432 Tasting Notes

These tea comes are pretty little towers with visible prominent copper gold buds. Using 1 cone/100ml/95°C I ended up with a maple colour brew.

1 min. Grainy notes, malt, honey, plum.
Plum, honey, cocoa,light grain, and faint deeper tones of malt. ( much sweeter than my other one, but less spicy).

2 min. Malt, grain notes, cocoa, hints of currants.
Honey, light currant jelly, faint leathery notes, pepper, cocoa, faint grain notes, plum.

3 min honey and plum mix together in a tone that reminds me of apricot, grain notes are much stronger, cinnamon apparent, very faint cocoa and malt and a touch of tartness in the end.

4 min, mild grain notes, mild malt honey

6 min similar

These cones yielded a smooth honeyed tea with light grain, varying fruit, malt and mild cocoa tones.

Nicole asked me the other day how these compared to my other ones http://steepster.com/yyz/posts/252357. I would have to say that visually these ones are a little bit bigger and slightly more tippy. Taste wise, Mandalas offering is slightly sweeter and smoother whereas the other has a more intense deeper flavour, with stronger malt, chocolate, spice and tart fruit notes. It is also more tannic. It leaves a tingling on the tongue from spice, whereas Mandala leaves more honeyed notes. Both are really nice!

I have to thank Sil for these cones. It’s been nice watching them open in my smaller Turkish coffee glasses.


Awesome! Thanks so much for the comparison. :)


i like how pretty these are…and still make a NOT WEAK cup of tea :)


They are really pretty! I get the impression that they are much more forgiving than the ones I have, as well. It’s definitely weak the honeyed notes were pretty strong in the first cup!


I meant definitely not weak!


haha i figured :)

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This tea has a nutty spicy dough scent that references carrot cake and that Indian carrot pudding served at weddings or at breakfast on special occassions, but is a little bit deeper and not as bright. I smell a little bit of brown sugar and a little bit of frosting.

The flavouring is subtle. I get nutty, bready and fruity elements from the base tea, mixed with brown sugar, spice, a sweet tone of carrot, and elements of icing. It is subtle at this stage but pleasant. the flavouring intensifies a bit as the tea cools. The base tea is smooth and has a deeper, lightly bitter element that balances the other flavourings.

It is a nice effort. I think I prefer a slightly spicier carrot cake, but I like how this tea has not been allowed to be dominated by either vanilla or spice elements that often happens with fall themed teas.

Thanks CrowKettle for this sample. I think it has held up pretty nicely!

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This is another aliexpress purchase for me. It came packed in a jar, with it and two samples wrapped in bubble wrap to which was affixed postage and address information. Very minimalist packaging but the tea seemed to survive well!

I have tried this tea both western and gongfu style using 1 tower/cone/pagoda per 100ml.

The dry tea is nice and symmetrical with about 70% of the cones being as tippy as the picture. The dry tea smells very fruity with vegetal notes, but when dropped into a hot damp glass it releases a scent of chocolate, malt and cinnamon.

Gongfu method
1 min Clear golden broth
Scent light , dark chocolate, honey, cinnamon
light flavour, dark chocolate cake, dark chocolate, cinnamon, pepper, honey, with brighter malt notes and grain notes lingering in the background.

2 min. Deeper cooper colour with yellow ring.
Scent. Chocolate, with stronger malt, cinnamon, and honey, with some plum notes.
Flavour. Fruity, with hints of ribena ( blackcurrant), chocolate, butter, mild honey, oats, pepper, cinnamon and malt. Thick and dense tasting. Not as sweet as some but juicy and chocolate rich with a nice note of spice.

3 min more malt and honey, similar levels of chocolate and sspice. Tastes more chocolate cake like and less fruity than the last steep. The fruit is still underneath offering a certain tart sweet note. Hint of a faint leather note.

4 min
More oatmeal and fruit blended with honey and malt, cocoa fading.

6min. Malt softened by grains and fruit.

Western Method

345. Both the scent and flavour are dominated by tart fruit and malt and light leather spice notes. These are supported by chocolate, oatmeal and light honey.

I prefer the early steeps of the gongfu method with the German spiced chocolate cake notes. This tea was not very sweet, but perhaps brewing at a lower temperature than the recommended near boiling would intensify the existing sweetness. The tart fruit almost creates a rich tart red wine note at times. Altogether an interesting and easy to brew tea!

*I bought it at this shop
but it was available through other shops as well.


How would you say this compares to Mandala’s Flowering Cones? I ask because you seem to have a really developed palate for a lot of these dianhongs/Yunnans.


I have a sample of them that Sil gave me. I hope to get to them this weekend, then I will be able to let you know:)!

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drank Yi Fu Chun Black Tea by Yezi Tea
432 tasting notes

This tea is full of warm sweet fruit notes of canned peaches and a hint of mandarin, all mixed in with buttered grains and cocoa. Really tasty and surprisingly rich considering it’s short steep time. Thanks to Dexter for a chance to sample this tea!


Pretty sepia tinged copper brown broth

20s first scent very fruity like canned peaches, cashew butter, roasted notes, cocoa
Taste. Cocoa, peaches, butter, a sweet grain note in between polenta and oatmeal, honey, if you hold the tea in your mouth and breathe in the peach notes are very distinct and their are also hints of canned mandarins, otherwise the flavours blend into each other. the tea tastes very rich even after only 20s, it is thick and slightly buttery on the tongue.

25s fruit notes slightly brighter and stronger, more honey, cocoa, butter, a little cinnamon, less grain notes, a touch of citrus tinged floral.

40s. Cocoa, grain, malt, sharper more citrus toned fruit, honey, butter, sweet fruit lingering in background with a light floral tone.

70s. Similar to previous steep but maltier.

Sami Kelsh

Ooh, this sounds so pretty.


your reviews are so impressive. you’re a microsteeping hero!

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drank Je t'Aime by Nina's Paris
432 tasting notes

From a far this tea smells like a caramel pudding my aunt made when I was a kid. On the other hand up close it smells a little like those caramel rum lifesavers ( do they even make those anymore?). It brews up to a rich mahogany colour after 3 minutes.

Hot it does taste of a rum laced caramel, with vanilla over a thin but fruity tea base. As it cools the base tea becomes denser in texture and maltier. Its quite fruity with cherry and plum notes, and a little bit of cocoa, and a floral note. The tea becomes fairly spicy, with a nutmeg and cinnamon note with a touch of pepper. There is a bit of astringency and a good dose of tannins, but the tea remains smooth and easily drinkable. It still makes me think more of a rum laced caramel, than vanilla, but at this steep time the base and flavouring compliment each other and it is quite delicious!

Thanks Laurent for the chance to try this wonderful tea!

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This tea reminds me a little of pain au chocolate, or at least a pâte sucrée dusted with hot chocolate powder. It has really has good notes of chocolate and honeyed butter pastry for at least the first two steeps, which it manages to present despite being rather dry on the tongue.

The tea is comprised of flat, folded downy copper gold buds.

I got 4 good steeps out of this, but I think this may be a tea I might prefer western style brewing for as the last two steeps had increasing floral and artichoke notes instead of butter croissant.

The first 2 steeps, at 1 & 2 minutes, had fragrance notes of honey, cocoa, butter, cinnamon, ovaltine, and developing citrus notes, with faint malt.

The flavour contained these notes, as well as oatmeal, chocolate orchid, plum, and cream. As it cools the pastry and malt tones become more apparent.

The last two steeps (3 & 4 min) had increasing floral notes, as well as artichoke mixed with dark honey all mixed in with the fading previously discovered notes.

All together the pastry notes were really delicious in this tea and I would like to try it western style. Thanks boychik for this lovely sample!

1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

Pain au chocolat tea! I’ve been looking at Yunnan Sourcing a lot and I’ll definitely add this to my must-have list! :D

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I was excited to find this tea locally as I love the black teas from this estate but had never seen other styles of tea available commercially. Lopchu teas tend to be kind of unique as the majority of the tea grown on the estate is from Yunnan varietals, unlike other darjeeling’s and offers an interesting point of comparison to study how much of the Darjeeling characteristics are the result of climate rather than genetics.

I have had this tea several times and shared it with family and so far its been a hit. It even won over my cousin’s hot drink detesting husband and their just shy of two year old daughter.

The dry leaf is not the prettiest white peony I’ve ever seen, there are furry white buds , and broken slightly darker leaves as well as several stems, but even the dry leaf has a wonderful, chocolate, grain rich scent. It really is quite a rich and warm tasting white tea with many of the flavour notes of the black tea.

I have steeped this tea up to 9 times starting with a 50 second steep at around 75°C which results in a pale yellow brown broth.

Fragrance notes found throughout the steeping included: a spice mix of dried leaf smoke, and a savoury mole spice mix, cocoa/chocolate, barley, honey, plum, citrus and later muscatel tones, including that floral tone found in some Gewürztraminer wines.

Flavour notes included: the light upper tones of malt, honey, cocoa,smoke insense, savoury spices ( at various times thyme, rosemary, chili, pepper, and cilantro), fruit, including muscatel notes, citrus, plum, and the aftertaste notes of pineapple, warm sweet floral notes, barley, cream, and chocolate/cocoa.

The tea retained a thick and at times powdery, creamy mouthfeel even into my current seventh steeping.

Altogether this is a unique, delicious and resilient tea.


Wow! Sounds amazing!


I love reading your notes, I always learn something new :-)


It is Indigobloom.


I deleted the comment, so as to avoid any identifying info. Maybe we’ll run into each other one day, and perhaps not even know it :P


Where did you pick this one up YYZ? Also I found your Christine d teas in a store here in France but they were all the more boring ones and in sachets, so I didn’t bite and pick them up. Heh fun to find them though…


At The tea store. http://www.sassyteas.com. for address info. They currently don’t sell online. Lopchu black’s I pick up at the Indian grocer.

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drank Red Queen Cupcake by Butiki Teas
432 tasting notes

This is a really nice rich, deep, strawberry and chocolate noted tea. It is especially nice as many strawberry teas use light bases, whereas this one is rich and dense and malty. The flavouring and the base tea balance each other nicely.

The tea smells of ripe strawberry, strong dark chocolate/espresso, malt, vanilla and spice.

Malt, fruit and cocoa in the base mixes with chocolate flavouring in my initial taste and then opens up to ripe strawberry. Tannins and a mild astringency in the tea contribute to a bready feeling in the mouth. The strawberry is lightly mixed with a cinnamon spice note in the base and vanilla and cream notes. the strawberry is bright and ripe and slightly flowery. Espresso notes are present in a bitterness and slight nuttiness that mixes with the cocoa and malt and they counterbalance nicely with the sweet, bright, and soft top notes of the tea.

The tea resteeps well with strawberry and malt becoming more dominant and the tea becoming more astringent.

Thanks so much Stacy for this lovely gift of a tea!

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Sounds so very yummy :-)

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This is an oolong that may appeal to lovers of light flavoured Tieguanyin and those who like sweet lightly floral Oolong’s. It lacks that biting ting that I appreciate in floral green Oolong’s, but it does leave a warming tingling sensation in the mouth from its spice notes.

The dry leaves are small tight nuggets that range in colour from a medium sage green to spruce green.

I covered the bottom of my 150ml Gaiwan with leaf and started with about85°C water. I ended up getting 9 steeps out of this tea.

Earlier steeps of this tea had a green floral lilac scent mixed with honey, peach, cream and cinnamon. In later steeps a savoury vegetal note appeared and the floral spice slowly wained.

Flavour notes I found in this tea included: lilac, cream, peach,honey, cinnamon, mint,vanilla, mineral notes, artichoke, spinach and stevia.

The floral tone in this tea is not overpowering and the cinnamon tone is quite nice. It retains a good mix of sweet, vanilla, fruit cream tones and spice for the majority of it steeps, and maintained a creamy body into the last steep. I prefer a brighter and sharper green oolong but this is quite pleasant and cleansing.


You are so good describing the tea in your tasting notes. All I ever say for oolong is it’s buttery and tasty. lol

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drank Rizhao Black Tea by Yeah Stick Tea
432 tasting notes

I’m thoroughly enjoying this sweet roasty tea, while preparing for a 4 day trip up north. It will be fun but crazy, as at some point there will be about 20 of us there.

This tea has dark shiny curled leaves that yield a brown tinged saffron broth.

This tea has more roasted grain notes and less chocolate notes than other Rizhao black teas I’ve had but it is still delicious. Some documents refer to Rizhao black teas as Rizhao plum tea and I can see why here as this tea has a nice fruity tone that lies between plum and sweet cherry. The tea also has strong honey, and cinnamon notes. Also present are light malt, cocoa, something slightly nutty (hinting towards walnut) and a hint of vanilla. Overall another delicious tea from this region.

Thanks to TastyBrew who sent this to me as part of our Rizhao tea exploration.

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