430 Tasting Notes

drank All Day Oolong by Teascent
430 tasting notes

I have to preface this review by stating that I have never had a bagged oolong and that I next to never use western style brewing for oolongs so this is a new experience for me.

Teascent kindly sent me two bags to try of their All Day Oolong. When I opened the envelop I was met with a very fragrant floral/fruity scent. The tea is packaged in a large standard tea bag and as other’s have said arrived to me in fairly large broken chunks which may be do to the shipping process. I brewed the tea according to recommendations with two steeps of 3 and 5 minutes respectively.

The tea brewed to a rich pale gold with a hint of green with a scent of gardenia soft peach and a hint of hay. The dominant flavour is a green slightly vegetal note followed by a light spicy gardenia and a hint of peach it is not as sweet or as floral or creamy as some oolongs I have had but the flavour is pleasant. The second steep had a similar flavour profile but the vegetal notes and spicy gardenia were a little bit stronger. Thanks Teascent for the opportunity to try your tea!

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drank Ceylon by Nina's Paris
430 tasting notes

This is a really nice everyday tea with great cherry plum fruit notes and a nice body given to it by the bop nature of it’s leaves. I’m curious as to what estate or region this tea came from as I suspect I would like the one more as I suspect it would be slightly less tannic. However as it is it would pair nicely with milk if you like a sweet fruity tea with milk.

Dry the tea is very fine bop approaching larger fannings, that smell very fruity. My first steep was about 2 minutes at about 96 degrees Celsius. The result was a clear copper red brew that smelled very fruity with notes of plum, very ripe sweet cherry, cocoa and light malt.

The scent translated into a tea with a first note of cocoa and thicker tannic malt supported by strong fruit notes underneath it with more than enough body to support milk. The fruit notes were oddly strongest when hot. Perhaps the fruit would come out more with sugar or a slightly cooler brewing temperature. The tea was only slightly astringent and was pretty smooth for a bop ceylon.

Second steep was for 2.3 minute at around 92 degrees Celsius. The fruit, cocoa and tannic malt notes were still present, but were better balanced. This steep was more astringent.

This was quite a nice tea that I would happily drink again! Thanks again Sophie and Laurent for the sample.

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drank Lapsang Souchong by Nina's Paris
430 tasting notes

Unlike others I found the scent of this one to be only mildly to moderately smoky perhaps this is the result of transit or maybe I have had some very Smoky teas of this variety before. There is hint of pine, and a slightly sweet scent.

I brewed this one gongfu style.

50s orangey brown maple colour broth with a
scent of smoke, grain, and plum with a hint of honey.

As I said before this is not as strongly smokey as some lapsang souchongs I’ve had. The tea has a slightly heavier bodied tea underneath it. It is warming, with a hint of warm bread and honey followed by sweet ripe plum dipped in honey with a hint of cocoa. The after taste consists of a cooling sensation in the back of the mouth accompanied by a developing honey sweetness at the front, as well as a heavier hint of malt mixed with a mild smoked honey flavour. A lingering peppery sensation develops later on and mixes with the taste of honey. The tea still leaves me with a general feeling of warmth.

60s more bready/grainy less sweet on first sip but still sweet in the aftertaste.

There is a fruity honey aftertaste with a mild smoke and peppery cooling sensation.

70s slightly thinner, nice mix of sweet honey, bread and smoke, tastes like artisinal multigtain bread cooked in a wood oven.

90s smooth balance between smoke grain and sweetness, less sweet, smoke a little more dominant over other flavours. Honey still comes out in aftertaste.

110s smoke, grain, faint sourness honey.
130s honeyed water with hint of smoke and bread

250s same as last steep

Altogether quite a nice tea and a nice choice for those who like there Lapsang Souchongs to be sweet and honeyed. Thanks Laurent and Sophie for the Sample!

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

hmmm… may have to try this one. the smoke element usually precludes lapsang souchons for me, but there’s always an exception….

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drank Lapsang Souchong by PureAromaTea
430 tasting notes

This weekend I decided to experiment with some of my Souchong teas. Of the 3 classic Lapsang Souchong teas this one and Nina’s tied. This one is more refreshing but Nina’s is sweeter and holds up to more steeps.

The dry leaf of this one smells like a campfire with a hint of sweetness and spice that is achieved when burning
hardwood and fall leaves. The tea has a scent overtone of mint and pine and a good measure ofsweetness like semi ripe plums.
The dry leaves are mix of black brown and a touch of grey, you can see the veins on some of the leaves.

It brews to a medium transparent orangey peach brown.

The tea has a scent of light smoke, sweet fruit tones, sap, pine, and sugar syrup. It is not as sweet tasting as it smells, but it is still sweet. Light upper tones disappear almost instantly to deeper plum and grainy tones at the back of the throat which are then followed by an after taste of wood and pine smoke. It is mildly astringent. There is a mild freshening feeling at the front of the mouth as part of a tangy sweet/piney fresh aftertaste.

There is a faint taste of sour cherry. The tart fruit notes dominate over the smoke. The tea is quite refreshing. The aftertaste is accompanied by tingling, cooling sensation. I could see myself ordering this in the future. It Tastes like a slightly damp fall day
once everyone starts lighting their fireplaces. It actually brings back a vivid memory of the scent and taste of woodsmoke in Urbania, Italy. I had been there a couple of weeks when one day the air was full of woodsmoke. At first, I thought it was due to the kilns as there are a lot of pottery works there, but later I found out it was due to the drop in temperature. Electricity is expensive ( my landlord reccommended only turning on the furnace for two hours a day) and many people are using either wood or charcoal to heat or suplement the heating of their houses. This is not my photo but I lived on the top floor of the building on the left and had a huge (capable of waliking into it) fireplace in the kitchen.

3 min second steep. The scent is less sweet, but there is still a potent taste with a stronger reference to smoke, pine mint and grain with an almost floral note. There is still a slightly unripe tart stone fruit taste. Sweet, fresh, but smokey aftertaste that is sweeter than the tea tasted.
3rd steep 345. Honey and cocoa grain notes coming out underneath the smoke
4th steep 5min smoke tones over grainy and bitter cocoa, still fairly strong
5th steep colour fading honey bread and smoke, lighter flavour but sweeter and less bitter.
Overall it is quite a nice tea and very refreshing

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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drank Pomegranate Green Tea by 52teas
430 tasting notes

The dry leaf reminds me of candy smelling of sour pomegranate flavoured hard candy so I was surprised when the brewed tea reminded me of Christmas. It has a spicy fruity scent that is widely available at that time of year. I’m not sure how old this sample is as I received with an order from I Heart Teas, but the dried leaves still looked bright green and fresh.

As the tea cools one can begin to smell the underlying sweet notes from the sencha, mixing with the fruit and spice. In general the flavouring mostly obliterates the sencha, but I can detect the sweetness and a faint bitterness underneath it. The liquor feels at first creamy on the tongue and the leaves a slight freshness. The pomegranite flavouring is sweet almost like grenadine, but not quite, and the spice seems to be a mix of cinnamon with some cloves and leaves a little cooling sensation in the mouth.

The second steep has less spice and stronger fruit taste it is also not quite as sweet bringing out the tart notes from the fruit. The tea base is still quite strong underneath, suggesting that it will hold up to further steeps. Quite nice.

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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This Tea is part of a Da Hong Pao sample pack I go from the Fu tea Store on Aliexpress. http://www.aliexpress.com/store/808949 .
Although they do sell other teas, this tea is grown and processed by the seller. I haven’t had much experience with this class of oolongs but I could foresee myself purchasing more of this in the future I really enjoyed it.

The dry reddish brown to dark brown intact leaves smell sweet and buttery and spicy all at once. They brewed up to a nice orange liquor. The tea did not come with brewing instructions so I decided to use the ones from Teavivre. I ended up brewing the tea 10 times after a rinse (25 ,40,60, 80, 140, 220,5*2, 6*2) The later steepings were still pretty flavourful and I could have probably coaxed out more steeps by using shorter brewing times.

On to the tea..

During the earlier steepings the tea smelled of poached dried apricots, faint buttery pastry, a light woody note, cinnamon, mango, banana, cream and vanilla orchid.

It tasted of a faintly green floral top note, followed by cream drenched warm fruit (apricot, and under ripe banana), a light cereal note, cinnamon spice and a hint of vanilla.

It had a very, very smooth and silky texture, and refreshing feeling at front of mouth and warm spicy feeling at back of throat. As it cooled the spice and fruit scent intensified, There was an aftertaste of cream fruit especially banana, with a touch of a woody feeling in upper mouth combined with the warmth of cinnamon with vanilla orchid flavour. The first steep was really good! The cinnamon intensified and lingered in the aftertaste leaving a warming buzz in the back of my mouth.

Middle steepings had a more prominent woody roasted cereal note and vanilla orchid flavour over the fruit tones with the cream remaining prominent. Whereas, in the final steepings a mineral cream note rose to prominence in the flavour profile, combining with the cream and vanilla floral notes.

I’m looking forward to trying the other three in this pack.

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drank Assam TGFOP by Loyd Tea
430 tasting notes

Sip down! This tea did not age very well and should probably be drunk fairly quickly after opening. It has lost all its bright fruity notes and tastes rather non-descript at this point.

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drank Forest Berries by Teaopia
430 tasting notes

Blackcurrant tea is not something I crave very often, but occassionally I do crave something with a sharp tangy fruit taste that is not an early grey or another citrus base. This one is quite a nice one as the currant is tempered by a sweeter berry base.

The scent is quite strong especially considering this tea is over a year old and it probably makes a nice ice tea. It smells like a fruit compote with mostly berries, including currant and gooseberries with a touch of grapefruit. The liquor is a translucent reddish brown.

Warm blackcurrant is the strongest flavour note with the elderberry adding complexity and sweetness to it. This is underlain by a fairly robust black tea base with bitter cocoa notes along with red fruit notes and a bitter vegetal note from the blackberry leaves. The base and flavouring do a nice job of balancing each other, and the fruit flavouring is not puckering. Nicely Done!

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The dry leaves of this tea is really beautiful, full of golden furry buds ranging in colour from a yellow gold to an almost copper colour mixed with brown leaves coated in gold down. Most of the tea appears to include 1-2 buds and a leaf. The picture doesn’t really do it justice. There are better pictures in the product description available here:


The dry leaf smells of rye bread, chocolate, honey and when allowed to air, dried clover.

This tea is a little bit of chameleon depending on what brewing style and temperature you use. The dominant flavours though tend to be cocoa, honey, and orange with light pepper notes. The honey is fairly light though and is more of a reference to the flavour notes of honey rather than the sweetness of it. The tea brews to a maple colour.

When brewed gonfu style at higher temperatures using a light hand with the leaf I got notes of clover honey, cocoa, nectar, plum, malt, cinnamon, and pepper.

With more leaf regardless of temperature there is a consistent mix of cocoa, orange, honey, and pepper. When brewed at higher temperatures the tea tastes thinner and leaves a kind of effervescent feeling at the front of the mouth followed by a heavier feeling at the back of the mouth. When brewed at lower temperatures the tea has a kind of creamy texture.

When brewed western styles there are flavour notes of orange flower, honey, sweet potato, light malt, deeper note hinting at cocoa, light pepper, cinnamon, clover nectar, and light fruit notes including plum, and orange. The tea is slightly bubbly in the mouth. It tastes sweeter as the cup cools with the fruit and honey notes become more prominent. The cocoa and malt also come out more. The tea finishes with bitter cocoa and pepper notes and a citrus top note.

Altogether an interesting tea that I look forward to experimenting further with.


This one sounds really good! Is this one of the shops you’ve told me about?




Have you gotten you the tea from the women who sells “other” products? I’ve been so curious about that!


Not yet, but apparently it’s arrived in Canada, so I should receive it soon. I’ll let you know!

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drank Pu-erh Grapefruit by Big-Active
430 tasting notes

This tea brews to a deep dark orange brown with the opaqueness of coffee. Its scent is of sweet pink grapefruit complete with that bitter sharp twang you get when you peel back the skin, mixed with dusty mineral notes, cooked hearty whole grains like spelt mixed with kasha grain, and yeast.

My sense of taste is still a little bit off after being sick but this tea has strong flavours that combine a mix of sharp initial notes followed by a smooth aftertaste.

The first flavour note is of sour citrus note mixed with a mineral and faintly marine note that is not fishy, but something that reminds me of brisk sea air (ozone, wet vegetation, salt and water) followed by a smooth slightly earthy bitter note that mimics coffee. There are also hints of charred crust. The texture is like that of French Press Coffee. This tea is not particularly sweet, and those who prefer a sweet tea would be advised to add sugar. Otherwise this is an easy introduction into flavoured pu-erhs.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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