312 Tasting Notes


Could have sworn I made a second tasting note for this tea, but I guess I didn’t. Oh well, here is tonight’s experience;

First steep was lovely, with the flavours of spices, honey and light bodied black tea. The aftertaste had a sensation of sugar syrup on my throat.

Second cup tasted much earthier and had a hint of cocoa. Mmmmm…

Third cup shifted, bringing out more cinnamon and grains.

Fourth cup was very light, and together with the previous flavours it made me think of white tea or Oriental Beauty.

Fifth through six were pretty light, but not bad. I stopped because it satisfied me enough.

Not my favourite resteeper, but a very flavourful tea. Next time I make this I’ll add more time to the resteeps.

100ml purion teapot, 2 tsp, 6 steeps (30s, +15s resteeps)

195 °F / 90 °C

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There was some mix-up with Teavivre’s manufacturer because the sample I received was “flavoured” when Teavivre’s intention was to sell the unflavoured stuff. (Old notes have been deleted because they don’t apply to the same tea) Anyway, I ordered it and received the proper natural Jin Xuan tea. So it’s like I am getting to know this tea for the first time now! ;)

First steep is slightly floral, fruity (apricot), sweet, and vegetal. There is also a slight creamy aftertaste. Seems like a nice balanced tea, nothing seems out of place.

Third to third steeps were consistent, with the third being a bit sweeter and fruity.

Taking a break and sniffing inside the teapot, the leaves do smell sweet and almost creamy. But it’s not a heavy cream scent. It also made me think of apricots

Four to fifth were more vegetal and less fruity. I kept resteeping but eventually stopped on the ninth when I could hardly taste any tea.

If you are looking for a flavoured Milk Oolong with heavy cream and fruit flavour, try somewhere else. Apparently that stuff is not natural and is flavoured to achieve that result. However this Jin Xuan Milk Oolong tastes very natural, and for me is a lovely tea with a good price. Sometimes less expensive oolongs do not satisfy my palate, but this one is tasty and cheap enough that I can drink it very often in my yixing teapot.

The leaves are quite big, and the 1 1/2 tsp I put in looks about right.
125ml yixing teapot, 1 1/2 tsp, (rinse, 10s, 15s, +10s resteeps)


Curious, how did you find out you had the wrong stuff?


I confirmed it with Angel, and besides that flavoured Milk Oolong has a very very different taste from natural Jin Xuan “Milk Oolong”.

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First steep tasted amazing with notes of cinnamon, raisins, apple, spices and a deep, smooth black tea body.

Second steep was also nice with a much stronger black tea flavour.

And then like with Hime Hikari, the flavours get much weaker with the subsequent resteeps. The 5th hardly tasted like tea, and the 6th was just water with a hint of spice. Normally when it tastes that weak I begin to recognize the original water flavour, but not so this time. It might be due to the purion teapot, which would be nice since I use a brita filter with hard water and it doesn’t always taste great. ;)

I have to say that I wasn’t so crazy about this tea the first time I tried it, but the first short steep here was wonderful. When I long steep this one, it reminds me too much of Qimen black tea, which is a tea I’m not always interested in drinking. Anyway, this is quite an interesting tea and I’m happy to have tried it.

100ml purion teapot, 1 1/2 tsp, 6 steeps (30s, 30s, +15s)

edit: Please see my newer tasting note regarding short steeping this tea.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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Tonight I’m trying one of my Japanese black teas (Hime Hikari), short steeped. Out of the two I purchased I like this one better, but perhaps when I short steep both I may change my mind.

First steep is quite nice and very flavourful with a strong black tea body. There were floral notes, cocoa, malty, juicy apple, spices, and a hint of grains.

The second steep was much stronger, to the point where it almost becomes bitter. I don’t normally like that but it went pretty well with the cocoa notes. (I’m sure it wouldn’t have become bitter if I didn’t put so many leaves in)

I continued steeping it four more times, but most of the flavour peaked on the 2nd steep. The strong tea body weakened, but they were still flavourful cups. So after the 2nd steep it’s quite a different experience.

If you prefer a strong flavoured tea I’d recommend western style or the suggested brewing directions.

100ml purion teapot, 2 tsp, 6 steeps (30s, +15s resteeps)

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

How do you like your purion teapot and which teas do you use with it? I looked them up on the ’net, they seem nice but expensive. :)


Nice teapot, but I’m not sure how much it changes the tea. It comes with a small mesh strainer which snaps into the spout. I’m mostly using it for high oxidized teas such as black, so the strainer helps a lot.
I wouldn’t have normally bought it, but I wanted a small teapot for black tea and the money was a gift. ;) As a bonus the material is not very porous, so I can use it with other tea.

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I received this in the mail today and promptly brewed up some in a teapot to share with my husband. I didn’t order much, but Da Yu Lin is something I’ve been meaning to try, so I couldn’t resist just purchasing a little.

The very first cup of tea left a good impression on us. Its flavours hint at vegetal, butter, fruit/spice but never get to the point where it is obnoxious, just peaceful and satisfying. I especially enjoyed the tea body, it is deep and mellow. It stayed fairly consistent throughout the 9 total steeps I did today.

This is our first Da Yu Lin so I can’t comment on how good it is compared to other Da Yu Lin teas. That being said, we loved it and are looking forward to trying more in the future.

My teapot wasn’t too crowded, so I think I’ll add more leaves next time.

125ml yixing teapot, 1 tsp, 9 steeps (rinse, 30s, +15s resteeps for 2nd-6th, +30s for 7th-9th)

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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Steeped this 12 times, all while chilling out and listening to Drone Zone from somafm.com

A very enjoyable tea and quite a unique experience that I’ve savoured over the months.
Next time I brew this it will probably be a “sipdown”.
See previous tasting notes for more of my thoughts on this tea

100ml purion teapot, 2 tsp, 12 steeps (30s, +15s resteeps)

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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drank Jin Die by Camellia Sinensis
312 tasting notes

To celebrate our 5th anniversary married together, I prepared one of my husband’s (and mine) favourite teas: Jin Die.

Drinking from the first steep, I’m greeted with the familiar flavours of Jin Die: deep rich, earthy tea body, cinnamon, spices, tomato (not like SML), the liquor ends on a smooth-velvety feeling. An odd characteristic also makes it’s appearance here, the flavour of ripe puerh. It’s not something I expect from black tea, but I quite like it!

The second steep is much the same with some chocolate and pepper showing up.

As I keep drinking through the steeps, the flavour just keeps intensifying. Fifth steep brought out some caramel flavour, and was our favourite steep.

In each resteep the flavour started to weaken very gradually. I could taste the puerh flavour up until about the 9th, and much of the spice notes stayed up until the 15th.

I ended on the 16th steep because I really couldn’t drink anymore tea. It didn’t even have the taste of my water, just really weak, earthy, fuzzy, slightly sweet tea. The liquor had a yellow-amber colour, which is still pretty dark for so many resteeps I think.

Overall, I have always found Jin Die to be an amazing black tea, but this short steeping experience has heightened my enjoyment of it. As of writing this review, it’s my best black tea resteeper (Ying De Hong Cha from Jing Tea Shop had 14, Yunnan Dian Hong golden tips from Teavivre had 12). My husband isn’t obsessed with tea like I am, and he doesn’t always remember the flavour or names of our teas (especially if they are foreign), but Jin Die has left a powerful impression on him and it quickly became one of our favourites.

See previous tasting notes for more of my thoughts on this tea

100ml gaiwan, 2tsp, 16 steeps (30s, +15s resteeps)
Up’d rating slightly

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

Happy Anniversary!


Congrats on 5 years!!! :)


Yay! 5 year Anniversary! Congrats! : )


Thanks everyone! :)

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Tonight I’m brewing SML in a gaiwan, because I’ve yet to short steep it until now. Anyway,

First steep starts off tasting very mild and friendly, then after a few seconds a rush of flavour comes out. I’m getting a hint of the unique SML flavours here, malt, zesty tomato, vanilla, grains, cinnamon

Second steep it obviously much stronger, with the typical powerful SML flavours showing up.

Sniffing gaiwan lid, the scents made me think of soy sauce and tomato.

Moving onto the third steep, it keeps getting more and more intense. Now there is a minty/menthol flavour coming out. It mixes really well with the existing flavours into something that makes me think of licorice.

At the fourth steep the tea leaves have completely unfurled. Tasting the liquor, the mint is more powerful, along with the existing flavours. I think this fourth cup really tests your tolerance for STRONG flavours.

The fifth steep tasted like the tea flavour was weakening, but it’s otherwise pretty strong.

Sixth to twelfth steeps continued to get progressively weaker, but otherwise I enjoyed the typical SML flavours.

I go into more depth with my earlier tasting note, but in summary: I love SML because it is such a unique tea.

This short steeping experiment worked out nicely, I think I prefer it to the traditional one steep western style. For one thing, I think the menthol/mint comes out better here. As a bonus, the long, twisted dark leaves are a delight to watch in a gaiwan, and the large open mouth of this tea vessel makes it great to sniff the wet leaves.

100ml gaiwan, 2 tsp, 12 steeps (30s, +15s resteeps)

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

what is a gaiwan if i may ask?


Sure, it’s a small tea vessel that has the appearance of a lidded bowl. Using a gaiwan is ideal for short steeping tea because you fully decant the liquid and reserve tea leaves in it.
There are some great pictures on on wikipedia plus more information for you to look at if you are still curious: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaiwan

Feel free to ask anyone on Steepster for more information, most of us are happy to share what we know. :)

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Here’s another one of four Metropolitan Tea Company teas I purchased from Tweed & Hickory. I won’t be reviewing the final one because it’s just Monk’s Blend. Anyway…

I’ve been looking for a good peach tea for some time now. MTC Peach and Apricot black tea was pretty good but I am not a fan of the tea base, and DAVIDsTEA Southern Belle was a disaster. So I decided to purchase this Georgia Peach from MTC because it uses rooibos as a tea base.

Sniffing inside the bag, I’m reminded of the way too powerful peach smell from Southern Belle. The brewed rooibos liquor smells like peach, jolly ranchers, mint, and koolaid (seriously).

I was a bit hesitant to drink this stuff, because I had such high hopes for it. But my fears subsided when I took my first sip. It tastes FANTASTIC! It’s just the peach tea I’ve been looking for! This totally tastes like a peach should, plus it has some other nice flavours associated with red rooibos like mint.

I am 100% satisfied with this purchase. Rooibos has always been a “tea” I’ve liked but never fell in love with. But it works so well here with the peach flavour. The description suggests it’s good iced so I’ll have to try that sometime too.

470ml glass mug, 3 tsp (I use 1 and 1/2 tsp of rooibos per cup), 1 steep

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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This is another one of the four teas I bought from Tweed & Hickory’s massive online selection of Metropolitan Tea Company teas. I don’t usually buy flavoured teas now, but I still enjoy them occasionally. Mostly though, my husband loves to take black tea to work and it’s also nice to make up a pot of cheap flavoured tea every now and then. I find brewing flavoured black tea to be incredibly easy, which is terrific for whenever I am feeling lazy.

Smelling the brewed tea liquor, I’m reminded of the usual Ceylon base MTC uses, mild creamy vanilla and cinnamon. Nothing unusual and everything I expected so far.

Upon drinking it, my expectations were fully met. It’s a very smooth black tea with vanilla and cinnamon. I’m not usually very crazy about their Ceylon tea base, but this flavour combo works out pretty well.

I actually like this tea quite a bit. I’ve obviously had much better, fancier teas, but Vanilla & Cinnamon just aims to be a simple, pleasurable tea to brew western style. For what it is, I think it’s perfect. If you see this MTC tea in your local tea room, it’s definitely worth trying once. I can see this as being paired really well with some coffeecake!

470ml glass tea mug, 1 steep

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Feel free to add me on Steepster, I’ll probably add you back. :)

I don’t log tea every time I drink it. Tasting notes tend to be about either one style of brewing or a new experience. It is helpful for me to look back on my notes and see what a tea tasted like or which steeping parameter worked best for me. I try to mostly short steep tea unless it only tastes better with a long steep. I’d rather experience what a tea tastes like over 3 or 12 steeps than just 1 to 3 long steeps.

When I write “tsp”, the measurement I use is a regular western teaspoon. Not a tea scoop

What my tea ratings mean:

99-100: Teas that blow my mind! An unforgettable experience. Savoured to the last drop. I felt privileged to drink this.

90-98: Extraordinary, highly recommended, try it and you won’t be disappointed (and if you are, mail me the tea!)

85-89: Wonderful, couldn’t expect more but not a favourite.

80-84: Excellent, a treasured experience but not a favourite.

70-79: Good but could be better. Above average.

60-69: Average, unexceptional, not something I would buy again. Slightly disappointed. I’d rather drink water.

50-0: Varying degrees of sadness

No rating: Mixed feelings, can’t decide whether I like it or not, not enough experience with that sort of tea to rate it. A dramatic change of heart.


Ontario, Canada

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