I’ve had a pretty hectic week and didn’t have quality time to spend with my Oolong sampler until now. This is the third in the sampler, and it is quite lovely. The dry leaves are the greenest of the four Oolong samples (not surprising given the reference to jade in the name) and are in fact a color that isn’t far from jade green (the “darker” jade green). It’s less toasty smelling than the fine grade or the amber. Though that note is still present, there’s a greener, earthier smell to it that makes the toasty note regress some.

The color is a pretty, clear light golden yellow with the smallest touch of green. The infused aroma, too, has a greener smell to it than the others. It deepened and became more “tawny” and floral on the second and third infusion, and by the third it was downright buttery with a twinge of something that seemed almost vanilla.

The flavor is delicate and sweet, and it changes fairly obviously from infusion to infusion, getting creamier through at least the third (steeped five minutes) and fourth (steeped six minutes). These were my favorites, though I went for five. The leaves had expanded in the filter so much by the fifth that I moved to a larger cup, and that likely made a difference, or perhaps the flavor was just naturally tapering off by then.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



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