1030 Tasting Notes

drank Mint Earl Grey by Thay Tea
1030 tasting notes

I will finally review this tea! I have drank it quite a few times, especially on our trip, but haven’t written a note on it yet. Well, tonight is the night! I have been sipping shu all day while re-seasoning my pot (it’s done now, just drying, hopefully it worked!). I need a little caffeine break, and this is such a delicious tea I had to have it again tonight.

The thing that sold me on this tea in Ucluelet’s tea shop Thay Tea is that it is a mint EG. Just contains spearmint, peppermint and bergamot! A wonderfully simple concept but not one that I had seen before. So I smelled it, and was blown away by the freshness of it. I mean, citrusy bergamot and mint? It was SO FRESH. Mmmm. Smelling the bag now takes me back to the west coast. I’m happy I have that memory attached to this :)

I brewed this for around 2 minutes. The liquor smells not quite as minty when steeped, but definitely still there, and the bergamot is not overpowering. As for the flavor, this is so fresh. Mostly mint yes, but the bergamot adds this brightness and livens it up from a straight mint blend by adding citrus notes. SO REFRESHING. I bet this would be amazing iced too! This helps clear out my sinuses too, and it makes me happy :) a lovely combo!

Overall, I am so happy I picked up 50g (smallest in-store size) of this tea. It is one I will drink quite frequently for the memories and flavor. The fact that it is caffeine free means it will also get drank frequently. If you like mint and want to try something a bit different, this is for you. Tasty and fresh!

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Mint


I love how you were able to visit these rural tea shops on the Island! I haven’t even done so since I don’t have a vehicle haha.


Awe, well hopefully you get to go to them at some point! We had a rental car so we went everywhere put a lot of miles on it haha. Luckily they do have online ordering so you can still try them :)


Smart plan renting! I only have my learner’s so no can do, but regardless, I’m sure it must have been a nice experience going to these places in person, smelling the teas, etc. It must have been a ton of fun!


Yeah we had to pay the young renters fee but luckily we still could or our trip would have been much less eventful haha, well you will be able to go to them all in a couple years at least! It was quite fun :)


I wish I were that young! I could have been getting my license for well over ten years now but kept brushing it off since I always took the bus in Edmonton. Now that I’m here, I just do the same thing.

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drank Lao Cang Mini Tuo by Mandala Tea
1030 tasting notes

‘Tis the weekend, and I decided I want to have many pu’erh sessions today, so I chose a tuocha for this task. It freezing rained here last night so the roads are a skating rink, therefore I am staying inside all day. Oh, and I’ll be worrying away about the bf, who got called out to work 3 days early and is currently in a cab on the terrible roads heading to the airport. Hope he makes it there in one piece! :(

Anyways, back to this tea! I am guessing this is the same sample I had as Tealizzy, as it is similar to the 2011 Lao Cang tu on Mandala’s site, but just brown writing rather than multi colored. I can’t find a year on mine, but at least it is a Lao Cang! So I did a 15s rinse and I bit the bullet and did a 1 minute steep as recommended. I always worry it will be too strong haha. The tea is super dark, and unfortunately I am writing this review as the cup has already cooled, so there isn’t much of a scent, just a clean, light smell.

As for the flavor, this is a satisfying pu’erh. It’s not crazy caramelly or bright or musty or woody like others, it’s a bit nondescript, but definitely not difficult to drink. It is SUPER smooth, a tiny bit savoury, a bit of a mushroom savouriness actually. There is a mild brown sugar note blending in nicely too, and a bit of a hay aftertaste. It’s tough to describe because there aren’t any stand out flavors, but it is just good. Quite good actually! My stomach also feels wonderful, and I have a sleepy calmness about me, not strong cha qi, just a light calming sensation.

Overall, to me this is a really good tuocha, even if it is not overly distinct. I like that even with the minute steep, it is smooth and soft, not overbearing, not too strong, and no caffeine jitters. This will be a perfect one to steep throughout the day! And don’t let my mention of it not being distinctive scare you off. I enjoy that it is just a lovely, smooth flavor, with everything blending together into an excellent tea.

ETA – I have also made a big decision…I am going to re-season my yixing pot. I hardly ever drink oolong anymore mostly due to the caffeine effects, so I am seasoning it with Noble Mark, a shu that I have enjoyed for a while now and doesnt give me negative caffeine effects. In hindsite, I definitely should have waited until I was further into the tea scene before seasoning a yixing, but I adore the shape of this one and it truly is my most beautiful piece of teaware. I realize this may not work with my yixing, but it will be better than it sitting in the cupboard forlornly while I brew my shus in a gaiwan lol. It needs to be used! Wish me luck :)

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drank Sichuan Caravan by Verdant Tea
1030 tasting notes

I feel the start of a cold coming on..probably due to the warmer weather that is incoming, messing with my system..so I am going to drink this and related ginger heavy teas all day to ward it off. And lots of water. Luckily it is just a sore throat and irritated nose right now, so it could even just be my allergies acting up. But I’m not taking any chances :P this is a delicious tea anyways, not like I need an excuse to drink it! Gingery, warm, spicy and a tasty pu’erh base..yum. No honey in it today haha. See previous notes on this tea!


feel better!

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Finally trying this mini tu! I really have not felt like reviewing new teas lately (aka all last week lol), but I will try to be better this week. I still have so many to review that I picked up on vacation! Ah, all in good time. Tonight, I was ridiculously craving a latte with eggnog lol, but my stomach doesn’t do well with milk, so I thought I’d be nicer to it and have some pu’erh instead. And I have so many mini tuochas to get to, might as well have one tonight.

This one has a barn, hay-like scent to it. Definitely like wet hay in a barn haha. I do not mind this earthy scent, mostly due to my new love of pu’erh, although I can see it being off-putting to some. I did a quick 15s steep as recommended, then a 1 minute steep. The tuocha is just starting to break apart at the end of this steeping.

The liquor is dark and rich and smells clean and caramelly. Mmmm, man I needed this tonight. As for the flavor, ahh this is so good right now. A ton of caramel flavors in this one! A clean earthiness, a tinge of smoke, maybe leather at the end of the sip, but this melds with the sweetness to lend a sugar like sensation on my tongue. I’m totally picturing caramellized, slightly burnt brown sugar.

Overall, this is rich, thick, and immensely satisfying. I feel like I am not quite adept enough to determine many flavours in pu’erh yet other than caramel and earth notes haha, but this is certainly enjoyable, even if I’m missing (or mis-interpreting) some of the flavours. Exactly what I needed tonight!

ETA – I did the second steeping for 1 min as well, and the liquor is super dark like coffee. I was worried it would be pretty strong, but it is still awesome. More pronounced leather and some wood notes and not quite as smooth, but still delicious. And its also making me quite sleepy and relaxed :)

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Leather

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And finally a review of my current cup of tea lol. This has been keeping me company as I have been watching curling earlier, then put on some classical music, vacuumed the house, did all my laundry from my trip, and cleaned up the kitchen/bedroom. Oh, and played with the cat lol. This is still such a beautiful cup, it’s light and sweet and although it is summery, I also can picture drinking this while light snow is falling in the night. Which it very well might be doing outside here haha. Delicious, and I am nearing the end of this one too, would have liked this to be made available for furher purchase, maybe it will be in the future! Oh, and just checked – I haven’t actually reviewed this one before LOL. So here’s a quick rundown of this tea, which I have enjoyed many times already -

Smells delicious, light jasmine and florals. I usually steep for around 2 mins, and the aroma is heavenly, if you enjoy jasmine haha. The flavor is creamy and sweet, its like Verdant’s lovely Yunnan White Jasmine, but enhanced with even more florals. There is also a strong linen note in the mouthfeel and flavor. This is just delicious and reminds me of light sprinklings of rain or snow, dew covered lawns early in the morning, flower gardens, springtime, and delicate morning frost. Light and beautiful.

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I had a lovely sipdown of this tea this morning, made in my little teapot and poured into one of my favorite mugs. It was malty and grainy, so delicious as per usual, I did overleaf a bit as it was near the end of the sample, so it was quite strong with a 1.5 minute steep. But still so good. And gave me much needed energy to shovel the sidewalk from the gross icy freezing rain/snow we had last night. Need to add this one to the wishlist for the future! See previous notes on this tea, and thanks again to Angel at Teavivre for the free samples of this tea!

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Backlog – had an evening/late night session with this last night while online Christmas shopping. It was amazing again, just wish I had started it earlier so I could have enjoyed a few more steepings :P haha see previous notes on this amazing sheng!

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Backlog – I had a lovely cup of this yesterday morning before doing a lot of Christmas shopping haha, both online and in stores. It was a busy day. I am finally getting back to earth after my 9 day vacation, albeit much more relaxed than before I left. Which was exactly why I went :P happy that Christmas is coming and had a productive, satisfying weekend getting ready for it. This tea hit the spot. See previous notes on this one – I’m very close to sipping it down too!

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drank Vanilla Chai by DAVIDsTEA
1030 tasting notes

Backlog – I sipped this down last night as a latte with 1% milk. It was really good, and didn’t upset my stomach! This was a tasty tea to try, but with the ridiculous amounts of tea I currently have and the better chai blends, I doubt that I will restock this. Still, it made for a warming fall/winter blend! See previous notes on this tea :)

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Yes, it’s a bit late for a sheng session, but I was craving it and decided to sip this one down too, since I have soo many pu’erhs on the way to me from BF! :D haha well this is an excellent tea as usual, one of my first shengs, and it still does not fail to disappoint. Delicious honey smell, nice mildly green/honeyed flavor, and some nice cha qi at this fine hour. Listening to Christmas music with the cat and using my new cup for parts of the session (it doesn’t hold much so there is a supplemental cup haha)

Here’s a link to my new cup. I am madly in love with it.

Anyways, cheers to this tea! Until we meet again :) see previous notes on this one!

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Hello all, I am an electrical engineer (read:NERD :D), who is a bit obsessed with tea! I discovered loose tea in 2011, DAVIDsTEA in 2012 and it took off from there. I really started drinking/enjoying tea because it was excellent to take to class in the morning and because I can’t handle coffee! (unless it’s a really good cappuccino or latte, or decent decaf haha)

I enjoy a variety of teas – current favorites being ripe and raw pu’erhs, chinese black teas and herbal/green rooibos blends. I also enjoy white, green, and oolong teas, although I tend to drink them more in the warmer months. I have also tried matcha and guayusa, but I don’t drink them too often as I am a bit sensitive to caffeine. As a result I don’t drink black teas as often as I used to, but in moderation I can still enjoy a wide variety of teas.

Oh, and I have a severe peanut allergy and try to avoid most other nuts, just to be safe. Limits my tea choices a bit, but that’s ok. However I have tried almonds and found out I can eat them, so I have been trying a few teas with them in them.

MissLena’s rating system
(as of 04/19/13)

95+: Absolute favorite, will try to always have it in stock, and when I don’t I pine over it!
90-94: Awesome teas, will probably purchase again a few times
80-89: Very good tea, may restock at some point
70-79: happy to have tried and will gladly finish, but not restock
60-69: not horrible, but not the best, will finish if I have some though
50-59: not a favorite, probably will have a tough time finishing the bag
-50: yuck. I don’t want to have it ever again.



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