798 Tasting Notes

Thanks for this sample, SLL! I’ve had lemon grass in blends before, but not straight. This is simply lemon grass. Simple can be good. This tea is really really yellow when you brew it up.

It’s essentially a sweet lemon tea with some nose clearing properties. Very simple, but nice. I can imagine this would be delicious iced in the summer! Fortunately I have more leaf, so I will be trying that! :)

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Thanks for the sample, SLL! I’ve never tried a gyokuro before and I’m not a big green tea drinker, but hey, I’ll try anything once! I feel like maybe I’ve heard that gyokuro is kind of a fancy, high society tea. The description says it is exceptional, so I might be right!

The dry leaf is a very vibrant green color and chopped up like confetti. It smells nutty and buttery, like a pastry! Actually, it smells just like shortbread cookies! Yum!

The recommended steeping parameters call for a water temperature between 120 and 140 degrees F, but it turns out my kettle won’t set below 140F. Fortunately, it will display the temperature as it gradually heats up, so I unplugged it when it said 130F! SSL also recommends a 5-minute steeping time for the first infusion. 5 minutes for a green tea? That’s long!

The wet leaf smells vegetal. The liquor is a light yellow-green color. It tastes like something out of the ocean, minus the salt, like seaweed, and it’s also nutty, creamy, and buttery. It has a lightweight mouthfeel. The only weird thing for me was the water temperature is a little low for my taste…I like my tea a little hotter. Overall, it’s very different than other green teas I’ve had and I quite like it!

Pic of the leaf:


Gyokuro is my favorite green tea! Glad you liked it! The Teavana one only calls for a 45 second to 1 minute steep, I’m surprised they called for 4-5 minutes. I steep it a little warmer as well…140F is too low for my taste also!


It didn’t get dark or bitter at 5 minutes, so I think it was right for this one at least. I’ll have to try it at a little higher temp next time!


Sounds great! I’m still waiting to try this one…just sounds like such an afternoon tea for me, and I’ve been spending all my afternoons away from home (and any hope of water temperature control!) lately.


Nice! I did do some longer steeps, and it was still nice and sweet. I’ll have to try this gyokuro!


I love gyokuro. I usually go with a bit warmer water and very short steeps. I wish I could drink it more often, but I find with the gyokuro I have, the caffeine hits me like a freight train.

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drank Da Hong Pao by Nannuoshan
798 tasting notes

Thanks for the sample, nannuoshan! I think this is my first Da Hong Pao, although I’ve had roasted oolongs before. The dry leaf includes medium sized leaves that are dark, wide, and twisted. It smells like twigs, maybe some charcoal, and burnt popcorn (in a good way!)

The tea liquor is a pretty peach color, smooth, lightly viscous, and tastes like a roasted oolong with a hint of peach. The roasted flavor glides over the top, but it’s not too strong. In the second infusion, there’s a really nice juicy texture coming through. Mmmm! The third infusion is similar to the second and the subtle peach notes in the aroma are very pleasing. I followed the recommended gong fu steeping parameters for the first 3 infusions, but continued infusing it a few more times. In later steepings, I noticed that nice touch of mint that I sometimes taste in roasted oolongs. Overall, this is a warming and comforting tea, good for a cold winter night.

Pics of the leaf and liquor:


Thank you for the nice review!
Is it a bamboo tea-tray from Taiwan, the one in the flickr picture?
Although we cannot see it all, it looks a neat tray of high quality bamboo?
Can you post a couple of pictures of it?


Thanks! Actually, the wood below the cup in the Flickr picture is just my desk! I do have a nice tea tray though, but it’s liighter in color, and the cutouts are in the shape of a cloud and breeze. I love it!


maybe we speak of two different photos :)


Oh! I thought you meant the photo in my review! Yes, that’s my cloud and breeze tea tray. I got it from Mandala, but I think Dragon Tea house also has it. I will post a photo of the whole thing for you.


thank you :)

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I expressed interest when SLL sent out an inquiry for reviewers, but I had no idea I was going to be one of the lucky ones to receive a box for review, until a box magically appeared in my mailbox yesterday. It was an awesome surprise! I love the packaging of these monthly subscription boxes…it’s like getting a gift box in the mail. The teas are nestled in crimped paper pieces and they include a card describing each tea and a couple of reusable cloth teabags. I’ve never used cloth teabags before, but I’ll have to give it a try and report back. Anyway, on to this tea, the first one I tried from the box!

The dry leaf smells like white chocolate peppermint bark! Yum! The leaf is beautiful with those cute little yellow chamomile flowers. I’ve not been a fan of chamomile, as it usually has a medicinal herb note to it, so this should be interesting.

The color of the liquor is a very clear red…pretty. :) The peppermint is nice…it hits at the front of the sip, then backs off for some creaminess, then hits more at the end of the sip with a refreshing minty spiciness. It clears up my nose a little. This tea is smooth and clean and sweet. I don’t even like mint much, but this is good. It’s nice for after dinner and it would probably be good with some honey if you were sick. I’m not tasting any rooibos and the chamomile is very mild, so those of you afraid of the medicinal taste of either of those should not be worried. You know, the funny thing is that when I saw there were two herbal teas in the box, I made a face, as I’m not big on herbal, but this is actually really good. Probably the best mint tea I’ve had. Well done, SSL, and thanks so much for your generosity!

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I got this sample as a surprise from Stephanie. Thanks so much!

I was really excited because Tea Urchin has been on my list of companies I want to buy from at some point. The shipping is a bit cost prohibitive though. I love their website and their puerh wrappers are awesome!

This tea is very juicy, but not really fruity…more juicy in texture than flavor. It’s also really delicate and floral sweet. There’s a touch of tobacco, but overall it’s very smooth. Very enjoyable. Someday, I will have to take the plunge and order from Tea Urchin!

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My breakfast cup was gone in half a second. Yes, I still love this sweet potato, malty, delicious tea! Golden Tippies are the best!

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I’ve only ever had one other wenshan boachong, but I’m a fan of that one, so I was excited to try another. The dry leaf smelled so fresh and yummy, I couldn’t wait to dig in! This one tastes a lot like the other one I have, but maybe a little better. That could be because this one is more fresh though. It tastes like buttered buttermilk loaf with a touch of edamame. It’s also a bit floral. I’m not good at describing floral, but maybe orchid-like? My husband said it smells like candles, so I guess he’s picking up more of the floral aspect then me. It also smells like vanilla cake to me. Yum! Definitely a winner. :) Thanks, Teaave, for this sample!!

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Thanks, Angel, for this sample! This is a pretty smooth, solid ripe puerh. It doesn’t have too much fermented taste, just a bit, and there’s a nice caramel sweetness lasting through many steeps. I could see this being a “go to” ripe puerh when I’m in the mood for caramel. :)

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drank Ginger Lily Oolong by Tea Ave
798 tasting notes

After months of anticipation, samples from Teaave are here! Woo! And they came with extra special goodies too! Lots of thanks to Teaave! :)

So, this is the first oolong I tried and OMG, it is so good! It’s like a milky oolong sweetened with candied ginger. I’m not even a big fan of ginger, but this was yummy! There’s a little spicy heat from the ginger, but it’s subtle. It’s also milky, buttery, and sweet. The flavor lasts through several infusions. I could definitely see myself drinking this as an afternoon or evening treat. So good. After this one, I’m really excited to try the other samples. Also, I think their website launches unofficially next week and officially in March. Starting my wishlist off with this one!


Sounds nice, can’t wait to get my samples :-)

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drank Minted Monkey by Tippy's Tea
798 tasting notes

I got a sample of this tea in my Tippy’s order. Btw, their samples are very generous! The dry leaf smells amazing! My coworker said it smelled like Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies! Brewed up, this tea is essentially Not So Vanilla with a hint of mint, which is absolutely perfect for me because I adore Not So Vanilla, and I’m not a huge mint person. Really yummy. :)


Sounds good! :)


We have all these teas, the ones that use the golden monkey tea, back in stock now.

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Another profile facelift! My tastes have changed a lot from when I first discovered loose leaf tea.

I can trace my tea journey back to October 2012, when I discovered DavidsTea. Before that, I had the occasional cup and enjoyed high tea at An Afternoon to Remember, which has since closed.

I went through a period of wanting to try all the teas, and was really into flavored teas, especially dessert blacks, but my tastes have substantially changed over time.

I still enjoy the occasional flavored black or rooibos, but I’m more into unflavored black teas right now and recently, puerh. Chinese black teas are amazing…with their notes of chocolate or sweet potato, who needs a flavored tea? I had a much steeper learning curve when it came to puerh. I used to dump out cups of puerh for tasting like leather. Now, I am really enjoying them. I think it took finding good quality puerh and steeping them gong fu style to really enjoy them.

I also, on occasion, enjoy a good oolong, white, or green tea.

Favorite tea companies right now include: Mandala, Teavivre, Butiki, Golden Moon, Lupicia, and DavidsTea (for teaware mostly).

Just a note: I don’t rate my teas numerically because my iPad doesn’t like the scroll bar. Maybe someday that will change…hint hint, steepster! ;)

P.S. My profile picture is of one of my 2 cats, Holly, who is a little princess but very photogenic, and she loves boxes, including those that bring me tea! :)


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