136 Tasting Notes


I’m not dead! But it has been forever since I’ve posted a tasting note, first due finals, then to my computer charger burning out, and then just spending time with friends and family back home.

This is a really tasty and interesting tea! The dry leaves are very green for Chinese tea, and there’s quite a lot of stems mixed in. When dry, the leaves look like they’re shredded or torn up, but once wet the reveal the smallest, tenderest tea leaves I’ve seen with a translucent, emerald green color.

The flavors are interesting, too. Notes of brown rice, grass, honey, and a sweet ginseng aftertaste. Blindfolded I’d guess I was drinking ginseng flavored kukicha. Fairly resteapable, but not extremely so. The brewed leaves are super tender and make for good munching.

Overall pretty nice, and completely different from what I’d expect in a Chinese green.


This reminds me I need to post a tasting note so I can say I’m not dead either!


Ha it would only be from a tea overdose if that was the case! I was on the verge of one Tuesday!


Haha Claire, undead Steepsterer party!

Mr. Mopar, too much of a good thing is… a very good thing! I’m taking online classes this summer, which makes drinking tea all day while I work verrrry tempting

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Man oh man, I recieved this sample from Teavivre quite a while ago. I brewed it a few times and wasn’t impressed. As it turns out, I think I was just brewing it wrong. This is a wonderful tea!

Dry leaves: The dry leaves are “every color” ranging from warm brown to black, to military green, to gorgeous white tips. The leaves are fairly small for an oolong, and have a nice apricot aroma.

Brewing: When I made this tea before, I was not using enough leaf, and the result was a weak, bland brew. It needs more leaf than I would think, it seems to be lighter/fluffier than it looks. This time I filled my gaiwan up about 1/3 of the way with leaves. The spent leaves open up to short and plump in chocolate brown color with a twinge of green. Brews up a gorgeous red-gold liquer!

1st steep: The first steep yields a rich, spicy flavor of apricot, nutmeg, moist butter cake, and pineapple with a slight roasty/woody quality like dry fall leaves.

3rd steep: Around the third steep the tea begins to smooth out with a very slight grassiness and a fresh, cooling mint note that contrasts the overall warm flavor. The tea is mildly sweet and has a creaminess as if milk were added. It flows over the tongue like a rive of warm silk.

7th steep: Around the seventh steep, the fruityness starts to wane, revealing clover leaf, champagne, and citrus tones as well as a pastry-like quality. Very tasty oolong, and pretty resteapable as well.

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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Man this is good! Taking a break before getting back to the finals grind.

This tea is warm and hearty like a Taiwanese black, but clean and refreshing like young sheng. There’s also some pretty interesting flavors here that I haven’t tasted elsewhere, and I really like it.

One of my favorite things about tea is the endless variety. I love trying new things, and I sort of hate to buy the same thing twice (even if I love it), and so far I haven’t bought a second batch of any tea, but I think this is one I’ll need to keep stocked in my cupboard.

But then again there IS the light roast version of this tea… :P

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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Seems like I got this FOREVER ago from Rachel Sincere! Thanks very much!

This is a nice, bold Yunnan black with lots of black peppercorn flavor, and a bit of yam and sugarcane. The leaves are sort of medium sized for a Yunnan black, and mostly chocolate brown/black in color with some golden buds mixed in.

I’ve been blending it with Fengqing dian hong, which is milder and yamier, and it makes a for a nice balance of flavor.

Brewing this in my new(ish) yixing, and I’ve had to use about double the amount of tea that I normally would. So far its still sucking up a LOT of the flavor, more than my other two did. The side effect of using so much tea is a major caffeine high, which, admittedly is pretty nice when studying for exams :)

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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Another cup of delicious from Mountain Tea Co. Floral narcissus aroma with a nice moderate level of roasting. Honey, peach, and, amaryllis notes with a a long lasting fruity aftertaste. Good balance of juicy and dry.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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  • This product is rated “E” for extraneous objects

This is manly tea; earthy, brown leaves wadded up into nuggets and smashed into a tightly compressed brick, not to mention a few bits of things that weren’t actually tea at all. From the outside I can see a little wood chip on the nei fei and a thumbnail sized black pebble that looks like flint or graphite peeking out from one of the corners.

Early steeps: Mild and sweet with sage and cedar notes with just a bit of mushroom flavor. It has a really clean taste for shu. Not as clean as the Verdant Peacock Village that I got to sample, but definitely the next most “sheng-like” that I’ve tasted. The taste is earthy, but still clear and crisp. The third steep starts to show flavors of pine and grilled corn? I know that’s a weird one, and its not smokey, but that’s the flavor I get. :P

Later steeps: Around the fourth steep the tea starts to gets even cleaner with linen, spice cabinet, and raw corn flavors, and a mouthfeel like warm milk. Around the seventh steep it starts to show an almost sparkling quality, a cappuccino creaminess, and a fresh, clean taste like a light rain. The tea started to fade in the ninth steep, but held out for a tenth.

Bottom Line: This is a delicious and very re-steepable shu, but not for you if you’re grossed out by the idea of finding “bonus content” in you tea. Personally I’m not really bothered by finding things in my pu’erh, so long as it’s relatively sanitary. “If I were a rich man” (cue pit music) I think I’d buy a few more of these bricks to stash away.

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Well said! Love these lao cha!


Thanks! This is the first one I’ve tried, I’ll have to check out some more :)


The menghai are excellent from 2011 back.


odd and wow


That is very common in factory production unfortunately. I recently received a SAMPLE size from a Sheng I got from Yunnan Sourcing. It had two granite pebbles and a piece of cloth (Possibly from the mantle things they use to cover they piles while they ferment). Mrmopar is right, older version seem cleaner I guess they weren’t doing so much mass production yet back then.

Tea can still taste ok. But it sometimes it is very off putting to find things in the cakes other than tea.


working in the coffee industry, you find all kinds of rocks, metal, odds’n’ends in the green coffee…most gets discovered when scooping to roast, some on the roasting table, and very rarely in the bucket…but I guess I’m used to that and find only the ‘human’ matter that shows up in some ‘hand-picked/rolled’ teas to be a bit off putting..but I feel 200 degree water should solve for this :)


It’s funny to think how these things get into the tea. Most of the teas that I’ve gotten have had little to no foreign objects, but this brick and a Fengqing sheng tou that I have seem to be loaded with little goodies :P

Luckily they all seem to be natural things, finding something like a bug would really gross me out


Hahahaha, Same here. Feng Qing has a high probability of foreign material in my experience. I swear one had several broom hairs.

Kashyap, I agree with you, sometimes finding human matter is disturbing but I think most of it is usually during packing, at least with most other tea (aka, black, white, green and oolong), I think what ‘grosses’ me out is that in Puerh is during the process of making it, but it is also to be expected. If you look at the making process of most Puerh (mostly factory made) several people work with the tea, which increases the chances of hair (I hope you exclusively meant hair by ‘human matter’ lol).

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Brewing up some hojicha and catching up on Doctor Who. Nice and roasty brew with some apricot and celery notes. When I got this sample I didn’t put in my steepster cupboard, and ended up forgetting I had it. Glad it reappeared :)

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Woke up with a sore throat this morning, lets see if this tea will work it’s magic :)


mince fresh ginger into it and a pinch of turmeric and that should further help the throat


Ooh, that sounds good. I’ll try that :)


Hope you feel better soon!


Thanks! I thought I was getting a cold, but it might just be allergies, its been dry and breezy out the past few days.

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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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