577 Tasting Notes

drank Dong Ding Oolong by Tea Ave
577 tasting notes

On the first steep, This oolong has light roasted notes of nuts and barely, with a vegetal taste which is kind of minty, and almost like it’s lightly spiced with sweet cinnamon. The aroma is on the smooth side, hinting at fruit and nut flavours.

Third steep is my favourite so far. All the flavours mentioned about have been smoothed out to a sweet, nutty silk.

For me these notes are filling- I can almost forget I haven’t eaten anything yet. It’s a satisfying cup and quite the contrast to my two other Tea Ave samples, which are both flavoured/fragranced and use the Alishan Jin Xuan as a base.

On a side note, I love that Tea Ave includes the altitude, as well as the roasting and oxidation levels with scales, on the packets. It’s incredibly helpful and informative to an oolong newbie like me!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Mint, Nuts, Roasted Barley, Stonefruits

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

Hey CrowKettle, thanks for trying our oolongs :) We would like to invite you to rate our tea on our website when you get a minute, it will help us a great deal!! Cheers.

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drank Cape Jasmine Oolong by Tea Ave
577 tasting notes

I forgot I had this steeping in the kitchen. It probably sat for 10 minutes while I was eating sour keys and staring into The Void. That’s exactly the last thing I wanted to happen with a jasmine tea (I find less is better with this flavouring). Luckily this tea appears to be a particularly light and forgiving one!

The jasmine scent and flavour is now akin to a Body Shop jasmine frangipani candle (extreme flower and slight cream). There is also a hint of floral/veggie bitterness, but it’s still drinkable.. and enjoyable.

I’m looking forward to the subsequent steeps, and a second session, so I can get a better feel for this tea. Right now it’s promising!

Addition— getting to my unconventional fourth steep now, and there is a substantial amount of pepper spice to the finish.

Flavors: Cream, Jasmine, Pepper, Vegetal

205 °F / 96 °C

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drank Ginger Lily Oolong by Tea Ave
577 tasting notes

Tea Ave went above and beyond with their sample packages and labeling. I wish I was more gifted with words- I’d offer something besides a huge THANK YOU! I’m grateful there are people like Roswell Strange to make up for my lack.

‘Ginger’ made me decide to try this one first. It was a good choice. I re-steeped this about six time last evening (at a time I shouldn’t have been drinking tea), plus once more this afternoon, and it’s probably one of the best and most soothing tea sessions I’ve had since last spring.

The ginger is a vibrant, sweet finish to this silky Jin Xuan. I second the person who says they now want to try this base oolong unflavoured. It’s been so long since I’ve had a milk oolong.. my roommate doesn’t understand right now (she’s giving me a weird look as I go pacing about the apartment with my tea mug). It’s an exciting thing.

Flavors: Cream, Floral, Ginger, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

ooooh this actually makes me want to try this heh


It’s a good one! I’m not sure it’s Sil-worthy (I can send you some), but it’s worth a try if you like the sweet side of ginger and don’t mind milk oolong. :)


I like the base oolong a lot. I was curious about this ginger one, actually, but nervous about the lily part.


I think the lily part actually comes from the meaning of jin xuan (wiki translates it as “Golden Daylily”).

I’ve always wondered what lily flavoured tea would taste like.


Did you find it overly floral scented?


Not at all! The raw ginger is the most prevalent scent, especially in its dry state.


Ooooh! I do want to try this one then! Maybe I’ll get it when I order.

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This is goodbye, Lemon French Macaron. I didn’t always get it right with you, but you never failed to be that warm, “in front of the fireplace with no deadlines” comfort tea. You came from an awesome joint order with OMGsrsly- forever associated with randomly buying quince, and kangaroo burger patties. Good times, old Macaron.

Please don’t leave yet.

Flavors: Almond, Cake, Lemon Zest, Meringue

180 °F / 82 °C

Awww. :P
(Kangaroo burger patties? :O)


Life with no deadlines. Heavenly!


Yes, gmathis, this was actually a goodbye to two things. :(

Kangaroo slider patties= good but gamey.

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I kind of like this one. I find the flavouring to be slightly boozy and absent of actual tea base, but at the end of the day it delivers on the chocolate macaroon front. It’s a decent dessert substitute/craving cutter. The aroma is nice, and it went well with milk too.

My new, tea-drinking roommate picked this up and insisted on making it today (this is a novelty). The only downside is now we no longer have a steeper/pot that hasn’t marinated in a dessert black tea; I’m going to have to find a new home for my fruity-green, white, and oolong teas again!

Flavors: Alcohol, Chocolate, Coconut, Vanilla

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A friend brought this pretty little box back from India for me- a touching gesture, considering that she’s not generally a gift-giver and has often described tea as “dirty, funny tasting water.” I will treasure this elephant box always, tea skeptical friend.

This is labelled as a Nilgiri variety, the implications of which go completely over my head.

I don’t know how this stacks against other Nilgiri teas, but it does make me want to give the wide variety of Indian black teas another thorough chance. (Golden Tips Tea has a crazy all-encompassing sampler on their website).

The medium length leaves are mostly black with some golden-white, and red speckled throughout (could be a blend?). They steep up ruddy brown and green.

The tea has a fruity aroma and flavour, coupled with a smoky woodsy note that may very well come from the box- the things you realize after you’ve dumped the tea into a flaky-painted wooden box.

Flavors: Fruity, Nutty, Pepper, Smoke, Wood

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

My son still calls it “water with aftertaste.”


Beautiful box!


My daughter used to say it tasted like “hot leaf pee.” She loves tea now. There is hope.


Ha, those are both good! I don’t think there’s much hope for my friend, although she doesn’t always mind chai? In this particular case, I think she was almost entirely motivated by the elephant. :)

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drank Two Friends by Custom (Butiki)
577 tasting notes

I’m glad I got the chance to try Sil’s adaption at the end; it was on my bucket list for a while! The flavouring is no mystery (hello, chocolate orange), yet is subtler than I thought it would be.

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Orange

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Here’s another tea/reason why I’ll miss Stacy’s amazing work at Butiki- like I needed one more. I wish I could bottle up the creamy sweet citrus aroma and keep it with me forever, but then I couldn’t drink it and appreciate it in all of it’s mouth puckering glory.. there’s no winning here, eh? At least an ounce seems to go a long way- it even has a decent second steep in it.

I’ve never had grapefruit creme brulee, and now I’ll be disappointed if it isn’t as tasty as this. Definitely one of my favourites out of the last wave of new teas I picked up!

Flavors: Bergamot, Burnt Sugar, Grapefruit, Malt

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

Missed out on this one but I’m glad it sounds tasty :) her grapefruit was always yum!

Maddy Barone

I really wish I would have come to Steepster soon and found Butiki before they went out of business.


I’m particularly going to miss her grapefruit and white tea blends. It was good times for tea, but now I have incentive to explore again. :)

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This one’s not bad at all; the lemon myrtle, lemon balm, and vanilla gives this herbal a fluffy citrus dessert vibe. I just wish OMGsrsly hadn’t told me what she thought of Valerian root (stinky cheese, sock), because now I get that a little too! :P

Here’s hoping this helps fix my last few weeks of incredibly poor sleep.

Flavors: Lemon, Peppermint, Vanilla


Sorry! (Actually not too sorry…)


You meant well, and now I’m no longer ignorant, which I think is for the best…



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I had a short, shallow moment of dread when I discovered the milk of yesterday was gone today (note: always check for this factor before steeping spice teas). Luckily, this tea seems pretty awesome without it.

This one’s quite wintery: gingerbread cookie spices, nuts, a versatile fruitiness that is one moment hot apple cider the next chocolate and orange rind, and maybe even a touch of smoke.

I’ll have to pick up some of Tippy’s keemun and assam to see how much they cultivate those delicious fruity dessert flavours- and there are so many flavours, but they work!

Flavors: Apple, Brown Sugar, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cookie, Ginger

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

It’s really, really good with a little milk and sugar. Works really well as a tea-latte.

Maddy Barone

This one looks really good to me. We’re finally having a bout of cold weather, and I want warm, spicy tea!

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I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.


95-100: A Personal Favourite; I’m never without this tea.

90-94: Great! I’ll try to keep a small amount around.

80-89: Enjoyable; I may buy more at some point.

70-79: Nice, but not something I’d drink often. I may have a few problems with it.

50-69: Something about this tea falls flat for me. Still drinkable.

30-49: This isn’t a particularly pleasant cup.

1-29: …


BC, Canada

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