101 Tasting Notes

I got this as a sample with another purchase a few weeks ago. I then had it as a prepared cup for their sample day. They brewed it western style for that and while I thought it was good but not nessesarily “choicest” and I didn’t find it interesting enough to buy 2 oz. Now that I had a chance to try my sample brewed gong fu style I can see what all the fuss is about. The leaves have a very fruity smell reminding me of either a type of candy or dried fruit snack…can’t quite put my finger on it. The first steep was light and very fruity and sweet and in subsequent steeps toasty notes from the roasting started to come out.

I’m cold brewing my other half of the sample now since I saw that recommended and I could definately see this one as refreshing.


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Another tea I had as a sample and had to buy. I’ve passed over this before because of the name as I thought it was some sort of flavored tea, but one sip showed me how wrong I was. It’s very oxidized so it’s wonderfully dark but doesn’t have the astringency of a black tea. I found it to be a bit peachy without much roasted flavor. I was a little put off to the description mentioning Ruby 18, but after trying the two side by side they do share some of that complexity that makes Ruby 18 so wonderful just without any of the liqiorice notes.


Gooseberry Spoon

It is, and better yet pretty affordable for the quality…unlike Ruby 18


Awesome shots!

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I had this as a part of a sample day sampler and walked out with two oz of it. Going in there I definately did not expect to be walking out of there with such a green oolong, but it had such a super silky mouthfeel I had to take some home. It’s very fragrent and floral with a bit of green tea bitterness. And.so.very.silky.
I’m also shocked by the number of resteeps I’m getting out of this. It’s like enough that I’ve lost count. Not bad for a green.

Flavors: Floral, Green

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Malt, dark raisins, and just enough oomph to make it good for mornings. The taste of this just lingers…it’s a bit incredible.



Sounds amazing!

Gooseberry Spoon

It’s hard to describe, but there’s a lot going on.

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This is one of those teas I can’t stop smelling and in the past few weeks this has quickly become one of those teas that I’m going to have to keep around. I was worried when I first got it because I could smell just a hint of smoke and me and smoked teas have not gotten along in the past. It remains just a hint that comes out in the steam, but plays nicely with the other flavors in the tea itself. It’s like natural cocoa, malt, and dark purple plums, and did I mention it smells amazing? I think I’ve found a tea to take camping.

Pictures: https://tmblr.co/Z2eXSl28GeZu6

Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Plums, Smoke

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drank Black Pearl by TeaSource
101 tasting notes

I love pearled tea. So easy to travel with and measure out. Nice large leaves when it’s all done. I’ve been looking for a black version for awhile so I had to snag some of this, and it ended up being an interesting tea in its own right. First off it smells rather amazing like dark dried fruit. In playing with this in the past few weeks I’ve found it to brew kind of light so I go heavy on the leaf and steep for at least a full five minutes. It has a bit of tannins that keep it bright, but don’t seem to make it undrinkable if oversteeped so this is definately a travel infuser candidate. The tea has a bit of cocoa notes and dark sugar plus a long lingering aftertaste as well as the feeling of a bit of tannins on the teeth.

Pictures: http://gooseberryspoon.tumblr.com/post/146210596095/black-pearl-indonesian-black-tea-from-teasource

Flavors: Cocoa

Boiling 5 min, 45 sec

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It’s finally gotten too hot in here to brew my usual afternoon tea. I’ve been subsisting on cold brewed tea but wanted something a bit more punchy today since I’ve managed to bake a rhubarb pie despite it being 85F and over 50% humidity in here. This is how I found out my Libre tea maker makes a decent iced matcha maker. Between the metal screen and the ice cubes I got about an inch of foam and only a few small chunks. It was only cooking matcha but just about any things refreshing served stupid cold.

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks for the tip! Sounds good.

Gooseberry Spoon

I’ve just noticed they have a matcha maker on their site now which appears to be the same as their infusers except smaller…so I guess it works without the ice cubes. Oh and be sure to knock on the lid before opening it so there’s no puddle of matcha lurking above the screen.

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I’ve managed to come out of this with almost no notes. I can tell you what this tea is not: It is not bitter or astringent or smokey. It doesn’t brew up very dark. It doesn’t get super earthy or really anything for that matter.

It is however very pleasant to sip one while reading. It’s subtle and I can’t decide if it’s the sort of subtle that I shouldn’t bother with or the sort that I should keep around for peaceful mornings.

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When checking out the sales associate starting flipping through the sample box and asked if I liked Assam. Being the person I am I said yes because hello it’s tea. She could have named anything other than “lotus” or “cherry milkshake sprinkles ice cream cake” and I would have responded the same. I didn’t look at it till I got home but expected some breakfast blend. I was rather suprised by this in all its golden tippy glory.

I didn’t measure but I brewed it rather strong and it came out a great deal darker than their image. It certainly smelled like assamica. Tasting it was bold and fragrant without that Assam tannic gut punch. I was most suprised by the spicy note at the end of the sip. It was not subtle, and if I hadn’t been out of my masala mix for the past month I would have assumed some cinnamon/clove/ginger heat was left in my infuser.

I guess I can see why they are wanting to get people to try this. I might make a habit of trying samples for tea I normally wouldn’t be interested in. Unfortunately, I think the caffeine amount might be a bit more than I can handle. TBD

Flavors: Spicy

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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Made the mistake of brewing the entire 20g at once in my ceramic tea pot. I’m still not half through it and I’ve already had to keep the leaves in the fridge overnight. Luckily it’s a super accessible shou and my SO who doesn’t really drink tea, let alone puerh, has started to ask for a cup or two.

It’s one of those shous that brew up nice and super black. Nice sweet creamy flavor with a really subdued earthiness instead of that strong “dirt” taste that usually throws off people who I’ve shared puerh with. It would be nicer if the melons were half the size since breaking them apart seems to me to be more work than if there was just a small cake, but otherwise this was a lovely drinker. I only wished I had waited until colder weather to try this.

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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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