406 Tasting Notes


I am so fond of Purple Zi Juan teas. I find them so intriguing and different.

Beautiful. I mean literally beautiful. I love how sleek this tea looks like. Long dark blueish grey strands with some brown shades in the mix.

The leaves are equally stunning once steeped.

Using 5g in little glass gongfu pot.

This tea has such an attractive taste, full of warmth.

First few steeps produces a rather light brew. It intensifies around steep three, where it reaches a nice medium body.

Hard to describe the taste.

It’s creamy and tart at the same time. Very lightly astringent.

A mellow white grape taste brings a nice fruitiness to it. It’s a bit woodsy, but not smokey at all.

It’s what I call a cleansing tea, you just get a sense of wellness out of it.

It’s late in the night, a nice cha qi feeling going on. All warm and peaceful inside.

This is another high quality tea from Tao Tea Leaf.

I’ve been so impressed by their standards so far.






I am totally saying “purple pu” to myself! ;)


Lol, as long as you don’t think “purple poo”, it’s fine by me ;-)


Nice pics!


Thank you looseTman :-)


The photos are incredible and the tea sounds good too


And then you shall have some ;-)


Any camphor, menthol notes? I quite like them in sheng.

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This is a rock tea from the Wuyi Mountains. Expect greatness from a good quality Da Hong Pao.

And this one is nothing short of greatness.

It’s expensive but totally worth it. I was very lucky to have gotten it during Tao Tea Leaf 50% off sale. Bought 150g cause I knew an award winning Big Red Robe could only mean good news. Now I wish I had bought double!

Using 5g in small yixing clay pot.

The leaf is as dark as night.

The brew has this lovely orangey amber colour.

The scent is very fragrant. The taste is like burnt toasts with honey and molasses. Thick mouthfeel, full bodied. Very rich and tasty.

Someone very knowledgable with rock tea pointed out that I should find bitterness in a good Da Hong Pao.

I don’t get bitterness at all, but I realized that what he referred to as “bitter” is probably the burnt and charred taste I get, my own interpretation of it anyways.

You can actually taste the minerals, it’s even a little salty.

It’s a beautiful tea, worth devoting time to.

I like it so much, I will use it to season a very small 70ml yixing pot I just got.

Pic of the session:


Flavors: Burnt, Char, Honey, Mineral, Molasses, Toast


Mmmmm sounds great. I’m adding this to my wish list.


Is that the Eco-Cha yixing? Sounds like it’s already having fun :]


I love mineral and slightly salty in a tea. <3


I was so stupid to get only 25g of this tea :(
But hey I never tried it
I think I like Bei Do even more;)


Love the set up as usual!


Ubacat, it is totally worth having!

Kiwidelight, it is the eco-cha! I will keep it for darker oolong such as Dancong, but my mini-me pot will by for rock tea :-)


Boychik, don’t feel stupid…we say we want ALL the tea but we can’t really do that you know? Lol, at least you got some…and how much of the Bei Dou did you get? See, now I was stupid, cause I got none of it!!!


Same. 25g. I’ll save some for you to try;)


Thank boychik <3

Hi shutao :-)

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For different reasons, I waited a long time to get this blend home. I already knew I was going to at least like it, cause it’s made of three ingredients I love: TGY, cedar leaves and some mighty vanilla bean.

In my mind, if you’re going to name a tea Rivendell, you better deliver…cause you know, we’re talking about the epic world here, full of magic, mystery and unusualness.

I’m using a small gaiwan.

As soon as the water hits the leaves, I feel transported. Sweet Jesus. I can’t really come up with words to describe the scent, hard to do it justice. I’d say it smells like a delicate vanilla flower that has grown in a luxuriant forest. The best I can come up with.

The first sip and I’m thinking nooooo!!!! Tea Whiz of the Woods, what have you done? Giving me another addiction, really? I can’t take this anymore. My monthly order keeps growing and growing!

I completely got lost in the session and forgot to take notes. Suspended in time, I just enjoyed the moment. But it’s easy to remember what it tastes like. Not so easy to attempt a description. It confuses me. TGY, check, I like it on its own. But how could the addition of only two other ingredients morphs it into something so different?

First thing that hit me was how creamy it was. I mean there’s creamy and creamy. This is intense creamy. Vanilla pudding mouth.

Then, nice subtle florals are flirting with that fresh menthol mouthfeel that I get from good TGY, amplified by the cedar leaves.

Some fruit notes also join the party. To me, they taste like pineapple and dehydrated apples. I picked that up cause I eat lots of dried apples, I love them. That gongfu session produced many steeps, all better than one another

This tea delivers. It breathes magic, it’s mysterious and unusual. So yeah, it totally deserves to be called Rivendell.

(I can even picture Hobbits, serving this tea to their guests in their Hobbit houses!)

I have no choice but to give the highest rate.

Tea Hobbit, giving it 100 is like giving you a “Tolkien” of my appreciation, hehe. Love it!




That is all


Lol, mj, we see eye to eye on this one. YOU WERE TOTALLY RIGHT: IT’S PERFECT!!

I know you gave it 100 too, right?

Whispering Pines Tea Company

That was a freaking brilliant pun ;-)


Thanks! No false modesty, I’m pretty proud of myself for this one, haha!


I did give it a 100, but only because I couldn’t give it a 110 :). And yes, that pun totally made me chuckle too!
I’m so happy you like it so much too!!


That’s because we are oolong sisters, remember?


We totally are :)


I didn’t get any of this in my order. I’ve got a sample coming soon. I kind of wish I had now.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Cheri, your order is ready to go out, but hasn’t been sealed yet…so you still have the chance! :-)


Brenden, you are a tea pusher.

No, I’m going to hold off this time. I’ve got a sample coming in the mail.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Yes, yes I am ;-) hehehe


(He is such a tea pusher cheri)


Oh, he absolutely is, but he’s also good at what he does, and getting me to the right teas.


Oh yes…I’ve never had such a good pusher in my life lol.

Lariel of Lórien

Imladris tea.


He’s a benevolent pusher for sure :)

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Thank you Oh! Mighty creator of this blend.

My lullaby tea.

I was thinking today about choosing ONE favourite tea from WP… And the winner is…….at least 10 of them!!!

I just can’t make up my mind…but this sleeping beauty is certainly one of them.

It smells like a forest, tastes like the rain, feels like a cloud. It’s a hugger.

That’s why I like to drink it at night, so calming and soothing.

This tea is a light in the dark…

Here’s a pic:



The different tea every day, think of the problems of different, the tea will be with you a beautiful life


Thank you Shutao for your wise words :-)


Now I want to see your light fixture!


Haha me too Marzipan!


i want to try this one sometime heh

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Wait for next month’s harvest, Sil…It’s going to be AMAZINNNG!


this is the one that sells out like day one right? I’m travelling so not sure how easy it’s going to be for me to stay on top of that..

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Yep yep. I could reserve an ounce for you :)


With so many truly exceptional teas in your cupboard and so many wonderful Steepester friends, I hope the only darkness is when your sleeping.


Lol, marzi and mj: try a simple flashlight ;-)

WP, it’s ALWAYS amazing to me, but I don enjoy the difference between harvests every months :-)

looseTman, thank you, what a nice and thoughtful thing to say <3


WP, I meant “I DO enjoy the different harvests”


Brendan – I’d love that


Sil, I really think you will love this one…

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I’ve marked you down for one ounce, Sil! :-)


awesome. Did you want me to PM or email you so you have my info etc? CLEARLY i’ll be adding more to my order than that haha

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Nah, I have a list pinned to the fridge for tea to reserve, so when the 1st rolls around, you’ll be guaranteed to have one ounce. I’ll send you a PM at that time to let you know how to order it. Generally I update inventory based on the reservations when an item comes back into stock. For instance, if there’s 16oz available but 6oz reserved, I update the inventory so reflect 10oz, and when someone that has reserved buys their 1oz, I bump the inventory back up to 10oz. Basically unless it’s all sold out by the time you place your order, you’d just add it as usual. Otherwise I’d set up a 3-letter custom order code for you to use here: www.whisperingpinestea.com/custom.html

It’s a pretty flawless and awesome system that’s easy on everyone involved :-)

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This came as an offering from Angel and Teavivre.

One thing I love about Teavivre is when they say sample, they really mean it…VERY generous size, they allow you to have a real gongfu session.

I’m using one full sachet for a 5oz yixing pot. The cake chunks are always separated with care.

After a quick rinse, steep one is a little shy it seems. A bit sweet, slightly fuity with hints of astringency.

It gets interesting at steep three. Nice body and texture to this tea. To me, it’s really fruity.

Like a blend of grape and apple juice…sweet and tart at the same time. The typical young sheng astringency is building up, and that’s something I appreciate.

There’s also a certain woodsy finish to the sip.

I lost count of how many steeps I had, but there were many.

I really enjoyed this one.

Thank you so much Teavivre for the oppotunity.

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Shenging with The Monk 2012 again tonight.

I’ve written many reviews, so please see previous notes if you want to know how it tastes like. Tonight, I just want to share some thoughts.

Just love how it makes me feel. L-o-v-e-i-t. It embodies all the reasons why I love sheng.

I covet it. Cause 2012 is no longer available. And the fact that I sit on two cakes doesn’t make me feel any better. The day I run out will be a sad day. Hopefully, I’ll be sitting on a few 2014 cakes by then, and life will be good again :-)

I want to take this opportunity to thank Garret and Mandala for the outstanding quality of their product, but mostly, for the exceptional customer service I receive on every purchase.

It means a lot to me, and they have earned my loyalty. They are at the top with very few other sellers for me. And I don’t say this lightly.

So Garret, if you read this: thank you.

I drink your tea every day, and my life is better because of it.

Pic of the session:



I <3 the Wild Monk


Garret is awesome :)


oh golly… my face hurts from smiling and from being bright red right now. I want you each to know that I find you amazing. This thing I call a tea business would not be possible without each of you being a part of the Mandala. Truly. Your words, your kindnesses, your business too, all keep me going in this. No kidding.

I am so grateful.


:-) the idea of your smiling face makes me even happier!!


Congrats Garret! With so many satisfied customers, the future of Mandala Tea looks very bright – another American entrepreneurial success story!


I’m drinking Wild Monk now.



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I’ve been exploring my Eco-Cha tea…I must admit I am impressed at the quality so far.

This tea is stunning, in every way possible.

First, it just looks perfect to me. Fifty shades of green.

You can feel the love and care in every single little nugget.

The taste is remarkable. A clean high mountain fresh mouthfeel.

Floral breeze, buttery and creamy. It’s vegetal with a soft mineral rock taste. The wet leaf smells heavily of spinach.

I could drink this forever, just beautiful and so soothing.

The dried and unfurled leaves looked so perfect, they inspired me to photograph them.

I highly recommend this.

Pics of the session:





This sounds so good! Wishlisted!!


Love the pictures. Those leaves… beautiful!


Eco-Cha is good. I really like their ShanLinXi Concubine Oolong


Mj, This is totally an mj tea :-)

Veronica, thank you, glad you enjoyed!

Apt, sadly I did not order the Concubine, but I do see myself ordering from them again, I will keep it in mind, thank you.


I haven’t broken out my Eco-Cha oolongs yet, but I will this week. This one sounds delicious.


Can’t wait to read your thoughts on them cheri.


Love the photos, thank you for sharing I will have to find some! :)


Thanks Parsifal, Glad you liked the pics :-)

I beleive eco-cha ships worldwide, but I’m not sure, here us the website so you can verify:



Thank you! I am looking at the site now.. I am in Chicago, should be able to get it. The charcoal roasted Oolong also looks very interesting.


I got the award winning Dong Ding Jin Xuan limited edition, it’s fantastic!

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Like pretty much every Sunday mornings, I’m drinking GO in bed, “giant mug style”.

That’s right….Sunday mornings are not for tiny Vanilla Dreams pot. No. On Sunday, big is better.

Cause I just can’t get enough of this liquid chocolate tea. Yes, gooey fudgy vanilla tea of my dreams. GIMME MORE!!

Miaow cup for a miaow tea :



The way you spell “miaow” is adorable :)


I enjoyed sharing morning GO with you. I’m seasoning another VD pot RIGHT NOW and I’m also adding my big fat vanilla bean.


MJ, in Denmark the cows say “miav”


The cows say “muh”


Cute mug!


“Miav” and “muh”, that’s hilarious Mazipan!


Mj, that’s the “fairy way” :-)

Haha! Marzi, that WAS funny!!

Tealizzy, thank you :-)

Brenden, I always wondered if french cats wore a beret… now I know!!!


Cute mug. I can’t wait to try this tea. It’ll happen one of these days.

MzPriss, I love that you’re adding a vanilla bean for seasoning your pot. Great idea!


Missy…I ALWAYS enjoy sharing with you…and ALWAYS will <3

Which other pot did you end up choosing for it?


French cats are apparently also existential: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q34z5dCmC4M


mj, that’s awesome. Thanks for sharing.


I’m going to use my slightly bigger one with an awesome pour. It’s in one of the pics on my flickr or tumbler or one of those things. It’s the same Eternal Beauty shape but it’s the darkest, biggest one.


@Cheri – that was Brenden’s idea (like a lot of the good ideas are). It’s gonna be amazing. Cheri, didn’t I offer to send you something? I’m packing boxes now so remind me what it was?


Love the French cat video. Thanks mj.


OH wait! It’s GO right??? I will PM


Aawww poor kitty – no one loves the poor French kitty… I think that’s how Max feels most of the time…


This is what it’s like to be married to someone with a different mother tongue than you. You spend lots of time lazing around going, “What do you call Tigger? What do cows say? What do you call Canada?” (Tigger is “Tiger Animal”)


Thanks MzPriss. It might have been GO. I can’t remember for sure anymore. Hahhaha! But you’re right about Brenden and his good ideas. I look forward to hearing how the pot turns out.


woow gd

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My door is open tonight…it’s raining, there’s a cool breeze coming in, carrying the scent of the forest. Piney, earthy, and mossy.

Perfect night to break a nice chunk of this brick.

Using 8g for 5oz yixing clay pot.

This is my kind of shou. Sweet and syrupy. Rich and dark. Burnt caramel.

I get raisin and mushroom notes. Not overly complex, just smooth and delicious.

It’s really tasty and I get a nice vibe out of it, it’s making me all relaxed and at peace.

On a funny note, when my 4 year old godson asked what I was drinking the other day, I answered pu instead of pu’erh, knowing fully well it would be easier to pronounce for him.

The thing is in French, “pu” means stinky. The little munchkin giggled so hard, he cried. And now his parents just love me…cause he keeps saying over and over again «auntie drinks pu, auntie drinks pu…» and thinks it’s the most hilarious thing ever.

So Pu is not only good for you, it’s makes little children giggle.

Happy Sunday everyone :-)

Pic of the session:




Mmm, I love that scent. They keep promising us a proper rainfall but it is yet to happen yet.

So cute, your godson. I love that age. Its amazing how much of the core personality is developed even at that age. My cousins kids are now 16 and 18( thebv18 year old sstarts aviation college this fall), but I still remember them at their age, when her daughter was so fearless, and her son was the emotionally aware one. They still approach the world that way.


Yyz, so true what you said, your observation about your cousins children is spot on! we can already see some signs of an artist in my godson. He’s so emotional and aware of his surroundings for his age, and he likes to create things all the time. He draws and he’s a story teller. Just amazing :-)


Cool teacup…goes well with the color of the pu. :)


That teacup photo is awesome! Wow! I have a sheng Yong Pin Hao cake.


Pu sounds like poo which is also a name for feces. It always makes me laugh because I’m immature. I love to tell my boyfriend I’m drinking poo and watching the face he makes.

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I am French Canadian, so please forgive me if my English is not always perfect!

My relationship with tea in a nut shell:

I’m married to straight Blacks. I have torrid love affairs with Oolongs. My BFF are Greens. I socialize more and more with Pu’erhs. I have distant White acquaintances that I visit once in a while. I party with Flavored!

Love Steepster, a place for tea lovers, where you learn and share with others…

About me:

I am a free spirit, I let people be who and what they want to be and expect the same in return.

Books! I love French and classic literature, but also modern and pretty much anything that captures my attention.

As tea and books, music is something I can’t live without! From Bach to Nirvana, my ears know no boundaries…

Art is food for the soul…I consume lots of it.

Animal and nature lover, I will never let a fury friend in needs.

I’ve been drinking tea for as long as I can remember. But since I’v joined Steepster, my tea knowledge has emancipated exponentially.

Drinking tea is a sensorial experience. The name in itself “Camellia Sinensis” lingers the promess of an adventure for the senses…

As for my rating system, well it’s pretty much inexistent…Since I don’t write many reviews, I try to focus on the good stuff and will usually review teas that left a big impression on me.

Not a big «swapper» but if we do get to swap together, you’ll remember me, I live up to my Fairy reputation :-)

I love taking tea pics, here’s my Instagram:



The Laurentians, Canada

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