Featured & New Tasting Notes


This is a very tasty ripe puerh from CHen Sheng Hao. They are probably the only big company whose ripe I think is superior to Dayi. This one started out with a fair amount of fermentation flavor and virtually no bitterness. The fermentation taste was not of the unpleasant sort and certainly not fishy. I would say it lasted about four or five steeps before it was gone. There was a nice sweet note to this tea throughout all twelve steeps I gave it. Not sure if I would say chocolate notes or fruity flavor but a very nice, sweet flavor. This was not a cheap tea going for around $75 a bing. But I have generally had good luck with King Tea on Aliexpress so I took a chance. King Tea is an excellent seller of puerh and he has by far the largest selection of puerh available online at something like 4000 different cakes listed. However, he doesn’t stock these, he orders from his suppliers when you put in an order. That is why it takes him about five days to ship out his tea. As to qi, I think this tea retains some. I am feeling an invigorating qi of moderate strength although no tea drunk sensation. This is an excellent tea. I definitely encourage any puerh drinkers out there to buy a few things from King Tea. He is in my opinion the best seller of tea on Aliexpress.

Steeped this twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 10.4g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. I could have gotten a few more steeps out of these leaves. The color of the tea was still fairly dark. I think it would have gone sixteen steeps if I wanted to continue.

Flavors: Earth, Sweet

Boiling 10 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
Rui A.

No exitation in seconding your opinion about King Tea.

Chen Sheng Hao factory teas are in general pretty good and have such a wide offering of tea cakes that suit most pockets. I have bought some of their sheng tea cakes.


@Rui A. I think that I have tried one of their raw cakes but only bought their ripe which are quite good. I have a tong of one of their special productions. The 2013 Snake’s Year Memorial Ripe.


I just bought their Naka cake from YS during the sale. I sampled it and IMO it was fantastic. Ordered a sample of the Nannuo as well, and some samples of other cakes from CSH off of taobao.


@curlygc, the Nannuo is a nice one too. I grabbed a cake of that one too.


Anyone got a link to this tea?

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I really miss having a chance to read everyone’s tasting notes! I just took a gander at the dashboard and saw a few Steepsterers that had been missing for a while had returned. That’s always good to see! Hope all of you are well!
Day #2 – This was the tea for yesterday, but when I drink rooibos, I usually have a second steep the next night. So first steep was last night and second steep was tonight. Couldn’t write the review until now! This is a chai with a honeybush base – no black tea. The spices aren’t too spicy. But there is an odd flavor of bubblegum… not sure how! The cocoa nibs don’t offer much flavor here either. Maybe I should have used two teaspoons. Otherwise, I’m just happy to have another no-caff option, especially honeybush since I rarely see those. The second steep was left alone for a while, so it had much more flavor than the first. Yum. I think Angry Tea Room’s teas have been very unique so far! This isn’t even the only pumpkin no-caff tea from Angry.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug// 10 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // many minute steep


Tbh I have gotten bubblegum on occasion from Honeybush bases so maybe that’s doing it. Definitely not what one would want from a pumpkin tea lol


Oh thanks — the bubblegum could definitely be the honeybush then. Weird!

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drank Earl Grey by Ahmad Tea
1696 tasting notes

Who knows how old this tea is? I have no clue. I think I once shared some with Moses. Anyway, sealed nicely in a bag inside the tin. I used a little extra leaf, just in case. Added some sweetener and had a delightful cup of comfort.


So glad to see you back!


Tea with Moses…did the Red Sea water enhance the flavor any? ;)


No, it was some excellent spring water straight from a rock. Being old has its perks.


(chuckle) Forgot about that. In fifth grade, we go straight from plagues to Red Sea to Ten Commandments and skip the ancillary stuff :)

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Thank you Angel at Teavivre for sending this my way as this is a lovely tea, both aesthetically and flavor wise. The leaves have been steeping for over a half hour and yet there is no astringency or bitterness whatsoever. Just smooth black tea with a hint of rose. Malty and floral with a hint of honey and a dash of pepper. It’s mellow and would be nice for those days when you just want something simple that you don’t need to really think about.

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drank Pumpkin Ginger Spice by Traveling Tea
7981 tasting notes

pulled this one out last night. Trying to get back in to the habit of drinking some herbals in the evening. If nothing else it’s a way to relax before bed. I still really enjoy this one, but what i have will probably be enough to get me through until next year’s cold weather :) i love the real chunks of pumpkin and the fact that this has got ginger. it’s not that artifiicial “pumpkin spice” tea we often find at this time of year.

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While I wouldn’t call this one phenomenal, it is a good solid tea and quite tasty. It has a strong note of malt and a weaker note of chocolate in the background. At the price just over $15 it is a good deal. So far I have liked the teas I have gotten from this company. This tea was better than expected.

I brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 4 cones and 200 degree water for 3 minutes.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Chocolate and Mint by Teapigs
603 tasting notes


I don’t celebrate Christmas, so I have never done an advent calendar. BUT. This year, Christmas Eve is also the first night of Hannukah. And I love Hannukah. And countdowns are fun. SO. I have spent the past month getting a bunch of teas to sip-downable levels so I could DIY a Hannukah countdown sipdown bonanza. As an added treat, I picked up a chocolate advent calendar from Trader Joe’s so I could have my own little tea and chocolate ritual each evening. Naturally, I had to start the event by doubling down on the chocolate with this tea.

This reminds me strongly of Andes chocolate mints. It’s just a clean, minty, creamy, chocolate brew. Yummy hot, terrible cold. Would happily drink again.


You know, come to think of it, I haven’t had much luck with chocolate mint teas cold. They all seem to go wonky.


Hmm. I have some thin mints tea that I could experiment with. I think most chocolate teas are just better hot though.


Yeah, it seems like it’s the chocolate that doesn’t translate well in cold tea. Too bad since chocolate mint works so well in ice cream and the like.

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thanks again for letting me try thes dexter. so much fun getting to try new things :) enjoyed this one sometime between today and 3 days ago hahaha

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drank Jumpy Monkey by DAVIDsTEA
2204 tasting notes

Day 2 of the DavidsTea calendar! I like this more than most of the other reviewers did. I am not a coffee drinker but I like mild coffee flavor if the bitterness can be curtailed. And this has a lot going on.

I taste the coffee flavor, I taste sweetness, and somehow there is a little hint of mint-like brightness. Overall, it is smooth and delicious. This seems like a great tea for sipping as you read a book quietly by yourself. This is one I may repurchase for just such an occasion.

Thank you, SuperAnna!

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drank Snow Day by DAVIDsTEA
350 tasting notes

Day One in my DAVID’s Tea Advent Calendar. This is the first year I’ve ever managed to snare one before they were gone! You can imagine how pleased I am to be able to open the first door.

So many people have given this tea a low rating that I was almost afraid to try it. It’s not as bad as I expected it to be. Nothing I’ll rush out and buy 50 grams of, but certainly drinkable. My first few sips were sort of meh. But the mint began to grow on me. It borders on toothpaste-ish, but the creamy chocolate helps mellow that out. I may have under leafed it, which is probably good.

I’m glad to have had a chance to try this one but I’m glad I don’t have a lot of it to finish off. :)

Flavors: Mint

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Evol Ving Ness

I like this one. In small doses.

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drank Pecan Pie by Dammann Freres
2185 tasting notes

I bought this tea a while ago, but I never wrote a review for it. It is the first tea in my Dammann advent calendar this year, though, so it seemed like a good time to do it.

This is pecan pie, but it’s really more a melange of nut pie. It smells a lot like almonds and hazelnut, and a bunch of other general nuttiness. I like this one better than the standard almond one because I think the other nuts give it depth. There is maybe a hint of custardy flavor, but it’s mostly all nuts all the time. Pretty tasty all in all.

Flavors: Almond, Hazelnut, Pecan

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Welcome back!

Roswell Strange

Yay advent calendar buddies!


I can’t resist the advent calendar!

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Oh my gosh, this tea! I can’t believe there aren’t more blackberry pu-erh blends, because it is a wonderful combination. The blackberry is perfectly balanced with the dark pu-erh. It’s even the perfect ripe pu-erh flavor to pair with the blackberry. Awesomely balanced! The pu-erh is very dark but has none of the unpleasant pu-erh qualities. I’m not tasting much from the vanilla or the rose petals but the blackberry is good enough for me. I think this will become a pu-erh staple for me, especially if the flavor really lasts.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for full mug // 10 minutes after boiling // 2-3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 min steep


You’re making me wish I’d gotten some of this one! I kept going back and forth on it but ultimately decided to pass because I’m not that much of a pu-erh drinker. Next time!


It’s a very pleasant pu-erh even for those who don’t normally love it.


Yes I’m enticed too! I’m adding it to my mental list. Glad I saw your review!



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This tea is a bit floral, a little bit buttery and a faint vanilla note to it. I am drinking from a cup I got from TeaAve. Do some of you remember getting those free tea samples with the free cup, taster cup, & tray? It seems everytime I drink a tea from this cup I get vanilla notes. Is it the cup? I don’t know but I was just wondering. Is it even possible for a cup to give vanilla notes to tea? Maybe it’s just that every tea I’ve had in it has vanilla notes.

Evol Ving Ness

I do like the concept of a vanilla-making cup though. (If it is a good vanilla, of course.)

Ubacat I always seem to get good vanilla notes out of this one. LOL

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I have been so obsessed with 52Teas lately. The concept of a new blend every week is so tempting! Also, they sent me another freebie in my order?? A full sized Gingerbread Chai! I don’t know what I did, but I’m grateful!

I should start this review with a disclaimer that I’m sick with a cold and my tasting ability is somewhat off.

First of all, I’m really impressed by the big, whole raspberries in this. Yum! I felt bad tossing them out with the leaves. Maybe next time I’ll give one a nibble. The aroma is also lovely, like a fruity, raspberry dessert. Or raspberry candy.

I know there are more aspects to this tea besides lush berry, but it’s kind of all I can taste. There is a mild note of cocoa, yes. It’s mostly in the exhale and aftertaste. I’m not getting the custard notes others have mentioned. But they might be there?

Will add steeping details later as I’m on mobile and the sliders are not wanting to cooperate.

Flavors: Berries, Berry, Cocoa, Fruity, Raspberry

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Old Whitey by White 2 Tea
998 tasting notes

This one is surprising me a little, but I really wasn’t sure what to expect.  It says 2016 so that means it’s not an aged white.  Leaves are completely different from a moonlight. 
It doesn’t have the old book, library thing that great aged whites have.  It doesn’t have the super sweet honey apricot thing that great moonlights have.  So it’s not really like either of those.  So what is it…..
It’s fantastic is what it is.  Light fruity juicy hint of hay (but in a fresh summer way).  It’s absolutely beautiful.  I’m going to steep it a little hotter next time and see if I can coax out some honey.  If not is still amazing the way it is.  Thanks so much Caile for sharing.  

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I guess i forgot to make a note on this one the last few times i had it. This is another from dexter and is a pretty decent yunnan black. It’s malty, strong and smooth. pretty tasty!


I find it interesting that you did better with the Red Blossom Teas than the ones from Imperial Tea Court. :)


yeah they’re all tasty though to be fair… :) i apparently like yunnan blacks :)

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Thanks SO much Zennenn for all the work you put into the group order and thank you to everyone who split teas. This is enabling me to try so many of the DF blends. Though I’ve been sipping teas for years, DF is pretty much new to me. I wanted to try this one first, as it was the blend I wanted most. It was also a little pricier than most of the other blends I bought. Luckily, it is as delicious as I expected. A lovely bergamot over a blend of assam and yunnan teas. I love the briskness from the assam but would have loved more yunnan. I was hoping it would have been one of those lighter, golden Yunnans to better balance the strength of the assam but I suppose I could always add some light yunnan of my own! The Earl flavor was perfect in the first cup (note to self: steep it this way next time) but I think I should have waited a little while after boiling to brew the second cup. I’m happy with this one!
Steep #1 // heaping teaspoon for a full mug// 12 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 minute steep


This one sounds so good! I was tempted to go in for 25g, but the price was a little off-putting given that I have a bunch of (slightly) more affordable EG favorites lined up already.


Yes, I was a little hesitant about this one too, but it turns out I enjoy it, so I don’t regret buying it. :D


This one is really yummy!


I’m glad you like it too, Zennenn. :D

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Uh oh. I woke up with that slightly sore throat that indicates post-nasal drip. Drat, I’m getting the illness that the boyfriend had last week!
So I’m packing tea today. I’ve got tons of the stuff, to get me through this working day, and then when I get home, I will have even more, probably with some honey while curled up under a blanket.
Its a busy week. I gotta get it under control. And tea is the only home remedy I really know.

Evol Ving Ness

Hope this passes quickly and easily.

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drank Silver Himalaya by Mariage Frères
7981 tasting notes

love this tea. Nothing else to say…sick and just trying to stay warm, and be ready to go tomorrow.


Feel better!

Evol Ving Ness

Aww, Sil, hope you wake up feeling as spry and frisky as always.

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Friends, it is time for a change, specifically a hair change. Yesterday was root day (aka the day I hide it from the world that I am naturally a blonde) and I realized I needed to touch up my blue tips. Sadly I also realized I was out of blue dye, so I thought…why not change things up a bit? I went to the store to get bleach and some purple and later today I will have purple tips instead of blue. Maybe. Last time I went purple it was not the best choice, but I think since it will be the tips rather than my whole head it will look pretty cool.

Today I am taking a break from my usual gongfoolery to try an Earl Grey variant from CuriosiTea, Lady Earl White Tea. A Blend of Bai Mu Dan, Bergamot Oil. Rose Petals and Lavender. I like my Earls with lavender, I love roses, and am quite fond of Bai Mu Dan so I thought this would be a take on an Earl I like…since usually, I am not a fan of straight up Earl Greys. The aroma of the leaves is quite potent, not really getting much of the white tea, roses, or lavender, just a small explosion of bergamot…this made Ben happy because he loves his bergamot super strong. After this initial citrus burst, undertones of roses pop up, though they are faint next to the powerhouse that is the bergamot.

Into the steeping apparatus the leaves and petals go for their soak, the aroma of bergamot pretty quickly escapes the steeper and wafts around my desk like an orange wave, it is very refreshing. There are notes of roses and wet have in the wet leaves, along with bergamot of course, though the promised lavender has not popped up quite yet. The liquid is a double blend of roses and bergamot with a slight underlying sweetness of honey from the white tea.

Well, if tasting this tea were a battle (I have been reading about European history in the 10-1200s and there are a lot of battles, it is on my mind) I would say hands down the bergamot wins. It is very decisive, I did not really taste anything else until the aftertaste of gentle roses and very distant lavender. Sadly I do not really taste the white tea base, it is totally overshadowed by the bergamot, which is a little sad since I think these flavors together could work well if it were toned down just a bit, Ben, who is well known for being Der Erlkonig felt the same way, really liked the strength of the bergamot but wish the base was stronger or the bergamot were weaker so that the base stood out more. I did give this to my housemate who I am corrupting into the ways of fine loose leaf tea and who was craving an Earl and she liked it, so I am perfectly willing to say this would be a fine introductory tea and that Ben and I are just too picky after all these years!

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/11/curiositea-lady-earl-white-tea-tea.html


maybe just blending it with a quarter standard bai mu dan would work

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drank Boston Blend by Harney & Sons
1782 tasting notes

And Boston has taken the lead as most logged tea in my cupboard, squeaking past Tower of London. Harney and Sons knows how to treat me right.
I finished Nanowrimo yesterday! 50k words, all done. Of course, its a terrible draft, but that’s what the first draft is for.
I had time to brew a pot of this in the morning, and it wa just lovely. Exactly what I wanted. Autumnal, rich, layered, crisp. Ahhh. Contented sighing sounds!

Roswell Strange

Congrats! Draft or not, that’s a great feat!


Thank you!


A quote my writing buddies and I bat back and forth: “Write something, even if it’s stupid. You can always edit stupid.” :)


Comma in the second sentence optional!

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Last night, I lollygagged on the Dammann Freres site, filling my cart up with all sorts of deliciousness. Two hundred dollars worth of deliciousness to be exact. I have neither the money nor the space for more tea. That rarely deters me.

But this time, I closed the window and patted myself on the shoulder. So yay!

Black Friday fever is a wicked thing.

Yup, this tea is a surprise. With a name like Government House Anniversary Blend, I was expecting something dark, powerful, and stately. That is to say not strawberry and mint.

It’s nice though. Mint is not my favourite thing, but here it is pleasantly subdued by the strawberry. The tea base is slightly astringent. Thankfully, I had steeped briefly.

An enjoyable cup.

Flavors: Mint, Strawberry

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Bought this as part of the Aliexpress 11/11 sale. It was pretty cheap so I wasn’t expecting much. But I am happy to report it is better than expected. There is little bitterness to this tea. It has notes of malt and chocolate in there. It will definitely get finished and I would definitely buy it again.

I brewed 4 balls of tea in a 26oz teapot with 200 degree water for 3 minutes.

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 26 OZ / 768 ML

That company has some really good teas at great prices. I tried out a different tea vendor (with only one tea) during the sale but was extremely disappointed. It was so bad I threw it all out.

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Just a quick note to say I drank this. It still seemed fresh, though ancient, in this packaging that could probably preserve a single teaspoon until the end of time. Haha. It is certainly licorice with all the anise. You probably don’t even need to include white tea because the anise drowns any white tea flavor. It probably also contaminated my new infuser. Ah well.


I have this in my cupboard and never really got into it. I’ll have to give it another go!

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