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984 Tasting Notes

100

The raw leaves are curly and green in appearance. There are also some lighter coloured stems present amongst the leaves too. Some of the leaves are not quite curled and are perfectly preserved, I can see the tips and shape along with the markings, a beautiful rarity amongst most teas.

They have beautiful sweet scent that is very floral, the name and description state gardenia which it very much does but also elements of lily of the valley and a soft fruity yet mature apricot.

I’m not sure how to steep this ‘correctly’ as there are no steeping instructions but I can have a good guess. I will treat it similar to other low oxidised Oolongs and hopefully it will be fine.

So I will be using 5g of this tea in my 200ml Gongfu teapot (not authentic Japanese but works very well). Water temperature will be 90 °C and shall be infused over three steeps. I will also do a 5 second rinse.

First Steep – 30 seconds
Light yellow colour tea with an elegant and sweet gardenia scent. The gardenia is pure and very much present, I used to work with perfumes and pure aroma oils and this smells exactly like pure gardenia oil but on a softer level.

Flavour is soft yet sweet with delicate hints of gardenia, flowers and grass/hay. Lovely for a first steep.

Second Steep – 1 minute
Thicker in strength and resembling gardenia oil even more now. The sweetness has also increased and is somewhat perfumed overall, that is to say it has a little dryness in the after taste. It is also fruity in the after taste, like apricot, it has that sweet yet sour delicate crispness.

Third Steep – 2 minutes
A little dryer this time and with a touch of astringency but still very sweet and floral. The astringency is rather mineral like which resembles more of a green tea rather than an Oolong.

Overall – This tea gave what was promised in the description, that being gardenia. It was present in the smell of the raw leaves, the smell of the steeped leaves and the flavour. Not only was it floral and perfumed throughout but it was also very sweet.

For more information and pictures of this tea please view my blog.
http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2014/02/24/my-first-taste-of-the-wonderful-world-of-japanese-oolong/

Flavors: Apricot, Flowers, Gardenias, Grass

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 g

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81
drank Be Cool by Kusmi Tea
984 tasting notes

It’s been a nice relaxing day for the most part and I’ve spent the majority of my time playing Civilization V with my husband. Though we haven’t done much today we’re still feeling cream crackered (cockney rhyming slang for knackered/shattered/tired) so I chose this herbal blend as a potential last pot of tea before bed time.

The loose blend smells strongly of peppermint and anise and sort of general herb like smells. It is thick but the mint is sweet enough to stop it being too stodgy and unpleasant.

The peppermint is the strongest flavour which adds a nice refreshing sweetness amongst the anise and licorice. Though I’m not a fan of licorice (in tea anyway) the peppermint lightens it to make it at a nice strength for me personally, sort of getting the flavour of the licorice without the thickness of it. I can sort of taste the apple if I put my mind to it, shares some of the sweetness from the peppermint, but again that’s only if I push myself to do so.

Aside from that the other ingredients blend in rather well, nothing sticks out or tastes out of place so all in all it’s a very pleasant herbal tea. Very relaxing and refreshing, somewhat matching the blends given name. One of the nicest herbal teas I have had in a long while, was a hit with my husband too. (which is amazing as he rarely likes pure herbals).

Note to self – Might be worth keeping regular stock of this one and using as a night time tea.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 20 OZ / 600 ML

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I wanted gaiwan but my husband pulled a face and said “Can’t we just use a teapot instead”? so I caved in and steeped this into a large teapot. I had to use two packs so hopefully the level of tea to water will be fine.

I’ve had Ginseng Oolong before but it was a while ago, I remember it being tasty but strange, granted that was the best part of a year ago. Time to re-visit.

Thick bready scent once steeped but with beautiful sweet ginseng behind it. Almost like an aromatic ginseng baked bread that you would find in a specialist shop.

Flavour is light, sweet and floral with notes of ginseng, honey, fresh bread and some sort of herb that I can’t put my finger on. Cilantro? Fennel? It has the same refreshing quality as fennel/aniseed does (if you know what I mean).

I’m still undecided about this one, it’s perhaps a little too sweet for me. I never liked Fennel/aniseed and this reminds me strongly of it, though I love the smell of it. My husband wasn’t sure about this one either, he said it’s nice but strange. Am I just too Western for this one? It looks that way, ginseng I’m sorry but I don’t think we are meant to be together.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 14 g 29 OZ / 850 ML

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72

Thank you Wan Ling Tea House for this sample.

3oz / 85ml 212℉ / 100℃
5 Grams Tea
6 steeps : rinse,15s,20s,30s,40s,70s,140s
Gaiwan
Rinsing time is around 5 seconds

The leaves are a lovely blend of brown and gold which are highly reflective. They have a sweet yet highly perfumed scent, rather musky and earthen. Must note there are a fair few sticks present in this sheng.

Picture – http://tinypic.com/r/2ut2aeh/8

First Steep – 15s
Golden in colour with a creamy yet floral musky scent that almost comes across as being astringent. It tastes a little astringent too but in a nice way, like a thick vegetal and floral way. In other words thickly sweet but not too much.

Second Steep – 20s
Still thick and sweet with a slight astringency and mineral tang. Resembling a savoy cabbage or fresh broccoli at the moment but in a lighter and more floral way. Is also a little buttery.

Third Steep – 30s
Ok very thick now, reminds me of raw brussel sprouts. Still very sweet too but the butter has vanished.

Fourth Steep – 40s
The astringency and musk has increased again which as cut the sweetness down. There is still a nice floral after taste though which lightens though has left me with dry mouth.

Fifth Steep – 70s
Not as thick or astringent now (thankfully) but it is increasing it’s floral notes. like peony and tulip. Still keeping the broccoli aspect but a very soft one.

Sixth Steep – 120s
Yes definitely the final steep, all that remains is a subtle waxy flower perfume that leaves the tongue rather dry.

Overall – Honestly I was expecting to love this as sheng is my favourite form of Pu Erh but unfortunately I found this one rather astringent and thick throughout. I love a sheng with full on flavour and I expect some extreme mineral elements with astringency but this was just too much for my personal liking. Still it wasn’t a complete waste on me, while I wouldn’t buy this Pu Erh I did still enjoy trying it today.

Preparation
Boiling 5 g

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86

Thank you Wan Ling Tea House for this sample.

Water : 3oz / 85ml – 194℉ / 90℃
Use 5 Grams Tea
5 steeps : rinse,25s,30s,60s,90s,120s
Gaiwan
Rinsing time is around 5 seconds

The Oolong balls are a very earthy brown colour with hints of red. Medium to large sized balls (mostly) with a rough average of 5mm in length. Due to the high oxidisation the balls are rather dry and crisp. They have a dark scent, like burnt wood and leather.

Picture – http://tinypic.com/r/14o0ojp/8

First Steep – 25s
Colour is medium tan/brown and it has a strong burnt wood yet slightly floral scent. Flavour is smoky and wooden with medium thickness (to start with). I can also taste flowers towards the after taste, sort of sweet and perhaps darkly fruity too, like prunes.

Second Steep – 30s
Still tasting the burnt wood but it’s thicker now and a little dry with some leather.

Third Steep – 60s
Very rich now but also smooth. The leather is more like a clay now but the burnt wood still dominates. A little sweet and floral in the after taste.

Fourth Steep – 90s
The burnt wood has toned down somewhat to allow the sweet flowers to shine through. Also getting more fruity notes this time like fresh, plump raisins.

Fifth Steep – 120s
All that remains is a mild yet still smooth floral Oolong with sweetness and a touch of smoke.

Overall – It was a nice Oolong that offered complexity, maturity and above all an array of flavours. It was very smoky and wooden but smooth in contrast which came across perfectly. With a touch of flowers and fruit at times, this was one very nice Oolong and has made my lunch time extra special.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 g

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82

Thank you Dag Wedin for this tea from the EU travelling tea box round one. It shall be my morning tea, as I have the day off due to everyone at my work being ill I’m going to be using my Gaiwan all day and treat myself to some of my favourite teas. Natural teas will always be favoured over flavoured blends in my house.

I shall be following this table:
Water : 3oz / 85ml – 176℉ / 80℃
Use 3 Grams Tea
4 steeps : rinse,20s,40s,80s,120s
Gaiwan
Rinsing time is around 5 seconds

The leaves are a nice medium green colour and are very reflective and shiny. Averaging a rough estimate of 4-5mm long these needles/points are nice and crisp to the touch. They have a beautiful sweet grass scent with some perfume present.

Steep One – 20 seconds
Pale yellow colour with gentle sweet grass scent. Flavour is light and buttery with sweet grass and flower notes and a touch of dry perfume in the after taste.

Steep Two – 40 Seconds
The sweetness has increased and is now heavily floral. The butter is still present as is the perfume. Reminds me of orchid or lily.

Steep Three – 80 Seconds
Not as sweet this time but still floral and with a touch of astringency. Rather dry and perfumed now but still mild overall.

Steep Four – 120 Seconds
Very light, even more so than the first steep. The only thing that remains is a gentle sweet lily that lingers nicely in the after taste.

Overall –
I will admit that while I adore green tea Long Jing just isn’t one of my favourites, it’s either too dry and perfumed or too astringent for my taste. Luckily this Long Jing really is nonpareil and it made for a very nice tea this morning. Sweet and floral throughout with only a little astringency and dryness to speak of. Definitely something I will be happy to drink more of.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 g

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90

My parents went to Norwich for a few days as a much belated birthday present for my mum, they went from Friday (Valentines Day) to the following Tuesday and I was to dog and house sit for them. Well it turns out they found a tea shop in one of the areas they visited and so they got me some gifts. One was a beautiful bird of paradise hand painted bone china mug, saucer and spoon, another was a set of tea tins and the final gift was a pack of three teas. My mother (bless her) got two teas that she heard me mention before (those being Pu Erh and Ti Kuan Yin) and for the third she asked for a unique blend, something the company do themselves, which turned out to be this Kashmiri black chai.

I’ve had three cups of this chai so far (thought it would go well with leftover curry for lunch). The raw blend had a strong cinnamon and cardamom scent and if I’m honest it didn’t look like the nicest tea in the world. Chai never does, it’s always powdery and dry.

I steeped for what I thought would be correct for the blend. My first sip (whilst black) was a pleasant one. It was strong with only a little astringency but full on spice flavours. It was however too thick for me whilst straight so I added some milk and a spoon of sweetener (which is how I prefer my chai anyway). It made all the difference, the astringency had gone and all that remained was a sweet, creamy, smooth, chai with high cardamom and cinnamon after taste. Not much ginger is present throughout.

Living in Leicester I know my good Chai from a bad Chai and am used to very traditional blends. With the milk and sweetener this tastes very traditional and would be something I could be proud to serve my Indian friends. So it may not have looked like much to start with but it certainly exceeded my expectations and I finally found a nice Chai to keep in regular stock. :)

PS. Here is a picture of my mug.
http://tinypic.com/r/efnp6t/8

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 20 OZ / 600 ML
Lala

That teacup is beautiful!

Courtney

Your mug is beautiful!

mrmopar

That is a wonderful mug!

OMGsrsly

That mug is amazing!

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88

I received this teapot for Christmas and have used it many times since. Though I was apprehensive about using this teapot (due to the negative review on Teapigs website) I can happily say I’ve not had any problems with this. I can steep a litre (35oz) of tea for a good long session, or steep enough to fill my flask for iced tea.

The steeping egg can fit up to roughly 15g of black or blended tea (without much room to expand) and for my taste it’s a nice strength. A little on the light side for some teas so not suitable for everything but for your generic blends and the odd Oolong or unflavoured black it’s great. Plus once it’s steeped for however long needed I can just pull the egg steeper up and remove it from the water, making sure I don’t oversteep. Oversteeping is a problem with my Adagio PersonaliTEA pot so at least now I have something more suitable.

I would recommend this teapot, especially for flavoured tea blends, it’s a welcomed edition to my tea family.

Ze_Teamaker

I now need a flask for tea, just so I can mess with people.

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75
drank Kama Sutra Chai by Tealux
984 tasting notes

This was from my Black Friday Tealux horde and was chosen at random for tonights bedtime tea.

The raw blend smells very spicy with strong cinnamon and black pepper notes but with cardamom in the background adding touch of freshness.

Flavour is fresh and fairly light with cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper and sweet flower notes. It’s got a nice spicy quality but is equally floral too which is helping to keep it light. I’m drinking my Chai without milk or sugar and if I’m honest I think it’s too light for milk and the sugar would overpower the spice. So for me plain is just right.

It’s a nice Chai blend and the flowers go well with the spices but I don’t think it’s going to beat a classic Chai.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 10 g 34 OZ / 1000 ML

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Profile

Bio

I’m 26 years old from Leicester, England named Kayleigh. I have a wonderful husband called Richard whom I am very lucky to have in my life.

I started off many years ago drinking herbal and fruit teas which over time peaked my interest in trying new types. Eventually I began to import and sample many different teas and cultures which I still do today. My life goal is to try as many teas and ways of having tea as possible.

Tea wise my cravings change constantly from pu erh one month to jasmine green to the next and so on.

I adore cats and have four of my own called Honey, Cassie, Mr Soots and Ivory.

I also have two fish tanks which thankfully my cats have no interest in. They house an array of tropical fish and shrimp.

I am a proud vegetarian and have been for the majority of my life. When I say vegetarian I mean just that as well, no fish or seafood, no chicken now and again, no animal products such as gelatine and cochineal.

I also enjoy watching Japanese Anime and horror films.

I am always up for tea swaps so if you see anything in my virtual cupboard then please contact me.

A short list to help swapping with me easier though honestly I am not fussy and am willing to try anything. Plus the notes below are usually, sometimes I love a tea that has an ingredient I tend to dislike and other times I hate a tea that I thought I would love.

Likes: Any fruit but especially melon and orange, vanilla, all tea types (black, green, white etc), nuts (any), flowers, ginger, chai.

Dislikes: Licorice, aniseed, clove, eucalyptus, lavender.

http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/
http://www.twitter.com/kittylovestea
http://www.facebook.com/KittyLovesTea

Location

Leicester, England, United Kingdom

Website

http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/

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