Swap Sample Sipdown! (16 | 85)

This was one of many oolong samples that the lovely Kawaii433 saw fit to share with me!

So full disclosure, li shan and ali shan oolong are not my favorites. They have a tendency to be quite floral, which is not an attribute that I love in tea.

This one was quite floral as well. The rinse was creamy and delicious with light peach notes, and it probably should have occurred to me to start with shorter steeps because of that. But it didn’t, so I started my first steep at 25s. Next time, I think I’ll start at 15s (at most) for gaoshan.

So the first several steeps were very strong on the floral notes. There were also some sweet peach, grass, pea, and spinach notes in the background. I didn’t find the overall flavor to change a lot during this time, which surprised me. But this may have been a side effect of my poor brewing parameters.

I did really start to enjoy this tea in the last few steeps though, where the flowers faded a bit and I could appreciate the soft grass, vegetal, and fruit notes more.

I will say, every single steep of this tea had an amazing sweet aftertaste that lingered forever. I’m not sure if that was what is referred to as hui gan, or not? Either way, I could definitely appreciate that this is a very good quality tea, even if it isn’t my personal “cup of tea”. ;)

Flavors: Cream, Floral, Grass, Orchid, Peach, Peas, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Bio

Hi, I’m Cameron!

I’m a 30-something software engineer currently living in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two pugs, Gobo and Ume. I tend to cycle between my different hobbies, and they include piano, knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, planners, bento, KBeauty, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is “collecting” hobby-related things… ;)

~ 2024 SIPDOWN CHALLENGE! ~
- June Sipdowns: 16
- Total 2024 Sipdowns: 65

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I steep Western style, and fluctuate between using big mugs or small teapots depending on the season.

I am always up for a swap! Just let me know if you’d like to try something in my cupboard.

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms. These days, I drink mostly flavored teas, and I tend to gravitate most toward black, green, oolong, and herbal varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however.

I do not sweeten my teas, and pre-sweetened teas are usually too sweet for me. I also do not enjoy stevia.

I tend to reach for fruitier flavors rather than desserty ones these days, but I do have favorites from both categories. Willing to try anything once! There are a few ingredients/flavors that aren’t generally my jam, such as coconut, rose, lavender, and chocolate flavoring. But I also have teas that I love with some of those things, too! :)

Favorite Companies:
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Harney & Sons
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Lupicia
Old Barrel Tea Co
Simpson & Vail
Taiwan Tea Crafts
TeaVivre

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age or scent contamination.

Cupboard Spreadsheet:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZEuKf1-ppR-VXajO4vV39zU1N3zjFJteEPAynqD2yl0/edit?usp=sharing

Location

Austin, Texas

Website

https://www.instagram.com/tea...

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