184 Tasting Notes


In the last 6 months my tea palate has grown….and continues to grow. I last drank this tea at the beginning of my tea journey and had no place to place it in my experiences with teas… because my experience with teas was primarily assams and a few blends at that time. That was then…. this is now:

I am still surprised by the leaves…sooooooo big! Trying to measure a teaspoon full of leaves is quite hilarious, as the leaves stretch across the top of the spoon and don’t tuck themselves in. Thus, measuring is a bit of a crapshoot. The dry leaves smell like dark chocolate and dried raisins and prunes, which is a deep rich smell. In the cup, this is exactly as I remembered, but the wonder is in the fact that my palate has changed, as well as in the tea!
This is a complex tea that begins with bottom notes of prune, raisin and almost a chocolate molasses to midnotes of grain and baked bread to the wonderful top note of honey sweetness.
Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black seems to want to be kin to Bailin Gongfu or other Fujian teas, but is lighter, sweeter and more grainy. It doesn’t have the cannabis note that I get quite a bit from the Fujian teas, which for me is a breath of fresh air. (especially after the Motley Crue concert I was arm-twisted into going to last week.) I used to think this tea was too heavy for me and my palate. Now I am intrigued and pleased that I have this tea in my cupboard. It is a wonder-filled cup that all black tea drinkers should try.

Flavors: Bread, Chocolate, Grain, Honey, Raisins, Stonefruit

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

I call this tea my spider legs tea…

Zack S.

Hi! Just wondering if you have any of this tea available to swap? Its one of my all-time favs and I’m trying to get my hands on more of it since it has become unavailable =(

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I received this as a sample with my first order from Yunnan Sourcing. In the past, I have tried darker versions of favorite teas and have been put off of them because my expectations were different in my head. THIS time, I’m clearing my head of all expectations…just because a tea package says “Yunnan”, shouldn’t mean I expect yams and raisins and apricots, right? Well, it’s a good thing I cleared my head!

This tea is a wonderful Yunnan in it’s OWN way ~ and I’m saying that in a “OOOOOOOH!” way! In the cup, the tea smells of raisins and a touch of yam…. but there is something else…..a lovely yeasty-grainy-toasty smell! It’s the first time I’ve gotten a toast note from a tea, but there it is! Black Gold has a medium mouthfeel with a wonderful depth to the flavor. The bottom notes of yam and raisin are not heavy, but when paired with the toasty grain middle note and the stone fruit top note, the tea becomes more complex…more wholesome feeling than the average Yunnan….similar to having oatmeal for breakfast compared to cereal…is it possible for a tea to have a “stick to your ribs” quality? If so, this is it! This tea is very much a hearty breakfast tea alternative, expecially for those that love teas from this region. And that would be me!

Flavors: Grain, Malt, Raisins, Stonefruit, Toasty, Yams

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Cameron B.

I really like the bread and toast Yunnans! Not a big fan of the darker earth/smoke ones though. :P


one of my many YS faves. glad you liked it


I’ll have to try this one on my next YS order :)

Sami Kelsh

Ooh, nice. I love a good wholesome, toasty tea.

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I really like this tea…. I mean REALLY like this tea. I’ve reviewed it previously here: http://steepster.com/Donkeytiara/posts/247989# but am drinking it again this morning, and even through my back pain, it reminds me that it is everything I think a Yunnan should be. I recently used all my bonus points for reviews on TeaVivre’s websites to buy this tea, and this cup in front of me is making me happy that I broke the bonus point piggy bank to do so. It’s creamy, it’s yammy, it’s grainy, it’s a touch raisiny…. it’s nutty goodness focuses me right in on the cup of tea, making it easy to ignore the chaos around me. It makes me happy.

Flavors: Creamy, Grain, Nuts, Nutty, Raisins, Yams

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 7 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Yi Fu Chun is described on Yezi’s website as a smoky black tea…I have an aversion to smokiness in tea, as I’ve been chased out of my home twice by wildfire. I don’t exactly associate smokiness with relaxing around a campfire, more like frantically trying to find pets and belongings to evacuate. SO, I was hesitant to approach this sample.

In the packet, the dry leaf smelled sweet and slightly cocoa-y…hmmm….no smoke! Okay then, steep time!

I am wonderfully surprised by this tea. Yi Fu Chun has similar notes to Fujian blacks that I have had before, but the notes are much more restrained. The bottom note is certainly a deep cocoa flavor that sits on the tongue a bit longer than the sip lasts in your mouth. Then comes mid notes of slight malt/grain/cannabis. The top note is a touch of floral, though I can’t quite place it through my allergies today. It is a similar profile to LB by Verdant and Bailin Gongfu by TeaVivre, but dialed in for a warm summer day. I am appreciating the delicateness of these sometimes cloying notes in the humid (yes, today it is humid. Global weather patterns are weirder and weirder these days) summer day in the Southern California arid heat.

Flavors: Cannabis, Cocoa, Grain, Malt

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

I got a really large “bowl-like” infuser basket for Western brewing to let my tea really brew evenly for Western style. I tried this one this morning with the new infuser and it brought out lots more smoky notes than I had in the past. Still had its good ole cocoa and subtle sweet too,,,love this tea!!

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This tea is a great “Intro to Keemun 101” tea. All of the keemun notes are there: the smokiness, the earthiness, the touch of fruit (plum) and mushroom….. there are no extraordinary notes in this tea…but it is a textbook example of what should be found in a keemun, so there is good knowledge in this tea. For a beginner flight, this tea would be perfect. The smoke is subtle, which is very pleasing to my palate (I’ve been through too many wildfires, so smokiness doesn’t mean “relax” to me…it means “run!”) the plum is pronounced enough so that a beginner could be able to start picking out fruity notes in other teas. Overall, this is a nice introductory keemun that I wouldn’t turn away.

Flavors: Earth, Mushrooms, Plum, Smoke

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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I don’t like flavored teas. I usually end up burping the added flavor for hours after I’m done with the tea, which is about as pleasant as the picture I just forced into your head by typing that first sentence. (ew) So I have put off trying this tea. This is my last Teavivre tea left to try. I couldn’t put it off any longer, so here I sit, staring into the cup.

Dry there wasn’t a blast of rose, only a rose scent (which for me translates to a floral mustiness) that actually blends well with the scent of the dian hong leaves. I DID get a full wee rosebud (about the size of a mini marshmallow) in the sample pack. It was kind of…well… lovely! Hmmmm… maybe this wasn’t going to be as bad as I expected! And guess what?

I almost love this tea! I’ve finished half the cup and I’ve not burped once. I adore TeaVivre’s Dian Hong, and this cup is no exception… the tea is lovely, smooth, no astringency, nice healthy mouthfeel…. and that is usually enough for me. But today it feels like I got the piece of birthday cake with a letter from someones name on it….you know…that sugary hard letter that sometimes had part of the cardboard still stuck to it? Yeah, that! That is what I’d compare this tea to. Getting the cake is great, but when you get something unexpectedly extra, like a letter or a flower on the piece of cake, you feel special. TeaVivre’s dian hong is lovely by itself, but adding the rose (though not something I would want to do every day) made it feel special. I don’t think I’d drink it every day, but I most certainly won’t be giving away the other sample packets I receive, because, hey, sometimes you need to be the one that gets the sugary letter on the birthday cake. And it always makes you smile when it’s you.

Flavors: Malt, Rose, Sweet Potatoes

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 7 g 16 OZ / 473 ML
Terri HarpLady

This really is a lovely tea, & all the more so because it’s just tea & roses.

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Gaaaaaah! This is not my cup of tea. It might be yours though. This Yunnan offering from Adagio is a darker leaf than the usual Yunnan, and rolled into wee balls. The smell of the dry leaf is musty and tealike. I missed the yam and apricot smell of my usual cup of Yunnan. First sip was Gaaaaaaah! I wasn’t expecting smoke and oak in my cup of Yunnan, but there it was. There is also more astringency than I like.

This is a manlier version of Yunnan Gold. Yunnan Noir should be named Adagio YuMAN, because it’s manly notes speak for themselves. I won’t be finishing this sample.

Flavors: Earth, Grain, Smoke, Wood

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Does Adagio say to prepare this one with boiling water?

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When opening the package of tea, I was surprised to find that there was just a hint of greenness in the scent of the dry leaves, along with a nice maltiness. Steeped for a brief 2 minutes, this cup or Rwandan tea gave a lovely balance of baked grain with a touch of malt as bottom notes. There is also a caramel midnote and somewhere in the cup is also a vegetal taste….almost like asparagus and similar to Butiki’s Crimson Horizon tea. This morning I’m just getting a touch of astringency from this tea, which for me is good, as I shy away from very astringent teas. With this Rukeri, Canton Tea Co has found a nice smooth cup of breakfast tea that offers breakfast blend drinkers a bright tasting alternative to start their day. Definitely worthy of a try!

Flavors: Bread, Caramel, Green, Malt

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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This tea is a hard one to nail down. The description states " A sophisticated blend of high grade black teas from prestigious estates in Assam, Ceylon, Rwanda and Yunnan." Intriguing? Very much so. Throw the words ENGLISH BREAKFAST in there and I’m all over it. But is a blend of too many teas too much of a good thing? After the first sip, this thought is gone from my mind.

Steeping this was a math test. Because it’s from the UK, all instructions were in different measurements that I was used to, but it boiled down to 2 teaspoons of tea at 203f steeped for 3 minutes. There were a few more “bits” (or what I call residue-due) in the bottom of my finum than there normally is, which made me think perhaps this wouldn’t be as quality as I was hoping…. but quality, schmality, let’s get to the cup!
I can easily identify 2 of the teas mentioned: the Yunnan, which gives this breakfast blend a nice solid base note of earth, topped with honey. The Assam states is presence with the malty/grainy midnote. Perhaps the Ceylon is the brightness that holds the honey as a top note. so what is the Rwandan tea doing? Probably the happy dance, because it’s included in this unique and pleasurable breakfast tea! (my guess is actually the Rwanda adds the biscuit note, but I’m just guessing) This is a tea that all breakfast blend lovers should try. It is a hearty and smooth alternative to traditional breakfast teas, that tastes like no other. If you think you want this tea, you WANT this tea.

Flavors: Earth, Grain, Honey, Malt

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Do they sell samples?


No, but message me and I’ll send you a bit….I got 50 grams, which isn’t much at 2 tsps per cup, but well worth it!

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Oooooh. This is a wonderful tea. The smell of the golden tippy dry leaf was biscuit-y and malty…and the liquid was dark red with the same fragrance, but now it was warm malty biscuits! I’m learning that I adore second flush assams as long as they are not too astringent, and this tea is one I could love. The malt and sweet biscuit give this Halmari a nice round mouthfeel and a beautiful smooth flavor profile. A solid citizen among Assams. It because even more wonderful with milk and sugar. Seriously, a tea that can make you forget about eating breakfast is an amazing mouthful of tea. I’m going back for seconds.

Flavors: Grain, Malt

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

That sounds like one I would love.

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Spot or pot, I love a cup!

I learned to drink tea while living in Dublin in the early 80’s, so as you can imagine, I am a hearty brew lover, and take tea with milk and honey. I am trying to expand my horizons with tea….that is why I’m now on Steepster! Joined in January 2014.

Currently loving strong black teas that hold up to milk and honey well. I have a curiosity about keemuns and yunnans, but smoky ones are out. Green and white teas are off my radar, but making little forays into oolong and darjeeling tea. Herbal? So far only cacao tea has gone into regular rotation in my tea routine.

I do like some naturally flavoured teas…almond, vanilla, cardamom, ginger. This seems to be mostly in the cooler months…but mostly I’m an unflavoured tea drinker.

Life is too short for bad tea and bad bread.


San diego

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