428 Tasting Notes

My lovely friend JustJames sent me a generous sample of this. I had it yesterday and I liked it, however, my allergies were acting up so I decided to give it another chance.

Today the scent is much richer it has the chocolate, butter and apricot tones I smelled yesterday as well as a lovely bready tone that wasn’t there yesterday.

I remember that the name seemed fitting because this smells soothing and warm, just what you need on a brisk, cool day.

Flavour wise it is smooth with apricot, and bready notes up front and cocoa mixing with butter in the background. There is a slight artichoke note as well hidden among the fruit up front. As it cools the apricot becomes more plum like, a honey note and malt become apparent.

This resteeps very well with fruity notes and malt becoming stronger as the cocoa fades. It is good for at least three steeps.

This tea has a nice simple flavour profile which is comforting delicious and suits its name! Thanks James!

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
428 tasting notes

This tea is a sample given to me by an aliexpress seller. She left no particular identification on it except to say it’s a Dian Hong so I can’t identify which particular one it is. The tea is a broken leaf Yunnan and is quite smooth and less bitter than might be expected for a broken leaf tea.

The tea smells of apricot, leather, bready notes, barley and cream.

50s the tea has mild sweetness tempered by a mild tart bitterness. The flavour notes were of barley, malt, cocoa,leather notes, cream, and apricot. It tastes relatively smooth and dense.

2 min similar to above with a little more density and stronger fruit and leather notes.

3 min. Apricot, honey, cream, tart plum, a hint of barley and light malt.

This tea could easily manage another steep. It is a pleasant and easy to drink everyday tea,but I am not interested in it enough to ask for it to be identified.

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Dry Leaf: roughly wound thick but small, chocolate to black brown leaves with prominent scattered gold to silver green downy tips. The leaves smell of fruit and hay.

Broth: clear copper orange

Scent: spice, malt, a mix of lightly roasted nuts, fruit

1 tsp/ 225 ml/95°C/3 min: sweet fresh and nutty sweet flavour. Fresh torn tree leaves, honey, a hint of citrus and a touch of rose water, roasted nuts (to me a cross between almonds, cashews and hazelnuts), fruit notes ranging from a slightly floral Gewürztraminer wine with notes of citrus, grape and a touch of melon, balanced over a touch of cocoa, malt, butter, and toasted grains. Mild, bright and buttery in the mouth opening to a bright freshness. The aftertaste is fruity and sweet with just a touch of bitterness with a mote that reminds me of bananas.
4 min resteep: an interesting spicy citrus note, overlies the other existing notes. The tea remains sweet, fruity and nutty.

This tea has a decent dose of caffeine and makes a nice tea for all times of day.


Great note! You write incredible reviews



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This tea has wonderful and unusual tones of blue fruits (Loganberry, blackcurrants and concord grapes), tempered by honey, cocoa and an unusual tone of musk. I was attracted to this tea by its description promissing tones of rum and chocolate along with the fruit. The chocolate and fruit are definitely there. The rum is mildly apparent in a kind of boozy sugar cane tone that I found in one steep.

This was my first purple tea, so at first I was careful with temperature because I’ve been told they can be astringent but I have found that this tea is fairly forgiving so I have used water in the upper 90°C on it before. What you do need to be careful of is the amount of leaf you use. This is one of those teas that has long, wiry loosely folded leaves and it is easy to under leaf it. I made sure to cover the bottom of my Gaiwan with it. The leaves themselves are almost black and smell of chocolate and fruit, but mainly fruit.

I brewed this tea 6 times this time. The first four ( 30,50,90,&120s) had a pretty consistent flavour profile of blue fruits, honey, cocoa, musk, and cream, with sugar cane and fruit in the aftertaste and an occasional deeper tone to the honey. Starchy notes appeared in these steeps that ranged from faint grain notes to white potato. The tea has a light walnut colour and a creamy texture in the mouth.

The later steeps (170, & 240s) were still fairly rich in flavour but the musk notes were fading and the other tones mellowed and mixed with an artichoke note.

Altogether I have grown quite fond of this tea when I want something with a complex, creamy and fruity nature.


i really like purple blacks from YS. i used to avoid them, i thought they would be bitter. i really liked this one
i got myself Spring14. i can send you a sample,you have to try it


I’d like that! I could send you some of this (come September), if you haven’t tried it yet.

Doug F

I just received this. It’s light and delicious with a definite berry flavor. YS has some great black teas.


They do Doug F, I agree. I like some of the untraditional Yunnan’s, my all time most unusual tasted of grape jelly and violets, but the musk and fruit in this one is interesting and special.

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The Tea fairy and Dexter inspired me to have this today. Still love it. The first steep is reminding me of black forest cake with a chocolate sacher torte, vanilla cream and kirsh vibe happening. The cinnamon is present as a warming spice which presents a certain sweetness. This tea is not as syrupy and sweet as the mystery yancha I had last night, but I still love this.


Mmmmm….Oolong just rocks! And so does this review :-)


nice! shame that they named it so sloppily though. Rou Gui and Da Hong Pao are seperate cultivars – both are Yancha aka Cliff Teas aka Rock Teas.


I know, I’m pretty sure they know that too. The tin is labeled just Rou gui. They tend to put a lot of associated names on aliexpress to maximise it coming up in searches.


DHP is super-famous compared to Rou Gui, it’s like a brand name :P


Exactly. You see dealers on aliexpress listing rock teas as Yan Chas as cliff teas, rock teas, dhp, black teas and other associated names of teas in this family. Some companies are very specific, but most tend to not be. Their are others I wonder about like this one where the heading is more or less correct but then they say the variety is Assam. Are cliff teas derived from an assamica ssp.?

apt I don’t know for sure, but I’d like to give a nice, large Hell No, as DHP has existed for longer than Indian tea and I can’t find anything online about it. DHP is known for messing up labels (Labeling Shou Pu’erh as Sheng…)

All my sources say it is Camellia sinensis. I allowed myself to wonder for a bit though because I know a lot of pu-ehr is made from var. Assamica and it made me wonder about other styles. Its probably an error in the description, this is surprisingly common on aliexpress. When I can I like Togo to company websites or Two a where descriptions are usually more accurate. I also find that they use Souchong and keemun as processing styles and not as tea types as well. Though some regions do have a sort of vqa type regulation in ASN attempt to maintain quality.

Miss Starfish

I wasn’t hungry, really. Then I read this. Now I’m raiding the dessert cupboard. Oh yzz… ;)

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drank First Flush Darjeeling by DAVIDsTEA
428 tasting notes

I got this in store when I picked up some tins in store the other day.

This tea is sourced from Chamong Estate in darjeeling. For those who are curious here’s a link to the Estates website and a picture.

The tea itself is one of the nicer straight teas I’ve had from David’s.

The leaf is decidedly towards the green range and smells of flowers, hay and cream. When brewed the tea was a sepia tinged saffron yellow.

Flavour wise it lies between the hay and acidity of some white teas, the sweet vegetal and nutty notes of some greens, the floral spice of some Oolong’s, and the muscatel, malt and cocoa notes of black teas. It makes a nice light almalgamation of these flavours.

3min. Scent:Cream, hay, faint hint of floral gardenia, peas, fruit.

Flavour: Muscatel softened by cream, plum, hay, spice, clover and dames rocket. Light upper tones of malt and a very faint hint of cocoa, hint of peas. Hint of chestnut.
Snap peas, cream.

Resteep 4 min. Flavour: stronger muscatel, and nutty notes with increasing astringency.

I’m glad I picked some up to try!


This sounds very interesting. If only I had Davids around here. Another month to wait :( I have free tea to redeem. Maybe it’s the one?


That’s interesting, thanks for reviewing. I bought a lot of teaware from them lately and I now have 100g of free tea to redeem as well from their reward program. Since I’m not interested in their flavoured tea, I knew I was getting Oolong Supreme and Gyokuro Yamashiro. Might as well get their most expensive stuff! But being the Darjeeling fan that I am, I might reconsider…

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