drank Grand Pouchong by Tavalon Tea
2014 tasting notes

The theme for the day appears to be pouchong.

I thought I had two jars of this? I can only find one, but that may just mean the other one is buried somewhere…

The leaves on this one are much darker than the green pouchong from Canton Teas that I just had. Dark chocolatey brown and twisty. They smell roasty to the point of smoky.

Gaiwan. 195F. Rinse. 15 seconds + 5 for each subsequent steep. I did four.

The tea is somewhere between medium gold and butter yellow, with an amber tinge. I definitely smell roasty toasty, and that’s mostly what I got on the first steep. But the second and later steeps revealed something else hat my tastebuds tell me is almond. A very definite flavor of raw almond.

The tea has a soft mouthfeel and is milder than I thought it would be given the roasty notes.

After the second steep, the flavor is fairly consistent and I think the leaves could have gone on for a while. It just wasn’t the right flavor for me today so I was content to stop at four.

It’s a flavorful dark roasted oolong with an interesting almond note. I’m not sure whether it’s just the day, or whether it’s the tea, or whether it’s me, but while it was plenty tasty it didn’t knock my socks off.

Flavors: Almond, Roasted, Smoke

195 °F / 90 °C

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



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