1273 Tasting Notes

drank Mandarin Silk by Art of Tea
1273 tasting notes

Thank you QueenOfTarts for a sample of this one a while back! As I expected, I’m pretty sure this is the same blend as The Tea Merchant’s Silk Dragon. Same ingredients, same taste. Not a bad thing! I have a bit of the sample left of that one, and I’m happy to have a bit of this one left. It’s a nice oolong with a hint of lemon and vanilla. This blend seemed to have less vanilla, but maybe the Tea Merchant’s blend was as fresh as possible when I first tried it. It’s a nice one! I just wish it had more lemon or tasted more like creamsicle like another tasting note mentioned.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Milk Oolong by Mandala Tea
1273 tasting notes

DigniTea sent over a few samples to me instead of accumulating more teas with the teabox! Completely unnecessary but it seemed like it was more necessary for DigniTea to pass along some teas. So thank you so much! I had to try this one first since the Steepster rating says it’s magic… I went with one teaspoon but I really wish the site had steep instructions.

Steep #1 // 35 min after boiling // 1 1/2 min
Well, I’m not getting magic from this one, sadly. It doesn’t taste much like milk oolong… not even really strong enough for any of the usual oolong flavors. It’s so light! So vaguely oolong. I must have steeped it wrong. It’s good but if it’s the best oolong on Steepster it should have a ton more flavor… any flavor.

Steep #2 // 30 min after boiling // 2 min
This cup is much the same as the last – not much flavor! Sadly, I think I’ll be the one lowering the rating on this one.


I’ve only brewed this one western style and had thoughts similar to yours. It’s a decent enough oolong so when I want an oolong, I enjoy it. However, I did not discover the buttery and sweet notes mentioned by many. I attributed it to my “easier” western brew rather than gongfu. Sometimes I wonder if extremely positive reviews don’t just set us up for a bit of disappointment.

Tea Sipper

Sadly, it doesn’t even have an average/typical oolong flavor to me, let alone the flavor of a highest rated oolong, so I can’t help but be disappointed. I appreciated trying it though!


I definitely get buttered popcorn from this one but I wish it had more of an oolong twang, if that makes sense.

Jamie Groth

Hi Tea Sipper – please clarify what you mean by “30 min after boiling”? Thanks!

Tea Sipper

I don’t have a temperature setting electric kettle, so I just let the water boil to 212, it shuts off, then I wait until it cools enough for whichever tea I’m drinking – 30 minutes for green tea, white, sometimes oolongs.

Tea Sipper

Waiting 30 minutes should get the water around 180 degrees if I’m making sense.


Probably let the water cool for 30 minutes after it finished boiling before infusing?

And buttered popcorn! That sounds great.

Jamie Groth

I think it is possible your water is way too cool for best oolong results. Milk Oolong is recommended at 195F. In a nutshell, if your kettle is anything like mine your first infusion may have been at 170F or lower. If your vessel was not pre-warmed, even cooler.

I tested water temperatures using the method you describe – bring to full rolling boil (212F) and wait. Room temperature of about 70F.

Kettle: Bonavita 1L Electric. A solid and relatively thick-walled stainless simple boiler (not variable temp), filled to the top.

Measurement: NSF TruTemp digital, probe dangled in the center of the kettle through one of the holes in the cover. The kettle remained covered throughout.

min 0 212 degrees F
min 2 208
min 4 205
min 6 200
min 9 197
min 10 195
min 15 190
min 20 185
min 25 180
min 30 176
min 35 171
min 40 166

Tea Sipper

Ah! Thank you so much for this. I know that I don’t have the same kettle as this one, but this is extremely helpful in getting an idea how fast water cools. I don’t have the tools (thermometer) to do this. I have one teaspoon left of this oolong, and within the next couple of days I will retry it. I’ve definitely been using water that has cooled too long.

Jamie Groth

No problem. I really think careful control of temperature, time, and leaf to water ratio will blow open your results and enjoyment. This tea, for example should be brewed at 195 using 1tsp dry leaf per 8oz of filtered water. Even remarkable teas can taste flat without care.

You have 1,000+ tasting notes. You have EARNED a thermometer, if not a variable temp kettle!

Tea Sipper

haha! Well now I’m thinking those tasting notes aren’t even accurate. But they will be more accurate now. I’ll try this one again soon!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Kashmiri Chai by Golden Moon Tea
1273 tasting notes

Here is one of these unwieldy metallic packaged GM samples sipdowned. I felt like chai today! I don’t know if it was just my sample, but this one seems to have mostly cinnamon (and black tea of course – though the description on the label says it should have also contained green tea – eww no.) A hojicha chai might be nice. But it looked like there is just black tea here.- not a CTC leaf but kind of smallish. This is pretty good – nice black tea with a decent briskness. The cinnamon shines. If I were to pick a favorite chai ingredient, I’d pick cinnamon.

I think my tastebuds recently changed… there was a week where my tongue was sore… like if I had eaten eggplant, though that usually only lasts an hour. Some things are tasting differently now. Ketchup is almost unbearably strong now. If taste buds change every seven years, that means the last time was about a year after I started drinking tea and that was mostly teabags. Hopefully none of my favorites are terrible now! hmmm…

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Wuyishan Black by Steepster
1273 tasting notes

Another from my lucky free Steepster box! thanks Steepster! Instructions say 205 degrees for 2 minutes. The more I drink Fujian teas, the more I like them!

Steep #1 // few minutes after boiling // 2 min
This one is actually pretty much how I expected it would be, after some disappointing tasting notes that I’ve read. The description itself sets itself up for disappointment…. cherry and caramel? The flavor profile could give hints of cherry, if you’re really looking but not really caramel. This is like Laoshan Black but with less chocolate notes. There is something that could be interpreted as smokiness, but I think it’s just the way Fujian teas taste. I like it, but I can see others like Laoshan black more for the chocolate notes.

Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 min
This cup is much deeper and much chocolatier, chewier, not necessarily a better cup for me, but it’s interesting that it’s a different flavor profile with the second cup. I like this one even if it wasn’t cherry/caramel.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


I wanted an oolong and also realized I’ve only tried one tea from my Steepster freebies. Then I realized that contains TWO oolongs! So I went with this one. thank you Steepster! Instructions say 200 degrees for three minutes.

Steep #1 // 15 min after boiling // 3 min
Whew the dry leaves are super strong smelling – very vegetable! Must mean the packaging is very nice. The flavor seems the same as the fragrance: it’s actually more like a milk oolong than I would have thought. But it’s also like something vegetal – so it’s like creamy vegetables. The floral flavor makes itself known very prominently as well. There is an odd flavor I haven’t tasted in another oolong… not sure what it is but this cup doesn’t taste oversteeped at all. But this is a very unique oolong.

Steep #2 // a few minutes after boiling // 3 min
Another good cup – very similar to the first but with a stronger flavor. There is just something here in the flavor I don’t particularly love, that inches some oolongs along as favorites instead of this one.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Thanks much MissB! I was trying to think of an untried tea that might go with St. Patrick’s Day. I went with this one.. I guess it’s just the name. This seems to be cocoa nibs with cream flavoring. I’d say it’s equal parts chocolate and cream flavor… though with the second steep, the cream is less noticeable. The black tea base is nice enough and complements the flavors well. Sometimes I just want a tea with cocoa nibs! I wouldn’t compare this one to Paddy’s day but Easter… it reminds me of chocolate cream eggs! A nice one!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Thank you BrewTEAlly Sweet for selling a bit of this one! I thought I’d really like this one… some of those Steep City blends are REAL good. I know this has rooibos in it, but somehow it tastes like complete rooibos. With black tea? And two big chocolate chips in the infuser? Yep. I’m not sure how that happened. I don’t really taste chocolate. And I used one of my teabags so the rooibos shouldn’t have fallen into the cup. No berry. No honey either. I poured the water RIGHT after boiling, so if anything was going to melt, it should have melted. The description says it is supposed to be berry, but I think it’s just berry flavoring… that I can’t find. Whatever happened with this blend? I’ll try it again at some point but I think I’m missing what everyone else is tasting. I’m planning on buying the favorites I know I love at some point….

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Thank you for a sample of this one, MissB! Always up for trying a EGC! This one was steeped at 2 1/2 minutes at just boiling. I like it, but there are other EGCs I like more. I don’t think the bergamot is prominent enough or the cream is prominent enough. At least the black tea base isn’t overpowering the flavors. But I like a stronger tea with it anyway. The elements that are there work together and I can see many people not usually liking EG liking this one. I appreciate trying it!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Buttery green tea, coconut and almond slices (and almond flavor, I think). This is tasty! It seems to be more of an almond tea… marzipan. I can’t really taste the coconut. This blend works well together, and I’m always up for another marzipan-like tea! I’ll have to drink this one fast though, since it’s green and also coconut. I realized the other day that with my old tin of 52Teas coconut cream pie, the coconut has NOT started to age yet and get that weird taste! Nice! I thought this one might be hojicha from the picture (which might have been delicious) but it is the usual green tea. I’ve very happy with this one. I think it’s the last I had to try from my Black Friday order (oh geeze, it’s the middle of March!)


I think I have one or two from my Black Friday purchase that I still haven’t tried either. It’s just more proof that I don’t need to buy more tea!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Here’s a sample pouch from the HH teabox! I’m using half the sample.

Steep #1 // 40 min after boiling // 1 min
Very sweet scent and flavor. It’s surprising! Tastes kind of like creamed corn this time around. Very sweet creamed corn. Little bit of vegetableness.

Steep#2 // 1 1/2 – 2 min steep
With this steep I couldn’t wait a half hour to cool so I stopped the electric kettle when I thought it was time. It seemed to have worked! Not too hot and the leaves didn’t burn. Green teas sometimes taste to me like sweet strawberry on the second steep. This one definitely did! This has happened a couple times before… the vegetable/creamed corn flavor is gone and there is strawberry. A nice one!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



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!



Following These People