125 Tasting Notes


As I sit here living through another wintery day (it was -20C with the wind chill this morning), I sip on Wild Monk sheng by Mandala. My first Mandala order and I have to say I’m impressed. The teas are of great quality. :)

I ordered two cakes, holding on to some strange idea that I will be aging the second one. We’ll see about that, lol. The cake is so small and adorable and breaks easily. I’ve come to realize that I love breaking into puerh cake… It’s almost like a ritual in itself… lol

I used 8 grams for 7 ounces of water and steeped it for 10 seconds each time. I’m on a second steep right now. The tea is delicious. It’s earthy, smoky and sweet with a touch of fruitiness… no bitterness. Yum!

205 °F / 96 °C 8 g 7 OZ / 207 ML

I know what you mean, breaking pu’erh is like breaking bread, something delicious and comforting always follows. Yes, you gotta love those little 100g cakes!
Good luck on the aging, I’m not there yet, sounds a little too complicated having to deal with temperature and humidity level, but eventually I would love to try…


Yay! You liked it! So very happy about that. Thank you for writing up your thoughts on it. Soon to arrive will be the Autumn 2013 cakes of this tea. You have the spring 2012 version. The autumn one will be a great cake too. Same exact leaf, from the same exact place, just a different year and season. Looking forward to their arrival along with another sheng pressed at about the same time. An autumn tea from Lincang area. Gonna be a delight. Aging? yeah… a few parameters to work around – humidity, temp, airflow. Also… any smells that the tea is exposed to will be soaked up like a sponge. Short-term that is not a problem. Long-term exposure to any other smells is indeed, an issue. Drink up! We’ll set some aside here in our pu’er vault for you :) Joy to you Kamyria and TeaFairy!! I am grateful.


i have hoarding issues;)


TeaFairy I could help you with the “Aging” issues. It tales a little investment but I have a good working “Pumidor”.

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I haven’t been writing any notes lately but I’ve been testing new teas… Time to get in gear. :D

I got my Teavivre order yesterday and with it some samples I wanted to try out. This tea was one of them.

I am really impressed, it’s simply lovely. Dry leaves smelled sweet and a little vegetal. I agonized over how much tea am I suppose to use but ended up using the entire sample packet (7.5g) for 7 ounces of water.

I rinsed and then I steeped it for 2 minutes but I think 1.5 minutes would have been sufficient too as a first steep. The resulting liquid was brown with smoky, flowery aroma. The taste was just as wonderful: roasted goodness, reminiscent a bit of coffee with some flowery notes and pleasantly sweet.

Right now I’m on my second steep which is as lovely as the first. I’m thinking this is something I would love to have in my cupboard permanently. :)

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 7 g 7 OZ / 207 ML

Nice to have you back Kamyria :-)


Thank you! :)

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Oh yes… yum. I just finished the sample packet but no worries. More is on the way… Somewhere between China and Canada according to the tracking information. When it arrives I will continue my exciting journey with this exquisite, tasty and aromatic Long Jing. :)


Yay for restocking on some real favorites!

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drank Tiger Monk by Temple Road
125 tasting notes

I got this tea as a free sample from Temple Road. It arrived in vacuum sealed packet and with personalized message. Thank you very much!!

The tea did not disappoint. The rolled up dry leaves looked beautiful and smelled delicious, a little vegetal.

I used half a packet (5 grams) for 8 ounces of water and wondered how long to steep it. 6 minutes seemed so long! No worries, however. The tea survived the 6 minutes steep very well and produced delicious flavour. It was not too strong, smoky with a hint of burnt caramel and sweetness throughout. It went on giving in subsequent steeps giving me 3 steeps overall before it lost the flavour. Perfect for me!

5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
Temple Road Tea

Hi Kamyria, Max here. Thank you so much for taking the time to review the Tiger Monk, and glad you enjoyed it! Good observations too, I think that our tea master’s skillful techniques are mostly responsible for the balanced flavor profile. As a token of our appreciation, we’d like to send a little treat your way. Look for an email from us in the next 24 to 48 hours. Cheers!

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drank Golden Fleece by Verdant Tea
125 tasting notes

Ok, it’s time to write the review of this one…. after two days of drinking the same leaves. What they say is true. This tea just goes on and on and on.

The dry leaves sweet aroma reminded me of Silver Needle but without vegetal notes and with much more depth. No wonder… the leaves are really buds, they are all buds and they are beautiful!

I used 1 gram of leaves for 1 ounce of water ratio and steeped about 4.5 grams. Steeped for just about 4 seconds the first time and then 10/15/30/30 etc… I drank about 5 steeps the first day and then several more the next. I’m still not done with it, I’ve added it to one of my flavoured black teas for some desert drinking later on.

Throughout the steeps the tea was full of body to the point that it actually surprised me especially through the later steeps. I couldn’t believe how much I was getting out of this one. I usually steep my teas around 4 times before I get tired and move on, but for some reason I couldn’t do that with this one. It was just too much left in the leaves… it demanded to be drank again and again. The flavours that really stood out for me were honey and sweet potato. During the second steep I detected cocoa and coffee notes which disappeared in the third steep and were replaced by extra full bodied mouth feel and some maltiness. I have to say 2nd and 3rd steep stood out the most for me because they were just so different.

Overall this tea deserves all the praise it is getting. I’m so glad I got couple of ounces when I had a chance and I will cherish them for as long as I can.

Flavors: Cocoa, Honey, Sweet Potatoes


Sounds delish


you inspired me. Drinking right now

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Yay! My sense of taste and smell is back! On account of that I’m drinking this wonderful tea which I would not drink if I couldn’t taste or smell it. The flavours are too good to go to waste.

What do I get when I steep it? I get sweetness and fruit and caramel with a hint of flowery notes and all of that enveloped in delicious roasty flavour and aroma. YUM!!!

On the side note… he he… most of the tasting notes come from me at this point… I can’t help it. I love this tea!

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Grrr…. Thanks to the Mother Nature’s arctic temperatures and almost no sun (the sun comes out when it’s -20C but I don’t want to go out then), I found myself all stuffed up as well as smell and taste handicapped. I can’t smell or taste my tea!! This is tragedy!

I made this yesterday for my oldest daughter who was visiting, when I was still able to tell the difference between tea and water. She took a sip and said “wow… what is this?? This is such a treat! I’ve never tasted anything like that before!”

Yup… pretty much the same reaction I had when I tried it for the first time. Pure bliss…

This is such fragrant and delicious tea… I wish I could smell or taste it right now. I resteeped the leaves from last night hoping for some taste or aroma, and I am getting ever so faint something, but it’s just not what it should be. This is a third steep and there should still be a lot of flavour left but my taste buds are just refusing to work.


180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Dragonwell by DAVIDsTEA
125 tasting notes

This has been keeping me warm company all morning and I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit. I’ve been really happy ever since I changed the steeping parameters for this tea, increasing the leaf and reducing both time and steeping temperature. Now I can finish the remaining stash with pleasure which I have about 50 grams left before I switch to organic superfine from Teavivre.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Can’t get enough of this one. I don’t drink it every day but every time I do it’s a treat.

I also ordered more of it. I. Must. Not. Run. Out.

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It’s so unbelievably cold today. I know I’ve said that a million times this winter but the closer we get to March the more ridiculous this weather becomes. It was -30C with the windchill this morning… I’m mean, Mother Nature, are you out of your mind?

This tea makes things a little better. It’s fragrant and yummy, smooth and full of flowery notes. One of my favorites for sure. :)

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I can’t wait for spring!


I was sort of whiny about the +13 today, but I take that back now.

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It’s been a while since I joined Steepster and I think it’s time to write up a bio.

I’m a stay at home, married mom with 5 kids, most of them grown up. Only one remains with us now, my 7 year old sunshine which I push out of the house to school every morning and it’s not an easy thing to do.

I’m an avid gardener during a growing season and my goal is to grow most of the food we eat and save some for winter too. I’m also an artist and a huge nerd. I read books, I play computer games. My very first game was World of Warcraft (was addicted to it solid for a year, lol), then came Skyrim, Minecraft (with my 7 year old) and few others less memorable along the way.

I began drinking tea on regular basis just over 2 years ago when I decided to kick my morning coffee habit. It wasn’t pretty… I couldn’t function for 3 days straight but survived. A year ago I discovered loose tea and found Steepster… The rest is history.

Some of the staples in my cupboard are Dragonwell green tea, Japanese sencha, Silver Needle white tea, green roobois, darjeeling and pu’erh. I also drink variety of flavored teas for fun and I like to order tisanes and mix them with straight teas for even more variety.

Recently I found out how much I love oolong so will be stocking up on that as well.

There are few other tea lovers in my family: my mom and dad, my oldest daughter, my son and my youngest 7 year old. She loves when I try out different teas and I always have to remember to make enough for her to have a little taste.


Ontario, Canada



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