276 Tasting Notes


I found a small packet of this lurking at the back of the cupboard after the recent cataloguing exercise. It makes me wonder what other teas I missed. My previous tasting note still stands. This is an excellent tea, clean and smooth and absolutely what I want from a white Darjeeling.

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After the disappointment of their Darjeeling, this tea came as a nice surprise. The puerh is an earthy shu that carries a decent bit of body. What I tasted of it was not exceptional but definitely workmanlike enough to satisfy me when combined with the citrus. This was a bit surprising given my general lack of interest in flavoured teas.

The aroma of the dry leaf is largely grapefruit. When steeped the liquor has a peculiar dual layer to it, as if smelling two separate teas. At the top is citrus then the earthiness of the shu comes into play as you dip your nose further into the cup. The extent to which the two aromas existed separately surprised me a lot. This situation persisted in the tasting of the hot tea. The citrus dominates at first and then the earthiness of the shu came through to take over. Then, when the earthiness has faded from the aftertaste, the citrus remains strongly on the tongue for some time afterwards leaving you with a very clean-feeling mouth as if I had just brushed my teeth with grapefruit toothpaste. I cannot imagine drinking this every day, but it will remain in the cupboard for those days when I want something fruity and simple, and I shall not be averse to getting more when it is gone.

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A coffee and tea shop opened up in Beverley, near us, recently. Naturally I got all excited and had to charge in at the first opportunity. So, I checked it out. It seems to stock mostly flavoured teas and coffees with few ‘proper’ teas. Shame that. The place seems like a step up from Whittards, but not so much to my taste. Unfortunately, this tea I bought from there is the same. I have tried it with different amounts of leaf, at different temperatures and varied the steeping time. It tastes like a Darjeeling, but only just and the variable elements don’t seem to change it much. It is certainly not a patch on the other Darjeelings that I drink more regularly, but then it is cheaper too and that shows in the taste. Shame about that. I had hoped for a regular source of everyday tea but this one is not it. Perhaps the shop has others that are better …


How disappointing… Tea shops just don’t open around where I live, but if they ever did, I’d be so mad if they didn’t offer a certain standard of quality!


I’m hoping that they develop and improve, but I also wonder how well they will survive in town. I may have to ask some leading questions next time I go in! :) I did buy a grapefruit-flavoured puerh as well. I still have that to try, and it is a definite point in their favour that they even had a puerh of any type in stock, so there is still hope.

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Yay, I’m the first to write a note on this one! :)

After discovering a Dragonwell at the back of the cupboard and drinking that, I suddenly had a craving for raw pu so I thought I would start one of the sample packs I have been buying recently. For some reason, I bought a sample pack of this one, even though I have a whole untouched beeng in the stash. I guess that was an oversight at the time, but it does not feel so now.

The dry leaf is grassy and sweet, and the initial steepings were the same. About the third steeping, the tea developed a spicy sparkle on top of the grassiness that lasted ages in the aftertaste, even developing further on the tip my tongue. There’s a slight smokiness to my breath that develops further on into the aftertaste and I can feel the tea waking me up gently. The mouthfeel is creamy and full, double cream, perhaps. It’s very pleasant drinking this and I think I have a ways to go yet. The leaf feels like it has legs to it after half a dozen steepings and I should get a fair few more out of it. Nice.

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec

I commented on this in the “pu-erh of the day. Sheng or Shou” discussion, and am looking forward to comparing notes with you on this once I receive my sample.


I look forward to reading your thoughts on this tea. Shame we can’t sit down to the same table and discuss it that way. I could do with a few tea-drinking friends in this area. :)


I agree it would be nice to have a few tea-drinking friends nearby. Tea, to most people in my area, means teabags from the grocery store. We had a tea shop in town years ago, long before I discovered good tea, but it went out of business after a while. My wife drinks only one type, Twinings Darjeeling, which she doctors heavily with sugar and lemons. She resists the thought of trying a good Assam or Oolong, and can’t believe I drink “compost” (what she calls Pu-Erh).

Thanks to the Internet we can find kindred spirits to discuss our interests, which is almost as good as sitting face to face.


My area is much the same as yours. I’m sure there are tea enthusiasts here, but finding them is the problem. My wife enjoys good tea but does not have the same level of enthusiasm and really dislikes a lot of the more floral teas that I like. She also defaults to standard teabags most of the time, sharing the good stuff only when I make it. It’s not that she does not appreciate it, just that she does not have the patience to invest in making it properly and exploring the options.

I have considered meeting on skype to drink tea and talk about it, but my internet connection does not support it well and is too unstable for it to be feasible.


I never thought of having a Skype tea gathering … what an interesting idea! It’s too bad your Internet connection won’t support it very well.


When they eventually upgrade our line and make the connection faster and more stable, I shall be up for skype tea tastings. I think it would be a great way to meet and discuss a tea, although ensuring everyone has the right tea could prove interesting as a logistical problem. I may have to invest in a three-tiered cake stand so that I can eat cake from it at the same time! :)


Low tea via Skype … I love it! Too bad we can’t get good clotted cream here in the States :{

We only got broadband Internet here a couple of years ago … the wait was frustrating. Now, however, we’re drowning in 1’s and 0’s =:-D


+1 on skype! That would be a great idea!

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Instead of getting on with my work, as I am supposed to be doing, I decided to catalogue my teas today and update the cupboard on Steepster. This has proven an instructive process, because I found a small sample that was gratefully received from Bonnie some time back. It had worked its way to the back of the cupboard. Cataloguing teas is thirsty work, so I immediately decided to brew this one up and try it. The label Bonnie had written indicated that I should expect something special from this tea. I forgot to sniff the dry leaf, but it did look marvellous, as only a Dragonwell can. All those flat leaves lined up appeals to my sense of order. The wet leaf was savoury with a hint of banana, while the liquor seemd to have little aroma at all. It has the savoury taste that I expect of a Dragonwell, but also apple, a spot of spice and something vegetal. This is so much more delicate than other Dragonwells that I have drunk with a light creaminess that I really enjoy. What a superb tea.

170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Drinking this western style, because I needed a big mug full of tea and not lots of small ones. Still smooth and good, even made in heretical fashion. I put a large lump of tea in the pot and it loosened up really quickly so that the individual whole leaves could easily be seen. Nice.

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I am a qualified peripatetic berserkerologist peddling berserkjaknowledge wherever I can. I have always liked decent tea, but in 2011 I started working at learning what good tea really is. I continue to expand my horizons and discover new teas with the aid of my chums on Steepster, much to the chagrin of my wife, who despairs of my enthusiasm.

My favourite teas are Darjeelings, sheng puerhs and Anji Bai Cha. I return to these every time, after whatever flirtation with other teas I have been involved with.

I no longer rate the teas I drink because keeping ratings consistent proved to be rather hard work while not really giving me anything in return.


East Yorkshire, England



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