2809 Tasting Notes


I purchased this on a whim last week at the Scarlet Sage, an herb store in San Francisco. I’ve always been curious about this blend and wanted to finally try it. The tin is lovely but the tea comes in paper teabags, which is kind of a shame.

The aroma of this reminds me of Thanksgiving. I think sage is one of the primary ingredients in stuffing. It smells and tastes more strongly of sage in my opinion, but the mint is present and provides a really good contrast to the sage. This has an almost sweet quality to it which is odd and not what I was expecting.

I did a bit of research and found out that sage is good for digestive problems (as well as mint), so this seems like a nice after dinner or bedtime type of tea. I might like the smell a bit better than the taste, but it’s a decent herbal either way. I’m sure I’ll be glad I have this the next time I get a cold. Also I felt the smell was very relaxing and then I read this piece on the web that sage aroma lifts the spirits. Nice!


I cannot say I LOVE the flavor but it is intriguing and fun.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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I’m drinking this today because I wanted something lower in caffeine. Nevertheless, I am rarely in the mood for genmaicha and I think this one has gone a bit stale. I wonder how long the shelf life is, I’ve had it for 3 years and it tastes more like seaweed than I remember. Even though I’ve been keeping it in a tin it’s probably time to just compost it. Oh well!

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Urgh, I had written a note for this and accidentally closed the window before I could finish it. Starting all over!

Yesterday I decided to boil my shu puerh teapot as I thought it picked up a moldy smell after accidentally leaving water in it for a few days. Here’s the pot, looking and smelling a lot better:


This sample puerh came from the YS dark tea of the month club. I’m quite pleased with it so far. As Allan noted, there is no fermentation flavor or aroma present. I am doing short steeps in the yixing and get a sweet, creamy tea that is very smooth. No bitterness is present. The tea is chocolate-y and also went fabulously with a dark chocolate peanut butter cup from Justin’s. :)

3 steeps so far and the flavor is quite good. I would consider buying a cake of this, a good value at $30, but my tea budget is not very large at the moment.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

I hate when that happens!


me too :-P


Mine is sitting in San Francisco.


Mine left SF few days ago . Still nowhere :( in transit …I have no prob when it goes thru Chicago or JFK. SF always a pain in a b…


I guess it’s good that I live in San Francisco!

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Afternoon sample here from Tao Tea Leaf. Normally I use water around 185f for wuyi oolongs, but I noticed they said to use boiling water for this one. I figured I would try it. I used the yixing to steep this.

I tend to like wuyi oolongs and this is really tasty. It has a slight woody & roasted flavor with hints of plum and cinnamon. But the nice thing about it is the sweet, honey like finish. I am definitely picking that up and it’s lovely. Hmm, I will need to re try all of my wuyi oolongs this way soon. :)

Meanwhile I highly recommend this if you’re into wuyi yanchas. It has a wonderful flavor and is very soothing. Later steepings become slightly more floral than fruity. This tea is almost intoxicating.

On the list it goes….

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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Yum, I love Golden Monkey teas so I was happy to see a 50g bag of this show up with my Yunnan Sourcing dark tea of the month.

I am still trying to wake up after having a deep dish pizza and wine with a friend last night, I think I was in a carbohydrate coma all night and morning. It was so good but I haven’t eaten deep dish in years and what a calorie load.

So on to the tea… I tried steeping this two ways already, both in clay teapots. The first try was Western style in a large pit for 3 minutes. The second try is via gong fu method in a small pot for 45-60 seconds.

Both were good, but I am preferring the shorter steeps as the longer one took on a slight bitterness. This is a great tea to sip on straight as it is not at all tannic or astringent. Very smooth and sweet with the shorter steeps. To me this takes on notes of chocolate and has a slight dark grain note, like that of pumpernickel bread. Honestly I am not getting much fruity or floral from this unless you steep it for a short time, like 10 seconds. Then it begins to take on a bit of a peachy quality. Anyway, this tea seems to be great any steeping time as long as it isn’t oversteeped. I would say do not exceed 2 minutes and you are good to go. ;)

Glad to have this one in my stash. Hoping it will revive me enough that I make it to the gym later today!

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

Sounds really interesting. I’ve seen a lot of “golden monkey” teas but haven’t tried any yet. I hope my experiences with them are as good.


I hope so too! :)

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drank Silver Needle White by Mandala Tea
2809 tasting notes

I don’t drink a lot of white teas, but this is one I really like when the mood for a white tea strikes me.

I’ve been gong fu’ing a lot of teas lately and this is really good when steeped in a gaiwan, with boiling water for about 20 seconds. That seems to bring out the rose notes and a really wonderful sweetness! The first two steeps were the best that way but I steeped it 5 times and it was really lovely throughout. The later steeps had more of the almond and hay like notes. If you like white teas you can’t go wrong with this one.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 3 OZ / 88 ML

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drank Jolly Green Kiwi by Tiesta Tea
2809 tasting notes

I’m finishing this off as an iced tea today. As an iced tea, it’s pretty good. I think I like it better this way than hot. Still, I won’t be too sad that this is gone. Tastes more of green tea and apple, pretty difficult to pick up the kiwi.

Iced 8 min or more

I love this one iced too!

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drank Yunnan Gold by Teance
2809 tasting notes

I am off to a late start since I couldn’t fall asleep last night. I don’t know what I am thinking by drinking puerh in the evenings. That is my favorite time to drink them but then I always have insomnia!

Anyway I haven’t gong fu’d too many black/red teas but I think that needs to change. I really enjoy this one but some of the other reviewers did not. I love the flavor profile which has notes of sweet potato, pepper, a bit of tobacco and malt. I discovered you can gong fu it for at least 5x before it starts to give up any flavor. If you’re into Yunnan blacks I would recommend it as a good one to try, though it appears they are all sold out of it on their website.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
2809 tasting notes

Finally finishing off this sample given to me by a Steepster friend. Now I can’t remember who it was, it’s been so long. Whoever you are, thank you!

It was a difficult week for me. I am still sending out job applications and I had a very lengthy interview for a job I really wanted. Found out on Monday I didn’t get the job and I’ve been kinda down all week just burying my head in the sand, doing nothing but obsessing over tea and avoiding more job searching. I might be coming out of my funk a bit today but I am just so sick of this job searching process! I have to remember to enjoy life.

So here I am with a nice cup of pu in a cute yixing teapot. I’m not sure why I don’t have any of this tea but I will need to pick some up in the future. It’s so smooth and I’m really digging the cocoa taste. I also pick up a faint bit of cherries. Something about it seems a bit leathery too, not that I would normally be chewing on a piece of leather, but you know what I mean….

This is a nice companion to a quiet evening. It’s hard to go wrong with any puerh from Mandala but something about this seems almost decadent. Quite lovely.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

Searching for a job is brutal. Last time it took me 5 months, and March is probably the worst time of the year. Just keep trying and enjoy your tea!


Sorry to hear about the job interview…I have definitely had a few of those myself. It hurts and you think to yourself, “What did I do wrong?” and wonder what to do differently next time. This is certainly the tea to fall back on though. Hope it gave you a nice comforting hug!


@faybingler – I’ve been looking for 8 months now!
@amariel – thanks… :)


Wow, that sounds awful! I hope you find something soon!


I’m looking for work too. Hang in there.


Thanks, MsWhatsit. :)

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Another sample from Tao Tea Leaf. This is very similar to the tea I had yesterday that I wasn’t terribly impressed with. Maybe roasted TGY’s are not really my thing, but if they are lightly roasted or green I seem to like them a lot. This is another one that just seems sort of bland.

I accidentally steeped it for over 3 minutes as I got distracted with something else and that was the best steep of the three I had. It seemed to take on a slight honey or brown sugary sort of taste. I guess I wouldn’t turn down a cup of this if offered, but I’m glad I didn’t buy a larger package of this. Nowhere on the website does it mention that this is a roasted tea.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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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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