I’ve been looking forward to this one because I’ve always wanted to try a Cui Ruan Lishan. Here’s what I got so far.

I tried a rinse, and it was faint. Had to do the two full recommended minutes. This kind of deterred me. But the dry leaf earlier had the nice spicebush and floral peony smell, so I kept my hopes up.

Vegetal, green, and very floral. But oddly complex. At 200 F, it was more vegetal than anything else. Yet as it cooled down, the sweeter floral notes were much more noticeable and incredibly pleasant making the liquor creamier. The smell actually reminded me of cooked marshmallows. More later…

Steep two, more floral, a little bit of sugar cane sweetness that was barely present until the tea cooled down.

More spicebush, vegetals, and florals later.

This was quite enjoyable and had some staying power western, but I was hoping for the tea to be one I could Gong Fu. it reminded me of a Tie Guan Yin in its florals, and tasted like a better Li Shan overall. My expectations of fruitier and sweeter notes left me a bit disappointed. The tea was good and complex enough to change with temperature, but not worth the price I paid. I have higher hopes for the others then.

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First Off, Current Targets:

Whispering Pines Alice
Grand Crew Teas
Wuyi Origins Jin Jun Mei Sampler
What-Cha Jin Jun Mei
Good Luxurious Work Teas
A good Qilan
Best Sachet Teas

Dislikes: Heavy Tannin, Astringency, Bitterness, or Fake Flavor, Overly herby herbal or aged teas

Picky with: Higher Oxidation Oolongs, Red Oolongs (Some I love, others give me headaches or are almost too sweet), Mint Teas

Currently, my stash is overflowing. Among my favorites are What-Cha’s Lishan Black, Amber Gaba Oolong, Lishan Oolong, Qilan Oolong, White Rhino, Kenya Silver Needle, Tong Mu Lapsang Black (Unsmoked); Whispering Pines Alice, Taiwaneese Assam, Wang’s Shanlinxi, Cuifeng, Dayuling; Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co.“Old Style” Dong Ding, Mandala Milk Oolong


I am an MSU graduate, and current alternative ed. high school social studies and history teacher. I formerly minored in anthropology, and I love Egyptian and classical history. I love to read, write, draw, paint, sculpt, fence(with a sword), practice calisthenics on rings, lift weights, workout, relax, and drink a cuppa tea…or twenty.

I’ve been drinking green and black teas ever since I was little living in Hawaii. Eastern Asian influence was prominent with my friends and where I grew up, so I’ve been exposed to some tea culture at a young age. I’ve come a long way since I began on steepster and now drink most teas gong fu, especially oolong. Any tea that is naturally creamy, fruity, or sweet without a lot of added flavoring ranks as a must have for me. I also love black teas and dark oolongs with the elusive “cocoa” note. My favorites are lighter Earl Greys, some white teas like What-Cha’s Kenyan offerings, most Hong-Cha’s, darker Darjeelings, almost anything from Nepal, Green Shan Lin Xi’s, and Greener Dong Dings. I’m in the process of trying Alishan’s. I also tend to really enjoy Yunnan Black or Red teas and white teas. I’m pickier with other teas like chamomile, green teas, and Masalas among several.

I used to give ratings, but now I only rate teas that have a strong impression on me. If I really like it, I’ll write it down.

I’ll enjoy a tea almost no matter what, even if the purpose is more medicinal, for it is my truest vice and addiction.


Michigan, USA

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