85
drank Bamboo Shoots by TeaFrog
1925 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 16 for 2014. Another sample in the “to be drunk soon” box that I didn’t get to during my last tea tasting frenzy.

The dry leaf has so many interesting shapes and colors in it. ;-) The red peppercorns are really pretty. They look like miniature holly berries against the green of the tea. I can see little squares of what must be the papaya or the pineapple (probably papaya because of the color). And the little cardamom pods! The dry leaf has a mostly sweet scent to it with just a hint of spice.

The liquor is golden and smells very fruity. I get a lot of pineapple in the aroma.

I’ve had some bad experiences with flavored greens, but not so here! Very tasty and not at all bitter. Not as toasty-ricey as I expected, though there’s a hint around the edges, and I’m not getting the spice I thought I’d get with the pepper and cardamom (though there’s a peppery kick to the aftertaste that’s playing with the tip of my tongue). I get mostly pineapple, as a gentle fruity flavor. As I was sipping I wondered where the bamboo was, but I’m getting it, a long with the toasty rice, in the finish. I should perhaps have steeped this a bit longer. I also suspect that with teas like this with all the various ingredients a lot depends on the individual makeup of your sample. I’d drink it again, though I don’t love it enough to buy it.

And now I really must detach myself from the internet and go write something. Alas, I fear I will not be successful.

ETA: The fruity tea lover in the house, the BF, had one word for this.
“Aces.” I’m bumping the rating because he’s more of the target audience than I am. I’d give it a 75. He’d give it, I’m sure, at least a 90. So I’m putting it at 85. I also have to revise my prediction as to whether I would buy this, because he’s already asking if there’s more!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Bio

I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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