136 Tasting Notes


This is a nice, clean tasting dragonwell from a small teashop near my hometown. Mild, marine flavor with notes of peach, allspice, and white grape. It has a strong throat feel and noticeably high caffeine.

More in depth review on its way when I get over this cold :(

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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Smooth, rich, and chocolaty! Mine came from Yunnan Sourcing as “Red Rhyme”, but I’ve read that the pinyin “Hong Yun” can translate either way, I believe this is the same cake.

This is a really nice shu with notes of chocolate, oak, and smooth red wine.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec

this is a superb cake and as obi wan would say… very good my young apprentice!! sorry made a funny on this!


Haha, thank you, Master Mopar! And may the Pu’ be with you!


i am so glad you like this one it is a personal favorite along with the wui ze denke of the same year. right now i am sipping on a haiwan 10 year anniversary cake on about its fourth in fusion. i have found some of the haiwans to be great too. might have to send you some one day.


Mmm, well I’d love to try some :)


Shared some of this with a new pu’er drinker a few days ago and with my granddaughter. Smooth…easy to drink…like a good mellow wine.


Haha, it really is! I’m having a tea party with some friends (or at least “tea get- together”) in a few days, and I’m definitely going to make some of this for them. Lets see if I can spread the pu’erh addiction ;D

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This tea definitely needs to be given some time to mellow out, but I think it will be nice given a year or so of aging.

Dry cake: The dry leaves have a nice milk chocolaty color with a good number of golden buds mixed in. The cake compression seems ideal (to this newb anyway), its pretty tight, but still loose enough to break apart without too much damage to the leaves.

1st infusion: I gave it a wash and brewed the first infusion; yuck! Tastes like a cup of fermentation. It really wasn’t worth drinking, so I transferred it to a cup to pour over my teapot.

2nd-5th: These were much more drinkable. There is still a some fermentation taste, but it was much less and joined by flavors of chocolate, celery, and oak.

5th-8th: This is where this cake shines. It still has a bit of compost flavor, but the “tea flavors” really come through with notes of date, pecan, cocoa powder, and red wine.

9th-10th: These were weaker, but otherwise like 5-8, and this is where I cut it off.

This isn’t the greatest right now, but I think it will be a nice tea.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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This is the second raw pu’erh that I’ve tried, and a very young one. In my limited knowledge, it seems like a good candidate for aging (which is good for me since I bought a whole cake).

First off I’ll have to say that this cake smells AMAZING! The smell is strong and sweet with figgy and toasted qualities that fill the box where I’m keeping the teas that I brought home with me (at my parents house home on winter break). If they made “raw pu’erh” air fresheners, I’d buy a dozen! :P

The tea brewed a light gold/green color like a lightly roasted oolong, and the leaves opened up to be fairly large, most around two inches, but some larger or smaller. The wet leaves look tender and green like a good dragonwell.

The tea is pungent and sweet, with a predominately apricot flavor, a slight bitterness, and a natural sweetness. In the earlier infusions I found notes of orchid, green olive, and oatmeal.
The bitterness faded in the later infusions leaving sweet and mellow tastes of almond and cream with more a more tropical mango flavor that lingered across the front and back of the tongue.

This is the first tea I’ve tried that had more stamina than I did. I left off at around twelve infusions, though the flavors were still coming through strong. I’m definitely feeling the cha qi on this one. I feel aware and content, and feel the need to lay back and enjoy the day’s beautiful weather. :)

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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This is a fairly large sample from Teavivre (enough for three or maybe four brews) made in my new yixing pot :)

This is a very nice, mellow pu’erh! The flavor isn’t as heavy as the other’s I’ve had, and it seems like it would be a good “introduction” pu’erh with less shock factor than some.

Dry Leaves: The dry leaves have a pleasant and sweet roasted chestnut smell without any compost-yness. Its just nice and roasty, and smells the way I imagine a fully oxidized ti guan yin would. The wet leaves are fairly large.

Brewing: The tea is a nice bright red color, very deep, but not quite is brown/burgundy as the other pu’erhs I’ve tried.

Tasting: The tea is very mild and sweet with flavors of milk chocolate, walnut, buckwheat honey, barley, and roasted mushroom.

200 °F / 93 °C

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Wow, I realized I haven’t posted a tasting note (at least not a long one) in quite a while now! I’ve had quite a few new teas and written notes (on paper) about a few of them, but between a general funk that I’ve been in and the impending horror of finals week, I haven’t put anything online.

I made this tea in a gawian for the first time today (for some reason I’d never considered making blacks or greens gong fu until recently) and it’s really nice.

This won’t be a full note, but an “update” I guess with some more things I’ve noticed with this tea:

-One, is that it brews GREAT in a gaiwan! It brought out smoother flavors and lasted more than eight (I lost count) infusions

-Another thing I noticed is that its very creamy for a black tea, definitely no cream needed for this one

-Finally, I noticed some nice melon and milk chocolate flavors in addition to the spice and whiskey flavors I noted last time

Well, now I’ll head back to hitting the books… Wish me luck!

195 °F / 90 °C
Terri HarpLady

Good luck! :)


good luck!


Good luck :)



Autumn Hearth

Brewing this gongfu right now and really liking it! Thanks for sending it!


Awesome, glad you like it!

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drank Energizing Chai Organic by Zen Tea
136 tasting notes

Nom nom nom! This has a nice mix of interesting ingredients. I’d have to say this is my favorite pre-mixed chai that I’ve tried! The pu’erh is nice and strong, and the coconut and other ingredients compliment/smooth it out nicely.

The only thing is that its not quite as spicy or bold as I like, so I think the next time I make it I’ll add some fresh ginger and some extra pu’erh.

Thanks Zen Teas for another great sample!

200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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drank Aged Oolong Tea by Tea from Taiwan
136 tasting notes

I was really excited to try this tea, since I’d never tried an aged oolong. Also, it’s pretty weird to drink something that’s older than I am. I guess you could say I have a bit of a “thing” about old/vintage things. There’s a kind of power/stateliness to things that have been tucked away for years, that have been held and used by people years ago.
Not that this tea is THAT old, but for a tea it certainly is. :)

Dry leaves: The dry leaves have a bold, musky aroma of roasted chestnut, hickory, and musk. The leaves are small, dark, and silky and looking; rolled into small, tight pellets with a chocolaty brown color.

Brewing: When I poured water over the leaves for the rinse, they released a strong aroma liked meat being cooked on a wood-fired smoker. This tea needs to be steeped longer than most oolongs until it turns a nice red-brown color. When wet, the leaves a dark black and slick looking. They unfurl just slightly and truly look like “black dragons.”

1st steep: The tea has an strong but smooth and elegant smokiness not quite like normal smoked teas like gunpowder/lapsang. It tastes of oak, camphor and cinnamon with an underlying coconut note. The taste is rich, stately, and slightly reminiscent of whiskey.

2nd steep: The second steep has much less smoke, but is otherwise similar to the first. This tea is very buttery. There’s no detectable amount of bitterness or astringency.

3rd steep: The third steep has a savory flavor like slow roasted meat. There are strong notes of oak, with a new piney and milk chocolate flavors. The mouthfeel is smooth and heavy like coconut oil. This steep is slightly sweet.

4th steep: The forth steep remains similar to the previous, but reveals a deep, pu’erh-like sweetness.

5th+ steeps: Later steeps remained similar and gain more and more buttery smoothness. Around the eight steep, I need to increase the brew time all the way to about two minutes, but the tea remains strong. It begins to fade around eleven.

Reminds me of: The first time I played my violin, which belonged to my great great great grandfather. Like the tea, it was something completely new to me (I had no idea how to play it), but I could feel the beauty and power of the instrument. Its exciting to hold something completely foreign to you, yet so old and beautiful.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 45 sec

Amazing tasting note, thank you.


Thanks, Nik!

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Got the samples from Tea from Taiwan today, and they were packed in nice little vacuum-sealed pouches. I decided to start with this one. Not sure about everyone else, but whenever I get something from a foreign country, I feel the need to keep the packaging. :) These cute little packages with Chinese writing are definitely getting saved.

Dry leaves: The leaves are fairly small for an oolong, most of them around the size of gunpowder green pellets, but some are larger. They have a nice pear-like scent

Brewing: The tea steeps a nice pale yellow color like dried daisies. The steeping leaves a peachy smell with a slight marine quality. The leaves expand nicely, and most are in good condition.

1st steep: The first steep of this tea has a surprisingly vegetal/brothy flavor, something I haven’t encountered in an oolong before. There is a nice, fresh pear taste mixed with the vegetal qualities of a Pi Lo Chun and the brew has a natural sugarcane sweetness. The flavor lingers on the top of the tongue.

2nd steep: The second steep continues on the themes of the first, but this time with reduced vegetal tastes replaced by a slight grassyness and cooked peach flavor.

3rd steep: The third steep show continued reduction of the vegetal qualities and increasing sweetness. There is a slight hint of vanilla bean.

4th steep: Even sweeter yet, the dominant flavors in this steep are those of peach and vanilla with a slight floral touch. The later steeps remained similar and gradually lost flavor.

It is lovely out (FINALLY feels like fall), I got some great teas in the mail, and the speakers outside the basketball arena (which are ALWAYS on) were playing New Fang by Them Crooked Vultures when I walked by. I think its safe to say that today is a good day.

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec

I know. It’s so nice out! (Except if you live up north – lol)

I sympathize with the fascination with foreign things. When I went to Japan I got so many things, especially with Engrish.

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I made this tea a few days back using 1 tsp of tea and slightly cooler water with pretty poor (gross) results.

I decided to try it again today and made it using about twice as much tea and near-boiling water, and the tea it made was better (drinkable), but not especially good.

Dry Leaves: The leaves twisted and deep brown in color. They have very nice, bold aroma of clove and charcoal.

Brewing: I first did a quick rinse steep, which released a powerful smell of clove and tobacco. I let the leaves sit for about a minute, but not much expansion occurred. In fact, they didn’t really open up until the second steep. The wet leaves vary from black to a deep military green and have a nice fruity scent. The tea brews a mellow orange color.

1st steep: The first steep has STRONG, musty tobacco and charcoal flavors with fall spice and a slight pluminess in the background.

2nd steep: The second steep was noticeably grassier and considerably more pleasant than the first steep. The charcoal and tobacco flavors had died down, and there were slight cantaloupe and cocoa notes.

3rd+4th: The third and fourth steeps were mellower and by far the most enjoyable. The predominant flavors were of clove and grass, and were slightly chocolaty with a lemon sweetness. I tried making a fifth steep, but it came out weak and tasteless.

Overall this was meh. I feel like my tasting note makes it sound a little better than it actually was.

Reminds me of: Clove cigarettes, dirty cars, my uncle Mike

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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My name is Thomas,

I’ve loved tea and coffee since I was little, but only started getting into the world of high quality teas about three years ago.

My favorites are pu’erhs, Yunnan blacks, and Taiwanese oolongs. I’m not much into flavored teas or jasmine/florals, but I love a good cup of chai or adding a spice or two to my teas sometimes.

Currently taking a break from school, moved back in with my parents as I work and trying to find my place in the world.

I’m a music lover and have played guitar and violin for quite a while and have also learned to love the sounds of the sitar and hindustani music in all its forms. I’ve become a bit of a guitar “grease monkey” and find building, modification, repair, and dissection to be even better than playing sometimes. I’m also a nature lover and try to get out to a nice trail or park at least once a week.

My Rating Scale:
95-100 Wowza!
90-94 Pretty darn good
80-89 Nice
70-79 Decent
50-69 Potable
0-50: Blech.


Clearwater, FL

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