2765 Tasting Notes


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! :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Silver Needle White by Mandala Tea
2765 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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Jolly Green Kiwi by Tiesta Tea
2765 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!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Yunnan Gold by Teance
2765 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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
2765 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. :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

I’ve tried this tea twice now after it came in. I was really hoping to love this as I was crazy about the 2013 mao cha from Misty Peak and its lovely fruity flavor.

To me this seems more like a standard type of sheng. It has a light color with light smoke notes, a bit of floral, lemon and a bittersweet finish. I threw the first steep out and have been doing short infusions of it. It starts to mellow out a bit after steep #3, but I am just not getting plum or peach flavor from this at all, even after 7 steeps.

So I am a bit torn on how to give this a rating for now. It is definitely a nice, young sheng but I was hoping for something a little different, or a little more like the product description, anyway. It isn’t terribly aggressive but I also think it could benefit from a few years of aging.

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec

I kinda feel the same way. I’ve had it a couple of times and it was nice, but it didn’t have as much flavor as I was expecting. I haven’t reviewed it yet because I was trying to decide what I thought about it.


@Tealizzy – yeah it was pricey too in my opinion for something I don’t really love. Of course I know people pay a lot more money for shengs but generally I am not one of those people. ;)

Tea for Me Please - Nicole Martin

I find that I like longer brews with this one. I’ll do a really short rinse and then steep it in a gaiwan for about 30 seconds.


Thanks Nicole, I’ll try it. I was a bit worried about steeping it for that long because of the bitterness factor.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


This is such a lovely tea from Nepal. I definitely enjoy it hot, but thought I’d try cold brewing it last night and am drinking the results this morning. It’s really, really tasty! Tastes oakey, with sweet honey flavor and notes of tropical fruit. I still prefer it hot but it’s nice to know I can cold brew it too. :)

Iced 8 min or more

I like this tea a lot.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Ying De Black Tea by Tao Tea Leaf
2765 tasting notes

Sample from Tao Tea Leaf this morning. It’s an enjoyable tea, I would say sweet and smooth really describes it. It’s definitely a bit on the lighter side when it comes to body and has a good cocoa flavor. Amazing no bitterness or astringency at all. I steeped this for 3 minutes and it’s still a bit on the light side, overall I think I prefer black teas with a bit more heft. This was tasty but probably won’t be a repurchase for me.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


This is an interesting tea from Tao Tea Leaf, especially for me as I’ve never had a purple sheng before.

The package directions say to use boiling water and steep for 2-3 minutes. I was definitely skeptical about that but it turns out they were right. I did the first steep for 2 minutes, and the second steep for 3.

At first it doesn’t taste like much, just kind of woodsy. As I’ve been sipping on it I get some nice fruity notes, raspberry and cherry come to mind. I do get the bit of cocoa that TTL describes on their website but not vanilla or white wine. The flavor most closely resembles a wuyi oolong for me but is lacking the roasted flavor that wuyis have.

Soon I’ll have to try this using the gong fu method, but I kind of like it steeped Western style. It didn’t turn into a bitter mess like I was fearing it would. There is a slight bitterness but that compliments the raspberry notes well, I think. Bitterness seemed more prominent with the 3 minute steep so I’ll stick to 2 minutes or less with this one. Nice tea, I’m glad I got some!

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec



very! :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



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



Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer