Recent Tasting Notes


I’m ashamed to say, I’ve had this tea for a long time and am only opening it now. The moment I smelled this though, I knew I would love it. Such a lovely toasted grain and honey aroma! Or like nectar heavy flowers. I can’t believe this tea isn’t actually full of honey and flowers!
Mmm ambrosia. I don’t think I’ve ever had an oriental beauty I liked so well.
I need to scrub off this chocolate lip balm before sipping next time though. :)

Happy Monday everyone!

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An excellent LiShan oolong. I’ve really been very happy with all of the teas that I’ve tried from Fong Mong. This has a wonderful flavor: sweet with a delicious creamy tone. Flowery and I can taste notes of apple, with vegetative tones that reveal themselves in later infusions. The later infusions also reveal some spice tones.

A really, really good Oolong.

Here’s my full-length review:

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YUM YUM YUM! This tea was perfect this time! Plus it stays flavorful even after repeatedly re-soaking it (in my new Japanese thermos, yay!). It even gets a creamy texture, almost of the condensed milk variety, that slides down my throat smoothly. Definitely helped with a sore throat. Unfortunately I’m running out, so I might have to restock it soon.

Flavors: Cream, Stewed Fruits

205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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Still amazing, even when over-steeped. Nice and smooth finish with a very golden, almost Kona coffee-ish undertone. The flavor lasts, too, even after two re-soaks.

Flavors: Cream, Espresso

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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My go-to Oolong since I received it as a gift from my auntie.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Well I got the job and now the only problem is I didn’t realize by mid-October she meant starting two days next week. Ummm. Because I have been zoned out all day (it’s amazing I actually got myself to the mall) I didn’t even think to say anything about the wedding I have to go to in 2 weeks…and now she’s on vacation. Well. I guess I’ll say something Tuesday? I am finding it incredibly hard to be excited because of how horrible I constantly feel and I’m starting to question if it’s even just ragweed.

So my mom was all like oh get yourself a beer or a nice cup of tea. I was just like oh god not drinking right now. I instead got myself another nap and now I’m going to see how long I can stay awake and drink a nice tea. I’ve been holding onto these samples to have them when I feel like I can devote time to them.

I can’t smell very well though. Of course. I put the entire 6g into my yixing pot and rinsed the leaves first, then steeped for 20 seconds.

I don’t know if that is too short or what, but this is more like a sweet garden of flowers dipped in mineral water and cream. And I really hate that I decided to drink this because I don’t think my tastebuds are going to do it justice.

Okay, gave up on that steep and am trying one for 45 seconds. It has much more color to it. Now we have butter and a mouthful of gardenias for sure. It is so velvety too.

Will Work For Tea

Congrats on the job!


I’m so sorry you feel bad. I think the fact that you can taste the tea and enjoy some of what it is saying is great!


Thankfully I can taste tea. It’s like a real job to walk through the mall. I tried looking up if body aches relate to allergies or just cold/flu and there’s WAY too much conflicting information.


Feel better hun!

Yogini Undefined

Congrats on the new job. Hope you’re feeling better soon :)


Yay a job. Congrats! Feel better!

Terri HarpLady

Amanda, first congrats on the job!
Second, my allergies have been SO bad for the last couple of weeks (since we actually started getting rain), it has been the worse fall, & it isn’t even officially fall yet! I have acheyness like a flu, a sore throat & swollen glands like mono, my lungs hurt, my eyes feel like the someone dumped chalk powder in them, my ears itch like crazy, & intermittent headaches. I’ve even had a mild fever on and off (usually after I’ve been outside). The only reason I know it’s allergies is that it gets noticeably worse every time I leave the house, even for a few minutes. Hang in there, this will pass, but meanwhile you have my sympathy.

Terri HarpLady

I like that buttery gardenia image, BTW!


Congratulations on the job Amanda!
Sending you “feel better soon” vibes


I’m starting to wonder if NOT taking anything is more helpful, at least until I see an allergy doctor…still 8 more days. Completely missed a test today because I couldn’t even get out of bed (like I got to the point I had to nearly roll out so I could go to the bathroom!) and I feel stupid saying I can’t see a doctor yet about it. He’s a pretty understanding guy though so hopefully he’ll let me redo it once that happens. I have NEVER felt this bad from allergies. I used to get nosebleeds from ragweed as a kid but this is the worst I have ever felt.

I usually can’t pick out too many flower flavors but this one, even without other people saying it, just absolutely shouted gardenias.


Congrats on the job!! feel better soon xx


Congrats on the job, Amanda! I’m sorry that you can’t truly rejoice just yet because of how you’re feeling, and I hope that you get to feeling better and celebrating soon.

I have to echo some of Terri’s response. I suffer from seasonal allergies, but have been mostly okay for a few years. This year, though, has been pretty bad. Headaches, chronic fatigue, mild fever (sometimes)…the works. So here’s hoping that as bad as you’re feeling, all the symptoms really are “just” allergy-related and that you’ll find some relief from them soon.

Terri, your symptoms are even more horrible than my own. Hope you feel better soon, too! I am really looking forward to some cooler weather; generally, I fare pretty well, allergy-wise, when the temperature drops below 55°F.

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Free sample provided by FONG MONG Tea

I must apologize for taking so long to get this review done. I had tried this once before and got distracted. All would have been well except that I accidentally deleted my tasting notes. So, fresh tasting today.

Dry leaves are mostly olive green with a couple of medium brown leaves and a smattering of light yellowish green leaves/tips. Leaves are twisted and are of various lengths-I would say most are medium long, but some are quite short. Dry aroma is a typical floral that you get with green oolongs. I can definitely see describing it as somewhat perfume-y.

The brewed leaf aroma is similar but more subdued. Liquor is transparent and very pale with much more yellow than green. The flavor is very smooth and somewhat sweet. I detect mainly floral and some vegetal notes. This is definitely a high quality tea. If you like Pou Chong Oolong, you will probably enjoy this tea.

I’d like to thank FONG MONG TEA again for the free samples. My favorites would have to be Sun Moon Lake Black and the Top Grade Oriental Beauty.

Next up-I received some more generous samples from Teavivre and will be reviewing them in the coming days.

195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec

did you ever try a short steep with the Oriental Beauty?

Scott B

Not yet, I only have enough leaf for one more brew. Did you mean short steep gong-fu style or Western-style?


I meant gong fu, but it might be interesting to try either way…

Scott B

Oh, I have never brewed gong-fu and honestly, I’m not sure that I’m ready to get into that at this time.

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The first tea to go into my yixing pot! I’d been saving my samples from Fong Mong Tea until I got one. Here it is! It’s not even the one I ordered but that’s okay, I like this one better than that one!

I put the entire sample in, aiming for 1g of tea to 1 oz of water. Steeped it for about 40 seconds. This first steep is light but so sweet. It almost reminds me of a milk oolong. Very creamy, and just really really sweet.

Second steep! Now that the leaves are opening up a lot the volume is right where I want it. I’m pouring into a 6 oz cup and now it’s perfect. The liquor looks like I’m steeping a green tea rather than an oolong.

The second steep is very floral and also very green. I’m getting pepper, really reminiscent of pink peppercorns. The third steep is very similar, with a bit less of the pepper. It makes for a really intriguing combination with the floral flavors, that’s for sure.

More to come, it’s time to stop procrastinating on a paper for at least 20 minutes!

Invader Zim

Very nice yixing teapot! I like the bamboo accent on it.


very nice teapot, indeed. It reminds me just a bit of one of my yixing mugs.


oooh! Nice teapot, me likey!


very nice! It is better than the one you ordered :) happy accident!


thank you guys! I do like a happy accident!

Daniel Scott

Congrats on the pot! It’s exciting to take home yixing. I haven’t even used mine because I can’t make up my mind what to put in it.

I love the lid, it’s gorgeous.


Very nice pot!

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Thank you FONG MONG TEA for this free sample

Wow-this doesn’t taste like any kind of oolong I’ve ever had! In fact, if you had given me a blind taste test, I could not identify this tea-or even hazard a guess. I might guess an herbal tea. I’ve never had an Oriental Beauty tea before, so I had no idea what to expect here.

The leaves are large and twisted with colors of chocolate brown and rust contrasted sharply by chalky white tips. The dry leaf aroma is a rather generic, mild black tea scent.

The brewed leaf aroma smells much like grapefruit. Liquor is a deep amber hue. Flavor is very unusual and unique. This does not “remind” me of any kind of tea I’ve ever had. I taste notes of grapefruit, apple, and vinegar (apple cider vinegar?). I also taste some sort of woody type spice.

This is all very interesting. Let me try another steep or two to think about the number rating.

195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec

try it around 180 degrees… :)

Scott B

How long should I steep it for at that temp? You only did 90 seconds? That’s so much shorter than they recommend.


I don’t know why they recommend 6 minutes…. I usually steep all my oolongs for short periods of time, but then I am usually going for multiple steeps as well.

Scott B

Okay, well I have enough loose tea for another brew, so maybe I’ll try that next time.


Six min is too long…….I gongfu my oolongs and kep the steeps alot shorter.

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This is a sample from Fong Mong Tea provided free for review. Thank you!

I appreciate that Fong Mong Tea has respect for their product and considers it worth protecting. The tea arrives in a small, vacuum sealed pouch with an oxygen absorber to keep the tea fresh.

I steeped this one for the full six minutes as suggested by the company. Even with the long steep time, the tea was not bitter or astringent. It is not strongly floral or fruity, though there are hints of both, and it certainly isn’t a roasty oolong. I think that a lightly sweet, vegetal broth flavor is the best way I can describe this.

This is so light that I am sorry I didn’t wait until I had time to do multiple gong fu steepings. Instead, I made this Western style, using the 6 grams of tea in about 12 ounces of water and resteeping once so far. I plan to resteep once more.

For my personal tastes, I definitely prefer the Taiwan Pou Chong I tried yesterday.

Thank you, Fong Mong, for the opportunity to try your teas!

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Wowzer, this is good! The aroma when I opened the pouch was fantastic – my first thought was light lime, but I agree with the person who said green apples. Yes, there is that cinnamon note someone noted. I would like to make an ointment of the scent of this tea and rub it under my nose. It isn’t heavy or overbearing at all, it is just really, really, lovely.

Thank you so much, Fong Mong Tea, for the opportunity to try this tea! No one has exaggerated its merits!


Oh wow this sounds really good!


I think I have this one!! Exciting :D

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I am enjoying this iced today, no sugar, nothing added. This is a bit light to pair with food (for me) but it is very refreshing as a cool down in this hot weather. It has a very pleasant aftertaste. I tried it both at room temperature and with ice in, and both were nice. It is hot enough outside now that I really want ice in it!

Thank you, Fong Mong Tea!

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This is a sample I received from Fong Mong Tea.

Of all the teas I have seen being sampled from Fong Mong, this was the one I was most excited about. Ruby #18 from A Southern Season was the first “expensive” tea I ever bought, one of the first I enjoyed without additives, the first that resteeped really well for me, and when Paul M Tracy sent me Black Ruby I was stunned by the rich, dark, raisiny flavor.

It is amazing to steep a black tea for 5 minutes and then pour a yellow liquor into your cup! This is such a unique tea. I think this one has more flavor than the one from SS, and remember I really love that one! This will likely be a replacement for it, as it is quite good.

This tastes more like an oolong than a black to me, and it is at once malty, fruity, sweet, and vegetal, light, yet having presence. Everyone should get to try a Taiwan Ruby tea!

Thank you, Fong Mong Tea, for the opportunity to try this delightful tea!

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The leaves are dark green and tightly curled. They have a subtle smell of smoke. Steeped leaves uncurl but not to the fullest. Liquid is of intense amber colour. The smell is again subtly smoked with flowery hints. The taste is mild, there is not much bitterness. There is a light floral aftertaste and a little bit od astringency. This is a simple Oolong on the black tea side, but still pretty mild.

195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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This sample courtesy of Fong Mong Tea – thank you!

Steeped 3 grams of leaves for 6 minutes at about 187º. This produced a lovely honey-gold colored liquid. I can smell the roasted veggies, and the taste reminds me of roasted asparagus. Delicious! There’s a slight coolness that fills my mouth after the roastiness subsides – fun!

Resteeped at 190º for another 6 minutes the roastiness is still here, but a tad less so now.

The third infusion is probably where I’ll draw the line. The taste is still there, but falling to the point where I won’t peruse it more.

Thanks again to Fong Mong Tea for sharing a sample of this tasty tea!

185 °F / 85 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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My first attempt at this may have fallen a tad short. I didn’t read the brewing instructions on Steepster before making my initial cup. Too little leaf and not brewed long enough!

The second cup with more leaf and less water and a longer brewing time (see preparation details below) turned out much better.

Upon opening the sample package from Fong Mong Tea, I notice how long the rolled leaves are – unusual compared to my other black teas. Almost a fruity smell wafts from the bag.

The brewed cup is a nice clear-reddish color. The liquid is earthy, with a slight sweetness. There’s a smoothness to this tea – no sign of bitterness.

This really does hit all the checkpoints that I’m looking for in a black tea! It’s delicious without additives (and that says a lot coming from someone who regularly defaults to throwing in a dash healthy dose of sugar and creamer)! Once I clear out my tea cabinet of the “other” morning tea, I’m putting in an order for this!

Thank you for the wonderful sample, Fong Mong Tea!

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec

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A month ago or so, Fong Mong Tea offered a free sample of this year’s pick of this tea on their Facebook page. It was a really pleasant surprise when I saw that I got three more samples so I spent that weekend (and the next one) in tasting them.

For you that don’t know about Fong Mong Tea, it’s a eBay seller of Taiwanese teas, ranging from 150 gr to 600 gr pack.

I borrowed a nice Canon DSLR for that weekend as I planned to spend that weekend in tea tasting and taking some nice pictures for a change (I usually use my phone camera for that. See my blog – link at the bottom).
I didn’t hesitate but emptied the whole sample bag (6 grams) in 3 Oz gaiwan, and poured 85-90C water over it. Prior to that I took a short glance at the dry leaf, it was big for an average Taiwanese rolled oolong, with some woody stalks attached to them. The initial aroma of the dry leaf is subtle fresh with grassy-herbaceous elements, and after blowing some hot air additional milky and buttery notes are revealed with a warm background.

After a short rinse I started with 45s steep, followed by 60s, 75s, 90s, 105s, 120s.
My current experience with Jin Xuan Oolongs is that they bear a nice milky element, and this one has a decent amount of it, not too much of it to be taken as ‘milky’ but not too little either. Flowery note is dominant in this cup, being present all the way as the liquor enters, slides and finishes, it even has a little bite at the tip of the tongue (pretty unusual for a flowery component). Finish is characterized with warm milky-buttery coat and some vegetable notes. The liquor has a bright jade green tone.

Following steeps show immediate decline of flowery element, leaving room for vegetable elements to take over, milky notes are still there but are better pronounced when liquor cools down a bit. Along the way there can be sensed a certain etheric component lingering in the background and getting more pronounced in the second half of the session.

Wet leaf is pretty much wholesome with a long stalk with up to four leaves attached, including some buds as well. Notes of old peas (dried, stored, then boiled) air of the olive green heap with a slight freshness wrapped around it.

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The tightly coiled pellets give off a creamy, sweet milky oolong scent. There were sticks/extra dried stems present, seen previously in their Fruity Sijichun. I don’t care personally, but thought it was worth a mention.

The tea is light apple in color with a faintly sweet, smooth vegetal taste. It has a heavy mouthfeel for an Oolong. At 5 minutes it smells overcooked, but doesn’t taste it. Bonnie is SPOT ON with her White Asparagus note, that’s EXACTLY what this reminds me of. Subsequent steepings became sweeter and more floral. This seemed like excellent quality, but I’m not sure Alishan’s are for me.

185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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Argh, Steepster ate my quite long tasting note! Maaaan. Sipdown, 181. Thanks to Fong Mong for the sample, and sorry it took me so long to get around to reviewing it. I decided to brew this one gong fu today, using the 6g vaccum sealed sample in my teapot.

I did a rinse first and then a 20 second steep. I normally would have a shorter first steep for gongfu, but even at 6g these leaves didn’t look like a lot in my tea pot so I decided to steep them a bit longer. It turned out well; the first steep smells floral and a bit buttery, and it tastes like buttery sugar snap peas. It definitely has a hint of vegetal sweetness.

For my second steep I actually decided to go ahead and go 1 minute because the first steep was fairly light as it was. I also just used the water in my teapot that had cooled to 190degF. This steep is more vegetal but it still has a floral quality and a sweet note here and there. This one isn’t particularly creamy but it does have a very smooth texture. Definitely an enjoyable tea for this afternoon.


i WILL catch up to you! i WILL! lol


Haha you are certainly giving it your all!


283 ish… yay! sad part is, we totally just placed another della terra order and a butiki order, and even though i kept my ordering to a minimum, it’s still new teas. Oh and there are 2-3 swaps that still haven’t shown up at my house hahaha

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I brewed this western style and easily got 9 full flavoured steeps!

The leaves are long and unfurl beautifully. Scent is sweet, floral and lightly starchy. When brewed it has a slight syrupy mouth feel with cocoa, honey, and floral notes. Can be slightly malty depending how long it’s steeped for (longer steep = more malt) which is a nice addition. This tea takes milk well, but is so beautiful by itself that I much prefer it without.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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An absolutely fantastic Pouchong!

Dry, the leaves are medium-dark green and remind me of seaweed. The scent is somewhat nutty with a distant milk note.

While steeping the leaves smell faintly of green apples and the sea. The liquor is a light vivid green. Taste is light and lovely. Slightly fruity, a hint of green apples. When it cools, it becomes slightly floral. Subsequent steepings become more vegetal and nutty, while retaining a fruit aspect.

190 °F / 87 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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