249 Tasting Notes

drank Bancha by Rishi Tea
249 tasting notes

The dry leaves are beautiful, they look like flattened yellow-green raffia. They have the scent of hay, sea salt, and rice.
The liquor is a beautiful lemon-green color with scent of lemon-cooked potatoes and a bit of toasted oat.
The flavor is a nice, mild, toasty green tea with essences of crackers and green beans.
This is a nice tea with food because it enhances the food rather than overpowering it.
As the tea cools, I catch a touch of pretzel stick.
This is a nice, toasted, everyday green tea.

Drinking this with lunch today and I am getting way different notes than I did last time. I love this green tea. It has a hint of raw unsweetened cocoa along with nuts, peas, potato. I love these roasty, nutty green teas to eat with meals. Very delicious to always keep on hand for an everyday green tea.
Threw some of this into my gaiwan after my long jing gave all it could and I still had some hot water to use. This is really good Bancha though it definitely tastes minerally if you have just drunk long jing right before lol.

Flavors: Cocoa, Nuts, Peas, Potato

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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The dry leaves are tightly rolled into a ball with stem so they look like tiny crabapples. They have the distinctive oolong scent with a hint of pineapple and a tiny bit of strawberry blossom.
The wet leaves unfurl into little green branches with 3 leaves and stay a pretty deep green.
The liquor is a beautiful clear forest green color. I love this color bc I also love green tea and its beauty. The wet leaves smell like flowers and cooked lentils. The liquor has those same notes.
I am very excited to try this tea.
The flavors are very floral. I took my cup outside in the garden to listen to the birds. The aroma and flavor is nasturtium and a hint of pineapple. I am catching a bit of astringency in the end.
This is a very cleansing tea. Could be a great one served after a dessert at the end of a meal.

**My second steeping, I added way less water. I feel that I might have added a touch too much water with the first one. Now the liquor is a deep golden color and the liquor has a very distinctive pine essence. There is astringency and it is very cleansing. Very interesting and expands my knowledge of oolongs because I have never tasted one like this!!

From the Steepster Select Box, January 2014

I am glad that the Steepster Select club gives us a couple servings of the same tea to try because I think I gave this one too much water the first time by accident and didn’t get to experience it correctly.
Today was much different and I really got some great notes from this and upped my rating as a result.
The dry leaves have a nutty, creamy aroma and it is great to brew this tea in a vessel that allows you to watch the tiny little " crabapples" open up. As it brews, the floral aromas awaken and give off a creamy, flowery, fruit candy scent.
The liquor has a beautiful golden jewel color and the flavor tastes like pineapple cream cake with creamy flower notes. Very Hawaiian in essences. This is very beautiful tea!!!

Flavors: Cream, Fruit Tree Flowers

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Red Jade by Eco-Cha Artisan Teas
249 tasting notes

The dry leaves have the scent of Cream of Wheat cereal and they are thin, blackish-grey and twisted.
The liquor is a clear red-clay color and the wet leaves have turned that color too. I get the scent of persimmon, hay, barley, hops.
The flavors!!! This tea really has unique flavors!!!!! I had to close my eyes to get all the tastes that were coming thru. I caught tamarind and sweet potato first.
This really is a complex tea because the flavors change with each sip!!! It’s like a tea trip and my taste buds are trip pin’!!!!!
As it cools, I catch persimmon , butternut squash, and pumpkin. Very fall flavors and there is a slight astringency too.
Chefs and wine tasters would dig this tea,,,,I used to do lots of wine tasting and I never caught this many flavors from wine!!!!!!!
This tea is very intriguing and Far Out!!!!
This is why I bought the Steepster Select Club. Thank you Eco Cha and Steepster!!!

From the Steepster Select Box, January 2014

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

Great review Lee, I’m definitely flavor trippin’ on this tea. Astute observation comparing this tea to wine tasting, all the complexity of color, mouth-feel, tannin and bitterness, and wild array of flavors are easy to translate into tea-tasting.


Thanks!!! :)


We are so on the same page. I thought the dry leaves smelled like pumpkin and as soon as I did an initial rinse of the leaves and smelled them wet and warm they smelled EXACTLY like cream of wheat or malt-o-meal type cereal. I’ll agree that this tea is very complex in many ways. I was definitely impressed by that.


Cool! Thanks!!

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Dry,,,, the pretty yellow flower buds have a sweet, honey scent.
While steeping, the blossoms puff up and return to their glory.
The liquor has a honey and pineapple scent with golden sunshine color.
The taste is very nice. I like this all chamomile with no additional flavors. Very pure, herbal experience. Really like spring when you were a little kid playing in the yard,,,all the smells and fun of the Earth. As the chamomile cools, it gets sweeter and more honey notes come thru. A lovely goodnight!!!!!

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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I tried this a while ago and when I did, I had added it to a Chai tea so I came back to this one and tried it with no additives.
This Pu-erh is in little individual disks and is the only Pu-erh I have tried.
I did a quick rinse on the little disk w/ my boiling water then steeped for 2 minutes, forty-five seconds.
The liquor that is created is very thick and dark,,,very molasses in appearance and scent.
The taste is rich, hot blackstrap molasses on a whole wheat roll. It has a sweet smell but not taste. It is not bitter but definitely a black coffee type flavor. Black coffee drinkers would love this one,,,it is rich, thick, and bold. As it cools, I catch the cocoa notes but an unsweetened very dark chocolate,,,the 86% cocoa no sugar dark chocolate.

Boiling 2 min, 45 sec

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drank Jasmine Pearls by In Pursuit of Tea
249 tasting notes

I got to go to True Food Kitchen today (it is a little far from my house, otherwise I would live there). We had a wonderful meal and then for dessert, we shared the flour less chocolate cake and drank this wonderful tea with it.
The jasmine in this green tea is perfect. It is not overpowering, it really smells like you are walking through a jasmine garden and drinking green tea. They really balanced this tea perfectly with the floral note because if it is too much floral, I don’t like it as well. It was definitely a delicious ending for a meal.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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The tea leaves smell so delicious when you open the package. Vanilla, roasted, creamy, mulberry, acorns on a fall day, black tea with milk scent.
Brewed, the liquor is a beautiful golden amber color.
This is a nice, flavorful white tea with sweet cream notes. It tastes like light black tea with milk. So creamy,,,I love this white tea. Delicious.
Having a cup of this after I had a couple of cups of Bi Luo Chun Yunnan black type teas (because my water was cooling down so this was perfect to use it!). This is such a delicious and easy to brew tea. I love to take White Peony on vacation bc it will taste good and brew easily in a cup with an infuser. White teas like White Peony and Silver Needles are probably my favorite teas. I love the creamy vanilla flavors.

Flavors: Cream, Hay, Herbs, Honey, Vanilla

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I tried to bring out the Narcissus scent in this Oolong this morning. The last time I tried it, I followed the 212 F temp on the package with a 2 minute steep. This morning I tried a first infusion at 212 F again to get the flavors that I had previously in my mind. I tried new leaves and another first infusion at 195 F for 2 minutes to see if the Narcissus would bloom through. I did get a less roasted flavor but still no real prominent scent of the Narcissus. Next I tried this one in my Gaiwan with fresh leaves and the roasted flavor was still dominant.
Then I took all those leaves and put them together as to not waste them so the experiment was over lol.
I am still learning and am reading about Gong Fu style of drinking/brewing tea,,,this one could be a good candidate for experimenting with Gong Fu!! :)

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
249 tasting notes

Out of new teas to review so I can’t wait for my Steepster Select to come in the mail :) This morning I am drinking some of my delicious Bai Hao Yin Zhen / Silver Needle from Seven Cups. This is probably my favorite every morning tea. Good for 5 infusions and finished a second one. Now I might have a green tea at lunch time. Hope you guys are having a Happy New Year so far!!!

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Silver Yin Zhen Pearls by Teavana
249 tasting notes

I got a cup of this tea at Teavana today while I was at the mall. Since I didn’t make it, I included the steep time and temperature from their brochure.
It didn’t really taste like white tea which was different. It really tasted like white tea mixed with a floral oolong but not enough elements of either so you might not know what you were drinking if you were blind-folded. I watched it being steeped for me so I know I got the pearls. They are really neat-looking and almost look like little tiny balls of yarn because of how tightly they are rolled.
This is not a sweet or creamy white tea,,,which most of the ones I have tried have a nice, subtle sweet undertone. I think I was expecting that white tea accent that I am used to and this pearl tea has more of an earthy and very minerally undertone which was very new to me in a white tea :)

175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Tea is Life. I love Tea!

Bai Mu Dan
Bai Hao Yin Zhen
White Bud Puerh
Feng Qing Yunnan
Marangi Estate Assam
Pengaree Estate Assam

Long Jing
Bai Mao Hou
Tai Ping Hou Kui
Anji Bai Cha

Ya Bao
Arya Estate Darjeeling First Flush

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

I like Ayurveda, Yoga, Zumba,
walking, stand-up comedy clubs.

Love chefs and foodies. Love veggies!!!!
I avoid artificial and processed foods such as diet sodas because I think those things affect your palate for tasting teas, foods, wine.
I always use filtered Culligan water for tea, no tap or bottled so I don’t find many teas I dislike bc I start with super delicious water.

Also enjoy bonsai, xeriscape gardening, my doggie, & all nature.

Preferred brewing method: Gaiwan

Favorite Varietals:
Ye Sheng (wild)
Yunnan Da Ye (large leaf)

I have stopped rating teas with a numerical value here on Steepster because I realized on May 13, 2014 (a tea enlightenment lol) that once you start to learn what teas you like, get practiced and good at gong fu, and which companies are selling quality tea,,,they are all 100’s to me because I purchase and drink what I like and the best I can find.
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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