1385 Tasting Notes


Steeped this longer than I intended today. Not sure how long – maybe 8 minutes. Tasted completely different than a shorter steep but still very good. It did not become bitter. Instead this became more green tea like. I know it is very lightly oxidized but it had more oolong characteristics when steep 3 minutes. A light refreshing tea.

200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1385 tasting notes

It is really warm today for the middle of February – but we kind of earned it this winter. I wanted a green tea frap but the wife wanted breakfast. This is the bagged tea at the restaurant. Normally I really like it, good taste and decent depth for what it is, but today I must have gotten the bottom of the box. Pretty much tasted like cardboard. Oh well, the biscuit was good.


But Thursday is frap day…

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drank Golden Yunnan by RiverTea
1385 tasting notes

Yesterday it was sunny and upper 50’s. Took my wife to the big city (a town of 30,000, 60,000 when college is in session) ate out and just had a fun day. Today I am paying for it. My back and hips hurt and my breathing is giving me fits but it was totally worth it.

I over leafed this a little and got distracted so it over steeped but it took it like a trooper. I love Yunnans. This one is a very good example. Dry it smells of sweet hay. Steeped it has just enough roast to give it flair while the brown sugar chocolate caramel notes delight the taste buds. A very nice tea.

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
1385 tasting notes

It always makes me nervous when I first try one of the Steepster legends. This one has reached near mythic proportions. What if I hate it? What if the hoopla is all hype and marching bands?… But what if its not?

Verdant mentions baked brownies. Yeah, that is what the aroma is like. The taste is chocolate and roasted caramel drizzled in honey. The aftertaste is wonderfully malty. Seriously good.

Maybe memory fails me and this is nothing like Bailin Gongfu but it is just like it in that it is a game changer if your experience with black tea has been limited to Assam and Ceylon type black teas. Not harsh at all. Just smooth and delicious.

Thank you Terri for sharing!

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Terri HarpLady

Yay, glad you like it! This is, of course, one of my (many) favorites, & a tea I can count on in the morning before breakfast. Generally chinese teas are much more gentle on my stomach when its empty, which might be one of the reasons I love them so much to begin with.


Super yummy! Glad you like it!


hahah I know completely what you mean! I find myself adjusting reviews of teas as time passes. So sometimes I get influenced by what other people on Steepster have written/ranked, but time corrects it to how it ranks in my memory and experiences.


Hey K S, don’t feel nervous as you are yourself a Steepster legend with your 1000+ reviews!! that’s a lot of tea tastings, and we value your opinion, whether it’s good or
And I totally understand why you would compare it to Bailin Gongfu as a game changer…


Ha ha TheTeaFairy. I’m thinking, as a legend, I’m going to need a theme song. :)


Terri, you must come up with a melody for “ode to K S the Tea Legend”. You’ll play the harp, and i’ll sing with the most un-fairy voice ever, lol!


I quite agree about your Bai Lin comment there. I found it very Fujian-esque myself, but with a twist. :)

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A sad sip down. Hate to see this disappear. I do have a full bag of Jasmine green tea from Teavivre that I won’t open until a few more are gone. I can’t do 12 cups a day like some of you so this will probably take me through most of the day.

I have said it before but I thought I hated jasmine until Teavivre. Wonderful almost grapey goodness.

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This is an interesting tea. The bergamot scent is strong and so is the mint blast. It is a cool (pun originally unintentional) mix of flavors I have not seen from any one else. Might not appeal to every one but I keep going back to it.

I don’t use the flavors thing but bergamot isn’t even listed. What’s up with that?


I think the flavors that are given are mainly for straight teas and not the flavored ones… And that’s why you’ll find ‘malt’ or ‘cannabis’ (lol) on the list but not bergamot. It was confusing me as well at first.


ha! cannabis is a flavor option!

I’m on the hunt for a good casablanca-style tea. Would you recommend this one?


Kaylee it depends on how you like your earl grey and mints. The mint is mainly peppermint with spearmint in a lighter dose. The bergamot is the main component and is not wimpy. I have gone through it pretty quick, so I guess that means I like it. I’ll check and see how much I have left to send you some to try.


Aw, that’s not necessary but thank you! Is there anything in my cabinet you’d like to try?

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According to my tasting note I have had this for two years! Two Years?! That can’t be correct. Anyway, it is still very fresh. I completely forgot how roasted this smells. Just like a hojicha I own. The taste is moderately roasted green oolong. The liquor feels quite dense. Very nice.

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Yesterday’s leaf. This is even more delicious than yesterday. Honey sweetness, orchid floral, and something lightly spicy. Much happiness in my belly.

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I used a couple ounces more water than intended but the results were good. This is a solid contender for a everyday oolong. The liquor is highly floral scented and a lovely green. The cup is much more behaved than the aroma might suggest. It is buttery, tasting of honey with a spiciness that reminds me of mild ginger. Reading the description I see orchid mentioned and yes I think that nails what I’m getting later in the sip. The aftertaste is sweet but dissolves into a drying sensation without really seeming astringent.

My favorite thing about this tea is though it smells highly floral, the taste does not overpower your senses with flowers. This is a smooth and gentle cup. Not being in love with oolongs, I found this to be an interesting and delicious cup.

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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I drank no tea yesterday. Truth be told until suppertime the only fluid I drank was a glass of milk first thing in the morning. I got busy and just lost track of time. I was hoping to make up lost time today but haven’t done well so far. I am following so many people there is no way I can catch up with tasting notes. I barely checked in on Steepster yesterday now I have way to many unread notes. I have got a few cups of this one in me though.

First the bad news. I cannot make the honeysuckle connection. It grows wild in the fence rows all around here. In the summertime the air is amazing in the early morning air. Slow car rides with the windows down are highly recommended.

Now the good. This is a very mellow gentle puerh. The dry leaf scent is like a fruity black tea with hints of mint. The sip is very smooth with a sweet forest floor woodsy floral aroma. My first cup was at 30 s and it was light with notes of mint. The second I went 5 minutes per The Persimmon Tree suggestion. It was a little stronger and spicier but really pretty similar to the first. I actually preferred the first. I think next time I’ll start at 2 minutes and adjust from there. This is a really nice first unflavored puerh with enough depth to grow with you for quite a while.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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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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