122 Tasting Notes


I’ve had this tea since late last year, but apparently never reviewed it.
I usually drink it 1 tsp/6-8 oz for 2-3 minutes with a touch of sugar to bring out the peach. Honestly, I never really tasted the base tea, just a light white peach flavoring. It’s well done, but light, and the base maybe contributes only a generic sweetness (as flavored pouchong often do). I decided to gong fu this, just to see if I could get anything more out of this pouchong.
First steep was 30 seconds, and tasted much like the western style brew.
The second steep was 1 minute, and bumped the peach flavoring down and I caught a slight bitterness, but the sweetness increased.
The third steep of 1:30: Almost soapy, with a peachy aftertaste. Like if you drank the smell of peach hand soap.

Overall, it’s just okay. The way I feel about this tea seems to be the way I feel about all flavored tea lately. Just meh. As far as flavored teas, I prefer either floral scented teas, or very lightly flavored teas where the base tea predominates. This one is pretty much just flavor, and once I stripped it down past that it was pretty boring.
le sigh I have officially become a tea snob…. :c

Flavors: Peach, Sweet

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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I gong fu brewed this with the directions on the Whispering Pines website. One last tea time with Dinosara before she’s officially moved!
Steep 1: Vanilla, sweet midsip, florals. Cedar on the out. Sugar aftertaste
Steep 2: Perfume with vanilla in it in the aroma cup. Way sweeter, very vanilla. Still cedar on the breath out. Oolong opening up.
Steep 3: Pretty much the same as the last steep. maybe a bit more cedary.
Steep 4: Still very nice. The mid tones seem to be falling out, I think the oolong is starting to go over.
Steep 5: Fading, for sure. The vanilla and sugar seem to be all that is left.
Steep 6: Same as above, but maybe more green.

You know, I can tell this is a really good tea. It would make a good perfume, but I’m not blown away. It’s super tasty, and I thoroughly enjoy drinking it, but I don’t feel like I NEED it, like a few of the other floral teas that I’m currently in love with. It’s not disappointing, and maybe I’m glad I’m not in love, because it’s expensive, but I’m glad I got a chance to try it and I will enjoy drinking it down.
Edit: I threw the spent leaves in a cold brew pitcher for about 15 hours and it came out very tasty! Floral, almost juicy light fruit, like a white peach, maybe? Pretty sweet for spent leaves, this tea has a lot to give!

Flavors: Cedar, Perfume, Sugar, Vanilla

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Oh no! Is she moving far from you? I know you are good friends! :(


Yes :c She got a great job at another university and I’m still just a grad student here in Ohio. We will still see each other at professional meetings, but no more tea or knitting times!

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drank Rose de Mai by Dammann Freres
122 tasting notes

For my 100th note, I wanted to review something I’ve been excited about. even though I’ve drank several new teas in the mean time! Dinosara left me a bunch of samples from her collection, and this is one I knew I’d love. I think I’ve had it once before back when I was less tea obsessed, but a second try on a better palate is always a good idea.
It smells so fresh and delicious as it is brewing! If all rose scented perfumes smelled like this, I’d be wearing them! It’s fresh light, juicy spring rose, and it leaves a sweet taste in your mouth like candied petals.
I image the sweetness is bumped by the oolong base, which adds a touch of greener florals to the backbone of the tea. There is a very slight butteriness that I’m detecting,a s well, though I have to search for it, and it’s stronger as it cools. The one negative note I have about this tea is that the base tastes a little like I added the brewed out steep to the first or second steep of a decent oolong. I wonder if it isn’t my insistence on gong fu style brewing everything these days that is swaying my tastes, since I just brewed this tea western style.
Still, this tea is intensely scented and flavored, but the flavoring is light and refreshing. I love it, and I am definitely on the next DF group order with this one!

Flavors: Rose

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

Congrats on 100!

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With the 4th anniversary sale going on at teavivre.com, I wanted to try this one gong fu to see if I couldn’t pass it up (I’m anticipating that my tea budget will be very tight around here with the addition of a car payment!). Thanks to Dinosara for leaving me a bit more of this lovely tea before she moved, now I can spend some quality time getting to know it!
I followed the directions on the company’s site: 212 F, rinse,25s,35s,45s,55s,65s,75s,85s
The rinse had a very vague sugary taste (I always taste the rinse!), but nothing to write home about.
The first steep had a full, milky mouthfeel and slight milky aroma, but a pleasant sugary bass note, like Sugar in the Raw.
The second steep also had a full, silky mouthfeel, but the sweetness had deepened into an almost-bitter, but I still found myself chasing after it. The smell finally appeared in the aroma cup, a light gardenia-like smell, but mostly that fresh delicious green oolong character!
The third steep had that stevia-like bitter-ish but sweet sugar flavor, a little harsher and greener in character, but a great milky smell and intense floral green oolong aroma. I wish I could bathe in that scent (how expensive would that be?!). This steep had the strongest flavor of all the steeps.
The aroma of the fourth steep was thicker florals and a bit green. The liquid is much greener in flavor and has lost some creaminess. I consider the tea to be waning after this point, but no less tasty. It is still sugary, almost fruity sweet. It leaves a mineral water-like sensation on my tongue.
Fifth steep: more generic green florals, the sweetness has toned down quite a bit. Still with the minerals in the aftertaste. If a generic and cheap tea just tasted like this, I would have a cold brew operation going 24/7. That said, this is definitely a decrease in quality over the first steeps of this tea!
Sixth steep: Mostly just minerals and vague green-ness… Gets a decent echo of sweetness once it cools down a bit.
Seventh steep: I honestly would have stopped at steep 4 or 5 if not for the teavivre instructions. This steep was like fuji water. A little sweet a lot mineral, mineral greenness. Pretty okay for a 7th steep!

I have concluded that I do not need this tea in my collection, though it is very good. I just have three other oolongs that are too similar to this one to justify the purchase. Hence I will bump it down one point to push it below my threshold for tea buying. I still want some Premium Jasmine Dragon Pearls, though, so if anyone wants to go in on an order to hit free shipping, let me know!

I just looked at my old note on this tea: amazing how the first two steeps pretty much stayed the same, even though I was brewing for vastly different times!

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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Thanks, Miss B for the sample!
I did not drink much tea on my trip, since so many other things happened on the trip, and not all of them fun…
Long story short, I broke my arm the night before we left, my car manifested a crack in the engine block when I reached my first destination (Denver), and I had to buy a new one in two days (yay, new car?), the title to the old one got lost in the mail, and then I come home to find a hot water line broken, pumping thousands of gallons pf heated water under the house… :c My trip was essentially a comedy of errors.
BUT… I came home to a garden exploding with bounty, and I had some wonderful days with dear friends and family, and even a few lovely tea times with the mother of my SO!
This was her choice of many rooibos options I brought with me for evening tea with her adorable cup and saucer sets! I used boiling water for 2:30 or 3 minutes, I think.
I was quite sweet naturally, with a good, but not sour, lemon flavor and a long after taste of cream. Veeery nice! The green rooibos was not nearly so warm and woody as red, I really enjoyed it.

Flavors: Cream, Lemon

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

Broke your arm??? Oh dear! And all the other stuff! Good on you for having such a good attitude about it and remembering the good things. Nice tea time with SO mom is GREAT!


I can certainly have a good laugh about it now that it’s all in the past! More good news is coming to me every day, for example, my little sister is having a baby, and I got my brace off today! Time for some celebratory tea!

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A fine drizzle has overtaken athens today, making me especially excited to head out west for family visits tomorrow! For now, I needed something comforting, and pine needles definitely felt western!
I’ve been wanting to try this blend forever, and my recent order from Whispering Pines put me in the mood to. Thanks goes to MissB who generously sent me the remainder of her bag!
The first steep was light, but had a distinct flavor, almost like peppermint. That must be the pine I’m tasting. The aftertaste had a lovely sweetness and vanilla notes. While I was brewing this up, the scent reminded me of western homewares stores, or the Yellowstone NP gift shops, complete with log benches, a fire place, and antler chandeliers. I’m much enjoying this cup!
The second steep was more pine-forward, but still a nice sweet aftertaste!
The third steep smells much more floral. The pine has transformed into a blend of jasmine and mint! So yummy! The aftertaste cools my tongue with far away sweet mint.
The fourth steep (5 minutes) was very lightly flavored.
This is one of those teas that is really good when you’re not paying attention to it, but the second you focus it becomes incredible and complex. I’m really enjoying it, and I hope it comes back in stock at some point in the future.

Flavors: Jasmine, Pine, Sugarcane, Vanilla

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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My preorder came! Yummy! I cracked it open right away.
I brewed this in my gaiwan, 1/3 full of leaves, pour in, pour out.
First steep: Sugar snap peas in cream! Lovely!
Second steep: Nuttier, with a sweeter scent and aftertaste. Beautiful emerald green liquid. Still creamy.
Third steep: More nutty, even. Very slight astringency.
Fourth steep: More astringent, but beanier.
Fifth steep: Amplified version of the fourth steep.
Sixth steep: Fading, but that makes it sweeter again, and less astringent.

Overall I’m quite happy with this purchase. It is a good, fresh, obvious green tea. Boyfriend even liked it!

Flavors: Beany, Creamy, Nutty, Peas, Sweet

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 OZ / 118 ML

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Had some friends over for dinner, and Dinosara was able to join me a bit early to enjoy some tea!
I started with a rinse, then 10 second steeps of this tea for 5 steeps, then up to a minute for another three. Throughout it was much more buttery than the Spring harvest, but still sweet, thick and lightly floral. Really nice.
One more note, between the first five and the last three I let it sit some while I prepared some parts of the dinner. I could taste the oxidization as a slightly sulfurous overtone. I should avoid that in the future (bag it if I need to take a break).

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Sweet

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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Backlog from the last session of gong fu fun at *Dinosara*’s beautiful cabin before she moved ); this one from her collection.
Quick rinse…
15 seconds: smells like and earthy puerh! Tastes a little earthy, but also sweet, like sweetened ceylon tea made from a fresh tea leaf. It has a certain silky mouthfeel that I associate with puerhs…
30 seconds: same as above, with an extra earthy smell.
1 minute: weak this steep. Sweet ceylon plus…. earthy sheng?
1 minute something…: Pretty much lost black tea flavor, tasting much more puerh-like, even with that mouthfeel, like vicks vapo-rub? Astringency that’s not astringency?! I have no words to describe it!
Overall, I found it interesting. I’m glad I just picked up the yabao from Whispering Pines today.

185 °F / 85 °C

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I started drinking something other than Sleepytime in my first year of grad school, 2011. Enabled by a few decent local tea shops in a big city, I amassed a small cupboard of teas that I now find harsh and bad (haha, I’m getting in too deep!). With my move back to the US and subsequent geographic isolation from tea shops, I recently discovered the world of online tea vendors.
My cupboard is slowly growing but still small. Regardless I am interested in swaps, if you find something in my collection that you would like to try, ask away! I just can’t guarantee yet that I have a lot of it!
I’m very into Jade oolongs and anything that has a floral character (especially jasmine, rose, violet, and lychee scented things!). Most green teas, excepting the extremely bitter, are good in my book, and again I seek sweeter, fresher, greener types, though nutty/savory teas have their place (as long as they don’t tip over into salty!). I then to shy away from smokey or overly roasted teas and for this reason and the fact that I am not a fan of chocolate, everyone’s favorite blacks and wuyi oolongs tend to fall flat for me. White teas are alright but I don’t tend to reach for them unless they are floral scented. I rarely drink herbals, chamomile and I do not get along, but a basic vanilla rooibos, or some flavored green rooibos’ can be interesting.
In general, it could be said that I tend toward floral and sweet oolong, sheng (as well as moonlight whites and yabaos), matcha, and green teas.

As of now my rating system follows the school grading scale in terms of how well the tea performs and how well I like it (100-90 A, 89-80 B, etc.). Anything above 90 will eventually end up in my cupboard, though it’s fine to keep a B student around for daily drinkers!


Athens, Ohio

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