354 Tasting Notes

Backlog: I got a small amount of this tea on my last Mandala order. Some of the older raw Pu-erh’s have a good energy buzz and yesterday I needed that.

Dry it smelled really mushroomy . I had to let my cat Amber smell the bag to see if she would like it like Chairman does. No deal. She was not interested. Darn!

I used 10 grams with 8 oz. Two quick rinses. First brewing was really strong. Only 15 sec at 200F but it had a strong woodsy, mushroomy flavour. A bit of smoke. I could detect the stone fruit in there as well. A very robust cup. Not my favourite but okay.

2nd infusion was for 20 sec. Already the smoke was becoming less as well as the mushroom.

By the fourth infusion it was much more to my taste. The stone fruit coming through much stronger with only light mushroom notes and hardly any smoke left.

I had a cup this morning too and it keeps getting better.

This tea does have good Cha Qui. Yesterday it helped pick me up and keep me focused. I am finding the hearty shengs seem have the better Cha Qui although for each sheng the energy is different. I prefer not to stick a rating on this one right now as my tastes change over time and it could become a favourite. For now I am finding it a bit strong but next time I have it will use less tea.

Flavors: Earth, Mushrooms, Smoke, Stonefruits

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Backlog – Some of the gyokuro teas and good but just a bit too rich for everyday. I also find the brewing method a bit complex and easy to mess up. I don’t like brewing tea at such a low temperature (even for the first infusion) because I like my teas hot. So I decided I was going to use the sencha brewing guide to brew this gyokuro and see how I like it. I loved it!

It was sweet, grassy, vegetal,seaweed, good umami. I found seaweed was strong but not overly so like in some gyokuro’s . Definitely stronger than a sencha. It was a beautiful emerald green in the cup. I got 3 infusions from it and I think I could have got a bit more at the time but was too busy. I would consider ordering more of this.

Flavors: Cut grass, Seaweed, Umami, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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drank Jasmine Chung Hao by TeaFrog
354 tasting notes

This tea hasn’t been my favourite and I guess that’s why it’s taking me so long to sip down. This morning it seemed bitter. On my last review I had noted there was no bitterness. I wonder what’s up with that? I brewed at 185 and last time was 175 so maybe that little bit of temperature makes a big difference. One more cup of this left and I’ll be glad when it’s gone. It’s not really bad but not really good either.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Jasmine

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drank #05 Kirameki No Sencha by Yunomi
354 tasting notes

This tea seems to be falling short for me this morning. It’s a good tea but it seems to be lacking the strong umami , seaweed, & sweetness that’s part of sencha. First & second steeps were fairly week compared to what I like in a sencha. Third steep is nothing more than a generic green tea. Maybe I needed to have less water and more leaves. I used 1 tsp and 8 oz water at 175F first steep for 30 sec. Second steep was 6 oz of water 175F 10 sec. Third steep was 6 oz water 185F for 1 min.

At least I got to try this tea. Not every sencha can be my favourite and I’m a bit relieved this one isn’t.

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This is my third time having this tea but the first time leaving a review. The first time I was so caught up in my work, I loved the tea but couldn’t remember what stood out. Second time I was coming down with a cold. It tasted off to me. ALL my teas did that day. On this third time, I loved it just as much as the first.

I did 3 rinses 10/10/15. Then I brewed for 20 sec. This tea reminds me a little bit of my Wild Mountain Green 2011 which I love. This one is a much fuller body. Teafairy mentioned it was almost oily and I have to agree. It has a really thick mouth feel. Apricot notes are really prominent and delicious and here’s the treat: You take a sip and get apricot right away, then it hits the back of the tongue and it’s like cream. Amazing! And so addictive! Overall it was quite smooth. I detected slight (only slight) bitterness in the early steeps which rapidly disappeared. I’ve put it aside after having 3 cups today but I know from having this before, it takes multiple infusions. I mean MULTIPLE!! I was using some of it to season my yixing the first time I had this tea and I was up to about 15 infusions. I can’t believe a sheng so young can give so much in the leaves. I’m so glad I got a cake of this!

I am having more of this today from the same leaves. It’s still as delicious! I even forgot my brewing time on one cup. I have no idea how long I left it and it still tastes great.

Flavors: Apricot, Cream, Smooth


Don’t you just love this one??? Delicious!


It’s one of the best tasting ones I’ve tried so far! Love it!

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Enjoyed this tea this morning. Brewed it exactly like I did before (1 tsp, 185F, 8oz) but this time I picked up some bitter notes. Still an amazing cup. It’s sweet, seaweed, umami, roasty, vegetal. I really enjoyed it this morning.

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drank Green Snail Spring by Mandala Tea
354 tasting notes

Had this one yesterday and although I can’t remember details about it, I know I enjoyed it. It wasn’t the best Bi Luo Chun I’ve had but still very good. I’m such a Bi Luo Chun nut anyway. I just realized I’ve got a few BLC’s in my cabinet. I’ll hold off rating this tea until I’ve had it a second time.

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drank Chuan Hong Black by royal tea bay
354 tasting notes

One of the teas from my black tea sampler that arrived yesterday. This one intrigued me. They describe this tea as: Sichuan congou black tea presents a strong, round and tight shape. Endowed with an pure caramel-like fragrance, it tastes mellow, fresh and brisk.

The dry leaves smelled familiar. I’ve been trying out a few black teas so pulled out all I’ve had to compare the smell but I guess I was wrong. It didn’t match with any black tea I’ve had. The other explanation for this could be a sample of black leafhopper tea I’ve tried (but no longer have).

I brewed this western style this morning (200F, 1.5 min, 1tsp). It has very strong honey notes.. Along with that I’m getting malty , bready. I agree with the mellow in their description. After two cups I don’t feel a major caffeine kick ( but that might be because of 1 hour of yoga and 15 min of meditation this morning).

This is a very good cup of black. If I loved black teas as much as green I’d have this one as an everyday tea. It’s very good but doesn’t stand out as exceptional. When I want a black tea, I’m looking for those amazing ones.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Honey, Malt

1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Considering how many senchas there are out there and how many I’ve tried, I am a real newbie to any Japanese tea. Here’s my review anyway.

The dry leaves are a dark green. First bewing was 6 oz, 185F, 30 sec. The first cup was a light green colour. It was very pleasant and I could have had every cup just like the first. It was a sweet, grassy with just a bit of umami. The caffeine level was fairly low on the first brew too.

2nd brew was 6 oz, 185F, 10 sec. Wow, only 10 sec. I tried to get it out of the tea pot fast enough but the leaves had expanded and kept covering the little infuser over the spout. As a result it took a few seconds of shaking the pot and squeezing out all the water. This brew was stronger than the first! Yunomi explains why the second brewing is only 10 sec. The leaves have opened up and there is leftover water clinging to the leaves from the first infusion. This cup was very good too. A much stronger umami note than from the first infusion. Much greener & grassier but this time with a hint of bitterness.

I have a feeling there are probably no bad senchas at Yunomi. I don’t know where this one falls in quality of senchas but it seems to me to be a very high quality one. I can see how sencha could be part of my everyday tea but I still prefer the lighter caffeine from the Chinese greens. Sencha seems to have more infusions than Chinese greens before losing it’s flavour. Will follow up later when I have more infusions.

Flavors: Grass, Sweet, Umami

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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drank Mao Feng Yunnan by Tealux
354 tasting notes

Love this tea. I’ve reviewed it before but this morning I’m almost getting a slight carmel note from it. Caramel/Nutty? And so smooth. Nothing astringent about this tea. From Tealux “Unlike other green teas this is not rolled and the leaves and buds stay largely unbroken”.
Anyway, this is a tea I would definitely get again

Flavors: Caramel, Nutty, Sweet

2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Green teas are my favourite teas but I also enjoy: white, some herbal,rooibos, raw pu’erh, light oolongs, a little bit of black , and a little bit of ripe pu’erh. I have moved away from artificial flavourings and there’s hardly anything left in my cabinet with artificial flavouring or colours. It is mostly straight teas or tea blends.


Ontario , Canada

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