609 Tasting Notes

95
drank Earl Grey Bravo by Adagio Teas
609 tasting notes

Purchased this as part of the Adagio Earl Grey sampler set. I’m far from an Earl Grey aficionado but this was easily the best Earl Grey I’ve ever had. A serious step up from my last one which came from Trader Joe’s.

The tea smelled amazing out of the bag. An intense burst of bergamot and malt. I prepared this as an Earl Grey latte, steeping it for 5 minutes using water just under a boil. Then added a little sweetener and frothed oat milk. I was worried that the citrus would be overpowering due to how potent it smelled but the flavor was surprisingly light and on point. Just a hint of orange zest and sweet perfume that accented the black tea base perfectly.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Orange Zest, Perfume

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95

Yet another stellar roasted Taiwanese oolong from TTC. The light roast on this dong ding strikes the perfect balance between warm notes of candied pecan, cocoa, and toasted almond on one hand and greener floral notes on the other. Very smooth from start to finish without any bitterness. I love roasted teas that don’t actually taste roasty – not an easy feat – but this one manages to pull it off.

I normally steep this grandpa style using 200 F water. Cold brewing brings out brighter, more lively florals and sugarcane.

Kittenna

Urgh, this sounds amazing. I desperately want to order from TTC again to get more of their delicious oolongs, but I need to finish off what I bought from them like, 6 years ago, first!

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90

Another baked high mountain oolong from the backlog.

Out of the bag, mellow aroma of sweet caramel. Steeped grandpa style using 195 F water then topped off twice with boiling water.

This was a very clean and easy to drink tea with a rich honeyed flavor reminiscent of gui fei. Accented with notes of wildflowers and toasted almond. Next time, I’d like to brew it gongfu and see if I can get even more nuance and complexity out of this tea.

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46

Gross. This one tasted like swampy water mixed with earthy turnips and yams. What’s weird is the flavor bore no resemblance to the smell. The leaves had a citrusy aroma of lemon and tangerine however none of that came through in the tea. Didn’t bother rebrewing and will likely chuck the rest of my sample. That’s how bad it was.

This is likely my last time buying a Taiwanese green. In my experience, they smell great but seldom if ever deliver on flavor.

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92

Backlog.

I was torn on how to rate this tea. If you’d asked me when I first opened it, I would have rated it close to a 100. When fresh, it was intensely flavorful. A dynamic mixture of alpine flowers, tropical fruit, pastry cream, perfume, and minerals. But a few weeks later, the flavor suddenly began to go flat. It lost some of its brightness and body as sharper, more savory notes began to creep in. Usually high mountain teas fade gradually but this one lost its oomph pretty quickly.

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90

Well, it took longer than I expected get back on this site. Had been away for a while to focus on work-related training which finally ended a few weeks ago (whew!). In the process, I sort of fell out of my daily Steepster habit and the mountain of backlogged notes left me feeling a little overwhelmed. Wish there was a way to post my tasting notes from the MyTeaPal app to Steepster.

This was a complex and delicious roasted gaoshan. Despite its name, it did not taste roasty or charred at all. Instead it had deeply caramelized notes of salted caramel, brown sugar, and candied pecan. I steeped it grandpa style at 185-195 F. Lower temperatures brought out more sweetness and chocolatey notes.

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91
drank Oi Ocha Green Tea Bags by Ito En
609 tasting notes

A belated happy new year Steepsterites! Hope 2022 will be a great year for everyone. Still on semi-hiatus due to studies – can’t wait till March when I’m finished with it all – but do plan to post here and there.

I picked this up on a whim a couple of weeks ago when I was in Florida for a wedding. It was in the checkout aisle at Ross of all places. I had bought loose tea with me as I always do during my travels but not sencha. Although I seldom bother with teabags, Ito-En is a reputable Japanese tea brand and I drink their bottled tea all the time. The date of production stamped on the package showed it was only 6 months old, which is about as fresh as it gets with bagged tea.

Color of the tea is intense green and infuses rather quickly, which indicates a fukamushi. The flavor is also characteristic of a deep steamed sencha. At higher water temperature, it’s matcha like with raw wheatgrass and chlorophyll. Smooth and full bodied. Lower temperatures bring out spinachy, grassy notes with a mellow sweet taste. Doesn’t have all of the nuances of loose tea but still delivers with a rich flavor and freshness.

I’ve continued drinking this upon returning home. Despite having plenty of sencha in my cupboard, the convenience of teabags can’t be beat. Especially during busy times when I just need a quick cup and don’t have time to fuss with gaiwans and pitchers. Is this the best sencha ever? No, but it’s more than serviceable and head and shoulders above standard bagged tea. The only downside is it can’t be resteeped so this is a one and done kind of tea.

Flavors: Spinach, Vegetal, Wheatgrass

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 6 OZ / 177 ML
Martin Bednář

Happy New Year!
Ito En, even in tea bag form, are pretty much decent as I have tried a few… actually I guess only Oi Ocha.

Cameron B.

Ooh I like their bottled teas too! Never tried the teabags though.

Cameron B.

And Happy New Year! \o/

LuckyMe

@Cameron B, their bottled teas are the best! I especially love Olden Oolong.

Evol Ving Ness

Happy new year! Good to see you.

Leafhopper

Happy New Year! I’ll have to look for Ito En tea, though I doubt my local grocery stores will carry it.

Evol Ving Ness

I don’t remember seeing it here though I am not often in the RTD tea, soft drink section.

LuckyMe

@Leafhopper I believe Costco carried it under their Kirkland brand.

ashmanra

Happy New Year!

Alreot

Happy New Year! This tea sounds nice I enjoy sencha as well, I’m going to have to give it a try

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93

Until yesterday, this nifty little device had been a part of my office tea setup for more than 5 years. It’s basically an electric coil that you submerge in water to heat it up. You can boil a cup of water using it in about 5 minutes. It does the job but there are a couple of quirks to be aware of.

First, it works well as long as you’re boiling 8oz or less at a time. Any quantity larger than this and you’ll be waiting a long time. Also, you must leave it submerged before unplugging or you’ll burn the coil. As you can imagine, having to constantly plug and unplug the coil after every steep is annoying so I use it with a wall plug that has an on/off switch.

I ended up replacing this with a 0.5L mini kettle from Amazon. Although it worked well, it made my desk look like a meth lab and with me being so accident prone, I was constantly paranoid about knocking something over while the coil was plugged in. I will, however, continue using it for travel. It’s so much easier to haul in your suitcase than a kettle and all you need to boil water is a heat proof cup. For $8, I definitely got my money’s worth.

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you for posting about the ins and outs of this. I’ve been wanting one for a long while.

Evol Ving Ness

Of course, here it costs $40.

LuckyMe

$40 is way overpriced for something this basic. Since you’re in Canada, I would check out Bed Bath and Beyond. I just did a quick Google search and found it for $14 on their Canadian website.

Evol Ving Ness

Good thinking. Thanks. I’ll get on that.

Courtney

I’ve never heard of such a device – neat! I’ve bookmarked this as I feel like getting one is a great idea (especially for travel)! Also, I take it that you have travelled with a kettle — we are forever travelling with appliances (notably our blender since being vegan requires a good blender), and yay for others also travelling with appliances!

LuckyMe

@Courtney yep, one less appliance to haul. And as a bonus, it hasn’t freaked out TSA (yet)

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87
drank Melon Oolong by Lupicia
609 tasting notes

I wasn’t feeling the melon candy flavor of this tea when I first had it, but I’ve been really getting into it now. It could be that the flavoring has mellowed out after sitting around for a year. I’ve noticed this with all of my Lupicia teas. The flavoring is less intense since opening, which in some cases like this one is good but flavored green teas have gone off slightly. Bumping up the rating for this tea.

Flavors: Green Melons

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87

Hello Steepster! Hope you all have been well. It’s been a minute since I’ve posted. Life has been a bit hectic lately and on top of everything, I’ve started a new course for work which has been consuming most of my free time. I’ve barely had time to even browse Steepster let alone log anything since I feel guilty whenever I’m doing anything online besides studying. Anyway, tea drinking is still going strong and with my backlog starting to grow, I decided to sneak in a few notes.

This is another sencha from my Yuuki-Cha haul this summer. It’s a fragrant, light steamed sencha that presents a broad spectrum of flavors. Depending on the way it’s brewed, it can offer the typical spinachy, vegetal green tea flavor or it can become gyokuro-like with rich umami and oceanic elements. Smooth, medium bodied, and clean tasting with notes of grass/kelp and cannelloni beans.

Flavors: Grass, Seaweed, Spinach, Umami

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 200 OZ / 5914 ML
ashmanra

Welcome back!

Evol Ving Ness

Welcome back! We’ve missed you.

what do you use to steep green teas? Would you recommend buying a kyusu? If so, porcelain or unglazed?

LuckyMe

Thanks, can never stay away from this site for too long :)

@Evol Ving Ness, I switch between a bunch of different brewing vessels but I prefer a shibo or easy gaiwan for most greens. It’s easier to clean than a kyusu IMO, When steeping grandpa style, I use a tea glass with a built-in filter (a little crescent shaped piece attached to the top of the glass with tiny holes).

I prefer glazed as you can brew any kind of tea in them but it all depends on what yoiu’re plan to steep and how.

Martin Bednář

LuckyMe: I know that feel. Indeed very busy times, but I can’t run away from Steepster. Good luck with everything you have to do and finish :)

Evol Ving Ness

Thank goodness and thank you.

Evol Ving Ness

It’s good to have you back. A couple of the teas which you posted about, which are not coming to mind at the mo, have become great favourites. Haha, funny that I can’t recall the names of the teas, but I can recall that they were introduced to me by you.

LuckyMe

@Evol Ving Ness that’s awesome. I’ve discovered so many amazing teas thanks to recommendations on this site so it’s great to be able to pay it forward :)

Evol Ving Ness

Yeah, we’re all a bunch of enablers. :)

Lexie Aleah

Glad to see you posting again!

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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 many years ago and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and flavored Teavana teas. My tea epiphany happened when I discovered jade oolongs. That was my gateway drug to the world of high quality tea and teaware.

For the most part, I drink straight tea but do appreciate a good flavored tea on occasion. 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 have started to grow on me. I’m less enthusiastic about puerh though. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, philosophy, 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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