682 Tasting Notes

I have a brick of this because it was a good price on Verdant’s site and I had impulse control issues at the time. Since buying it, I haven’t tried it. I was drooling over Mandala’s site earlier and thought to break into the one brick I do own. I don’t have the right tools so I picked a sharp slim paring knife with a good point and tried to gently squeeze it in various spots as I recalled from David Duckler’s video. In general it worked but I also broke leaves that I might not have if I had a better tool or more experience. Lots of fun though! Excavation with my tea.

Rinse of 15 seconds, 90 degree water.

Steep 1, 15 seconds @ 90 degrees, Light yellow, smells floral and sweet like hay. Reminiscent of greens and green oolongs. Taste is very mild, a little bitter. Not much, not enough to feel drying. Nothing really stands out or lasts.

Steep 2, 20 seconds @ 90 degrees. Deeper yellow, more like watery apple juice. Smell is similar, but a little less fresh hay and more like older hay that got damp. Flavour is stronger but I still have a hard time naming it. Definitely astringent, my mouth feels dry. Not a fan of that.

Steep 3, 25 seconds @ 90 degrees. Similar colour, aroma has faded. No more hay, no more sweet. Smells a bit like a barn. I know, I always use the same words with pu-erh. I need a class or something. Taste is not as astringent or drying. No sweetness, no floral, not much at all. I like this better though I do notice more bitterness lingering.

Might be a good time to mention I am fairly inexperienced in puerh and that sheng is not my favourite of the options. I prefer black teas and others that are similarly flavoured. So, shu.

Steep 4, 30 seconds @ 90 degrees. Hardly any aroma at all, but what is there is back to sweet hay. Say what? Flavourwise, it’s still not sweet but also less astringent again. Perhaps it’s mellowing out? I see people saying that young sheng mellows after the first few steeps. Am I experiencing that?! More pleasant, for sure. Beau says it’s the best.

Steep 5, 35 seconds @ 90 degrees. More sweet hay in aroma, which was finally represented in the taste. I get sweetness. Yiss. Nicer again.

Steep 6, 40 second @ 90 degrees. Not much aroma, unless I really get into it. Maybe a little spicy. Obviously, mild. Taste took a turn toward earlier flavours with a hint of astringency and a dearth of sweetness. Oh, you. Stop that!

Steep 7, 45 seconds @ 90 degrees. Completely unobjectionable but not interesting for me either. I’m calling it quits. I’m sure I’ll learn to like this, I’m just used to the boldness of black tea. This is not that.

I can only imagine what this would be like at boiling. I will try shorter times at boiling some day and see if I prefer it. I certainly have enough to experiment with. For now, this doesn’t impress me at all but I won’t rate since I don’t know how it holds up for what it is, only that I prefer blacks and shu.

PS – I just read all the other tasting notes. i don’t get any citrus or cabbage or apples or anything fun like that. Oy vey.


I need a class, too. I’m warming up to pu’erhs, but I still have a way to go!


‘ve never had a pu’erh, but I will try one and see how it goes. Can you link the video that you mentioned?


I’m pretty certain this is the one, though it’s been a while: http://verdanttea.com/tv/how-to-break-apart-puer/

Verdant/David Duckler have come great videos to walk you through the process of gongfu steeping with some good explanations of why things are done a certain way – for the ceremony, and the practical reasons as well.

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O-Kay! This took me by surprise. I remembered trying it before and not finding it much better than the standard Yun Nan Dian Hong that Teavivre offers (which I love). I won the Teavivre sampler in their recent contest so I have two more samples of this to try again. I used about half of the pouch as this is a very full leaf tea and 7 g seemed a bit much at one time. Plus I am stingy. This is still priced at 3 times the standard Yun Nan so in my world this is a premium tea (at $15.90 CAD for 50 grams).

The dry leaf was a slap in the face of molasses. Oh my, does it smell good. Like I’m about to make brown bread and I’ve got my molasses, shortening and water mixed up and cooling with the aroma filling the house with sweet hot molasses! First sips do retain some of the molasses flavour but it has morphed more into finished brown bread with some ‘bakiness’ and a bit less sweet. Very tasty and smooooth. No bitterness anywhere ever. I think I could steep a pound of this for an hour and all it would be is strong.

I will definitely give this another steep or maybe two and will enjoy the rest of the samples. I am grateful for the opportunity to try it again (in a punctual manner, haha). It is too expensive for me to stock regularly but this is a nice change from my usual Yunnan rota. Mmm!

(Rating increased because apparently I was insane last time. I am not factoring in the price though, if I were I would have to put it down a bit. Cuz I’m still stingy.)

Flavors: Baked Bread, Molasses, Sweet

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drank Watermelon Mint by DAVIDsTEA
682 tasting notes

My hubby picked up some watermelon mint for me to try because even though I know that most new DT blends taste like bubblegum to me, I wanted to try it. I’m a sucker! I also like mint a lot and have had reasonable success with fruit based herbals, so it seemed worth a go.

The dry leaf smells very artificially sweet and bubblegumy, I don’t get the mint at all. I scooped from the bottom of the sample to get some mint in there but it must be a small amount compared to all the fruit. Steeped, I have a light pink/peach brew that smells slightly like watermelon with a hint of something that may be mint but I can’t be sure. It doesn’t smell as sweet or as artificial as it did dry, which is nice.

First sips actually do taste of watermelon, but only a bit and not tremendously artificial. Still no mint, but I get some coolness afterward. I never tried the previous watermelon tea that people loved so much so I can’t say how it compares but this is quite nice. Gentle watermelon, gentler mint. No bubblegum, and not too in your face. Of course, I likely used less tea than DT recommends, but I know my tastes and almost always ignore the company recommendations. Works for me! :)

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

I have had this a couple of times as the tea of the day and it is too minty for me. I guess to each their own.


I am a mint lover, so that could be a factor. You also never know how good of a mix you get, so mine might be light on mint. I accidentally steeped it 10 – 15 minutes today and found it much more minty. I thought about making another note, but was lazy.

TOTD teas are often really strong as well, I find. Often stronger than I make things. :)


I did not mention though that my son loves it. He has had it as his iced tea twice when we stopped at the store.
I often find that the tea of the day is not a good indicator of the tea. Some I have not liked as tea of the day I have enjoyed when I have prepared it. I do however find that if I like the TOTD my opinion does not change when I am making it at home.

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drank Forever Nuts by DAVIDsTEA
682 tasting notes

This is one that I had originally tried years ago when I first got into tea but haven’t really had since. My in-laws LOVE this one and I gave them all we had left, and replenished them a couple times a year. My mother-in-law says it tastes like Strawberry Quick when she adds milk and sugar. After listening to them rave I decided to buy myself another 50 grams last time I was in the city, and I don’t regret it. I was worried it would be too sweet for me now, or otherwise unappealing but I’m thoroughly enjoying this cup.

I steeped it hot and long to maximize flavour from a teaspoon of “leaves.” The result has a bit of tart – beetroot? There is also a distinct nuttiness that is hard to compare. It has a decently thick mouthfeel that makes me think of some sort of blended smoothie with nuts though I don’t know how practical that is. The aftertaste is sweet and also nutty, as if I’ve had a nut flavoured ice cream. I’m on a trail mix kick again lately (we mix our own depending on our moods) and this tea is an excellent complement to that. I also found the BEST honey roasted peanuts at Bulk Barn for cheap. This kind of reminds me of them a little bit, actually. Sweet and nutty with a bit of tart. Yum!

Flavors: Nuts

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drank Guava Cadabra by DAVIDsTEA
682 tasting notes

This is one that I didn’t pick up (and wouldn’t have, just because it is so heavy) but the beau has it at work from one of his co-workers and has been adamant that I try it. It’s been sitting on the table for a couple weeks so I finally thought to bring it with me to work and try it out. It is jam packed with what look like fruit pieces and smells yummy, almost like fuzzy peaches (the candy). Sweet, with a hint of tart.

I don’t know much (or anything) about guava so this is a bit of a shot in the dark but the taste is interesting and not quite like other fruit based herbals I’ve had. I honestly expected it to taste of bubble gum as I seem to find many of Davids blends in the last couple years to be bubble gum-y. Instead it reminds me of hot cider but more tart. Maybe hot cider with cranberry or another tart addition. It doesn’t seem to meld together as perfectly as cider, it’s more of a 1-sweet, 2-tart punch. Hot, it’s pretty darn enjoyable. As it gradually cools the flavours come together better and seem more cohesive. It doesn’t taste like hot juice but it is quite sweet.

I’m liking this more at warm than hot, and if I were an iced tea person, I imagine it would be best that way. As it is, this was pretty nice. Not necessarily guava (I get a lot of apple and mango with a bit of rose hips) but quite nice. No bubble gum either, which is awesome.

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This tea has become a regular re-stock for me, and one that I have on hand at all times. It also may very well be the one drunk most often, because I find it holds up well to two or sometimes three Western style steeps. I often throw it in and fill the pot for enjoying on my own or with the beau or if I’m working I do up a T-Sac and steep it in my travel mug for a few minutes and save the bag for a second round later on. It does better with the teapot than the T-Sac as there is more room for expansion but even in a tight spot I find it yields good strong flavour. There is some cocoa and nice depth. I never find it bitter and it doesn’t seem to be very tannic because even when black teas are giving me heart times (happens when I get too stressed sometimes) this one doesn’t tend to bother me. It’s a fave!

I seem to remember the price on this one going up a few months ago but even at $14.90/100 grams it is a really good deal. In some ways I even prefer it to my beloved Dragon Pearls, though they do have presentation on their side. I am not an iced tea fan but this is good hot and also at room temperature which is saying a lot for me!

Flavors: Cocoa


Yeah, this one is quite nice

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Okay, I’ve finally put all the awesome Steepster data compilations to good use. I went from zero to sicky in about two hours last night and it is hitting me hard and fast. I have to work today which involved getting up at 4:45 so I decided to grab a couple throat soothing teas. Last night Detox (DAVIDS) helped a lot but I wanted some mint today, then remembered this beast. I did not like it when I was well but I noted that it might be really great when sick, so here I am wrapped up in long sleeves, a coat and a scarf with tea, fisherman’s friends, secaris, water and mints. I have already eaten a popsicle. It’s only 8:48. I’m not very impressed with the severity of this cold but I’m hoping it blows out as quickly as it stormed in.

Self-pity aside, I steeped a generous perfect teaspoon in my travel mug with boiling water for 4 minutes or so. Thanks to the data compilation, I know that is approximately what others have done. Very cool. This still doesn’t smell very appetizing but it’s a hot liquid so it’ll help. This time I mostly get ginger with a bit of floral that might be rose or maybe just my confused tastebuds re-interpreting the flavours. I don’t know if it is specifically helping, but it sure can’t hurt. I still don’t like it, but I’ve raised the rating since this is more palatable than my first approach. I saw a lot of notes that honey is good in it and I think that would do a world of good in here but sadly there is no honey at work! I can’t wait to get home so I can curl up with some warm blankets and try this again with a big dollop of local honey. I may just want the honey, but who can blame me?

EDIT: tried it last night with honey. Big mistake. Liked it even less than before. Probably my normal aversion to sweetened tea. Do not try again!!


Darn, I love this one! Hope you feel better.

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drank Pom Tango by DAVIDsTEA
682 tasting notes

Had some of this one again today with the beau while enjoying a work day off together. It is beautifully sunny out though still chilly. We’ve got the fire going, video games, books, tea and time to ourselves. Woohoo! On a side note, I feel like I SHOULD put something about the tea at the start on the off chance this is selected as a blurb but that’s not how I roll so I’ll keep on talking about myself at the start for now.

I guess this tea has been around a time or two but when the beau went to Davids this Spring to pick up some Blue Lagoon to try out he was tempted by this as well. Now that I’ve had it a couple times I can say it is too too sweet for my tastes but that is a personal issue. It is actually a good tea, with a nice black base that doesn’t get bitter but also isn’t totally swamped by the flavouring. The flavour itself comes off as peachy to me, maybe because I’ve never eaten a pomegranate and can’t be sure what it tastes like. It would be good iced if I were the sort to drink iced tea. I could probably serve it to my little cousins as iced tea and they would be over the moon because it’s one of those teas that seems more like juice than tea. Not my thing anymore, but still well done unlike others that taste of chemicals or sugar rather than sweetness. This is definitely a result of the candied fruit in here. I used to love candied pineapple but ate too much and now they all taste too sweet to me.

I got an e-mail from Davids that Eastier tins are 3 for 30 in store and we are going to the city tomorrow for record store day and to visit some friends. I see a trip to Davids included in there to scope out some tea to add to the collection. We’re so glad we moved to the country but since I only order online once or twice a year, I miss being able to go to Davids or Winners and find some new tea when the mood strikes me. It’s not often, but seeing all the new acquisitions on Steepster makes me a little jealous! :)

Flavors: Grapes, Peach, Stonefruits


If you order online more frequently you’ll have that many more packages to look forward to :)

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drank Blue Lagoon by DAVIDsTEA
682 tasting notes

Made this up as well as hot chocolate and apple cider for the brothers. It is a beautiful sunny day here but chilly so a hot beverage is nice. I forgot about it though and steeped it for ten minutes or more. After that, the aroma is a mix of blueberry pie filling and bubblebath. So sweet blueberry but also a bit artificial. Not unpleasant and totally expected. I love Davids blueberry jam but hate the stevia so was excited about this one. I am a bit leery of too much sweet from tbe pineapple though and willing to add some more lemon something to bring it to my liking. The beau and I love blueberry tea but it is hard to do right.

Steeped, it kinda tastes like blueberry baby food. I like it at first, then its too sweet and then I like the aftertaste. I think if I limit the pineapple per cup OR decrease them time OR add extra lemon myrtle or something this could be a good tea for me! I can see how this would be a good iced tea as my cup us cooling and if the beau gets on an iced kick I could have a bit of this but I ammore interested in it hot as that is how I drink my tea.

For now it is good but I need to alter my parameters to make it even better!

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Trying this today, another shu. This is one of the first pu I tried a while ago and I remember liking it a lot, thinking of earth, leather and a bit of smoke. This aroma is subtler than the Master Han ones and really pleasant.

Did a ten second rinse then a steep at 15 seconds with boiling water. No combining today! There is no bitterness but there is some depth. Not sweet like the 04 shu and not quite the damp earth and woodiness I remember. It’s a bit more bland than my last couple shu but also bolder, if that makes sense. I get something that reminds me of mushrooms here too.

#2: 20 seconds. Dark colour, warm aroma that reminds me of hay but deeper than green tea. This steep has more sweet notes and reminds me of hay bales in taste as well. Very nice and familiar.

#3: 30 seconds. Dark dark dark! Stronger aroma, flavour is a bit muted. I don’t know why my steeps seem to lose strength so quickly. Maybe I’m being under-generous on my leaf. I’m always worried about bitterness so I tend to under-do it on occasion.

Cutting it off here, as usual, as the brothers want the puter back. Interestingly, of the three I’ve had this week I prefer the Master Han 04 the best. It didn’t impress me initially but I find it more interesting to me than this and the Master Han 02. I’ll have to try the 04 again soon and see if that impression holds up.

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I am a lover of many things, but my passions include my records, tea and books (not necessarily in that order!) I embrace local food and good cooking as much as I can, and place great value on time with family and enjoying the bounty of nature. As of January 2014 my husband and I finally moved to the country to be closer to family and continue our journey in a family home. We have been wanting to do this for a couple years, so we are very excited to follow our hearts. We also have a wonderful kitty named Emma that is the princess of the house.

I am drawn toward good Chinese blacks, enjoy some herbals and the odd roasted oolong. Greens and whites can make me nauseous, but I will have flavoured ones on occasion. While I don’t yet adore puerh, I am giving it my best effort. Chamomile and coconut are the devil though, I wish they didn’t exist. Mint has been a particular favourite of mine since childhood, and I enjoy both flavoured and pure teas though unflavoured blacks are tops for me.

As for ratings, I try to only log teas once or twice because I drink a lot of the same ones repeatedly. My rating is based on my perception of the tea at first tasting and is adjusted if anything notable occurs in subsequent cups. I may also factor in the price and customer service but try to note that when I can.

81 – 100: WOW. This is the cream of the crop.
71 – 80: This is a solid tea. I enjoy it, and would recommend it to others, but may not repurchase.
61 – 70: Just okay. I can drink it, but it doesn’t stand out to me. May try again to improve.
41 – 60: Bleh. Might finish it, but it’s not to my taste OR just doesn’t impress me at all.
0 – 40: No thank you, please. Take it away and don’t make me finish the cup.



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