1520 Tasting Notes


Additional notes: I noted two years ago that mine was the only tasting note for this tea and yet I’m STILL the only person to write a note for this tea? Such a shame as it’s a good one! It might be a little more aged than I remember (does anyone know if golden yunnans age worse than other teas? Maybe they are similar to white teas?) or maybe my tastebuds have changed… this one does seem a little more like tomato soup now. Otherwise it’s a little honey and a little peppery and a little malty. No real chocolate notes. I’d compare it more to Verdant’s Golden Fleece though the leaves look completely different. It seems to have a darker colored cup than I would think with mostly gold leaves. Not as much flavor as the glorious Yunnan Sourcing Imperial Mojiang but that one set a very high bar. But this delicious Yunnan should be getting more love. I’d planning on a Steep City order eventually but I’d love to try more samples.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsps. // 10 min after boiling // 2 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min

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drank Berry Berry by Good Life Tea
1520 tasting notes

Thank you Good Life Tea for the sample! Though this blend has hibiscus in it, I’d like to say first that this blend uses it WELL. It isn’t overdone… just enough tang to give the flavor depth. I can deal with hibiscus when it’s used well. Otherwise, there is a lovely berry flavor. It’s almost like two levels – the berry and the tanginess. Here we have blueberries, elderberries, hibiscus and raisins (I THOUGHT I saw a raisin in the blend!) All of the ingredients work very well together. It’s a satisfying cup… a very tasty herbal. I’m sure it’s especially satisfying as an iced tea in summer. Of the six teas I’ve tried from Good Life, all of them were enjoyable, even if they are sometimes something I’d avoid (like hibiscus). I noticed on the website: Free shipping on orders over $15 right now!
Steep #1 // 5 min after boiling // 3 min steep


I bet it would make a yummy cold brew, for sure.

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drank Tamarind Pop by Butiki Teas
1520 tasting notes

Additional notes: Had to buy this one with my order because I was always fondly remembering the sample I savored over the years. It’s such an interesting base with fruity flavor that almost recalls creamsicle to me since I’m not entirely sure what tamarind should taste like anyway. But the Nepal Guranse base is like caramel or vanilla, very light. Just as good as I remember but this one is a unique one to forget.

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Thank you Kimquat for the sale a while back! I’m confused that this is called Bilochun since if I know anything about Bilochun, it’s that the leaves are very tightly coiled. This green tea is twisty and wirey but not tightly coiled. It’s Laoshan and it’s green though, so again I wanted to steep this one exactly like the Summer Laoshan green I love so much, but I used two teaspoons of this instead of one for the Summer Laoshan. Verdant’s instructions say to use one tablespoon, which is odd since the unopened sample pouch from Verdant didn’t quite have two teaspoons. So I used all of it. The flavor IS very similar to the Laoshan Summer, but if I remember correctly, it isn’t as full of flavor. But it’s so good — very sweet, creamed corn, vegetal… and this one seems to have more of a salty, brothy, savory element. Tasty, but the Summer Laoshan places the bar high…. and I don’t have to use two (or three) teaspoons.
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // 32 min after boiling // 55 second steep
Steep #2 // 28 min after boiling // 2 1/2 min

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Gradually trying teas from the order. This sounded like an interesting blend but I’ve never had chicory… it’s compared to coffee. This is a tea full of heavy pieces so 10 grams only seems to be about three teaspoons. The blend is mostly big tan pieces.. I think that is the chicory? I don’t see much of anything else but there are the tiniest green specks that don’t seem to be listed in the ingredients… it doesn’t look like any yerba mate I’ve ever seen, roasted or green. Otherwise the blend should have coconut, raspberries and cocoa nibs. The fragrance of the tea seems like creamed corn but whoa this one just seems bitter. Bitter. Bitter. I don’t like it too much. There seems to be an intriguing smoothness underneath all that bitter somehow (that creamed corn scent) but there doesn’t seem to be much else (maybe that is coconut but there is no cocoa or raspberry even hinted at). Chicory doesn’t seem to be for me but maybe I didn’t get a blended enough sample from Bluebird.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // few min after boiling // 3-4 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min


Yeah, the huge chunks are likely the chicory. Not a fan of it either. Too weird for my palate.

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drank Golden Needle King by Shang Tea
1520 tasting notes

Thank you TeaTiff for this one a while back! The sample pouch had a not-at-all full two teaspoons so I went with that. I thought this was supposed to be one of those golden teas because of the name, but it almost looks like Teavivre’s Bailin Gongfu. The leaves are dark with only hints of gold occasionally and smell very grassy. The flavor seems to be the Bailin mixed with a high quality keemun. There is a lovely almost floral like fragrance even before taking a sip from this rusty colored cup. Keemun is always tough for me to describe. But the flavor is delicious — a medium bodied taste, but no smoke like a keemun. It’s like flowers, wine, biscuits, hay. Really it reminds be of Teavivre’s highest quality keemun mixed with their Bailin. The second steep seemed a little too much at those parameters. I thought it was a mistake on the packaging that is called a white tea and a red tea but it’s actually made from a white tea plant? But I thought all tea comes from the same plant anyway? It was good and then it was gone.
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // 12 min after boiling // 2 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 min

Shang Tea

Hi Tea Sipper, thanks for the review! To clarify your question about white tea on the packaging, yes all tea does come from the same plant, but like any plant there are hundreds of different cultivars of the tea plant. In China these different cultivars are considered to be almost completely unique tea plants. When we say it comes from the white tea plant, we mean that it comes from the Da Bai/Da Hao cultivar which is the traditional cultivar for white tea production in China.

Tea Sipper

That helps to explain things, but I have a lot to learn about tea! Thanks for reading my tasting note!

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drank Golden Earl by Verdant Tea
1520 tasting notes

I took a sample of this one from the Lewis & Clark teabox! Still gradually trying them. The leaves here are supposed to look golden but they look dark to me. Not like the picture at all. There is plenty of lemongrass and citrus bits… much more than there is black tea leaves. The flavor is VERY lemony – it doesn’t really seem like bergamot so much as lemon myrtle (not sure if there actually is lemon myrtle in the blend – there are never ingredient lists, Verdant!) and really just all around citrus. It seems like the most citrusy tea I’ve tasted! The color of the cup is a deeper brown, so I’m not exactly sure what sort of black tea is actually used here. It’s tasty but I’d say this is more of a citrus tea than a bergamot or Earl. I’d love to see a golden black tea with just bergamot, rather than with all of these citrus additions. I’m surprised Verdant included this one in the teabox because it didn’t seem like it was available for very long anyway.
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // just boiled // 2-3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4min

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Additional notes: trying this one again with different parameters. It seems like no matter which way I steep, it still has “watery” flavor if that makes sense. Isn’t a ton of depth to it. The color of the cup looks promising, as it looks like Butiki’s Taiwanese Assam, but there the similarities end. And the second steep always has that oversteeped leaves flavor. Though it does seem to work better with a lower temp/ longer steep time like last time. Lowering rating.
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // 10 min after boiling // 2 min
Steep #2 // few min after boiling // 4+ min

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drank Rumchata Genmaicha by 52teas
1520 tasting notes

Additional notes: I seem to be sipping this one more often than all other teas. So good! I’m also sipping down 52Teas – Ultimate Citrus spice today.

I’m short on money right now, but Zoomdweebies.com really needs some customers at the moment (see forum post), so I thought I’d mention it in a tasting note. ALSO, I see 74 mystery grabbags in stock right now! I REALLY want to try the Yunnan Eggnog … some other tasty sounding blends too!


I snagged a couple of honeybush blends this afternoon since I am low on decaf teas :)


This is one of their better blends from this year, I think. And it’s not just because I suggested the genmaicha base.

Tea Sipper

Perfect base tea idea, LiberTEAS!


I was hoping this would be in the 12 Teas of Christmas, but sadly, no dice because of copyright issues :(


I still think that he should have just changed the name to something like Drunk Rice Beverage Genmaicha.


That would have been great :)

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Thank you Kimquat for the sale a while back! I think it’s a good idea to try for one sipdown and try one new tea in a day for a while. I thought this one would pair well with the Sherlock story I’m reading at the moment (due to the horse in the photo for the tea package – the story is ‘Silver Blaze’ about a missing race horse). The leaves look like a golden monkey though – dark, twisty, hints of gold. The color of the cup is a golden red. The fragrance is already promising before I take a sip. Maltly, molasses, honey, dried hay for those horses — very smooth and very sweet. The second and third steeps never lose flavor (even with the third steep on the next morning)… I think I steeped them perfectly that way. I never thought this one had any sort of chocolate flavor or even sweet potato like other Yunnans might, but it was still a dark enough tea that it was more than just a gold honey Yunnan. I love this one because it’s a Yunnan between the lightest golds and the most chocolate of Yunnans. It’s a shame it’s not available anymore! One serving left for me. :/
Steep #1 // 1 1/3 tsps. // 10 min after boiling // 2 min steep
Steep #2 // few min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // 4 min

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Hi! I love tea and trying new ones – it adds a bit of variety to my day! Books, music, TV & movies are my thing… and tea, of course.

Some of my favorite teas:
52 Teas – zoomdweebies.com

Most of the teas listed in my cupboard are actually sample sizes. I don’t really have 2,000 ounces of tea around here! I was bored one day and found out that most of them have only one teaspoon left… maybe two. But I like keeping them in my cupboard list for reference to what I could be sipping. Usually, I write tasting notes once for each tea. I’m still drinking them, just not writing tasting notes each time!

My dislikes: hibiscus, ginger (unless in chai), charcoal type flavors

My ratings:
95-100 – Super awesome deliciousness favorites
80-95 – Also pretty delicious
65-80 – Pretty good
40-65 – Okay
1-40 – Probably won’t want to sip it again

I’m planning on being a Steepsterer as long as there IS a Steepster, so if you’re not hearing from me, that means something happened to my health… if you know what I mean. :D

Happy sipping!



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