Genuine Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

82

This is the second tea I bought from Genuine Tea. I’ve never had an oolong that tastes quite like this one, but I can’t speak from much experience as this is the first time I’m trying Da Hong Pao. Can someone please chime in and let me know if this is a typical flavour profile for this style of oolong?

I’m actually half-way through this session while I’m writing this, so I’ll have to come back to update it at the end of the day with final thoughts. I’m using a 140ml teapot with 90°C water and 6.5 grams of tea, although I wish I had added maybe a gram more in hindsight.

Initially I was disappointed with the aroma and flavour, the first pot reminded me immensely of Houjicha which I already have a large supply of. There was a strong charred wood scent mixed with some vague fruitiness, but it seems that the flavour changes quite a bit as the leaves open up. The next few pots were far superior, the char turned into more of a wet asphalt note (like the way roads smell during summer rain), and the woodiness became sweeter, almost like how Palo Santo smells. Surprisingly the mouth feel is super mellow, literally no bitterness at all and minimal astringency. There is supposedly a honey/peach note to this tea that I just don’t taste at all, perhaps slightly as an aftertaste that lingers on the tongue (although I am a bit congested today). Will have to give it another go some other day. Update: I found the wet leaves in the pot smelled much stronger of peaches, but it’s more of an aroma than flavour

Interestingly I did find a very calming energy wash over me throughout this session which was nicely in balance with the higher caffeine content.

I do like this Da Hong Pao, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it again, especially when I already have other teas in a similar flavour range. A quick google search tells me how that this is a very popular oolong, so for all I know this isn’t the really good stuff.

Flavors: Char, Mineral, Wet Rocks, Wood

PearlSek

Parameters are not optimal if it’s a good quality leaf. You can try 7g/100mL, start at 20-30s, 100°C.

So Keta

Interesting, I’ll give this another go with your suggestion. Thanks for the tip!

HaChaChaCha

I think you still got most of what da hong pao is like. It’s usually so heavily roasted, that is the dominant flavor. It’s to tea what Starbucks is to coffee. :-) Heavy roast.

So Keta

Fair enough, thanks for clarifying. Out of all the roasted teas I’ve tried I don’t think I’m too keen on Da Hong Pao compared with some others.

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90

Yesterday I went to a massive biannual craft/artisan show downtown called the One of a Kind Show. Usually I find the few vendors selling tea there focus on blends and herbal teas because that’s what typically sells, but I managed to find a new player who had the good stuff and I shopped quite a bit with them! Many more reviews to come over the next week.

This particular company is relatively new, only in business for the last four years, but after speaking at length with the owners it seems they really know what they’re doing. Most importantly, the tea is good. I’ve always struggled with finding reputable local companies that sell tea as I don’t think ordering online from around the world is very sustainable as an individual consumer; I’m always thrilled to find feel good about my purchases.

This Imperial Golden Monkey that I was sold is just so nice. I was told the farmer whom they source this from experiments with cross-breeding typical Assam black tea and typical Fujian tea to create something unique. The leaves are very thin and long, and are blueish-brown with streaks of gold weaving throughout the bag. Pretty to look at!

In a 180ml gaiwan with 90°C water I started a typical gong-fu session. The wash was so aromatic and clean that I did end up drinking it, unlike some other black teas I come across. The first flavour notes that I recognised were of burnt caramel and cacao nibs. Very rich and almost bitter in the same way a very dark chocolate tastes. After a few more cups the caramel transformed into more of a classic malt taste, but interestingly some background fruitiness arises, perhaps rhubarb or green apples? I didn’t notice much sweetness though which was refreshing, I think most black tea I’ve had lately become sickening after a few cups, but it’s likely I’ve just been ordering the wrong stuff for my taste. The mouth-feel is great, medium thickness, low astringency, minor salivation, and no lingering bitterness! Only the good flavours stick around on my tongue.

Ultimately I don’t think I have anything bad to say about this tea. It’s well-balanced, obviously grown well, and it doesn’t make me terribly jittery from caffeine after a whole session. Excellent for a daily black tea, and something I think I will continue reaching for regularly.

Flavors: Cacao, Caramel, Green Apple, Malt, Rhubarb

Kittenna

I’ve had the same experience with tea vendors at the OOAK (the two times I’ve been to the Christmas one). It’s neat that there was a company with different offerings! Do you know if they were at the Tea Festival?

So Keta

Yeah it’s a shame really, no one knows what they’re missing out on lol
I actually missed this year’s festival, but I imagine they were. I think I remember reading that some of their tea was included in the Tea Taster Box? Not totally sure though.

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88

Fairly robust, butt-kicking everyday wake-up staple in my house. This is the first tea I drink most days. I only recently kicked coffee in the mornings & needed a tea that could get me up and moving. I am not a morning person in the very least, but this nice, workhorse Assam does the trick. Pretty full flavour, a bit astringent, & somewhat tannin-y but with a hint of sweetness and spice to balance it out. Benefits from addition of a small quantity of milk and maybe a light sweetener, but smooth enough that it in no way requires it. (Note: this is, as of the writing of this note, available on Genuine Tea’s site.)

Flavors: Earth, Malt, Spices, Sweet

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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94
drank Ruby 18 by Genuine Tea
22 tasting notes

First tea I ever got from Genuine Tea, at the Tea Festival 2 years ago. sadly this one is long gone now, it seems, but it was a good one! I know they claimed it had a cocoa note, but — and maybe this is just my unrefined tea palette — I never picked up in that. It was more of a light honey flavour with faintly spicy-earthy undertone. This one tops my list of teas I wish could come back, though. I quite enjoyed it.

Flavors: Honey

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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84
drank Cacao Pu'Erh by Genuine Tea
9 tasting notes

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85

Now that I’ve steeped this at a lower temperature—as it should have been in the first place if I hadn’t been steeping in the semidark, shhhh—-I am really enjoying this. The flavours are initially bright and fresh. As the tea cools a bit, the grape comes forward and malt too. Cinnamon missing, and I am just fine with that. Delicious.

Flavors: Grapes, Malt

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85

So I picked up my sample black tea packet to review for the Toronto Tea Festival 2018. I noted that two of the teas in the packet will be heavy on bergamot as if to purposely torment our Sil. Hopefully, the others will make up for it.

This is the first of the teas that I am trying and this is my first cup of this.

The dry leaf is a bit on the green side. After steeping, the first few sips were a bit on the green side too, with a richer muscatel coming through as the tea begins to cool. Still, the sip is a bit drying in the mouth.

I too am missing the promised malt and cinnamon. Nope, not there.

I’ll be steeping subsequent cups at a lower temperature and will withhold rating till then. I am hoping that the drying aspect disappears altogether with the cooler steep. Let’s see.

Indigobloom

Sil mentioned it wasn’t too drying. Could def be the temp! The tea fest reviews are so much more engaging when its people I know haha

Evol Ving Ness

Hope not to disappoint you, Ms. Bloom.
Thank you for the heads up. Much appreciated.

Indigobloom

curtsies
Always a pleasure tea fren!!

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75
drank Organic Darjeeling by Genuine Tea
12553 tasting notes

This one was included in the taster box for the Toronto tea festival. Though i’m not a huge darjeeling fan, i vastly prefer this as an option to the lavender earl grey that i’m also going to have to weigh in on. lol I’m never sure how they make these taster boxes up…. i feel like there should be a winner in all 6 categories for straight teas and then maybe have a flavoured tea and a herbal category. No idea. I guess at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter except for the winner, but given that it’s entirely a 1-10 scale for each tea it’s already a little silly. No commenting on the tea for things like flavour, aroma or even a “I don’t drink flavoured tea so my rating shouldn’t count” sort of option.

just Not preferred to excellent – scale of 1-10 for whatever sampling of teas you happen to get.

Oh well…happy just to try new teas and hopefully folks are getting some exposure to different teas. This one for me, isn’t too bad a tea given that i don’t love darjeelings. The description says grape, malt, cinnamon….i’d say more grape than anything but not malt or cinnamon at least as far as i can tell. A nice option though and i’m certainly open to finishing off the rest of my sample. I like the sweetness of this one and it’s not too drying or off putting in the way that many darjeelings are for me.

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86
drank Ruby 18 by Genuine Tea
55 tasting notes

From the Puerh Plus teabox. This tea has long, twisted dark leaves and gives off a very attractive fragrance even when dry. I’ve tried about two taiwan black teas before (one that I liked and one that I didn’t) so I was happy to find that this one has the wonderful sweet potato notes that make me want to dump brown sugar and butter in it, lol (I will resist! Because that would be a mess).

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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2 tsp for 500mL water @ 90C, steeped four minutes.

I got two excellent infusions: lots of body and flavour. The oolong itself is mild and slightly floral. The ginseng powder is lovely, just sweet enough, with plenty of ginseng lift. I expect I could have gotten a very good third infusion, too.

Dry leaf: little green pebbles. Cute.

Wet leaf: deep dark green, shiny.

Liquor: pale yellow and a slight green tinge for both infusions. Light to medium body. Some “bite” from the ginseng, which I really like. I’ve not been able to get ginseng oolong for at least a year, so this was a treat. I’d recommend this without hesitation.

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70

GCTTB V2

This is my first pick from the second GCTTB, though there are definitely many goodies in the box that look quite exciting. While I would have loved to have a Gong Fu session with this i didn’t want to use the whole sample so I’m settling for a smaller Western styled mug.

First impression was that this was a little choppy tasting with some initial smoke flavour on the top of the sip and then more of a raisin/malt sort of body. It was a little drying, so I left the mug for a while and came back to it when it was lukewarm. It was a lot smoother at this temperature with a mix of mild smoke, raisin/stonefruit, and malt notes and a finish that reminded me a little of rye.

Keemun is a tea which is definitely growing on my slowly, and this wasn’t a bad one but I definitely don’t think it’s the best or highest quality I’ve tasted either. I probably wouldn’t drink this specific one again but I’m happy to have tried it.

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75
drank Keemun hong cha by Genuine Tea
871 tasting notes

Last one I snuck from the GCTTB5.2.

Assam if my favorite tea, but keemun is a close second.

This one smells smokey but it does not taste that smokey. There is a briskness to this tea. Even though it is brisk, it is not bitter at all. There is a bit of astringency at the end of the sip. Maybe there is a bit of a mineral flavour. A slight bark flavour, I think. It is bold and somewhat thick. There is a creaminess to the tea.

This one is a decent keemun, just not my favorite.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sil

agreed on that note. decent but i have others i’d prefer.

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74
drank Keemun hong cha by Genuine Tea
12553 tasting notes

Gotta love working from home on a day when all your meetings are cancelled. Now i can be productive with both work, home stuff and exercise lol this particular tea is growing on me. The more i have it, the more almost chocolatey it seems.

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74
drank Keemun hong cha by Genuine Tea
12553 tasting notes

Alright… the first of two blitz weekends to get the house in order. Gotta clean out the closets, go through all my clothes, books, cd’s, games etc and pare down the house. Hoping to have 3 piles at the end of it, trash, “recycle/donate” and sell. My other half is away both weekends working in another city, so i can make a giant mess while he’s gone and leave piles for him to sort through when he’s back. Puppy arrives in 6 weeks so i want things organised and tucked away by then.

Kicked off the morning with this tea and a breakfast sammich. I don’t have much to say on this one, as i’ve had it a number of times before but it’s a decent middle of the road tea for me. worked really nicely with breakfast this morning, so maybe it’s a tea+ food sort of tea heh. like wines! some are better WITH food heh

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74
drank Keemun hong cha by Genuine Tea
12553 tasting notes

Had a cup of this to start my morning out ever so long ago. I’ve been busy the last little while so i haven’t had much time to tea log. I don’t mind this tea, but it’s not my favourite. I think i’ve said that before. It’s a perfectly acceptable tea – even good for an average every day tea, but it doesn’t hit the mark i want in a keemun. Still love that genuine tea offers free shipping. period. Will have to check out a few more of their other teas at some point and see if there’s magic there :)

Evol Ving Ness

There’s a lot to be said for free shipping, even though it is seldom truly free.

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74
drank Keemun hong cha by Genuine Tea
12553 tasting notes

i think i’ve finally landed on this one not being a favourite. it’s not a bad cup of tea but in contrast to the description, i’m just not feeling it. This is lighter and more like some ceylons that i’ve had versus being closer to keemuns that i’ve loved. I’ll enjoy the rest of this but i won’t feel compelled to pick up more of this one – i prefer my teavivre keemuns.

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74
drank Keemun hong cha by Genuine Tea
12553 tasting notes

Had a cup of this this morning – wanted something new-er without being a new tea. I think this one may grow on me as i continue to drink it, though today was another day where i wasn’t focused on the tea enough. Need to have a day where i sit and really pay attention to this one for a good tasting note. Mostly i remember vague impressions of a sweetness that came though – possibly something to do with oversteeping this by accident this morning heh.

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74
drank Keemun hong cha by Genuine Tea
12553 tasting notes

I will write a better note on this one another day but initial impressions of this one are favourable. I’ll have to look in to the price comparison with some other keemuns i like but this might win out, even if it’s not my all time favourite keemun

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79
drank Ruby 18 by Genuine Tea
12553 tasting notes

I had this one earlier today as well. Looking at placing a possible order with Genuine tea since they are CAD and offer free shipping with any purchase. I also wasn’t able to pick anything up from them at the tea festival. This one is really nice. It really does have sweet cocoa notes. It’s not the rich malty cocoa that i love, rather this is more like a taiwan tea, with those sweet honey notes, flavoured with cacao. Not a tea i need to purchase, but one i rather enjoyed.

Evol Ving Ness

I don’t remember them from the festival. Where was their booth located?

Sil

near the front… uh like second booth in i think? before you hit the panda stuff..across from the chai people who were in the window

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