419 Tasting Notes


Who said white teas had to be bland?

The smell of the brew: I get lost in it, tea drunk at first sniff! Oh, I could just bathe in its holy water!

1rst steep:

It has a round texture, feels like a cloud of pudding in my mouth!

Of course, I can’t deny the freshly cut hay, it dominates this first infusion. It’s sweet and slightly flowery. Beautiful pale yellow nectar. I’m slurping it like there’s no tomorrow, thinking my 4oz Gaiwan is way too small, I’d rather have a gigantic pot of this! But as they say, with great patience comes great rewards!

2nd steep:

Brings more sweet, honey like flavor with hints of citrus and melon in the background. I can see this being an excellent iced tea.

The later steeps are still sweet, but they also kick in with a peppery aftertaste, nice addition to the already complex symphony of flavors, it gives it a second life. It’s definitely very potent.

L-O-V-E it!

In conclusion, this is white tea with an attitude , some kind of a white boy with a James Brown swag signing «I got soul!!»


I got the feelin..Uh…


I’m superbad, Uh!


I’ll answer your note when I’m better.I am sick. Glad to see you here!


I had a strange feeling when I say today that your last post was 3days old, not a habit of yours.but then I saw your comment on my post and I stopped worrying. Should have known… Please be well soon, sending healthy vides your way.

Charles Thomas Draper

When the surf is huge and epic this song always comes into my head and gives me wings…


Hahaha! Now that’s a vision!

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To me, Earl Grey is the father figure of all tea. A solid dude that you can rely on at all times.

Always there to support you, loving you and hugging you when you need to. Keeping things simple and comforting cause you know exactly what to expect.

This Earl is a very good illustration of that. Not all Earl Greys are created equally, they often are unbalanced, bergamot kicking a little too strong.

The balance on this one is perfection! The bergamot is done just right in a non bitter way, leaving plenty of room for the excellent assam base to shine through. It’s creamy without any vanilla flavouring addition.

This is my go to tea of the morning when there’s no time for fuss, knowing I won’t have to compromise on the quality.

Thank you Teajo for giving me a good Papa Earl to rely on :-)

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ETA: since I wrote this review a few months ago, I have almost gone through the 2oz I bought…Today, I lost count of all the gongfu infusions I made. I’M IN LOVE WITH THIS OOLONG!!

Major backlog:

Last Thanksgiving, I won Stacy’s contest for a Gaiwan of my choice. I was super excited and chose one especially for oolongs cause it’s 8oz and it leaves plenty of room the leaves to expend. She knows how happy I was, thanks to her, I am no longer part of those whiny people who “never win anything”! I also bought from her a clear glass cup and saucer that I enjoy using almost everyday, here’s a few pics of both:


Thanks again Stacy, love the Gaiwan, excellent quality and so pretty!

Now the tea. First aged oolong for me. Tommy the Toad’s raving reviews made it impossible for me not to buy it. Thanks Tommy, this is now one of my favorite tea and has helped me relax and focus lately.

Smoky ink black lustrous nuggets, they look like magic pebbles!

The rinse is super caramel and honey sweet with a faint mineral taste. ( yeah, I can help tasting my rinse, sometimes it turns out yummy like this one and it would be such a waste to just throw it!)

1rst steep: OMG! What? Really? Ahhh. I need more, this is so potent!

Fruity, slightly woody, strong burnt caramel. I also get buttery macadamia nuts, I get coffee, there’s so much going on, wow!

There’s also a very interesting texture to it, it feels like a silk ribbon in my mouth.

The smell of the wet leaf is very pungent, an acre smokiness that doesn’t reflect in the taste being so smooth.

The 2nd steep is still honey like, but loosing a bit of its sweet intensity, leaving room for those burnt roasted notes that are trying to emerge more strongly.

What is that “je ne sais quoi” everyone is trying to describe? It reminds me of that honeycomb crunchy toffee my mom used to make out of corn syrup and baking soda. It had a strong taste of sweet burnt caramel and a mineral aftertaste that came from the baking soda, put in there for one reason: create a chemical reaction that made the preparation look like a volcano in eruption! A pan full of lava, how cool was that?

Funny, cause in my adult life, I’m not a huge fan of sugar and desserts, but I have so many vivid childhood memories related to them! Maybe some shrink could explain that?

3 tsp Gungfu style will render about 10 steeps, all better than one another. Just like Tommy says, this tea is “Liquid Love” and is good which ever way you decide to brew it!

Because it is equally as good as it makes me feel, it well deserves a 100 rating!!


happy to have you back!


Thank you Sil! Don’t think I’ll be able to catch up with your 1200 notes, but I’ll sure try:-)


nice to see you back and with a so beautiful tasting note

Butiki Teas

Welcome back! :) Oh wow, that sounds crazy scary. Good thing your intuition kicked in.

Those are some awesome pics! Would you consider entering them in our photo contest? http://www.butikiteas.com/Contest.html I’d love to post one of them on our “community” page.

I love that silk ribbon feel. I know exactly what you mean.


Merci Ysaurella! Great to be back :-)


Thank you Stacy, didn’t know you had a contest, I guess I missed a lot about what’s going on here! I will definitely look into it, which one would you like me to post?


I am so sorry that happened to you. Some people criticize the concept of intuition but I’m with you. It’s definitely there. I’m lucky to be ultra intuitive and perceptive too.

The gaiwan is beautiful. Congrats on the win! I have been eyeing Stacy’s paisley gaiwan.

Butiki Teas

TheTeaFairy-Ooh, well I think number 4 is my favorite though I do like the others and number 3 is great too! You can certainly submit as many photos as you like.

Incendiare-I agree it is there and is so important. I’ve had some times where I’ve felt a horrible pit in my stomach and a deep sense of dread and this overwhelming feeling and I’ve listened to my intuition then but there are a few times when I’ve met a couple people where I instantly didn’t like them and felt very negative towards for no reason (and I’m the type of person that likes everyone) and not listened to my intuition and they turned out to be a really bad person. I had this when I met a good friend’s new boyfriend. He seemed really nice and was very conversational and a good listener but I felt really negative towards him. I remember having a conversation with my husband where I was convincing myself to like him. A few months later we found out that he was pretty much a horrible human.


@Incendiare and Butiki:

Yes, we all have it inside but some of us are hypersensitive to it. Many years ago, human beings needed it for survival, but as we evolved in modern society, we don’t need it as much and for most people, it is just buried. This is fact by the way, it’s not a theory. I say this cause I’m a super sceptical person, I don’t believe in many things, especially supernatural stuff.
Stacy, what you wrote illustrates just that. Our brain is designed to catch signals by perception, we just don’t listen or pay attention to them most of the time, cause we don’t focus on that. Our mind is so busy with so many distractions, who has the time, right? But that little voice told you this man was bad news, cause his composure probably sent some signals that your brain was able to catch. I studied body language a little, and I find this stuff fascinating. I hope your friend didn’t suffer too much from this bad relationship…

As for the photos, if there are no restrictions I’ll post them all then :-)


Wow so glad you are safe and that you listened to your gut!
Welcome back, you’ve been missed!

Butiki Teas

Huh, I’ve never thought about intuition from a science-y perspective. I always assumed it was more on the psychic-y front. I wonder what it was in his body language that my brain picked up. Unfortunately, she did suffer but she was able to leave the relationship immediately. A few years later, we found out that his violence had escalated towards women and he ended up killing his current girlfriend.

I would love to learn about body language a little more. I bet its a very fascinating subject.

Nope, no restrictions. Send in anything you want. :)


What??? Holy crap, now that was a signal! I have chills… how right you were!

Butiki Teas

I don’t think the signal was as strong as some situations I’ve been in that I’ve left but I think that was because I was in no immediate danger. Its pretty creepy to know that I’ve hung out a few times with a murderer.


I wonder if one can go as far as connecting intuition to introversion. People who are more introverted have sensory processing sensitivity, so they’re more sensitive to stimuli. I wouldn’t be surprised if introverts who can easily read others also have a strong intuition. I, for one, am quite introverted and my perceptiveness always freaks people out.

Stacy, that is so terrifying. I am really glad your friend got out of that relationship, but still tragic that someone else ended up being a victim instead.

Butiki Teas

Incendiare-That’s an interesting theory and it does make sense.


incendiare, it is an interresting theory. I for one wouldn’t qualify myself to be introvert, but I am very sensitive to my surroundings at all times, I do focus a lot more on my entourage than on myself. For instance, I often feel other peoples distress before they ever mention anything. Then I get the « How did you know?» comment and a weird look sometimes:-)

Terri HarpLady

Beautiful review & I love all the comments too.
I have a sample of this, waiting to be sampled.
Drugs of choice: tea, music, food (growing, preparing, eating).
Intuition: couldn’t live without it!


Thanks Terri! I hope you won’t be disappointed with this tea, I tend to be over the top enthusiast when I love something, that’s just who I am :-)
Wish I could grow stuff, but aside from basics such as tomatoes and parsley (cause they basically grow themselves!) I suck at it, always end up being the serial killer of my own garden!

Terri HarpLady

I used to tell my friends that giving me a houseplant was like writing it’s death warrant! That was a long time ago, & luckily I’m better with plants than I used to be! Not all of my gardening experiments are successful, but years of gardening have helped :)
I love walking out my back door to see what I’m eating today!


Thanks for sharing your story. Your gaiwan is gorgeous. And I too do not have a green thumb except when its covered with matcha!


@Terri: I won’t give up then :-) Must be awesome to go grocery shopping in your back yard everyday!
@Chelle: Matcha green thumb, hilarious :-)

Doug F

This is also one of my favorite teas. It’s hard to find a good aged oolong.


I’m with you Doug, this was my first aged oolong, but I have tried a few since then, and none have provided me with the same level of enjoyment! Having said that, 1991 Da Ye Aged Oolong is my second favourite and is ALSO from Butiki. I just sampled it, it’s really good, sweeter, but I prefer my 2003.

Doug F

Thanks for the tip! I’ll try the 1991 in my next order.

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There’s something whimsical about this tea. The dry leaves look so pretty and unusual, I’ve never seen this rolling method, very different from oolong.

Before they go for a swim, I take some in the palm of my hand to observe them… they look like little silver grasshoppers about to jump!

I’m always in awe of the craftsmanship that goes into hand rolled tea. I can’t help thinking about ancient times and how luckily for us, some traditions are still anchored and necessary, too extraordinary to die…

They smell very sweet, promising a real treat when infused.

I’m using about 3 gr in a small clear glass gaiwan.

I won’t be describing infusion time cause as I’m getting more experienced with gongfu brewings, I have developed a sense of knowing what’s best for me, so I increase time as a «feel and smell» technique rather than a fixed time parameter. The purists might say I have this all wrong, but it works great for my own tastebuds! However, this method would have been such a disaster on my first gongfu session a couple of months ago :-)

The first steep renders a delicate sweet and floral taste, paired with a «not in your face» grassiness. What a nice morning buzz that is! Unlike oolong, the leaf almost opens up immediately, eager to reveal its splendor to the world!

Second infusion is a little more grassy and crisp, but still sweet . It’s delicate it every possible way, but yet, it gives such burst of flavour. The leaves are now fully opened, I think they are the most perfect leaves I have ever seen. No trace of discoloration on ANY of them… Full, beautifully twisted and unbroken, tender uniform green color, that’s got to tell you something about the way this tea is cared for when harvested…

The later steeps added more bite to the taste, tickled my tongue just a little :-)

I come to the conclusion that this embodies everything I love about green tea in one package. Like a fusion of my 2 favorite greens…
Pssst…trying not to alert the Paparazzi Tea Press, but I think Mr Dragonwell got married to Mrs Sencha and harvested this Curled Dragon…mmmm, really wonder who it got its curls from!


LOL i love your last comment :)


well written and you are right to brew this your way


@Sil: It’s just tea gossips :-)


Nice! I love the kind of tea that reminds you of several others. I have to review one that I got recently. It feels like it has a mix of Bi Luo Chun, Dragon Well and Silver Needle. Confuses/Amazes me how the same plant can produce so many flavors.


Bonnie, it’s strange, but ever since I started to relax about gungfu brewing, I get so much more out of it! I used to do this almost like a science project, it became stressful! Then I decided I had to just enjoy and learn from my mistakes instead of trying to reach perfection. Now I have no idea if I do it «right», and I don’t care, cause it works for me :-)


JC, it’s like a bonus round, right? Getting a two for one deal or something… But a trio is even better :-) Camellia Sinensis does work in mysterious ways…


I’ve always played with my tea.First I follow the suggested brewing because I believe in respecting the hard work that goes into bringing tea to the consumer.(it’s an art) However, afterwards game on and I might steep longer or shorter,with more or less leaf,or by a different method (config,western..or with additions).


Very true @ TheTeaFairy. And I agree with you Bonnie. Besides trying the tea different ways seems like the real ‘gong fu’. Gong fu is about making the best tea you possibly can with the given leaf. So constricting yourself from enjoyment just to follow a ‘rule’ is ridiculous. I have found some that traditional gong fu is the way to go, and others that western cup is where it is.


the word config was gong fu but my kindle fire was kind enough to think that I couldn’t spell and changed it for me…haha.


mais où es tu passée, Mlle la fée du thé ? tu nous manques ici ! :) Hope to read your new reviews soon


Ysaurella, what a sweet heart you are! Unfortunate events I’ve had to deal with lately kept me away…I really appreciate your concern, I also miss you all! Hope to be back soon, take care :-)

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Happy New Year to all of you! (Better late than never!)

The past few days, it seems that every time I’m about to sit, relax, and enjoy some time on Steepster, something happens! Today was no exception… As I was prepared to write this review I heard a loud weird and abnormal sound… looked out the window…and saw chaos! Our supposedly 4 season solarium had just collapsed under the snow! What a mess! What can I say, it’s been snowing every second day around here since the beginning of December, we just can’t keep up with it!!! On a positive note, we’ve been having lots of fun playing outside during the holidays and it makes us feel very cozy inside!

So, finally, my review of this tea. Since it wasn’t on Steepster yet, I’ve just added it with Teajo’s permission and will be the first one to review on it.

The smell of the dry blend is mesmerizing, yum, so berry-chocolaty! Very promising, my hopes are very high! But I try to keep expectations at a reasonable level, disappointment is often following olfactory ecstasy. Got to keep it real folks!

I steeped as recommended. Wow, heavenly aroma, couldn’t wait for it to cool down! I’ve tried many raspberry teas from larger flavoured tea retailers, and for me, something is always either missing, or shouldn’t be there. But I’m happy to say my quest for the perfect one is officially over, this one is the bomb!

This tea is hands down the best raspberry tea I’ve ever had! And so naturally tasting that is. I’m a big fan of raspberries, I could eat them all the time. To all raspberry tea lovers out there
(and I know there’s quite a few here) I’m telling you people, you have got to try this one!

You know what I like the most about it? It tastes exactly what I spent my money on: a black tea, complimented by raspberry and chocolate flavourings. Bonus: all natural! There. Could it be any simpler than that? Apparently, it is not that simple cause I don’t know how many times I have had flavoured teas not tasting what they were advertised for.

This one is done just right!

Real raspberries are sweet, but a little tart at the same time. I get some of that!

Chocolate is expected to add some decadent twist to the cup. I get some of that!

But what strikes me the most is the tea base. I get lots of that! The richness of full body and fresh full leaf Assam! I am totally under its spell!

See, what I like the most about tea is…tea! I will enjoy a good dessert tea once in a while, but too often, I can’t even identify what the tea base is, cause, well, it’s completely overwhelmed by the other stuff…I understand that there’s a market for that, and that people enjoy having those «desserts» minus the calories. I do too, I have plenty of them in my cupboard! But to me, it’s such a reward when I find the flavours I expect to find, with no fuss, just the bare essence of it.

Teajo seem to care a lot about the ingredients they put in their teas, and they seem to have an understanding of what differentiates a good flavoured tea from superior one: the tea itself !

I’m glad I was able to discover them through their big Thanksgiving sale, I am very impressed so far by their products, but also by their personalized customer service. Thank you Piccolo :-) I will be a returning customer…later that is, I do have to drink tons of tea I already have and keep up on New Years resolution to spend less on tea orders… (no worries, I never keep my resolutions!)


Missed your voice here…glad you found your perfect raspberry chocolate and that it’s NATURAL!


Thanks Bonnie! You know me by now, right? Life happens, I disappear for a while, but I always come back… Missed you too :-)


mmmmm i’ll have to put this on my wish list to try out!

Donna A

TeaFairy, i have enjoyed the Teajo teas I’ve had including this one. They do a good job, and now offer a good deal on 10-12 cup samples.


wow now I have another shop on my list!! this sounds heavenly


Sil, I know tastes are very personal, but I’m pretty sure this one could win you over!


@Donna: Also love a retailer that will let you purchase samples at a decent price! Hate being stuck with a 3 oz pouch of tea that I don’t like!

@Indigobloom: I’m actually surprised that this company is not more present here on Steepster. I really liked the teas I’ve tried so far, very fresh and natural tasting :-)


Tea fairy – it was one of the teas I was going to pick up on Black Friday but sadly something else came up. After this review I’m going to make sure it’s on my list to pick up once I place another order heh


I love a good raspberry anything and a little chocolate with it is even better. Your review has inspired me to order some of this one to try!


Cissystix, you will probably enjoy it then :-)

Donna A

@Teafairy-I thought the same thing when I first started ordering from Teajo-why not more of a presence on Steepster? I have had several of their teas now and not a bad one in the bunch-their teas do taste fresh and natural. Offering well-priced samples was a good move on their part which may increase new customers for them. I’ve noticed that the companies that have a strong presence on Steepster usually not only have good teas, but also know how to get the spotlight on their offerings through samples, sales, free shipping offers, etc. With all the online tea companies out there, it can be overwhelming for someone new with tea.

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
419 tasting notes

Nothing but sadness and sorrow tonight… That monstrous tragedy that occurred today in Connecticut has left me horrified. The disappearance of all those little innocent children and their mentors has crated a void on this earth that nothing will ever be able to fill.

My heart goes to all their families and close ones…I can’t even begin to imagine the pain they now have to endure…

I just turn to this tea whenever I feel helpless and need to be reminded of the true meaning of life. I desperately needed the reassurance tonight, that if evil does exist, so does greatness and beauty. This tea is proof of that.


Lovely post


^ agreed. :(


That is so true. Memory Eternal for those who lost their lives and prayers to those who are mourning.


very sad day…

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
419 tasting notes

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
419 tasting notes

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Girls night out in Scotland!

One of Della Terra’s that came in a pretty red Christmas box!

I enjoy a good Maté, I like the malty characteristics of the roasted ones. After I opened it, I deeply inhaled as I always do, and went WOH-HO!!! This is bold! Strong smell of fermentation, malt and barley, very «boozy»!

I was drawn to it cause I like the unusual, but to be honest, I was scared of how it would taste like! I brewed according to instructions, about 4 min. Expecting a slap on the face, I only got a very mild caress… I put the tea basket back in my cup, and I let it rest for another 2min. Still not enough. It ended up being steeped for a good 8 minutes. So next time, I take note to put a little more than

1 1/2 tsp. in my 8oz cup.

The taste was really good, like malty liquid black treacle, with notes of clove and a very smooth finish. I don’t get much of them but the chocolate and coconut are probable what gives that sweet finish. As for the Rooibos, I wouldn’t have known it was there at all and I don’t mind since I don’t care much for it, aside from a few exceptions.

As it cooled, I picked up whisky notes. I think this blend would be very interesting to experiment with during holiday season, I’m thinking cocktails for sure!

It didn’t hold up for a second steep, I got pretty much all the flavor out of steep one. Maybe multiple infusions will be possible next time when I measure more tea to the cup.

But all in all, this is something I will have again for sure!

Now please skip this part if you have no interest for the story

Friday was girls night out… we went to this nice pub we heard of. We were told it was a nice lounge bar, good chill ambiance and good company.

So we got there with that in mind. We went inside, and…we stopped: what we saw was somewhat distracting. You know when the DJ makes that scratchy noise with the vinyl records? That’s the sound my brain created in my head while trying to process what I was looking at…

There were LOTS of men in that pub, and they all seemed to have the same dress code: KILTS! Yes, ladies, brace yourselves, men in kilts! Turns out, Friday was a special night, some kind of Scottish men gathering. I must say that a kilt on a good looking dude has its charms :-)

We were offered beer immediately, some dark Scottish Ale of course. Now, beer and I are not best friends, but I was pleasantly surprised by this one, it was spicy, malty and woodsy, but very smooth and sweet tasting… which reminded me a lot of this maté!

Well it seems that Scotsmen live by one rule: «Cha deoch-slàint, i gun a tràghadh!» meaning «It’s no health if the glass is not emptied» (one guy actually tried to make me pronounce it Gaelic style, and I told him please just put it in writing, so I really didn’t know if it was accurate, but I checked and it seems to be!!!)

If they mean it for beer, well I mean it for tea!

Our night out wasn’t what we had expected, but we had lots of fun, we even danced on traditional Scottish music!

When I got home, I wanted to spend some time with The Twilight Sad, a fairly unknown but amazing Band from Scotland. (I’ve been on a tunes and tea mood lately) Yes, at 3 in morning, I put on their record full blast (living in the woods has its perks). Mr Right got up: What the …???? Oops sorry! Forgot it wasn’t boys night out! Yes, I am quite fun to live with apparently.

James, the signer has a haunting voice, here’s a good example of that. Hope they get the recognition they deserve one day, in the mean time, they make great tea companions!


(P.S. I know the album cover is dark and disturbing but so is their work, call it artistic approach!)

Invader Zim

Sounds like you had an awesome time! I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing some good looking men in kilts!


Bonny men in kilts…love it! Wish I was with you!!!


Invader Zim & Bonnie, yes it was quite delightful… we thought we’d all make our husband a little jealous with the story… and we did :-) But my guy will never come near this type of garment, so we’ll leave it a that!

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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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