430 Tasting Notes

drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
430 tasting notes

2 parts cocoa nibs
2 parts sour cherry tisane
1 part rooibos chai

Too much cherry tisane it overpowers the cocoa and the spices. I’m not sure if I would want too much more spice, maybe a little more, and the cocoa nibs are probably at the right level. The tisane could use a little something to sweeten it. I might prefer this with cinnamon instead of chai. Otherwise it is a tart cherry chocolate with a cardamon vanilla tint from the chai with a touch of cinnamon and cloves.


I always love seeing your tea experiments!


Mmmmm, cherries ;-)

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This tea has a very nice ripe to over ripe strawberry taste, with a touch of cream. Simple and well balanced flavouring. As others have noted it could use a different base. After 3 minutes at about 93°C the base is a little bitter, and vegetal. It has a slight astringency to it. It could be corrected with a touch of sugar but I dislike adding sugar to my teas. As it stands, the tannins and mild astringency in the base subtract from the cream in the flavouring. A sweeter fruitier base might have complimented the delicious flavouring more.

As it cools the strawberry scent and taste intensify. I like it because in this tea the strawberry flavour is allowed to shine instead of being drowned in sweet vanilla cream notes as is often done in this style of tea. With some tweaks this tea could really shine!

Thanks for the example Dexter I’ve enjoyed them all so far!

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These pretty, downy, medium large, slightly copper tinged golden buds, smell of smoke insense, cocoa, fruit, and powdered sugar.

They are pretty resilient beings as even with my modified version of gongfu ( I use less leaf (about 2 TSP of these fluffy light leaves)) they are still flavourful after 9 steeps (60,50,60,90,120,180,240,300, 360s).

The liquor of this tea was mostly a green tinged gold with a grey green ring, that became redder and browner in later steeps.

The broth smelled originally spicy with wood smoke insence, very faint leather,and cocoa and plum. Later it moves towards sweet creamy and fruity before returning to savoury tones.

Flavour notes that I have found so far are: roasted smoke insence, leathery spice, a hint off aged cedar, hints of alfalfa, clover nectar, honey, cream, plum and occasionally plum/strawberry, hint of bitter cocoa, upper tones of malt, a warm sweet floral note, and a savoury vegetal note. Middle steeps were mostly, cream, fruit, and nectar, with leathery notes present in early and later steeps. Cocoa is very faint but it does counterbalance the sweet tones and provides some depth.

The broth is thick and creamy and the aftertaste was sweet and lingering.

This is a nice, giving and soft tea. Its resilience makes it ideal for gongfu brewing.

Thanks boychik for sharing!


I just love reading your notes.

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This bright, brisk and elegant tea was my morning cup today. It is a really beautiful tea to look at with a generous scattering of golden cooper downy tips among its dark brown leaves. The tea itself has a nice deep orange red colour after 1tsp was left for a 3 min steep in 225 ml at about 95°C.

This is not a particularly sweet Assam, though it does have some nice bright red fruit and citrus tones in its scent and in its flavour when hot. Also present in the scent were nutmeg and cinnamon, the upper tones fmalt, a hint of biscuit and a very faint note of molasses.

The fruity tones were really only strongly apparent in the hot tea and mixed with malt, nutmeg, cinnamon, the lower tones of malt and a touch of cocoa. It felt light and bright on the tongue, with tannins counterbalancing this by providing a little density in the mouth. As it cools a floral tone mixes with the spice and creates a spicy floral tone like gardenia that mixes with a woody sandalwood like tone. The floral tone keeps the sandalwood from tasting warm and heavy. The tea although tasting a little drier, remains bright and light and a little brisk. These tones come to completely dominate the fruit as it cools. The aftertaste is of spice with the deeper tones of malt. A mild sweetness is provided by the fruit.

The tea resteeps really well with the spice and deeper malt tones intensifying.

Altogether a really nice Assam,with a nice number of subtleties to keep it interesting!

Thanks boychik, this tea has many of the aspects I appreciate in my favourite assam. It is only a little lighter, not as sweet, and the floral spice note is stronger than my favourite. Thanks for sharing this special tea with me.


This has become a great morning cup for me. From your note I am curious as to what your favorite is?


Borsapori Assam from Capital tea Ltd.


It’s almost always in my cupboard if you would like to try some! Capital Tea also has 20g sample sizes.


I have to revisit Borsapori (ifjuly sent me a sample). Steepster is crazy today. I keep sending notes into the space :(((


I know, it won’t let me post this reply and I wasn’t sure if it captured my original note!


Edited this to get rid of all the repeat postings.

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drank Christmas (Rois Mages) by Kusmi Tea
430 tasting notes

Currently, I am suffering from allergies and was craving something a little spicy to get the annoying buzzy feeling out of my ears and throat, so spice it is! JustJames sent me a bit of this around Christmas.

I brewed 1.25 TSP in 225 ml for 2.5min.

Hot, I smelled mostly fruit, with the base tea combining with the orange and vanilla to create something almost berryish, cloves and ginger and a hint of cardamon. As it cooled the almond and vanilla notes, as well as the orange became more distinct.

I found the tea to be not as spicy tasting as it smells but the cloves and possibly pepper does create a tingling on the tongue and a cooling in the back of the throat. The fruit is very present in the forefront, with the vanilla becoming more distinct and separate as it cools and the base contributes a cherry note that sweetens the orange. The base contributes a sense of thickness as a result of a mild astringency and its moderate level of tannins. It is quite fruity on its own and contributes a hint of floral, as well as slight malt and bready notes.

Altogether this is what I needed at this moment. Thanks James!


Hope your allergies will clear up soon :-)


Thanks, so do I!

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drank Thé sur la Lune by Nina's Paris
430 tasting notes

This tea certainly has a breadier, maltier and less sweet base tea than Nina’s other black teas I’ve had. It gives the tea a certain density and takes the tea from being a spring/summer tea to a year round tea. The tea initially smells a lot like other raspberry orange teas I’ve had, but on closer inspection this one is sweeter and more rounded than the other one I currently have. The berry notes are especially noticeable under the two dominant fruits.

The raspberry and orange blended with the bready, faintly leathery base are the first notes present but once these dissipate a warm sweet mixed fruit flavour opens up underneath. The puerh mixes well with the orange raspberry and as it cools, I am tasting a bit of passion fruit between the top notes and berry, and a faint floral note in the raspberry. The tea is warming at first but finishes with a cooling feeling in the mouth. I brewed this tea for Nina’s recommended 3 min and it creates a really good balance between the flavouring and the base tea flavours. An interesting pleasant tea that I like better hot than my current raspberry/orange tea.

Thanks for the opportunity to try this tea go to Laurent at Nina’s!

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I’ve had this cupboard for a while. The first few times I had it I think I overleafed or over steeped it as I did not experience the delicious fruitiness and spice that I am getting today.

Today after steeping 1tsp in 225 ml of water at around 94°C for 3 min I have a tea that’s yielding a lovely spicy, fruity tea. This tea has notes of brown sugar, yam, malt,cocoa, blackberry, cinnamon, and a faint floral clover nectar. The second steep remained delicious and smooth even though I rediculously over steeped it.

I would purchase this tea again if Capital Tea restocks it, in the mean time this one is tempting me. http://www.capitaltea.com/shop/product.php?productid=247&cat=3&page=1!


Mmm. That ceylon sounds really good…and what’s up with 100g for only $9??


Capital Teas does have some really nice Ceylon’s at good prices. The Lumbini always makes me think of you and Dexter because it has some pretty nice Cherry notes, but caramel, malt and raisins sounds amazing how when I’m in the mood for something warming.


Lol, cherries, oui, oui :-) adding Lumbini to wish list!

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I’ve been sipping on this tea all morning and it’s still going strong. The dry tea scent promises cocoa, a roasted note and a grainy bready note. These notes do appear in the brewed tea but the grainy note does not make a strong appearance until later steeps. A lot of my other Bailin teas have been very fruity, this one is not although it does have some nice plum notes. What it does have are notes of molasses(more than caramel to me), a roasted note, cream, sweet potato , plum, a floral note, a hint of hay, grain notes, a hint of leather(in later steeps), cinnamon and malt. The tea tasted more robust in later steeps, but remained very smooth throughout.

I brewed this tea using 1.25tsp in a 150ml Gaiwan and used a water temperature of 92°C.
I used steeping times of 30,40,50,70, and 120s and will probably get at least one more good steep out of it. The tea brews to a pretty deepening maple shade.

This is a nice mellow tea, that has made a pleasant companion this morning. Thanks Sil for sharing!


yay! glad you enjoyed it

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I’ve come to see Tan Yang teas as kind of a geographical designation like VQA with wine, with most of the teas grown in the area named that way except for the Lapsang Souchong, the teas grown from the guanyin varietal, and most of the really tippy teas which are labeled either as Jing Pin or Jinjunmei depending on the wholesaler. Some of the sites refer to a Tan Agar varietal of the tea plant as well, but I haven’t found much information on that as of yet.

This tea is from Fuan, and is a lower grade of the golden monkey tea, it is sometimes referred to yin Mao hou. The sources I found on this tea said that it is often fruitier and sweeter than golden monkey so I was curious to try it.

This tea was harvested on April 28,2014. It has dark loosely curled leaves with scattered copper toned golden tips. The dry leaf smells very sweet and chocolatey with an undertone of roasted grain/malt tones.

I brewed this tea both western and gongfu styles and found similar tones in both. Styles.

I brewed 1tsp/20Oml/at@92°C. And ended up with a golden, orangey,brown broth with a golden ring.

The scent of this tea was of cocoa, with a touch of longan and a lighter peach/mandarin scent, with a buttery tone and cane sugar.

The tea presents a light bright first impression with the fruit up front with longan, a sweeter citrus mandarin note and a sweeter creamy peach like tone during some steeps especially in western style.

The fruit tones are separated from the deeper tones underneath by a cane sugar note.

The deeper tones include cocoa, butter, a hint of salt, a slight hint of something floral, and a faint roasted note.

Later steeps had a deeper richer flavour and introduced a clover nectar tone, and more distinct malt. Some steeps had a creamy texture and were almost syrupy. The tea had a light sweet aftertaste.

The western style steeps still had the bright fruity flavours on top, but had a deeper, heavier flavour underneath.

Altogether this tea was smooth, sweet, creamy and bright, with a good balance between the flavours. A very nice tea and great for summer.

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