432 Tasting Notes

drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
432 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!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Blackcurrant Cassis by Tea Guys
432 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! :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

I admit that this tea falls in between my usually preferences for floral biting Oolong’s, or rich fruity spicy darker roasted Oolong’s but it is still quite nice. It is very sweet with notes ranging from honey to melted sugar and has a very nice pistachio nut note that blends with toast. There are also a clover nectar and floral note, cinnamon and several herbal notes mixed with a light dose of fruit, sweet and bitter vegetal notes and mineral notes. This tea is not as resilient as the last tea I sampled, however I still got 10 steeps out of it. I probably would have preferred it if it was slightly more oxidised, but this is just my preference.

The dry leaf smells of toast, clover, hints of sweet stone fruit, and cream. They are dark olive to spruce green in colour and are rolled to a medium, size loose ball with obvious stems.

1.5 TSP in a 140 ml gaiwan

20s scent, toast, strong vegetal note, like a cross between, Swiss chard, asparagus, and clover, clover nectar, slightly nutty approaching raw pistachio, honey, hints of peach and ripe mango.

Creamy on tongue with vegetal notes up front, dissipated through a note of toast honey, nut and floral notes and a thin hint of fruit. Sweet lingering aftertaste of honey. Floral note is all clover, repeat with spices. Colour medium light translucent amber. Thick creamy texture.

25s clover spice and very sweet honey notes moved to the forefront. Honey remains a constant note but clover dissolves into cinnamon, toast, and sweet vegetal notes, hints of apricot. Lingering aftertaste of cinnamon and honey, with hints of clover.

30s feeling of dissolved sugar in the tea and a tingling on the roof of the mouth. Broth is less creamy it has a rougher texture in the mouth. Sugar, toast, pistachio, clover, cinnamon.

35s honey cinnamon, toast and nuts up front, a herbal note that has hints of thyme and original mixed with clover, honey, sweet veg, cream. Herbal tone that is al!most menthol, honey, nuts and sweet veg in the aftertaste.

45s. Weakening sweetness, hay and herbaceous, herbal notes up front, mineral notes, nuts, honey, cream and cinnamon.

65s. Spice, cream, weakening clover honey, sweet mixed with slightly bitter vegetal notes. Nuts , honey and clover in the aftertaste.

90s, clover, honey, cinnamon, very light bitter vegetal, nuts, mineral note.

130s artichoke, honey, clover, cinnamon
Mineral note.

180s artichoke, cream, honey, clover, bitter greens.

Cinnamon and clover in aftertaste.

300s artichoke, honey, bitter greens.
Thanks again to Teavivre for the opportunity to sample this tea* It was a pleasant accompaniment to my evening.


Login or sign up to leave a comment.

While this may not be the most resilient Taiwanese black tea I have had it is certainly delicious. I got 5 delicious steeps (45*2, 50, 70,90s) out of it before the flavour started to fade into citrus spice and I got bored.

The dry tea smelled of rye bread, longan and flowers.

Brewed the tea released a scent that included sharp longan, and citrus note and hints of black currant, malt, sweet floral with spice and at time croissants, waffles, and bread.

The flavour included notes of sweet floral nectar with hints of clover spice, sweet fruit notes with hints of bosc pear, cherry, longan, citrus notes, and currant, honey, malt and faint cocoa underneath, cinnamon, waffles, croissant, fresh yeasty bread and mineral notes. The earlier steeps were thick and creamy whereas the last couple were drying in the mouth.

All together a very pleasant tea. Thanks TastyBrew for sharing a cup or two with me!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Overall I found this to be a very nice tea. It had a good balance of flavours. It is soft, but has enough fruit and biting spice notes to create interest without being bitter or overly aggressive. I sometimes find this style of oolong to mild to suit my tastes but this one had enough complexity to hold my interestover 15 steeps.

The dry tea scent was of hay and clover flowers with a hint of smoke. The leaves themselves are amedium to larger sized rolled oolong with a nice bright colour thast is almost like a cross between the colour of grass and darker lime rind.

I steeped the tea in a 100ml gaiwan using enough tea to cover the bottom( around 1.5tsp). I started with a water temperature of about 90°c and increased it gradually after the 6th steep. After a rinse I steeped this tea 15 times (20, 25, 27, 32,40,50,60,70,80, 90,110,130,160, 190,240s,). The broth was a pale antique gold colour.

20s scent: soft and floral with hints of gardenia and magnolia, with honey and a sweet fruit scent of candied grape mixed with pineapple and apricots, with cream.
Taste: sweet cooked greens, mixed with cream and a cool floral a mix of magnolia and lily, hints of corn and corn silk, light hint of honey. The aftertaste is floral with a faintly sour fruit note.

25 s. Scent: stronger floral and fruit scent
Taste: similar blend of sweet vegetables and a floral fruit mix with a stronger gardenia note, a hint of mineral and spinach mixed with cream.

27 increasing fruit notes(apricot and pineapple), corn, cream, increasing gardenia note with a much more present biting spice note appearing . These notes are over top and are mostly hiding a spinach note and a mineral note. There is a tingling on the underside of the tongue, the back of the throat and lips.

32 stronger pineapple and apricot with a hint of orange, biting spicy floral notes, cream, cane sugar, faint hint of corn, veg and a definite mineral note.

40s cream, lilac, gardenia, apricot, mineral notes over sweet vegetables.

50s. Similar to above with a bit of cane sugar and sweet corn not as creamy on the tongue.

60s. Cream, corn with hints of spinach, lilac, spice, apricot.

70s cream, apricot, corn, soft lilac. Thick creamy texture.

80s apricot, cream hints of spinach, lilac, pepper, corn. ( increased temp of water). Hints of sugarcane.

90s cream, lilac, apricot, sweet greens
110s. Sugar cane, apricot, sweet greens, lilac, pepper.
130s. Light vegetable note, pepper, apricots, cream, hint of lilac.
160s. Cream, apricot, light vegetable, light lilac,pepper.
190s. Apricot , cream, light vegetable, faint lilac.
240s sweet vegetable and apricot.

As noted the finished leaves are huge with three entire leaves attached to a stem. The margins are mostly entire. Overall this was a pleasant experience and this is an oolong that would appeal to many different tastes. Thanks Angel and Teavivre for giving me the opportunity to sample this tea. I enjoyed it!

Alexsia 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Wow! Awesome amount of steepage, I am going to have to see if I can go the distance and do that many, have a nice day dedicated to Ali Shan


Have fun.

Holly Faye

I admire your dedication. Like Amanda, I really need to have an “oolong day” where I do as many gaiwan steeps as possible. I need to increase my oolong mileage!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Of all my collection of Lapsang Souchong this one has always been unique for its creamy potato note, its not really sweet potato, more like starchy white potatoes eaten raw in flavour but creamy like scalloped potatoes, it also has cocoa notes, honey, a complex mix of spice that mixes cinnamon with a spicy sweet floral note with hints if longan and cherry.

I have always had this tea steeped at lower temperatures to emphasise the crwaminess, but today I flashed steeped it for about 10 seconds with boiling water. The broth is quite pale in the first steep but it is very flavourful with stronger honey and cocoa notes than I noted in this tea before. It remains very smooth and creamy and has a touch of malt and a light grainy note to add to the above flavours. The leaves are very beautiful, dark black, small and glossy.

The second steep is a red gold toned broth that smells of honey, spice, cherry and cocoa. The cocoa is more robust this steep and the broth tastes a bit starchy and is thicker while retaining its creaminess. The cocoa, malt, and cherry notes and a bit of clover nectar are up front supported by the honey and spice with a grain and potato note mixed with a hint of molasses. Quite enjoyable.

This tends to be a quite resilient tea and I tend to get at least 7 infusions out of it even when my steeping time begins at 1 minute. Altogether a very nice tea if you like more fruity, sharp malt notes in your Lapsang.


*I purchased this tea from an Aliexpress dealer and it is available from time to time from several dealers.

1 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML


Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Thé de Noël by Compagnie Coloniale
432 tasting notes

When I first opened this tea I had not read about Compagnie Coloniale’s unique steam flavouring process so I was at first concerned about how shiny the leaves looked. They appear almost wet or like they are coated in oil. The picture included with this tea doesn’t really capture that element. Though the tea is quite visually appealing with its deep pink and blew flower petals scattered among the dark shiny leaves. The tea smells of a slightly liqueur like cherry mixed with marzipanish almond notes with a faint kick of spicy fresh ginger with it’s slight lemon notes.

This tea does not tend to get astringent when brewed at higher temperatures but you can adjust the temperature to bring out different flavour notes. Cherry and almond are the first notes detected, though the almond notes are best detected when the tea is hot as it cools it moves away from a marzipan note to more of the creamy nutty and a touch woody note of raw almonds. The cherry is not a candy note. At times it hints of liqueur and other times it reference dried cherries. When very hot the ginger is not prominent in the taste but as it cools it becomes more present. I also got stronger ginger notes and a more dominant cherry when I brewed the tea at @ 90°C. Also present was a touch of cream and at times vanilla. The base tea is fairly inoccuous. It is pretty smooth and doesn’t present a lot of texture to the taste. It is a little fruity, and has a bit of malt, and darker slightly earthy and grainy tones, and perhaps a bit of pastry notes. I used a level tea spoon in 225ml and found it just shy of being a little thin, which is a little surprising given the broken nature of the leaves.

Given that the flavouring is very nice and I really like the mix of ginger, cherry and almond. It generates a nice warmth in the body. A bit of sweeter may bring out a bit of more fruitiness in the tea and might thicken the density of the tea on the taste buds.

Altogether I am happy to have this tea in my cupboard!


3 min, 45 sec

Did you pick this up at douce?




Yes Sil. That’s where I picked it up.


i haven’t bit the bullet yet to try it heh


er try that companies tea


They do sell it in their bulk options so you don’t have to buy a tin, or you could just go their for tea and pastries:-)

Cameron B.

This sounds tasty! I may have to look around for this company. :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Da Hong Pao by Jinglonghao
432 tasting notes

This tea is an entry level tea from a brand with a close to 300 year history in Xiamei village and offered a very nice introduction to it. The teas description was honest and fitting and I found it to match the flavour notes and resiliency promised.

I have experimented a bit with water temperature and leaf ratios and depending on how you brew it you can emphasise fruit, exotic wood, and or caramel notes. The tea has mild soft floral notes and a good amount of cocoa. Overall it is quite enjoyable.

I used around 1.5 TSP of leaf in a 100ml gaiwan. The leaf is thicker and a little darker roast than another da Hong Pao I own at a moment and it is also much less floral. I started with water around 95°C. This time I brought out a lot of cocoa and fruit notes during this session.

30s scent: Fruit, stewed plums, soft spicy floral notes,cocoa, caramel, amber, cherry, roasted notes

Taste: roasted grain, spicy leaf note mixed with stewed cherries and brandied plums, caramel, cocoa, cream, sandalwood and amber. As you sip it the fruit moves to the forefront, with a boozy, spicy, powdery floral scent tempered by cocoa powder which increases in intensity in the aftertaste.

35 spicy herbaceous floral mix with cinnamon, fall leaves, soft spicy floral notes, sandalwood, and amber, over cocoa, faint roasted notes, caramel, cherry and plum and hints of mineral ttones mixed with cream, both peppery and creamy on the tongue. As it cools, cream and cocoa move forward over the other tastes.

40s cocoa, caramel,fruit, amber, roasted notes, cream, vanilla, soft floral notes. With spice, cocoa, and fruit in the aftertaste. Cocoa is heading towards the dense chewy notes of a browny.

45s. Caramel, roasted notes, warm exotic woods, sandalwood hints of resinous aged cedar, and amber, spice, pepper and cinnamon, cream, cocoa, apricot, vanilla and fading soft floral. cocoa again emerges on top as it cools.

60s caramel, amber, cocoa, vanilla, roasted notes, mineral notes, cream, hints of sandalwood, and pepper and more savoury spice. Cocoa, caramel, cream and roasted notes dominant.

80s cream, woody notes, cocoa,ash, mineral notes, caramel,vanilla, and amber.

2 min30s apricot, caramel, ash, amber, hints of artichoke, cocoa, cream, mineral notes and spice.

4 min, cream, apricot, artichoke, spice, honey, fading cocoa, mineral notes, resinous woods. Cocoa and mineral notes and hints of ash in aftertaste.

6min. Similar to above but weakening.

10 mineral, apricot, caramel, artichoke, ash, cocoa,grainy note.

I purchased this item http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/100g-DaHongPao-Wuyi-mountain-rock-tea-oolong-tea-in-China-perfumes-and-fragrances-of-brand-originals/1080289_1645407756.html.

The seller kindly repackaged it in his brand packaging with a beautiful line drawing print of Xiamei village and a map of the tea route between Wuyishan and Russia.

Altogether I do enjoy this tea and had a great experience with this seller.


Great note!


Excellent post. Love me some DHP

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Chocolate Loves Strawberry by Tealish
432 tasting notes

This tea is a nice accompaniment on this rainy cold night. It is bright enough in flavour to bring some warmth and light into the experience but has enough death in both flavour and texture to be comforting on a night like this.

The tea once poured is a warm oak colour with a scent of warm strawberry compote, cream, baking chocolate, butter pastry and a savoury note.

The strawberry flavour on top tastes like fresh cut slightly sun warmed ripe strawberries with a touch of tartness over a a slightly fruity and herbaceous base tea with cocoa notes. A dark bittersweet chocolate mixes through both the base and flavouring notes with a touch of cream and vanilla. The tea is heavier and not as creamy as Zen Teas strawberry cream, with deeper bitter notes from the chocolate and base. It is not as thick or dark tasting as Butikis Red Queen Cupcake. It has a flavour that lies somewhere inbetween. The strawberry is bright and fresh tasting and very faintly floral. Chocolate settles towards the bottom of the cup as it sits leaving a more copper coloured brew. There are hints of baked goods and the last sips taste of strawberry flavoured hot chocolate. The tea is mildly tannic with a body dense enough to take milk and other additives. The second steep has richer chocolate notes and a texture more reminiscent of baked goods.

This tea makes a nice strawberry black for any time of the year.


All fixed. My tablet was reliving those wonderfully nightmarish years of the icon computer!


Pretty teacup!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

I admit I purchased this tea out of curiousity, a purchase review stated that it was a tea they had been looking for and had finally found after trying 30 suppliers. I was wondering what would be the draw for this person. Having had it using gongfu method twice I can say this is an intensely sweet and resilient black tea. I got many steeps with stewed apricot citrus and sweet cherry notes mixed with molasses on top and a nice deep base with cocoa, malt, and coffee, mixed with leather and earth. At times there are mole spice notes of cinnamon, chili and thyme, and baked goods notes ranging from charred crust to butter pastry. The tea is intensely sweet in its early steeps. It almost gave me a sugar headache! Altogether quite enjoyable.

It can be found here:
Sample sizes: http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Promotion-of-high-grade-tea-Yunnan-Dianhong-2014-2-bags-Free-shipping-Buy-more-get-more/723612_2012109496.html

Full size. . http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-Shipping-Yunnan-Fengqing-Dianhong-tea-lily-bud-straight-gold-Dianhong-single-premium-congou/1743139133.html

The dry leaf smells of fruit and cocoa and are mostly long flat blades with a mix of golden buds and longer dark chocolate brown blades at about a 50/50 mix.

I used 2.5g of leaves in a 140ml gaiwan at 95°C.

The tea had a red toned copper, slightly peachy colour with a yellow gold ring around the edges.

45s Scent: cocoa,hints of smoke and roasted notes, stewed fruits, apricot, red fruit and citrus notes.

Sweet and spicy up front with cocoa and darker malt notes underneath with molasses and hints of roasted notes with a touch of char. Stewed apricots, hints of citrus, and sweeter red fruits up front. It’s interesting because I under leafed this yesterday (2.5g/200ml) and got more leather, earth notes which are pretty well hidden in this steep and the tea was brisker. There is a faint hint of leather in the deeper base notes. Savoury spice notes, hinting at a mole sauce with cinnamon, hints of thyme and chili. In general very sweet with a rich deep base that may appeal to coffee and shou puerh drinkers. The tea has a good dose of caffeine and a hint of briskness with a thick rich texture on the tongue.

30s scent: similar to above with stronger malt tones

Cocoa,molasses,apricot, hints of sweet cherry,less citrus, malt, hints of charred crust,creamy buttery pastry, hints of coffee, mole spice, very sweet lingering aftertaste. Thick dense texture on the tongue with a light briskness creating a cooling texture on the tongue.

40s. Scent: cocoa, red fruit, molasses, malt, apricot, hints of pastry.

Cocoa, apricot, red fruits, citrus notes, molasses, malt, butter pastry, coffee , mole spice and hints of earth and leather, less intensely sweet.

60s indistinct cocoa, molasses, fruit mix.

Apricot, cocoa, molasses ( very sweet again), hints of butter pastry, coffee, malt, cinnamon, hints of earth and leather, and a tarter cherry note.

100s. Scent similar to above

Tarter with malt and red fruit, cocoa, fading molasses, citrus notes some cinnamon.

160s. Similar to above with a slight grain note and some briskness.

240s weakening with molasses fruit and artichoke.


yay! thanks for the great review!


Yes, great review! :)
haha, I went to aliexpress site but got overwhelmed so had to stop looking – so many choices!


caile…that’s also why i just live vicariously though yyz’s tasting notes…and sometimes dexter


Agreed, detailed and nice.


Caile, aliexpress can be overwhelming very true but it can also offer many great opportunities. My advice either attack it with a purpose, is a specific tea, or narrow your search is use x tea sort by price check for sales etc. Then if you find something take the keywords from the description to check for the best price:-). Ali has allowed me to buy directly from farmers, to find out detailed info about tea types and growing regions, and to try new things at good prices. I wouldn’t be afraid of it ( except for the possibility of addiction:-)). As for Han Xiang he started out with mostly Fujian teas but has added more and more Yunnan teas. The 1.99 samples are a good place to start. If buying larger sizes ask him questions and let him know if you are ordering a number of teas he’ll often offer you further discount. He’s reduced my order by 10.00 before even when one of the teas was already on sale.


for me aliexpress is like walking in to target on black friday when they’re selling things at 1$….


That tea sounds so complex. I’m really curious to try it. I set up an Aliexpress account some time ago but never used it. Just not sure how the whole thing worked compared to EBay .


Ubacat there are similarities, in fact there are sellers and agents that sell on both platforms. Sellers set up stores, transactions are processed by Aliexpress ( all of my transactions have been processed in the uk) and the system is set up in a way that it is supposed to offer some protection to both parties. Buyer protection is extended for a certain number of days. If you haven’t received the item within that time or if you are trying to resolve an issue with an item with the seller you can request that the seller extend the time period. Most sellers will do this as the do not want to have to go through a dispute process. Once you receive the item you confirm acceptance and you have a certain number of days to Raye a transaction. In Aliexpress 5 stars means that the transaction went as expected or if there was a hickup the seller resolved in an acceptable way and you are happy with everything 4 stars is when you got the product but something about the transaction was dissapointing. 3 stars or below is generally reserved for unacceptable service, unhappy disputes, misleading or unacceptable products etc. Generally most sellers will try to resolve any issues with you before you leave a rating so I have never had a need to leave a negative one. There is a new alipay system which is meant to be like PayPal. I haven’t tried it yet. The Cc transactions have been fine for me. Otherwise, if you have any questions it pays to ask them before buying. I. General though I have been happy with my transactions and I have bought some nice teas. Don’t discount sellers who sell tea as a side to their main business. I have got good products from these sellers as well. At times they are selling tea they or their family produce themselves.


Thanks yyz, that’s good advice and I will certainly give it a try. I think I’ll try to start out small, and the samples look like a good way to begin my exploration. :-)


lol That’s the temptation, Sil!


i know..i know.. but its overwhelming for me


Thanks for all the advice yyz! I did go on and log in. That seller has some nice samples. Do you find your credit card is secure on Aliexpress?


Sil, I know there’s so much! Even on Ebay. All I have been doing on Ebay is mostly going with recommended sellers.


I’ve never had a problem. Your credit card info is handled by Aliexpress and sellers don’t have access to it.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



Ontario, Canada

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer