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302 Tasting Notes

Flavourful, sweet, woodsy and creamy. Not to overpowering or bitter either.

I found that with a bit too much time or leaves it’s too bold, but it’s really wonderful when I get it just right. Comparing this to the Thurbo Dj-19 I just had from CS, it’s a stronger flavour but still overall a balanced tea.

Steep parameters:
250 ml mug, 1 teaspoon

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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This was really smooth and not sharp/bitter at all. Along with the typical notes I expect (woodsy, peppery), I never felt like the flavours overpowered my taste buds.

Overall I enjoyed the tea, but Darjeelings are not something I usually purchase so I’ll reserve rating this for now. But compared to some others I’ve tried, this seemed really subtle and balanced at the same time.

Steep parameters:
250ml mug, 1 teaspoon

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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This is my fist time trying a yellow tea. So going into this purchase I didn’t know what to expect. Due to amount that came with my order (10g), I decided to prepare it with short steeps.

Initially when going through the rinse stage, I sniffed the gaiwan lid and picked up on a unique aroma. It’s really hard to describe, but from my tastings it’s like a butter and honey combo.

Then, throughout the steeps I got a nice crisp, heavy butter, sweet, creamy, and vegetal flavour (similar to sugar snap peas). With the third steep having a lovely honey and butter flavour.

Overall I’m very impressed. Even though this is my first chance trying yellow tea, it seems very different from the other usual types. I don’t have the budget to indulgence on Jun Shan Yin Zhen, but very happy I had a chance to try it.

Steep parameters:
100ml gaiwan, 5g tea, 3 steeps and rinse (45s, 30s, 30s)
(I tried past 3 steeps but I didn’t enjoy it as much)

180 °F / 82 °C

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Tea provided by Teavivre for review

Sniffing the tea liquor, I got the impression this would be too sweet. But with the first sip, it’s much more toned down. There are a lot of enjoyable flavours here; malty, honey, spices, marzipan, grains, raisin, chocolate. They’re all very mellow and underwhelming though.

The following second through seventh steeps didn’t really impress me either.

To try and get more flavour out of my cups, I did both a western steep and another short steep (with more leaves). Both attempts were unsuccessful. To be truthful, I just couldn’t get into this tea at all.
And overall I while enjoyed the sample, it couldn’t compare with some other Oriental Beauty teas I have tried.

Steep parameters:
100ml gaiwan, 4g, 7 steeps and rinse (30s, 45s, 1m, 1m10s, 1m20s, 1m30s, 1m40s)

185 °F / 85 °C

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Tea provided by Teavivre for review

First steep exceeded my expectations. It’s very floral of course, but not in an obnoxious way. And there is an almost menthol like refreshing sensation with each sip.

Second through fourth steeps were very consistent in flavour. But on my fifth steep I started tasting some nectarine (fruit) notes along with spices.

Sixth through seventh steeps were still very flavourful with a nice touch of sweetness.

I have not gone out of my way to try many tie guan yin teas, but this one really impressed me. I’m not even sure what else I would expect from this tea. Just an amazing experience all around. :)

100 ml gaiwan, sample size, 7 steeps and rinse

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Tea provided by Teavivre for review

I’m in a green tea mood today, so I tried my next sample: Liu An Gua Pian.

With my first sip, I was picking up on spicy taste mentioned in the description. It’s really pleasant, and gives the tea body a nice “warm” feeling in my mouth. Next, I was tasting a lot of the characteristics I expect in a green tea (vegetal, sweet). Maybe I used more leaves than I should have, but the tea body had a lot of flavour.

Second to fourth steeps were pleasant, with a consistent but milder strength. There is some bitterness, but it seems to blend well with the other flavours.

Overall I liked this tea, and I downed my cups pretty quickly. Sometimes I prefer a delicate green tea, but this one had a lot of interesting flavours going on. Very happy I had a chance to try this, and I’ll brew some western style another day.

100ml gaiwan, 4g sample, 4 steeps (rinse, 30s,1m,1m30s,2m)

Edit: I prepared this later as western style (with Teavivre’s steep guidelines. It’s much as I expected, but not as flavourful. So short steeps are still my preference with this one.)

175 °F / 79 °C

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Tea provided by Teavivre for review

I’ve been having a lot of good result’s with Teavivre’s steep guidelines. So I prepared this in my gaiwan at first, and tea mug later on.

My first through third steeps were very light and subtle. It had a refreshing, sweet, vegetal and slightly fruity aroma. (Unfortunately it was a type of vegetal flavour I don’t enjoy.)

And just to experiment, I also used my second sample to try it out western style. But really, I didn’t notice too much of a difference.

Overall, I couldn’t get into this tea. I tried, but there’s something about the vegetal aroma that displeases my palate. But aside from that, the other subtle flavours were pretty good. So I’m not a fan, but if you enjoy this sort of green tea it might be worth a try.

100ml gaiwan, 4g sample, 3 steeps (rinse,30s,1m,1m30s)

175 °F / 79 °C

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Tea provided by Teavivre for review

This is my first time trying a high-end/more expensive dragon well, so I chose to prepare it as Teavivre’s suggests.

First steep tasted very delicate, light, buttery, vegetal, sweet (with some cinnamon background) and crisp. I couldn’t detect any off-putting flavours.

Second through fifth steeps were consistent, with the flavour building up in my mouth at each sip. It weakened very gradually, which was enjoyable.

Overall, I had high expectations and this tea met them. Can’t say I’ve tried a lot of dragon well teas (or high end ones for that matter), but this one really pleased me. Definitely worth trying once.

As a side note, I really like the flavour so I went ahead and prepared my second sample “western style”. It’s still really good, but I prefer short steeps (plus I love watching the leaves in my gaiwan).

Steep parameters (Teavivre’s recommendations):

100ml gaiwan, 4g, 5 steeps (rinse,20s,40s,1m10s,2m,2m30s)
(spot on directions, it turned out wonderful)

175 °F / 79 °C

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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.

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!)

80-89: 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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