1412 Tasting Notes

drank Sichuan Caravan by Verdant Tea
1412 tasting notes

I read through the first page of tasting notes on this one and I have to accept my tastes are just way different. I can smell pu’er but I don’t taste it. What I get is ginger, then elderberry and licorice coming in with sweet fruity highlights, this fades into a warm cheek tingling from the peppercorns. There is nothing here I don’t like, I just don’t care for them combined. It kind of reminds me of a fall chai blend. I pretty much don’t like chai. While that is not what this is, my brain has already made that connection. Every one else seems to love it. That just proves every good tea does not appeal to every tea drinkers tastes. Well blended and complex – I just don’t care.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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A couple days ago when I first tried this tea, I was a little intimidated by it because it is so rare and is the most expensive tea I have tried to date. Today I relaxed at didn’t sweat it. I used 175 F filtered water and a 2 minute steep. That is half the time and 10 F cooler than listed the label.

Wow! Is really all the explanation necessary but in case that isn’t enough for some of you. The wet leaf is creamed corn and steamed spinach. The brew itself is so crystal clear and more honey tinted than the green I got the first time. It tastes of creamed corn with a mild dragonwell bite. It is crisp and now the aftertaste is long lingering.

Once again I am filled with that inner warming sensation Terri called good tea energy. This is truly an awesome cup. I really liked it the first time. Changing the parameters to suit me made this an extremely incredible cup. Wow! Just Wow!

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Isn’t this stuff great? :D


Sounds incredible


Yes, and Yes.


I had my eye on this the other day!

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Continuing on with this again today. The sample I have is formed in approx 1 inch squares that are easy to separate but the leaf itself is very densely packed. I thought it might take a few extra seconds to get this going again from yesterday. I was wrong. I almost got it too dark at 30 seconds. Just a hint of roughness late in the sip but that is because I should have gone half the steep time. Still very easy to drink. This is a good one.

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I am not entirely sure I am reviewing this in the correct place. This was given to me and mine has “Love of Dayi” on the bag in addition to 2010 Menghai Brick.

I love little brickettes and touchas. I don’t have to figure out how much to use. This one is quite solid. Even after steeping for 45 seconds. I’ll be spending a lot of time with it tomorrow. After steeping the aroma is kind of 4-H barn. But the taste is really nice. It is horse tack and cedar. Smooth as silk. There are no rough edges that need tamed here. Very easy to sip of chug if you are so inclined. Kind of sweet. Me and my Splenda monkey like that. A very enjoyable pu’erh.


Which vendors do you prefer buying pu’erh from? I had a pu’erh tea earlier this week that I really enjoyed, but have so little knowledge that I don’t know where to go next. I took a look at the Yunnan Sourcing site but they have so many options that it’s overwhelming.


Nice to have a fellow Steepie who knows what a 4H barn smells like! Had to run farm errands for my Dad today and got nostalgic whiffs at the MFA grain elevator and Orscheln Farm Supply. Can’t replicate those smells anywhere. (And they had baby bunnies and chicks!)


Christina – head over to the discussion forum and ask the bunch in the “Puerh of the day: Sheng or Shou” thread. They know what they are talking about. I just get lucky.

Gmathis – would miss the 4-H barn, its accompanied by elephant ears and pork burgers. Orscheln – I didn’t realize it was a chain (there is one just a couple miles from my house, but yes to bunnies and chicks!


Christina, YS is amazing. So is Puerhshop.com. But you should do some hw. I suggest you to follow mrmopar notes. I learned a lot fr his notes.


Christina, I agree with boychik in that YS and PuerhShop.com are reputable vendors with a wide selection. Sifting through their offerings can be daunting, so following mrmopar and the “pu-erh of the day. Sheng or Shou” discussion can prove enlightening. In the beginning I ordered a ton of samples just to start making sense of the array of choices before committing to a lot of full amounts, which helped. Also, the Steepster community is a great group in which to ask questions. They’ve always been patient and helpful to me.


Christina, just followed you. Glad to help. KS I think this was a 2010 7562 brick . You got it right probably a mislabel. Also I recommend the Mandala site also. If you need sellers from abroad contact me before you get anything.

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I received this yesterday from Angel and Teavivre. I quickly pushed it to the top of my must sample today list. This is a very rare and extremely early first flush dragon well, picked before March 26, 2014 . It makes me a little nervous tasting such a rare tea.

The leaf is much smaller than I expected. My guess is this is due to the very young age of the bud and leaf. Very flat. Pretty color. It has a faint aroma that is distinctly dragon well.

I steeped in 185 F water for 4 minutes per the label instructions. I would have only gone two minutes without the label. The liquor is extremely clear and almost colorless with only the slightest green tint. The wet leaf aroma is steamed spinach and cream corn. I really liked the scent.

Sipping I get brisk, almost bitter but in the good green tea way. It is very crisp. The aftertaste fades very quickly but (and this is my first such experience) it leaves behind a warm inner glow. I am not talking about the tea. I mean me. It filled me with a warm glowing feeling. Unique and beautiful.

Also thank you to Angel for including the beautiful silk scarf. My wife saw it in the box and said, “Oh pretty!” She grabbed it, put it around her neck, and it is still there today. Your kindness and generosity do not go unnoticed.

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

Any idea as to proper pronunciation of She Quian?


From Teavivre website:
She is 社 (shè) and Qian is 前 (qián).


In the early Spring, when the tea buds just appeared their face on the trees, the harvest of She Qian Dragon Well is ready to begin. The fresh leaves are all in one bud with one leaf shape, so the leaf is stubby. And so glad your wife like our silk scarf.

Terri HarpLady

Sounds like good tea energy to me!!


I think you are correct!

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I seldom brew blooming teas. They are pretty but seldom tasty. That said, I liked this one a lot. It tastes of cantaloupe melon and what my brain detected as flowers with something like very light clove or clover. Is that what lychee tastes like? I have no idea.

My wife and I drank the first 16 oz pot straight down and agreed we needed another. I am pretty sure it would have gone a third pot.

If you are going to prepare a blooming tea for display, it should be something you would actually want to drink. I think this is – and my wife agrees.

180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Criss Cross by RiverTea
1412 tasting notes

Steepster freaked out on me, so I am trying this again. I have logged this a couple times before with different results based on temp. Today I used hotter water than suggested. I used 185 F and 2 minute steep. The tea is green. The aroma as I poured was very asparagus / spinach. This was very good once again. This time it is buttery. There is no bitterness. Next time maybe I’ll go even hotter until I find its breaking point. What a nice tea.

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drank Bolder Breakfast by The Tea Spot
1412 tasting notes

This has a lot of reviews and I am not sure I can add anything new but that won’t stop me from trying. I opened this expecting a basic black breakfast so imagine my surprise at the pretty yellow petals, whatever they are, and CHOCOLATE! I wrote on my blog this must be the breakfast tea dad would serve ‘cause mom wouldn’t let me have chocolate first thing in the morning. This is more of a grown up take on the flavoring. It is well behaved. The brew is not messy or cloudy as chocolate teas tend to be. The chocolate flavor is light and melts into the tea blend. The pu’erh is the only one I can single out as it has a mild earthy taste. Not bitter or astringent. Half the caffeine of a cup of coffee. That I can’t single the other teas out is as close to a complaint as I have – it is almost too perfectly blended. But for too perfect it is darn tasty.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

this sounds really nice. chocolate for breakfast makes me feel like a spoiled special kid at my aunt’s house ’cause my mom never let me have sweet stuff for breakfast either, ha.


My mom’s theory was that eating SOMETHING before I left for school, regardless, was preferable to running off on an empty stomach. I had Chef Boy R Dee ravioli for breakfast a lot.


I never really understood the candy restriction. I mean we ate super frosted sugar bombs cereal and doughnuts so what is the difference? Never tried ravioli for breakfast. Sounds…. different. :)


I love soup for breakfast

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drank Earl Grey by Ahmad Tea
1412 tasting notes

Yesterday’s only cup of tea. At least it was one I like. I need a vacation from being retired. Kidding.


I like this one more than Twinigs’. It’s more full and complex.


Twinings base is too wallflower for an Earl Grey. Give me some guts in the mug.

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1412 tasting notes

I have reviewed this cheapster steepster many times. Today’s experience was interesting. I caught hints of leather. I have no idea what was different. Nothing on my end that I am aware. No matters, I enjoyed 1 1/2 cups. The waitress was talking with my wife and kind of poured decaf into my first cup. She was embarrassed. I was amused. It made my morning seeing how quickly she scrambled to get another cup on the table.


Hubby and I have decided that becoming recognizable “regulars” at plain ol’ diners is a sign of middle-agedness.


I think it is worse than middle-agedness. Of course the bright side is you don’t have to order, they just bring it to you. I kind of feel like Norm. Everybody knows my name.

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Having a passion for tea and living in rural America is a tough combination. The nearest tea vendor is 65 miles away. Joining Steepster has completely changed the direction of my tea journey.

My Rating System

90-100 Love it enough to keep around
80-90 Like a lot, would drink often
70-80 Above average
50-70 Average – take it or leave it
0-50 I don’t like it and don’t want to like it


Indiana, USA



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