120 Tasting Notes

drank Shan Lin Shi by Naivetea
120 tasting notes

The dry leaves of this tea are very dark curled balls. Their dark green hue matches well with the heavy but smooth aroma. My imagination runs wild at the thought of this tea being cultivated so high up, and near a protected wilderness area. It seems like a truly exciting place!

When brewed the leaves produce a bright yellow liquor that’s completely transparent. The steeped aroma is smooth and easy with overtones of grilled leeks and hints of other vegetal flavors.

On the palate the brew remains smooth. A buttery texture emerges as it coats the entirety of the mouth. There’s no astringency here at all. The liquor is very heavy in the mouth, a byproduct of its creaminess. The flavors remain vegetal, but are seriously subdued. Roasted leeks remain on my mind the most.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Dark curled balls- LOL!


What is this, middle school? ;-)


Balls comments are a running joke here and normally I find them very tasteless and middle schoolish as well, but the dark and curled threw me. I think it’s because I got very angry at my ex a couple nites ago and I’m still not over it.


LOL. Sucks about the fight or whatever. I hate those. I always drink a warm glad of tea steeped from dark curled balls to let off some steam. ;-)


Not a fight- hacking. But I changed my passwords and stuff and it’s all good now.


If my SO hacked into anything of mine, they’d be gone. But that’s just me. And It’d take a whole lot of effort to crack my passwords.

They’re all between 18 and 25 characters long. ;-)


Well as I said, he is no longer my SO. Hasn’t been for over a year. So that’s done lol.

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The leaves are a mixture of green, brown and white leaves with some stems in. The aroma is lighter and sweeter than most earl grey teas and reminds me of vanilla with some light floral tones.

When brewed the leaves produce an orange-red liquor which effuses an aroma primarily of bergamot. There’s a hint of a light spiciness as well.

On the palate I note smooth vanilla notes, though I don’t think there’s any actually in the tea. I alsorecapture the floral notes from the dry aroma. Of course, the bergamot is present throughout but not at all overbearing.

There’s only a slight astringency to this brew. Less than most any earl grey I’ve ever had. It’s quite refreshing and relaxing.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Cranberry Autumn by Harney & Sons
120 tasting notes

The leaves of this tea are broken grade and very dark. I don’t visually note the presence of actual cranberry pieces but they’re there, along with orange peel which I can pick out scattered throughout. The aroma is pungent and wonderful, eluding to a deeper level of subtlety not seen.

Once brewed the leaves produce a deep, dark colored brew Harney & Sons notes as mahogany. The aroma is lighter once brewed with notes of citrus tart and a light sweetness you feel begging you to consume it.

When drinking I noted this brew’s relatively smooth liquor where I’d anticipated something a bit brisker. A pleasant surprise. The sweet and tart flavors seem to swap places in the mouth as they battle for prominence. It’s at once energizing and calming.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank 2009 HOP by Jun Chiyabari
120 tasting notes

The leaves for this fine tea look like Darjeeling teas. Loose and colorful, they’re choppy looking large leaf particles. The aroma from these dry leaves is light and airy. It reminds me of jumping in piles of raked leaves in Autumn as a kid.

When brewed the leaves produce a light orange liquor with a lightly honeyes aroma sweeter than that of the dry leaves.

The brew tastes just as the tea smells. Like leaves in Autumn. The texture is easy but with some astringent bite and a long drying tail.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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This tea’s leaves are perhaps 1/2 inch long at most. The dark forest-green leaves have some lighter tinting in spots that make them very nice to look at. The loose leaf aroma is smooth and deeply vegetal with only slight hints at the bergamot fruit’s citrus.

Once brewed the leaves produce a smooth, even keeled brothy aroma and a clear yellow liquor. With scents of spinach and avacado this lightly vegetal tea smells very promising.

Drinking this brew is a pleasure. The smooth vegetal notes flow over the tongue lightly. It almost reminds me of a light oolong. You catch the oil of bergamot in the finish more than the initial sip. This is a well balanced tea.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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drank Organic Bai Hao by Long Fu
120 tasting notes

This tea produces a beautiful bright gold liquor. The steeped aroma isn’t powerful but it is heavy and reminds me of boiled cabbage or brussels sprouts, but without the sweetness.

This tea is extremely astringent for a white tea. The ‘singe’ from the brew lasts a very long time as well. This overbearing astringency makes it difficult to capture a flavor profile.

I didn’t particularly enjoy this tea. Without a flavor profile to keep my palate entertained all that was there was the sting from the astringency so potent in this tea. While the brewed aroma was pleasant, the palate profile was not.

I cannot recommend this tea to anyone at this time. Perhaps I received a low quality batch. When I travel to China I will seek out this brand to give it one more shot.

150 °F / 65 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Not quite what the name implies, these leaves aren’t actually pearls at all. They’re light whispy dark green leaves with plenty of visual character. The aroma is light and vegetal, smooth and savory. Hints of fresh spinach with the sweetness of steamed bok choy.

When you brew this tea, you get a clear yellow liquor with an aroma that’s pleasant but lacking in additional subtleties compared to its dry counterpart. This isn’t necessarily bad though. Predictability and consistency are the stalwarts of perfection.

The flavor is light and thin at first, but seems to gain weight through the sip. There’s no astringency here. Instead, you’re presented with a very smooth brew. Overtones of steamed bok choy take the forefront while hints of a buttery sweetness seem to pop in and out.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

RE: your 1st sentence… sad day!

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drank Kagoshima Sencha by Harney & Sons
120 tasting notes

This tea literally looks like grass. The mixture of deep and bright greens is a stunning visual. This is especially captivating when paired with the sweet grassy aroma which contains notes of baby spinach and artichoke.

This tea seems to be shade grown and the loose material does have lots of smaller leaf particles amongst the larger leaves. When brewed the tea produces a lightly cloudy bright green liquor.

The steeped aroma equally light and fresh, containing less astringency than when dry and this seems to allow the sweeter notes to emerge in greater force.

When drinking this Kagoshima Sencha it’s important to note the swirl of sweet and bitter on the tongue. This convalescence makes for a wonderful palate pleasing brew.

170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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The loose leaves are very small leaf particles. Different shapes, and different sizes but all the same dark color with occasion bright stem pieces visible throughout. The dry aroma is light but fresh with hint of a honeyed edge amidst its Autumnal overtones.

Once brewed this tea creates a very dark russet liquor. It’s almost so dark it would be opaque, but you can just barely see through it. This tea creates a light, malty aroma with hints of chocolate and honey.

Once on the tongue the tea attacks out of nowhere. The dry and wet aroma are both light and don’t provide much hint of the aciditiy, astringency and pucker this brew actually has. This is almost worth of a breakfast tea blend the British would enjoy.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Knave Grey by 52teas
120 tasting notes

With an easygoing black tea and lots of very large coconut shavings you know what you’re getting when you steep this tea. The dry aroma is almost completely of bergamot with faint hints of coconut sweetness.

Once brewed this tea produces a deep auburn liquor. The aroma is more subdued which helps the coconut come through a but more. Light hints of caramel pop out as well. This tea has a bit of pucker but relativeley low astringency considering. But the flavor profile holds no surprises. This is a bright coconut Earl Grey through and through.

Boiling 7 min, 30 sec

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Insane about tea and technology!

Born in Maryland in a suburb of D.C. humorously named “Chevy Chase” I moved to Cincinnati as a… wait… you don’t want to read this crap!

My tea birth came in 2004. While I had been drinking tea throughout my life it was more of a seasonal enjoyment and not something as empassioned as what it gives me now.

I’m currently working to start a couple tea related businesses and run a little tea blog reviewing tea and tea related items.

You should drop by! Seriously! The door’s open!


Cincinnati, OH



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