3091 Tasting Notes

I’ve been drinking multiple steepings of this Dancong since about 4:00, alongside the Mi Lan Xiang Phoenix Mountain Dancong, to see if I can really tell a difference. I can!

I used the same steeping parameters with both, 4G in Gaiwan, rinse, then 2 sec for the first 3 steeps, adding 2 seconds per steep.

To me, this one smelled like ripe cherries, tart apples, flowers, & sweet incense.
The other one smelled of tart pink grapefruit, apricot, & a thicker incense.

Both teas were sweet, & delicious. I found this one to be a little more refined, in that the the floral & incense aromas were very delicate, but amazingly heady, & the cup was sweeter in general. The other tea had a stronger & denser incense to it overall, with a red grapefruit mouthfeel early on.

Quite honestly, I think they both have more steeps left in them, & I may try refreshing them tomorrow with a quick rinse, & then go for a few more cups!

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I’m having a ‘tea comparison’ day. This morning it was Keemuns, this afternoon it’s been Jin Jun Mei. I have 2, but I’m only actually writing a review about this one. The other way (which will remain nameless) is there for me to have a way to see how this Jin Jun Mei stands.

Both teas were steeped identically, with equal amounts of tea @ 1min, 2min, 3min. Then I sat & sipped them side by side to see how they differed. The ‘other’ Jin jun mei was & is delicious, just for the record, with a thick feel & flavors of honey, malt, & butter, liked butter & honey on toast. There’s also some roasted sweet potato in there.

Wang Yanxin’s Jin Jun Mei is perhaps not as malty/toasty, but sweeter, without a doubt, & with a chocolate taste to it as well. It also presents as a more refined cup, although I’m having trouble defining exactly what I mean by that.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed them both, & on any given day would be very happy with either one. I have just enough of this one to drink it one more time, & I have some other Jin Jun Mei’s coming, so I may do a Jin Jun Mei Marathon at so point in the future, LOL.


Now I’m curious what the other one is! I loved the Wang Yanxin one. It was the first jin jun mei I’d had. I’ve had one more since and it didn’t live up.

Terri HarpLady

I compared it to the yunnan sourcing, "Spring 2013 Premium grade Jin Jun Mei. I’ll send you samples of all my Jin Jun Mei’s when the box comes around, if you want. Just for fun!

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I’m having a bit of a qimen morning. I enjoy a good Qimen tea, & this one is pleasant enough. I divided the last of my stash, which was 4G. I put 1 tsp, which was roughly half of it, into a regular steeping basket, & put the other half into my little 4 oz teapot, which I only filled halfway with each round. The smell of the dry leaf is sweet, lightly smokey, & very nice, definitely more fragrant than any of the other Keemuns in my collection.

The gongfu session was first up. I was teaching, so I didn’t take notes, but I thoroughly enjoyed each cup, as the flavors gradually built up layers of flavor:Fruit, chocolate, creaminess, smoke, incense.
Definitely a very nice representation of what a Keeman can be, & what so few really are.

I don’t know how many steeps I ran through, but as the flavors died down, I made a regular mug of Qimen, steeped 4 minutes. I wanted to have a cup to compare with another Keemun in my collection, because I’m really trying to figure out if THIS one is really all that. I also thoroughly enjoyed it. All the flavors were there, it’s a nice rich cup. If I had more, I’d probably go a little heavier on the tea.

Some of the Keemuns I have in my collection are ok, & very drinkable, but not of this same profile. They tend towards the earthy profile, with maybe some brown sugar and/or smoke, but don’t have quite the nuances that this one has. And that’s the end of that. Sipdown.

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Sil & I have been sampling teas from Taiwan Tea Crafts, & so far they have all been tasty & interesting, rather different from some of the other teas I usually drink. This one is no exception!
The dry leaf is small nuggets, similar in color & size to dry elderberries. The dry aroma is a yummy fruity jam, thick & sweet. I preheated the gaiwan, & then let the tea sit in there for a minute & the aroma was of a fruity pipe tobacco. After a quick rinse, it smelled like roasty fruit wood.
I started with 5 G + 4oz Gaiwan X 15sec, adding 15 sec to each steep.
The first 3 steeps were almond/hazelnut butter, sweet & creamy with a caramelized fruit jam, increasing in butteriness with each steep.
4 – 6 A heavenly elixer! Hazelnut crusted fruit torte, I can’t quite pinpoint the fruit, with a brown sugar crust.
I smelled the leaf at this point, & the aroma was of roasted honeyed apricots!
7-9 I feel like I could keep steeping these leaves forever. The brew is still dark, the taste is still sweet & nutty, with a creamy nut butter sensation after the sip is swallowed.

This is a delightful tea! Everything I had hoped it would be. If it was earlier in the day, I’d keep steeping, but since it’s not, I put the rest of the leaf in a jar of water in the frig, where it will hopefully become a tasty refreshment for tomorrow!

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Thank you Nicholas & Misty Peaks for this wonderful cup of Yum!

Although this is a young sheng, it lacks the wild & brash unruliness of so many of the shengs I’ve tried. This is perfectly delicious & refined tea, with a sweet smooth fruity taste. I’ve been drinking it for a couple of hours, & it really is a delicious nectar. I’m probably gonna have to add some of this to my collection too.

Terri HarpLady

When I have money, that is…lol

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This afternoon I loaded up my Harp & gear, & a go cup of this lovely lovely tea, then headed out to play my monthly tea gig at the nursing home. I consider this tea to be a special treat, a wonderful combination of toasty roastiness, chocolate, caramel, & Yum! Perfect alone, but today I added a tad of Maple syrup, cuz it’s also yummy that way!


“terriharplady has started following you…” uh…started? say what? hahaha

Terri HarpLady

LOL. If you must know, I miss you & visited your page to read your most recent posts. Somehow I accidentally hit the button so that I wasn’t following you, so I had to hit it again, & now I’m following you again! :D


i miss me too. sometimes i remember me and i get a little sad.


Sorry to jump in since it wasn’t directed at me, but I’ve nearly unfollowed people HOW many times already. There’s something about that huge green button that makes you want to subconsciously press it. It feels like it should take you somewhere else, like back to everyone’s tasting notes or something. Glad I’m not the only one experiencing that!

Terri HarpLady

Also, for awhile the green wasn’t working right. I like to go read a person posting notes sometimes, rather than scroll through the whole group, & it would say I wasn’t following that person, so I’d be hitting the button over & over with no results.

Terri HarpLady

Luckily that appears to be fixed

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drank Yunnan Beauty by Mandala Tea
3091 tasting notes

I made a pot of this earlier today to share with one of my students.
The wet leaf smells phenomenal!! It is this crazy fruity sweet aroma that defies description. The tea itself was ok, but I think there was an element of user error in play, meaning I don’t think I used enough leaf. Luckily I have enough of this to try it several more times!

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This is Delicious!
Thanks to the Little Red Cup for sending me this tasty sample. I really enjoy Keemuns, but of course no two are ever alike. The flavors I tend to look for are a little smoke & a brown sugar sweetness, a pleasant richness that is a little fruity/earthy/& sometimes slightly floral.
It’s all here in my cup, beautifully balanced, absolutely delicious.
That’s all I can say. Thank you. I’ll be adding this to my collection.


Good, eh? :) I like this one too

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I’m finally getting around to sampling this Sheng, from the September (Final) edition of the Reserve TOMC. I’ve been drinking this for a couple of hours. The leaf is beautiful, expertly separated off the cake to preserve each piece without breakage. The initial dry smell is a rich & creamy green aroma that I love. After a quick initial rinse, I steeped in rounds of 3, sipping from each cup separately.
The earliest cups were gentle & like freshly mown hay, sweet & green. The 2nd round was a little astringent.
In the third round a citrus taste came into play, but it was more in the after-taste than in the actual sip.
One thing I’ve learned about shengs is that it’s important not to write them of as ‘just another sheng’ at the beginning, because if I stick it out, the interesting flavors gradually rise to set one apart from another. With this one, it’s kind of a sweet-lime taste. My parents have a lime tree & they tend to leave limes on there for a long time. I mean, you can only use so much lime, right? So they pick one when they need it, & sometimes there is a new crop of limes & last year’s limes are also on the tree. They just keep getting a little juicier & sweeter, unless they are picked or fall off. So the flavor of this reminds me of those sweet limes, still waiting to be picked from months ago. The 4th & 5th rounds have a creamy texture, a lovely sweet taste, a nice tongue & brain tingle, & even a slight salty sprinkle in the after-the-after taste (4th round), as if teeny tiny geysers of sea water sprayed up out of my taste buds in celebration. Admittedly, I have a tea buzz, & this last cup of tea is like drinking ‘clarity’ itself.

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I handed the mother of one of my students my ‘tea menu’, which she admitted being a little overwhelmed by, & let her pick one. This was her pick, & she loved it! So do I! It a robust blend of black teas, puerh, & chocolate. What could be better?


Pu erh + chocolate is a great combo, IMHO.

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I’m so excited to have found this community! I’m a self-employed Harpist (acoustic & electric – Originals, Classical, Rock, Jazz, etc) & Singer/Songwriter. My days & nights revolve around teaching at home, playing gigs, gardening,& fixing awesome food to eat. My schedule is different everyday, but I just go with the flow, & I sip a lot of tea!

My love of Tea began with Herbals back in the 70’s. One of my favorites was a licorice blend from House of Hezekiah, an old tea shop in Kansas City. There was also a tea with mint, rose petals, chamomile, etc called Nuclear Casual Tea.
In the 80’s I gave up caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, (& a few illicit substances…), and brewed medicinal blends & tinctures to support 4 pregnancies (all children born at home). In the 90’s my love affair with green teas began when I discovered ‘The Republic of Tea’. Their beautiful teas & packaging inspired my original song, “TeaMind”, from my CD “Zen Breakfast”. If you’d like to hear the song for free, drop by my website.

In general, I drink my teas straight, but occasionally I add a pinch of Stevia & maybe some coconut or almond milk (I’m allergic to dairy, gluten, & various other things & avoid most sweets.)

I’ve explored a variety of teas:
Whites tend to be a little bland…sorry
Oolongs – wonderfully sensual
Roobios – I’m not a fan in general
Puehr – a fairly new direction for me
I’m not a huge fan of flavored teas, but I do make exceptions, & I’ll try just about anything once.

And Black Tea, Oh how I love thee!!
I am on a quest for the most wonderful breakfast cup! I will find you, my Love!


St. Louis, MO



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