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2168 Tasting Notes

drank Hand Picked Bao Zhong by Samovar
2168 tasting notes

This was the very first Taiwan oolong I had ever had at Samovar. At the time it really blew me away so I bought 50 g of it!

I think this was less than 6 months ago but now I’ve tried so many more oolongs I have the benefit of a bit more experience. I still think this is great, very lemony, creamy and light. A slight feeling of asparagus and butter. Today I steeped this in the gaiwan.

I am feeling like I need to get with the program and drink more of my older green oolongs and green teas because they will go stale before the others. Cheers!

180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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I’ve been wanting to try a black tea from Taiwan so I decided to pick this one up from Asha in my last order.

I followed the instructions to steep at 212 for 2 minutes. This is a gorgeous dark red mahogany brown. It smells intensely malty but the taste is very smooth. At first it seems very subtle but then the longer you sip on it the more the layers of flavor kind of hit your mouth. It’s very pecan nutty also with a touch of fruit – perhaps roasted peach or cherry,. Nutty is one of my favorite flavors in tea so I am enjoying this one quite a lot. It does have a rich mouthfeel and a crystal clear radiance in the liquor. No astringency, no bitterness anywhere. Also re-steeps well.

I can see where the comparison to a fine aged whiskey comes from. You really want to take your time with this one and savor it slowly. It is an elegant tea for anytime but it might be really nice in the evening.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

I think that oolong you rated 100 was from Asha, Amy.


yes it was!

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drank Coconut Pouchong by Golden Moon Tea
2168 tasting notes

I forgot how much I like this until SimpyJenW steeped some up and started talking about it! Now I must have it. :)

The coconut here is sweet and delicious and the pouchong plays a light and elegant base. smells heavenly. see my previous tasting notes. :)

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

It just cracks me up how we all give into the power of suggestion so easily!


How would you describe the difference between this and Rishi’s Coconut Oolong?


It’s been a while since I had the Rishi version (when I bought this I decided I didn’t need two coconut oolongs). I think this one has a stronger coconut flavor and is slightly more buttery.


That is exactly what I needed to know! Thank you. (I will take all the buttery and coconut I can get!)


JacquelineM loves the GM Madagascar Vanilla as well! It is good…I had it a long time ago so I don’t remember the details very well!

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drank A Li Shan by Naivetea
2168 tasting notes

This is really a wonderful A Li Shan in my opinion…

It’s a bit floral-y but also very buttery, exceptionally creamy, smooth, rich. One taste of this and my mouth feels like it’s on vacation. I’m picking up some other things too, like a slight mango and perhaps a bit of vanilla. Not as light as some other A Li Shans I’ve had.

I seem to like this the best when it’s steeped at around 180F for 2 minutes but I would like to do some gong fu sessions with my remaining sample. If you’re looking for a good A Li Shan you might try this one. I would certainly buy this again. :)

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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So I went to the doctor today and he thinks I do have plantar fasciitis, which sucks for me but at least it is treatable so I am hopeful.

On the way to work I stopped off to a little store to get some lunch for today and there they had this tea. Against my better judgment (and especially because I have a bad track record with RoT), I decided to buy this.

Because I’m used to RoT’s weak teabags I steeped this up with two teabags in a 10 oz. mug for 5 minutes. I am glad this isn’t terrible, especially because it’s roobois. :) I am getting some nice chocolate-y notes and the overall brew is very smooth and mild. I don’t love it but I don’t think I will have problems finishing the tin.

Just a healthy impulse purchase due to my self-pity – hey, at least I didn’t drink a bottle of wine (that might come later)

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

yikes! that doesn’t sound fun. :( feel better soon – i will be thinking about you…


thanks. :)


I went through plantar fascitis. It sucked… It is treatable, and with a bit of luck the pain will go away sooner than later!

Hope you are feeling better soon!


thank you!


Healing thoughts your way, Amy. About the only RoT I can drink is Blackberry Sage & Double Earl Grey, both usually iced with 2 teabags per cup. Hey whos’ gonna come up with a wine tea blend?! :)) I think I mentioned in my Baker Street Blend review by Upton Tea that Winston Churchill used to add whiskey to his tea. :))

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drank Golden Monkey by Harney & Sons
2168 tasting notes

Thanks to ashmanra for a sample of this! I didn’t sleep much last night and this is really helping to perk me up in a gentle way.

I steeped it for 3 minutes in boiling water. Yum! I really like this. It’s a lighter bodied black tea with a lot of maltiness and sweetness. I’m reminded a bit of sweet potatoes and caramelized sugar. Exceptionally smooth and fine. You get a delightful aftertaste and rich mouthfeel. I would not recommend having this with any milk or sugar, it really doesn’t need it! Naturally sweet and delicious.

note: I went back for a second cup and found that I accidentally left my tea leaves still steeping in the pot – steeping this for 10 minutes, I do not recommend. ;-) But on the upside my whole kitchen smells like a molasses cookie!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Imperial White by The Tao of Tea
2168 tasting notes

trying to include more white tea into my daily routine, this is a nice one, IMO. See my previous tasting notes. Also re-steeps pretty well.

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Part 4/4 in the Upton tea basic darjeeling sampler. I did not see this one in the database so I decided to add it.

I’m still fairly new to the world of darjeelings and the tin said to steep this @ 212 for 3-4 minutes. I found that to be a bit too much for me so I decided to try it at around 190 for 3 minutes. I suspect the perfect steeping for me might lie somewhere in between the two so I’ll keep trying. :)

This is a very nice blend. It isn’t quite as fruity as some darjeelings I’ve had. It’s lightly brisk and smooth. There is a little bit of pungency here which overwhelmed me at the higher temp, with the lower temp it’s better. This has a nice delicate flavor with a hint of spiciness and delicate wood but I am not feeling blown away by it. It’s easy to drink plain and would probably make a lovely iced tea. I’ll need to keep experimenting with this one.

Regardless I am finding darjeelings seem to be growing on me…

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Many thanks to Scott for a sample of this one!

I steeped this for around 3 minutes today in around 205 F water. This is a really nice and gentle Assam. Sometimes i have found they can be a bit bitter in the finish but this one was very bold but also very smooth. I suppose the shorter steeping time helped. This is the first Assam I’ve met that I can drink plain, without any soymilk and what not.

The predominate notes here are definitely chocolate and malt, though the malt is not hitting me over the head like some other tea of this varietal tend to do. In that way it reminds me a bit of a Chinese black tea. It does indeed have a tiny bit of sweetness, very yum! I will definitely be tempted to buy this when payday comes around, although I do have a few other assams I should probably finish off first…

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

I din’t know how I missed this review Amy. If you steep it longer the maltiness is stronger-probably between 3.5-4 minutes. Four to five minutes can give you some bitterness and more malt. It also depends on the amount of leaf used. I’m glad you like it. :))

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I am having a bit of this now… hope it does not keep me awake for too long. :)

I read that the Yunnan + wild arbor/big leaf trees is a good sign of quality and I believe it. This is delicious whether steeped for 30 seconds or 2 minutes. Very rich, woodsy and grounding. No camphor and personally I am glad of that. See my previous tasting notes.

Boiling 2 min, 0 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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