153 Tasting Notes


Dry – Smoky, fruity, peach/apricot fruity-floral hints and honey
Wet – Tobacco, Sweet, fruity tartness, Honey Sweetness and thickness
Liquor – Golden to Bronze

1st 35secs – Sweet, floral tart notes with playful fruity notes that coats the tongue in thickness while showing a strong smoky background that is very pleasant. As it goes down it it is slightly vegetal in the mouth while retaining strong floral and smoky notes. As it goes down, the floral and fruity notes linger in the mouth and back of the tongue.

2nd 30secs – Sweet with strong Tobacco notes and tart-bitter floral note that is pleasant as it opens up for the fruity sweet notes that coat the tongue with a thick body. As it goes down, the floral taste is very apparent and slowly turns fruity and sweet one again, lingering in the aftertaste. The floral and fruity notes linger in the mouth and throat with some freshness.

3rd 30secs – The tobacco notes resemble wild wood camp fire but retains its sweetness and floral complexity that coats the tongue and becomes fruity. As it washes down, it is strong in the tongue but thick and slowly moves to the back of the throat. The floral notes become sweet once again, and the fruity hints are more apparent in the lingering aftertaste.

Final Notes
I made several (7-8) steeps of this tea. I really love this one, inexpensive and delivers in all aspects. It is perfect for anyone who enjoys a tobbaco/smoky Puerh with a thick floral body and sweet lasting finish. The tea maintains a lot of its traits all the way to the end, you may notice some astringency apprearing in the later steeps but it is still pleasant.

However, it is a fickle Puerh when it comes to steeping time; I would advice to keep steeps on the shorter side . Doesn’t need a ‘wash’ a quick rinse or two works just fine, it is a good young tea and it doesn’t need much to wake up.

I just started a Blog http://thetinmycup.blogspot.com/ Please visit and feel free to comment!

205 °F / 96 °C
Doug F

Great start to the blog.


Thanks! Also, if you have any comments or recommendations they are also welcome. :)

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Dry - Sweet, refreshing, fruity-floral, nutty, baked greens.
Wet - Roasted oats, sweet, refreshing, vegetal yet floral-fruity and somewhat creamy.
Liquor - Pale Green – very fragrant nutty, floral and sweet.

Quick Notes Before the review
– I drank this tea twice before writing these notes. I initially made notes but found that even though there were minor differences; on ‘paper’ it resembled the Shi Fen Long Jing’s notes. I knew there were differences. But I couldn’t properly describe them from memory. I did a side by side tasting between the two and made the notes. I used smell to determine the times for each steep but I’ll give a rounding of the time for each steep.

1st – 25 secs Delicate fruity-floral with some tartness and slightly creamy thickness that was also delicate and smooth. As it washed down nutty vegetal notes dominate its body. Once is left the mouth, The floral-fruity notes become more apparent and enjoyable with refreshing finish.

2nd – 20 secs Still a delicate initial taste but this time the tea give more apparent nuttiness with stronger floral-fruity tartness that slowly smooths and becomes thicker and smoother, almost buttery. As it washes down, the tea becomes vegetal-nutty and even though it is smooth is not full bodied, medium would be a better description giving its more refreshing and juicy finish.

3rd – 20 secs A more floral-fruity start with evident juicy tartness and a nutty finish up front. As it covers the tongue, it is more floral without parting its vegetal and nutty traits. As it washes down, it is somewhat sweeter and crisp that leaves a pleasant floral and refreshing sensation.

4th – 35 secs Taking a bit of a turn it starts up sweeter and floral-fruity that becomes slightly cleaner bu wear some faint floral tartness. As it washes down, it still has hints of vegetal nuttiness but seem to fade, overpowered by a sweeter and juicier freshness at the end.

Final Notes
I was able to get 5-7 (sometimes 8) good steeps out of this one, anything past that point had astringency that I avoid in all greens. Since I tried this one side by side with the Pre-QingMing Shi Feng Long Jing I was able to spot side by side differences and of course when you have a direct comparison everything is more evident.

The main differences between the two are: Shi Feng is on the ‘savory’ side I would go with Umami for a better description a bit more broth like; while Da Fo, is vegetal but has more dominant sweetness. Also, Shi Feng seems to have a more filling broth/soup sensation to it, even when it has very refreshing features; Da Fo, has a very similar first steep apart from the sweetness but rapidly becomes more refreshing and even cleaner in taste (not tasteless, rather juicy). Finally, esthetics. Shi Feng has a coarser look to it, which I believe gives it its more apparent taste; Da Fo is a lot more consistent and ‘pretty’ looking but its flavor is not as apparent but it is more lasting through the steeps. I prefer Da Fo, not because of its looks but for the price you get a really amazing tea.

180 °F / 82 °C

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Dry - Nutty, sweet, roasty and cool/refreshing.
Wet - Very nutty vegetal, toasted nut hints, fruity tartness, some floral notes.
Liquor - Very light, yellow with a green hue.

Quick notes I did several Steeps and I didn’t really time the steeps. I mostly used the smell as a guide to determine when I wanted to try it. The times I specified are round ups to what I thought I did, but I did follow Ginko’s recommendations about time but also did some on my own to get that trial and error sweet spot.

1st – 20 secs Roasted nut hints reminiscent of rice scented tea, vegetal, like yellow squash with a full body that stays in the tongue. The nutty and vegetal notes stay in the mouth and becomes refreshing and very pleasant.

2nd – 25 secs Sweeter with a more apparent fruity/floral tanginess and even more refreshing somewhat minty. The taste is nutty vegetal again resembles yellow squash and still wears the nutty rice taste. It is very refreshing yet filling.

3rd – 35 secs Sweeter and ‘juicier’ rather than full bodied with the tart fruity/floral notes being more evident that previously. The taste is more floral and complex but maintains some vegetal and nutty notes in the background. Still somewhat filling but mostly refreshing.

Final Notes
- A very good tea indeed. I’m glad I pre-ordered this one from Gingko, the price was a bit better in the pre-order offer. I really loved it but want to make sure I clarify that even though the tea has pleasant sweetness, I find it to be more in the umami side of teas. Not necessarily savory, when I think about savory green tea, the taste of vegetal broth comes to mind.

This tea was very delicate and very well balanced the whole time. I can make around 4-6 good steeps with the tea, after that I start getting some astringency in the mouth, the taste is still pleasant but I avoid astringency in most greens; Japanese tea being the exception to the rule for me.

180 °F / 82 °C

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Thanks Bonnie for sharing this tea with me.

Dry – Sweet, VERY aromatic floral, TGY characteristic bitter-sweet floral, fruity and cinnamon.
Wet – Vanilla, Sweet corn, floral-fruity, nutty, mineral, faint cinnamon, buttery.
Liquor – Pale green.

1st steep – 10secs – Initially sugary sweet, vanilla, floral-mineral TGY taste that is well balanced not overwhelming. As I slurp, several notes appear but vanilla, sweet corn, butter and bittersweet floral are the most apparent. The sweetness is sugary or ‘clean’ at first but becomes more fruity/floral that lingers.

2nd steep – 15secs – Sweet, floral and mineral TGY taste that is well rounded and goes down smoothly retaining a lot of sweetness in the mouth and showing off some of the mineral and somewhat nutty notes. This taste lingers in the tongue and seems to travel to the back of the throat. Floral-vanilla sweetness lingers in the aftertaste.

3rd steep – 15secs – Sweet, nutty, floral bittersweet TGY taste that is very aromatic and pleasant, slightly creamy mouth-feel. As it goes down it is mineral and floral that becomes sweeter that resembles vanilla. The aftertaste is sweet and complex with notes that combine well.

Final Notes
I was able to several more steeps that were really enjoyable. What I liked about this tea is how well balanced it is. I think this is the trait I enjoy the most in good tea whether cheap or expensive, a well balanced tea is very enjoyable and even memorable.

Thanks again to Bonnie for sharing with me. I really liked this one, complex and subtle and overall very well well balanced. I’m sorry I took so long to review; but I’m kind of glad I did, since I had the time to truly sit down and enjoy it.

185 °F / 85 °C

Welcome back JC :-)


Hi! Glad you liked it!

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drank Jasmine Flowers by Mountain Rose Herbs
153 tasting notes

One of my favorite herbs/flowers. When I first wanted to buy Jasmine Flowers Years ago, I still believed that the scent would be as strong and apparent as the one from Lavender flowers. I was surprised at how ‘distant’ the scent from dried Jasmine is to that of the freshly picked one. It took me a bit to get used to, but one learns along the way.

The tea from the flower by itself is very gentle and subtle, yet it wields a somewhat hidden complexity. I would never imagine Jasmine being naturally sweet after having tried it as a very perfumy flower. The tea resembles a very volatile vanilla that is playful and seems to fade but constantly re-appears. There are subtle ghosts of the perfumy nature of Jasmine as you drink and sniff the tea, but is everything but overwhelming. The tea is soothing and calming, a very nice night-night tisane. This tea really help in stressful nights and when you feel tense for almost no reason.

170 °F / 76 °C

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drank Lemongrass by Mountain Rose Herbs
153 tasting notes

Quick Notes I’ve been sick lately. So even though I always make my herbal blends at home an enjoy them, I’ve been drinking them a LOT more instead of tea.

I like this lemon grass, Its not the MOST flavorful I’ve had but deserves the best score for what matters CONSISTENCY. It is almost impossible to find these days. I’ve had ‘better’ tasting from other companies to only have the next badge be weak and old almost stale tasting not a few months after when I re-ordered.

The price is excellent and I haven’t had any problems when drinking in blends or by itself. The color is beautiful still and looks fresh. Honestly, I use it to cook and to make Lemon Grass Martinis (just Brew a stronger tea, let it cool, mix with gingered simple syrup and you have your base flavor).


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I swear I had already logged this one before… mmmm. Anyway. I’m in a FML day. I only had 45 mins of sleep, so I’m going to be drinking this one ALL DAY LONG

It isn’t my favorite, but it is good. It has a slightly creamy chocolate body and sweetness. But it has a vegetal/bitter aftertaste that I’m not a big fan of. Great tea for work though!


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drank Circa 1990 CNNP 8972 by Life In Teacup
153 tasting notes

Dry – Sweet, lightly earthy and refreshing.
Wet – Sweet, creamy, slightly earthy, dates, hints of wood, sweet spice, floral.
Liquor – Dark Orange/Burgundy Red.

Gong Fu in Yixing Gaiwan 4-5g/5oz

1st 35secs – Lightly earthy, thick, sweet, and spicy hint up front. As it washes down it is smooth and strong tasting with a slightly puckery, sweet finish with a somewhat floral-bitter note. The aftertaste is sweet with slightly floral/flower nectar hints. Time between steeps allow the sweetness to develop in the mouth.

2nd 15secs – (the piece opened) Sweet, smooth, lightly earthy, floral and slightly spicy up front. As it washes down it is stronger in taste and very briefly pungent floral note that slowly becomes sweeter. The aftertaste is a floral note that gradually gets sweeter and resembles flower nectar or wild flower honey.

3rd 25secs – Sweet, lightly earthy, floral, brothy and slight spice notes up front. As it washes down, it has a stronger present floral-bittersweet note with a tangy hint that becomes sweeter. The aftertaste is floral sweet, resembles flower nectar or wild flower honey once again. The aftertaste lingers in the mouth and has moved to the throat as well. It becomes sweeter with time and keeps coming back.

4th 35secs – Sweet, smooth, light earthiness, floral, brothy and slight spiciness. As it washes down, it is stronger floral-bittersweet tone with a hint of sweetness that becomes stronger and is very apparent in the mouth and throat. The aftertaste is sweet floral-nectar/honey that lingers.

Final Notes
I stopped taking notes here but I made several good steeps after. I really like this brick, it is amazing. A true example of what good aging can do to a brick. I had to stop taking notes. Not because I was having a hard time, but because I was having such a great time. The sweetness at the end reminds me of pulling the stem of the flower and taking that small drop of nectar. It can resemble wild flower honey, but somehow flower nectar (lightly/watery sweet not bitter, and somewhat perfumy note) seems a better fit. The liquor itself is very aromatic and pleasant, I would love to retry this tea in 5 years, maybe even 10. But I’m sure that if I buy only one it won’t make it to 10! I should have look at the price before falling in love! :P


Sounds like a spicy little devil with a little cedar and honey…right or wrong? Couldn’t quite tell if it was nectar or if you had some redwood in the mix too. Sounds like a good one though.


It may have some cedar taste, that woody-spicy taste. But is very faint, almost a tease that remind you is a Puerh. But at the end, just wow the sweetness is just sweet and floral, but not bitter floral (the slight bitterness is mostly in the midst of drinking), is a light sweet (starts watery and increases) with floral. That’s why I went with flower nectar.

I used to pluck the stem of these: http://farm1.staticflickr.com/148/431442633_1187237026_z.jpg and get the a small nectar drop. They are called ‘Cruz de Marta’ back home, I found some similar looking ones on Google but none are the correct one. Just in case the part I used to pluck was the small yellow tip, a long thin stem would come along with a nectar drop.

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Dry – cooking herbal blend, Chinese medicine blend.
Wet – Woody, Chinese medicinal herbs blend(dry), books, slightly sweet and camphor.
Liquor – Orange to red Bronze.

1st 5secs – Slightly sweet, Chinese herbal medicine hints with faint woody notes up front. As it goes down, it slightly resembles a Shou woodiness but not quite like Shou, rather it is herbaceous woody instead of the earthy woody of a shou (licorice root?). The aftertaste is cleaner with a slight sweetness with faint woody notes and some camphor.

2nd 5secs – More Woody/Chinese medicinal/Licorice root and slight brothiness up front. As it washes down, it has a woody-herbal medicinal taste with a slight peppery hint that also wears the slightest hint of sweetness. The aftertaste is cleaner, slightly sweeter with woody notes that resemble Licorice and has camphor (slight spiciness as well), gets a bit sweeter with time.

3rd 7secs – Woody, medicinal herbs blend, herbaceous earthiness and hint of sweet up front. As is washes down, it slightly feels brothy/savory then resembles Licorice root and has a spiciness hint. The taste is more apparent in the throat at this point. The after taste is slightly sweeter with stronger herbaceous-earthy notes and some camphor. There’s more sweetness after a while passes but the medicine taste remains and is stronger.

4th 12secs – Woody, medicinal herbs, herbal-earthiness up front. As it washes down, it has a slight camphor spiciness before the brothy woody character sets in again. The woodiness turns slightly sweeter and has some spiciness. The aftertaste is woody, herbaceous-earthy and slightly sweet; there’s some spiciness in the camphor.

5th 15secs – Woody, medicinal herbs, slight herbal-earthiness and licorice notes up front. As it washes down, it is herbal-earthy with medicinal herbs taste and strong Licorice and slight sweetness. the aftertaste is slightly sweet, herbal-earthiness and camphor.

6th 35secs – Woody, medicinal herbs, herbal-earthiness slightly savory up front. As it washes down, it has a stronger presence in the throat and lingers there; in the mouth the herbal-earthiness and woody medicinal taste lingers through the aftertaste. The aftertaste is slightly sweet and medicinal tasting and very strong and present in the throat.

Final Notes
This tea has very strong cumulative camphor and throat presence. The taste becomes more apparent in the initial sipping of the second steep but the throat presence becomes more obvious at the end of the second steep and grows more apparent from then on. It is very important to allow time between steeps, the taste is great but the real reward becomes after the tea has gone down.

I’m glad I bought this. I’m also glad I bought the sample. I think it’s a really enjoyable experience and learning experience, but I don’t see myself drinking this over and over. It’s great, it just isn’t what I pursue in a Puerh.

I was doing a blend at home with herbs and roots(people coughing around are starting to gain on me). And I stumbled across Licorice root and then Ginseng root (both dry of course). So if you’d like to have a better idea of what I mean when I say ‘Chinese Medicinal herb scent/taste’, think Licorice and Ginseng somehow fused.


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Not a taste note; see previous notes
I usually try to avoid black tea at night, but today I felt like I could stay up a bit longer as long as enjoyed it. I love this one, as I mentioned in the tasting note it has some differences with the standard version, some are subtle but not unnoticeable. And those that are apparent make it that much more worth while (lasting flavor and aftertaste, I’ve come to love this trait in teas).

I’ll enjoy this while I blow some steam playing video games!


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Discovered tea a few years ago and I’ve been exploring ever since. I’m looking forward to keep learning and enjoy tea as I do. Keep learning, those who “know” stop learning and become irrelevant to the world.

I’m adding the scale because I noted that we all use the same system but it doesn’t mean the same to all.(I rate the tea not by how much I ‘like it’ only; there are flavors/scents I don’t like but they are quality and are how they are supposed to be and I rate them as such).

90 – 100: AMAZING. This the tea I feel you should drop whatever you are doing and just enjoy.

80-89: Great tea that I would recommend because they are above ‘average’ tea, they usually posses that ‘something’ extra that separates them from the rest.

70-79: An OK tea, still good quality, taste and smell. For me usually the tea that I have at work for everyday use but I can still appreciate and get me going through my day.

60-69: Average nothing special and quality is not high. The tea you make and don’t worry about the EXACT time of steep because you just want tea.

30-59: The tea you should probably avoid, the tea that you can mostly use for iced tea and ‘hide’ what you don’t like.

1-29: Caveat emptor! I feel sorry for my enemies when they drink this tea. :P





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