409 Tasting Notes

Jasmine teas of various sorts are staples in my cupboard, mainly because they work better than chamomile and Valerian as a sophoric for me, and when I can find a heady fruity one they instantly transport me to either the flower markets in India, or my landlords patio at dusk in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

This is a nice dragon pearl and is different enough from my existing one: http://steepster.com/yyz/posts/164356. Whereas my current one has the deep heady fruity jasmine of flowers laid out in the sun, this TeaVivre tea has a crisper cooler jasmine like that which has been just brought out of a cooler in a flower shop. It is not powdery or insency ( until the later steeps), nor overly perfumy, it is slightly fruity, and in the first steeps the tea is very sweet even stevia like. Roasted notes of amber, cream, plum Green peas, later on cooked greens, insence, and other savoury notes are also present.

The dry leaves were smaller and more tightly rolled than my other jasmine with about 25% silver buds visible, with the rest of the leaves being mostly olive green with some brown notes. There is a little astringency in the tea but it mostly has a creamy texture. It has a moderate level of intensity in the jasmine flavour, by the third steep the jasmine and the base tea fully balanced each other. It is by no means as intense a jasmine as my current favourite green jasmine http://steepster.com/teas/sichuan-emei-shan-zhuyeqing-tea-co-ltd/36227-emei-shan-flower-mao-feng-jasmine, but this one is of good quality and easily obtainable.

I would consider getting this tea when I run out of my existing pearls!

@1.25tsp pearls/200ml/85°C
45,60, 80, 130, 150, 180s

Thanks again to Angel at Teavivre for this sample. I will thoroughly enjoy the rest of it.

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drank Jin Pin Black Tea by Yezi Tea
409 tasting notes

This is the second Jin Pin I’ve had and I’ve come to find that I am quite fond of these teas.

This tea has a strong roasted scent in the first steep before it settles down in the background. It has consistent tones of cocoa and butter toffee, and longan.

The initial steep had a fruity top note of longan and peaches with cocoa over roasted grain notes,and a butter toffee where the candy has been slightly overcooked giving a stronger browned butter note and a little bitterness. The tea has a soft and slightly powdery texture.

In later steeps the peach dissapears, leaving only longan, the cocoa transitions to milk chocolate than Ovaltine and a nutty roasted cashew type note appears. As well a malt note becomes apparent. I steeped it 4 times( 20, 35, 50, 90s).

Quite enjoyable. Special thanks to Dexter3657 for the sample!


Oh dang. This tea sounds great!


That does sound really good. Added to wishlist :)

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drank Breakfast in Paris by Tea Squared
409 tasting notes

This is actually pretty nice! It reminds me a little bit of the flavour profile of Andrew and Dunham’s double knit blend, except this one is a little bit more tannic and bitter, and has a denser texture in the mouth.

It has broken leaves, with scattered golden saffron tips and smells of dried apples mixed with apricots and pastry, which oddly does remind me of France, where I often had apricot pastries or pain au chocolat for breakfast.

Itsp Brewed for @ 3 min at slightly under boiling in around 8oz of water resulted in a dark rosewood tinted brew that smelled of apples and plums, Danish like pastries, cinnamon, a spicy floral, a hint of cocoa and icing sugar.

It tastes of bitter cocoa, the deeper tones of malt, cinnamon, apples and plum, molasses, and danishes. It is rich in density and texture. The aftertaste is of brown sugar.

I’m so glad I picked this up at my local grocery store today. Apparently this company is started by a founder of the tea emporium in Toronto. They sell online at http://teasquared.ca

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I haven’t had many Keemun’s one I had was quite smokey and another was bright, fruity and almost menthol. This one is quite nice, it reminds me of a slightly more savoury and less sharp tasting version of another favourite tea of mine. Many thanks to Angel at Teavivre for selecting this sample for me to try. I quite enjoyed it and can easily see why it is a staple for many.

I steeped 1tsp in 200ml at @90°C for 4 steeps (1, 1.3, 2, and 4 min).

The dry leaf smelled of rye bread dusted with icing sugar and a hint of cocoa. The leaves were tightly twisted with occasional reddish golden brown tips.

After, the first steep the scent of the tea was lightly smokey roasted notes, citrus/longan, sweet potato, a bright citrousy floral, hint of cocoa, a peppery nasturtium note, and the upper notes of malt. Overall the effect was quite savoury.

The flavour of early steeps had a sharp longan top note settling into a grainy note that instantly develops into a honeyed floral cocoa note over roasted sweet potato, quite lovely and light, yet rich, smooth and creamy in the mouth. The floral note is a combination of spicy clover and carnation.

Later steeps were slightly sweeter and deeper with grainy notes becoming dominant, with lovely peppery, cocoa, grain notes, mixed with floral notes. Eventually the sweetness subsides in later steeps leaving prominent grain notes.

I really enjoyed this tea and am glad it is regularly available as I could see it being a nice replacement for one of my favourite aliexpress teas which I may not be able to buy again. Thanks again Angel!


Such a nice review – I want to have a cup of this right now. ;)

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My first impressions of this tea were of texture, even when thinking about flavour. I found it to be smooth and soft,with fruit and biscuit above malt and smoke, with a dense texture provided by tannins and a sharper aftertaste. It is pleasant and easily drinkable with a slight astringency on the tongue. There is a hint of cocoa but not really chocolate, a hint of apple blossom, leather, malt and biscuit with smoke in the aftertaste. The flavours all blend smoothly into each other. The tea smells of smoke,biscuit, leather, dried currants, apple and malt and the colour was a rich mahogany. I think I was expecting this tea to be a little more robust than it tasted but it is definitely well crafted. Thanks Dexter3657 for the opportunity to Try my first Andrews and Dunham tea!

3 min, 45 sec

Great review, love the detail. This is my security blanket tea—when I’m stressed or upset, I turn to it and it always comforts me without asking much in return.


Great review yyz, as always :-) I fell in love with this tea this morning!!! My review of it was not as pretty as yours though, haha!


This sounds great! Very positive reviews from both yyz and TheTeaFairy in one morning … I’m off to have a look at the A&D web site. (you are all such a wonderfully bad influence, and I thank you for that)

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drank Indian Nimbu by Harney & Sons
409 tasting notes

This tea brews up to a rich ochre tinged orange. There is a sent of an orange-lemon citrus , and muscatel over a deeper slightly malty base and something that reminds of that slightly jammy fruity plastic scent they used to scent strawberry shortcake dolls once upon a time. Overall it smells very fruity and slightly spicy. It has a nice medium body with a moderate amount of astringency. The flavour is dominated by its fruity spicy top notes. The fruity notes lie more towards a more spicy grapey note with a hint of spice, lemon rind and lemon.
Underneath the flavour is quite sweet, with a hint of floral, which overlies a malty astringent note. Quite a nice after noon tea.

Thanks JustJames for the chance to try this tea!

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec

Haven’t had this in ages…one of the first H&S I ever tried and it still makes me smile thinking about it.

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I have to offer my sincere thanks to Angel at Teavivre for offering me this low risk opportunity to educate myself about puerh’s by sending me some wonderful samples.

Puerh have many attributes I should appreciate, a rich coffee like texture and in this case mouth feel, spice, long lasting leaves ( I tend to resteep), and interesting and evolving flavour profiles. I enjoy the cheap flavoured one I have on occasion, but I have been hesitant to experiment because I don’t know enough about them and I am afraid of fishy flavours ( this goes to a long standing dislike of fish since early childhood).

I am pleased to say that I need not of worried this tea is quite pleasant and reminds me of the spicy, leathery Yunnan’s I’ve got from a Polish company with the added tingle of a drawn espresso. I steeped this tea 15 times to this point and it still has a pleasant flavour. I found notes of leather, spice sandalwood, cocoa, tangy fruit settling into creamy papaya cream, coffee, charcoal, eucalyptus, earth, and vanilla. I quite enjoyed this tea and it has opened up in me an interest in exploring puerhs further. So thanks for the opportunity Angel!
Faint smokeyleathery note of some Yunnan’s mixed with a hint of hay.broken but tight packed leaves. 2 rinses, 5 second brew

Spicy, with a tangy fruity , note, hint of leather, settled ssmokey scent, like a town where wood smoke is the dominant fuel and has settled in the air, cocoa.

Taste rich and thick, herbaceous bitter note, hint of charcoal, over leather, hint of coffee, powdery spicy note, tingling on the tongue. Sensation of cocoa powder on tongue but not a strong cocoa taste., hint of sweet and tangy fruit..
Need a sieve because tea is very fine and broken leaves.
No astringency, smooth. feeling of cream on tongue. Reminds me of a sunny fall brisk day

5s. Sweeter, with fruitier tones of malt, stronger hint of cocoa, spice and leather, hint of aged straw, spicy fallen fall leaves.

Smooth powdered cocoa, spice and leather, coffee notes on tongue, earthy note with hints of sandalwood. Smooth, sweeter in scent than taste, but hint of creamy sweet fruit, almost papaya like.

7s. Slightly lighter peach tinged colour liquid dark but clear.
Scent similar to aabove.

Leather spice, hint of earth and eucalyptus, fruity slightly tart tone , espresso, slightly sweeter, tint of cocoa.

10s. Scent similar, colour similar to a strongly brewed full leaf Assam.
Hints of malt, eearth/seaweed, leather, spice euca!yptus, malt cocoa, slight hint of tartness and bubly sensation of espresso dissipating.

15s seaweed, tart currant, leather,malt, spice

Eucalyptus, leather, espresso sensation, hint of cocoa, touch of malt and ccurrant, spice.
20s. Malt, leather, spice,cocoa

Earth,spice,cocoa,leather, creamy fruit, touch of sweetness.

30s. Same
Cream,leather,spice, malt, cocoa, a bit of papaya. Espresso tones on tongue.

40s peach coloured same
Same as above but more fruit tinged cream and less espresso.

60s similar sscent with a stronger seaweed note.
Similar ttaste, bright eucalyptus note and slightly weaker.

120s. Peach tinged sepia.
Stronger malt and spicy leather.
Soft leather,spice, eucalyptus, cream, touch of oatmeal, finished by malt, tangy fruit, and a tingling sensation at front of mouth

180 s. Soft cream, leather fruit, spice, tingling.

240s. Sweet cream, leather, cocoa note papaya tinged with vanilla tingling dissipating.

300s. Sweet cream, fruit, malt, leather tingling

360. Cream sweet fruit leather tingling.

600s. ditto.


Wow, that’s a lot of steeps!


Very detailed review!

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I’m finally getting around to tssting this lovely tea sample from Tea at Sea. Having tasted it I think it fits perfectly in my collection as a nice afternoon tea when I want something that has the brightness of a darjeeling, but the honeyed cocoa notes of many chinese blacks. It has a nice complexity of brightness, spicyness, sweetness and depth, in a light to medium bodied tea with a creamy and syrupy texture. I will most likely buy some in the future.

The dry leaves have bright sharp note of Darjeeling, and a touch of toast and cocoa and lemon.

They are tightly rolled, dark roasted leaves with some stems.

1tsp/225ml @96°C

3min pretty mid amber orange colour
Scent. Lemon, honey, floral (dames rocket), cocoa, cinnamon, smells a little like scented honey over malt.

Flavour grain cocoa note dissolving into honey blended with a cream note with a touch of light floral, with lemon accent. Smooth texture with lemon honey spice aftertaste and a hint of astringency, thinner texture. I would not add milk. Quite a nice afternoon tea. Kind of like a Darjeeling, blended with a lighter bodied, honeyed Fujian with cocoa notes, with the Darjeeling characteristics in the foreground and the Fujian notes lingering afterwards.

330. Strong honey, cut with lemon, green floral, cocoa, hint of amber and a bit of pepperyness. creamy and light with bright top notes dominating.

Resteeps very well. I look forward to further this evening.

Lovely honey cocoa tempered with bright fruit and floral notes. Very nice afternoon tea.

1 tsp 8 OZ / 225 ML

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I decided to do short steeps of this lovely tea and I’m still drinking it. 11 steeps afterwards though it’s now lost its lovely fruitiness it still is full of flavour with malt mixed with a lovely sweetness. I have no idea what harvest this is from as this was a nice surprise in a giveaway from CrowKettle, but this one steeped in the fashion I steeped it is really fruity. It really tastes like a flavoured tea without actually having flavouring. The flavour notes I got were strawberry, banana, burnt caramel or sugar, a hint of waffle or other baked good, cinnamon and malt for the most part. Really good. This is on my shopping list!

10s after rinse. Scent fruit, strawberry, banana like, malt, hint of floral.
Taste fruit, strawberry, banana,malt, waffle, caramelized sugar undertone.
Really fruity with the malt and astringency creating a sense of density.

15s strawberry, malt
Higher malt, waffle tone, caramelised sugar, strawberries, less astringent and richer in taste and body quite sweet.

20s. Colour light maple scent similar to above
Taste same but texture is both denser and silkier than previous steep except for faint floral note.

20s similar scent
Taste higher malt, hint of floral and touch of cinnamon, waffle note, sweet syrupynote, strawberry . Texture slightly rougher body.

25s. Same
Same fruity malty taste with an aftertaste of sweetness followed by darker burnt sugar and very smooth.

25s. Scent and Tate more malty, less sweet but still quite fruity.

30s spice, biscuit, fruit, malt
Heavy floral/fruity sweet tone over malt with thicker baked good referencing texture.

35s malt with hints of fruit and a sweet aftertaste.

45s. Same as above.

60s malt, still indistinct sweet notes.

120s same as above.


I’ve never thought to do short steeps with this tea. Thank you for the great idea.

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The dry leaf of this sample was quite broken up, but the basil was visible against the lighter white tea and I saw pieces of lemon rind and fruit. The sent is of slightly sweetened lemon and basil. The basil is more savoury and less spicy smelling than Tulsi (Holy Basil). The white tea and lemon combine in flavour to sweeten and emphasise each other. The tea provides a certain thickness and sweetness to the tea. The basil is quite present but is not quite as strong as I thought it might be considering the amount of it in the dry leaf. It provides a hint of me nt and licorice and savoury spice. The blackcurrant is present but buried in the background. A pleasant cup that tastes more of its herbal elements than others. Thanks Dexter3657 for the sample!

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