2794 Tasting Notes


I realize I am spoiled with local tea options compared to some other folks. A few weeks ago I was in Rainbow Grocery and noticed they have a bulk tea selection. In the bulk tea jars were a bunch of mini touchas from Pure Puerh! I know they are based in Northern California so I shouldn’t have been too surprised.

This is the other green toucha that I didn’t buy from them at the San Francisco Tea Festival. Now that I have my dedicated Yixing teapot, raw puerhs are becoming a good weekend drink for me. You fill up your teapot and can re-steep many times. This one mini toucha claims you can make 12-14 cups of tea out of it!

Steep #1: After a quick rinse I steeped this for around 20 seconds and got a very light infusion, which is slightly woodsy and a bit sweet. I’m picking up on a light fruity flavor too, like apple. There’s a slight bit of bitterness in the mix but so far I am not finding it too overwhelming. My infusions are fairly small, I’m getting around 4 oz. of tea for each one.

Steep #2: 30 seconds. The color is a bit darker than it was before and a definite smoky aroma is starting to emerge. Still, I am happy that this is not too acrid or rough for my palette. As far as bitter-sweet goes, I can handle it.

Steeps #3 and 4: 15 seconds. I did them together in the same glass mug. The tea is hitting more of a stride here and starting to settle down somewhat. The flavor is getting to be a little more mellow, still woodsy, smoky and slightly sweet but less of a sour quality.

Steeps #4 and 5: at first I thought the bitterness was receding, but as my cup was sitting here cooling off, a big wallop of it hit me when I began to sip on it. Might try to use ½ the touocha next time, 8g is likely too much for the small teapot.

One thing I have noticed about sheng pu-erhs is they are very good for the digestion; I suppose it must be this bitter-sweet and green quality. Without being gross, I find they have an almost purgative effect at times.

I think perhaps this tea could benefit from a little aging, but I have no idea how well touchas age. In any case I will probably not be too tempted to pick up any more of these in the future. It’s a typical young sheng, kinda sour and wild. That’s the nature of the beast you’re dealing with.

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Sounds like a good adventure and a reminder about the effect of younger pu-erh’s stimulant benefits. :)

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drank Dan Cong Red Tea by jing tea shop
2794 tasting notes

3/4 of the red tea sampler from jing tea shop. I wanted something this morning I could drink without additions.

The leaves are very dark, thin and wiry. I put a pinch in my glass teapot and then steeped for 3 minutes. The tea liquor is a medium orangish-brown. The aroma of the tea is cocoa, while the flavor itself has a rich nuttiness which reminds me of walnuts, and a touch of honey. Others have commented on the citrus, and I am also picking up an orange peel type of flavor here and also a touch of spice. It reminds me ever so slightly of a fine cognac.

The tea is rich and smooth with almost no astringency and certainly no bitterness. A slight sweetness in the aftertaste. Since I’ve had a few dan cong oolongs recently I’m trying to see what the resemblance might be, but am not picking up on a lot of parallels right now.

A lovely and delightful treat, for the morning time or anytime. It almost seems like you could make a decadent dessert out of this one. Perhaps it would be good as a pudding or as an ice cream.

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i must try this tea :D

thank you so much for pointing me in the right direction :)


it’s good!


i shall try this someday

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drank Masala Chai by Rishi Tea
2794 tasting notes

One of my favorite chais, today I tried mixing in some plain tulsi from Organic India and it was good! I added some soymilk and I like it. A little minty but otherwise pretty groovy!

Speaking of groovy, I finished my blog post if you want read about hippie vegan adventures:


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Going to explore your blog!




Subscribed BEST BLOG EVER and I am terribly jealous of all the cool spots you have to explore in your area! WOW!


Thank you!!!! =)


I have to agree I really like reading your blog. I was so disappointed the other day when the link wouldn’t work for me. You really have some cool stuff to see and do. :D

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This is a great tea for the afternoon if you’re up for something smoky and stimulating. I am trying to write a blog post and then do my homework for copy editing class, so I needed a good kick in the you-know-where!

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Thanks to Mercuryhime for this sample!

Okay, first off I have to agree with the others that this seems more like an oolong tea than a green tea. I used my glass teapot and steeped it for 3 minutes earlier this afternoon.

It is a very light colored infusion and it is very smooth. The flavor and aroma is much like buttered corn. I think Krystaleyn is right that this tastes like a milk oolong! Unfortunately milk oolongs are not really my favorite kind of oolong. It is nice and light, but I’m afraid I don’t get what the fuss is. It’s a bit like drinking boiled corn husks and I’d much rather have a grassy green gyokuro!

Just for fun, I gave a sip of this to the (green tea hating) boyfriend earlier and this was his reaction:

“You call this tea? It tastes like lightly flavored water!”


I certainly wouldn’t turn this down if offered a cup, I’ve enjoyed it, but it won’t go on my “must have” list.

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If you’re not a milk oolong fan, I can easily understand how you wouldn’t see this tea as being quite as good as others find it :) I personally love the creamy notes, and will have my vegetal/grassiness from another tea!


Yes, not to be rude but I am just not crazy about tea that tastes like watery corn. Do I get kicked off Steepster now? At least I can cross it of my list of things to buy! :)


Hahahaha, more for the rest of us, right? :D


LOL I think your safe here.
I have still not had the chance to try this.
Today has been far too hectic with no sign of it easing up.
Maybe tomorrow.


You rebel!

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I was a little nervous about trying this after reading the description “bittersweet” but I got a 10g sample and then I got a free sample with another order so I’m determined to like it!

I steeped this in the gaiwan and liked the look of long and slighly twisted dry leaf. I did a quick rinse of this tea and the aroma of the wet leaf is absolutely divine – magnolia blossom indeed!

Steep #1 – I meant to steep this for only 10 seconds, but I was fumbling around looking for my cups so it went more to 30+ seconds. I got a light yellow infusion with a floral aroma. The flavor is light, there is a definite slight bitterness present but then a few seconds after sipping, you also notice a sweetness on the tongue.

Steep #2 – This was for about 15 seconds. Difficult to get too much flavor out of it with such a short steep, but at least it isn’t bitter. It’s very floral and I’m definitely getting the coconut finish which is really interesting!

Steep #3 – 30 seconds. Similar to steep #2 – light and floral, a bit coco-nutty, a slight bitterness.

Fenghuang oolongs are always going to make me nervous as I am not a connoisseur of bitter teas, but this was fairly enjoyable and not too fussy. I will finish off the samples I have eventually but don’t think I’ll get anymore when they run out.

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I hate when I’m Gongfu-ing a tea and I want to steep it for, say 45 seconds, but by the time I pour it out completely, it’s a minute or more. ://


Yep, it’s kind of time consuming and difficult to get it right!


Oh, I just read the tea description…….this is a Dan Cong. Yes, the few I’ve tried can be bitter easily. Although the one from Upton’s wasn’t very bitter at all to me for some reason.


I think I have this one from Upton’s somewhere. I checked my orders-I DO! Where is it?? ://



Hate it when that happens Scott.

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I went to the foot doctor today and this was my treat to myself for being a good patient! There is a Peet’s nearby.

I wasn’t expecting much but this was really good, esp. for a 2nd flush darjeeling. I tried to take the tea sac thing out after about 3 or 4 minutes had passed, I didn’t want to oversteep it. The tea liquor was a burgundy color and it was deep and woody in flavor, with a nice fruitiness and a hint of muscatel. It wasn’t too astringent or pungent at all, which can be an issue with 2nd flushes. I would happily drink this again, it was good!

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LOL Bonnie!


I wish Peet’s had a tea that helped feets… the doctor says I might need surgery. :(


D’oh hope it gets better soon with out the need for surgery.


Ack! Surgery terrifies me, so that sounds awful :( Hopefully you can avoid it.


I’m terrified of surgery too so I’m trying very hard to avoid it!!!


Ugh… Surgery… Hope that you can avoid it! I almost had to have surgery on my foot as well… Or rather I should have surgery and I am avoiding it as much as I can!

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drank Mi Lan Dancong by jing tea shop
2794 tasting notes

This tea is simply incredible! I ordered 50 grams of this, and meanwhile some of you may recall I had a bad experience with a bitter dancong tea & I was ready to write off them off totally!

Anyway, I am persistent (some might say stubborn, lol). I tried this last night and was very pleased but thought I would write a proper tasting note for it this morning.

I put a pinch of leaves in the gaiwan and then used water that was around 180F. After a quick rinse I steeped the tea for 20-30 seconds. What I got was a tea that is light yellow and has a nutty aroma with a sweet honey and lychee flavor. I am happy! This tea is not bitter at all and has a lingering sweet aftertaste.

The second steep is also lovely! The aroma of the wet leaves is slightly toasty with honeysuckle filling the air. The tea is mild with a very smooth, sweet taste. I wonder if this is more heavily roasted than the other ones I had and perhaps that mellows it out a bit? Whatever it is, I am not complaining!

Third infusion I let go for about 45 seconds. I am getting a thicker, oiler type of tea liquor still with a lot of sweetness. There’s a tiny bit of bitterness lurking in the background but I am not too bothered by it. Still, I can see that keeping the steep times short will be the key for enjoying this one. And it is very good! I’m happy to have found one I really liked! It is also AAA grade and fairly pricey so I certainly won’t be drinking it every day.

I think Jing Tea Shop has a new customer for life. :)

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I think AAA is the top grade…….glad you like it! :))

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A very good tea from Norbu here, I am definitely getting the evergreen aroma in the dry leaves. I steeped about 5 grams in my 18 oz. teapot and at first I thought that was too much but it seems to be enough now that I’m sipping on the cup.

My tea color is a medium brownish-red and smells quite aromatic. There’s some definite flavor notes you would expect, like notes of malt and chocolate. What’s unusual is the sweeter, floral like finish that seems more darjeeling-esque in nature. It definitely leaves a nice floral taste in your mouth. I am quite liking it! It’s man easy one to sip on plain as well. No bitterness or astringency.

Norbu certainly picks some interesting teas… I hope some other people check them out!

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Charles Thomas Draper

I am checking out Norbu now. Any suggestions other than this tea?


Yes – I also liked the Huang guan yin oolong, the Feng quing gold tips and the Jin xuan xiao zhong (both black teas). I have several I bought which I haven’t tried yet. :)

Charles Thomas Draper

Thank you. You know I respect your taste….


I didn’t notice it at first, but yes, it does have a very Darjeeling like quality about it. Thanks for sharing!

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Huh, very interesting tea. What looks to be a Chinese green tea but the origin is from Germany which I think is a little strange.

The flavoring in this blend is pretty potent, in addition to the natural spices there is also an artificial flavor of some kind. I am getting LOTS of cinnamon which somewhat obscures the other stuff in here. There is a lot of ginger, which I don’t mind but I’m having a more difficult time finding the cardamom. It did take soymilk well.

Overall, not bad. I would probably drink this if I had it, but I think I’ll keep looking elsewhere. The cinnamon in this blend is a little overwhelming to me.

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Scott B

I have their Rooibos Chai and that is a product of Germany as well. I imagine that’s where the tea is blended. I wonder if TG is their German source?


I suppose anything is possible, I don’t actually see a green chai on the TG site myself. There might be a few other importers.


It is because their source tea is blended there. :)) I doubt if TG is their vendor.

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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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