Wow, this is my fourth tasting note for this tea. I usually just make one if it gets the point across or if I don’t change the steep parameters much. Anyway, today I am using my gaiwan to quick steep this tea.

Drinking the first cup was a treat, I tasted something tangy, malty, earthy, kinda sweet and with familiar black tea flavour.

Second cup continued to get stronger, with a new flavour sneaking in which I couldn’t quite describe. It gave me a nice resonating sensation throughout my body. (Sometimes I feel like great tea rings me like a bell!)

Not much change with the third steep, except the flavour is stronger to the point where it gets pretty bold.

The fourth steep is my favourite. Along with the familiar flavours there is an emphasis on cherry, with a bit more tangy/zesty going on, and an amazing sort of menthol sensation with the aftertaste. At this point I took a break to brew more water, and that sensation stuck around quite a while. Very pleasant.

With such a good experience from the last cup, the fifth while good… couldn’t really top it. The main quality I liked about this one was the reduction in the boldness of the tea. Three and four were a bit “in your face”, kinda boldness and this one is more friendly.

Flavour in the sixth cup shifted a bit, again I can’t really describe it well enough but it was a different feeling. Still tastes enough like a good cup of tea.

Finishing up with the seventh and eighth cups, I can finally taste the original water. (Usually this is my indication of where to stop.) But the brew still has a nice light, zesty, tea flavour going on.

I’ve had this tea in my cupboard for a while now, and today gave me a lot to reflect on. I think this tea comes out too weak or delicate if you use too much water, and today’s session with the gaiwan was my most pleasant. My favourite thing about this tea is the sensation it gives me, along with the combination of interesting flavours. It does a good job of keeping me captivated. Overall, a charming black tea with sweetness that does not overpower the wonderful earthy flavour.

100ml gaiwan, 2 tsps, 8 steeps (45s + 15s resteeps)

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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I don’t log tea every time I drink it. Tasting notes tend to be about either one style of brewing or a new experience. It is helpful for me to look back on my notes and see what a tea tasted like or which steeping parameter worked best for me. I try to mostly short steep tea unless it only tastes better with a long steep. I’d rather experience what a tea tastes like over 3 or 12 steeps than just 1 to 3 long steeps.

When I write “tsp”, the measurement I use is a regular western teaspoon. Not a tea scoop

How I rate tea:

99-100: Teas that blow my mind! An unforgettable experience. Savoured to the last drop. I felt privileged to drink this.

90-98: Extraordinary, highly recommended, try it and you won’t be disappointed (and if you are, mail me the tea!)

85-89: Wonderful, couldn’t expect more but not a favourite.

80-84: Excellent, a treasured experience but not a favourite.

70-79: Good but could be better. Above average.

60-69: Average, unexceptional, not something I would buy again. Slightly disappointed. I’d rather drink water.

50-0: Varying degrees of sadness

No rating: Mixed feelings, can’t decide whether I like it or not, not enough experience with that sort of tea to rate it. A dramatic change of heart.


Ontario, Canada

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