New Tasting Notes

This is a dynamic, complex and powerful young tea that starts out sweet and almost buttery with a pleasantly lubricious mouth feel. Make no mistake, this is a bitter tea, but it’s a productive bitterness that coaxes out the flavors of the tea (apricots, nuts and maybe a hint of anise) in the same way that the right amount of salt enhances good cooking. It’s tongue numbing in the middle steeps, and the flavor slowly morphs from fruit to vegetable as the session continues. Another delicious young sheng in the $50/cake range from Yunnan Sourcing. I shared this with some sheng-newbies at work and they loved the mix of drinkability and complexity.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

Sounds delicious. Next Sheng sale and I’m in big trouble.


At least you have enough restraint to wait for a sale!

Doug F

There are a lot of good 2014 cakes in that $50 range; it will be tough to decide which one(s) to choose.

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drank Forever Nuts by DAVIDsTEA
155 tasting notes

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I have never had tea from Shibi before, but I am really excited to try it… especially because the name reminds me of Shiba, as in Shiba Inu, the dog breed… which reminds me of my favorite internet mascot… Doge.

But aside from that… the scent of this tea after the dry leaves have sat a moment in a warm gaiwan is just incredible. It’s really rich with gooey notes of honey and cinnamon. There’s a floral glimmer to it as well, but mostly I’m reminded of fresh baked sopapillas drizzled with warm honey.

After giving the first infusion a taste… hold on, somebody here wants to say something… I’m going to let him take over and write the review.

MUCH CREAM. Such smell! Very flower. WOW.

Butter. Many fruit. AMAZE.

Such linger. Very taste. More flower. Many drool. Wow.

Wow. Such steeping. Wow.

Okay, Doge, that’s enough from you, buddy. Many thanks for your input. We’re on the third steeping now and both very impressed by just how creamy, rich and vibrant this tea’s flavor is. It has such a burst of floral, fruity, and nature tones in it. It’s like walking through the mountains with wildflowers in full bloom while eating a bowl full of fresh peaches and cream. The leaves have unfolded so beautifully.

This is such a buttery tea, in both flavor and texture. The floral taste really lingers a very long time in your mouth after sipping, and the tea texture is very wet and mouth-filling. I’m reminded of osmanthus flowers in the sort of peachy-floral taste. It’s a fine example of spring tea.

Oh, he wants to type something again. I’ll let him wrap it up.

Such tea. Many rate. Doge excite.
Follow ur dreams. WOW.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cream, Flowers, Honey, Osmanthus, Peach

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

This sounds amazing!

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205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

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Made as a Coconut Milk Latte; tasted like great hot chocolate with the added bonus of a caffeine boost. Honestly, I can probably just summarize it that briefly and call it a day.

More importantly, the last few days have been CRAZY and very ‘life altering’. Again, I can probably just sum them up with jot notes or, at least, “bite size” bits of information. It’s easier for me to process that way just writing everything out…

- Got my new glasses/frames! That’s probably the most ‘tame’ thing that’s taken place…
- Something happened with Tre that I honestly will probably never forgive him for
- Please don’t ask me what it was; it’s very personal!
- Because of what took place I felt it in my best interest to move out and quickly
- Last night both my parents came down to Saskatoon & helped me pack all of my stuff
- I gave my landlord my last month’s rent and official notice I’m leaving
- I don’t know if Tre will continue living there now that he doesn’t have a roommate
- And honestly I don’t care
- I also had to quit my job since I left quickly and couldn’t give two weeks notice
- So I’m currently unemployed; I’ll hopefully start job hunting by next week
- And I am now back in Regina living with my mom
- I’m struggling with this a lot right now; it feels like I’ve taken a huge step backwards
- And despite being surrounded by family I feel very isolated and alone
- The last time I was in Regina I was highly depressed
- And I worry being back long term may bring about another depressed episode
- But I think that’s better than being in Saskatoon right now
- I’d also really appreciate people not bringing up Tre for a while
- For at least a while I very much need to distance myself from him/the idea of him
- For my mental well being…

Ironically, all of this went down on September 1st which was the two year anniversary of our moving to Saskatoon. As my friend Robyn said, it was ‘fateful’. So that’s where I’m at right now; and maybe it’s over sharing but I felt it was important for me to get that written out so the people I talk to daily here on Steepster know that I’m uncomfortable talking about Tre right now.

Also, in case it wasn’t obvious – my address definitely isn’t the same one I was using so Steepster friends please don’t send anything out to that address; I’ll be going back at the end of the month to clean up the apartment better (we left in such a hurry) and pick up any mail waiting for me but I don’t want to have to go back down to get stuff after that. If you’d like my new address, just PM me and I’d be happy to give it out.


Whoa.. so sorry RS :( hugs Hope everything gets better for you!


Oh my, I hope this transition brings only good things! Sorry to hear about the troubles. :( I hope you still will receive your package I sent you; I sent it out last Saturday to the Saskatoon address. I wish I had waited, sorry about that!


wow, sorry to hear about that! I hope that you can get back on your feet soon!


I’m so sorry to hear that! I hope only good things come from your move! If you need to talk, you can always send me a PM :) always here to help a fellow Steepster out!


Whoa, that’s so stressful. I’m really sorry to hear all this is happening to you, and I hope you can get back on your feet soon.


I’m sorry you had to move back. Hopefully good things will come around for you. Hugs


Sorry to hear about all of this my dear. I ditto everybody’s sentiments!

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Not too bad. Definitely a nice rich chocolate flavor. However, the sweetness is balanced quite nicely with the chai spices. I sweetened it with a few teaspoons of rock sugar, which brought out the chocolate sweetness more.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cloves, Ginger, Sweet, Whiskey

180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Blackberry by The Extra Ingredient
2049 tasting notes

My friend who gave me the sample of this tea a while back was going to Greensboro and asked if I would for her to pick up some tea for me. I asked for eight ounces of this, and it was only eight dollars. Wow.

It is really good, very flavorful. My daughter and her friend love it and we are managing to sock it away pretty fast. The blackberry aroma fills the house when we make it. It kept reminding me of something, and I finally got it. Parma violets. Daughter’s friend agreed there were similarities. Don’t be horrified, it doesn’t taste just like them, but there is something about it that is reminiscent of violet candies. And now I want violet candies because I am out and they sell them around here and I am really susceptible to suggestion apparently.

I am almost too groggy to type. For those who saw the earlier posts, here is an update.

Mother-in-law had spinal surgery yesterday to relieve pain of compression fracture. She is now too weak to be accepted back to her assisted Irving place, so we face finding a rehab facility and then hoping to get her back to where she was. If not, nursing home. She couldn’t not sit unassisted today. We have to take turns staying at the hospital with her because she barely eats enough to keep a gnat alive and can’t feed herself, and the nurses are too busy to feed her.

Nephew spiked a fever of 105F just when they were going to move him from ICU. The bruised area of his heart had caused an abscess to form on his lung. They did surgery and installed a drain, and the MRI revealed that he also needs spinal surgery. Fortunately it is a routine and straightforward fusing of two vertebrae together. Naturally the drunk driver who hit them is fine. He walked for the first time in eleven days today’ with a walker. He will step down to a new ward in the hospital and then go to rehab before going back home.

Thankful right now for good health, and considering doing a bunch of jumping jacks every day to increase my bone density…


Perhaps I’ll come across your original post in a bit, but wow. That sounds like an awful situation for your relatives; I hope they both start to improve soon, and can make as close to full recoveries as possible :(


You are in my thoughts


Thinking of you.


hugs my thoughts are with you


Thinking of you and your relatives!


Continuing to pray for your patients and your patience and strength as you care for them!


Praying for you and yours.


That’s awful that so much bad stuff is piling on, but I’m glad to hear your nephew was using a walker.

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drank Organic Pu-erh by Tea At Sea
1786 tasting notes

Thanks for this one a while back, Ost! I say “a while back” a lot, even though I have an e-mail draft list for teas I haven’t written tasting notes for, so it should be easier to try new-to-me teas! A standard pu-erh here – I used 2 1/2 teaspoons to use up the sample. I like a ton of leaves in my pu-erh anyway. These leaves look quite dusty and medium sized for a pu-erh. In the picture for the tea, the leaves do look quite dusty! After the rinse, the brew is deep and dark and perfectly acceptable when you want a cup (or three) of ripened pu-erh. I can’t really give many flavor notes for this one – nothing really stands out other than the usual tasty pu-erh flavors – dusky and deep. Glad I used 2 1/2 teaspoons. The darker the pu-erh the better — I’d probably do that with black teas if they didn’t get bitter.
Steep #1 // 2 1/2 tsps. // rinse // just boiled // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 2-3 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // 3-4 min

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First tasting note for this one? Now I feel rotten it took me this long to write a review. Thanks for the samples a while back, Bird Pick! I had to sip this one today because I feel terrible I haven’t reviewed it yet. Sweet yet vegetal fragrance to the dark green tightly rolled bundles. All three steeps were delicious, with the main characteristic of this oolong being very sweet. The steeps get better and better though – with the second steep having hints of peach. I think I steeped it with the best parameters possible. The third definitely wasn’t bitter or oversteeped — just gets deeper with flavor, though this one isn’t distinct enough to make it my favorite oolong. It can’t really be put in any of the vegetal, floral, butter/milk, or fruity oolong types. This is a sweet and subtle oolong, maybe for those who don’t want a strong oolong. This is delicious but there are so many good oolongs out there!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsp // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // ?? min a.b. // ?? min steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 2 min

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Ok guys, tomorrow is the big day, I go to see a Neurologist, something I should have done a long time ago. With luck they can do something about my seizures and headaches tomorrow, if not, well, life carries on and I shall adapt, as I always have. I just realized that made me sound quite deep and introspective, oops! Bah, enough of that, last night while playing Terraria I killed Plantera three times, I am quite pleased with myself. Tonight I am taking a break from Terraria to work on something else, maybe, the siren’s call of gaming might overwhelm me.

Before my last What-Cha order, I noticed that Alistair had added a bunch of Yunnan teas, especially those oh so tempting fuzzy golden ones, so I got a bunch of samples to try. Also China Yunnan Simao Golden Needle Black Tea, I took a gamble and bought a full sized pouch, something I very rarely ever do, I learned earl on in my tea loving life that samples are the best way to go (except with Puerh, that is a very rocky road there!) because sometimes you buy a larger pile of tea and end up stuck with something you don’t like. I would have been very shocked to be disappointed by this tea, I have had Simao black/red teas before, and it was sublime, Simao has a certain something that makes for a happy me. The aroma of the fuzzy golden needles is rich and sweet, ah, so distinctly ‘Yunnan’ to me, notes of molasses, yams, roasted peanuts, caramelized sugar, cocoa and a fun finishing note of plum. I love how these different Yunnan red teas have similarities and yet each one has its own unique flair, this one makes itself standout using stronger roasted peanuts and plum.

You know, there is a reason that the fuzzy teas from Yunnan are my go to morning tea…and occasionally afternoon tea, they are just so yummy! I only ever had one I didn’t like and that was because there was something wrong with it, but that is a different story. This is story of some needles that have been thoroughly steeped! The aroma of the soggy needles is intensely rich, like whoa I need to sit down that is rich, strong notes of yams and malt blend with cocoa and caramel. It is very sweet, mouthwateringly so. The liquid is rich with notes of cocoa, roasted peanuts, honey and malt, I am filled with anticipatory glee.

Ok, now that I am mostly done drooling, it is time to enjoy the fruits of my steeping. The opening steep is smooth and sweet, and a touch gentle. This is not a first steep that is a bold intro, this is a gentle beginning to a story, like the difference between Mass Effect 1 & 2’s opening. It starts out very sweet, like honey and a touch of caramelized sugar, this moves to toasted peanuts and molasses, and finishes off with lingering yams.

The aroma of the second steep is a blend of malt and caramel, a touch of distant smoke joins in as well. It is still a very smooth tea, but it is less gentle this time around, I would go as far as to say this tea is now full bodied. It starts with sweet honey and toasted peanuts, then it moves to rich malt and molasses. Like before the finish is lingering yams with just a hint of smoke.

Third steep! The aroma is less sweet, more like yams and squash with a touch of smoke and peanuts. The taste is surprisingly (or not so, really) not as sweet, full on robust and rich, strong notes of yam and roasted peanuts, with acorn squash and a touch of molasses. The finish is malty and honey sweet, that sweetness lingers for a while. This is what I want as a wake up tea, it starts gentle and finishes with an oomph, by the time the robust mouth explosion starts I am fully awake and ready to enjoy the intense tastes rather than the light nuances of wakefullness. And now, to decide if I am going to work on my research project…or play Terraria.

For blog and photos:

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Getting this one out a second time as I forgot to post the first time.
I got 10 grams out and gave a rinse and let it sit a while. I brewed this quick with short steeps. Color looks good on this one. Seems to be aging well.
The color is golden in the cup. For Bu Lang’s I do short steeps as the can get bitter.
This one has turned pretty thick with a good mouth buzz to it.
I get notes of bitter, some woodiness to it as well as a bit of saltiness. It is engaging and a bit energizing. The bitter will remain a bit that goes to a cooling with a deep breath after drinking will bring that effect on.
I am partial to these Bu Langs so I am liking this for the punchy bitterness it exhibits.

Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Salty, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Warm Cinnamon Bread by Butiki Teas
6492 tasting notes

another tea that’s almost gone. This one has lost a litle bit of it’s strength, but not in a bad way. It’s made the red hot cinnamon taste a little less intense. Today i added a teeeeny bit of rock sugar and it also made it just a little smoother and less IN YO FACE.


I had some of this recently too, and it was still pretty tasty!

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drank Sweet Pear Punch by Tealish
6492 tasting notes

long day is long. it’s hot and humid and i work IN the office now because home is too ho with no air conditioning lol. this was one of my teas from today. I am a fan and would repurchase this when i wanted a pear tea. I have maybe 1-2 cups left and then it will be gone, which is both sad AND happy since my cupboard is back up a little from my small verdant order. not that i’ve added to my cupboard yet…maybe tomorrow when it’s not as hot.

this one is nice, cold and hot brewed then cooled. so yay for having fruit tea options here in the city!

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drank Heaven's Trash by Butiki Teas
178 tasting notes

mmmmm, man I’ve missed this tea!!! While searching the back of my cupboard this morning for something I’d long lost and had a sudden craving for I blindly pulled this out instead and my craving was immediately forgotten… this is nutty, malty, chocolatey goodness… I really wish I wasn’t about to run out forever… now thats a seriously depressing thought!!!

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drank 2015 Poundcake by White 2 Tea
776 tasting notes

Gongfu session!

I haven’t had any puerh in a while, so I was excited to try this. My first impression is somewhat positive, but I was paying attention to all of the previous notes talking about how vanilla/sweet this was, so I was unexpected when the bitterness started to show up on the third steep.

I brewed 6g in my gaiwan using water just off the boil. Had a BIIIIG teapot on hand (probably about 5 cups) but I think I only did about 10 steeps. 5-second rinse, then 10/15/20/20/25/30 – after that I didn’t keep track as much.

The first steep was fairly neutral tasting, but the second steep was more fruity and I got tart hints of apricot. The third steep was where the bitterness started coming in, and around steep 5/6 I started feeling this menthol/eucalyptus/tingling feeling in my throat.

I think that if I squint I can kinda taste the vanilla/honey/cake notes that other people here have mentioned, but I’m not quite there yet. I think I’m going to let this sit a bit more before I have it again.

On the plus side, there were HUGE leaves and buds in my brew! I even took a photo:


Do very quick steeps on this one. I think being young leaf the tea can turn bitter/biting with any long time in the Gaiwan. I did 3 second steeps to really get this one going.


Ok, I’ll see if I can manage that. I don’t do gongfu that often, so my dexterity isn’t so great.


Mine is no work of art for sure!


Question: are shorter steeps like that best for MOST young shengs? Or is it just this tea? Or for a broader type like Yiwu shengs?


I think younger shengs benefit with shorter steeps and a bit lower water temperature.

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drank Vanilla Velvet by Teajo Teas
218 tasting notes

I was really excited for this one! I was thinking it was going to be creamy and vanilla-y. Instead I am getting a fruit flavor? After looking at the ingredients, it’s gogiberry, interesting.

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This is my first time enjoying a Puer tea pressed into the Jin cha mushroom shape. The dry leaves sitting in a warm gongfu teapot smell like earth and muddy pasture with little hints of musty mineral like the inside of a concrete basement or a stone cave.

After a rinse, the wet leaves smell like walnuts, wood, and mineral. The warm tea liquid smells like dough. On the first infusion the onset of the flavor is woody with hints of bamboo and a sweet background. There are some mineral notes, but it isn’t as earthy tasting as I expected it might be. The mouthfeel of this tea is incredibly juicy. It makes me salivate a lot and yet it also feels very wet and mouth-coating on its own.

In the next couple infusions, the sweetness is a bit less, and a wood flavor is what comes through the most. There are hints of root vegetables like beets. I accidentally let the fourth infusion sit for a few minutes, rather than the short 20-30 second infusions I started out with, so it tasted considerably more thick, but surprisingly not overbrewed or overpowering. There are slightly bitter earthy notes of cocoa or Pacific Rim region coffee now, but the drink is still quite clean and smooth.

The next infusion was shorter again and was pretty sweet again, really clean and not musty at all. While I seem to have had the experience that most ripe Puer tastes similar, I think what is beginning to make one stand out over another in terms of quality is the texture or sweetness of them, and with this one having a really nice clean, juicy texture, and a nice sweetness to it, I think this is really good quality ripe Puer… plus it comes in the shape of a cute little mushroom. It’s hard to say no to that! My only concern is that it doesn’t store as easily as a disc shaped Puer cake does and right now I live in a really small apartment with very little shelf space for more tea, so I’m not sure if the mushroom shape is really meant for me.

Flavors: Mineral, Walnut, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Creme Brulee by T2
1930 tasting notes

Another tea to try from MissB. Thank you!

This one isn’t bad, but I don’t think it’s as good as it probably once was. I’m enjoying it with milk, but even with a short 2 minute steep, it’s pretty astringent and a little bitter.

The caramel-vanilla flavours are excellent, and it smells really nice. But I don’t think this is a favourite.

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