drank Ti Kuan Yin by English Tea Leaves
616 tasting notes

First Steeping, 3 minutes
Really pale liquor. Light vegetal flavor, has a some mineralness going on. aftertaste kind of strawy tasting. Wishing I would have rinsed this. Curse laziness :(

Second Steeping, 3 minutes, 30 seconds
Golden liquor. Kind of a broccoli vegetalness. I find myself missing the floral notes that a lot of ti kuan yin seems to have by now. Still has a little metallic flavor coming in with the inital flavors, luckily it seems to get much much better as the tea cools. Aftertaste is far better, less grassy, more vegetable (spinach) Leaves are about half unfulrled now.

Third Steeping, 4 minutes
Best so far! Same color as second steeping, but the flavor is is starting to be less veggie and my flower notes are there! Not picking up on the mineral taste any more either, instead it’s becoming nice and buttery. Maybe getting a slight spice note, though. Aftertaste is kind of a soft floral with the spice (pepper? saffron? I can’t quite place it). Leaves are mostly unfurled. This cup disappeared way too fast.

Fourth Steeping, 5 minutes
And better yet! Really buttery. Definite unexpected pepper notes on an asparagus and light flowery flavor. Really good depth of character. Aftertaste is very asparagus. I should be able to get one more steep out of this tea.

Fifth Steeping, 7 minutes
Back to a pale yellow liquor. Nice light green asparagus flavor with flower notes. Aftertaste is floral. Pretty sure this is the end. Thank you for the hours of enjoyment, Mr. Tea. :)

190 °F / 87 °C

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Name: Lauren
Location: Wisconsin (previously a Chicago girl)
Occupation: Student by day and super hero by night
Super Hero? Yep!
Which One? I can’t tell you that! Secret identities and such. Just know I’m not the hero they want, but the hero they need.
Sidekicks: Fiance and two budgies, Skitter and Gandalf


Reading, writing, cooking, video games, computers, drawing, crafting, papercraft. Oh and tea.

A brief history:

I grew up in a family where the only working coffee maker was in my dad’s office. So the name of the game for my mother and I quickly became (bagged) tea. In 2004/2005, I discovered Adagio Teas. I don’t remember how it happened, or why I decided to pursue a purchase but here we are. I haven’t looked back.

My tea tastes have changed over time and I’ve moved from liking solely flavored teas (mostly black and white) to enjoying Darjeelings primarily, though malty unflavored blacks, fresh tasting greens, and lightly oxidized oolongs come in pretty high on my list, too. Of course, I still enjoy a good cup of flavored tea. I prefer caffeinated teas, as I have a horrible caffeine addiction that I don’t plan on kicking any time soon.

Red rooibos and lapsang souchong (or other strongly smoky teas) are my arch nemeses and I will see them defeated and removed by force from my cupboard. Like all thing, there are exceptions, but I assume they’re guilty until proven innocent.

I really don’t like negatively rating things, because I feel like if you don’t have something nice to say, you probably shouldn’t say it. But in the interest of non-biased tea reviews I’m going to give it a shot. I view every tea as a potential adventure so I’ll try most things at least once.

I love trading and swaps are always welcome! Please note, though, what it in my cupboard includes amounts ranging from a couple cups to 4 ounces or more, so please PM me to find out if what you’re seeking is available in that trade amount.

According to my spreadsheet, I also have about 100 other 1-4 cup samples that are not in my cupboard.. Feel free to message if you’re interested in see the spreadsheet for possible swap options as well.

Tea Ratings:

100-95 Nectar of the teagods that has been bestowed upon my unworthy tongue. I will never let this tin run empty.

86-94 These are the teas I would like to keep regularly stocked, but sometimes life gets in the way. Lovely teas, but not quite god tier. I still get cravings for these.

74-85 Good teas, but not amazing. I enjoy these, but may or may not restock once they run out. I would still recommend these to others.

60-73 Not bad. I’ll gladly keep drinking my cup, and wouldn’t say no if someone offered me this tea. I probably won’t rebuy these as there is likely something else that is comparable and better.

47-59 Certainly drinkable and might even have some characteristics that I enjoy, but I won’t pick it up again

30-46 I’ll probably finish my cup, but this tea isn’t to my taste OR it’s just overwhemingly mediocre. Life’s too short for bad tea.

11-29 This cup is in the sink now and I will never willingly consume this again. If you see a tea rated this way, I probably followed it with mouthwash.

0-10 Please say a prayer for the cup I destroyed in the process of disposing of this tea in the quickest manner possible. I may need tea therapy before I drink a similar tea again.


Wisconsin, US



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