Last oolong sample to taste and write an initial note about! (At least, I’m pretty sure it is.)

And by the way, happy new year! I hope 2019 is less stressful than 2018 was. I don’t know if I can take another year of waking up, feeling compelled to check the news to see what awful thing has happened next, and then starting the day anxious.

Anyway, this has a very fruity smell in the packet. Like way more fruity than any other oolong I can remember that wasn’t flavored. Which is a big plus. Also the typical roasty toasty aroma.

Rinse, 195F for 15 sec in the gaiwan. I did more than the usual 4 steeps (I did 6) adding 5 seconds to each steep.

I did more than the usual steeps because this was a really unique tea, at least to my taste buds. The fruitiness persists in the aroma and flavor of the steeped tea. I do get the honey and lychee flavors. Like a roasted lychee, though I have never had that. It’s pretty remarkably true to its description.

I’m not sure what they mean by “rich liquor.” Mine was very pale in the initial steeps and got darker, but never more than a champagne color. Which in and of itself is odd for a darker oolong, in my experience.

A really lovely sugary/floral smell hit my nose with the last sip and coated the empty cup.

Flavors: Floral, Honey, Lychee, Roasted, Sugar, Toast

195 °F / 90 °C

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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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