1855 Tasting Notes

I think I finally steeped out that verdant sheng puerh, so it’s time to move on to something else.

I’ve organized (most of) my puerh teas: samples in little containers, and the larger bits and bobs in big paper bags. I need to get some storage containers for my puerh, it seems. O.o I wasn’t expecting that. I have a LOT of puerh.

While going through my samples I came across a completely random tightly rolled oolong. No label, plastic bag, etc. I must have had this for ages. I sniffed it and it smelled GOOD. I’m feeling kinda lazy tonight so I’m flash steeping it in 208F water.

It smells like lilacs. OMG. The BEST smell for an oolong, IMO. It’s very sweet and light. Tastes like I imagine flower nectar to be. Or like when you suck the juice out of a honeysuckle blossom. Only it’s more lilac flavoured than honeysuckle. It’s not super thick, but the leaves are just starting to unroll. I expect I’ll get 5-6 total steeps out of this teaspoon of leaf.

Thank you, random sample sharer. I probably lost the label, and I feel kind of bad about it. But I have quite a few oolongs right now as I am a repository for unwanted green oolong samples, so I probably wouldn’t purchase more of this one even if I did know where it came from.

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I just ordered a sample of this, so that’s probably why I have so many wee broken bits coming through. So far my experience has been that I don’t have to strain when using my gaiwan, but for this tea I definitely need to.

The flavour has been progressing nicely. At the beginning of the sip, it’s like thick water, but then sweetness hits the tongue with a lingering super mild bitter flavour. Almost like sour apple candy, actually. It could be described as somewhat leathery, but those notes are very harmonious with the sweet, fresh, green, and gently bitter notes.

I’ve steeped 6 or 7 times this evening, and the tea has a lot further to go. I’ll probably do a few more steeps in the morning when I’m prepping lunch and my work teas.

I used half my sample in the teensiest gaiwan. I’m getting about 45ml of tea per steep. :D My steeps are still very short, as I find that’s preventing it from going too bitter.

I don’t think I’d get more of this, but it’s a nice taste test in my journey of learning about puerh!

205 °F / 96 °C 4 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

I didn’t manage to have more steeps of this tea this morning, but I’m having it now. I do like it, I just wish it was a little more… either floral, or sweeter, to go with the bitter. It reminds me of the random sheng The Chinese Tea Shop brewed for Dexter and I when we were shopping, only not as nice…

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A tea thanks to MissB and Sil! :)

This smells AMAZING dry. However, I’m not a huge fan of green teas, so I wasn’t too sure how it would go.

Essentially, I wish this was a black tea. I really do. The violet is strong and true, while the raspberry is delicate candy in the background. Pretty much the opposite of the dry smell.

But this would be so good as a black. I might have to keep some of the other violet tea just because it’s so unique and it was a black base.

Thanks so much for sharing! Hopefully CrowKettle or Bear With Me like it more (or perhaps Fjellrev would provide an address to share, as I know she’s looking for a violet tea…).

165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

I haven’t yet tried a violet tea. What do they taste like?


This is going to be spectacularly unhelpful, but like violets. Sweet floral, sometimes soapy. If you’ve ever had violet candies, the tea should taste like that. These ones are my favourite:


They sound like something I would enjoy.

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drank Vanilla Black Tea by Twinings
1855 tasting notes

Haha. Reading your review, I wonder why you foisted this one on us, MissB!

At any rate, it wasn’t completely terrible. Would I buy it again? No. Would I drink it again? Only if someone made it for me and provided milk and sugar. I had it with milk today beside a vanilla matcha ‘snickerdoodle’ and in that context it worked. :)

Thank you for sharing, even if it wasn’t as excellent as some of the others I’ve tried.

(Seriously this page works worse on an android using chrome than it did on the iPhone using safari.)

2 bags, 16oz, 195f, 2:30.

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I’ll probably be updating this note as I drink the tea. Sample generously provided by Dexter. :) Thank you!

I flash-rinsed twice, and because it was loose pieces it opened up pretty fast. The first steep was still fairly pale orange, and the second steep now is quite dark. It has a bit of musty flavour still that I’m not digging, but it’s reduced even with the second steep so I have high hopes.

It’s fairly sweet (yay!) and kind of woody-fruity. More wood, though. :)

I’ve steeped 7 times now and it’s starting to slow down. The musty flavours are mostly gone, and now it’s a smooth and slightly sweet brew. I’ve enjoyed this very much, although I don’t think I’d buy it for myself.

Thanks so much for sharing!

205 °F / 96 °C 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Thank you for the sample, Amarial!

This is pretty darn good, but unfortunately doesn’t hold a candle to even the smell of the raspberry tea I tried to make this morning.

The black tea almost overpowers the delicate raspberry and honey flavours. I was hoping for something with a bit more kick.

So while I’m enjoying this mug of tea, it’s not exactly what I was hoping for. Oh well! I can continue looking for a raspberry black tea, I don’t mind. :)

(PS. I’m at 212 again, plus I still have all of MissB’s teas and the samples Dexter shared. Umm.)

Flavors: Bitter, Candy, Raspberry, Sweet

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

It’s more honey than raspberry to me.


I think I was hoping for more raspberry. :) It was still good, just not exactly what I had in mind.


Maybe cold steep it over the summer with some frozen raspberries?

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drank Barry Lindon by Jardin du Thé
1855 tasting notes

When the tea I really wanted to try ended up being a green (what reading comprehension!) and the kettle was already boiled, I went for this one.

Violets, lotus, grapefruit, and rose. What an unusual combination! Smells like violets and fresh grapefruit oil. Just amazing. Once steeped, it takes on a bit of a pithy smell, but still good. I added milk, because why the heck not.

It is QUITE floral. I’ll agree with Sil and MissB. But wow, what a delicious combination. This one will be difficult to part with, but I know that Bear With Me and Crowkettle will both appreciate the floral. :)

Thanks so much for sharing, MissB and for mailing it to me, Sil! :)

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

i’m glad you enjoyed


It wasn’t soapy! I was impressed!

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drank Toffee by Harrods
1855 tasting notes

A lovely treat from MissB!

It’s a strong black tea that gives me the impression of butter. It smells sweet, and tastes almost fruity like Sil mentioned.

I’m enjoying it with some organic milk I picked up last night (mmm, tea with milk…). It works really well, and I think the milk amps up the buttery notes and tones down the base tea a bit.

2 bags in 16 oz for 3 minutes at 195F. (Pretty standard for me!)

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Praline Horizon by Butiki Teas
1855 tasting notes


I had this tea this morning plain, because I didn’t have any milk and I wasn’t feeling coconut milk in it. Although it smelled great, I really didn’t care for it.

So, a second steep now that I’m home. With milks. It’s delicious. Hearty dessert in a cup. Yum!

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

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drank 2013 Raw Pu-erh by Cultivate Tea
1855 tasting notes

I had this tea this morning while I was putting my lunch together. Super mild, reminiscent of pea sprouts, not bitter at all even with a 30 second steep.

I’ll need to steep it more and try it again. It’s quite unlike the sharp almost bitter flavours I would expect with a young sheng. Really interesting.

4 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

I’m having more steeps and I quite like this. It’s really gentle.

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Black teas are my favourite, although I do drink the occasional green tea. I am exploring herbal and fruity teas for summer icing and winter evenings, and oolong and pu erh are new and exciting… although I do not like a tea that tastes mostly of seaweed.

No: Spearmint or peppermint, licorice root, gluten (cookie bits, wheat, rye, barley, I’m OK with oats)

After sending my first box to the USA, bubble-envelope swaps are where it’s at.

When I rate, my ratings are based on the little faces, and depend on what face I make when I sip the tea! :)

Also: A map of tea places in Vancouver. I’ve been to some of them, but not a lot. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!


Vancouver, BC, Canada



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