436 Tasting Notes

I enjoyed this tea last week but am just getting to this note now.

This black tea dragon ball is quite pretty with it’s large leaves interspersed with numerous jasmine flowers.

I wanted to try the base tea from Simao first so my first steep was 45s. There was a hint of jasmine-scent over a malty fruity scent. The tea is malty upfront with a slight almost grape like fruit note overlying a touch of honey with a hint of the creamy cool taste of jasmine. Steeped this way as Teavivre notes the tea is very upfront and the floral is a faint echo.

For the second steep I took a western approach and steeped it for 1.5 minutes. There were hints of chocolate added to the scent and flavour and the base tea became much sweeter and creamier. There was a plummy note and a bit of cream added to the flavour. The jasmine was intensifying the creamy and fruity notes of the tea. This was a fruity jasmine note that I often find in well scented teas. It is however still very muted. The jasmine is more apparent as it cools and adds a spice incense like note into the grape notes in the tea.

The third steep at 2 minutes had Hints of sweet potato and stronger malt from the base. Jasmine was still presenting a cool creamy accent. Jasmine became more apparent as it cooled and created a fruity slightly candyish accent over a cool hint of floral spice. This steep was more distinctly floral than the previous steep.

Altogether a very nice tea with the subtle jasmine enhancing the flavours of the base rather than being the star of the show. I will enjoy drinking this again. Thanks Teavivre for the sample!


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Unsmoked or mildly smoky Lapsang Souchong counts among my favourite teas but I can still love a smoky Lapsang when it is done well. There needs to be a nice balance between the flavours from the smoke and the flavour of the underlying tea. This one is quite enjoyable. The tea itself has a silky oolong like texture in the mouth and in early steeps is intensely sweet. This contrasts nicely with the cooling menthol like notes from the pine. For a smoky tea the aftertaste is actually quite refreshing and even cooling. Thank you so much Angel for the sample I quite enjoyed it.
2.5 g in 110ml of water at boiling
The dry leaf is moderately broken colour mostly dull dark chocolate brown some stems.
The smell is quite smoky but with a sweet pine tar smell mixed with a sweet caramel fruity note in the tea. It smells like fall at my cousins cottage on Georgian bay. It is a mix of syrup, forest and maple notes.
First steep 45s. The first flavour note is sweet caramel mixed with tart stone fruit that opens up to a spicy woody pine/ menthol note mixed with mild smoke which afterwards blends into an even sweeter almost birch syrup ( cooler maple) note. It finishes with very refreshing note in the mouth.
The tea feels very soft and silky in the mouth. The colour is a slightly red toned caramel.
2nd steep. The scent is less smoky more of an aged spicy wood scent that is sweet like a cedar lined sauna. There is a slightly thicker feeling in the mouth with a mild astringency. The tea is slightly more fruity with a touch of malt added to the mix above. Once again a very bright cooling aftertaste is present.
3rd steep. The smoke and pine/cedar wood scent smells more like spent incense. The colour of the tea is more red than caramel. This steep returned to a creamy silky feeling on the tongue. There is a taste of caramel complete with hints of vanilla and hints of ripe plum. It still ends with a cooling feeling on the tongue and an aftertaste of spice and incense.
4th steep. The flavour is fruity and incense like. The tea remains cooling on the tongue. The caramel sweetness is less apparent. You can still taste pine on the edge of the flavour notes.

5th steep. The tea still has a nice body but the flavours are waning.

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
436 tasting notes

I decided to have some fun doing side by side tasting of Lopchu Golden Orange Pekoe and Lopchu Flowery orange Pekoe. I used 125ml of boiling water over 3/4 tsp of leaf brewed for 2 minutes and decanted into glass.

The resulting Tea both have the deep rich slightly earthy sweet fruity notes mixed with cocoa I love in the teas from this Darjeeling Estate.

The Golden Orange Pekoe has more of the muscat found in Darjeeling as well as some brighter floral notes, a touch of honey and a menthol slightly camphorous notes over the richer base notes.

The Flowery orange Pekoe has much more stonefruit notes, more cocoa, some biscuit and tastes much richer to me.

The Flowery orange Pekoe is admittedly one of my favourite teas and tends to be a tea most people Ihave shared it with have liked even Darjeeling haters.

As they cool the Golden orange Pekoe continues to taste brighter and sharper than the Flowery orange Pekoe but becomes a bit rounder and fuller tasting. I enjoy them both.

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drank Tian Jian by Spring Tea House
436 tasting notes

The first few steeps of this reminds me of a good smoked lapsang with the smoke present but not overpowering mixed with tart fruit and caramelized sugar. Later steeps become thicker, with the introduction of cocoa and a silkier chocolate like texture.

The owners daughter drinks this as a milk tea with salt. I tried it just with salt and it helps cut the smokiness and emphasizes the fruitiness and brings out the sugar notes. There is a lingering spicy aftertaste mixed with a tart fruit which reminds me of a cross between tart apples and quince. I quite like it.

I used approximately 4g in 75ml of boiling water. The first steep was 10s and was increased in 5-10s intervals.

Spring Tea house used to be known as golden coast tea club. The tea can be found here :


Flavors: Apple, Caramel, Chocolate, Cocoa, Smoke, Tart

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I am having this Tea grandpa style and I must admit that today’s cup is my most successful cup in terms of being true to it’s flavouring. I am not sure if this improvement is because the tea is over a year old hence some of the floral notes in the oolong have become muted allowing the caramel notes to shine, or if the tea generally benefits from a longer steep , or if using boiling water to steep it helped to bring out the flavouring. Today’s cup really brought out the creamy butter caramel notes in the tea mixed with a little bit of spice and butter, and a depth produced from the roasting of the oolong. This finishes with a cooling and slughtly drying sensation from the oolong. The caramel is buttery and sweet with a mix of browned butter, sugar and vanilla notes that remind me a bit of skillet toffee. There are also cinnamon and a slightly woody Roasted autumn leaf note which is slightly bitter but which offsets and balances the sweetness. This is quite an enjoyable nightcap tonight.

Super Starling!

What does “grandpa style” mean?


You keep the leaf in the cup while you drink and ratio it with water as you go. Generally it’s better to top it with water before you drink three quarter of it to keep a more consistent and stronger flavour profile. It works with greens, many oolongs, and white Teas but I have drunk milder black’s and even Sheng Teas this way.

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This is a Tea, that at least to my personal taste, benefits from a light touch with the leafing. Use to much and the malt overpowers any of the delicate nuances found underneath it. It can be quite a potent Tea and easily yields 4 steeps even with lighter leafing. I used @1.5 TSP per 275 ml of boiling water.

Complex spice notes overlay a mix of stone fruit, honey and malt notes mixed with lighter notes of cocoa and biscuit in the first steep. By the second steep, the malt has intensified and the spice is almost floral. The cocoa notes are also stronger in the second steep.

Overall a nice complex Assam with the spiciness I tend to appreciate in my favourites.


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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
436 tasting notes


1.5- 2 inches cinnamon and 1.5 tbsp of full Leaf peppermint in 150 ml of water steep 7-10 min.

I’m sick again. I made this along with chrysanthemum Shou, lemongrass, ginger, the third day of my current Sheng and various other caffeinated offerings. It smells like a balance between the two ingredients and is really soothing right now on my throat and chest. The cinnamon is more present initially and then it finishes with peppermint notes.



mmm hope you feel better soon!


Me too!

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This Tea has rested a while before I drank it and it has become quite interesting with notes of loganberry, honey, and cloves over strong floral notes mixed with cream and faint pastry and Roasted leaf notes. It is tingling nicely in the back of my throat and feels lively on the tongue. I am steeping this gongfu style in two teacups @70ml with steeps beginning around 10s. I am quite enjoying it.

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
436 tasting notes

This evening I’m experimenting with using teacups as a mini Gaiwan with one of my Dancong that I have taken through 22 steeps before. I used 3g/65ml and so far it’s been a success. Steeped this way It recaptures the whiskey liqueur mixed with light peach notes I love in my other Osmanthus Dancong. This one also has cream and cocoa notes. It is more heavily roasted than my other Dancong of this type.

I’ve steeped this tea a few times. The first time I had bitter orange and honey, a second time was closer tonight and another time when I used less leaf it was heavily perfumed and floral. Altogether, I am having fun playing with this tea I got off aliexpress. https://instagram.com/p/37onvBGK-s/

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
436 tasting notes

Random notes about teas I’ve had so far today.

1.jinmaohou-yixiang tea company. While I still prefer the yinhao from this company, I find that this tea makes a nice lighter bodied golden monkey if I keep to my normal leafing (@2.5g/225ml) and allow it to steep at least 2minutes. It then yields, a bright sweet potato and honey tea with underlying grainy notes and cocoa.

2 Rou GUI Fu Tea Store Aliexpress. This tea still yields a nice German chocolate torte with cherry kirsh taste two years after its harvest.

3. Pomme de verger damman Frères. Though this isn’t my favourite df tea I appreciate best with longer steep times closer to 5 minutes.

Edit 4. 5. TenRen Dragon Well. This is a very old green but it still is very flavourful. It has a good mix of grilled fruit bitter green, chestnut, and floral notes with honey. It wasn’t what I started out intending to drink but I am quite enjoying it right now.


They all sound great especially #2 and #5. What happened to #4?


“chocolate torte with cherry kirsh” – wow – I would like that, will be adding it to wish list. :)


Oops! There was a 5th Special Dark Mandal, but not at this point.

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