400 Tasting Notes

drank Tiger Monk by Temple Road
400 tasting notes

I have to admit that I have difficulty western brewing Oolong’s ( I only have one that I brew that way on any regular basis). There is something about the complexity of tastes, the spice and the warmth it produces in my body that compels me to play with the tea and deconstruct its flavours. I’ve had this sample for a while but have only recently had the time and the health to fully appreciate it.

This is a lovely tea it has a wonderful mix of dark honey, fruit, a variety of floral tones, cured pine, roasted charcoal note, corn, and a variety of savoury vegetable notes. I absolutely enjoyed it and could easily see myself purchasing some in the future. Thank you very much to Temple Road for sharing this tea with me.

I must be impressed with the quality of the packaging of temple road tea as even this sample was packed with a dessication packet to control the moisture levels of the tea.

The dry tea is composed of tightly wound nuggets that are dark spruce and olive green heading towards a dark charcoal colour. The leaves smell of a mix of sweet fruit, charcoal roasted notes and a faint woodiness but are overall very fruity.

I steeped the tea 11 times after a rinse (45,30,35, 40,50,55,60,70,80,90, and 120s)

45s. Liquor pretty buttercup gold colour
Scent complex fruit smell, papaya,melon,warm peach, honey, carnation like spice tones, hint of roast and woodiness, cream.
Taste. Delicious, warm papaya and peaches, honey, vanilla orchid with carnation, cream. Spicy,warm fruit with a slight spicy floral tone.

30s stronger honey tones,fruit still get aparrent, sweet spicy floral, roster woody tone.
Taste spicy floral, fruity tones at the for front as well as something more deeper, tart and berry like, strong honey tones, hint of roasted, charred,bitter greens. Creamy buttery, mouth feel,a bit of woodiness.

35s. Brew is a deeper saffron like colour. Scent buttery, spicy soft floral, with fruit not as intense as before, honey, hint of sweet buttery lettuce like greens.
Taste hint of spinach,spice a faint echo of cloves on top of floral spice vanilla cream, touch of honey, sweet cooked greens, aftertaste of warm peaches. A balance between, savoury, sweet, and spicy, a little perfumy.

40s. cream over stewed peaches and papaya, vanilla, and floral spice.
Floral spice better balanced with other flavours so it is nit so perfumy, sweet buttery green tones slightly more apparent, a touch of spinach. Spicy feel at the front of the mouth.

50s. Scent corn, fruit, vanilla, butter, fainter spice,tones, dried , cured,pine.
Taste savoury vegetable cooked with cloves van butter cooked peaches in vanilla cream, hint of corn. spice in the aftertaste.

55s .scent Orchid and lily, buttetred creams, vanilla sugar, cooked peaches, a touch of citrus, spice.
Taste cooked peaches, vanilla sugar, spicy floral mixed with 5 spice powder, cream, savoury spinach and sweet greens.

60s. Citrus and peaches, vanilla, cream, faint vegetal note.

Corn,warm peaches and cream, vanilla orchid and nutmeg, faint cured pine note.

70s citrus, cream warm peach, sweet cooked greens

Warm peach and spice with citrus accents, a touch of cream, cured pine, sweet cooked greens.

80s. Sweet tone with hint of dark honey, cream,peach, corn.
Hint of woody tone and echo of spice.

90s corn, cooked greens, cream,hint of fruit.
Same as above

120s dark honey and spice with a hint of greens


This sounds wonderful!


damn, good review. sounds delicious


Great review :-)

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The dried leaf of this tea is beautiful with the blade being a little wider than some assams I’ve had and there being quite a few quite downy golden buds. Its quite beautiful to look at.

The first time I made this tea I made the mistake of both overleafing and oversteeping this tea, thinking that I would need to compensate for its age, and it turned out to be dominated by oatmeal and bitter cocoa and malt notes and its rich sweet notes were hidden.

To compensate this time, I stuck to 1 tsp/ 8 oz / @95°C, and after an @ 3 min steep the tea brews up to this beautiful red ochre tinged orange, and smelled of a blend of spice, red fruits and honey underlain by malt, cocoa, and a hint of oatmeal.

The flavour was sweet with malt and oatmeal first, followed by honeyed fruit ( red fruit with a touch of raisin), with spice and finishing with bitter cocoa. The dominant flavour is honey, spice and bitter cocoa. It has a good dose of caffeine.

Very nice and it makes me want to try Capital Tea Ltd more recent offering from this estate.

Thanks very much again to Joel for comping me this tea!


can’t wait to start digging in to the teas out sent me. Hoping for friday if i can manage it while moving…otherwise i’m splurging after the move on 10 mins to just sit and drink at least ONE of your teas lol


Enjoy them when you have a chance to enjoy them. I hope your move goes smoothly and that you have lots of help!

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While I was picking up quince tea for JustJames, I picked up this and more of the lemon one for ice tea this summer. Of the brands commonly available at the European Deli I prefer the big active and bastek bases the best.

This tea smells like insence spice, a hint of smoke, warm bake red grapefruit and citrus rind.

While the lemon one is a little grassy and floral tasting, this one does have a tang from the grapefruit rind. The taste of grapefruit is mild but what is there is round and juicy, like ruby red grapefruit juice. It would probably pop with sugar. The base is smooth and dense, with a touch of smoke, a hint of spinach, clover, and a naturally fruity flavour heading toward melon. The aftertaste is tingling fruit rind. It the overall effect is pleasant. I think I prefer the lemon but this is still quite a nice affordable Polish Tea.


For those of us in South Mississauga, there is a new Looseleaf tea store opening up in the plaza next to Starbucks.


I did see that one and was wondering when it would open.


It looks like very soon. I realise from what I wrote that it isn’t clear that it’s in Port Credit:).

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drank Sinharaja by Golden Moon Tea
400 tasting notes

This tea brews up to a nice classic copper orange colour and smells of plum tinted with cherry, cinnamon, and malt with brown sugar. There is a hint of sweet potato as it cools and the spice becomes slightly floral reminding me of clover nectar.

It taste very smooth with sweet sugary fruit notes up front, strong ripe plum is evident sprinkled with brown sugar, followed by a soft floral note that is slightly powdery and finished with malt. The texture is almost creamy. Hidden in the malt is a bit of cocoa and sweet potato. There is a slight grain note like barley present. The flavour is rich but the tea seems to be too thin to add milk to. The aftertaste is a mix of bitter malt and sugared fruit. A very nice mix of fruit, spice, floral notes and malt.

Thank you so much Dexter3657 for sharing this sample for me. It is quite a nice Ceylon.

4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I remember thinking how wonderfully unusual this one was.


It is quite nice in a muted, elegant way, I quite like it as well:)


What a nice review, you make this sound so yummy!

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For me this tea is a little like a collage of food memories. I smell blackcurrant like ribena but taste a sharp mix of cherry, grapefruit and grenadilla, mixed with crushed almonds, and a spice note that reminds me of barfi ( an Indian milk sweet), flavoured with rose water, cardamon, pepper, and cinnamon and a reference to Vanilla.

In the second steep the cherry notes are much more apparent.

Its very warming and makes me think of fall and winter. The tea brews to a maple colour and has a thick dense texture provided by the tannins in the base and the spice.

Quite a lovely, fruity, spicy tea with nice almond notes apparent. Thanks JustJames for this fabulous sample. I quite like this tea but I think I like Thé de Lune even better.

3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

You make this blend sound heavenly. Definitely gotta get my hands on some.

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I finally got around to opening my 2013 box of this tea. Still a cupboard staple for me. This seasons tea thus far is sweeter and warmer tasting than the previous year and a much less floral. Red fruits, and sweet red wine and sweet plum dominate the top notes with cocoa, and brown sugar notes rounding it off over light malt and slightly less biscuit than the 2012. Aftertaste is of brown sugar. Still really love the tea from this estate. I love that I can buy it locally. Maybe I’ll be able to try the pink box this year as well?

Edit to keep the cocoa and red fruits dominant keep the steeps shorter and use closer to a level TSP/225 ml rather than a heaping, and use a temp between 90-95*C.


Where do you pick this up?


You can find it at many Indian grocery stores. It can go quickly when it’s in. In Mississauga Dundas fruits and vegetables at Dundas and Hurontario almost always has it. Some years they get the pink box as well. In Toronto, I would check the stores on Gerard first. The packaging looks almost exactly like the picture. The tea comes wrapped directly from the estate and the month and year of harvest is stamped on the box.

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Long Jing and my desire to find out more about it was what brought me to steepster in the first place, because of this it will always have a special place in my heart. I’ve been drinking green teas all day and this was a nice tea for the evening as it was more savoury, rich and warming than the sweet fruity greens I had been drinking. This tea started out sweet and savoury and ended with spicy floral notes reminiscent of some green Oolong’s. I detected flavour notes of snap peas, sugar cane, spinach, clover and orange flowers, sweet grass and cinnamon, and orchid, light chestnut warm fresh mown grass and home made rum. This was a lovely transition into evening. Thank you so much to Teavivre for this lovely sample. I am sorry it took me so long to get to it. I went from nursemaid to being sick myself!
Dry tea smells rich and sweet and a little bit nutty.
Bright grass- olive green.
Pale sepia tinged yellow green broth

45s. Cooked fresh peas crossed with spinach, cream, and a hint of chestnut.

Savoury sweet tone with bitter tones of spinach, creamy nutty chestnut in the back ground hint of sweet cooked snap peas and a tone that slightly reminds me of coffee. Feels warming and robust and is a nice transition from the fruity, sweet rizhao greens I’ve been drinking all day. the taste is sweeter with reference to sugarcane as it cools. It has tones that remind me of the homemade rum you get offered in South America.
60s. Tea has a brighter yellow green broth. Smells brighter and fruitier with a citrus tone mixed into the sweet snap pea tone.

Creamier, sweeter and slightly greener tone. All of the above tones present as well as a tone that reminds me of breathing in the scent of fresh cut grass on a warm humid day. Something warm and spicy is underneath it which has hints of sweet grass mixed with cinnamon.

70s faintly floral tone orange blossom mixed with clover. Stronger spinach and spicy grass tone over snap peas and sugar cane with light nutty tone underneath.

120s. Return of sepia tones. Floral note still apparent in scent. Floral, slightly grassy tone more apparent in flavour, less bitter spinach tones, broth is thinner, flavour references a light flavoured green dong ding oolong

170s similar flavour to above but a little more savoury.


Great note as usual. I wish I had your taste use and ability to put it into writing.


Tastebuds ( hate autocorrect )


Eeeehhrrrr I can’t wait to get mine!!! Thank you for the lovely tasting note :)


Thanks! I hate autocorrect as well. It kept on making jing king for this note and it is absolutely hilarious when I use my tablet in different languages. It often corrects it to things that are not consistent with the current language.

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This tea makes for a nice robust everyday tea. It is not as sweet as some of the new style non smokey Lapsang’s I’ve had and that doesn’t really bring out those lovely sweeter molasses/honey caramel tones I love in these teas until later steeps. It does have a lovely mix of roasted sweet potato, charred bread crust, cocoa, dark honey, at times dark chocolate, molasses, rye bread and currants. I’m still searching for my chocolate caramel tasting lapsang and I have others that I prefer in my cupboard but this is a nice robust tea.

Scent: Roasted sweet potato, dark chocolate red fruit, dark rye and honey

15s. Roasted sweet potato, charred bread crust, cocoa, honey and currants underneath.

20s. Stronger dark chocolate notes, with dark rye and a touch of honey with red fruit under Neath. Not overly sweet. Hint of molasses and dark chocolate, robust roasted grains note . fruit and honey underneath.

30s dark honey, rye bread hint of cocoa and dried red fruits.

40s. Honey, cocoa, grain and red fruits. not as strong as last steep increase steep time.

70s molasses, cocoa, grain notes,

Cocoa, grain notes and honey.

120s. Dark,honey with grainy malt note a bit of cocoa and a little astringency


Joseph Wesley LS was very good.


Wow, that’s a nice review, lots of good stuff going on :-)


Boychik, I should try their samples some time, they seem to have some nice teas. I’m really looking for something I received as a sample from a dealer who’s nor selling right now. The tea was amazing. It actually tasted like a caramel chocolate oolong. I have some I really like but they either don’t have the right texture, are more fruity or sweet potato dominated or have strong molasses tones. I really like them, but they are not the one I’m looking for. This is a nice tea though and often available for good value through aliexpress.


do you want a sample?


Sure! I’ll pm you.

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
400 tasting notes

Currently sipping on steeped ginger with fresh lime. Actually really enjoyable as sick as I still am. For a stronger ginger make a decoction ( simmer it on the stove for around 10 min or so) otherwise steeped is quite pleasant.

Tasted some of my teas when sick so far the jinjunmei has been the best with cocoa notes becoming somewhat more apparent but at times some of my more astringent teas have been pleasant.

Being sick, I’ve spent more time surfing the internet which resulted in a mini aliexpress buying spree…looking forward to the arrival of some new spring teas!


Hope you feel better soon… Did the shopping help just a little?


Feel better


Thanks! I don’t know if it makes me feel better, it’s kind of like a dangerous slippery slope… So many teas:). However it’s kind of fun looking up more info on teas and their producers. One of the companies is sending me some random samples for review, so I am curious and excited about what he’s going to send me. Its not so much the money I have to watch its the volume. I getting around 700g of tea!


Oh my! 700g??? Major cupboard explosion!!


Just 700 grams? That is only like 2 puerh cakes.


That puts it into perspective;). I said it was a mini buying spree 4 teas only! Plus whatever samples the one distributor is sending me:)….


Had to have a little laugh!


Hope you’re feeling better soon. That always happens to me too when I’m sick. watching the home shopping channel or on the internet. It can get a bit costly!


Hope you get better,,,tea buying will make you better,,,it’s so fun :)

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
400 tasting notes

Feeling incredibly horrible right now, so I’m resorting to my aunts old school and probably toxic mixture of neo-citran and earl grey. I last had this when my aunt rescued me from my house during reading week when I could barely crawl out of bed!

Having fun with family history searches and found out my grandmother was alive at least 3 more years than I thought, and was a roommate with Bette Davis at Cushing’s Academy. She is incredibly difficult to track down because she had several legal and professional names and the ImDB has merged her info with another person! Otherwise I only get references to her as foot notes to my Grandfathers scandalous but exciting life.


Oh, feel better soon… I have to adk: neo-citran and earl grey in the same cup? Lol, I like the idea! Your grandparent’s life story sounds awesome!!


That is such a cool history! Hope you start feeling better soon.


Yes in the same cup! It both deepens and intensifies the flavour and makes you feel a little bit closer to normal instead of catatonic! As more and more media is digitized, I’ve been able to find out more and more tidbits of information and bits about their personalities. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve benn able to track most of my family ligns into the 1700’s. Many people I’ve talked to have crazy stories in their family history. I met one person who found out that his grandfather was a three times bigamist as sanctioned by the British merchant navy no less!

My grandfather was by all accounts brilliant but became addicted to money, and risk and that was in the end his undoing but he did it for quite some time!

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