493 Tasting Notes


Thought I was going to get “puerh” and ended up getting the world’s most glorious nut and raisin trail mix instead. I was not expecting that twist, but I don’t resent it at all.

Setting: a pretty big mug. Temperature: boiling. Time: 1 minute rinse (maybe that’s too long to be termed a “rinse”), 30 second steep. I’ll write a more serious note later.

Second steep of 40 seconds at first tasted more like olive oil and wood smoke, but took on sweet finish which made the earthy trail mix of my mind materialize again.

Flavors: Berries, Earth, Nuts, Raisins

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Tea Sipper

mmm trail mix!


I read somewhere here 5 sec rinse couple min rest then 5/5/10/15 etc. I hope you don’t mind me telling this . This works pretty good for me for shu. Sheng is tricky. Short steeps always work.


Oh, no, I actually really appreciate the advice! It’s part of the reason I record the time/temp. and check everyone’s puerh notes. Sometimes I get lucky and it comes out tasting great despite the experimenting, like this one did, but I’ve wrecked a few too. Thank you :)


for shu cha I typically do 2 rinses,the second being long enough to draw just a little color out of the leaf…steep times will vary quite a bit from tea to tea,depending on leaf size,bing vs.loose,lao cha tou etc..


there really is no wrong or right way though…I tend to brew “heavy”,I like to overleaf oversteep most teas…it just comes down to personal preference..


@cryptickoi. i agree there is no right or wrong. im a beginner so its easier for me to do shortest steeps and see how flavors develop. i’m more in control. once i know more or less what to expect from this particular tea i can increase the time. so many people are turned off by pu because of long steeps. i still dont feel comfortable with sheng :(

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
493 tasting notes

I went to visit my parents for the week, expecting to try a bunch of new teas (mostly green and oolong), and then their temperature variable kettle decided to go kaput! I can’t help but feel it broke down just for me. Now we’re all using the pioneer copper stove kettle for boiling water. I recall something similar happening around this time last year too..

Pictured here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151486232145406&l=8ba0ae4cef

It’s quite the experience and adds a unique sensory profile to the water, but it’s not the kind of thing I want to use for my greener teas. That’s why amazingly tolerable black teas like this one exist, right?

Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Roasted Barley

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

eeek! I couldn’t live without my Breville variable temp kettle… hope you get a new kettle soon


Thanks! I hope so too. I think my parents are thinking of getting it replaced since the electric kettle wasn’t even a year old.


The copper kettle looks beautiful though :-)

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drank White Rhino by Butiki Teas
493 tasting notes

The first time I tried this tea I wasn’t completely wowed, however these last two steeps today have been sweet, in so many amazing ways. I may need to keep this rich tea around.

Apparently I tasted citrus the first time around, but I’m not tasting that at all now- maybe there’s a note like a lemon in a meringue pie? It’s somewhat of a stretch though. It’s more like delicious sweet potatoes, cream, with a bit of syrup.

Flavors: Apricot, Cream, Honey, Sweet Potatoes

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Ah, hilarious. All I had to do was scroll down a bit to see your notes. Great minds…


I loooooove this one. It’s definitely one of my favorite whites, if not THE favorite. :D I find in addition to the cream notes, it tastes a lot like sweet corn. I made it at a much lower temperature mind you (185). Kind of curious to try it at boiling for comparison sake.


It was a lovely afternoon in the lower mainland for this tea. :P

It’s amazing to see the variety of flavours people pick up in this one; it’s a good incentive to buy lots and go crazy experimenting with it.

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This was generously included as a sample in my Mandala order.

Today’s turning out to be a floral kind of day. I’m pleasantly surprised how heavy on the orchids this one is turning out to be. Besides flowers, there is a strong note of richly buttered grass. The finish is sour, with an increasingly sweet aftertaste. This combination of flavours creates one interesting cup.

I did a long rinse and some 30 second steeps in my tiny glass pot, using about 200F water. Puerh preparation techniques are currently a work in progress.

EDIT: After a 30 second rinse, I did a casual western mug steep for 1min and it came out incredibly rich and syrupy sweet.

Flavors: Butter, Grass, Orchids

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

Ooh sounds interesting!


It really is! It has this syrupy sweetness that I’m beginning to love. I may have to pick up a cake when life’s less hectic. :)

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It only took a month, but my Wanja order is finally here! Yay for delayed tea!

Something in the dry leaf and liquor aroma makes me want to roll around like a cat on catnip.. except I’m not a cat so I did a lot of hopping and skipping around instead. After taking a sip, I did even more of that. Being caffeine sensitive is usually good for the spirit but bad for gaining a respectable public image.

This bright, vivid orange-brown cup is like floral silk and citrus rind. The finish is brisk but not drying. Second steep is even more floral silk, almost thick enough to be a thin cream.

I’m not sure I’d pick this over my favourite mouth shredder, the Wanja OP, but I’ve an ounce-length span to make that decision if I need to.

Flavors: Flowers, Orange Zest

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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While I enjoyed the Shan First Flush, this one’s a complete miss for me. It has a delicious fruity note near the finish, but I’m not a fan of the amount of “marine” this tea throws at me. Or the metal taste. I think that last one is the biggest deal breaker for me; I don’t want to feel like I’ve been rolling pennies all day when I’m drinking tea.

I’m going to try some different steeping parameters, water, and palates (lucky roommates) before I move on.. hopefully my assessment as it stands now doesn’t stick!

Thanks, SFTGFOP, for another new green tea to try!

Flavors: Metallic, Ocean Breeze, Stonefruits

170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I do not drink this one near enough.

This is your classic, straightforward breakfast tea with milk, and it’s all kinds of amazing. It gets huge comfort points. The wisp of smoke is an added bonus today.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Vegetal greens aren’t really my thing, but there’s no denying I really enjoyed the citrus notes in this. The whole flavour profile reminds me of eating lobster (or insert your preferred seafood), with a good squeezing of lemon and a dash of butter.

This isn’t the cup to win me over to Team Green, but I don’t mind drinking up two individual tea bags of it. Thanks, SFTGFOP, for sending this smoky smelling Myanmar tea my way!

Flavors: Lemon Zest

170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I finally got a HB temperature variable kettle for school. Now it lives in my room with the soul purpose of manufacturing oolong-perfect water at my whim. It’s so satisfying knowing I can do that!

I really should be prepping for bed, but instead I thought I would celebrate the new kettle with a cup of this. It’s crazy floral-sweet today; undeniably like honeysuckles. The salty butter on the back of the tongue wasn’t apparent at first, but it has saturated my mouth with a vengeance now. I’m getting something almost minty too today.

I told myself I’d only do one steep tonight but I lied. I forgot how much I love this one.

Flavors: Butter, Flowers

180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Yay! A new kettle! :)


Is it the Hamilton Beach Pro? I think you match VariaTEA and I! And yes! ILU new kettle for letting me drink oolongs and greens! That should make for a more enjoyable semester for you! :)


Ohh… I want this kettle… and I think my subconscious knows and is helping me get it. My water thermometer had an accident today whereas it fell inside the regular kettle with near boiling water. The poor thing was all fogged up and rendered non-functional for time being. If it stops working for good I’ll probably get the variable temp kettle. Oolong is my Goddess… it would be so much easier with this kettle.


Congratulations! A good kettle and a water filter are a must! In fact, I’d choose the filter first really. Calcium and iron in water seems to especially effect the taste of oolongs for me. I’m a freak though.
Enjoy your new baby! Whoot!

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drank Cherry Blossom by DAVIDsTEA
493 tasting notes

Main notes for me are Sour Cherry Blasters and roses. There are some muscatel, vegetal, and citrus notes that pop up now and then but they are less defined. The coconut is barely apparent at all, but when it is it’s more akin to an oil or water than coconut shavings.

This isn’t a bad tea, artificial cherry and all, but it has to be steeped with some care. I think I burnt mine the first night and it had a bitter green veggie note midsip (between the rosy cherry and coconut-rose). Luckily the second steep that night came out smoother.

I may have my complaints and I would never add this to the “search and hoard” list, but I wouldn’t pass up a cup either. David’s has me excited about seasons months before their time, so there’s that too (my sense of time is a mess).

175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Just don’t try going outside in just a sundress and sandals. :)


Almost did that when I saw how blue and sunny it was today. Then it started snowing. :/


Oh, you made me laugh. :D

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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.

Tea Preferences: My absolute favourites are the floral inclined oolong and white teas. I also enjoy unflavoured green and black teas. Puerh is a hit or miss.

Fruit, cedar, anise, and vanilla are good. Black licorice, bergamot, and cheap chocolate are less good. Jasmine, cinnamon, and hibiscus are usually too strong in teas for my taste, but otherwise I like these flavours!


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: There’s no way to put it nicely..


BC, Canada

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