215 Tasting Notes

drank Ying De No. 9 by Canton Tea Co
215 tasting notes

Origin: Yingde, Guangdong Province, China; Summer 2012
Varietal: No 9 (big leaf variety cultivated in Yingde area in the late 1950s from Yunnan tea seeds)
Dry Leaf: Black (not dark brown) and gold little twisty threads. Looks like a Yunnan type tea that has the typical malty scent but it doesn’t have that scent. It has a smoked BBQ scent leaning toward Lapsang Souchong. It looks like the black twists have been smoked a bit longer.
Method: Western- 22 oz ceramic classic- shaped oval pot – 194F 1 tsp tea per 8 oz H2O – Brewed 2 cups in the pot for 3 minutes.
Wet Leaf: Young leaves, very tiny and all individual, turned milk chocolate brown now with scents of light smoke. They used the young leaves of this big-leaf varietal!
Liquor: Clear deep amber. Smells sweet. This tea is very intriguing bc it likes to change it’s spots everywhere.
Flavor: Smooth, nice balance of light smoke, sweet malt, dark honey but not too sweet. No bitter or astringency.
Wow! A really delicious flavor-filled tea. This is cupboard-worthy to me. Love this. Wish I had more—only got a sample pack :( and Canton is in London :( :( :(

Flavors: Honey, Malt, Smoke, Smooth

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

This tea sounds amazing. Is shipping expensive?


Yes, it is international shipping :( so it’s best to get all you want in your order bc I think it’s the same rate no matter of weight of package.

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drank Da Yu Ling Oolong Tea by Yezi Tea
215 tasting notes

Origin: He Huan Shan, Taiwan.
Thank u to Yezi Tea for this sample with purchase!!!
Dry Leaf: Tiny, tightly rolled green pellets with a mineral scent.
Method: 3.38 oz ceramic gong fu pot, 200F, 1 tsp tea
45" rinse/55"/55"
Wet Leaf: 2 fairly large leaves on a stem, very spinach green colored. Light floral with candy Sweet Tart scent.
Liquor: Light champagne – spring green color. Very light scent—not too floral, more of a light Sweet Tarts scent like the wet leaves.
Flavor: Thick mouthfeel. Not overly floral or creamy, very subtle. There are flowers, butter, spring peas and a nice balance. Not bitter or astringent at all but it is recommended to drink this tea after meals and I drank it 3 hours after a meal and did get a mild stomach upset (very very mild though) so one should heed this advice bc it’s pretty green.

Flavors: Butter, Candy, Flowers, Garden Peas

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 3 OZ / 88 ML

This one sounds yummy! I think I’ll wishlist it.

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Origin: Yunnan, China. Early Spring harvest, 2014
Dry Leaf: Cute, tiny, twisted threads that are golden and dark in color and sweet-smelling like brown sugar with malt.
Method: I played with this one a lot before finally switching from a small 3.38 oz gong fu pot to a tokoname kyusu pot that I use for gyokuro. These leaves are so small and delicate that I found it best to brew it like gyokuro to bring out its best. So this is immediate rinses and pours. I used 1 1/2 tsp/2 grams tea in my tiny 2oz tokoname pot.
I brewed it at a low temperature as you would a delicate green tea as well, 170F. These are all very delicate buds that were picked a few short days after sprouting so they do not like heat and sitting in hot water.
Wet Leaf: Still tiny and thin after opening up, all very tiny buds. When I was using my other little gong fu pot, the leaves were escaping and causing uneven brewing by getting into the little pour holes. My tokoname has a fine mesh strainer built in so it was perfect to achieve an even brewing exposure for the tiny leaves.
Liquor: Golden orange color with scents of honey and malt.
Flavor: Lightly and subtly sweet and malty. Very lovely and delicate tea!
Had some Gong Fu style this morning. Good stuff!!!

Flavors: Malt, Sugarcane

170 °F / 76 °C 2 g 2 OZ / 59 ML

Sounds lovely!

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drank Canton Karma by Canton Tea Co
215 tasting notes

Origin: Spices from India, Egypt, and Spain; Then Hand-blended in Bristol, UK.
Dry Leaf: Such a pretty colored herbal with light greens and pinks!! Spice-a-Rama!! There are pretty rose petals and pieces, whole green cardamom pods, green fennel seeds, small dried ginger pieces and it is all so pretty and smells exhilarating!!
Method: 2 tsp. herbs – Large infuser in an 8oz Pyrex cup – 200F for 3 minutes
Wet Leaf: Spicy and pretty rose and green spice mixture that smells like a spice blend with a good balance of vanilla.
Liquor: Golden daffodil color. Scents of fresh spices and vanilla. Smells warm and comforting.
Flavor: This is a lovely Ayurvedic blend because all of the spices are in harmony. There is licorice but it is not overpowering which is very important. There is a warmth from the ginger pieces. There is a creamy and sweetness from the vanilla and rose petals. There is a peppery kick from the fennel and cardamom pods. This is so visually appealing and a very tasty nighttime comfort herbal. I really enjoyed this blend.

Flavors: Cardamon, Ginger, Licorice, Rose, Vanilla

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

sounds like something I would like!

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This one has changed names a few times but this is the description of Black Pearls by Canton Tea and they have also been called Yunnan Gold Pearls.

Origin: Feng Qing Mountains; Lincang, China.
Dry Leaf: These pearls are large,,,the size of small gum balls. The pearls are black-brown and gold threads woven together to look like a little ball of yarn. Very cool looking. Smell like malty sweet black tea.
Method: Have played with these pearls a few times and definitely Gong Fu is the way to go over Western or any other method. Used a 3.38 oz porcelain ceramic pot with 2 pearls at 200F. I have tried this tea using 1 pearl and it was weak.
Double rinse 10"/10" (Pearls are very tightly rolled)
Wet Leaf: Medium size leaves that have been twisted like a rope then rolled into the pearl shape. Woody scent.
Liquor: Golden and clear.
Flavor: Sort of starts out roasty and as it cools some vanilla comes out but it is not sweet. Further steepings bring out a cooked woody flavor. It is reminding me of the couple of Shou puerhs that I have tried and this is why I enjoy Sheng puerhs much better.
They worked so hard on rolling this tea that I respect it and it is beautiful to look at but it is really one note and hard to brew for me. It is very woody :(

Flavors: Wet Wood, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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drank Yunnan Rose by Canton Tea Co
215 tasting notes

Origin: (tea) Yunnan Province, China ; (rose buds) Egypt.
Dry leaf: Beautiful, orchid pink baby roses mixed in with Yunnan tea leaves that are dark brown, twisty threads with a bit of light gold showing thru. The scent is light rose and vanilla malt. This is a lovely dry leaf worthy of showing off before brewing at a tea party.
Method: Western, Glass teapot, 2 tsp tea , 2 cups H2o (500ml) , 200F for 1 min.
Wet Leaf: The roses turn light tutu pink and impart their orchid color to the liquor. Tea leaves are young leaves that have been twisted and some buds are in there. They have turned chocolate brown and look pretty with the roses.
Liquor: Light plum amber color. Light rose scent with vanilla and malt.
Flavor: Sweet, malt, tiny hint of the rose on the nose so it’s not floral tasting, only sweet from the rose. Vanilla, malt. Very consistent with the scent of the dry leaf :) Very nice!
Can also take milk but it’s not dark and heavy (which I tend not to like—that’s why I like Yunnan black tea) so it’s perfect for a tea party. There is no need for sugar, it is naturally sweet.

This is an elegant, beautiful tea. Absolutely perfect for a tea party. Would definitely serve this to a mom, little daughter or niece. Just charming and delicious!!!!
Had a cup of this in the afternoon. Such a pretty leaf with beautiful pink roses,,the pretty appearance is enough to like and then to have it taste so lovely is just nice. You must be in the mood for floral flavored tea to drink this. Especially rose, it is not strong rose but it does smell and taste like rose. I find that adding milk brings out the tea’s flavor and balances the blend perfectly. It is a British type tea so this is meant to have milk added.

Flavors: Malt, Rose, Vanilla

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Si Ji Chun by Camellia Sinensis
215 tasting notes

Origin: High mountains, Taiwan
Thank u to Camellia Sinensis for this sample with purchase!!
Dry Leaf: Tiny, rolled dark forest green pellets. Scents of hazelnut, cream, honeysuckle. Smells so delish!!
Method: 10 oz ceramic gong fu pot – measured out 100ml/3.4 oz water – 2 tsp tea – 200F
10 " rinse/ 15"/25"/25"/30"
Wet Leaf: Roughly chopped medium size pieces and then very tightly rolled forest green leaves. No stems. Very bright green and leaves open fully after 3rd steeping.
Liquor: Light, clear pearl. Mostly floral scent. Hazelnut scent has gone :(
Flavor: Flowers and cream. Not a very creamy mouthfeel, just a tiny tiny touch. Unfortunately, I didn’t detect any hazelnut in the flavor as I had in the scent of the dry leaf. There was a tiny touch of nuttiness after the leaves had fully opened but not as much as the dry leaf scent had teased me with :(
Very good Oolong though, with no bitter, astringency, or stomach upset.
I have a bit more of this sample and must try it again to see if I can coax out the rich cup with a touch of nutmeg and an edge of fresh vanilla that are expressed in the tasting notes. They do say an explosive floral nose and an echo of caramel in the aftertaste. I do detect that from my tasting. Gonna use one of my smaller gong fu pots now that I see these leaves are smaller and chopped and don’t need a super large expansion space,,,that might be where I can get those flavors :)

Flavors: Cream, Flowers

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML

Yay! You found some oolong that doesn’t hurt your tummy :-)


Lol I’ve found lots. The only one that hurts my stomach is Tie Guan Yin/ Iron Goddess. I don’t care for that Oolong. I want to like it bc the tea is named after the Chinese Goddess of Mercy, Guanyin,,but oh well :)

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drank Zomba Pearls by Canton Tea Co
215 tasting notes

Origin: Satemwa Estate; Thyolo, Malawi; Southeast Africa
Dry Leaf: This is the most unique tea I’ve ever seen. The leaves are moss green color and have been hand-wrapped first stretching in a horizontal line with half the leaf or another leaf (must examine these further to see) and then wrapped vertically with the rest of the leaf or another leaf. They are in the shapes of little footballs. Scent of cream and subtle notes of nutmeg.

Method: 16 oz Glass teapot – 8 grams tea -2 cups h2o – 175F for 1 minute

Wet Leaf: Still in football shapes, didn’t unfurl too much with first steeping. Scent of fresh cooked greens.

Liquor: champagne color
with very light honey scent

Flavor: Tastes like subtle cream and honey like a White Peony but with a subtle spice note and I taste a tiny bit of lime which is unique and very very subtle. Lightly creamy mouthfeel. The presentation of this tea was simply fantastic!!!!

Before I did a second steeping of these cuties,,,I took one of the wet little footballs and tried to unroll it. They are super tightly rolled. They appear to be all one leaf and have been rolled like that and left to dry in that shape because the middles are lots greener leaf.
I have a feeling this next steeping is going to taste a lot more green with those type notes.

Second Steeping definitely created more color to the liquor which is now a bright golden color with a subtle scent of ginger ale.
Leaves are still rolled tightly but have begun to unfurl and you can see that the little footballs are a combination of a two leaf on a stem rolled to make the horizontal part then a few individual young leaves inside to wrap those connected two leaves around the little stem with the loose leaves inside. (if this makes sense—better to unwrap and see !!)

Flavor is more full this second brew but still subtle. Notes of honey and cream but not any green notes like I thought. There is a bit of Se Wei – scratchy to your throat – bc the leaves inside the little footballs have not been as exposed to air so they are green.

This is a very fun and delicious white tea.

Flavors: Cream, Ginger, Honey, Lime

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 8 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

I was scrolling and read this as “Zombie Pearls”. I thought it was the greatest name for a tea that I have ever seen. I was sad to discover that my reading skills need work.

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Origin: Grown wild in the mountains west of Mang Shi, Dehong; Yunnan, China.
Varietal-Wild Tree Purple Varietal (a primitive camelia sinensis varietal from which camelia sinensis var. assamica originated) (from Canton tea)
Spring 2012

Dry Leaf: Scents of dried fruits, dried cherries. Flattened then slightly twisted ribbons of dark brownish purple.
Method: 4 oz gaiwan
2 tsp tea 200F
10" rinse

Wet Leaf: Flattened, brown ribbons with scents of wood and prune. The leaves are medium to large size purple. All single leaves that appear to have been folded, flattened, then twisted before drying.

Liquor: Deep, clear, amber jewel. Scent of malt, dried prune.
Flavor: Wood, prune, tobacco, malt,,,,later steepings, honey.
Gets sweeter with each steeping,,,the other flavors step back though. The flavors end with honey.
Boy is this good. Having a cup that I brewed easily in a Pyrex cup at 200F for 3 minute steep. Liquor is so beautiful, deep golden orange and clear. Very rich and complex. This is one that I will keep in my cupboard. Subtle smoke, sweet prune, honey, touch of tobacco, touch of malt. So mesmerizing. Love this.

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Honey, Malt, Tobacco, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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drank Shui Xian Squares by Tea Trekker
215 tasting notes

Origin: Fujian Province, China
Dry Leaf: Cute compressed squares of fall colors; greens, browns, rust, black, each wrapped in paper.
Method: 22oz ceramic teapot – 16 oz H2O
1 square = 10 grams tea
185F for 3 minutes
no rinse but I will if brewing gong fu style—-the square did open right up and is not tightly compressed but it is best to rinse :)
Wet Leaf: Long stems with 2 large leaves attached that have been rolled inside the squares.
Scents of honeysuckle.
Liquor: Clear, dark golden with scents of honeysuckle, cream, butter biscuit.
Flavor: Rich, flowers, nutmeg, peas, asparagus, clean mouthfeel-not too creamy.

Flavors: Asparagus, Flowers, Garden Peas, Nutmeg

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 10 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

do you blog? your reviews are all about the tea….and I love that!


Thank u! No I don’t have a blog :)

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Tea is Life. I love Tea!

Bai Mu Dan
Bai Hao Yin Zhen
Feng Qing Yunnan
Marangi Estate Assam

Long Jing
Tai Ping Hou Kui

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,
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.

I like the Steepster Select Club because it is allowing me to taste teas that I might not get a chance to taste!
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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