326 Tasting Notes


Purchased some months back, I’ve steeped this quite a few times but haven’t written a review yet.

I had a lot of expectations leading up to my first steep. This was only my third time trying a Sun Moon Lake from a different company, but it has such a charming and unique strong flavour. But all my worries were washed away the first time I tried Nuvola’s SML. It’s definitely the real deal, and it’s not too weak either.

Tasting this tea again today, it still fulfills my expectations. I don’t drink it very often, and usual reserve it for special occasions or for a treat.

Steep parameters: 100ml gaiwan, 5g leaves, 6 steeps (30s, 45s, 1m, 1m15, 1m30, 2m)

200 °F / 93 °C

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drank Yi Mei Ren by Yunnan Sourcing
326 tasting notes

This is the last YS black tea from my order that I’ve yet to review. I don’t frequent Steepster as often, so the thought of logging tasting notes slipped my mind. That being said, I’m looking forward to getting some new YS teas this year. :)

Here’s my tasting notes on a short steep of Yi Mei Ren (2012):

First steep tasted smooth with that “fuzzy” mouth feel. There is also a hint of fruit and black tea flavour.

Second steep brought out a new astringent flavour (I can’t describe the actual flavour so well).

Final and third steep was a really satisfying and strong cup. More of the tea body came out, along with the previous notes.

Overall, this was probably my second favourite out of the five I purchased. Not an amazing resteeper, but still pretty flavourful in short doses or a long steep.

Steep parameters: 100ml gaiwan, 5g tea leaves, rinse and 3 steeps (30s, 45, 1m)

200 °F / 93 °C

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Since December 2012 when this was purchased and sipped, I’ve gone through about 2/3’s of the bag. The website description is pretty spot on; spices (cinnamon) and a sweetness are very present in each sip.

Observations from my steeping today, brought up a lot of old memories I’ve had drinking this. It’s a very flavourful cup, but it doesn’t perform so well with short steeps (kinda stretching if I go past 6 short infusions). The spices notes are wonderful, and they give off a nice “warmth”, but I still prefer their Jin Die tea over this for that particular quality.

Overall it’s a good tea and my expectations were met, but there are other teas from Camellia Sinensis I’d order again over Luku Hong Cha.

Steep parameters:
500ml water, 5g tea leaves, 1 steep (4min)

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Today I short steeped this three times. Overall it had a light, mellow, refreshing quality and a “typical” black tea flavour.

Normally I prepare this western style, which is better for a stronger flavour. My husband enjoys taking this tea to work, along with the other black teas we ordered from YS.

Steep parameters:
100ml gaiwan, 5g, rinse + 3 steeps (30s, 45s, 1m)

205 °F / 96 °C

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This tea sample was included along with some other teas I ordered from Nuvola a couple months ago. Unfortunately it was placed in box with a bunch of other samples and small batches of tea, so I never got around to trying it.
(Since I only had a sample of it, I figured that short steeping Oriental Beauty would be a great way to savor the tea.)

My first through fourth steeps were; sweet, mellow, smooth, floral, a bit roasted and reminded me of cantaloupe melon.

Fifth and sixth steeps were still pretty good, but the sweetness had faded.

Overall I really enjoyed this Oriental Beauty tea. Somehow I expected it to be too sweet, but this one had a nice balance between flavour and sweetness.

Steep parameters:
100ml gaiwan, 5g sample, 6 steeps + rinse (15s, 30, 45, 1m, 1m30, 2m)

200 °F / 93 °C

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I’ve had this tea for a while, but never got around to writing a review. It was purchased along with four other black teas from YS, many months ago. This one was always enjoyable prepared either western or eastern style. Not an amazing resteeper, but pretty flavourful.
This was my first “purple” tea experience. And overall it was a pleasant experience, but it definitely impressed my husband a lot more.

Here are some quick notes about my short steep session today:

First steep- Light, fruity (melon, grapes), refreshing. Acidic-sweetness at the back of my mouth.

Second steep- Fuzzy-fruit flavour all over my mouth, not a deep or heavy black tea body. Pretty light and delicate.

Third steep- The flavours have mellowed a bit, but much of the original notes are still present. For me, this is a nice cup to end on.

Steep parameters- 100ml teapot, 5g, 3 steeps (rinse, 30s, 40s, 1m)

195 °F / 90 °C

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Tea provided by Teavivre for review

First through seven steeps were consistently bold in flavour. I enjoyed how potent the liquor tasted. Lately I haven’t been drinking any strong black teas. This one had a very bold, earthy and malty flavour.

I’m looking forward to trying this western style (probably steeped in a mug). That being said, bold black teas are not my favourite. They’re not something I’d drink all the time, but it’s still a pleasant experience.

100ml purion teapot, 2tsp, rinse and 7 steeps (with Teavivre’s suggested times: 10s, 20s, 30s, 50s, 1m10s, 1m30s, 2m)

Edit: tried this western style, and it’s still quite nice and bold.

195 °F / 90 °C

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Sample provided for review

First through sixth steeps were lovely. There is a deep, rich, earthy and roasted aroma. Very soothing and calming. It seems like a great tea to drink during the colder months.

I’m thankful for the chance to try this tea from a vendor I didn’t know about previously. They’ve certainly piqued my interest. I’d definitely think about ordering some different teas in the future.

100ml gaiwan, 5g, rinse and 6 short steeps

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Tea provided by Teavivre for review

This is my second time brewing this. Previously I used short steeps in a gaiwan, today I’m using a glass mug (about 400ml). I know everyone is not interested in short steeps, but I enjoy comparing a tea using both methods. For people that have read some of my previous tasting notes, you’ll notice that I typically short steep all of my black teas. Usually I prefer the flavour of that method, but I also enjoy the additional tea ritual steps. ;)

On the taste of today’s brewing results:

My two steeps came out pretty mild, which depending on your Keemun preference is good or bad (good for me). With the familiar flavours of its type coming up very subtly. I really enjoyed how the floral flavours were mild, while the spices were a bit stronger.

Overall I liked this Keemun tea because the flavour wasn’t bold and in my face. That being said, I am still not a big fan of this type of tea. If you like Keemun, but want more subtle flavours this is a nice tea to try. But if you prefer a bolder cup, Teavivre’s other Keemun teas fulfill that role better.

400ml-ish glass mug, 4-5g, 2 steeps (3m, 6m)

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Tea provided by Teavivre for review

First steep, very smooth, velvety, light liquor, with the familiar Dragon Well flavour.

Second and third steeps, bolder in taste, there is also this almost fuzzy texture on my tongue.

Fourth and fifth steeps, the flavour has weakened a bit but is still enjoyable, and a bit of astringency if present (but not overdone).

Overall I really liked this Dragon Well tea. Teavivre always provides really nice green tea samples, and it’s given me a new appreciation for that type of tea.
Next time I brew this sample, I will use my competition cups to compare the Premium Dragon Well (which I purchased) with this one. After that, I’ll try it western style in a teapot.

100ml gaiwan, 4g-ish (sometimes my digital scale fudges it), 5 steeps (rinse, 20s, 40s, 1m10s, 2m, 2m30s)

185 °F / 85 °C

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Feel free to add me on Steepster, I’ll probably add you back. :)

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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