Mountain Stream Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

80

Soft and sweet but suffers from woody dry mouth after the swallow. It’s overall like honeyed ruby red grapefruit-rose something… with sparkling demerara sugar on top. I don’t want to say marmalade or gelatin because those imply a thick mouthfeel. It has some zest in the taste/aftertaste and the way it feels on the tongue. The rose is perhaps more fruity than floral and goes very well with this style of red oolong.

Gongfu was rather a waste; western is where it’s at and good for 2 steeps. Despite the dryness, I would purchase this again. It’s comforting and mellow yet with a citrusy character that has brightened my mood during these monthly moments.

Flavors: Bright, Brown Sugar, Citrus Zest, Citrusy, Dry, Drying, Grapefruit, Honey, Rose, Soft, Sweet, Tangy, Wood, Woody

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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60

Phew, it’s been a whirlwind of a month. Waaaay too much going on. I took the day off to care for Kiki after she broke her wrist last week and had surgery on it yesterday.

In desperate need of respite, and all but a handful of teas already moved into my new house, I opened this freebie from my last order.

It’s okay. Very drying. It’s also over a year old and packaged without an oxygen absorber. Stale but ok. And it’s getting me away momentarily from the high-energy out-of-towners that have taken over our home this week. Sigh. It’s all a little too much for Kiki, too. She’s getting cranky. Uh oh.

Flavors: Apricot, Cut Grass, Dry, Dry Grass, Drying, Floral, Gardenias, Milk, Mineral, Stale, Sugarcane, Sweet, Tannin, Woody

ashmanra

Oh no! Please give our love to Kiki, and hugs to you both! You are so kind.

Martin Bednář

Hugs to you both!

gmathis

From me, too!

derk

Thanks, we’re getting through it all.

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2024 sipdown no. 34

This tea is really lovely, there are hints of cinnamon coming through that I have found in other high mountain blacks as well. The body is light-medium with a sweetness that is subtle and fruit-like.

Cameron B.

Yum, love that cinnamon waffle character they sometimes have.

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70

Spring 2023 harvest

Dry leaf: tangerine, passionfruit and cherry, indolic and fleshy white florals, vegetal undertone

Aroma: moderate with a sugarcane sweetness, rich florals, orchid, golden raspberry, milky

Taste: less impressive than the dry and warmed leaf. The base tea tastes stale with dried clumps of cut grass. It is slightly milky but more noticeable is the dry, mineral taste. More vegetal than fruity compared to the dry and warmed leaf scents. Certainly floral with a mix of fleshy white flowers, orchid and at times something aquatic like water lily. Short and mild milky sweetness. The energy is more caffeinating than relaxing, which is not what I desire in flower-scented teas.

I would like to try this fresh but the base tea quality doesn’t seem that great. The magnolia orchid, or white champaca, scenting is lovely, though.

Flavors: Cherry, Cut Grass, Dry, Floral, Gardenias, Magnolia, Milky, Mineral, Orchid, Passion Fruit, Stale, Sugarcane, Vegetal

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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I picked this up one after seeing it in an email from MS. I was immediately intrigued because I miss the ocean daily and love all things ocean-related. There is a definite marine-esque flavour at the forefront here — not fishy, but like seawater. The taste transforms into a light milkiness (like skim milk) towards the end. The tea is very light and steeps up a beautiful pale colour. Really fascinating!

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2024 sipdown no. 33

I’ve been meaning to write a note for this tea since my first cup. Since I’ve just steeped my last cup, procrastination is no longer an option!

This is slightly vegetal at the front, though quite a mellow vegetal taste. There is a subtle unripe peach flavour starting in the middle and becoming more prominent towards the end of the sip. I have really enjoyed this tea and would re-order.

1st steep 1 min
2nd steep 2 minutes, 30 seconds

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85

Sipdown

Anything regarding this tea has been removed from MST’s website. I purchased this back in 2022ish and opened the packet about 3+ months ago; however, the sipping truly began within the past couple of weeks. I was able to get this sipped in a few sessions while drinking other teas in between. I had to constantly remind myself that this was a red oolong, not a red/black tea. It had the maltiness of a red/black tea, without that heaviness you may get with said genre of leaf. There wasn’t as much caffeine energy as with a red/black tea, either. Not that I’d recommend it, but I’d say this isn’t likely to hurt your stomach as much, if one were to sip on an empty stomach…by accident. Clears throat

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2024 sipdown no. 32

I would say the description is spot on: dark florals and sweet raisin. The only thing is that the flavour is lighter than I was anticipating. I steeped 5g last night and ended up adding my remaining 5g to the resteep leaves to get more flavour overall. This was my favourite cup, but so much leaf! Alas, another good tea from MS.

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80

Didn’t care for the smell, quite artichokey and savory. Taste was something else though! Ended up dumping the first steep as recommended. But, subsequent steeps were marshmallowy- like a distinct marshmallow flavor. It’s slightly floral, but mostly quite sweet. A really interesting, unique flavor.

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Backlog & Sipdown

I drank this down on Wednesday, but while working. I only recall creaminess and some florals. Unfortunately, it was a busy night at work, so I never got the opportunity to sit down for notes.

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As we don’t have anything blooming in our empty containers yet (though I’m hoping to plant zinnia seed tomorrow), I put some sweet little flowers in my cup this evening instead.
Not perfume flowery, not mulch leafy, just liquid gold with a little honey flavor around the edges. Here’s lookin’ at you, derk!

ashmanra

I bought my first zinnia seeds this spring! I will sow them as soon as we get our big project area underway as a garden.

gmathis

Besides the seeds that are the great-great-great grandseeds of my beautiful zinnia bed at our prior home, D bought us a packet of “mini zinnies” to try.

ashmanra

I didn’t see any “mini” where I bought mine, but I love it so much that you have seeds from your prior home! If we ever move, I already have a list of plants that are going with me!

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derk sent me a beautiful little bouquet of chrysanthemum buds (Christmas-anthemums!) in a bag. Now some of them are in my cup. Wow. Just wow. They do not taste like lawn clippings. Lemony without being citrusy, buttery without being dairy, honey without being sticky. Sunshine in a cup, for sure.

gmathis

You would have laughed at me dragging out my measuring cup to make sure I was hitting 100 ml (whatever that is…we’re in the Midwest!) so that I would not mess up my first steep.

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72

Homemade Advent Exchange Tea #8

This is a lovely green. I thought it was a Korean green at first because it tastes a lot like sejak. I get some umami – almost like seaweed or miso soup but with more loamy minerals. It’s actually very well balanced for a green tea that I overleafed and oversteeped. The bitterness is balanced by the potent flavour without being overwhelming. It is not astringent or drying like tannic greens can be. It reminds me a little of a vegetable broth but without the salt. The flavours are subtle in general, but strong for a green tea. Lightly vegetal but I can’t pick out any specific vegetables except maybe faint kelp.

Sweetness: 2/10
Sourness: 0/10
Bitterness: 4/10 (in a good way)
Potency: 7/10

Flavors: Green, Loam, Mineral, Seaweed, Vegetable Broth

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more 6 g 20 OZ / 600 ML

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89

Homemade Advent Exchange Tea #4

This tea is delicious! It’s a really nice oolong with a good balance between toasty and vegetal. It is slightly sweet and creamy, but not quite a milk oolong. There is an orchid floral flavour in the background. I love that this tea is not drying at all. It actually is quite thirst quenching. No bitterness or buckwheat/tasoted rice that some oolongs have. It leans towards a green oolong but has a tiny hint of tastiness in there as well. It reminds me of oats.

Flavors: Orchid, Toasty, Vegetal

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100

2023 harvest

Fresh and flavorful with a minty edge and a lightly sweet aftertaste. Liquid sunshine in a glass pot. All chrysanthemum I’ve had pale in comparison, except snow chrysanthemum buds which are in a class of their own. I can steep these flowers any time of day and they give me what I need in the moment — my personal adaptogen.

I really hope these will be a regular seasonal offering at Mountain Stream Teas. These tiny flowers are so complementary to my system that they sometimes make me not even want to drink caffeinated tea.

Feeling: calm, content, clear headed, cooling, respiratory system cleansing

Flavors: Bright, Chrysanthemum, Herbs, Mint, Nutty, Tangy

ashmanra

That sounds so amazing!

gmathis

It does! My past experience (no doubt with much lesser quality varieties) ended up tasting like the wrappings on a chrysanthe-mummy.

ashmanra

I don’t think I have ever had chrysanthemum but I have a sample of one in the kitchen waiting to be tested…pretty old now but maybe it will give a hint of the flavor!

Leafhopper

I’ve never had chrysanthemum either. It looks like this one is out of stock, or at least I can’t find it on the website.

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80

Well, this is a delightful little number. Maybe an oddly springlike choice for a fairly dreary late October day, but I’m enjoying it!

It’s very smooth and silky, and actually quite mild. There’s a hint of sweet pea and powdered sugar and very little grassiness or vegetal earthiness. So mellow!

Flavors: Garden Peas, Powdered Sugar, Silky, Smooth

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70

Very light and just a tiny bit creamy. I’m not really getting the “fruit leather and sweet black raisins” promised in the description, though. It’s more wet earth and maybe a smidge of breadiness?

This is my first GABA tea. So far I notice no special calming effects. :)

Flavors: Bread, Creamy, Wet Earth

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58

Free sample with my last order, thank you.

February 2023 harvest

Si Ji Chun cultivar tastes like the quintessential green oolong to me. This one’s fresh, smooth and intensely floral with a light soymilk taste/texture and an undercurrent of pureed green vegetables. Too expansively perfumey for my preference but it is a tea I would recommend for its strong and long taste. For what it’s worth, I enjoyed it most prepared gongfu style in a glass gaiwan but I still tired of it quickly.

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Green, Macadamia, Mango, Milky, Nutty, Perfume, Plumeria, Smooth, Soybean, Sugarcane, Tropical, Vegetables

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2023 sipdown no. 96

I sadly barely paid attention to this for a proper note, but it was really lovely. Lovely creaminess with subtle florals. I would get this one again for more to enjoy.

1st steep: 1 minute
2nd steep: 2 minutes, 30 seconds

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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2023 sipdown no. 84

The notes from MS include “honey, rose and dark oolong goodness”. I would say it’s mostly dark oolong with some honey. I didn’t get a lot of rose (but I’m not upset about that haha). The honey was lovely, but not as nice as some of their other offerings or other Taiwanese honey-like teas I’ve enjoyed. Overall a good cuppa, but not a permanent cupboard resident.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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The MS website says this tea doesn’t “taste” like milk, but instead “feels” like milk. Being vegan, I haven’t had cow’s milk in many, many years, but I can see how this has a milk “feel”. It’s perhaps slightly creamier than other green oolongs and there’s a sweetness at the end of the sip that makes me think of the leftover sugary milk at the end of a bowl of cereal I enjoyed as a child (in a very subtle way). Naturally, the vegetal flavour of a green oolong is there, but it’s fairly muted in this tea. An enjoyable cuppa, all round!

Also, we are going to see Bill Nye tonight and I just had to tell someone because we’re so excited!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec
cube

yay, another vegan tea fan! enjoy Bill Nye!

beerandbeancurd

Vegan tea drinking Bill Nye fan checking in, hell yeah! WE ARE LEGION.

Courtney

Yas! :) ❤

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2023 sipdown no. 73

Well, this is tasty! Another sample in yet another recent order! The light roasty-ness is really lovely here with a prominent pastry sweetness. I can’t remember much else except that the first steep surprised me in the best way.

The second steep had that cardboard-esque flavour peeking through that I find in roasted oolongs.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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2023 sipdown no. 71

This was a sample MS added to one of my (too many XD) recent orders. The flavour is light-bodied with just enough creamy softness to make it noticeable. There are lovely hints of floral that I don’t really find overpowering, despite the tasting notes mentioning “rich florals”. There is also a definite floral-sweetness that is really lovely. The packet also mentions a “lingering aftertaste”, which I agree with and find delightful. I’ve actually quite enjoyed this tea overall and am a bit sad to see this sample go.

The cultivar notes Si Ji Chun and I can see that. I often have the Si Ji Chun oolong from CS in my cupboard and these teas could certainly be related.

Production Date: February 2023

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 13 OZ / 384 ML

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