From the EU TTB

I think I’ve got this in the right place – what I’m drinking is described as “Autumn 2014 Premium Jin Guan Yin AA Grade Anxi Oolong”. I think I’ve probably known it for a while, but this is the tea that finally made me realise that I prefer green oolong to roasted. That struck me as odd at first, considering that black tea is such a favourite of mine, but it appears to be the case. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 185 degrees. The leaves are rolled, but they unfurl easily and it’s kind of calming to stand and watch. Just what I need, this week. The resulting liquor is a pale, clear green.

This one is quite thickly floral, and tastes primarily of orchids to me. Underlying that it a mild, buttery vegetal flavour, a little like spinach, and underlying that is a touch of something mineral, like wet rock. It’s so smooth, and so full flavoured – even though typically I shy away from floral-tasting teas, I actually kind of like it here. Oolong will never be my absolute favourite, but I definitely have less against it than I used to. It’s teas like this one that have really shown me that there are things to like about it, and I’d happily drink this one again.

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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Hi :) I’m Sarah, and I live in Norfolk in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’m also beginning to explore pu’erh, both ripened and raw. That’s my latest challenge!

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.


Norfolk, UK

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