521 Tasting Notes

drank Yunnan Beauty by Mandala Tea
521 tasting notes

I’m so bad at writing notes lately. I had real intentions of reviewing soon after drinking but then there was this to do and that to do and then I forgot all about it until a couple days later. :(

From what I recall, there was a dark oolong-y roasted flavor and a sweet honey fragrance like in typical Oriental Beauty teas. I think I prefer the traditional Oriental Beauty because this version’s strong earthiness muddles up the honey and floral aromas and flavors.
It’s definitely not a bad tea though and I love the creativity. :)


haha i know that feeling!


Yep. I totally understand that! There are times where I don’t want to drink a tea because it needs a review and then I laugh at myself for being so silly. It’s meant to be enjoyed – the reviews are just a bonus!

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I find that I crave a nice cup of Chinese black in the mornings. It’s just a lovely way to start the day. I love the preserved plum flavor in this one. The lingering maltiness.

As I mature in my tea adventure, I find myself not appreciating teas as much as I used to. It’s such a shame. I’ll drink while reading or working and I just don’t notice the nuances anymore. I try to put time aside for a new tea to truly appreciate it, but my schedule is not what it used to be. When I started my tea adventure, I was unemployed and my husband wasn’t out of the house all day going to work and then school. While I’m grateful to be employed and happy that husband’s continuing education will open up opportunities for him, I really miss having TIME. Time to just do nothing or focus on hobbies.

Anyway! Good tea!

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So yesterday I worked from home because the train line I usually commute on is having power issues and is running very limited service. Today, I’m trying out the limited service because working from home for the two to three weeks it will take to fix is just too much. In any case, I had access to my fancy teas and tea ware while it was still early enough for caffeine! And I’ve been meaning to try out this puer for a while now.
First impression was that this is extraordinarily light for a ripe puer. But it didn’t taste raw either. I love the fresh cut cedar aroma. I wish I remembered the experience better but drinking while working, even from home, is not helpful to the tasting experience. I was aware enough to note that this is an amazing puer that I like more than I thought I would.

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drank Alpine Punch by DAVIDsTEA
521 tasting notes

Holy cow! I didn’t know I still had some of this! It reminds me of winter. Tastes the same as ever. Punchy, almond and probably good with a shot of rum. It’s really a gorgeous day but the nip of winter is definitely in the air. Winter always seems to last too long. Gotta go out with the pups for some longs walks and running in the park while there’s still time. :)

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The coconut is hardly there. There is a creamy sweetness but that may be vanilla. Chocolate is light. The real star here is the cinnamon. It’s so strong as to be unnatural tasting. This was not a tea I was interested in when it came out. I only got some now as a sample. Turns out my intuition was right. It feels so good to finish a packet though.

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Life has been going on overdrive lately. When was the last time I posted anything here? Oh my.

Let me do a quick recap: (in case anyone is wondering. :))
-Week long trip to Yosemite/California vineyards turned into nursing husband back to health. It was still fun and his doctor says he’s fine now.
-Husband’s friends from Germany came to visit for about 2 weeks straight after we returned home. Entertaining guests is very time consuming! But they were great and I’m glad they came.
-Lost our dog, Mr. Snuggles. It was 24 hours of frantic searching, calling, flyer printing/posting, etc. Finally someone called to say she had our pup. (flyers worked!) Right after we came home with Snugs, I became violently ill. Vomiting, light headed, pounding headache. I had literally worried myself sick. But I’m ecstatic and relieved that he’s home.
-New project at work is escalating. I was informed it would entail 15 – 25% of my work time. More like 60-70%. I can’t believe I volunteered for this.
-My MIL’s 10 peach trees are exploding with fruit. It’s been non-stop canning over here. Help!

Thank goodness for Labor Day! And now, I’m having a cup of tea before starting a batch of peach jam. Sigh, first world problems. This tea is as delicious as I remember. The quality especially shows now that I’ve overbrewed it and it still tastes fantastic. Smooth, hint of milk chocolate, delicious toasted grain. Mmmm… Just the boost I need for peach overload.


I’m sorry to hear that you have undergone many unlucky things. Fortunately, everything is ok now. Hope our tea will take you away the pressure, bring you a good mood.

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I had the last of this sample pouch this afternoon. I measured out the appropriate amount but then saw that so little was left…so I just dumped it all into my brew basket. Did I mention that I rarely drink black tea after 11am? I just get so wired and it lasts till evening. I hate to lose sleep. Well, this cup of tea was strong! Strong but not tasting like bergamot. Well, just barely. A little citrus and a little creamy. Pretty meh, especially for the price. :(

Anyway, made a big pot of fresh tomato sauce from my garden tomatoes and tons of fresh picked basil. The tomatoes are the size of my face! Thanks to papa for the tomato seeds. :) And thanks to my friend, Jane, for the basil seeds. I’m hoping this huge pasta dinner will lull me to sleep later tonight.

Tomorrow is a new day for tea and harvesting. It’s a bountiful time of year.


Oh… I miss having fresh herb plants. But I don’t have anywhere to put them anymore that isn’t shady all day long. And I kill things in pots.


I would miss fresh herbs too! I miss them all winter. I’m thinking of getting some plant lights and dedicating a small area of my home to plants. Maybe you can do that too? Potted plants can be a bit fussy though.

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It’s been a long time. I’ve forgotten what a quiet evening at home feels like. I haven’t slept well in weeks. It’s nothing scary, just too many social obligations all at once. Not to mention that I just volunteered to be a part of some huge project at work. Why did I do that? I suck. Boy do I miss my me time.

So for the first time in weeks, I’m home by myself with no one to request my attention except my pups. Heaven. What’s even better is that I have a pot of this tea cold brewed. I see that most people are not too fond of it, but it just tastes like syrupy rose candy and green tea to me. Refreshing.

Anyway, time to prepare for bed. I plan to get up early so I can get some stuff done for this project at work AND still fit in my regular day job. So sleepy…

EDIT I forgot to mention that I bought 250 grams of this from DavidsTeas 40% off sale. I threw in a few other things to get the $50 free shipping minimum. So yeah, I have lots of this tea now! I am both excited and disappointed in myself.


Wow, somebody likes this tea? That’s awesome. I hated it, wondered who on earth would buy 250 of it. So YOU’re the one :)


I know right? I figure DT owes me one. :p

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Quite possibly the finest ti guan yin of my life. The scent of the leaves alone was enough to send me into ecstasy. It’s like being in the best most fragrant flower garden. Absolutely amazing.
I had no idea the leaves would unfurl so quickly and at such volume. My basket was almost overflowing.
The taste of this tea is magical. Floral and fresh. Apple aftertaste. Just a bit vegetal, but unlike any vegetable I know. Slight peachiness. This is gently energizing. Perfect for me as I’m feeling pretty tired.

This is a beautiful tea.


Great review. You make me regret not ordering a sample of this!


Awww! Now I have to fix myself a cup of this, after reading this lovely review :-)


I almost didn’t get a sample of this either. I figured it can’t be so different from other to guan yins, but it is. Great tea inspires great reviews. :)

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I came from a tea drinking family, but I never appreciated the different qualities and varieties of tea until older. All that time wasted! But I guess I needed to be mature enough to appreciate the tea experience. :)

My favorite teas are green oolongs and white tea. I also love greens, especially gyokuro. I have a huge appreciation for rooibos and honeybush as they are often that only thing I can drink in the evening. I am a relatively new convert to black teas. This is unfortunate for my wallet but extremely wonderful for my palate. :)

In any case, I have a love for both flavored and unflavored teas. They are different experiences for sure, but both enjoyable. I find that it often depends on my mood.

I am on a quest to find a tea that will win my husband over. I think I’m making some headway…

My profile pic features my two lovable puppies, Mr. Snuggles and Sr. Caliente.


NYC / Westchester

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