503 Tasting Notes


I do not have a lot to say about this tea, for it is a straight forward brew. It’s a jasmine green tea. Therefore, it tastes like Jasmine and green tea. Hahaha. However, I will say that Jasmine pearls are an all time favorite for me. Actually, jasmine tea in general is almost always a win in my box, except some the very poorly executed greens that curl your tongue. This is not one of those tongue curling monstrosities. This is actually quite nice and quite meek. The leaves give off a very subtle and sweet waft of jasmine that is warm and feminine. The brew itself matches the subtlety and quiet approach with a tantalizing sweet touch of jasmine. the follow-through is filled with basic soft watercress tones. It’s good stuff.


Flavors: Jasmine, Sweet, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I usually am not a fan of aged oolongs, for they sometimes hurt my stomach. I’m not sure what it is, but there is something about the aged tones that act aggressive towards my digestion. This is only apparent in aged oolongs though, for I incredibly enjoy aged puerh. This tea did not have that effect on me. The leaves are nice and dark and carry dry oak tones along with some roasted fruit. The impression is tangy, mildly acrid, and without complexity. I warmed my pot up and placed what I had inside. The aroma from the leaves is prominent with roast, and there are a few sweet tones and some cedar that take the backseat. This is a nice experience, for it is both smoothly sweet and harshly bitter. I washed the leaves quickly and steeped away. The bowl contains a drink that is very heavy with roast; however, it is not overwhelmingly so. The roast brings some good mouth watering and a returning sugar cane sweetness. The brew is mildly oily. The drink continues in this manner with a smooth appearance that covers the muted rough wood tones. I enjoyed this tea, but the aged tones were almost non-existent. I can guess that age shows its face with curved cedar tone, but it is mostly consumed by the classic roast and cliff taste. Perhaps this hasn’t aged enough, or perhaps it was re-roasted not too long ago. In any case, this is still a fair tea, and it makes a good daily drinker.


Flavors: Cedar, Roasted, Sugarcane, Sweet

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 2 OZ / 70 ML

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I feel that Wuyi teas are trickier than Puerh, for there are a lot of Wuyi’s but there are veeeerry few good ones. Luckily, this tea falls into that category. However, I wouldn’t call it luck, for it was well made. This Shuixian this different that ones I’ve had before. I’m a fan of Laocong, for it has a more distinct cliff taste, and I enjoy how oily they are. This tea fits those perfectly. The leaves are nice and long and wiry with a bit of strength to them. They carry a hearty smooth roast of toasted berries and subtle peach pie. It is very pleasant. I warmed my teapot and placed what I had inside, so that the pot was completely stuffed. The aroma from the lifted lid is of intense roast, graham crackers, some slight earth, and coffee. It’s an awakening aroma. I washed the leaves quickly and prepared for brewing. The brew was quick and the water was hot. I pulled out one cup full of laocong goodness. The taste begins very sweet and thick. There is a massive huigan that continuously cycles as it washes over my tongue. The taste is long and filled with stevia sweet sensations. The next sip brings a more prominent cliff taste along with a tannic undertone that scurries behind my tongue. The brew is surprisingly well rounded and full without hardly any edges. Upon completion, I can fell my mouth salivating and tongue well lubricated. This is some awesome stuff. In my experience, shuixian is bit drier and tannic with slate tones. This tea is much different than what I’ve had. I enjoyed my session. It’s good to know there are still great wuyi’s accessible to the west. :)


Flavors: Berries, Coffee, Graham Cracker, Peach, Roasted, Sweet

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 2 OZ / 70 ML

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I have been away for a bit due to life being hectic, my travels, and the move, but I am slowly returning to my affair with tea. I’d like to jump back in with this yancha. This yancha was hand roasted by Cha Ceremony, and it makes for an interesting brew. The leaves are a bit wiry and thin but the have a nice broad leaf and fairly long. Due to the med. roasting, they have retained a good portion of their forest green appearance. The dry leaves give off an aroma of light fruitiness and hay with some dry wood undertones lightly creeping in. With a breath over the leaves, I can pick up a smooth roast tone with berry and yam mixed in. This is a nice classic roast aroma. I warmed my vessel up and poured the leaves inside. The roast scent spikes up with sweet potatoes, mahogany, and leather; thus forming into the typical sturdy and familiar roast scent. I washed the leaves briefly once and began my steeping. The taste is smooth and thick with a good roast base. A light returning sweetness waves over my tongue along with a stout creaminess that remains. I can note a bit of cherrywood that provides structure. This is a decent tea, and it makes for a solid daily yancha. My only addition to add would be that this tea is quite perfectly a “medium”. Meaning, that this tea is grounded right in an awkward middle ground, for the tea is neither dependent on its roasted tones nor is focused on the fruity vibrant greens. Therefore, the tea lacks in each department making it “too balanced”; however, this is me just splitting hairs. The tea is able to withstand a second steeping due to its lack of heavy roast, and it brings back a 50/50 meld of vegetal and char that soothes and calms with a classic cliff taste. I enjoyed this tea, and this would be perfect to stock up on guests that are casual drinkers.


Flavors: Cherry, Cherry Wood, Dark Wood, Fruity, Hay, Leather, Roasted, Sweet Potatoes, Yams

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 4 OZ / 130 ML
Daylon R Thomas

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This is a warm and “springy” tea, and I enjoyed sipping on it. The leaves are large and nicely threaded with a sweet peppery scent along with some creamed honey subtle tangy apricots and peaches. I warmed my yixing up and placed some inside. The aroma thickens with some prickliness to it. I can note crisp fruits of pineapple and peach. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The brew is thick and mild with molasses, fat, and apricot. It’s an enjoyable tea and it grows with some bitterness of crisp apple. The aftertaste and long and lingering with sweet oils. The tea carries some good balance of huigan and kuwei, which is nice. The last steeps cause the tea to become soft and sweet with a very faint bitter of buffalo grass. I liked this tea, but I feel at this price point it should stay in storage.


Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Grass, Green, Pear, Pepper, Pineapple, Sweet

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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drank Top Leaf by Mellow Monk
503 tasting notes

I’ve been looking for a good daily “sencha”, and I think I found one. The leaf is primarily straight; however, I note some curls within the bunch. The green tea gives off an amazing umami scent with some nice seaweed, milky creaminess, and vegetal base. I can also hint at the slightest honey sweetness on top. I grabbed my kyusu and began my brewing. The directions tell for light brewing, so I hit it at somewhere around 176F. The brew is delightfully jade green with smooth deep grassy notes. My mouth fills with umami and a nourishing green bean base. The brew is smooth with a slight dryness alike dandelion. I enjoy this tea, and I can drink multiple pots in one sitting.



Flavors: Dandelion, Green Beans, Honey, Seaweed, Sweet, Umami

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This tea had a great price, so I decided to grab a cake to try. I am a big supporter of factory productions, and I like imitations as well, so I kept an open mind when brewing. The cake is moderately compressed with some aromas of hay, slight floral, raisin, and cherry along whit some dark wood. The leaf is a bit rustic in its appearance as well as its scent. I warmed my teapot and threw some inside. The aroma opens into a punchy scent of wet hay, wet wood, grassy, and sharp fruits. I washed the leaf once and began my brewing. The taste is very rustic as well with lots of hay and wood. I can grab at some dry floral along with a sweet aftertaste, but the brew grows thin quickly. However, the qi is good and warming along with a pleasant head space. I liked the qi, but the drink was a bit too much for me. I think this cake will spend its day in storage until it learns to calm down a bit. A perpetual time-out.


Flavors: Dark Wood, Drying, Floral, Hay, Raisins, Sweet

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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I am a fan of XG, and it is very hard to find, and it is very to find “real stuff”. I can’t tell you weather or not this was “real stuff”, but it was very good!

The leaves are tightly compressed, and they give off an array of scents including strong high notes of grass, watermelon, and raspberry lemonade. It was sweet, tangy, and aromatic. I warmed my gaiwan and scooped the leaves inside. The scent opens with sweet, smooth, and thick musty tones. I can pick up some florals and spices in the undertones. This reminded me of a nice high end cologne. It has heavy sweet rough tones along with some musk and just a tinge of floral. It was very nice. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The taste began alike a sugary apple turnover that was heavy on the bread part. I could note a slight viscosity, and it carried a decent kuwei. The next sip brought a distinct bosc pear taste. The brew is thick, fair, and it reminds me of some XG maocha I had in 2015. The brew builds with high notes, and it smoothly goes down. The aftertaste leans towards sour patch kids, with a sharp enjoyable bite and then a gooey sweetness. The liquor thins; however, it is still very fruity and punchy. Then I noticed the qi. The qi starts subtle, but it quickly builds. This was a very intense feeling for me. I took a lot of heat in, I got a little shaky, I even felt a little faint. This was an awesome brew, and it lasted for quite some time. The session ended with me sniffing the cup and relaxing as I spaced out. I really enjoyed this tea!


Flavors: Apple, Baked Bread, Bitter, Floral, Fruity, Grass, Lemon, Pear, Pleasantly Sour, Raspberry, Smooth, Sugar, Sweet

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Thyolo Oolong by Tealet
503 tasting notes

This is from 2014. I drank this side-by-side with a 2012 thyolo.

The leaves are slightly crushed, and they offer an aroma of dark wood, hay, raisin, and dried cranberries. I warmed up my gaiwan and began my brewing. The warmed leaf gives off a strong savory aroma of roast beef and other meaty scents along with some dry wood. I washed the leaves once and steeped away. The taste was nice and smooth with agave and oak tastes. The tea was a bit odd with desert blossoms coming off the cup along with sawdust, but it was enjoyable. The tea gave a very nice thick and sweet aftertaste. I liked this tea.


Flavors: Cranberry, Dark Wood, Hay, Meat, Oak wood, Raisins

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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This is the 2016 harvest.

I always enjoy tea from Klasek! I have had a similar tea from Happy Earth Tea, and I find theirs a bit better. This tea consists of long dark strands with an intense aroma of sweet and smooth blackberries along with some salted caramel, baked bread, and black cherry. This was a very aromatic tea. I warmed my pot and slipped some inside. The scent exploded into some hot olive oil, ciabatta bread, with smooth, heavy, and hearty resin. This was a very dry savory scent. The aromas were well rounded and full. I washed the leaves once and began my steeping. The taste is smooth and round, but it is a bit thin. There was not much punch or energy with this tea, for it presented bold and hearty aromas. The base is a sweet mild wood, and it brings some vanilla bean syrupy tastes to front. The tea grows with malt and dry wood tones as the brew goes on. I enjoyed this tea, and it was an easy drinker; however, it was quite lacking.


Flavors: Baked Bread, Blackberry, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Cherry, Dark Wood, Drying, Malt, Raspberry, Salt, Vanilla

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Young and experienced Tea consumer. I’m continuously learning and developing knowledge about tea. If I have learned anything at all from the world of tea it is that I do not know anything about the world of tea. I enjoy good tea, and I try to acquire the best of the best. I usually brew gongfu but I’ve been known from time to time to resort back to western brewing.

I have an Instagram (haveteawilltravel), and I am proud of my photographs. I use my pictures in my reviews,and I hope that they aid in portraying the beauty of tea and teaware.


Tea Rating System:
I rate my teas based on the category they fall into (Puer, Red, Oolong, Darjeeing, Flushes, Yancha… etc.)
This means that I will rate a Oolong based on how it stands up as a quality Oolong. I try not to compare teas, rather I work to evaluate them on their craftsmanship, harvest, processing, and qi.

I am most strict with Shou and Sheng Puerh, only because of the vast expanse of various experiences, such as; region, vintage, production, processing, etc.


Middle of nowhere, New York

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