58 Tasting Notes


Expectations. Quite high, this is a famous tea after all.

Steeping. 65ml gaiwan and 75-80C water. I tried to steep this tea also with a champagne glass, but the leaves floated on the surface.

Appearance. The leaves were smaller than I thought, about the size of my finger tip (or 0,5cm to be precise.) They were all covered in white fur.

Aroma. Sweet and straw-ish. There was quite a lot of dust (probably loose fur) so I had to sneeze a couple times while appreciating the aroma. Spent leaves have greenish-gray hue. The tea is pale yellow in color.

Tasting. Really light and sweet. I thought this would have more tartness, but the flavor is so delicate. It has only light note of straw and hay, maybe cucumber or melon too. Longer infusions have that nice little kick in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is pleasantly astringent.

Comments. The Silver Needle is really good tea, but to me it doesn’t give that ‘wow!’-feeling. Still, I will see this one again when it’s freshly picked, my sample is 9 months old after all so I’m intrigued to try this one again.

PS. Happy New Year 2016 everyone!

Flavors: Cantaloupe, Cucumber, Hay, Honey, Honeydew, Melon, Straw, Sweet

175 °F / 79 °C 4 g 2 OZ / 65 ML

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Expectations. Very little, I wanted to try this only because 4,7/5 rating.

Steeping. I didn’t check the steeping temperature (that was 80C) so I accidentally steeped the first pours at 95C. For later steep I let the water cool down for a bit. I used 4g/65ml and porcelain gaiwan.

Appearance. The leaves are really pretty, they are tiny and covered in a golden fur. Tea is bright orange with a little bit of red hue.

Aroma. Dry leaves smell awesome, there are some cocoa, chocolate, honey and caramel notes. Wet leaves have bolder aroma with molasses, sweet potato and smoky tones.

Tasting. I ordered more of those beautiful ‘bamboo hat’ cups so I had a better chance to compare different steeps. My favourite one was definitely the first pour, it had overall stronger flavour with nice chocolate, cocoa and caramel notes. Latter ones had more mild and mellow flavour of honey, smoke, chocolate and cocoa. More interesting flavours, like berries, fruits, citrus and flowers emerge with every pour.

Comments. Really interesting tea experience, as a black tea noob I still prefer Fenqging Dragon Pearls over any other black teas, but Yunnan Dian Hong has really good amount of different and interesting flavours. Really enjoyable for cold winter mornings.

Flavors: Berries, Caramel, Chocolate, Citrus Fruits, Cocoa, Flowers, Fruity, Honey, Molasses, Smoke

190 °F / 87 °C 4 g 2 OZ / 65 ML

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Teavivres description. “A fabulous tasting green tea from Anhui. With uniquely shaped large flat leaves, TaiPing HouKui is quite different from other green teas and is thought of as one of China’s top ten teas. Our tea comes from the village of HouKeng, where the tea was first developed.”

Expectations. I’ve heard so many great reviews, so I’m expecting this to be a great experience.

Steeping. First, I didn’t have any clue how to brew this, since I don’t possess a tea pitcher and my gongfu glass teapot was accidentally dropped on the floor and shattered.
Eventually I ended up with my Ikea glass cup, it’s made in China at least! It was messy, but it worked. I used “Fire and Ice” -style (it sounded fun) pouring ice cold water onto the leaves first and after dumping the cold water I poured 85C water to steep the tea. First steep was 1min 30s and after that I just added +1min with 3g grams of tea.

Appearance. Really, really big, flat dark green leaves. They remind a bit of nori sheets. They have a nice fabric pattern from straightening. Spent leaves turn olive green. The brew is light, vibrant green colour.

Aroma. Really bold and savoury. It’s similar to sencha, a bit of marine like, vegetal green bean/pea aroma.

Tasting. My favourite part. Premium Tai Ping Hou Kui has bold vegetal flavour. Green beans, pea and a bit of nuts, not a sweet flavour. It has a bit astringency. Again, the first thing coming to my mind is sencha, which is not bad at all. I’m digging this.

Comments. This tea is great fun! I got a really weird kicks from those gigantic leaves. The reviews were right, this was a great tea experience. I give this a solid 90. 75-80 for flavour and 100 for looks.

Will I buy it again? Definitely, it’s a bit expensive but I just love those leaves, I want to see them again.

Flavors: Almond, Green Beans, Mineral, Peas, Salt, Vegetables, Vegetal

185 °F / 85 °C 3 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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Note to self: 100C and longer steeps make this one much better and nicely floral.

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I’ve heard dancongs are really hard to gongfu. This is my first one so far and I’m excited and a bit terrified to try this. What if I screw it up? Whatevs, I have 100g of it so it doesn’t matter if I use couple grams to practise. Maybe?

Guang Dong Phoenix Dan Cong has nice roasted-smoky aroma to it, there is also hint of cherry and wood. It’s not as roasty as Da Hong Pao, which was reeeally roasty to my taste. This Guang Dong might suit my taste based on aroma.

I did really quick 1st steep, like 5 seconds. Taste is not expected, I thought Guang Dong would be something like Da Hong Pao, but this is vegetal and mildly roasty. It has some tannis and really really sweet, a bit cherry like and floral scent. Also it has pleasantly astrigent mouthfeel that I really like. I’m going to push that ‘recommend’ button right away.

Next steep was something between 10-15s, maybe closer to 15s. I’m getting some sweet potato, and woodsy notes, quite strong, but not overly-strong smokiness too. There is also something berry-ish like blackcurrant. This tea is really insteresting since it seems to have typical flavours both to green and dark oolong with its roasty-smoky and floral-vegetal flavours.

I tried shorter steep again to get that nice cherry note, but now it turned smoky and bitter. What did I do wrong? Maybe next one will be successful… And yes it is. Now there is some dried fruit, blackcurrant, honey and… peach? This is definitely my favourite steep. I’m sure this will give many more steeps, I will write about them later.

I’m going to practice with this, but it seems to be really complex tea with a lot of different flavours. Does dancong better in chao zhou-teapots (or yixings). I’ve always wanted one to my collections, but I’ve also heard these are better in porcelain gaiwans

Flavors: Black Currant, Cherry, Earth, Floral, Honey, Mineral, Raspberry, Roasted, Smoke, Tar, Toast

4 g 60 OZ / 1774 ML

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My “Anniversary oolong-order” from Teavivre came today. I somehow ordered only oolongs! Teavivre actually made me an oolong-addict so now circle is complete. Along with this I got some dancong, anxi TGY and anniversary sampler + some samples. So much new tea to taste…

I’ve only tasted Dong Ding-like oolongs like Green Jade and I’ve loved them so this was obvious choice to try. Aroma is delightful, sweet and fruity with hint of pea-like vegetality. Big oolong balls are light to dark green in color and they have a yellowish brown stem.

I used 5g/60ml, a porcelain gaiwan and 90C water for green oolong (maybe a wrong choice, but I like to live dangerously).

1st steep
Tea is mildly yellow and has very little aroma. Taste is sweet, but mild. Maybe it needs hotter water.

2nd steep
Taiwan Dong Ding starts to open up despite wrong temperature choice. Sweet and fruity taste and aroma with little astrigency. Tea color is now greenish yellow.

3rd steep
Going even more green. Same taste as in 2nd steep. Nice creamy-buttery mouthfeel and taste.

4rd steep
This tea is just as I imaginated. It’s beautiful, it has nice sweet, fruity and creamy taste with buttery mouthfeel and wonderful aroma. I just likey-likey this kind of oolongs. This was from 2014 so it’s bit over an year old. I wonder what would fresh one taste like… More tasting notes coming from this one definitely.

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Fruit Punch, Fruity, Sweet, Vegetal

195 °F / 90 °C 5 g 2 OZ / 65 ML

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I’ve managed to drink third of my teas from my cupboard. And ordered some more from Aliexpress (dangerous place). Also I’ve been learning more english while away. My friend says I write (and speak) horrible english, maybe I will be fluent one day. Haha.

Also why O-cha don’t sell this wonderful tea this year. Just when I started loving it.

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Happy news, spring and 2015 teas have arrived. I have been waiting for a long time and finally I got to taste these fresh spring greens.
I got, not one but two boxes of tea yesterday. Another one containing this, my 50g preorder and that wonderful scarf present. I will definitely use it, thanks. In the other box were the spring sampler. It was really wonderful sight when I unpacked all this, mountain of tea.
I’ve tried already three teas, this was the first one. The aroma that came from the pouch was amazing. It was fresh, green and mildly grassy, not that roasty than 2014 Superfine Longjing.The leaves are green as spring, really bright green that means. They’ve a strong, but fresh aroma. Their shape is nice, pointy and flat tea buds. I can’t see any broken or ‘bad’ looking leaf.
I’m using gaiwan as always. Brew is pale green with mild grassy scent. There is a weak nutty nuance. Roastiness, almost none.
Flavour follows the scent. Fresh and mildly grassy with delicate nuttiness following. I’m allergic to nuts so I can’t say which nut this tinge reminds me, but I’ll say walnuts and roasted almonds. Latter is the only ‘nut’ I can eat :P
Some people said that last years Superfine was overly toasty. It was quite toasty, but I liked that. This one is really mildly toasty, but it doesn’t mean this is worse than last years. This is really good stuff, it’s different and good as it is. If you don’t like toasty Longjings now is your chance. I will give this a point better review, bit better, but still as good.

Flavors: Almond, Floral, Flowers, Grass, Sugarcane, Sweet, Walnut

175 °F / 79 °C 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Favourites – Green, Sheng puerh
Likey – Green oolongs, white
OK. – Black, Shu puerh, darker oolongs
Meh Infusions

New Rating:
100 The most perfect tea in the world.
90-99 It is definitely one of my favourites.
80-89 Delicious, but there is something little that I don’t like.
70-79 Pretty delicious, not my favourite but I like it.
60-69 Alright, might buy more.
50-59 Average, nothing special here.
30-49 Holy smokes, is this stuff even tea?
1-29 No. Just no.

Flavours/nuances I like:
Fruits, flowers, floral, berries, sweet, astringent, nutty, cream, butter, vegetal, sour, vanilla, honey, marine, seaweed, grassy, woody, smoky, dried fruits, citrus, umami

Favourites list:
Teavivre – Organic Superfine Longjing
Teavivre – Tie Guan Yin
Forsman Tea – Cranberry-Vanilla
Forsman Tea – Pear Sencha
Théhuone – Sweet Strawberry
Teavivre – Bi Luo Chun
Chaya – Milk Oolong
Chiran Asatsuyu Sencha – O-Cha

~ Because I always say some tea it ‘my favourite’ this list needed to be done. They’re not in any order and more will be coming.

//My english can be a bit rusty sometimes. Sorry about that.


Uusimaa, Finland



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