249 Tasting Notes

drank Australian Shincha by Ito En
249 tasting notes

This is the first Shincha that I’ve tried that actually smelled like grass. That term gets used a lot in describing tea but this really does smell and of course, look like dried cut grass. As I smell deeper, there are a few notes of cream.
I am a little shocked by the 212F temp too but I’m following directions lol.
After I see the wet leaf, it is more understandable the 212F temp. The wet leaves are very strong and I would describe them as semi-waxy. They are very pretty and hearty.
The liquor is a light spring yellow green color and it smells like grass as well.
The flavor is also a touch of grass but there is a cream note in there as well. There is a touch of bitter but it’s an enjoyable bitter not offensive.
I’m glad I’m having this after lunch because I have a feeling there is high caffeine to this and also I want food in my stomach.
Overall, very interesting tea and it’s cool that it comes from Victoria, Australia.

Cool to find a new tea company to check out too because I was not aware of Ito En.

From the Steepster Select Box; September, 2014

Flavors: Bitter, Cream, Grass

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Cameron B.

I’ll definitely have to try this with the recommended parameters and see how different it is. :P


Yes, you should try a Japanese shincha as well so you can see the difference in the leaves because these are far out. I tried to find which varietal leaf this is on the Ito En site but it doesn’t say. Australia is hot so it is a hearty one for sure.

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Origin: Zhejiang, China
Leaf Appearance: Small little twisted pieces that are light to dried grass green. Smells nutty and a little bit like a sweet vegetable , potato, a sweet walnut.
Method: 4 ounce gaiwan, 1 tsp tea, 185F, short quick infusions
Liquor: Light tint of color, light pearl spring green with scents of sweet veggies
Flavor: Nice nutty, sweet, just a hint of leek and potato.
Wet Leaf: Leaves unfurl to be tiny little pretty spring green color and very young young leaves. Very delicate. This is a very nice green tea and has some leaves that look like Anji Bai Cha they are that light green with the veining. Some very tiny and delicate young little tiny tiny buds too. Pretty tea.

From the Steepster Select Box; September, 2014

Flavors: Leeks, Potato, Walnut

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

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drank Iron Goddess Dark Roast by Steepster
249 tasting notes

Origin: Fujian, China
Leaf Appearance: Tie Guan Yin pellets but they have brown edges and accents all over the usual green rolled balls. Scent is very creamy vanilla cookie and citrus.
Method: I am doing a side-by-side comparison,,,Western steeping 8oz water with 1 tsp for the 2.5 minutes as Steepster suggests; and my gaiwan with shorter infusions—both with 200F water.
Liquor: Golden creamy – light light pineapple juice color but very pearl light. Smells very vanilla.
Flavor: Roasted nuts/almonds, vanilla, citrus being squeezed into my palate in surprising ways,,,in the back of my throat then on the tip first part of my tongue. Very exciting. There is a tiny tiny bit of astringency as my mouth is dry and clean feeling but not overly dried or annoying and no bitterness. No stomach upset either which TGYs usually give me but I just drank my homemade fruit smoothie before so thats probably helping.
Wet Leaf: Very dark forest green color . They are crinkled all around the stem and you can see that they were really wanting a good roast on them. They did a good job because it is toasted nuts roast, not smoke and burnt food flavor roast.

I actually enjoyed the gaiwan version of my tea best, they were both similar in flavors but I enjoy watching the leaves and controlling the color and intensity of the brew.
Very good tea, one I would come back to visit rolled TGY oolongs for.

From the Steepster Select Box, September 2014

Flavors: Citrus, Cookie, Nutty, Pineapple, Vanilla

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Black Cloud by Silk Road Teas
249 tasting notes

Origin: Zhejiang, China
Leaf Appearance: Small twisted leaf pieces with smoky and subtle chocolate scent. Color is chocolate brown
Method: Gaiwan-Temp 190F-immediate rinse then short quick infusions
Liquor: Chocolatey scent with smoke, golden orange color
Flavor: Smoke with a tiny hint of chocolate. The mineral as described on the package is definitely there as an undertone. It has a lot of bitter notes to it.

  • I really have gotten to where I use the gaiwan as my preferred brewing method so this tea might definitely be a Western brew. It says on the package to brew at 212F in 12oz for 3 minutes so I will try the recommended method in a bit. So take this first review with a grain of salt.

OK,,later this afternoon, I brewed this Western style with the recommended 212F and 12oz water at 3 minutes. It still had a bitter note but it was a balancing bitter note to the chocolate note and mineral & smoky edges. More balanced as a Western brew. The bitter note tastes good and the tea has a depth and interesting flair with all its components in harmony.

Found on the Silk Road Teas sight that this varietal is Mei Zhan. The Mei Zhan varietal is made with a slow growing leaf, grown at high elevations. Prized for its strong, nuanced taste.

Mei Zhan (梅占) is a famous oolong from Anxi in Fujian province, China. It’s a classic oolong varietal with big leaves. This is why it’s sometimes also referred as Da Ye Mei Zhan (big leave Mei Zhan). The tea’s liquor is bright orange with a smooth and flowery aroma. (from Teapedia)

From the Steepster Select Box, September 2014

Flavors: Bitter, Dark Chocolate, Mineral, Smoke

190 °F / 87 °C 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

Nice to see you been a while.


Hi mrmopar!!!!! Nice to see u as well!!! I have been out of new teas to review lol. It is almost time to order more tea!!! Yay!!!

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Dry leaf smells surprisingly creamy and lemony. It is very pretty with little pieces of dried orange turmeric, green tiny lemongrass pieces, and dried ginger.

OK,,, I make a homemade tisane with fresh turmeric, lemon, and honey so I was wondering how this would taste using dried turmeric. I do like it, the turmeric is not as prominent- tasting when it is dried.
This tisane is really naturally sweet,,,I had to look at the ingredients to see if there was a drop of stevia added but it is just a very good blend (good bc I don’t like stevia lol).
This has sweet flavors of lemon, almost a creamy edge (this must be the oils on my palate), and just a touch of a ginger taste. The turmeric really just lends its color to the liquor.
I do like the taste of fresh turmeric but it is a stronger and acquired taste,,,so this herbal would be a great introduction for someone wanting to try the health benefits of turmeric. Plus I like having a back up bc sometimes my store is out of fresh turmeric and fresh turmeric can mold if you don’t use it quickly.

From the Steepster Select Box, August 2014

Flavors: Cream, Ginger, Lemon

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

I had to google the image of turmeric. If I’d see it in grocery store I’d think its ginger. Can you store it in a freezer?


It is a relative of ginger but it is bright bright orange even showing through its skin, it is so orange,,,and smaller than ginger so you would know it was turmeric rather than ginger.
I wouldn’t freeze it,, but I think you can freeze ginger so you probably could freeze it. I like to just have those things fresh to get the most antioxidants possible.


I peel mine and keep it in fridge, it rarely dries out as I use it in smoothies. There have been the odd few that turn to bone but then I grate them into curries. Be careful, the orange color is steadfast and a bit hard to get off cutting boards and counter tops.

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drank Ayame Kabuse by Kettl
249 tasting notes

Origin: Yame, Japan
Leaf: Scents of salt, very delicious smelling dry leaf.
Method: 1 tsp tea, 6oz H20 , 170F 45"
Liquor: Super pretty light after dinner mint green color. Love
Flavor: Wow, so good. This is salty and buttery. Intense flavor, like clarified butter. Yet it is also clean, crisp, and smooth. No bitter, no grass, very VERY good green tea. YUMMMMM

Just re steeped this,,,you can with these type teas if you do about 10 seconds or less because now the leaves are filled with water. As soon as you see that pretty green,,,it’s ready. Same delish flavors,,,,,love this.

From the Steepster Select Box,, August 2014

Flavors: Butter, Salt

170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

That sounds amazing.


Tea Wing has awesome green tea! I thought I loved gyokuro the best until I tried their other teas!! Each one I try is better than the last!!

Cameron B.

I loved the Kabusecha I got from Yunomi, this sounds lovely too! :D


Cool! I like looking at their website but have never tried them :)

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drank Baozhong Oolong by Steepster
249 tasting notes

Had this one after lunch and weighed these leaves to get exactly 4 grams.
Dry leaves smell amazing,,,butter cookie and vanilla orchid. I like the forest green color, but some of my twisted strips were crushed a bit so I missed those pretty long strips.
Liquor is a light spring green color and still with the butter cookie and vanilla orchid scent which is cool that the butter cookie stayed—I am looking forward to tasting this.
Flavor is yumm,, very creamy, butter cookie and mostly floral on the nose, not the taste. Very enjoyable Pouchong/Baozhong!
As it cools, it gets a bit more green and floral but it mostly tastes like creamy butter cookie.

From the Steepster Select Box, August 2014

Flavors: Butter, Cookie, Orchid

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec 4 g 7 OZ / 207 ML

cookies! yum. :P

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drank Bombay Chai by Steepster
249 tasting notes

Love the scents of the spices in this blend for chai. Smells like vanilla too even though I don’t think it is included in the mix. You can definitely smell the cloves and touch of cardamom.
The liquor brings out an orange zest flavor but that must be from the Assam. Now I see the ginger pieces in the wet leaf but they are not very prominent in the flavor. I tasted this plain before adding milk and it definitely has an orange peel with spices flavor. Then added milk and yumm yumm. The clove notes do come thru, clove is very strong so I usually add one whole clove only if I make homemade chai.
I really like this blend for chai. I like to control the sugar content of chai because if you get it at a coffee shop where they have it pre-made,,,,the sugar is off the charts and I think it is too sweet at those places.
This blend is perfectly balanced and needs no sugar in my opinion. Just milk.
Delicious! (Clove really gets into your palate though,, so it will mess with any other things you might be tasting so chai only this morning,, it is!!!!!!)

From the Steepster Select Box, August 2014

Flavors: Cardamon, Cloves, Orange Zest

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Origin: Zhejiang, China
Leaf Appearance: Very small brownish green, twisted leaves with scents of mineral
Method: Western 1 cup size pot with same size infuser, 180F for 2 minutes
Liquor: Light spring green with scents of mineral, raw artichoke
Flavor: This tea is just as described by the Steepster Select card and website. The astringency is not to be feared (as I had when I read this). It really just has notes of artichoke which has some naturally bitter notes but nothing overwhelming. I like young leaf green teas like this, they are sweet and have a tiny touch of balancing bitter. You can see how delicate and tiny the leaves are when they open up after steeping.
There are some raw almond(with the skin) notes to me, not as much baked chestnut. I purposefully ate a raw almond to compare. The tea doesn’t quite get as sweet as chestnut but I can see that note as well in this tea.
Overall, a pretty good everyday green tea for afternoon drinking.

From the Steepster Select Box, August 2014

Flavors: Almond, Artichoke

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

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Origin: Nantou, Taiwan
Leaf Appearance: Rolled brownish green balls with scents of butter cookie
Method: Western style – one cup – 200F 2.5 minutes
Liquor: Floral scent
Flavor: Bitter, floral

I’m not going to follow Eco-Cha’s directions anymore and lower the temp on their teas so they don’t turn out bitter

Flavors: Bitter, Floral

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Thanks for the tip!


Lol Ur Welcome :)

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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.



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