Featured & New Tasting Notes


had both the spring 2015 and the spring 2014 versions of this thanks to terri. 2015 wasn’t my favourite year for teas in general, and this is no exception. 2014 is maltier and bolder. 2015 has a thinner mouth feel and isn’t my favourite.

Final Count: 100

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I had to drink this one again straight away after because it is a bit of an interesting tea. Thinner bodied than the offerings from Greenland (quite watery from my first brew) but with a lurvly aroma, but very hidden away. I think I did 3g for 2:45 12oz water or something. But that aroma & huigan really piqued my interest.

So after the first brew I dashed the leaf & immediately overloaded the infuser & gave it a mini-competition brew, pushing it to see what it was that caught my attention.. so maybe 5g 3:00+..

The aroma is lovely! I didnt think Muscatel in the classic sense, but something more akin to a grapeflower, if that would ever be possible. its heady & yummy.. The taste was more astringent & almost bitter compared to the other Nepali teas, im guessing partly down to this wonderful floral aroma, which is pretty kick-ass if you ask me. Tastes very natural.

There is more of a kaleidoscope effect with the sensations, rather than everything being mushed together. I love that.

Wonderful grapeflower (well my madeup interpretation of a grape-flower mix) Huigan.. More complexity & liveliness in the mouth due to this. Thinner bodied but fruitier on the tastebuds. Slightly sour(?) lip numbing, its very plant-like in a good way. There is a sweetness but its overtaken by the other sourer characteristics.

This one needs a bit of attention in the brew, it can be a bit fussy, one for Darjeeling lovers. It might benefit from a little sweetener (or at least not pushed so hard), i’m unsure on this as ive just drank my whole sample & am now very tea’d up indian style.

That aroma & huigan though. YUM

Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Grapes, Plants, Sweet

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Sounds divine.

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Sample from the Canadian Traveling Tea Box

I didn’t realize that I had tried this one already until I had already brewed it up! I really enjoy this tea. It is slightly cocoa notes with some sweetness (probably the honeybush), and some earthiness from the pu’erh. I would likely have this tea on the list if I ordered from this shop.

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drank Organic Black Pearl by The Tea Spot
7739 tasting notes

Another cup of this one today – no change in my opinion – a solid cup but nothing to get too excited about. I think i prefer teavivres to these ones :)

Final Count: 102


So close to under 100!

Evol Ving Ness

It’s all very impressive.


You’re talking about my udders again!

Terri HarpLady

I’d like to place an order from Teavivre. Maybe if I get down to 200 this week I’ll do it.


i am trying to wait until november/black friday for any other ordering…

Terri HarpLady

oh yeah…forgot about black friday!
I’ve been thinking that when I start allowing myself to buy tea, I would order from one company each month…but then again, with black friday coming, I might have to just do a year’s worth of tea buying all at once… ;)

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So, I broke some rules at work yesterday. But, it didn’t really hurt anyone so it doesn’t count, right?

Basically – I go in to work every Saturday to work in my department because I get Tuesday’s off for classes. Normally, my department works 7:30-4:00 weekdays and then gets weekends off. I’m literally the ONLY exception to this rule, so when I come in on Saturdays I’m literally the only person in the back warehouse/production area when there’s usually 35+ of us. It’s very lonely/boring having no one to talk to for eight hours, and in the case of yesterday it was actually ten hours since I was putting in some overtime. So the rules I broke were that one I brought something other than water into the back to drink on shift (tea, obviously). And two, I was listening to music on my iPod when we’re not allowed to have them with us on shift. But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, no?

Starting with the tea – I’m actually floored at how much this really did taste like peanut butter and jelly, especially since it doesn’t have peanuts in it. I can’t remember who’s review I saw – but someone said this was better cold brewed so that’s what I made it as and I have to say that any hesitation I had about the flavours not delivering was quashed. The first flavour to really hit me with each sip was the raspberry. And, I think it’s important to note that there really is a strong flavour difference between raspberry jam/jelly and fresh from the garden raspberries. It’s something about how the sweetness hits you, and the acidity/tang. This was 100% raspberry jam and not just a more generic raspberry flavour.

It transitioned really nicely with the peanut butter notes which made up more of the mid sip and the super, super nutty finish and aftertaste. This was the element I was most skeptical about because peanuts are a hard flavour to emulate; but I totally got it. I really, 100% felt like I could have been nomming on a PB&J while I was working – even though that would be FAR from advisable givent he amount of dirty/unwashed donations I handle in a day on shift. Yuck.

Now, here comes the criticism…

Does this tea nail the flavour? In my opinion, absolutely. Is it a flavour that translates well to a beverage? I’m not nearly so convinced about that. I mean, it wasn’t bad in any way but it was really, really weird and I don’t know that it’s something I’d want to drink on a really common/casual basis. I’m probably just so used to eating PB&J in that one specific format: on bread. I’ll have to see if I can break out of that preconceived notion a bit the more I drink this.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIA1XQnAv5s&list=LL1M1wDjmJD4SJr_CwzXAGuQ&index=3

This is a ‘new to me’ band that I’m liking a lot so far – and I had my iPod filled with their music to just sort of get used to it/learn it and figure out what I do and don’t like. Stumbled upon this song which I barely knew/had only heard once while drinking this tea and was like “Damn, fucking nailed it!”. I’m sure if you take a listen it’s very obvious why these two go together. Like, in your face obvious – but obvious pairings can be good pairings.

I will say, I saw the music video for it for the first time while looking for a link to post in this tasting note though – and while the video is fitting for the song in it’s own way, it IS a weird ass fucking video though…

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This tea is fairly sweet with notes of cream and grass. It is a nice white tea. I recently purchased Tea Honey from the Savannah Bee Company. This honey is nice because it does not overwhelm the flavors of the tea. Overall I like this tea.

I brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 185 degree water for 3 min.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Very subtle tea that doesn’t require much attention. Easy to sip away at, but nothing special. Doesn’t attack your stomach lining. Not as sweet as a fresh Bulang, but I tend to like younger teas to older ones though because I’m odd.

This one can brew for a while, but I suggest sipping it along with something else because I don’t find this to overtake any notes… maybe it’s just me, but I like to sip side by side.

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reviewed Styline Kettle by bosch
235 tasting notes

This was the only kettle in my local shop when I moved flat, my older two-setting cuisinart went to my studio.

4 temp settings (no increments) & a keep warm function (of which I never use) & 1.5L capacity for £40. Not too bad I guess.

Only thing, i get it home, turn it on, nice quick boil…

BEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!! BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!!!!! BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!! (cue car alarms going off outside)

Loudest goddamn beep ever in the world. My flatmate can hear from my bedroom, in his bedroom at the end of the hall (1500 sqft flat with georgian walls & doors closed).. So I google it, and theres another customer who agrees so much he made a youtube video of how to fix it.

So after I buy the tool needed (its a anti-tamper set) I set about ripping out the beeper. Its an easy job & now the kettle is much better.

I like it but increments would have given it a better rating.

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Another cup from my tea sister. This has some nice chocolatey notes to it. Smooth taste .

Final Count: 104

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My first cup of this was plain, straight up and unsweetened. I know, I know, this is not the way this tea was designed to be drunk. Still, it was nice and spicy with ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon notes although both chocolate and marshmallow tastes were missing. I did indeed see the chocolate chips in the dry leaf, but the taste didn’t translate steeped.

Now I have begun to tamper with the tea a bit. My daily coconut oil quota is not always that easy to include in food. I tend to favour Mediterranean flavours and coconut taste doesn’t tend to work well in combination.

Enter chai tea. Coconut works beautifully here. Somehow the oil slick of the dollop gets gobbled up or, at least, is not even slightly apparent in the sipping, especially compared with other teas that I’ve added the oil to. Here, the coconut sweetness of the oil makes the spice flavours pop and the lovely brisk black tea base nicely holds it all up. The chocolate and marshmallow are still not coming through for me.

Recently, I’ve discovered a gluten-free bakery in town, so I am enjoying this tea with a breakfast cookie filled to the brim with nuts and seeds. A lovely combination.

Nice blend, truly. I imagine it would be beautiful with milk and honey.

52teas does a stellar job with chai teas. This one is no exception.

Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Ginger

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Maddy Barone

You barbarian, you, not adding milk to the first cup! LOL I’ve never added coconut oil to tea. Might have to give that a try.

Evol Ving Ness


I’ve just started this oil thing in the last week or two. So far, it has been most successful in this cup, so chai teas and heavier black bases are likely the way to go.


That is definitely a unique way to drink tea – do you add it instead of sweetener then? Instead of milk? The above note doesn’t suggest that you added anything other than the coconut oil. I ask because my daughter loves her coconut oil and it might be a new way for her to implement it to her diet.


Sounds like a delicious chai

Evol Ving Ness

It is, Sil.

Liber, TEAS,

I have tried adding honey, not with this particular tea but with my recent experiments with the Pineapple Marshallow one.

I am off of dairy currently, so that is out. And I am to be very conservative with carbohydrates as well, so honey, my preferred sweetener is mostly out, though I will have it if I am really in the mood.

Mostly, I am experimenting with different ways to include coconut oil into my day as it doesn’t always work with my food. The naturopath said one tablespoon a day and I am looking at various ways of getting the job done. I would appreciate any brilliant ideas that your daughter has discovered in this vein.

Coconut oil does have the slightest bit of sweetness, so that was a bonus in the tea although it wasn’t my intention to sweeten.

Hope that helps.

Evol Ving Ness

I tried this today as well and this particular cup had an oil slick on the surface. Not for every taste. Another negative is that the oil keeps the tea from cooling as fast as it normally would, so one cannot drink it as soon as one would like.


I know that she adds a dollop of coconut oil to her smoothies when she makes them. I’ll have to ask her what other ways she incorporates it into her diet and get back to you. :)

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Yesterday I declared the ‘no more buying tea’ act for myself… my electric bill was $190 for one month : (

Anyways, someone sent me some dahongpao from December’s monthly tea that W2T put out. This was somehow absolutely amazing. The medium roast fell off around the fourth steep and I promise you that what I’m saying is true, a little sweet fruit started to brew up. It was almost as if strawberry/kiwi had dried up and got swept away with the warm liquid. Quite an enjoyable cup.


blimey I didnt think of all the electricity! I use my thermos for ease of use but it must help

Thats a real stinger, $190 …

Liquid Proust

Air conditioning… kept our place at 74f, guess I will just bump it to 80f


ah we dont have aircon generally in the UK. I thought you meant kettle bill :lol:


some kettles are powerful enough to run a soundsystem. I see 3 killowatt kettles all the time

Evol Ving Ness

hahahatoofunnylol :)


Programmable thermostat. It will save on that bill as well as a hot water heater timer.

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drank Slim and Slender by CitizenTea
983 tasting notes

I don’t really believe in the health benefits claimed by “wellness” teas. I didn’t buy this to become slim and slender – I bought it because I used to like the one sold by Teaopia.
This blend is exactly as I remember it – so good.
I’m not even really sure how to describe it. A little fruity, a little medicinal, but really light and refreshing. It’s a pretty strange tea but for some reason I really like it. I wouldn’t drink it everyday, but it’s a really nice change from the heavier/darker teas that I normally drink. This one is a winner for me.

Evol Ving Ness

Is this the one with a mate base?


It’s green mate and stuff. I put the ingredient list in the description.

Evol Ving Ness

Oops, sorry. Didn’t look. Thanks.

Evol Ving Ness

To access your description, I had to click on the edit page so it appears that I edited though I didn’t.

Evol Ving Ness

Initially, I thought that it was the same as Zen Tea’s, but I see that the ingredients are different. https://www.zentealife.com/collections/herb-fruit/products/herb-slim-slender


Not sure – I blew the hard drive on my laptop, so just using my tablet until I can replace it. On my tablet it’s hard to copy/paste ingredient lists into the ingredient field so I just put it in the description. Please feel free to edit or move them. :)


No it’s definitely different from the Zen Tea one.

Evol Ving Ness

yes, the zen tea one has liquorice in it. Hard to ignore that one.

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Sipdown (169)

Made as a latte and I am definitely getting coconut and since its a latte, its creamy. Banana is MIA and in its place is a fair amount of cinnamon. Its Fall appropriate but not what I expected.


Boo at the lack of banana…. :(

Evol Ving Ness

Criminal to replace banana with cinnamon.


Lol there is usually banana. Today there just wasn’t but it was still tasty.

Evol Ving Ness

ok, that’s better then. :)

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Dear GOD this is an incredible tea. One of my goddamn favorites from the batch of 2016 stuff, that’s for damn sure.

This is a wild tea. It’s definitely in the same bitterness family as a lot of purple puerh. But, while purple stuff was one of my first loves, a lot of the times it’s just big and fun and dumb. Like: fat satisfying bitter warmth, but not much evolve.

This stuff on the other hand: this is the magic stuff. This is the real goddamn deal. This huge central bitterness that just emanates weird life, radiating this ever-changing tentacles of sweet and vegetal and other stuff.

It’s interesting – it’s a very different bitter than the Lao Man E’s I’ve been drinking. The Lao Man E’s tend to have this more rubber/quinine note, quite distinctive, that rides over and above the more conventional puerh vegetal flavors. This stuff, on the other hand: the bitter is the center. Everything is connected to the bitter. Everything binds into and comes from the bitter.

Also: this is brain-zap tea. I was intending to actually, you know, get some work done, and instead ended up basically collapsed, draped over the side of my couch, blasting the new Frank Ocean album, joyously zonked. This is MASSIVE tea. This is tea to put into your skull and blast some thick, textured tunes to.

I kept texting my wife while I was drinking it. “Oh shiiiiit.” “Oh this is legit.” “Holy crap… THIS TEA.”

Also, weirdly, underneath, elegant. Something about the texture and overall… cleanness… reminds me of the ultra-delicate W2T Last Thoughts.

Anyway: thank you Crimson Lotus people. This is the real stuff. You have brought a new kind of joy into my life.

Crimson Lotus Tea

Great review! Thank you. :-D

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The White2Tea 2016:

I purchased samples of all the 2016 new line up this year, and I started at the bottom (cheapest) and worked my way up. I did this to taste the profile improvements and variances. I brewed in the same pot with same leaf water ratio. Also, this helps to hone in my palette to identify what’s a good deal and what’s not. At the conclusion of my tasting I will be placing my cake order.

I am still trying to figure this one out…

When a company states phrases like “the most out there” and “mystic” I have several thoughts in my mind. Is it taste? Qi? Aroma? Sensation? Processing? Terrior? Is it odd for this region of tea to do things like this one does? So. Many. Questions. So, I gear up with tasting tools in hand and begin! I was suuuper analytical and towards the end I’ll reveal my conclusion of the mystic diving brew.

I inspect the leaves and notice their small hairs, long slender shape, slight compression and they give off an intensely sweet aroma of berries, lemon, and thyme. A very fresh and sweet mix. I warmed up my pot and place the subject inside. The fruitiness expands to bosc pears, red apples, fruit punch, and the mild dryness of cranberries. I notice all my scents are “red”. I washed the leaves and prepared the lab to commence brewing. The leaves once steeped emit a shadowed scent of dark fruits, tobacco, and some faint peppermint or menthol. The taste is full and lasting. I notice some dark wood at the front which comes across as sweet and harsh. A wisp of smoke follows through with some heavy fruitiness. The tea is thick and the aftertaste is sweet and long lasting huigan (could I use the word sweet some more…). I pick up on some berry tastes later on and watch the tea flavors begin to fade after each steep. The huigan changes into a powerful menthol/mint cooling sensation the chills my throat and jaw line. The frigidness was refreshing. The qi is a nice feeling. It is a very slight and happy feeling the grows in power throughout the session. The remaining liquor gives a sugary aroma and fills up the lab. The testing has been concluded and the machinery and tasting tools lay scattered about, used and dripping. However, I still have questions in my mind. Am I tasting a wild old arbor material, for I picked up some viscosity and smoke? Was the unique characteristic the steeped leaves cooling aroma? Or was the mystery in the menthol powerful aftertaste? Was this all just a marketing ploy that I fell into? What makes this tea so “out there”? Honestly, I don’t have an answer. The tea was decent; however, I note nothing that is outstandingly unique about this brew. I am going to spend some more time and take it back to the lab. Once I find something out, you’ll be the first to know.


Flavors: Cranberry, Dark Wood, Fruit Punch, Menthol, Pear, Peppermint, Red Apple, Red Fruits, Smoke, Sweet, Tobacco

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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After breaking this tea up I had some broken leaf and dust to brew up so I went online to see what others thought… nothing.
Well, just went with it. 100ml to 7g of leaf and 90c

First of all, the cake is really loose which I like : )

What appeals to me is the lack of aroma and clean brew. The taste, smell, and feel is just… clean dry storage. Much different than your Taiwan stored pu’erh for sure. This is one that I put in the fridge after to brew the next day; pretty ugly looking dust in a bag :p

Very steady taste. Minor progression of taste. Reliable resteep. Low maintenance.

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I decided to cold-brew this rather than brew it hot and strong then dilute it down. The short, black, gnarly leaves here are interspersed with the occasional bit of green (strawberry leaves) and red (dried strawberry pieces). The dry leaf smelled of strawberries, chocolate and vanilla – in fact, it reminded me an awful lot of chocolate-covered strawberries!

I ended up with a nice, almost peach-coloured brew after everything was said and done.

The iced tea tasted exactly like it smelled – like chocolate-covered strawberries. It wasn’t bad, but I honestly think this was a waste served cold. I bet this tea would be much better hot, where the contents would probably taste like an amazing strawberry-laced hot chocolate.

Full review at: http://booksandtea.ca/2016/09/end-of-summer-iced-tea-extravaganza/

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Spur of the moment review! Hongcha is evocative of autumn for me. I decided to celebrate the equinox with this one! Merry Mabon to those who celebrate the Wheel of the Year! (sorry, S.G. Sanders, I backed down from shou because it’s sooooo warm today)

I gongfu’d 3g in my new 60ml gaiwan. The dry leaf’s presentation against a white background is just beautiful:


I last wrote a review six months ago (the numerical rating is from the first review). What particularly sticks out this session is that I identify different flavors. Sweet potatoes and orange zest particularly stick out, and then the almonds and cashews when I really concentrate. Not so much malt and no brownies this time – could be the difference in harvest year.

So smoooooooth. The mouth becomes dry after I swallow, but quickly fills again with saliva. Very nutty aftertaste. Returning notes of almonds.

I can’t help but keep sticking my nose into the gaiwan and savoring the wet leaf aroma. It simply won’t let up! Cocoa and caramel, grains and raisins.

There’s no place like hongcha, there’s no place like hongcha, there’s no place like hongcha.


Oooh that sounds good!


I can send you some, if you’d like!

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
209 tasting notes

A tea from the Puerh TTB labeled “2016 Xigui Caicheng.” I think Xigui is the factory, not 100% sure though. The leaf for this one was very green. Smelled of straw and grass when dry. After a rinse, I got a slight briney note on the nose as well. Bitterness is the main thing I noticed with this one for the first 5 or so steeps – a rather unpleasant and astringent bitterness. Also detected nutty and straw notes – more like I had oversteeped a green tea. That harsh astringency did start to fade around steep number 6, after which I got around 6 more steepings with a basic sweet hay characteristic and slightly thick texture. Wouldn’t consider this tea a winner, though part of that could be that I brutalized it a little bit with boiling water. I’m guessing it would be more tasty with a few years’ age on it to cut that bitterness.

Rating: 73/100


I think Xigui is a region or mountain. There was also a “Bulang Caicheng” and I think one other in the box so I think Caicheng must be the vendor/factory. Maybe whoever added it to the box can shed some light


Oh, right I think I took some of the other Caicheng one too. Duh. I think it was Liquid Proust who put em in there.

Liquid Proust

Should have been a xigui and a bingdao in there. It’s the factory name as you suggest.

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There are a few teas that I feel bad about hoarding. I see them on my shelf and I am choosing a tea to make and I think, “I really love that one but this isn’t the right time for it. I want to be able to pay attention to it, or drink it with someone who will really appreciate it.”

That’s not exactly the case with this one. I am intentionally hoarding it. I believe this is one of those oolongs that actually benefits from aging, but I am not trying to age it. It is simply too good to waste on an ordinary moment.

This is the most expensive tea I have ever purchased. I buy only one or two ounces at a time. It is seldom in stock where I buy it. So I keep it for very special times.

Today is special because I really, really need it. And I have time to enjoy today, so BONUS!

I had the first two steps with breakfast, and even though I had toast with cherry preserves my first sip of tea made me go, “Wow! This is so fruity!”

It is so sweet you would swear there is licorice root mixed with it, but there isn’t. I have had TGY that approached this flavor before, but this tea takes it over the top. There is round sweetness, fullness, fruitiness, and spice. You bet if I see it in stock again, some of it is coming home with me. Think of a perfect TGY with a bear hug mixed in.


I totally hear you: I have teas where I can only drink them if I’m at home relaxing and not just chugging mindlessly. They need to be steeped in specific temperatures, specific amount of seconds/minutes and a certain # of times before I will throw the leaves out. I have my “work day teas” and my “relaxing teas”.


Sounds wonderful.

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This tea surprised me! I tend to just assume that any fruit-flavored blend from Teavana is going to contain a bunch of dried fruit chunks and a random smattering of tea leaves. But this is actually an oolong tea! Not the best quality (some of the leaves are smashed up and there are a fair number of twigs) but definitely an oolong. And the flavor isn’t overpowering or artificial: it’s a light, natural white grape flavor layered over a smooth oolong base. The only thing I don’t enjoy is a slightly metallic aftertaste. I wouldn’t necessarily re-purchase this, but I will finish the ounce I have with no difficulty!

Flavors: Metallic, Smooth, White Grapes

185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Evol Ving Ness

a bunch of dried fruit chunks and a random smattering of tea leaves


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drank Watermelon Oolong by TeaTaxi
1449 tasting notes

Full disclosure: I live for watermelon. I’m the only one in the house who eats it and it makes my stomach hurt but I still buy about a dozen every summer. I love it. I wanted Lucious Watermelon from DavidsTea to be my watermelon tea, but it just doesn’t measure up.

This tea does. It does taste a little artificial, but I don’t care. Sweet watermelon and fresh oolong, this is summer in a mug for me. I’m trying it both iced and hot and both are delicious, but I prefer iced.


Hmmm…I may have to try this one


I’m torn between buying a bag or getting another sample, I JUST DON’T KNOW XD


I may have to pick this one up next time. :)

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This puer has notes of honeysuckle, unripe apricots, wheat barley, and later steeps a little tart. Steep this tea for awhile and it does get bitter, but it gives you plenty energy to not care. It also packs quite a strong taste. The texture is quite nice with a thick body, later on developing an interesting cooling effect in the mouth, and then getting a bubbly sensation.

Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2016-jingmai-love-crimson-lotus-tea-tea-review/

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 1 g 1 OZ / 15 ML

Very interesting combination of flavours.

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Tea from my tea sister Terri. What intrigued me most about this, is that there are 3 different sets of instructions on the package depending on what you’re going for:
-195 1 tsp 4oz for sweet, floral, silky texture
-205 for robust maltiness 4oz per tsp
-6-8oz of water if you want a blod pick me up, similar to a darjeeling.

Since i have a little to play with, i went with 4oz, 195 degrees, 1.5mins. This is slightly sweet, but i wouldn’t say floral with a hint of maltiness coming through. it reminds me a little of a ceylon brewed this way. interesting.

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