98 Tasting Notes

Dragon ball from 2017 sheng Olympiad.

Should have started this on a free weekend since it steeped out forever and I had to refrigerate it a few times. I think maybe half a tea ball would have been a better amount for me if it were possible to split tea balls. Brewed this on a 200ml gaiwan with just under boiling water for the first steeps then a thermos of very hot water for most of the sessions. I found this to be very floral with a lot of lingering aroma in the back of the mouth. There was almost no bitterness, which I actually would have liked more of. A few times it verged on being sweet but that faded rather quickly. As I said it seems like this steeped out forever with long 20-30 minute steeps at the end.

S.G. Sanders

So good to grandpa style at work when you run out of time? Or no, due to the nature that it’ll leave you tea drunk?

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Out of my last YS order this was definately the immediate stand out as I could smell it opening up the box. I smelled apricots, and I could not believe it was coming from this and not a sheng sample. I’ve brewed it gong fu style and was unimpressed. It did tease out that lovely fruity aroma, but I find most black teas more enjoyable western style.

I brewed this at work today in a travel infuser. The leaves were more tightly compressed than I thought and I ended up with half the infuser filled with leaf by the time everything unfurled. I steeped it multiple times over the day with the leaves staying in the infuser the entire time. After all that punishiment I could not be more pleased with this tea. It was strong, rich, and flavorful with just enough of a tannic flavor to keep it interesting, but it never got too dry or bitter. Lighter steeps have that lovely fruity aftertaste. Almost my entire YS order was devoted to tea I could abuse like this at work and this so far is the only thing that has far exceeded my expectations.

Now if only it came in 200g cakes.

Flavors: Apricot

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Cold brew: I’ve been sick so my sense of taste isn’t all there. This was super refreshing cold brewed though. A cooling Citrus zestyness comes out after you take a sip. Pretty good for my poor throat.

Flavors: Citrus Zest, Grapefruit

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Bought a sample of this in my last order since I really like the Chesnut tea and thought this would be similar. It smelled and tasted to me exactly like peanut m&ms. There’s definately a Nutella-ness to it as well. This is much more of a “dessert” tea to my tastes than the Chesnut. I tried a second steep with (probably too much) whole milk and honey, but I think I overwhelmed it a bit. Seemed good.

Dessert teas aren’t my thing so I don’t think I would buy this again, but if you are into seasonally themed desert teas and want something nicer tasting than hazelnut creamer I can see how this would be good.

Flavors: Chocolate, Hazelnut, Peanut, Vanilla

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I’m really enjoying the sample I got of this. Floral and silky, resteeps really well. Doesn’t seem to be too finicky about brewing parameters. Just good :)

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From puerh plus TTB:

3g in a small gaiwan multiple steeps at boiling water. Finally getting back to these Puerh samples. This was pleasant with only a mild briney fermentation flavor and sweet fruity later steeps. No cassia though, which is a shame since that’s what made me pick this up in the first place. I think I might try adding some cassia cinnamon to my next batch of everyday shou to see what it would be like.

This tea made me a bit uncomfortably warm even with only drinking a 3g sample and not being able to steep it out completely before bed.


are they all twigs? or leaves too?

Gooseberry Spoon

It was mostly leaves which makes me wonder if the “twigs” weren’t actually included in the tea but stored with it? I have no idea to be honest.

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I’ve been drinking this at work so with an eyeballed amount in a Libre tea infuser being steeped multiple times with random water temps. It’s been holding up to this abuse pretty well. There’s just a slight amount of astringency that comes out, enough to keep it interesting but it has yet to become overwhelming. It’s full flavored and still manages to be so three or four steeps in, surprising for the smaller leaves. Tastes like a light Darjeeling crossed with a higher oxidized oolong. Fruity, hay, and a bit of toasty goodness.

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On the walk home I stopped in a small grocery to look around and felt weird about walking out empty handed after being in there so long. Grabbed a cold bottle of this one the way out. This is my first time trying Honest Tea, and I always thought I’d like it because it’s everything I want. It’s in a glass bottle, only lightly sweetened, not flavored overwhelmingly with cheap flavor, and uses citric acid as a preservative. Plus oolong! Oolongs are great iced!

Unfortunately this was not very good. Tasted like watery black tea that’s been sitting out for too long. Has a weird flavor I always associated with American plastic bottled teas. Sweetness and peach flavor was spot on though. I’m not sure if I will try another, but I’m almost wishing I picked up a kombucha instead of this and I know I don’t like that.

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I rather liked this, but I seem to be getting a just slightly smokey beef jerky vibe out of it. I even think the dry tea smells like beef jerky. Other than that I got malt and a hint of cocoa, also a little bit of astringentcy. Really smooth sipper.

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you for reminding me that I have beef jerky here that needs to be eaten (especially since further dietary restrictions appear to be in my immediate future).

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I hit up the Teasouce booth at the state fair since who can resist tea samples AND looking at all the wonderful quilts, knitted and crocheted items, jellies, cookies, and breads showcased in the building. They only had samples of four teas available and all were served iced and sweetened. I skipped the red berries since I’ve had it before, it’s a rather nice berry based herbal. The Minnasota N’ice I had been wanting to try for awhile since it sounded intriguing being an orange and jasmine flavored tea meant for icing. The orange was rather strong in my sample fading into a light. floral aftertaste. I didn’t get much of the base, but it’s been awhile since I’ve gas a sweetened tea so I think I’ll still want to try it on its own before passing judgement. The next sample was an organic lime flavored green tea. I was a little underwhelmed by it, but again may have been the sugar. The last I tried was a raspberry matcha. I don’t care much for flavored matcha and this was super sweet. The raspberry flavor was spot on though.

There was also another tea seller called Log Cabin Teas with a booth. They had a whole wall of tea dispensers for people to dispense their own samples, but I wasn’t willing to fight the mob to try any. They had a sign saying something along the lines of “samples are for tasting not for drinking”, from what I could see it wasn’t doing a whole lotta good. From what I could see they were also predominantly flavored and probably sweetened teas.

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Likes: Jasmin, citrus, blackcurrants, Japanese greens

Dislikes: Chamomile, lotus, “dessert” teas

Curious: pu erh, chocolate, US tea

Drinking habits: No milk or sugar unless masala chai. At least one hot cup a day and two iced.


90-99: Fantastic, unique, and I’ll have to keep restocking FOREVER
80-89: Excellent! Will buy when I have room and can afford it.
70-79: Great tea, A solid tea. Will keep around.
60-69: Good tea, would buy again on sale.
50-59: Average tea will drink what I have left but wouldn’t go out of my way to look for it.
40-49: Meh, would drink up if given some
30-39: Kinda sad, would put up with it.
20-29: not good might finish the cup. Would drink if there is no other choice.
10-19 Bad. Do not want. Can I just get a cup of hot water instead?
0-9: Horrible, would spit it out and dump out the cup.


Midwest US



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