2657 Tasting Notes


This is my afternoon tea. I’ve been trying to drink more of my shus in the cold weather because that’s when I seem to crave them the most. According to Chinese medicine pu’erh tea is a good antidote for dampness so maybe that explains it.

I have about 1/2 the cake left. In comparison to the Zi Yun cake, this isn’t as creamy and smooth. It has more of a woody and cherry flavor in my opinion. It is a beautiful color and brews up to a nice reddish-brown. I don’t seem to get sick of this one. If you think shu puerhs all taste of fermentation and fish, you should really check this one out. It hardly has any fermentation flavor and tastes more like a really good black tea. I would even drink this as a breakfast tea.

Steeped about 8 times today before it lost flavor and I gave up on it…

I feel like I should go through my puerhs and log them into the cupboard. I have 2 shoeboxes full of puerh and I don’t think they’re all there. I’ve heard of people complaining that Steepster dropped some teas out of their cupboard recently and that makes me wonder if I should spend the time. Is anyone still having problems?

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The drop down menu in the cupboard still isn’t working for me. I haven’t added any of my new teas yet, but maybe I should.


My drop down menu doesn’t work either. :-/


Add those teas in there! This is a good one. I sometimes get pepper notes in shou as well. P.S. enroute.


@mrmopar, I just added a few more. I have some puerhs that I got from local tea shops and I’m not sure what the names of them are, which isn’t helping!

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I got this at DT a while ago and am just getting around to trying it now. It’s good to have a few herbal nighttime choices, especially on an evening like today where it’s pouring down rain. We need the rain and I’m not really complaining, just being cozy. :)

Valerian root is a very distinctive (bad) smelling herb, kind of like stinky feet. I have to wonder if DT was just looking for ways to disguise the valerian. This is an interesting mix of mint and other herbs with a bit of apple flavor.

Something about the aroma of this reminds me of Robitussin, oddly enough. I can’t say too much about the flavor, it’s relatively benign and reminds me a bit of chamomile. A bit apple-y, a bit minty, a bit herbal-y, and some vanilla that seems artificial to me. I would probably prefer a cup of plain chamomile over this, but that’s just me. I guess I’ll report back later on how well it helped me to sleep :)

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This came out of my recent swap with Skulleigh. I admit I’ve been shying away from Andrews & Dunham because I really don’t need any more expensive black teas. However, I drink black teas more than any other kind so I was pretty eager to try this!

I was impressed by the exceptional smoothness of this tea, especially since it’s an Indian blend. I think there is darjeeling in here which is giving it that bright, fruity note. I’m not big on overly tannic teas and there is touch in here but thankfully not a lot. Contrasted with the Jin Jun Mei I had earlier today, I am appreciating the slight “bite” this has on my tastebuds. It has a lot of malt also and is providing just enough heft to give me some much needed “oomph” this morning. I need a bot of “oomph” to convince myself to leave the house and go to the gym on this rainy day.

Anyway I was impressed with this blend. I thought it was pretty good plain and it was also nice with a touch of soymilk. I am back to the A & D website once again, trying not to buy anything… ha ha. This is really a good blend though. I’m glad I got to try it :)

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

to be fair, their rices are for 4.4 ounces so not terribly expensive IF you can order during their free shipping deals heh


@Sil, i know, I have spent more money than that on a tin of tea as well, if they had some in local stores I would have bought some by now… tee hee


if there are ever others that you want to try, let me know. happy to share some if you want to try before thinking of buying. Others like lala have been awesome about doing the same for me so happy to pay it forward heh


Glad you liked it! Normally, I am not crazy about Darjeeling, but it’s good in this blend. And their graphic design is fun and awesome.

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drank Jin Jun Mei Black Tea by Yezi Tea
2657 tasting notes

This is a sample tea I’m having from Yezi this morning. I am very tempted by their Black Friday sale!!!

I think I’ve only had one Jin Jun Mei before and that was Verdant’s version. This is a very smooth tea with an exceptional mouth feel. The dry leaf smells like cocoa but there is something floral about it too. As far as flavors go, it reminds me of orange & malt. I’m getting a bit of a kick in the finish with a slightly tannic, peppery note. This is definitely a nice, cozy tea for the blustery weather we hare having.

I am still more tempted by the Ming Hong than anything else I have tried so far… I am not sure how to rate this. I think it is an excellent tea but something about it doesn’t quite appeal to me as much as some of their other teas.

Boiling 1 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Tie Lou Han by Fox and Moon Tearoom
2657 tasting notes

I hope all of my Steepster friends had a nice Thanksgiving….

I’m back home after hanging out with my BF in Berkeley and I really wanted a wuyi oolong this afternoon for some reason (maybe it’s the gloomy weather)?

I got this tea at the SF International Tea festival three years ago and am just finishing it off now. It’s a bit of a wimpy tea, and probably the only oolong I’ve had that doesn’t seem to resteep well, which is pretty odd, especially for a roasted tea of this type.

I am enjoying a pot of it, definitely has the nice roasted, stone fruit taste you get from a Tie Lou Han. I can’t say that I would recommend buying it from this vendor, however.

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Rooibos Chai by Spicely Organics
2657 tasting notes

Looks like the Steepster dashboard is frozen again… sometimes I wonder why I bother.

Anyway this is a sipdown, this isn’t a very good chai in my opinion since it just contains cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla. It’s ok for a rooibos blend but not something I will need to repurchase.

Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

I really wish Steepster would stop burping. I notice the Cupboard ordering dropdown isn’t working for me – nothing I choose changes the order. I just updated my Cupboard to make sure everything is in there now, and I just hope it doesn’t lose stuff again!


I emailed Jason, he reset it right away.

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I am giving sheng another chance with my stomach today! I need to find the optimal time to drink it, seems like late morning or afternoon is a good sheng time for me. It also helps if I don’t drink it in on a complete empty stomach. Gah I hate having such a fickle tummy!

So about this tea, it is very aromatic – woodsy, smoky and lemon-y smelling. It’s definitely one I enjoy when it’s steeped for a short period of time, like 10 -20 seconds or it gets way too assertive for me. It has a nice golden color, and at the shorter steeps it has a smooth, sweet flavor with the smoke in the finish. Very energizing tea.

The leaf of this little brick is already getting dark and it will be for sure interesting to see how it ages if I have it around for a while. The caveat of the smaller bricks is that there’ s less in general to save for the future. :)

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i dont drink tea on empty stomach. some teas make me queasy, others tea drunk.


I usually drink black tea in the morning before breakfast and sometimes with breakfast. Sheng is the only tea that really messes with my stomach, oh well


Sorry I am bit late! The work week has been crazy and today snow!


mrmopar – no worries :)

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This sample came from Teavivre, thank you!

I was skeptical initially but this is some pretty nice tea! After a quick rinse I steeped my tuo in a glass mug. I was worried about using my yixing since I didn’t want it to pick up a lot of jasmine flavor.

The package instructions said to steep this for 3 – 5 minutes but I was skeptical about letting it go that long. I steeped mine for 2 minutes in boiling water. This stuff is very interesting. I got a golden yellow infusion and the jasmine notes are more upfront and would definitely fall into the “subtle” category, which is good for me. I don’t like overly strong jasmine. Later in the sip you pick up the more vegetal notes of the tea and the typical “bite”, slightly bittersweet of the raw puerh. Seems like this is a tea made for drinking now and not really aging, I don’t know. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a jasmine bing cha, or even a brick.

Anyway I was not made for sheng this early in the morning… the tea, although not too strong, has made my stomach slightly ill. This is an effect I often get from raw pu. I don’t know that I will get to re-steep this today but I look forward to experimenting a bit more with the 2nd sample I have.

Thank you again, Teavivre….

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Discover Teas sells a Jasmine Bing Cha but I think it is a small one and pricy.

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drank Winter Chai by Tea Forte
2657 tasting notes

This is a sample from Tea Forte in their ’Warming Joy" gift package.

They say the samples make a 10 oz. mug of tea, but I have made this (twice now) in an 8 oz. mug and just think the flavor seems weak. A chai should have hunks of spices in it and this really doesn’t, it tastes more like a cinnamon flavored rooibos. I tried adding some of my own ginger in it tonight, but it really needs about 5 more things before it’s a decent chai to my liking. Not recommended unless your version of chai is very light and dainty.

I haven’t been too impressed by anything I’ve tried from Tea Forte so far… bummer

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I keep seeing their stuff on Amazon and being tempted by it. But then I look at reviews and back away. But it’s still so tempting.

aisling of tea

It’s so adorable, that’s the problem! We tried some of their stuff ages ago and it just wasn’t good, which sucks. But I’m still tempted every time I see thhose cute little teabags.

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This is a sample I got from Mandala a while back. I’ve been drinking more of my shus lately, they definitely seem to be a wintertime tea for me.

As others mentioned this still has a bit of the fermentation flavor left but it doesn’t bother me much. Also I think the tea has a slight aroma of roasted grain and coffee. It’s a very dark shu as well. As far as flavors go, I am getting cocoa with a slight bitter taste like buckwheat. It’s smooth but a little rough around the edges still, could benefit from a bit of aging I think but overall this is a nice tuocha. If you steep it for very short period of time, like 5 seconds, you don’t get much bitterness. I don’t find many mini tuos I am overly fond of drinking but I would consider getting some of these once I can support my tea habit again :)

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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My profile pic is of a pink dahlia at Golden Gate Park.

Hobbies include: tea, making art, animals, vegan things, buddhism, nature, creativity, books, writing, cooking, meditation, yoga.

I am a fan of many different teas but my favorites are blacks and oolongs, chai, also like darjeeling and pu-erh. I’n always learning and expanding my horizons!

Dislikes include: bergamot, jasmine, highly tannic or bitter teas, overly judgmental and bitter people. :)

Live in San Francisco, I’m a SINK (single income, no kids) and love the urban life, but traveling out to the middle of nowhere is always fun too.

I tend to not drink things I know I will hate so a lot of my tea ratings are on the higher side. Here’s my rating system, sorta

95-100 I love this tea and would like to keep it around

94-90 An excellent tea which I may or may not repurchase

89-80 Pretty good, above average

79-70 Acceptable

69-60 Mundane – Will probably drink it if I have it

59-50 Ick

49 and below Nasty


San Frandisco



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