95 Tasting Notes


I’m a dark chocolate enthusiast so I was psyched to try this, based on its name: double dark. Sounds dark, doesn’t it? Trust me, it’s not. So I initially gave it a low rating for not being dark and for being bland and watery. Put it in the recesses of my cupboard. Then, having pulled it out for a steepster swap recently I tried it again, this time with an extra long brew time, well beyond the recommended 7 minutes. Big difference. This is one of those teas that really benefit from being kept hot while steeping, and in fact it seems best off being left in the cup till the end. I like it with a little splash of almond milk and it can also take a little dash of cinnamon or shot of whatever alcohol you like with your hot chocolate. Still not double dark at all, but a nice drink on a cold day or evening.

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Smokey, maybe 25% as smokey as a lapsong souchong, especially predominant on the first steep. I’m thinking smoked figs, as if such a thing exists. Nice cup of tea to muse over. Medium-bodied with nice balance of flavors. 2nd steep still flavorful, with the smoke diminishing to an undertone.

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drank Ti Guan Yin by Wegmans
95 tasting notes

This leans toward the darker side of tie guan yins rather than the brighter, loftier toned versions. The first steep is smokey and even somewhat musty, but with a little focus I picked up the familiar tie guan yin flavor profile lying underneath. The second steep was delicious, floral front and smooth. The third steep suffered a sharp dropoff in flavor, but certainly was still drinkable. Three steeps, three surprises.

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Not a big fan of flavored teas but this is a nice change of pace. Looking to avoid ag chemicals it caught my eye plus being sold in bulk I could try just a few cups’ worth so no commitment issues.

Inhaling the steam is a peachy wake-up. Flavor is smooth and clean, with well-rounded notes for a fruity tea. The tangerine is a little greeting on the finish. I’d recommend this to those who want to add something with fruit to their cupboard. It’s not subtle, but it’s not overstated, either.

I imagine it’d be delicious iced… not too frank a fruit tea and nice balanced flavor. This would be just fine without any sweetener, it’s nice as it is. Could probably take on some sprigs of fresh mint. Ooh, or even a little splash of sparkling white, like a bellini. I might have to pick up some more for the summer.

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Went with a group to Ching Ching Cha today… tried a number of their teas. Nice place – standard tables with chairs and low tables with floor pillows to sit on. Good selection of attractive but pricey cast iron teapots. They’re good about refilling the hot water.

So the Orchid Oolong was pretty good. Kind of a stargazer lilly spice fragrance and taste, though a much milder version. Green and fairly light, but buttery. Table mates liked it, including one who only likes sweetened teas.

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drank Sweet Pu-erh by Wegmans
95 tasting notes

A light puerh that has a fragrance and taste of roasted hazelnuts. A little smokey. Amber liquor. Very drinkable but without the depth of typical puerh. Since Wegmans gets some of its teas from ItoEn it’s possible that this is actually the tea listed here; although mine does not say green, it is definitely not your usual dark puerh:

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drank Lapsang Souchong by Wegmans
95 tasting notes

Think woody campfire smoke, inhaled, then consumed as a liquid. Doesn’t make you cough, but otherwise this is pretty much my experience of this tea. Can be pleasant or not depending on your taste and your emotional associations with campfires. I could easily close my eyes and be transported back to some great times with this imagination-inducing tea. Drinking it straight would be an acquired taste, but I’ll blend this with other teas to add a bit of smokey depth.

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drank Red Rooibos by Davidson's
95 tasting notes

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This is my first silver needle, and it’s a standout among teas… maybe simply because it’s silver needle or maybe just this particular silver needle is this good, don’t know yet… but now that I’m in the door, I’m going to solve this mini-mystery. It is light, refreshing and sweet in the most natural, unassuming way. It tastes like a more sophisticated version of Juicy Fruit gum. Fragrance is a heavenly soft floral.

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Refreshing, nicely composed marriage of puerh, orange and ginger. The dry tea smells more of ginger but it is really more of a complement to the others once brewed… a mild little kick at the end. The puerh is lighter-bodied than the typical dark, earthy varieties I’ve explored, and the orange further contributes to this lighter palate. No trace of the sea-flavors that some dislike.


Is this the RISHI Brand from Wegmans


No company was listed on the bulk tea tin or the printed label, but it could be Rishi since that’s one of their (3?) suppliers. I emailed Wegman’s requesting a listing of who produces which of their teas. If I find out it’s Rishi I’ll relocate this post accordinly.


I think it would be good to have under Wegman’s too because I know other people search for Wegman’s Stuff…that’s what I do anyways…if I know it by another name I list it in my review notes! I think you are fine with either/or/both

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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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