248 Tasting Notes


I ordered a sample of this with our most recent Harney order and while it is tasty for a bold straight black, the TLDR version is that I prefer Scottish Morn still.

In the measuring teaspoon, it looks like CTC black pieces with small greenish flecks. It brews a rich dark brown and the aroma is straight up malt. I don’t look for complexity in teas like this, so I am not at all put off by the simplicity in the scent. Unfortunately, while the addition of Darjeeling to this blend adds depth of flavor in my cup, it does it in a way that takes from the briskness and body of the Assam and Ceylon.

This kind of tea (like Scottish Morn) is meant to be enjoyed with milk and I added a good dash to my cup, which helps to give the tea a creamy balanced profile and highlights a hint of muscatel and citrus. While it is still a decent tea blend and I like what they had in mind for it, my personal preference will forever go to my favorite CTC for when I want a bold wake-up and I will reach for Scottish Morn, not Scottish Afternoon every time.

Flavors: Citrus, Malt, Muscatel

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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This is probably my favorite straight black tea, so not a sipdown I was looking forward to. I was especially horrified to note it was out of stock when I tried to re-order. On the bright side, it should be back soon. I can only hope that this harvest is as flavorful and amazing as the last. If Yu Lu Yan Cha was a man, it would be a strange love triangle indeed. :3


This is Scribbles favorite too! Yu Lu Yan Cha Black vs. Zhu Rong Yunnan Black? I’ve not yet had the pleasure of ZRYB.


You simply must try ZRYB also if you get the chance. I am out of both or I’d offer to send some to you! From the last harvest, I would pick Yu Lu Yan Cha as my favorite of the two. I think it is generally less appreciated by the Steepster community, but still delicious all the same. :)


Thanks, that’s very kind of you! I appreciate your thoughtfulness. When is their next sale?


I’m not sure, but I’ll be keeping my eyes open for it, too. :)


Oh dang, I just realized you’re a Georgian Steepsterite, too! What part?


I have a lot of Zhu Rong Yunnan black-I can send you some, looseTman! Let me know if you want some-totally willing to share!


I’m on the East side of Atlanta. You? :)


Ost, Thanks for your very generous offer! The very generous Scribbles sent me some Yu Lu Yan Cha Black. It would be great to compare these two highly-rated Verdant black teas. Steepster people are the BEST!

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How have I never reviewed this tea? I feel like I must have and it was in my cupboard, but no previous review to be found. This is a backlog sipdown, but I remember really enjoying it. It was also a pleasant transition straight black tea as the seasons change. During the Fall and Winter and found myself reaching for the bold malty/choco blends like Fujian and Laoshan Black, but come Spring and Summer- Ailaoshan Black is where it’s at. :)

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I guess I had forgotten to add this back to my cupboard, but it was another bummer sipdown. Teavivre has my favorite Huang Shan Mao Feng greens and this one is exceptional. Just a lovely cup!

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Goodbye for now, wee snail yums! This is another comfort tea for a straight black that I enjoyed quite a bit. Hoping to reorder soon as well.

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Sad sipdown. This is a comfort tea to me and is one of my very favorite straight blacks. Will be a reorder for sure. Be mine forever, Zhu Rong!

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I have a serious backlog because I had to have major surgery and haven’t been able to review. I am on the mend, but most of my current notes will be short and sweet in an attempt to catch up.

This is a sipdown and will be missed. I enjoyed this sweet and sugary (literally like burnt sugar at times) dessert blend with a dash of milk to make it creamier. Will probably be a reorder for the next holiday season.


hope you recover soon :)


Great to see you back and hope for a speedy recovery!


Best wishes for a quick and easy recovery. Welcome back!


Welcome back! I hope recovery is going well.


Hoping you recover soon!!


Oh no! I hope you are well on your way to full and happy recovery!


Thank you! I am home and on the mend for sure. :)

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drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
248 tasting notes

I know I’ve reviewed this one a million times, but I still love it. I know it isn’t even seasonally appropriate, but I don’t care. Sipping this with a dash of whole milk and it totally takes the chilly edge off this cold and rainy Spring morning. Just the right amount of spice with a hint of creamy squash. I am meh about a lot of flavored black teas these days, but this one continues to do it for me, even with the little candy pumpkins and whatnot. Happy Thursday!

Flavors: Malt, Orange Zest, Pumpkin, Spices, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Dry: Fluffy golden leaves blended with tightly rolled deep matte black leaves. The smell in the bag is softly vanilla, sweet, and malty.

Steeped: The leaves unfurl in a very pleasing aesthetic way. There is a mixing of the colors and the clear amber liquor bathes them in a golden hue. The smell is vaguely sweet with a hint of cherry and malty vanilla.

Taste: Honestly, the best description I could think of would be a more complex version of Cocoa Amore, which is one of my favorites from WP. I really like the depth of flavor with cherry, cocoa, and vanilla featuring most prominently followed by a hint of wood and morel. I don’t think I would like it at all if there really was a lot of the earth/oak across the palette, but it does a good job of hinting at them. The biggest downside to this tea in my opinion is the pricepoint. At just shy of $22/ounce (excluding shipping), it is one of the most expensive teas I’ve purchased. I am dinging the rating a little bit only because the tasting notes on the website indicated moss, plum, pine, melted chocolate, etc. and I couldn’t detect these. That may not be a bad thing though because pine can be overwhelming as a scent or flavor. Unfortunately, I’ve also found that this one doesn’t hold up to resteeps without going a bit bland and losing all the delicate nuances. I did enjoy the initial vanilla, cocoa, cherries, oak, and morel though and I am glad I was able to finally try this.

Flavors: Cherry, Cocoa, Malt, Mushrooms, Oak wood, Smooth, Vanilla

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Whispering Pines Tea Company

Just you wait for Ambrosia ;-)


I really need to try something from this company! I see some great reviews but just haven’t gotten around to ordering.

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Thank you to Angel at TeaVivre for this lovely sample!

Dry: This pu-erh cake is tightly woven with some golden leaves and smells sweet and earthy, almost syrupy.

Steeped: My husband wanted to try it and I only have 1 gaiwan, so I brewed it Western method using bottled Spring water. The brewed tea is very dark with a gentle sweet fragrance, though it reminds me of black coffee by the way it looks.

Taste: Full-disclosure: I don’t think I am a pu-erh lady. I’ve had 3 well-liked ones recently and none of them would be something I would reach for over my usual favorites (certain straight blacks, flavored blacks, straight greens). That said, this is a bold and flavorful tea. I get notes of leather, earth, smooth wood, and that background syrup sweetness that I smelled in the dry cake. It almost reminds me of brown sugar.. if it was wet and mixed with woodsy things. I’m giving this a good rating because it is exactly what it is supposed to be except I don’t detect much in the way of nuttiness, but my personal flavor preference is for TeaVivre’s other lovely black and green teas. Hope everyone is having a lovely week!

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Brown Sugar, Earth, Leather, Maple Syrup, Wet Wood, Wood

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 10 g 17 OZ / 502 ML

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I am a registered nurse that worked night shift for years on a catastrophic injury unit. I just started day shift and life is good! Tea is a simple pleasure in a complicated world.


Georgia, USA

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