398 Tasting Notes

drank Black Pekoe Tea by Gorreana
398 tasting notes

I needed this tea right now. I came home damp and exhausted and this tea does have a certain brightness and cheer to it that it is quickly returning me to a state of alertness and removing my headache.

I found this at a Portuguese grocer ( where I also got new seals for my cafetiera, yay!). It seems that most of the local stores have this or the broken leaf variety. This particular batch was packaged at the end of November. This is my first taste of an Azores grown tea.

The leaf is long and wiry and loosely rolled, the dry leaf smells very fruity, and fresh. The scent reminds me a little of Sultanas. I probably used the normal 3g of tea but because it is so wiry I used closer to two TSP in the @11oz vessel I brewed it in. That would work put to about 1.5 TSP cup.

The brewed tea is a very clear copper colour, that smells slightly like sweet buns and fresh plums (almost heading to peaches) with cane sugar. There is a bright citrusy slightly floral note as well in the scent that did not translate into the flavour.

This tea has a good dose of caffeine ( this is very necessary right now!), and is brisk and light, while at the same time being very smooth and easy to drink. There is a slight astringency which adds a certain robustness and body to the tea and keeps it from being too light.
This is a fruity, sweet black tea with bready notes. The notes blend well in the flavour there is a bite of fresh ripe plum mixed with bready pastry notes, that finish with a very sweet honey note.

This is a really great every day tea when your looking for something bright and light. I’m so glad I picked this up today.

205 °F / 96 °C

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Today this tea was fabulous. The first steep at 45s tasted exactly like fresh snap peas off the vine on the first sip with melon and hints of orange as the flavours developed in the mouth. The second steep was creamier and more complex with chestnut entering the mix of flavours. I haven’t detected any bitterness as of yet in fact the tea is quite sweet. Perhaps this is a tea I will grow to like more and more as it ages like one of the Rizhao I have from last year. This is still my favourite style of green tea.

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drank Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavivre
398 tasting notes

This is a fluffy tea with long roughly wound leaves with about 50% being golden tips ranging in tone from flaxen to copper.

I used the following parameters:


Its scent is rich and spicy, and similar to one of my other less tippy golden monkeys, with scent of spicy fall leaves, wood smoke,sweet potato, cocoa, malt mash, and caramel.

The taste has deeper malt and bitter cocoa base notes than my similar smelling tea and comes off as very rich tasting after my first short steep of 50s. It has sweet potato, grain notes, cocoa, roasted spice notes up front. This is followed by a brief mention of burnt sugar caramel, and then the tea lightens with malt and fruit tones, which are tart like unripe plums. The aftertaste is a nice blend of all the flavour notes.

The tea resteeps quite well I did two other short steeps of 35 and 60 s, before extending my timings to 2 and 5 minutes. In later steeps the grain, yam and roasted notes faded but the Cocoa, deeper malt and fruit tones intensified and often were fairly well balanced with a hint of butter and cane sugar.

This is quite a nice and robust tea. I would consider buying it once I finish my similar tea.

Thanks to Dexter, who sent me this a while back. I’ve been sipping on it all day.


I love golden monkey. :)

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
398 tasting notes

Experimenting again with Kashmiri Chai/Pink tea/ noon tea again. This started out as green tea. If you add milk to it it will go a pinky brown colour.

I TSP kashmiri green tea ( an assamic green)/ 2 cups of tea.
Extra water or milk.
Baking soda 1/8 TSP per 2cups of tea salt
4 cloves of cardamon
1 inch piece of cinnamon.

I used a variation of this recipe


Mine was a little bitter today because I was impatient and didn’t cook it long enough. But I like the spicing today and I added a little sugar and a bit of pistachios. It’s amazing though how smooth a tea this process can make when it is done right.


Pistachios?? That is intriguing.


You usually crush them and sprinkle them on top of the tea. I’ve down it with almonds and mixed them in too. I had another style of kashmiri chai with gooseberries added to the finished clear tea that was really good too. That was completely different though I think it had cardamon and a little mint. Sometimes this tea is made purposefully salty.


Gooseberries! Lovely! I made a gooseberry wine, but I’ve never had gooseberries in tea. Now I want to try that!


I’ve tried to find a recipe that was similar, but the tea I had was a green tea chai with just a bit of mint ( it didn’t overpower the cardamon) and about two or 3 gooseberries/@60 ml cup of tea.


The glasses were the small Indian chai glasses, about the size of a small juice glass.

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
398 tasting notes

1 TSP dried rose buds
@9 leaves of lemon balm
200ml water

Dominated by lemony flavour of lemon balm.
Rosebuds lend a peppery taste and a coolness and thickness to the base and probably augments the citrus notes.


This sounds lovely. Did the rose petals color the water?


Not in the way you may think. It intensifies the saffron toned yellow.

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drank Coco Chai No.5 by Bluebird Tea Co.
398 tasting notes

The cloves, cardamon, ginger, pepper and coconut are all apparent in the scent of this tea, with the first three being the most dominant. At first sip, the spicing seems pretty mild. The base tea is smooth, with sharp fruit and malt, and seems to overpower the spice. The spice is there in that I can feel the cooling sensation on my tongue, but outside of a with of cardamon I can’t really taste them. This could be because of several reasons, the first being that this is an old sample sachet, the second is that the spicing is purposefully mild, or it could simply be that the base tea does not work well in this concept. If it is designed this way it fits with the Indian stereotype of British descended tourists in which we are all seen to not be able to take the heat. Thanks for the sample Bluebird Tea, but this one just doesn’t work for me.

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This smooth and pleasant tea accompanied my morning yesterday. These dark medium large leaves mixed with around 25% golden tip yielded 3 good steeps using my usual method of 1 TSP/225ml/94°C/1 min+1 for next steep, which is slightly less resilient than some of the Yunnan’s I’ve been drinking. The last steep was weakening and I will probably extend the steep time the next time I drink it.

The first steep smelled of malt, cocoa, a musky, grainy scent, and red fruit. The taste was sweeter than the scent with with a strong barley note mixed with cocoa and caramel. There was a faint leather spice mixed in with light malt and a touch of fruit. The tea had a slightly metallic, mineral note that leant a certain coolness to the flavour of the tea. The tea was very smooth on the tongue.

Future steeps introduced a light bright floral note, plum mixed with red fruit and a light hay note. The caramel evolved to cane sugar.

Altogether this was a smooth, pleasant, and uncomplicated accompaniment to my day.

Thanks boychik for the sample!

Cameron B.

How many steeps did you end up doing? I might have to try the rest of my sample this way. :)


I tried 4. Steeps 1 and 2 were really good, with strong flavour, the third steep was weakening, so I tried the fourth steep at 5 min and really it was just fading cocoa, some malt , and indistinct sweet notes. I would try adding 1.5 to 2 minutes for the third steep and not bother with the fourth.

Cameron B.

Gotcha, thanks a lot! I’ll have to try this today. :)


Glad you liked that;)

Cameron B.

So I tried it with 1 minute, 2 minutes, 4 minutes and I liked it a lot! I need to try other Yunnans that way. :D


Yay! I’m glad you liked it that way. I do it with a lot of my Chinese teas, and it helps me discover another character to them. Some I prefer this way and some Western style and a few I steep at very short intervals.

Cameron B.

I tend to prefer the lighter, more tippy Yunnan teas, so this method kind of emulates that even with darker ones. Which is nice! Thanks again for the suggestion. :)


I like the tippy Yunnan’s too. I love the diversity of them. I once had one ( well it wasn’t specifically labeled Yunnan, but its leaf morphology and some aspects of its flavour suggested it was) that tasted of violets and grape jelly on top of other notes.

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I must admit to appreciating this tea more than I first thought. It has become a tea I turn to when I want a nice classic robust cup of tea. It has great fruit and malt tones, with brown sugar and a complex mix of spices without that lemony or sweet potato tones of some Ceylon’s. There is something thick and satisfying in its texture and it has a potent dose of caffeine, my fingers are buzzing!

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