402 Tasting Notes


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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Early morning or late night with MzPriss…having this tea.

So how can this be my night cap AND my morning tea?

Oh, that’s right…I haven’t slept yet!!!

Oh well, thank you Aila for being there for me just the same. You make everything better.

Saltines and caramel…malty yum.

Life is too short, sleep is overrated!

Thanks for having a cup with me missy :-)




You guys are too cute!


Lol, we do have an acceptable cuteness level, you included sarsy :-)

Cameron B.

Yum, saltines! :D


Oh! Look who just joined the cutness club! It’s cammeron :-)

Cameron B.

Thank you, thank you very much. takes a bow


are y’all in the same time zone? I can barely coordinate my feet, let alone a virtual tea party!


And Cameron IS adorable.

@donkeytiara – we are an hour apart – but neither of us sleeps much so we are usually awake at ridiculous hours

Terri HarpLady

I still want to have a virtual tea party on google or something :)


Terri – YES we have to!!!!

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First, I’d like to thank Eco-Cha for giving me the opportunity to be one of the 10 lucky people to get a free yixing clay pot on their recent giveaway. I got my order today with such a lovely little pot! Came in a nice box, all wrapped in a pretty asian style red towel.

I am already brewing one of their tea in it tonight.

I did not know what to expect from this award winning Dong Ding. If anything, award winning won’t necessarily make me like a tea.

I do a quick rinse. This is heavily roasted so I’m expecting some big char notes, and this is pretty much what I get on steep one. Nothing special, just very roasted.

Then…vavavoom! Whoa, fruit! I get a mango mouthful. Yes I know, it’s not really supposed to be there, but that’s what I get! And it’s not subtle, I get that even from the wet leaf.

But that’s not it, this tea is kind sweet and savoury. It’s paired with creamy butternut squash…and roasted root vegetables.

Wow, it is so fragrant, every time I open the pot, I get tropical mango wafts.

As expected, it produced many steeps, but of course, I never count when I get caught up in the moment.

This tea was expensive, but totally worth the bucks.

My first Eco-Cha experience, and I am quite impressed. Quality in every possible way, with an impeccable presentation.

Thank you!

Pics of the order and session:



Flavors: Butternut Squash, Mango, Roasted


That pot is precious


Isn’t it? I’m very pleased!


Sounds lovely. And where did you get that gorgeous little blue cup, dearest?


Ebay darling. Inexpensive, but it looks like a $50 cup!


I love it!


Yeah I love that cup way much


You want the link? It’s still available


Thank you for the morn porn.


My pleasure marzi.


Teaware porn in the AM!


Yeah, that makes me a teaware porn star…


I am so jealous for the teapot ! :)


Wow I will look for mango in my next cup :-). I think the tea is soooo worth the money. Enjoy your baby teapot!




Mmmmmm mango


LOL TTF, you are totally a teaware porn star. Sarsonator too ;)


this makes me wish that I drank oolong…..


I used mine this morning. :)

Terri HarpLady

Yay for a free yixing, & it’s adorable, as they always are! I also love the cup :)

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Ya, ya, I’m drinking and reviewing Port again.

What can I say? I have become a total Port-head.

Not my fault…it’s highly addictive. I don’t even think about stoping, that’s how hooked I am.

I continuously think about how good my next fix will me. I can smell it even when it’s not around.

I get tremors of anticipation as I prepare it in my little clay pot.

The taste is so complex, I don’t even know how to describe it anymore…see pervious notes!

Never thought I’d say this, but I love being a Port-head!!

As Amy Winehouse’s song goes…«they tried to make me go to tea-hab, but I said no, no, no!!»

Whispering Pines Tea Company

lol, you’re cute :P


Tea Fairy, your reviews make me want to buy the tea. Port Head is a good comment, very amusing.


Hehe…just try it allan, you’ll see what I mean :-)


Totally have that song in my head now! Can’t wait to try this one for myself. :)


Lol, I love that song :-)

You just got Port in your order right?


Yup I did!


Just for fun if you liked Amy Winehouse you might like this singer. She’s Italian.
Giusy Ferreri – Novembre: http://youtu.be/orVIoKcJcvU
Passione Positiva – Giusy Ferreri (Intera più Tes…: http://youtu.be/eSYeZQotC68
Non Ti Scordar Mai Di Me: http://youtu.be/d5CFNgqdy5I


She sounds great, thanks yyz :-)

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A friend of mine just came back from Peru and visited me this afternoon. He’s not really a tea drinker, but he loves when I prepare it for him. He likes the set ups, the teaware, and thinks I’m some king of tea prodigy, haha!

He doesn’t always like the tea though…especially when I try so desperately to make him like pu’erh, telling him it tastes like forest and chocolate. It always ends up tasting like “pu poo” to him. Oops. Sorry friend. I get over enthusiastic sometimes.

Today, I took it easy on him and prepared my favourite high mountain green oolong. To me, this tea is better than any Ali Shan or Tie Guan Yin I’ve had.

It’s beautifully crafted, and the leaves unfurl to perfection, looking like seaweeds.

The taste is ethereal. Floral, but not in a flower bomb mouth kind of way. It has a buttery creaminess to it that creates a sweet and silky mouthfeel. Perfectly balanced.

The minerals are intensified by the clay pot. It’s just such a lovely tea.

It’s spicy and minty at the same time. Nutmeg and spearmint.

He loved it, yay, victory!

Before leaving, he presented a gift to me. Said he was sorry not to have searched for tea to bring back for me. Instead, he brought a very special present that symbolizes friendship. A Peruvian sterling silver ring. It took my breath away. I will wear that ring with so much pride. Friendship is so precious…

Pics of the tea session…(and the ring)



Cameron B.

Oooh, that ring is gorgeous! :D


I love it!


Oh that was so sweet of him!


Thank you…I really like it :-)


super ring!


Cool. Love pics as usual;)


That’s awesome. Happy that you had a nice afternoon with your friend.


Thanks guys…I feel very lucky.


You are a tea king prodigy, rather accurate!


Haha! Cwyn, I just noticed my typo! Lol, I make quite a girly king :-)


Well I interpreted it as a double pun on Tea King puerh cakes! :) rather clever!


Haha! Totally unintentional so I won’t take any credit for it :-)

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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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