1233 Tasting Notes

85

I did not expect this tea to be as light as it was. It’s one of those Darjeelings that I would put on the more oolong side. It is definitely muscatel on its own, but it also has a really nice green woody edge. Cherry and the Darjeeling take over for the most part, but the spices really adds a light kick and the vanilla is a lighter but noticeable accent.

As for the bag, its smell is awesome: dominant, sweet cherry blended with mulling spices and a following vanilla. I can see why this was a Christmas Seasonal-the smell does make me think of winter and in some ways fall. The tea didn’t taste nearly as powerful as the smell, and I think that’s a good thing. I could see myself drinking this often because it is a lighter tea, but I’m not sure I would drink it constantly. Again, I think this is a smarter seasonal tea.

I’d recommend it to cherry lovers, but I’m not sure what would be disliked about it because I personally really like it. I think it might be too weak for some or a little bit boring, so it’s really for a more mellow tea drinker. It was a little weak even for me at three minutes, making me up it to five. I might drink it midday because it’s mellow.

Now, this makes me a little bit curious about the Lemon Blueberry Muffin version of this tea. I wonder how Lauren would get the pastry taste. I could totally seeing the lemon popping out with the base, and then the blueberry adding some sweet-tartness. I’ll just have to see myself or see how others write about it.

Flavors: Cherry, Green Wood, Muscatel, Spices, Vanilla

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Lauren | A Quarter to Tea

The trick with the blueberry muffin was using the rooibos with a little carob and almond as a springboard for a cake/pastry note :)

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90

After getting some, I can see why people were disappointed by this one. A lot of people were expecting a heavily chocolate black tea with a oolong smoothing out the texture followed by the spiciness. It really is a strong oolong with a smooth black compliment intensified by a candy spiciness then followed by a dark chocolate aftertaste. The tea on its own actually tastes closer to an organic Mexican hot chocolate mix using coconut sugar instead of regular sugar.

As with tea, people have different preferences with their hot chocolate. I don’t like super sweet chocolate. I rarely go below 60% cocoa and usually opt out for the 80%. In short, I like darker chocolate that is more subtle and less sweet. A part of me wants to do a poll on Steepster of the people who rated this tea to see the type of chocolate they eat and how sweet do they like their hot chocolate.

For this tea, you’re really expected to get the chocolate tones from the oolong then from the chocolate itself. I personally like Qilan Yan Cha oolongs and am very glad that it is the dominant tea. I would then recommend people who like toned down, dark chocolate of the organic variety to try this. Don’t expect a creamy hot chocolate, but instead think of a nutty, smooth oolong that turns into a spicy chocolate tonic. In short, flavorful, but watery. And I enjoy it.

Evol Ving Ness

" I rarely go below 60% cocoa and usually opt out for the 80%. In short, I like darker chocolate that is more subtle and less sweet. "

^This. I am one of those people and yet this tea did not do it for me. No chocolate. Little, if any, spice in my cup. I will keep trying with the rest. But so far, your theory is not holding water.

Fjellrev

I love dark chocolate, as well. For me, the problem with this tea was that I was picking up a weird undertone from the chocolate. It was just off to me in some way.

Daylon R Thomas

Okay, chocolate preference theory wrong and question answered. ANd another crazy dark chocolate person, cool. How much of it do you have Evol Ving Ness? That really sucks getting no flavor, especially if you have a whole ounce. Was it from the same batch that might have gotten botched? If not, do you want me to send you some in a swap to see if its any better? I have an overactive imagination after all and could just be telling myself that the Qilan after taste is chocolaty.

The chocolate undertone is weird. It’s also kinda weird with the Spumoni Green Tea I had today. It’s still good, but I mostly got the sencha, coconut, cherry, and pistachio with a weird kinda chocolate aftertaste.

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you for your very kind offer. I do very much appreciate it, and perhaps will indeed take you up on it in a bit.

Yes, it is from that batch. After a couple of disappointments, I shyed away from it for a time, but really, I need to dive back in to see if something can be done to spruce things up because sad.

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95

Okay, I might need more of this. It is one of the best white blends that I’ve ever tried. It is creamy, light, sweet, but warming with a really nice hint of cinnamon at the end. I’ve actually been looking for a white tea like this and holy crap. This would be my ideal dessert. Steep one and two are awesome…I really don’t want it to fade in steep three…

Enough overpraising. This doesn’t taste exactly like Eggnog, but it is pretty similar in the type of creamy and slightly spiced profile. The pound cake element is a little bit stronger since the white tea does have an odd buttered texture. It still feels light on the tongue, but thick enough to coat it with a thin gloss. It’s like the lingering after taste of a pound cake, really.

For who it might be for, I would definitely recommend it to those looking for a creamier, or sweeter light tea. Some might think it’s way too light or weak, while others might think it’s too vanilla-y. There’s also a bit of a sugariness that would be up for debate on whether or not it’s more natural tasting or more artificial. I brewed it lighter, so it was more natural for me.

It’s one of my favorites that Lauren has made. In fact, I would recommend her lighter, creamier teas because she really kicks butt with them.

Flavors: Butter, Cake, Cinnamon, Cream, Sugar, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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80

I’ve been twitching for the next order to arrive. It has, and the packaging is nice and airtight. Thank you Lauren!

Now, this tea. It is very nice and definitely an Earl Grey. It’s also pretty fruity. The Bergamot is powerful….very powerful…too powerful. I had to seal it in my drawer for the odious forces seeping out of the bag were creeping into its brothers and sisters. There it shall lay, dormant until I release it again for my consumption.

I really want Penny Dreadful to come out soon….

Anyway, back to the tea. Bergamot and malt lead on. Maple follows in the rooibos and in the black tea in a very sweet way. The Vanilla comes in last, and nicely does so. I really like this flavor combo and this is a bergamot lovers tea. It is a little bit astringent and it certainly is more of an English Tea (I know-I know-Tea is really from China, Taiwan, India, Sri Lanka, and a few other places). Most of Lauren’s teas are the kind that you want to add cream and sugar too, and this one needs to be strong in order to hold up to the sweeteners. The rooibos actually makes this a little woodsier and more citric. Rooibos Earl Greys are usually like orange extract anyway. That’s my only real deterrent from the rooibos though. Luckily at a teaspoon, it holds up nicely and it is sweet and smooth enough at least for me to drink straight.

In the end, my only criticism is that it’s a bit on the stronger side for me. Otherwise, I love the flavor.

Flavors: Astringent, Bergamot, Fruity, Malt, Maple Syrup, Sweet, Vanilla

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

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80
drank Mann Spring Black by Teabox
1233 tasting notes

This one was pretty nice. It actually compares to a Baozhong in some ways for how green it is. Even the leaves themselves are a hunter green highlighted by a lime green with some dark grey shadows. With one teaspoon after five minutes, the color of the tea is a very transparent yellow. In terms of taste, it is definitely like a sweet herb. Parsley is pretty close.

I’m not sure if I’d call this “astringent” or not. If I would have tried it before I got hooked into the world of tea, I would think it’s a slightly stronger green tea. A Gunpowder or an everyday Darjeeling would be more astringent than this tea, but it is also definitely more astringent than a Sencha and a Dragonwell. And it really does not taste like a black tea to me. The slight malt is actually more subtle than you’d expect from the description.

Bringing all the tastes of this together, you get creamy, herby, green, sweet, sweet peas, mildly astringent, and a hint malty. All of these tastes are something that I’d expect more out of an oolong save the herb taste. This is why I liked it.

I’d recommend to sample it, but not sure about buying it. It is something that will definitely deter your expectations of a black tea.

Flavors: Astringent, Cream, Herbs, Malt, Peas, Sweet

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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60

“Aroma: Tropical Fruits, Cream.” Okay, I’m getting the tropical. More creamy as in grassy creamy. “Taste: Grass, Tropical Fruits.” Actually, I’m getting a lawn mower bag of grass followed by a lemony, maybe pineapple like grass aftertaste. And it’s a little too astringent for me using one teaspoon, but way too subtle with less. I’m personally not a fan. To me, it tasted like a grass Bertie Botts Jelly Belly jelly bean.

Flavors: Astringent, Grass, Lemon, Pineapple, Tropical

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

I got more of the Fujian leaves in my tumbler with the mint, and wow, this is so well balanced. I’m all about that base.

A lot of mint teas are overwhelmingly mint. Sometimes they can be overwhelmingly fake chocolate if they are supposed to be like a peppermint patty. This one is pretty nice since the black tea is distinctly a black tea, but a smooth one that is close enough to the chocolaty profile. At least for me. But I’d still recommend this if you’re looking for a solid mint tea that doesn’t over steep easily.

I personally prefer to stop it at 3-4 minutes. If I go longer, it has to be closer to seven or eight. That’s just me: please don’t follow my weird word. I thought about getting myself some more, and I just might. So many teas to try though, so much to budget…

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95

I honestly felt like this deserved more of a ninety today, but that’s just because of how I brewed it. And how much tea I already had. Yet I noticed something. It has the same weird nutty aftertaste of a greener dong ding. In fact, it reminded me of the same aftertaste I get from the Old Style Dong Ding and Misty Mountain. A smooth, nectary buttered nuttiness. Or it could just be my own oddity. I can say, though, that I did not have either of those teas today at the same time as this one.

Just thought I’d share my oddity with you guys.

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90

Okay, yeah I really like this one and I’m too close to finishing it off. Western using 6 ounces, 2-3 grams of leaves, and following Brenden’s exact steeping instructions. So, so good. Curse my “budget”.

MadHatterTeaDrunk

Budgets are unfortunate at times! I’ve been trying to drink my teas slowly….

Daylon R Thomas

I’ve been doing that with my favorite teas. The ones that I’m “meh” about I want to plow through or give away.

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87

Sipdown. Andrew and I tried this on our search for the perfect daily dianhong. After finishing off a tablespoon and a half of this in my urban tea tumbler, I just realized how close this one was to being the daily tea. So, so close.

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Profile

Bio

First Off, Current Targets:

Whispering Pines Alice
Tillerman Tea Traditional Oxidation Oolong
Tillerman Tea Phoenix Village Dong Dings
Good Luxurious Work Teas
A good Qilan
Best Sachet Teas

Dislikes: Heavy Tannin, Astringency, Bitterness, or Fake Flavor, Overly herby herbal or aged teas

Picky with: Higher Oxidation Oolongs, Red Oolongs (Some I love, others give me headaches or are almost too sweet), Mint Teas

Currently, my stash is overflowing. Among my favorites are What-Cha’s Lishan Black, Amber Gaba Oolong, Lishan Oolong, Qilan Oolong, White Rhino, Kenya Silver Needle, Tong Mu Lapsang Black (Unsmoked); Whispering Pines Alice, Taiwaneese Assam, Wang’s Shanlinxi, Cuifeng, Dayuling; Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co.“Old Style” Dong Ding, Mandala Milk Oolong

Me:

I am an MSU graduate, and current alternative ed. high school social studies and history teacher. I formerly minored in anthropology, and I love Egyptian and classical history. I love to read, write, draw, paint, sculpt, fence(with a sword), practice calisthenics on rings, lift weights, workout, relax, and drink a cuppa tea…or twenty.

I’ve been drinking green and black teas ever since I was little living in Hawaii. Eastern Asian influence was prominent with my friends and where I grew up, so I’ve been exposed to some tea culture at a young age. I’ve come a long way since I began on steepster and now drink most teas gong fu, especially oolong. Any tea that is naturally creamy, fruity, or sweet without a lot of added flavoring ranks as a must have for me. I also love black teas and dark oolongs with the elusive “cocoa” note. My favorites are lighter Earl Greys, some white teas like What-Cha’s Kenyan offerings, most Hong-Cha’s, darker Darjeelings, almost anything from Nepal, Green Shan Lin Xi’s, and Greener Dong Dings. I’m in the process of trying Alishan’s. I also tend to really enjoy Yunnan Black or Red teas and white teas. I’m pickier with other teas like chamomile, green teas, and Masalas among several.

I used to give ratings, but now I only rate teas that have a strong impression on me. If I really like it, I’ll write it down.

I’ll enjoy a tea almost no matter what, even if the purpose is more medicinal, for it is my truest vice and addiction.

Location

Michigan, USA

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