813 Tasting Notes

I had a nice session with this tea today while working. I used 6g and 194 degree water. The initial steeps were very nice with a smooth, slightly sweet tobacco flavor. It’s funny how much I like that smokiness in sheng. Would have never thought I’d like that! Anyway, as I steeped it out, I got some slight bitterness, which always reminds me of that artichoke vegetal bitterness, and then it mellowed out. It didn’t get as sweet as I like in later steepings, but the first few steeps were good enough for me to want to drink it again. This is a super young sheng, so maybe the sweetness will develop with time.

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I was looking through my cupboard this morning for a black tea to gong fu-brew and I found that I still had some of this sample! Woo! Again, this is amazingly fruity! Plum delicious! See what I did there?! Ha! Seriously though, it’s probably the best fruity black tea I’ve had and I definitely want to pick up more at some point!

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I really like this. With a little honey, it’s the perfect nighttime tea. Really can’t taste the rooibos at all, which is a good thing, and the mint is not too strong. Really nice blend. :)

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Sipdown! And a sad one at that because with the last of my leaf, I discovered that I love this one gong fu-brewed. Oh well, at least I was able to savor the last of this delicious tea. It was awesome that the raspberry and cashew lasted for several steepings.

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This tea is awesome! Enjoyed a great session with it again today…my second time! We were watching Game of Thrones. ;) This tea was a great accompaniment! I love the creamy mushroom flavor and mouthfeel! This is a really a special tea to savor.

Lariel of Lórien

It should go better with the second Hobbit movie. ;)

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Sipdown! And that’s the end of this one. Gong fu-brewed it today and it was lovely: a little smoky, a little fruity, with some honey and cocoa. I would definitely pick up more!

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So, my mom picked this up for both of us and then read reviews and was worried that it might be awful, but it’s actually pretty good! I followed her recommendations, based on what she read: 2 teabags (I used a 12 oz. mug), add milk and sugar. It tasted like a strawberry milkshake. No real chocolate to be found, but hey, that’s still pretty good for a rooibos. Yes, there was some rooibos flavor, but it wasn’t too strong. Oh, and 5 minutes does the trick. Glad to have another caffeine-free option in my cupboard. Thanks to my mom!


Seems pretty pleasant but will have to try the two bag version next time. I used one bag with about 6oz water, milk and sugar.

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Thanks to SLL for the sample! This is a very unique oolong. It tastes grainy, buttery, with a hint of honey, which makes me think of cream of wheat. Unfortunately, both times I tried it, There was an unpleasant chlorine aroma. I thought maybe it was a fluke the first time, but it showed up again, and I don’t detect that aroma when I drink other oolongs. Kind of a bummer, since the other flavor notes are so nice. Oh well, can’t like them all!


Chlorine aroma makes me gag. Sometimes it’s from the water, but it sounds like in this case, perhaps the tea was contaminated somehow? Idk. Gross, either way.


Kittenna – Ya, I thought it might be the water, so that’s why I tried it again, but the same thing happened and I don’t have that problem with other teas. Weird.

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drank Dian Yin Zhen by Nannuoshan
813 tasting notes

Thanks so much to nannuoshan for all the samples! This is my last one and I can honestly say that all of them were of excellent quality and delicious. I will be picking up some tea in the future.

The dry leaf of this tea looks like a silver needle crossed with a golden needle yunnan black. It is sea foam green color and smells fresh, with some potato and mint notes.

I followed the recommended gong fu parameters, but was able to enjoy a couple more infusions than were listed. The liquor is like a creamy yellow/taupe color, but clear and lightly viscous. The first sip tastes sweet with a juicy texture. There are definite potato notes and a delicious grilled taste with maybe some sweet pipe tobacco. This is amazing! It’s like velvet in my mouth.

Wow, this tea is so different than other white teas. Usually, white tea has hay or cucumber notes, but the grilled taste in this one is just fabulous! The uniqueness of this one makes it stand out to me, and it has definitely earned a place on my “buy” list.

Pics of the leaf and liquor:


Sounds interesting for a white tea! And it looks so pretty! Adding it to my list for later.

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drank Yixing Hong Cha by Nannuoshan
813 tasting notes

Thanks for the sample, nannuoshan! This is the third black tea I tried. The dry leaf is dark brown to black in color, thin, and twisty. It smells like malt. I followed the recommended gong fu parameters to brew this tea, but I was able to enjoy a couple more infusions than were listed. The brewed liquor is a nice reddish-brown.

I taste a tiny bit of cocoa, but the flavor seems more potato in nature. I also get a bit of a tang. It is smooth and lightly viscous. Overall, it is clear that each of the three black teas I tried are different enough that one might enjoy all three at different times.

Pics of the leaf and liquor:

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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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