124 Tasting Notes


I think I’m not a huge fan of oxidized oolong teas. They just don’t seem like “real” oolongs to my tastes. This one has a nice caramell-y malty kind of flavor but it falls much closer to a black for the mood I was in.
I’m getting metal aftertaste flavors on this tea.
While I didn’t care for this much, it was exactly like it was described – If you like more roasty oolongs this might be for you.

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Bao Zhongs/Pouchongs are usually very very light oolongs, but there are a few darker ones with the same name… kind of weird!

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I didn’t really taste anything but the honeybush in here. This wasn’t bad by any stretch but for some reason I just didn’t taste any of the other flavors. I used a heaping teaspoon, but I’m thinking two would have been better.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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Trying green tea again today… the leaves smelled great.
And hurray, I like it! Oooh complex and interesting.
A nice fresh green flavor upfront that fades into a tin aftertaste that makes the green taste like something mixed with petrichor.
It is slightly creamy, I’m thinking of creamed green beans? There is a great back of throat feel that lingers in a buttery creamy way. This tea is really like having a great bowl of vegetables on a rainy day.
I feel like the more tasting notes I make the more permission I give myself to be incredibly associative. It’s helpful to me to look back at, probably not too helpful to everyone else though!
Listening to Stranger in Moscow which is one of my favorite “rainy day” songs – perfect compliment.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

I find your flavour associations helpful. =)

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I’m brewing this western style so I can enjoy it while video editing without being too distracted. Woohoo multitasking!
I didn’t get much scent from the leaves, but the brewed tea has a definite fishy odor. I’ve learned not to judge tea too much on the scent though.
The flavor was actually pretty minimal. On my second steeping I went a little long but didn’t really see an improvement.
I don’t know about this tea. It’s another tea that I’ve tried recently that has been just mediocre. But I haven;t found a perfect pu-erh for a long time.

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I’m one of those people who will do the vendor recommended steeping for a couple steeps and then do my own thing if the flavor is too weak for my taste. I love a strong SHU! Sometimes these nuggets take more than one rinse initially, and can be very HARD! I’ve begun breaking the very hard ones a little right up front when dry (saw a video with a Chinese Master doing it). Maybe you are a heavy brew lover too, no telling? Maybe puerh isn’t your thing…it’s ok too.


Thanks for the recommendation – I think you’re right and I do prefer some of my teas stronger. I know there is a method to breaking it up, I should have watched a video first. A couple rinses helped a bit but I can see this as a place where tools could come in helpful.


Your fingers are good if it’s not too hard or a screwdriver (some people reading this might cringe…too bad…the shape is similar to the puer tool I have).

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Brewed gongfu style. I used around 4 tsp for my 6-8 oz mug. The leaves were long and spindly so difficult to measure, I ended up basically eyeballing it.
The leaves smelled chocolatey with an interesting green flavor underneath it. For some reason the scent makes me think of a front porch around the 4th of July in a little town near a river #synesthesia.
The liquor was great smelling – deep, molasses-y and chocolatey.
The flavor is surprisingly spicy and deep. I get great flavors of molasses and earth. There is a tiny salty coppery aftertaste.
To sum up the first infusion: Dirt and Blood. And I mean that in the best possible way.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

I surely didn’t expect that last comment. You need to drink this on the 31st.


! You made me laugh out loud, that is a great idea :)

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Wow, I think I just bit into a chrysanthemum! Everyone talks about how they get a floral taste from oolongs and I usually get a strong butter flavor.
This though… wow serious flowers. And super interesting to me is that afterwards I do get a butter flavor but with a neat salt aftertaste. Surprising finish, really nice.
If I judged this by the initial flavor I would be kind of meh about it, but the twist, like the end of an Agatha Christie mystery is just too neat to ignore.
Thanks for the sample Teavivre! This one is a fun one :)

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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drank GenmaiMatcha by Zen Tea
124 tasting notes

This was a free sample from Zen Tea Life – thank you!
I am exactly in the mood for genmaimatcha right now (I love finally having a variety of teas for just this reason!)
I really like this version of genmaimatcha. It is nicely nutty and the matcha is pretty smooth and fresh in this blend.

170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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This was a free sample from Teavivre – thank you!
I brewed 4 “pearls” which, by the way, are adorable. I love the tactile way they rattle around in the tin.
I brewed this a little longer than I meant to, I was administering frozen pea first aid to my sister, but I caught it in time for it to be fine.
The liquor smells sweet and caramelly. The flavor of the tea black is a little sour for my taste, I think this is a tea I add milk too. I get malty flavors and a little bit of a nice… graham cracker taste? weird but good.
I want to try brewing this shorter again, but definitely fine how I brewed it!

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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This smells like chocolate with a little bit of brandy.
This tea has some of the “sparkling” feeling to it. It has a spiciness that lingers on for a long time after drinking, almost a white pepper kind of zing.
There is a nice smokiness that underlines the brandy type flavor.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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I’m reviewing the keureg cup version of the tea.
Sorry, I’m going to spike the rating of this tea here – I have to say that I like it.
Objectively, it’s a pretty poor tea, it’s mostly a hibiscus flavor. That said… it reminds me of drinking tea years ago. It is incredibly comforting, actually.
I ran the keureg empty twice to make sure as little coffee flavor would come through as possible.


I’ve spiked a few ratings myself – but I say, if you like it, spike it :)

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I’m a writer and as such, am obviously an emotional rollercoaster. I used to drink tea a lot more, but kind of stopped and switched to coffee. Now, after too much stress, I’m completely unable to drink coffee anymore, so I figured tea would fulfill some of my “awake” needs as well as calm my emotions. I’m working my way through a huge selection of samples of pretty much everything, leaving notes so I remember what I like.
I love being adventurous and trying new things, even (especially?) things that sound strange or off-putting. Aside from tea I also enjoy tasting wines. The last really interesting one I tried was a dandelion wine! (And yes, it actually was delicious. Extremely bizarre and herby, but delicious).

I don’t have a set of numerical ratings set down yet, mainly because I’m very intuitive (read: disorganized and opinionated) about how I rate things. Basically, If something is in the 70-85 range, it’s pretty good, totally drinkable. Below that, in the 50-69 range, it was probably incredibly boring. I really hate boring tea. Below 50, I wouldn’t drink it again and might not have finished it (I actually really hate leaving ratings below 50, it makes me feel bad. I’m probably too nice). If it’s above 85 then I really liked it. Super high ratings are reserved for teas that totally blew me away.



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