430 Tasting Notes

drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
430 tasting notes

Last night I made a variation of this recipe for Turkish Apple Tea after dinner. It made a nice caffeine free option for every one and brought back memories of my brief time in Turkey for me :-)
I used:
1 Medium sized orange
@ 4-5 apples
A couple of cinnamon sticks and @ 5 cloves.

You quarter the fruit and toss all of it and the spices in a mid sized pot and then top it with water simmer the fruit for at least 10min, sweeten to taste and then save the liquid and squueze out the liquid from the fruit and you’re left with a nice, slightly ciderish tea with a citrus tinge. Everyone liked it so I guess it was a success:-).


That sound pretty yummy!

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This is quite a lovely tea to start my morning with. Its scent and taste are remarkably consistent, it’s quite smooth and well balanced and is rich enough to take milk. The leaves are dark and wiry and even though its a broken leaf tea, they are still a good size.
The brewed tea is a nice mahogany colour after being steeped for 3.5 min in 225ml of water using about 1 TSP of leaves.

At first sip the top notes are of sweet potato, lemon-orange, cherry a hint of cocoa, lemon, and a deeper spice note. Underneath this is the deeper tones of malt and a sugar cane note.

As it cools malt moves forward a little bit and blends with the sweet potato, honey, spice notes and cherry dominates the fruit notes. It is slightly tannic but not overly so. Overall the flavour and texture is a rich fruity/malty/smooth tea. It makes a nice and comforting tea for winter and a nice addition to my collection of Ceylons.

1 tsp 8 OZ / 225 ML

Wow, definitely sounds like a great tea for winter.

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This tea was another gift to me from Capital Tea Ltd! Now, having just tried it, I wish I had sampled it before placing my most recent order because I really enjoyed it.

This tea has long wide and very loosely twisted hand rolled leaves that range from greenish gold furry buds to chocolate and reddish brown. The dry leaf smells of honey, cocoa and malt.

I brewed roughly one teaspoon in 225 ml of 95°C water for 3 minutes. The resulting tea was a medium amber tone.

The brewed tea smells of citrus notes above deeper warmer spice notes, floral notes and hints of nuts. The impression is warm and spicy overall.

The tea tastes smooth on the tongue. My first impressions are of a bright green note dissolved in dark honey with a touch of molasses, quickly dissipating into a hint of cocoa, dried, fruit compote, hints of almond, sandalwood and a touch of amber. There are upper notes of citrus and muscatel notes. It kind of reminds me of the bright light citrusy notes of a pinot grigio. This tea had a good balance between the warm and enveloping and the bright natures of the flavours. The tea manages to be both rich and sweet and light at the same time.

The second steep (3.5min) is just as sweet with stronger spicy floral notes present among the notes listed above and a very distinct muscatel scent and a slightly deeper body. This steep left a freshening feeling at the front and top of the mouth.

The third steep (5min) is not quite as sweet but still rich and spicy in flavour.

Overall I was rather won over by this teas rich sweetness and spice. On to the wish list it goes.


Cameron B.

Ooh Moondrops, what a cute name. :3


Wow what a tea !

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The leaves of this tea are rolled and much darker than this photo suggests.

My leaves are mostly dark olive green to chocolate brown and smell of fall leaves. This is a medium roast oolong produced in North Thailand sourced from a family run enterprise.

I decided to steep my tea using a gongfu method and used 1 TSP of tea in 100ml of water.

I started out with a 3s rinse which I decided to drink. I am happy I did so because it tasted of baklava. It’s flavour was all honey and nuts ( particularly pistachio) and pastry.

I then chose short steeping times to start out with. My times were: 5,10,15,20,25,30,40,60,90s, and 3,4 and 6min). Altogether I made 12 steeps plus the rinse of this tea.
5s scent: honey, pistachio, pastry, hint of something sharp like a currant and fall leaves.
flavour: cream, honey, with fruit, slightly tart yet creamy hinting to mango tempered by something softer like apricot. Pastry and pistachio up front before fruit and honey develop faint hint of fall leaves.
Aftertaste of honey and fruit.
1Os cream, mineral notes, fruit, with hints of citrus rind added to above, pastry, pistachio
15s cream, honey, fall leaves, pastry, fruit, nuts, spice, bits of malt, hints of bitter veg.
20s honey and pastry, pistachios, fall leaves mixed with bitter veg, cinnamon, cream, malt, apricot.
25s roasted grain, leaves, and walnuts, cream, honey and apricots, malt and faint tinge of bitter veg, spice.
30s pastry and nuts, apricot, cream and spice. Hints of malt.
40s apricot, cream,spinach, nuts,pastry, spice.
60s minerals, apricot, cream, hints of ash, sweet and bitter veg, faintly floral with good spice notes, honey. Tingling on the tongue., hints of oatmeal.
90s similar to above.
3min similar but no ash, more sweet vegetables with cream, apricot and honey.
4min. Similar to above with a floral element.
6min similar.

The finished leaves are a fairly uniform deep olive to milk chocolate colour. Some of the leaves show signs of insect distress.

I am not always a fan of mid roast Oolong’s but I really liked the nutty, sweet pastry like notes in this one. I really enjoyed it.

Siam-Tee suggests that when using longer steeps this tea has a profile approaching a Da Hong Pao. I will have to try that in the future. As for now I’m glad I tried it this way. I have never had a tea taste so naturally of baklava before.


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This tea is a very smooth, bright, and consistently fruity tea, and reminds me of summer garden parties.

The leaf looks like a medium to dark roast rolled oolong with mostly chocolate to slightly darker coloured leaves and a raisiny and slightly grainy scent dusted with icing sugar and cocoa.

The steeped tea colour is a bright red tone tinged with gold and the fragrance is very fruity.

I’ve steeped this tea using both shorter steeps and the recommended longer steeps and found similar flavour profiles both ways.

This tea has a wonderful sunwarmed strawberry note I’ve found in some Taiwanese Assam’s combined with peach in the early steeps. This is dusted with icing sugar with caramel underneath. I also found notes of light cocoa, pistachio, and malt. These notes were consistent through all my steeps ( 3 min, 3 min, 4 min/ 1 tsp/ 95°C). In my gongfu session there was a tabacco note which I didn’t find in the western steep. I also found notes of cream, cotton flower ( that only appeared when hot and then quickly dissipated) and a mineral note in the last steep. The aftertaste is very sweet with notes of fruit and sugar. The tea is very smooth, with a mild to medium body, and a good dose of caffeine. The caffeine combined with the fruity notes of the tea leave the impression of a very bright tea. Altogether a really nice experience.


Sounds delish!

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I bought this as a possible replacement for my beloved borsapori which is no longer being produced in orthodox form. It is a very nice tea, but it is not as sweet, nor does it have that milk chocolate note. It also is not nearly as floral. What it does have is a good deal of malt, cream, sweet potato, fruit, and spice notes with a bit of honey. It is quite a strong tea a level tsp is more than enough leaf for 225ml of water.

The brewed tea is a bright but deeper reddish orange tone. The dried tea smells of malt, horse feed and spice.

I have gotten 3-4 good steeps out of this tea each time I have had it. The latter steeps tend to be sweeter.

2.30 min
Scent: lemon and sweet potatoes with the upper tones of malt, cream, hints of short crust pastry with lemon juice, honey, and a soft sweet and bright spice.

Flavour is deeper than the scent with first sips containing the deeper tones of malt, cocoa, and sweet potato. Upper tones are cream, soft stone fruit, light citrus notes with zest, honey, a hint of butter pastry, and a soft floral.

3.30 increased uppertones of malt, addition of some currant, stronger spice notes with zest, cream, sweet potato, honey, citrus notes. Increased astringency.

4min, honey and spice over cream and malt and breast notes with currant. Still quite flavourful. Tannic.

While I am not sure if this is my replacement tea it is quite a nice tea and I am happy to have it in my cupboard. A nice option for those who want a malty and not to sweet tea with some complexity.

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I recently received this tea from a new seller on Aliexpress http://www.aliexpress.com/store/1393073 called Leisure Garden.

The first time I had this tea it tasted almost like fruit cocktail which surprised me. I have had other fruity Bailin’s but this one was intensely so. Since then I have played around with it and have found you can either focus on its grainy caramel honey notes or it’s intense fruit notes depending how you steep it. Cooler temperatures and less leaf draw attention to the former. This company suggests that this tea can be steeped at least 4-5 times and it has always delivered at least that. I haven’t tried brewing it using the 5g recommended with it’s short steep times (10-15s)I think this would still bring focus to it’s fruity elements.

This tea is not this companies premium Bailin. It is there higher grade everyday tea. The leaves are dark and shiny and thinner than other Bailin gongfu teas I have tried with occasional copper tips appearing.

Tonight I used around 3/4 TSP in a 100ml gaiwan and used water temperatures between 95-100°C for my steeps.

The tea brewed to an orangey brown colour that deepened and brightened by the third steep.

The tea smelled of longan,cocoa,honey, sweet bright fruit, like a touch of pineapple, mixed with stone fruit and a grainy note.

This tea is produced from cultivars normally used for white teas and the makes were able to capture some of these elements within this tea including a creaminess and a lemon tinged spice that reminds me in a couple of the later steep of sweet tea roses. Other notes include: longan, pineapple dipped in dark chocolate, grainy notes, honey and caramel, sweet cherries, butter, cream, and cinnamon and coriander. While not as cocoa rich as some Bailin’s I have had, nor as spicy, it is certainly the fruitiest. The tea while being fairly light in body is very creamy on the tongue and makes for a pleasant experience.

This companies teas are certified organic under several international agencies.

This is quite a nice tea and the price I paid for it which was under 10.00$ is close to the t-mall price and maybe even less when shipping is factored in. I wouldn’t mind trying some of their white and scented teas.


I love reading your reviews! You seem to find the most unusual teas.

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drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
430 tasting notes

Of the Kusmi teas I’ve had so far I like this one at St. Petersburg the best. This one make a nice winter tea when you want something chai like but not Chai. This tea has citrus notes of grapefruit, lemon and bergamot supported by Vanilla and Spice. I find the grapefruit and lemon strongest here with the bergamot sweetening the tea a little. Underneath this is a creamy vanilla element that really does taste like cream to me. In the spice mix I taste cloves, nutmeg, and pepper. It does make me think of the holidays and orange pomades. I don’t always love Kusmi’s bases but it works here. It is dark and slightly bitter and is a nice counterbalance to the flavouring. It also has hints of warmer sweeter stone fruit. All together a really pleasant tea to be drinking on a cool day. It reminds me of gingerbread eaten with a tart mulled wine served with coffee and cream.


both of us were drinking Kusmi today :) i liked Traktir. Will send you some ;)



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drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
430 tasting notes

This is a lovely smokey, fruity tea where the elements of the blend really shine through. I probably used a little more leaf than my preference but the resulting brew is not bitter. I mostly taste the smokiness of the Keemun and possibly the panyong, a slightly woody fruitiness from the Keemun which has hints of dried stone fruit and sweet red wine, which may be enhanced by fruity elements of the panyong and a sweet cocoa note which is mostly Yunnan but may again be enhanced buy the panyong. There is a very faint floral note from the Keemun and a touch of frankness enhanced by a honey note and a bit of malt. The aftertaste is reminiscent of wine mixed with a touch of honey and a bit of smoke. Overall a nice, robust and bold blend. Thanks so much Nicole for giving me a chance to try it!

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drank Blackcurrant Cassis by Tea Guys
430 tasting notes

I like cassis, one of my favourite ice cream blends is cassis with coconut. I like the mix of tart and sweet and that unique black currant taste.

I am of two minds about this tea. There is something off putting about the scent where it does occasionally remind me of what ifjuly found ( cat urine), but at times the flavour is pleasant. It has a tartness to it which is rather hibiscus like but there is also cream, a reference to the sweet and slight spiciness of cassis, and a certain depth and richness to the base. It is not as sharp as some blackcurrant teas I have had. This is probably not a tea I would buy but it is not terrible if you can avoid that occasional smell.

Thanks * JustJames* for the experience.

Cameron B.

I don’t know whether you’ve tried Cassis & Blueberry from Lupicia, but I liked that one a lot. :)


Thanks for the recommendation! I actually haven’t tried any Lupicia, but I’ll probably attempt the phone order option someday. They have a number of teas I’d like to try someday.

Cameron B.

I’m planning on doing an order soon, so let me know if you’d like me to add anything for you.




Good tip, Cameron B. I’ll have to check that out when I run out of Melon Oolong! :)

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