434 Tasting Notes

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
434 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
434 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
434 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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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.


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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!

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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!


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.


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!

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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


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drank Thé de Noël by Compagnie Coloniale
434 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. :)

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drank Da Hong Pao by Jinglonghao
434 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

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