It was bound to happen. As I started to get to what looked like the last few oolongs, I found I hadn’t entered this one into my cupboard. Sigh. So now I have more tea than I thought I had.

But perhaps the good news is that I may have less than I thought I had. I haven’t been able to locate in my stash a couple of the teas that were already in my Steepster cupboard. Unless they’ve been put somewhere I wouldn’t ordinarily put them by someone else in the household, I’m throwing in the towel on them, on the theory that I sipped them down before without recording them. Or just entered them by mistake, which seems more likely. One was a Lupicia “milky” oolong and it’s possible I entered that under a more generic entry at first and then entered it under its actual name later. Same with a Chicago Tea Room tieguanyin. Who knows.

In any case, this tea. You’re going to think I’m weird, but when I stuck my nose in the packet, I thought “peanut butter.” There’s a nutty smell that has a toasted edge to it. On further consideration, it is likely almond. This is all very interesting, because the dry leaves look like your standard green oolong. Varying hues of green, rolled into balls.

Gaiwan. Rinse, 190F (still can’t get the Zo to heat up to 195F today for some reason), 15 seconds +5 for each subsequent steep.

This is a really, really nice tea. It’s color is definitely that of a green oolong, a medium yellow, rather than that of a dark oolong.

It smells a little nutty, a little fruity (peach?), and a lot honey — not roasty toasty like a dark oolong or floral buttery like a green one. It seems to exist in a sort of in between the dark and the green. The flavor is just like the smell. It’s mild, light bodied, and easy to drink.

Giving it high marks for being unusual (and tasty).

Flavors: Almond, Honey, Peach, Peanut, Roasted, Toasty

190 °F / 87 °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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