drank Ruby Oolong by Rishi Tea
1376 tasting notes

Picked this up from the co-op a while back. It was much cheaper per pound there than through Rishi. Yay high turnover bulk.

Gone grandpa, 1 tsp, 10oz ceramic coffee mug, 195F, 2 top-offs.

The dry leaf scent resembles a young, non-boozy cabernet. I pick up on red fruit, green bell pepper and woody vanilla. The liquor smells mostly like baked cherries and honey with a dash of cocoa.

The taste is more complex. It seems like a medley of malty dark cherry pie and a flakey apricot and blood orange pastry with large sugar crystals sprinkled on top. The most prominent notes are honey, baked cherry and rose. Other, non-dominant tastes include a swirl of wet wood, musty autumn leaves, red plum, green bell pepper, golden syrup, violet, black licorice, cacao, vanilla, black pepper without the spicy bite and mineral. Mouthfeel is pretty light and later quite drying especially at the back of the throat and uvula, making for an awkward swallow. Aftertaste lingers early on before the astringency takes over.

This is a very tasty tea. Compared to previous brews western style, I pick up more flavor complexity with grandpa style. However, due to the astringency in the throat, I think it’s better-suited for western.. In general, it does lack the fuller, thicker mouthfeel that I appreciate, though that makes it good for a light daily drinker. I’ll have to try it out in a gaiwan.

195 °F / 90 °C 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Eventual tea farmer. If you are a tea grower, want to grow your own plants or are simply curious, please follow me so we can chat.

I most enjoy loose-leaf, unflavored teas and tisanes. Teabags have their place. Some of my favorite teas have a profound effect on mind and body rather than having a specific flavor profile. Terpene fiend.

Favorite teas generally come from China (all provinces), Taiwan, India (Nilgiri and Manipur). Frequently enjoyed though less sipped are teas from Japan, Nepal and Darjeeling. While I’m not actively on the hunt, a goal of mine is to try tea from every country that makes it available to the North American market. This is to gain a vague understanding of how Camellia sinensis performs in different climates. I realize that borders are arbitrary and some countries are huge with many climates and tea-growing regions.

I’m convinced European countries make the best herbal teas.

Personal Rating Scale:

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.

89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again.

79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.

69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again. Would have a cup if offered.

59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possess off flavors/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.

Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s pu’er, I likely think it needs more age.

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