119 Tasting Notes

drank Top Tie Guan Yin by ShanghaiStory
119 tasting notes

Nice lavender-ish fragrance on the first steep with a pretty golden-yellow broth. Flavor is pleasantly floral with a wisp of vanilla. Lightly buttery.

Upping my rating on day 2 after retrying with more leaf and shorter steep times. This one doesn’t do western well, loses a lot of its beauty in a longer steep.

0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Chocolate Mint Rooibos by Zen Tea
119 tasting notes

Easy drinking comfort tea. Great balance among the rooibos, mint and chocolate flavors, with the mint predominating. The mint is soft, though, and breathy-fresh. The chocolate is almost too quiet in the background, but good enough. Because I’m not a fan of “natural flavours” as an ingredient, it lost points for that.

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Wanted a Friday-worthy tea today to enjoy after yin yoga and a swim. Cooked up a pot of miso-mushroom-soba soup and got down with this tea while I waited for it to finish. Was not disappointed.

If the allure of its curly golden cuteness and wonderful chocolatey steam-breath doesn’t get you, the flavor will. This tea’s a charmer. Smooth, nice body and plenty of soft, nearly-sweet flavor. It has a good deal of depth even though it’s not a full-throttle black. The chocolate is more pronounced in the aroma but still present in the sip.

The caramel noted by fellow Steeps tasted more like a good quality butterscotch to me. There’s something else umami about it, couldn’t pin it down, and a faint hint of some fruit that I’ll try to figure out in future steeps. Will check for that sweet potato next time, too, didn’t catch that.

Another high quality tea from Teavivre, thank you for the surprise offer of samples to try!

Flavors: Butterscotch, Chocolate

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This tea is unusual in a good way. It has a distinctive sweet flavor that reminds me of good rum without the alcohol, if you can imagine that. Very round and both soft and bright at the same time. Fragrance of sweet potato and also green beans. The flavor tastes closer to lychee fruit than honey to me, love that. Slight maltiness. No astringency. Good for multiple resteeps.

Thanks to Tea Sipper for the extra sample – good call!

Flavors: Lychee

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This is another sample from Teavivre – a bit of a puerh tour, how fun is that! Want to start by saying that I am going to have to try short-steeping this next time because it appears my fellow Steeps are appreciating this more than I am; I did like it, though. Did a 10s rinse then 4x 2-3 minute steepings. I kept waiting for the creaminess and other high points to appear, no luck.

All the steepings had earth and just the barest sweetness, with a bit of astringency in the aftertaste. 1st and 2nd steeps had tobacco, 2nd had mushroom with a whisper of chocolate (my favorite steeping), 3rd had damp earth and wood smoke, 4th back to a bit of mushroom and what I could almost but not quite call floral that’s in the tea’s description.

Wondering if it’s my method or my taste buds…

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This would be a good puerh, as others note, to use as an intro for the uninitiated. It has a pleasant woodsy, fresh-mushroomy, wet-leaf atmosphere without being at all dank (or fishy). Also there’s some distinct clean leather in the first steep, nice. Medium body, not too light. Smooth, no edge. A hint of sweetness leaning toward malt as well. Also leaves a nice little tingle in the mouth.

Thanks to Teavivre for sending a sample of this my way, I am enjoying it!

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Predominant note is chocolate , a little tobacco, a little malt and prune-like sweetness. While that description makes it sound like a rich tea, though, it is fairly light. Smooth and round and delightful to drink with no ‘catches’ to distract from the pleasure. This is a tea I would purchase. Very much enjoyed this sample, thank you, Angel!


I taste sweet potato in this one! It is yum!


Ooh will try it again and ‘look’ for that. It is so yum!

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drank Organic Jasmine Green Tea by Wegmans
119 tasting notes

The downside of drinking a tea without reviewing it and then you forget you really enjoyed it … is met on the other side by, after having forgotten, you get that surprised “oh, nice!” moment. Got that with this. Very enjoyable jasmine, fresh like spring, silky body. The jasmine is forward and juicy but not overplayed. I was hoping this would be sweet enough to satisfy a sweet tooth kind of afternoon, but… well, not quite. Baked pear/apple medley to the rescue, though.

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Very smooth, medium-bodied cuppa with straightforward, easy-drinking appeal. Clean tasting though it has a subtle malty fragrance and flavor coupled with a bit of sweetness, not quite raisin.

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Gotta love flavorful black teas on snowy mornings… Enjoying this in the beautifully sunny aftermath of the blizzard that, mercifully, barely brushed the DC area. Just a few inches yesterday, I’ve enjoyed the luxury of pulling in and out of the driveway that I didn’t have to shovel :) Wish my folks in RI were so lucky.

Solid cup of flavor, medium bodied and round, with a lingering cocoa and slight malt. There is a distinct perfumey note that I read through everyone’s notes to pin down but somehow didn’t settle on … it nears the intensity level of a bergamot… maybe that’s what fellow Steeps are describing as floral? or cedar? The woodiness, oddly, seemed more of a flavor-texture than a flavor. There’s a fruit in there, too, will have to chase that down in future steeps.

The smokiness is phantom-like, in and out, wonderfully described by Fjellrev as “a (very distant) campfire”…just a hint of extra character.

This isn’t the most cocoa-y or chocolatey black around but they’re there to enjoy.
This provided a full 3rd finium basket steep which was a little smoother and flavor-focused on the rear sides of my tongue. Looked up the tongue-map only to learn that it has been scientifically discredited. I missed that news. But the 3rd steep definitely had tongue-localized flavor, so there you go.

1st in another round of generous samples just received from Teavire, thank you for the tea tours!

Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Smoke

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Strong preference for exploring teas au naturel, and unflavored (except for unprocessed ingredients, e.g., cocoa shells/nibs, vanilla beans, flowers, fruits…). Favorites lean in the direction of rich caramelly, malty blacks, any puerh, fresh floral oolongs and whites that have some dimension.

I am always up for swaps.

Beyond the experience of tea, I’m interested in exploring its medicinal aspects. Other interests … yoga, creative veggie cooking, environmental issues, animal welfare, music/guitar, lefty politics, preventive health/nutrition, biking, swimming, foosball, photography.

Here’s how I rate ’em:

95+: euphoria-inducing, le petite mort
91-94: extraordinary, exhilarating
85-90: delicious
81-84: definitely enjoyable
75-80: good, solid stuff
65-74: I’ll drink it, but without enthusiasm
45-64: something redeeming about it, but not much
31-44: just barely drinkable


Metro DC

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