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151 Tasting Notes

drank Assam by Camellia Sinensis
151 tasting notes

Assam Banaspaty from the plains of Assam, Banaspaty garden. India.
The dry leaf smells like malt and cacao beans. They are tiny dark black-brown twisty threads but broken into halves and tiny bits. There are a few blonde ones mixed in too.
I steeped this at 200F for 3 minutes. It created a deep red liquor with scents of malt and hints of orange.
The wet leaves look like chopped reddish brown fall leaves and smell like baked brown bread.
The flavor is good. It has a touch of astringency from a taste like orange zest but just a touch,,, not overbearing at all and would be good for people who add a splash of milk. I love this tea, it really tastes like malt and orange zest. Delicious.

I added some of my homemade almond milk to this and it is heavenly!!!! I see this as a good base for when I make Chai since it has that orange hint in there and blends with milk.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt, Orange Zest

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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From gardens in Nepal; short distance from Darjeeling.
Dry leaves are nice twisty, thick threads of light brown, cream, and dark brown with an interesting scent of a light ginger snap but not heavy on the ginger—more snap!
As it brews, it is smelling like Oriental Beauty and come to think of it,,,,those leaves look like Oriental Beauty.
I tasted this at 3 minutes and it was still faint in color and flavor so I left it steeping a total of 4 minutes at 200F.
This is a black tea that wants to be an Oriental Beauty. It has all of those qualities that are sort of indescribable about that tea. The wet leaves are mixed fall colors and the liquor is that golden orange clear hue. I think I will play with this tea because the tasting notes on Camellia Sinensis promote fruity apple and chocolate accents along with honey and rich floral perfumes. I want to bring more out of this tea. I do catch the apple as the liquor cools off a bit.
Very interesting and unexpected flavors.

Flavors: Fruit Tree Flowers, Honey

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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From Nan Mei Valley, Lincang Region, China.
Absolutely Gorgeous, spicy-scented, velvety-soft, wild downy buds.
Brewed Western style at 165F. I tasted this at five minutes and it was starting to gain some lovely flavor so I steeped it for a total of 7 minutes.
The liquor is spicy-scented with notes of citrus, fresh-grated nutmeg (which is lighter and more fresh than already grated jarred nutmeg).
These wild whites are some of my favorites!!!!!!!!!!!!! So cool in appearance, scent, and of course taste!!!!
Brewed, the wet buds take on a deeper green color with accents of brown on the edges and a spicier scent.
The flavor is honey, fresh nutmeg, touches of orange zest. Very fresh and delicious. I love these wild whites in the morning, so cleansing and delicious!!!

Second Steeping – this has one more brew in it and I steeped for same temp and amount of time and it still tastes lovely!!

Flavors: Honey, Nutmeg, Orange Zest

165 °F / 73 °C 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Do they suggest such long steep times? I would never steep that long.


Yes and at such a low temp you bring out flavor.


The wild buds are huskier


Very light and subtle flavor,,,white tea lovers will like.




Have you tried more leaves higher temps and very short steeps?


No I do not do higher temps on white tea that is no no to me

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drank Xue Ya by Camellia Sinensis
151 tasting notes

From China and Xue Ya means Snow Buds. This is exquisite tea.
The dry leaf smells like white tea with sweet notes and looks like a White Peony made from Silver Needle. The color has that silver/green loveliness.
I brewed this at 175F since it is a green and was able to steep a long time with no bitterness or harshness. I tasted three minutes in and it was very light so I kept in for 5 minutes total. Now the dry leaves may have tried to trick you into thinking they were a white tea,,,,the brewed leaves totally smelled like a Dragonwell-type green tea. All the leaves were two leaves and a bud,,,gorgeous and a very faint clear spring green colored liquor.

I know that the recommended 2 tsp does not bring out a lot of strong flavor but rather very subtle flavor so next time I am gonna steep a TBSP and a half or two to see how this one is. I see the other people who tried this did not get too much flavor from it either. I caught very very subtle green notes like butter bean and a bit of sweet honey.

Presentation gets a very high score and no bitterness either so next time I try this I know I will brew it to bring out lots more flavor :)

Pairs lovely with chopped salad!

Second Steeping - O.K. this is definitely one for the Gaiwan. I couldn’t wait so I got new leaves and first added a bunch to the other leaves to completely stuff my gaiwan. This wasn’t the answer bc it had the same flavor notes as Western brewing but just less time.

I got new leaves and put the recommended 2 tsp into my Gaiwan and steeped for 30 seconds, then 15 seconds, then 30 seconds. Each session produced a light spring green liquor with more color than Western and light green flavors of spring pea to honey. This is definitely a green tea that wants to be a white tea. Don’t change!!!! You are fun and delicious and beautiful the way you are!!!!

Flavors: Honey, Peas

175 °F / 79 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Jin Die by Camellia Sinensis
151 tasting notes

From Hunan Province, China.
The dry leaves are little twisted loose golden thread balls with highlights of black. They smell like malt and honey.
I tried the liquor at 3 minutes at this brew temp and it wasn’t strong enough so I kept it in for 4:30. This created a dark brown/golden liquor with scents of caramel sugar, dates, brown sugar cake.
The brewed leaves are chocolate brown perfectly unrolled needles/bud looking leaves. Fantastic!!
The flavor is smooth malt, dates, honey. Very delicious. There are subtle subtle vegetable notes as Camellia Sinensis suggests in their tasting notes. They say corn, tomato, and artichoke hearts. I can taste a tiny tiny bit of acid tomato and starch corn. This is a really balanced and complex tea. Wonderful.

Flavors: Caramel, Dates, Honey, Malt

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Shanti by Tao of Tea
151 tasting notes

This is a very finely ground/cut herbal with pieces of fennel and orange peel in it.
The scent of the dry leaf is dried orange peel with the tulsi/Holy basil which is a unique scent. It smells mostly like minerals and dried regular basil.
This is a lovely Ayurvedic herbal. It has the flavors of the Orange peel, Holy Basil, a sweetness which tastes like honey and a zinginess or tartness like tamarind. I like this.
Tulsi has spiritual as well as medicinal significance in Ayurveda.
In terms of the Ayurvedic doshas, tulsi carries the bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes,,,but this herbal is not bitter or overbearing. Well-balanced flavors. Very delicious and truly calming.
Tulsi is predominantly Kapha-reducing, but it can also be used to pacify Vata and Pitta. However, it can have a mildly Pitta-aggravating effect in individuals who are severely overheated.
Since I am Pitta and I live in the desert,,,I am drinking this before it gets too hot lol. This is a great winter drink to warm and relax you. Tulsi is also used to treat colds, coughs, and flu so this is a great one for cold seasons. I feel it warming my chest and lungs, this would be wonderful when you are not feeling well.
Tulsi promotes purity and lightness in the body, cleansing the respiratory tract of toxins. (info from The Chopra Center & Yogi Cameron)
I am enjoying Tao of Tea ’s selection very much. They have more Ayurvedic tisanes as well.

Flavors: Honey, Mineral, Orange Zest, Plants

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

tulsi makes you feel wonderful ;-)

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Cute little Pu-erh individual piece wrapped nicely. The leaves pressed together are forest green colored.
This liquor does not smell the greatest to me. Then it smelled o.k.
The flavor is all bitter, no other flavors.
I love Seven Cups and have had some wonderful teas from them so I am wondering if I brewed this incorrectly.

From the Steepster Select Box, April 2014

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

I would do 185F rinse and very short steeps 5/10/15 sec for maybe 6 oz of water. It’s sheng, treat it as green tea


The Steepster packet says 212F. I have not tried enough of these to know that that must be a typo :( Oh well


I hope you have more then one to try. Actually I prefer shu you should use boil water and either short steeps or long. You cannot overbrew shu(cooked). Sheng ( raw) becomes incredibly bitter with high temp and long steeps. My first tries were total failure;)


Oh thanks for the advice!! I have one more,,,will try again sometime soon :)


yes I would definitely recommend trying at a lower temp as well..


Yes I prefer lower temps on teas and lower temp teas like white and green so I haven’t tried any pu-erhs like this and it said 212F for 3 minutes on the package :( Glad I have one more

Jace Lion Repshire

I also brewed this at 212, though I only did about 10 second infusions. It was a bitter nightmare. I thought nearly all puerhs stand up to boiling temperature, regardless of raw or ripe. Is this wrong?


Only ripe. Unless you are looking for bitterness(some ppl like it, it’s an aquired taste)
This is young sheng, it will be bitter even with lower temps.

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Fun Fun!! I tried this tea today because I am making stir fried greens for lunch!! Lol
The dry leaf smells just like when you get sushi, it has a nori scent big time!! Also, even though the name is greens, this tea is little curly brown cuties. Very thin and you can tell that a lot of work went into this leaf.
Steeped for 2 minutes and it created a very light, light spring green liquor with flavors of butter bean and notes of the seaweed but it really doesn’t taste like seaweed like I thought it would.
This green tastes like a lot of green teas that I have tried like Dragonwell, etc. but it is so attractive and I love the name.

Flavors: Lima Beans, Seaweed

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Li Li Xiang 2013 by Seven Cups
151 tasting notes

I burned myself out on Oolongs and had been staying away from them and trying other types of teas. This one was a good one to come back to Oolongs with!
Very delicious with floral notes but they are creamy fruit tree florals like peach and apricot.
There is a wonderful balance to those florals of a delicious vanilla wafer or other vanilla pastry. So this is like a light peach and apricot dessert, not too sweet though, subtle flavors. Lovely.

From the Steepster Select Box, April 2014

Second Steeping — 2 minutes and now that the rolled balls have opened up a bit, the liquor is a deeper golden champagne color and the leaves are pretty big leaves so they are more mature. Tastes a little more of the Tie Guan with those notes of floral and heaviness to the stomach. I have to drink just one cup of Tie Guan type teas because they are heavy on my stomach but very good flavors.

Flavors: Apricot, Fruit Tree Flowers, Peach

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Fun blend of matcha, green tea leaves, and toasted rice. This smells totally like matcha with a bit of toast but then when it is brewed, it smells like kukicha. Luckily it doesn’t taste like kukicha.
The liquor is beautiful emerald green and still see-thru though cloudy from the matcha. I like the flavors, the toasty rice balances pretty well with the green teas. The grassy green is dominant though and has a bitter note. A fun afternoon tea for snack time.

From the Steepster Select Box, April 2014

Flavors: Grass

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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These are my favorites of the teas I have tried so far and the time of day I like to drink them :)

Bai Mu Dan
Bai Hao
Bai Hao Yin Zhen
Congou Black
Yunnan Black

Fo Mei
Fo Cha
Long Jing
Tai Ping Hou Kui

Ya Bao

Elderflower Nectar
Pure Chamomile
Pure Tea Flowers
Dried Citrus
Fresh Turmeric w/ Honey & Lemon

I like Ayurveda, Yoga, and eat a plant-based diet.

Also enjoy bonsai, xeriscape gardening, cooking, & all nature.

I like the Steepster Select Club because it is allowing me to taste teas that I might not get a chance to taste!
I respect all the work that goes into the tea that I am drinking and I like thinking about the different terroirs they come from.



Sonoran Desert

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