99 Tasting Notes

I’m not sure how old a tea can be before you can say it needs to be retired. Oh, hogwash, what am I saying!

First wiff of the leaves in the gaiwan… poop. That definitely smells like poop. Hey, just being honest. I’ve had this before, long ago, and poop was not on the menu. Huh.

Buttery, bit of a funk. I hope that’s not… hmm.
Second steep… funk is still there. I’ll try this Western style at some point? Leaves smell like… steamed poop.

The dry leaves still smell good, though. Potpourri?

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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Okay, time for the gaiwan on this one. :) I’ve discovered a whole new world of tea drinking.

My first thought on the first, quick steep, was that it almost has a rose tint to it. OOoOoOOoOoooo!

It’s as flowery and smooth as I remember. Only now, I get to enjoy it longer, love on it more, spend time with it… hehehe!

Oh! I can taste the some and Wuyi rock, now. :D

Heeeey, I can use the timer on my electric kettle to time steeps! Since I don’t have the attention span to count beyond… eleven seconds. Haha!

Flavors: Floral, Mineral, Smoke, Thick

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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I need to remember this already has sweetener in it…

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drank Bai Ji Guan by Verdant Tea
99 tasting notes

Musty first steep, but promising. A bit salty? Maybe I’m just making that up. Sister had to come talk to me, so it went way too long. lol

Shorter second steep… that’s not really how it works but… yeah. These are feisty little tea leaves. It’s a little bit minerally, but it’s mostly smooth with a hint of floral.

Insert many steeps later… still going strong. I love how light this is. Leaves my tongue tingling. Yumyumyummers!

Flavors: Floral, Salt, Smooth

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 5 OZ / 147 ML
Liquid Proust

I brew this at 90c for 45 seconds and it’s wonderful.


I realized when the tea leaves were completely spent that I’d been using some pretty toasty water. Compliments to the tea that it didn’t taste bitter at all. ;P

Apparently I’m one of those people who can’t multi-task while drinking tea—it’s kind of insult to the tea, anyway. :)

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drank Mei Zhan Jin by Verdant Tea
99 tasting notes

From their Tea of the Month Club (I’m allowed to splurg! :P)

I’m breaking in my gaiwan with this today! :D

The dry leaves smell like a musky flower; like a flower you’ve picked at the height of its pollen production, and it’s been sitting in a vase for a week. lol Smells a lot like Golden Needle, but not as floral.

The first steep is light and mostly vegetal with just a hint of that flower I picked earlier. A longer first steep starts to show it’s creamy side, and is sweeter. My favorite part! (Both the creamy and sweet.) Had to grab a third cup because, like I said, just meeting my new gaiwan—the longer of the first steeps went bitter. Oh, sad.

Second steep continues to be creamy and sweet. I’m going to try cooler water since that bitterness is trying to hang on. A bit astringent, too. Not terribly so, though. :) Hmm, the trick to pouring from a gaiwan without making a mess: Pour with confidence! Haha!

Third steep: I think this is the only way I like honey taste—saying hello from a plain tea leaf. With the honey comes a thicker brew, coats my mouth in the best way possible. It gets sweeter as it cools. Oh, could you IMAGINE ice tea with this! Brain explosion!

Steep 4: Did this one a bit long… such a PRETTY amber color. Squee! The leaves are really starting to unfold now. I’m exploring the idea of what “minerality” means in a tea taste. It’s not quite astringency, is it… but like when you taste hard water? Growing up, we had a deep well that tapped into an underground spring that ran through bedrock, and that water is what this tea reminds me of. :)

Steep 5: This tastes a lot like the Golden Needle I mentioned earlier, but it’s not quite so thick. And it’s floral, but not ridiculously so. It seems altogether balanced and an interesting combination of all the above tastes. Teehee! :) The later steeps go along the same lines as this one. Happiness!

Oh, my, I am messy. _ Thank goodness for tea towels. I decided not to get a full-blown tea table (yet?), but have a tea towel and bamboo bowl. :3

Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Honey, Mineral, Sweet

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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Used more milk and sugar than in my other chai’s, and threw a cinnamon stick in there while it boiled stovetop. I think it came out a LOT better than my first two attempts. :)

I forget how caffeine-punched this tea is (you’d think the story behind the name would remind me). I’m half-way through my huge mug and already feeling the kick. :D

Boiling 8 min or more 9 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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Taking down our Christmas decorations this morning (finally), and thought this would be appropriate.

I’ve been spoiled by loose leaf tea. The CTC method produces a taste I just can’t really compare to other teas. It’s its own flavor, I suppose. Nice in a pinch/busy morning where I’m bustling about, passing by my tea cup every five minutes for a quick sip.

Boiling 8 min or more

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drank Wuyi Oolong by Rishi Tea
99 tasting notes

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drank Wuyi Oolong by Rishi Tea
99 tasting notes

I got this as a sample ages ago. It brews rather dark, and has that smoky oolong smell. Which I haven’t really decided how I feel about, yet. It really does brew dark—like, black. I’ve never seen a tea take to the dark side so quickly. lol

I’ve discovered you can make a Wishlist with Yunnan Sourcing. That’s dangerous. The only reason I don’t buy heaps of tea from them is because shipping is so much (it’s like they’re shipping from China or something—sheesh!) and I usually only buy one or two teas at a time. It’s hard to justify it when shipping is just about as much as your tea. Oh, wishlist, I was really going to have a tea budget this year…

Oh, wow, this is complex. It’s floral, and I can taste the green in it. It has its own sweetness. That silly oolong smell always freaks me out. Because it always smells more roasted/smoked than it tastes, so I get all nervous, “Am I really going to like this?” and then it’s just delicious anyway.

The fruit-taste is very mild in this, it’s not overpowering. I love it. :D

Got to use my new… what do they call it? “Digger wimble” haha! to put the tea leaves from my strainer back into my teapot, rather than my fingers. And my new tea cloth is awesome because I am soooo messy—especially when I’m filling my teapot because I’m trying so desperately to get all of the tea leaves off the edges.

This tea is very yummy. :)

Flavors: Fruity, Green

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I discovered my love of tea in college, in Oregon, where nearly constant rain and clouds and fog demand some sort of warm, cuddly beverage.

Since moving back to Idaho, where seasons actually exist, my adoration for tea has bordered on obsession. I like a variety of teas depending on my mood and the alignment of the planets. I’m pretty sure my love of tea saved my life after coming home from the deep freezer with hypothermia day after day. ;)

I am recently married, and my next project is convincing my husband that instant Lipton iced tea does not count as tea. sigh

Here’s my rating system:
0-19 – I did not like this tea. I will not touch it again with a ten-foot-pole. I may have family and friends try it in hopes of pawning it off on them; otherwise it’s in the trash. That bad.
20-40 – I do not like this tea. I might be able to tolerate it with large amounts of sugar and/or almondmilk and/or another tea. I will be giving it away to the first family/friend who likes it because I’m too lazy to enjoy this.
41-60 – This tea is okay. If I am careful how I prepare it (temperature, amounts) and add things to it (sugar, almondmilk), I can enjoy it.
61-70 – This tea was fairly enjoyable, but I have to be in the mood for it, and I have to at least sweeten it.
71-80 – I like this tea. I might even drink it without additives. It may still be mood-driven, but it’s pretty good. I would recommend it to visitors coming over for a cuppa.
81-90 – I really like this tea. I can drink it regardless of cravings. I will rarely if ever add anything to it. I try to peddle it to my visitors as examples of great tea.
91-100 – I love this tea. It is wonderful. Every cup is heaven. I will not share this. I will tell people to go get their own crack. This stash is mine.


North Idaho

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