150 Tasting Notes


Boosting my rating either because my palate has developed a wider appreciation or because this has aged well :) I am finding quite a bit to like in this, if only on the first short steep… Getting that caramel, some almond and a dark woodsiness that is rich and complex while very smooth. Not a wuyi fan, so this is a nice surprise.

0 min, 15 sec

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drank Jasmine - Green by Paromi
150 tasting notes

Nice natural jasmine flavor but just a little dimensionally flat.

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drank Chocolate Orange by Paromi
150 tasting notes

A good chocolate tea is such a rare, welcomed surprise. I usually approach a new chocolate tea with a combination of hope and doubt; the tasting is so often disappointing that I ask myself what’s the point in continuing to hope. Then a good one is discovered and it seems worth it. Like this one.

This tastes remarkably like a good dark chocolate-orange bar, Lindt, maybe. The chocolate is definitely there, folks. The orange peel is at a balanced level though overtakes the chocolate by a smidge. The cardamom is mild, just gives dimension. The tea is smooth and tastes natural and easy/comforting, even.

I had just 1 sample bag and brewed it for 3 minutes; while it was full flavored enough at that point I would try it longer next time to see if more chocolate/richness would emerge.

On the second steep I gave it 6 minutes and it was still decent, pretty much the identical flavor profile but a bit weaker. Gave it shot of unsweetened almond milk, didn’t actually alter it much. Then added about 3 drops of agave nectar just to see, and that was a great complement though I just about never sweeten my tea.

No astringency, no weird tastes, good flavor profile. I’ll be picking some of this up before long. Love those happy endings.

Flavors: Cardamon, Chocolate, Cocoa, Orange Zest

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I’ve had this a while and enjoyed it, brewed again to review. Delicious tea, creamy, young greens and orchid-honeysuckle. The orchid isn’t punchy, it’s soft, but still highly flavorful. I like the process of searching for flavors, but even more I enjoy when it’s all right out there and you can just relax and enjoy the cup without too much work!

I love a good floral tieguanyin and this is among the best I’ve had the pleasure of drinking. Gracious sample from Verdant, thank you!

Flavors: Butter, Cut grass, Honeysuckle, Orchid

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Good solid tasty tea. Predominantly malt and carb with a wisp of cocoa, nice combo. Western brewed, had a brief astringency in the post-sip. Thanks to WP for the lovely sample!

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drank Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavivre
150 tasting notes

Very much enjoyed this tea, I like Golden Monkeys a lot. Even like their name. Would like to meet one, one day. Mm cocoa-y and smooth, a comfort tea that is so easy to drink.
Thank you for the opportunity to sample this, Angel!

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drank Golden Monkey by Tao Tea Leaf
150 tasting notes

Delicious tea, particularly if you’re fond of naturally chocolatey blacks. Smooth, full-flavored, good body.

I drank this over the past week along with Golden Monkeys by Teavivre and Harney. This is the one I enjoyed most. The other two have a perfumery note that reminds me of bergamot, though different. That note distracts from their otherwise very nice flavor. While that note is apparently a feature of Golden Monkey, in the Tao rendition it is very much in the background so that it does not stand out, but blends in nicely.

Flavors: Chocolate

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I so enjoy unflavored black teas that taste like chocolate, and this is one.

The brewing fragrance is lovely – richly chocolate and enticing. The flavor bears this out, hitting a melody of harmonizing notes. Wouldn’t dub it an especially complex tea, but it is interesting. The flavor profile makes me think it should have a richer mouthfeel than it does, but that’s ok because it’s still very enjoyable.

I will probably rate this higher in the future, knowing to expect a lighter body.

Recommended for anyone looking for a naturally chocolate black.

  • anyone looking to swap some of this, lmk since i would like to try more before buying :)

Flavors: Chocolate

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My favorite dragonwell so far. It is quite buttery and smooth. Simultaneously sweet and roundly savory. Vegetal, like roasted, buttered… some young and tender spring veg. I love that it’s organic. Thanks to QueenofTarts for this surprise, it’s a great match for me :)

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drank Silver Buds Yabao by Verdant Tea
150 tasting notes

This is the first tea I’ve up-rated for its ‘fun’ quotient! It’s a brain-tickler… normally I would not expect to enjoy this combo of flavors but they are mysteriously intriguing. I dislike clove but the first steep it was all about clove and licorice… but with a countervailing smoothness and sweetness that removed their edge and left the whole palate stunningly interested. Smooth, sweet and savory.

The last sip, by then cooled, was another stunner: caramel. Just this intense sweetness out of nowhere. What fun.

As Amanda ‘SoggyEnderman’ Wilson noted, it has a fragrance of basil, which is just another twist in the interesting profile. Maybe there’s a little juniper in the flavor, but I didn’t pick up the strong pine that characterized it for so many other fellow Steeps.

This tea is a great conversation piece, so a must-have for any tea tasting having the purpose of sampling a wide range of different tea personalities

The name “yabao” is a perfect psycho-onomatopoeia – what your thought ‘sounds’ like in your head when you taste this… like a flash-impact word in a superheroes comic book : bam! … yabao! ha!

Plus it’s fun how the buds puff up like little seaweed pillow-fingers in the Atlantic, if you know the ones I mean.

Thanks to Christina for the great trade!

Flavors: Caramel, Clove, Licorice, Marshmallow

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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
< 30: tidy stream into the spit bucket


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