434 Tasting Notes

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
434 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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This tea reminds me a little of Della Terra’s Eight Candles with a punchier base tea, and a little bitterness provided by both the base and the chocolate notes. I think it’s because the vanilla in the caramel reminds me of those waxy air freshener vanilla candles, a scent and flavour which may come off as coconut to others.

Having said that this is a pleasant dessert tea with a base that is robust enough to welcome cream or milk. The tea smells to me of vanilla candles with hints of chocolate over a breast base tea.

I over steeped this tea slightly so the base is more dominant than I may of liked it. It seems that around 2 min 30 s is a sweet spot for this tea and I left it for 1 min more, because of this the bases flavours are the first notes apparent to me. It is a nice dense rugged tea that is breast and malty with light vegetal and floral notes, a cocoa note and a sharper red berry note. It is slightly tannic and astringent. While I appreciate a robust base I do think the base could be a little sweeter.

Once the base notes dissipate a little bittersweet cocoa is apparent as well as a vanilla caramel. The caramel doesn’t quite seem creamy enough, so when hot it seems a little waxy to me.

Generally this tea is a good mix of bitter base and cocoa notes, malt, and vanilla caramel. I think I like it a little bit !ore than eight candles, though Della terras base is smoother. I like how the cocoa tempers the vanilla caramel. It has a good balance between the base and the flavouring if kept to short steeps. It is also is nice that it is a dessert tea that is robust enough to handle additives.

Thanks JustJames for the sample!

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Wow, this handmade tea is special! Incredibly complex it has the bright light citrusy, top notes of many darjeeling’s, a bright green floral mixed with a faint eucalyptus menthol (possibly from the plantations grown in this region), lemon thyme and cinnamon and pepper, with sweet potato, roasted cashew, cream, honey, and wood tinged malt, mixed with a savoury vegetal, and light cocoa notes underneath.

The long dried leaves are long, loosely twisted, and wiry, ranging in colour from medium to dark brown with scattered silver green, gold touched downy tips. They smell very bright and inviting with hints of citrus, sweet potato, hay, and green citrus flowers.

Using 1 TSP/225ml at around 95 °C I had a bright light copper orange tea that smelled of muscatel like tones, sweet red grapefruit, sweet potato and honey. As it cooled a nutty cashew like tone also appeared.

This tea tasted incredibly well rounded with its bright, light and fruity, citrusy top notes, blending well sweet potato, honey notes underneath. These notes lie on top of a deeper slightly woody note that lies on top of a slightly vegetal, slightly mineral light malt note.

As it cools a slightly lemony green floral blends with the fruit, a cream and roasted cashew note blends with the sweet potato and honey, with the honey intensifying, and a hint of cocoa blends with the lower base notes, it also becomes more buttery and smooth in texture and develops a feeling of greater density.

The tea has a mild to moderate astringency, a good balance of flavours, and a moderate level of caffeine.

The aftertaste has a good blend of honey and spice, with notes of lemon thyme, menthol, cinnamon, pepper and cocoa mixed with a tang of citrus.

This teas price is a result of the low yield of its style of plucking, its hand processing, and the general quality of the finished product which is unique and special.

It is absolutely delicious!

Special thanks to Capital Tea Ltd for this sample. The tea is available in 20g and 50g packages here: http://www.capitaltea.com/shop/product.php?productid=242&cat=0&page=1

For more information on Glendale estate go here: http://www.glendale-tea.com/about-glendale.html


I also adore this tea! I wonder why there are so few folks on Steepster that explore Nilgiri teas…. I just bought 100g of it from another source because it was so intricate!


I know. I think that Nilgrili’s and Ceylon’s have unfortunately fallen victim to prejudice. Many people are exposed to cheap ones and assume that they are all alike. Meanwhile some of the teas from this estate sell for some of the highest Auction prices in the Indian Tea Market. They make this tea over several seasons. It would be interesting to compare them.

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
434 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
434 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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