570 Tasting Notes

64
drank Lavender Oolong by Naivetea
570 tasting notes

This is the tea I was most looking forward to in my NaiveTea sampler pack. I love lavender in chamomile and with NaiveTea’s flair for flavored tea, I figured this would be winner. But I’m sad to say this was not one of their best.

The oolong base doesn’t taste as good as those in their other blends. The tea has a mild lavender flavor but also tastes like flat wheat and a bit stale. It lacks depth and body and isn’t very floral – something I thought would mingle nicely with the lavender.

I’ll try play with steeping variations to see if I can coax out some more flavor out of this tea. In the meantime, I’ll continue to reach for my jar of dried lavender buds for when I want some lavender flavor in my tea.

Flavors: Hay, Lavender

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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81

This is a nice, lightly floral green oolong with a balanced mix of sweet and vegetal. I was surprised at how dramatically different this tea tastes when alternating between western and gongfu style brewing. Steeped western style, I get a lot more vegetal notes and a slight bitterness. The florals are mostly muted and the overall flavor is more like green tea.

But this tea’s true colors really shine when steeped gong fu style. It’s flavor changes to sweet and floral, slightly fruity with a soft vegetal finish and almost thick mouthfeel. Gongfu brewing is definitely the way to go with this tea.

Overall, a very pleasant jade oolong with a nice, balanced flavor profile. Eco-Cha’s price ($7 for 75 grams) is an excellent value for such an impressive tea.

Thank you to curlygc for the sample.

Flavors: Flowers, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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87
drank White Peach Oolong by Naivetea
570 tasting notes

I’ve been working my way through my flavored oolong sampler pack from NaiveTea and peach oolong was next in the lineup. This is a really delicious tea with lots of bright peach flavor. The base milk oolong contributes a very smooth, buttery taste of this tea and accentuates its sweetness.

As good as this tea was it wasn’t life changing. To be honest it tasted similar to many other higher quality peach flavored teas and I would say it’s only marginally better than Lupica’s Momo Oolong, another excellent peach oolong.

Like other NaiveTea flavored teas, this made a great iced tea and IMO tastes better cold-brewed.

Flavors: Butter, Peach

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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84

This was an enjoyable, great quality sencha especially for the price. Full bodied and very well balanced sweetness and mild astringency. I started off steeping it at 155 F and then dropped the temperature by about 5 degrees with each subsequent steep. The tea got lighter and creamier as it progressed. On the fourth steep, I bumped up the temperature to 165 F and let it go for 2.5 mins. Still produced a tasty cup. A very refreshing sencha overall!

Flavors: Grass, Smooth

Preparation
155 °F / 68 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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44

This one is not for me. It tastes like black tea which I really don’t like. I didn’t pick up any of the flavor notes that others described. No honey, no peach, no butterscotch, nothing except a generic black tea flavor.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Equusfell

You know, I find that Oriental/Asian/Eastern Beauty Oolongs really remind me of black tea as well. I’m not the biggest fan of black teas either, which maybe explains why I don’t care much for these oolongs or many Wuyi/Rock Oolongs.

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88
drank Passionfruit Oolong by Naivetea
570 tasting notes

Another winner from NaiveTea! The dry leaf is very sweet smelling, with the aroma of exotic tropical fruits. I steeped it according to package directions (50s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 90s, and 2m). The first steeps tasted unmistakably of succulent passionfruit. As with their lychee oolong, the passionfruit takes front and center here and complements the buttery oolong in the background. It has a similar juicy sweetness and thick mouthfeel. Nothing artificial about this tea at all. After about 6 steeps, I cold steeped the leaves in the fridge overnight for a fantastic iced tea.

Flavors: Fruity, Passion Fruit

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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48

The smell of the dry leaf and the taste of brewed cup are fishy, similar to bonito flakes with a deeply vegetal aftertaste. Even at the lowest brewing temperature of 140 F, there is very little sweetness and mostly bitterness. Tastes like your drinking water from a fishy lake. By far the foulest tasting Japanese green tea I’ve had yet.

Flavors: Fishy, Vegetables

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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71

Update: brewed it gongfu style and that slightly improved the taste but not by much. The real problem with this tea is it lacks depth/complexity of higher quality Taiwanese oolongs. I actually preferred the lower grade Alishan to this one.

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71

I was excited to try this tea after seeing all the glowing reviews but after brewing it 3 different ways, I’m pretty underwhelmed so far.

I first steeped it according to the package directions – (1 tsp of tea per 8 oz of 185F water for 3 mins) and found it weak. I then upped the tea leaf to water ratio (1 tsp for 4 oz of tea) and used slightly hotter water (195 F) after an initial rinse. Still, no dice. Then I reverted to my standard oolong brewing method: 2-3 grams of tea, 4 oz of 185F water, 2 minute steep following a brief rinse. Got a slight floral note with some nuttiness and astringency. I followed with three more infusions increasing the steep time by a minute and bumping up the water temperature. These steeps opened with a vaguely floral sweetness and an astringent finish. The 3rd infusion hit the sweet spot and the flavor began fading out after the 4th. So I transferred the wet leaves – nice full leaves with stems – from my gaiwan to a teapot, covered with fresh water and left to cold steep in the fridge. Hopefully the iced tea will take away the bitterness and bring out the fresh green flavor.

I have just enough left of my sample for one gongfu session and will report back later on it.

Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Orchid

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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77

I wasn’t too impressed with this tea the first couple of times I tried it, finding it fairly bland and tasteless. All of the positive reviews baffled me so I figured it must be me…and it was! I have lately gotten into the habit of brewing green teas uncovered as many greens fare better that way. But this tea works much better with the lid on. I added enough leaves to cover the bottom of the gaiwan, poured in 175F water, and let it go for 2 minutes. This time, the tea was much better. Creamy spinach and green been flavors emerged along with a faint sweetness. Still a very light tea brew though. I may have to experiment with water temperature and brew times, but this is an enjoyable tea for sure.

Flavors: Dry Grass, Spinach, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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Profile

Bio

My Rating Criteria:

95 to 100: Top shelf stuff. Loved this tea and highly recommend it

90 to 94: Excellent. Enjoyed this tea and would likely repurchase

80 to 89: Good but not great. I liked it though it may be lacking in some aspects. I’ll finish it but probably won’t buy again

70 to 79: Average at best. Not terrible but wouldn’t willingly drink again

60 to 69: Sub-par. Low quality tea, barely palatable

59 and below: Bleh

Fell into tea years ago, and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and a few flavored teas. My tea epiphany came a few years ago when I discovered jade oolongs. That was the gateway drug to the world of fine tea and teaware.

With the exception of a handful of lightly scented teas, I drink mostly straight tea. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks are beginning to grow on me. I’ve dipped my toe into a few puerhs now but it’s still relatively new territory for me. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky

Location

Chicago

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