I found an open sample of this, but no corresponding note. Hmmm.

I usually do oolongs in the gaiwan first, then if I have a dedicated yixing, in that, and then I decide whether they’re worth savoring that way or whether they’re not. If they don’t pass, I will steep them in the Breville or make them into cold brew until sipdown.

Flavored oolongs are tricky in this regard because I don’t usually see much difference from steep to steep when I do short frequent steeps. So I’m tempted to skip right to western style. But I have some additional time today so I decided to put this one through a few steeps in the gaiwan to see what is what.

Before I forget, though, I wanted to mention the really wonderful aroma in the packet. It’s a deep, strong, passion fruit smell. If I smelled this coming from a box of dried passion fruits, I’d want to eat them immediately.

I rinsed and then steeped for 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 seconds using 195F water.

The first steep yielded a light butter yellow color tea, with a refreshing passion fruit flavor. A little tart, but not bitter. The underlying tea isn’t really coming to the fore for me, but judging by the leaves it’s a green oolong even though it is from Taiwan. At most I’m getting a sort of buttery undercurrent. I could see this being a wonderful iced tea.

With the next steep (20 sec), there’s a precipitous drop off in the passion fruit flavor. It’s still taste-able, but pale by comparison with the first steep, and I don’t find the tea base stepping in to make up the difference. The color is the same.

The remaining steeps were more of the same, each one a whiter shade of pale.

I don’t really know how to rank this because it’s not like I’ve had a ton of other passion fruit flavored oolongs to compare it to. I’ll just say it’s too bad Todd & Holland doesn’t have this available anymore. I would order some next time I’m in a position to order flavored oolong, but I’d do so with the knowledge that it’s a pretty much one steep wonder to get the full passion fruit flavor.

Flavors: Butter, Passion Fruits

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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


Bay Area, California



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