251 Tasting Notes

Dry leaves smell like sweet raisin bread and they are all perfectly uniform with tons of golden color mixed with tan medium sized twists. The leaves are really perfect looking.
Did a very quick rinse in my gaiwan with their suggested 185F temp. This lower temp produces a clear auburn broth that also smells like the dry leaves,,,sweet raisin bread.
Wow! This is super smooth!! And the flavor of sweet raisin bread as well.
At this low temp, you can steep it for a pretty long time to extract more flavor. This tea is super super clean. Love it.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Raisins

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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I have really been impressed with What-Cha teas because all of their teas are perfectly intact-there are no broken, mishapen, or dusty pieces in the bags-just perfect tea leaves.
These dry leaves are really pretty, long purple needle shapes.
If you like young sheng, this is one for you to try!
Crazy scent to the leaves after I rinsed them in my gaiwan a couple of times. Really smells like a young, very stern sheng. Very petrol scented with a little bit of edamame to it. Liquor also smells very petrol. (I used green wood in the flavors section, as Steepster doesn’t include petrol in it’s choices) (I didn’t bother trying to add petrol to the Steepster choices :)
Wet leaves reveal themselves to be long, gorgeous green super buds.
Flavor is definitely like young sheng but it is very smooth and not bitter or astringent, just hard core petrol flavor. It has a thick and creamy mouth feel as well. Later as I am done drinking it, I feel it coating my chest area so it does have a biting and a bit of a burning effect so could be a good one to drink if you want to open your chest area for deep breathing.
This is not my favorite tea from What-Cha but I love that I was able to purchase 10g of it to try without the risk of buying a huge amount and not enjoying it. So I really like that about What-Cha as a company.

Flavors: Biting, Green Wood, Soybean

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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drank Autumn Blend #9 by Steepster
251 tasting notes

This totally smells like licorice candy. I happen to like natrural licorice candy every once in a while but not licorice tea.
It has pretty chamomile flowers and fennel seeds. Also looks like a bit of lemongrass and orange citrus peel in there. It all smells like licorice though.
The brew is a bit cloudy and it is a light golden color.
This smells like licorice and the flavor is straight up licorice. I am getting a hint of the orange but that’s it.

From the Steepster Select Box; October, 2014

Flavors: Licorice, Orange Zest

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Oddly, tea is maybe the only place I’ve enjoyed the taste of fennel seed. It is very licorice like. I cringe whenever I bite into a fennel seed in any dish. That flavor inside… ugg black licorice DOES NOT belong on a pizza! Nightmare inducing surprises there.


Trust-obliterating surprises. Lol.


I like fennel, anise, etc. in cold applications such as a salad but not hot tea. But a lot of people enjoy hot tea with this flavor so they will like it lol.

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drank Three Fire Oolong by Steepster
251 tasting notes

Dry leaf is very dark roasted chocolate colored little rolled balls. Smells really good like mocha.
I like that this is a low temp at 180F so I’m intrigued. I’m doing a cup Western style as Steepster suggests and also some in my 4 ounce gaiwan bc that’s how I would choose to brew this.
Steeped the Western for 2 minutes.
This is very mochachino-like to me. Both my Western and gaiwan brews taste like dark cocoa mochachino. This is a very interesting flavor,,,it is dipping into the coffee realm of flavors.
I’m getting a dark black cherry but definitely baked/burnt sugar and mocha. The spice I taste is black pepper.
Liquor is a clear golden tan color. This is a completely different Oolong, there is no floral,,which floral has made me quit drinking Oolongs.
This is Mochachino with burnt cherry taste. Really interesting flavor. I’m glad I steeped for only 2 minutes—it doesn’t need to go any more it is too roasted for that.
This one is SUPER roasted so watch your stomach—eat your breakfast before tasting this one.
I can feel it on my stomach even after my usual daily breakfast.

From the Steepster Select Box; October, 2014

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Cherry, Mocha, Overripe Cherries, Pepper

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Fireside Spice by TeaSource
251 tasting notes

This is a colorful mix. There are whole cardamom pods complete with their little stems, dry orange peel, and red peppercorns in a black tea.
You gotta be ready for spice and orange-cinnamon to drink this. I had opened it yesterday and it was more than I wanted to tackle lol so I planned when to drink it.
It smells spicy and orangey.
I brewed one cup of this and let my water cool down to brew some green tea. I drank all of my green tea then this one had cooled down to where I could really get the flavors.
This is very spicy, orangey, and cinnamony smelling. It smells like those holiday pinecones at Walmart with the cinnamon oil on them. I am scared to drink it lol (I like TeaSource teas though so I know it will be ok).
Flavor is orange and cinnamon with a little bit of cardamom (I had two pods in my teaspoon). It is very much like an herbal tea to me,,,I don’t taste the black tea at all and the liquor is a clear golden color.
This is not too bad, definitely one for holiday time.

From the Steepster Select Box; October, 2014

Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Clove, Orange

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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OK, last time I tried this style tea, I didn’t care for it but this one looks a little bit less stick and twiggy and it has more of a Bancha look to it with some sticks and twigs thrown in there.
Liquor is hay yellow color and it’s clear. It has that toasted rice scent.
The flavor is toasted rice and well-roasted nuts.
This is waaaaaaaaayyyy better than the last houjicha I tried. It is good for a complete change in flavors and I am thoroughly enjoying this toasty, comforting cup,,,but then I’m back to my more delicate green teas lol.

From the Steepster Select Box; October, 2014

Flavors: Rice, Roast nuts

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Good Heavens!!!!
This is why I am in the Steepster Select Club!!!!! This tea is really good and it is not one I would have tried on my own.
Delicious Delicious, well balanced, so good.
Dry leaves smell very smoky like a Lapsang, tangy BBQ smell but stick with it, it’s going to fool you.
Liquor is a deep auburn color with lots of orange to it, perfect for Oktoberfest!!
Smells very sweet and the wet leaves are multicolored just like fall colored leaves.
I poured my tea into a small white tea cup and saucer and the liquor is so orange now in my cup.
I let the tea cool a bit to really get the flavors. This is so good. It is naturally sweet and could take a touch of milk if you wanted but I wouldn’t add sugar. But it doesn’t need either.
This tea is so enjoyable that I really just got the tasting note of delicious bc it had so many enjoyable notes that came together and at one point I added a drop of milk and it was creamy heaven.
They weren’t lying, this is damn fine tea!!!!

From the Steepster Select Box; October, 2014

Flavors: Sweet

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank White Darjeeling by The Tea Smith
251 tasting notes

Nice tea. Doesn’t have a year, estate, or varietal so unsure of its origin.
Slight sweet fruit skin flavor but flavors not as complex, just staying consistent.
Did bring about a cleansing heat, so this tea has a stronger prana.

Flavors: Apple Skins, Honey

180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Black Dragon Pearls by Teavana
251 tasting notes

These mini gum ball-size pearls smell like cherry-chocolate.
Now being from Teavana, I’m not sure if that’s a storage issue or how the tea actually smells bc they have lots of flavored teas with strong essences there. I got this as a gift from Starbucks club so I didn’t care.
Used three pearls in my 4 ounce gaiwan and 200F water.
Did a good rinse on them to loosen them up a bit.
I have some pearls that look just like this from another tea company but they smell nothing like this so I think that these have been sitting next to a cherry-chocolate flavored something at Teavana. Still, I want it to taste like cherry-chocolate now.
Liquor is a light orange color and smells like the cherry-chocolate. The flavor is smoky, chocolatey with a hint of cherry.
With my second steeping, the pearls have really loosened up and revealed large twisty leaves. Liquor is a deeper auburn orange color now and smells more smoky with still that hint of chocolate-cherry but doesn’t quite taste like it. It’s more of just a scent. It tastes more on the smoky tobacco end. Tastes ok.
Did one more steeping and I think that three is all I would do on these in the gaiwan, because the flavor started being very one note in tobacco taste and just flat so I stopped there.

Flavors: Cherry, Chocolate, Tobacco

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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I’m drinking the 2004. It is very good, it’s like cognac and honey. Very naturally sweet and rich.
The tea is very tightly compressed and you don’t need too much tea because it really puffs and opens up to be tons of tea leaves. There are ya bao pieces in the mix along with all sorts of colors and types of wild leaves.
The liquor is cloudy pretty much throughout the whole session in my gaiwan. I rinsed the tea a couple of times but it remained cloudy even after many steepings. You definitely need to use your strainer with this tea.
After many steepings, the leaves could have kept going and going but the tea started to taste twiggy to me so I ended the session.

Flavors: Honey

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

I should revisit this one, I have it somewhere!

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