November 30, 2018

Blind Tea Tasting with Story of My Tea

Story of My Tea's Blind Tea Tasting pack is billed as "a guessing game for your sense of flavor." The company ran a successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year. I got in on the action with a courtesy box. How well did I do in this tea tasting game?

Each pack includes 4 blind pouches, reveal cards, a tasting wheel, and tea filters. My blind teas were 6009, 6016, 6017, and 6023. By sight and taste, I knew the types of three of the four teas. Teas 6009 and 6023 were black teas. I knew that 6009 was a Darjeeling; it's full name is Organic Darjeeling Sungma SFTGFOP I. I noted that black tea 6023 was not Chinese or Indian (Darjeeling). I noted that it tasted like a Sri Lankan tea. It is St Clair Black, a high-mountain Sri Lankan tea.

The pouches for teas 6016 and 6017 were mislabeled. I knew that the pouch labeled 6016 contained a rolled oolong. It tasted like a milky oolong. The tea in pouch 6106 was actually tea 6017, a Chinese milky oolong processed by steaming the leaves in milk. The tea in the pouch labeled 6017 was a string-style tea. The tea in pouch 6017 was actually tea 6016 is a strip-style oolong, a brandy oolong specifically made from Camellia sinensis assamica.

Here are my blind tasting notes for the four teas in my pack. I should note that I didn't totally figure out the mislabeling until after I had a session or two with the teas for which I used preparation parameters that were probably not ideal for the two oolongs. The information reported below reflects the correct parameters for the two oolongs.

Tea 6023 St Clair Black
  • 1 teaspoon, 8 ounces, 200F water, 5 minutes
  • Light, bright cup of tea without any dark notes

Tea 6017 Milky Oolong
  • 1 teaspoons, 8 ounces, 175F water, 3 minutes
  • Rolled leaves smelled scented like cake batter
  • Liquor was flavored

Tea 6009 Organic Darjeeling Sungma SFTGFOP I
  • 1 teaspoon, 8 ounces, 212F water, 3 minutes
  • Hairy, musky leaves
  • Herbaceous, light muscatel liquor with woody tail note

Tea 6016 Brandy Oolong
  • 1.5 teaspoons, 8 ounces, 195F water, 5 minutes
  • Almost vermillion liquor was light bodied with a red fruit note

The Takeaway
Although I now have my Tea Sommelier certification, I am not a tea master. I did not recognize the strip-style tea as an oolong. My favorite of the teas was the Darjeeling. All of the tea experiences would benefit from a higher leaf to water ratio. My least favorite of the teas was the flavored Chinese Milky Oolong. If you haven't already, try a Taiwanese milk oolong made from the Jin Xuan cultivar.

Blind Tea Tasting pack provided by Story of My Tea.

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