HELLO! Whaddya know, I’m back.

Yes, I know. It has been an ETERNITY since I have been on here. Sorry. I’ve been dealing with ish, and my life has been so hectic lately that I haven’t had the chance to really sit down and try any new teas. Well, that changed this month when I made a haul from YS and it arrived a few days ago. Funny thing, actually spending my tea budget for the month on TEA!! Anyway, this is the first one I am trying from my Spring 2019 bunch that I purchased. I’ve never had black bi luo before, so lets see how this is.

For starters, fresh out of the package this stuff smells DIVINE. There is a strong sweet smell to it. It smells like a dessert tea actually. I’m looking forward to tasting it.
Brewed Western. 3g/12oz/2:30min/190F

Taste is… wow, that stonefruit flavor is intense. Just bringing the tea up to my nose, I can smell the strong sweet/musky smell. I wasn’t expecting stonefruit, but it definitely has that character. I’m also getting a bit of cherry as well. It thankfully doesn’t seem to have that “Meat” flavor that I remember the Bi Luo Green that I tried had. I didn’t like that meaty flavor. This however, is very fruity and delish. There is a bit of tannin flavor in it, but as I was conservative in my brewing, it isn’t at all bitter.

MMmm… as I get further down into the cup, (and as it cools) I’m getting an ever so slight leather note to it. Not unpleasant, it’s just a bit more complex as it cools. Also, as it cools, that signature golden-black cacao flavor is shining through. By this point, the stonefruit flavor has faded, but the cherry flavor is still holding on, giving it a slight “cordial cherry” flavor.

All in all I would say this is definitely a keeper. It’s a wonderfully fruity tea that, as it cools, becomes a more traditional golden black flavored cup. There is still some available on YS (the Chinese site, not sure about the US site) so I would say if you like this sort of thing, pick some up. It’s very good.

Flavors: Cacao, Cherry, Leather, Stonefruit, Tannin

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

Yoyoyo Shanie O. Welcome back :)

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Yoyoyo Shanie O. Welcome back :)

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HELLO! My name is Shanie and I love tea!

While I have always loved various types of tea, for a very long time it came exclusively from a grocery store. It’s only been a year or so now that I’ve gotten into loose leaf. As such, there will likely be tasting notes I do for bagged tea as well as good quality (and not so good quality) loose leaf teas. I’m still learning as I go so have patience please!

Right now, I am on a massive Earl Grey kick. So if a ton of my notes are just various varieties of EG, that’s why!

Some of my favorite flavors include: Cocoa, Malt, Bread, Honey, Earthy, Sweet Citrus, Caramel, Apple, Spices, and Cinnamon.

Some flavors I don’t like: Licorice, Coconut, Bitey Citrus (like Citric Acid), Licorice, Sour, Smoke, Overpowering Fake Vanilla, Stevia, and did I mention Licorice?

NOTE: I am Type 2 Diabetic. As such, I can really not have sugar added to tea without suffering problems. This prohibits me from using either plain sugar or honey. Instead, I use Splenda as I found my system can handle it well and I like the flavor. I try to avoid stevia as I’ve found it often ruins the flavor of tea. However, not all teas require sweetener, and some are better without. Because of this, if I add sweetener to a tea, I will mention it in the tasting note and say what kind and how much. Usually, I sweeten flavored and herbal teas but leave true teas unsweetened. There are exceptions, but this is a general rule of thumb to go by.

Almost all of the tea I brew is western style. I occasionally do grandpa, but pretty much never Gong-fu. I do own a Gaiwan, but it never gets used. Considering I don’t have a “sip setting” when it comes to beverages, it’s really hard for me to get into any sized amount less than 8oz at a time. I know that probably makes me a tea-heathen, but so be it. I like my mugs.

I have decided to try and make a scale for my ratings. So here goes.

As of January 2020.

100-91: These are my go-to favorites. I will likely go out of my way to always keep these on hand, including going on third party websites to obtain out of season.
90-81: This is a tea I really did enjoy, and I will likely purchase again. However, I wouldn’t go to the ends of the earth for it, and it isn’t my all-time favorite.
80-71 This is a tea that, while I may have somewhat enjoyed, something is holding me back from making it a mainstay. Maybe the flavor profile isn’t the best. Maybe there is an offputting aftertaste. It varies. But while I did like it and will continue to drink it, I don’t absolutely need it in my life, and while I will likely finish what I have, I may or may not get more.
70-61: This is a tea which I drank, but I didn’t like it. However, I didn’t hate it either. It wasn’t bad enough to dump, and if it is the only thing available to drink, I would likely drink it instead of plain water. But in the end, this is just not my literal cup of tea and I will likely not get this again.
60-51: This is something that I didn’t like much at all, but for one reason or another, refused to dump. If I squint hard enough and use my imagination, I can almost BS myself into thinking they are decent, and I suppose I can choke it down and not waste it. These are teas that I will not be buying again, and may not even finish what I have.
50-41: Yeah, whatever this is, I there’s a good chance I dumped it. At this level, it’s pretty bad stuff with either weak flavor, nasty flavor, or all the wrong flavors, It has few redeeming qualities, and I likely won’t reach for this one again. On the bright side, it isn’t sewage water, so there’s that.
40-31. On it’s best day this tea has no redeeming qualities. This not only got dumped but the package it came in either got thrown away, traded, or shoved to the back of the cupboard to never be touched again. Not the worst thing I’ve ever tasted, but darn sure close.
30-Under: The worst thing I’ve ever tasted. This not only has no redeeming qualities, but it is gag-inducing. “Teas” in this range are so bad I not only will never drink them again, I really don’t feel like offloading them onto anyone else because they are just that bad. Actual sewage water.


Pennsylvania, US

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