347 Tasting Notes

75
drank Cookie by Lupicia
347 tasting notes

I’ve been working my way through my samples from Ost, but foolishly not logging many of them. Suffice it to say that I’ve been enjoying them. :) This is my second time trying this cookie tea from Lupicia. It has quite a rich black tea base, with notes of toasted almond and burnt sugar. Quite tasty and true to the name.

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80
drank Lemon Chiffon by Della Terra Teas
347 tasting notes

I got a lovely package of samples from Ost, and while opening it I nicked this bag with my scissors, so that made it really obvious which one I should try first. :) Actually, it worked out great because I’m in the mood for something caffeine-free since I’m about to crash out super hard.

Anyway, this is a delicious dessert tea – lemony, creamy, and yes, cakey. Sweet and comforting, definitely hits the spot tonight. So happy I’m getting a chance to try some Della Terra teas. :)

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75

Finished up my sample from OMGsrsly. I was digging through the sample drawer looking for a tippy black tea in the hopes that the caffeine might wake me up. Still pretty sleepy, but I don’t think that’s the tea’s fault. ;) 4g in the 4oz gaiwan. I tried a variety of temps from boiling down to 80C, and didn’t play close attention to time – mostly just went by colour. Maybe I should have been paying more attention, because I think I was having trouble finding the sweet spot – sometimes understeeped and a bit bland, sometimes oversteeped and too astringent. If I got it right, there was a balance of sweet and brisk (astringent) that was pleasant. There are definitely some cocoa notes in early steeps especially, but I didn’t find this tea to be overwhelmingly chocolately. When I focus I can pick up on some floral and fruity notes, as well as a somewhat woody character which is what the cocoa seems to fade into. Not bad, but I think if I wanted something with this sort of briskness I’d just drink an assam and be done with it. :)

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Bonus tea from the Sheng Olympics. :) I drank this off and on for most of yesterday, and a couple of steeps this morning. I think the sample was about 6g, mostly all in one chunk, and I tried a variety of water temperatures and mostly short-ish steeping times (10-30sec for the first kettle full of water anyway). It’s an interesting tea – extremely beautiful dry leaf, wow, and quite a unique flavour. I’m finding it to be almost overwhelmingly herbaceous, with a strong dill flavour persisting throughout many steeps. So overall it’s hitting my palate as much more savoury than sweet. Interesting, but not really my “cup of tea” so to speak. :) Glad to have had the chance to try it though!

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75
drank Mulberry Magic by DAVIDsTEA
347 tasting notes

Last night I wanted something caffeine-free, so pulled this sample out of the sample drawer. :) The leaves are cool – twisty and very dark green – and I ended up steeping this for a long time so the liquor ended up very dark green as well. Despite that, it didn’t really turn bitter, just very vegetal in the base with a lot of creamy, nutty top notes. Very tasty! Before going to bed I poured some still-warm water on the leaves and put the mug in the fridge and cold-steeped it until tonight, where it was much lighter in flavour but still quite pleasant.

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Working my way through these Sheng Olympics samples. :) Same as usual, 7g in a 4oz gaiwan, water roughly 90C, short → longer steeps. For this one I had to keep the steeps pretty short and the water a little cooler in order to mitigate the astringency and bitterness, but was rewarded for my persistance with a thick, sweet huigan. After the first couple of steeps it had the intensity of a fresh sheng, I wouldn’t have guessed that these leaves are from 2009. Not many distinct floral or vegetal notes, to my palate at least. Not bad for drinking right now, but I suspect this one will get better with age.

jschergen

Just had this today. Agree with your notes. I prefer this over the Hailang Hao Youle. Greener tasting, but thicker and should be better in the future.

Lindsay

Oh man, a famous tea drinker agrees with my notes. So proud. :)

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70

I had this earlier today and was underwhelmed – it was a bit astringent and bitter. I steeped western style – 3g in a 10oz mug, boiling water, 3min steep. I think next time I’ll try cooler water and maybe a shorter steep to start out. Alternately, this might just be one of those teas that needs milk +/- sugar to be enjoyable. Lowering my rating a bit.

Evol Ving Ness

Sad. This is one of the teas I had planned on ordering.

Lindsay

I can send you some if you want to try it first

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drank Taiwan Ruby by Zen Tea
347 tasting notes

I had this yesterday as a change of pace from all the sheng. :) It’s a typical Taiwanese black: long, twisted, black leaves. Sweet, malty, biscuity flavour. Not the best one I’ve ever had, but quite good. I was distracted by work and not paying a ton of attention – will have to do another review some day when I’m more focused on my tea.

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A sample from the Sheng Olympics. :) I had this yesterday and I’m already having trouble remembering the details. This is why it’s necessary for me to log as I sip! Anyway, it was 6-7g in my 4oz gaiwan, water in the 90C range, 10sec steeps to start, and continued until I was steeping for 2-3min. One of the things I found interesting about this was that when I first smelled the wet leaves, I had a moment of being reminded of a black tea – there was this malty note that I’ve never detected in a green/sheng type of tea before. Anyway, it wasn’t there in the flavour, but the early steeps did have a fruitiness that was somewhat reminiscent of a fruity black, that stone fruit thing. After those early steeps it got very vegetal and mellowed out quite a bit. Sweet and smooth. I didn’t really get the bitter/sour notes that other people have described? Anyway, it was good but it didn’t blow me away or anything. Good for drinking now, anyway. :)

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Bio

Well it has been over a year and everyone I know thinks my tea obsession is a bit out of hand, so… I guess I’m not a total newbie anymore. :)

I’m drinking a lot more pure tea these days, though I still love a good flavoured blend too. Current favourites: Chinese and Taiwanese blacks, fresh Chinese greens, oolongs both green and roasted, sheng puer.

I really love companies that buy directly from tea farmers, and have an emphasis on quality and sustainability. Favourites: Verdant, Whispering Pines, Eco Cha, White 2 Tea. I live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, so I buy almost all my tea online.

For hot tea, I’m usually brewing in either a 100ml gaiwan, or a 10oz mug with a steeping basket. For cold tea, I cold brew overnight in 500ml mason jars.

My cupboard on Steepster doesn’t include small samples, just the ones I have at least 15g of. So if you see something you’re interested in, I probably have enough to share. :)

Location

Northwestern Ontario, Canada

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