I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.
My favourites are teas like Milk Oolong, Silver Needle,and Japanese Sencha/Gyokuro, but I generally enjoy ALL the tea, including flavoured blends and a good ol’ cup of Earl Grey.
Subjective Rating System 4.0:
I don’t give a lot of low ratings out, since I tend to grab tea I know will appeal to me.
90-100: Exceptional and all-time favourite teas. I struggle between hoarding these like a dragon and consuming them like a poorly adjusted black hole.
80-89: Favourite teas (usually flavoured) that I try to keep around when possible.
70-79: Good teas that I’ll happily drink up, but with minor issues.
60-69: Ok teas, but I may have a few problems with quality, consistency, ingredient chemistry, and/or personal preferences.
50-59: Average to mediocre cup. Personal preference issues are apparent but still drinkable.
11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea.
1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This tea is the embodiment of the primordial swamp, an unholy abomination. It’s very gross and I’m almost positive it doesn’t exist.
Vanilla, Maple, Caramel, Butterscotch, Cream, Toffee, Nougat, Marzipan, Butter
FRUIT & BERRIES
Blackberry, Raspberry, Currants, Blueberry, Elderberry, Banana, Melon, Pineapple, Persimmon
Lime, Grapefruit, Lemon, Bergamot, Yuzu (orange is a hit or miss)
Anise (but not licorice), Ginger, Clove-forward chai
EARTHY & HERBACEOUS NOTES
Musky, “Fresh,” and/or Woody Incense-like stuff: Sandalwood, Frankincense, Eucalyptus, Mints
Lavender, Jasmine, Rose, Lilac, etc. ALL the flowers!
Spinach, Grass, Hay, Cucumber, Rice, Sweet Potato
Less Preferred Flavours/Ingredients:
- Stevia and most sweeteners
- Cinnamon-forward blends
- Dark Roasts (oolong)
- Orange (if it’s a creamsicle)
- Mango pieces (love mango outside of tea though)
- Coconut pieces (as a sub/filler ingredient)
- Cocoa Nibs, 95% of the time.