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Recent Tasting Notes
When I opened a bag and smelled it, my first thought was that it smelled like a lightly roasted Taiwanese oolong. It’s very floral, much brighter than my medium to dark roasted Taiwanese oolongs, but it still smells a bit roasted to me. There’s a citrusy, almost creamy aspect to the aroma as well. I decided to use boiling water and brew it longer than I would brew an Anxi oolong because in my experience, Taiwanese oolongs taste better that way.
Tasting it, it’s slightly creamy, and the lemony note in the aroma is quite strong in the cup without tasting sour. There’s a bit of woodiness, that sort of roasted nut flavor that comes from roasting, even a light cinnamon note in the finish. It’s a little too astringent, but not unbearable, and that’s probably only because I brewed it so long anyway. While it’s obviously not going to beat a high quality oolong, it’s pretty good for being so cheap.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Floral, Herbs, Lemon, Nuts, Wood
This is the first time I’ve had rooibos, and it’s completely different from what I expected. The aroma is mostly wood and camphor. It tastes a lot closer to shou puerh than black tea to me because of the earthy and woody flavors, lack of tannins, and even its particular sweetness, which was unexpected because I’ve heard it described as an herbal replacement for black tea and that’s how it seems to be used in blends. There’s a mild spiciness, not like pepper, but like herbs that are also a little spicy.
This was better than I expected, and I’ll keep some around for when I’ve had too much caffeine or want something different from what I usually drink.
Flavors: Camphor, Earth, Herbs, Medicinal, Spices, Wood
It’s a bagged Tie Guan Yin…but actually good and taste pretty close to some loose leaf versions of the tea. I was looking for bagged Oolongs that I could resort to for school (yay, I am poor college student!). And I might actually pick this one considering that it was only two bucks and organic. Now for the actual taste:
It is a lighter, greener Oolong that definitely has the floral taste of an oolong-it’s fairly close to Harney and Sons Pomegranate Ooloong, but more vegetal and again floral in taste. It’s even a little sweet and slightly creamy hints to it, though they are minimal and subtle. The leaf quality is slightly better than what you would expect from a bag, but it’s still full in taste, though not as good as a loose leaf. However, this would be a pretty good introduction to Tie Guan Yin because it indeed tastes like one, and is one. I might settle for this one for bagged tea, but a part of me wants to see if there are any better ones. I think I might stay put with this one.
Flavors: Floral, Green, Orchid, Vegetal
Also, this one is actually better if you steep it the first time between 1 minute and 1 minute and 45 seconds. It’s really delicate, but I got more of the floral taste steeping it this way. It’s recommended on the box to do it 3 minutes, but it tastes more like a slightly floral green tea if you do it that way. Again, this does not compare to a high quality loose leaf, but it tastes exactly like a standard Tie Guan Yin loose leaf, with a hint more tannin because of the bag.
I recently moved into a new apartment and, of all things, I lost my teas. I haven’t had the time to visit my local natural foods store, and my mother is compulsive about caring for me, so she purchased this and sent it my way. I don’t plan to purchase it again. I’ve found this tea to be [unsurprisingly] much too weak. However, I had been brewing a cup while preparing for a weekend camping trip when I was rushed off prematurely, leaving it behind. When I returned, it was sitting undisturbed where I had left it. Despite my better judgement I reheated it, added milk, and found that it was the best cup of green tea that I have ever had (that’s not saying much, I suppose). I have since confirmed (according to my tastes) that the longer it is brewed, the better its flavour. I typically brew it at least ten minutes starting with not-quite-boiling water, using the bags only once. It’s still not fabby, but it’s good enough until I make my choice store next.