary growing as I used to have. It is so relaxing and I really slow down and breathe when I drink it.

Evol Ving Ness

It sounds like a lovely thing to have on hand.

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100
drank Jasmine Tea Pearls by Birchall
1 tasting notes

I absolutely adore this tea. This is the first time that I’m trying green tea combined with jasmine flowers (usually Chinese restaurants offer the stronger black tea with jasmine flowers). This tea is super light, very refreshing, and does not offer any hint of bitterness from the green tea so you can feel free to leave this in to seep for as long as you please.

Flavors: Jasmine

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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94
drank Mango Boost by DAVIDsTEA
1 tasting notes

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80
drank Pink Flamingo by DAVIDsTEA
1386 tasting notes

Wading into the fray on this one (wow, so many notes)!

The first of the David’s tisanes I bought a number of weeks ago. I picked one at random to try.

Yes, it’s weird that I am steeping at 205 (really 208) degrees, but that’s because I’m using the Zojirushi to make hot water these days instead of steeping strongly flavored items in the Breville. Less likelihood of cross-over residual flavor that way.

I mostly smelled orange when I opened the packet, which is good because I’ve been really in the mood for orange tisanes lately. I over “leafed” (really “mixed”) significantly out of habit and experience.

Really intense dark red color. So dark, it’s almost opaque. Its a cranberry red color that’s quite pretty. The aroma is sweet orange, and a bit of a sideways mentholated note which must be the eucalyptus.

I dunno. I see so many folks who have posted who don’t care for this. Am I weird? I like it!

A lot of the thumbs down seem to be on account of the hibiscus, which I no longer detest and have even started to enjoy, so there’s that. It’s not even really that strong to me because I’ve been drinking a lot of Tazo Passion lately which is probably mostly hibiscus. This seems almost tame by comparison. The orange mellows out the tarter aspects with a sort of juicy sweetness. And the eucalyptus is actually a nice addition — it gives the aftertaste a freshness without being medicinal.

Lemongrass? Maybe I can taste it a little, but mostly it’s orange and hibiscus and eucalyptus that are playing rather nicely together.

I can already tell that overleafing with this one will be key. That’s the only way to get the requisite sweetness into the mix.

Flavors: Eucalyptus, Hibiscus, Orange

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 500 OZ / 14786 ML

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52

Sipdown no. 32 of 2018 (no. 388 total). Sample tin.

Meh.

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This tea is really soft, gentle, not as bold as most oolongs I drink. It’s sweet – I find that a little weird – some honey, some stone fruit and of course some woody oolong. It’s good. People who aren’t a huge fan of dark oolong might like this one, it’s milder than other’s I’ve tried. I prefer bold, aged oolongs that are a lot like leather and old books – so this isn’t quite my cup of tea.

(Really tight hockey game happening – hard to focus on the tea when I’m sitting on the edge of my seat…… go jets…)
https://www.instagram.com/p/BfcPdpUBWCZ/?taken-by=dex3657
That picture looks good on my phone but really washed out on my laptop…. weird….

Evol Ving Ness

Hmm, sounds promising.

Go jets go! (Whatever it takes to get you here :)

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70

This tea actually smells pretty good. It tastes like apples and cinnamon mostly. It’s also quite a light tea since it’s a green. It’s pretty good, although it’s not a fave.

Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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100

Still feeling poorly here. Exactly the time to baby myself with this lovely soothing tea. Honeyed camomile grounded by the rooibos. Delightful.

Dexter

Babying yourself seems like the right thing to be doing. Feel better.

52Teas

So sorry to hear you’re not feeling well, but glad that you have some tea to comfort you.

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you both. Ayup, thank goodness for tea.

I could be drinking sick teas, but nope, not doing it. I am drinking exactly what I am craving. Some of my tastebuds are working and I don’t want to torment them in addition to everything else that is suffering.

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98

Love You Oolong Time! This oolong is quickly proving to be a favorite. The first time I ever attempted gongfu brewing it was with this tea, and when I had a friend over, we had a gongfu session together with it as well, and really enjoyed picking out the flavor notes from each infusion together. I have the spring 2017 harvest of this tea.

I brewed five grams of this tea gongfu style in approximately 75ml of 200 F water. I got ten infusions from the tea, before it started losing flavor. The steeping times were as follows: 10 sec, 15 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 40 sec, 50 sec, 1 min, 1 min 30 sec. The tea brews up a very bright, clear, golden yellow color.

The first infusion of the tea had a very strong, astringent vegetal note, tasting of spinach and brocolli, with a slight, floral note lingering beneath the surface. The second infusion brought out the vegetal notes even more strongly, with that astringent, bitter spinach bite really filling the mouth, and the lingering floral notes becoming even more subdued.

By the third infusion, the leaves were really starting to open up, and a pleasant perfumey aroma was making itself present in the tea. The flavor of the tea was starting to sweeten out a bit, and taste more of orchids. The next infusion is when it really started to mellow out, becoming very sweet, creamy, and floral, tasting very much of orchids and lilacs! The next few infusions were probably the best, tasting extremely sweet, and entirely of floral notes… any lingering presense of the vegetal notes had disappeared! There was a slightly buttery mouthfeel, the tea was very smooth, it was filled with lovely floral notes, and it was hard to believe that it had such an astringent start. Subsequent infusions continued to have a very sweet taste of orchids and lilacs, though a slight vegetal aftertaste reappeared on my tongue.

The tea had very good staying power, and I felt very tea-full, satisfied, and had that nice aware-and-relaxed feeling from the session. I think fans of green teas or light floral notes would find this a very satisfying oolong.

Full Review: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2018/02/18/tea60/

Flavors: Astringent, Broccoli, Butter, Cream, Floral, Orchid, Perfume, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 75 ML

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87

Those of who you read my reviews may know by now that Shan Lin Xi oolongs are often hit or miss with me. I either really love them or find them to be just pretty good at best. Normally, I look for a lot of floral and creamy notes underpinned by grassy, vegetal character in teas of this type and often tend to pass on teas that strike me as being mostly savory and/or vegetal. I say I often pass on teas like that because every now and then I find one that appeals to me. This tea ended up being one of those.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 8 seconds. This infusion was chased by 13 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of butter, cream, vanilla, and sugarcane. I could just barely detect a hint of orchid too. After the rinse, I found a hint of custard and some vegetal character on the nose. The first proper infusion then brought out stronger vegetal scents and something of a brothy umami aroma. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of butter, cream, sugarcane, and vanilla balanced by surprisingly well-defined vegetal notes of grass, coriander, and spinach. When I focused in, I could detect a little umami character and some hints of orchard fruit on the finish. Subsequent infusions brought out clearly defined notes of white peach, green apple, and pear, a stronger umami presence on the nose and in the mouth, and subtle, belatedly emerging custard and orchid flavors. New impressions of honeydew, minerals, parsley, cucumber, lettuce, and seaweed also emerged alongside distant, often barely detectable baked bread and garden pea notes. The later infusions mostly offered a smooth liquor with notes of minerals, cream, spinach, coriander, and butter chased by vague seaweed and umami impressions.

I’m used to Shan Lin Xi oolongs that are creamier, more citrusy, and more floral and often make attempts to avoid those that are more vegetal, but this tea surprisingly hit the spot for me. Maybe it was a case of the tea being perfect for this unseasonably warm and sunny day or maybe I just needed something that felt more substantial in the mouth. Heck, a bit of both could have been at play here. Though this type of tea would normally not be my thing, I found this particular tea to be very enjoyable. If you are a fan of some of the more savory, vegetal high mountain oolongs, I would not hesitate to recommend this tea to you.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Coriander, Cream, Cucumber, Custard, Garden Peas, Grass, Green Apple, Honeydew, Lettuce, Mineral, Orchid, Parsley, Peach, Pear, Seaweed, Sugarcane, Umami, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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83
drank Blueberry Fruit Tea by Teavivre
9346 tasting notes

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90

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65

This tea is all right. It has a floral orange thing going on that tasted all right in my mouth but left me with an unpleasant aftertaste. I finished my cup, but I don’t love orange so this will definitely not become one of my favorites.

Flavors: Floral, Orange

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65
drank Pumpkin Pie Chai by Tea Revv
4 tasting notes

This is from the 24 Days of Tea advent calendar from Tea Revv. This tea is slightly sweet and has a bit of cinnamon. Overall I found it too weak tasting for my personal taste.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Sugar

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100

This tea was made for me! I was a 52teas transition kickstarter backer and this tea was my reward. I’ve had it several times before but apparently I didn’t review it. Time to break that now.

I love it. I wanted a tea that tasted similar to a Samoa (the girl scout cookie) and while this doesn’t quite make it there, it is a valiant effort and a good tea in it’s own right. Chocolate, coconut, tastiness.

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85

This was hiding in the bottom of my drawer, not quite a sipdown, I think I have about a cup’s worth left but still pretty good.

Although, I was a bit distracted while drinking it. I brought it into a meeting about my salary review this year and was a bit preoccupied so I didn’t really give it the attention it deserved. It was a good meeting though!

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68
drank Lemon Vanilla by Steeped Tea
284 tasting notes

This is an interesting tea… It’s quite good, the mix of lemon and vanilla. Almost like a dessert. I don’t taste the rooibos much so that’s a good thing. I like this tea, it’s a good one to start the day with.

Flavors: Lemon, Rooibos, Vanilla

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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95

Tung Ting is a lightly fired oolong which has a beautiful floral aroma. This tea should be lightly extracted and reused several times, each time giving it a little more time. It is a very subtle taste and should not be brewed strong.

Flavors: Flowers

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82

Another one of those “finally opened this one up” teas. I am incorrigible.

The flavor was a bit light, despite following the vendors instructions, so I may need to overleaf a bit, or maybe brew it longer, or maybe at a higher temp. I guess I’ll need to play around with it. The bread-y, malty, honey, earthiness was very much there as expected, and if it was just a bit deeper I would deem this almost perfect. Thought about gongfu-ing it but went western with it. Second infusion was markedly weaker, but still very enjoyable. Looking forward to future experimenting with this.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Earth, Honey, Malt

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82

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After sipping a Hao-Ya yesterday, I’m moving on to a Mao Feng this morning. Of course, you immediately notice the leaf shape is different, the Mao Feng being notably thicker as each is full and unbroken, tightly twisted into a shape resembling a gnarled and tarred tree branch.

Prepared in my Jian Shui gaiwan, and served in my porcelain tea cup via my glass cha hai. Filtered Santa Monica municipal water just off the boil throughout.

Using a little less tea and a little more time today (infusions starting at 1 minute and slowly increasing from there): safety orange liquor; gentle, faintly malty aroma; wheat and cocoa on the palate with hints of chestnut or pecan in the finish; very clean and energizing without briskness or acidity. Some additional complexity can be coaxed out with longer infusions, with very subtle notes of chewing tobacco, carob, and potting soil emerging in the finish – but this tea has a wonderful clarity if you don’t over-steep.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML

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88

It was 81 degrees in Missouri yesterday. Today it is snowing! After reading so many good reviews I went ahead and placed my first order with Wuyi Origin and broke out this 2017 Rou Gui as the first to try!

The dry leaves smell amazing — a perfectly balanced roast. Very full bodied with strong cacao notes. The flavor is very complex with the typical minerality as its base. Citrusy finish of lemon zest that makes me smile. I brewed at 205 F, but would maybe consider taking it down to 200 next time around. Love the mouthfeel, super thick and oily and leaves a mouth watering menthol flavor all over the palate. After seven infusions the flavor seemed to be keeping steady but I could not go on. Peak flavor at the fourth steep (I will have dreams of that fourth steep!) with intertwining notes of cinnamon, tobacco, and lemon.

Glad I got this one. Am really interested in the Rou Gui “Fruit style” from them as well, but will have to wait till next time. Looking forward to trying the rest and seeing how they compare!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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