525 Tasting Notes


Need more tea! I love toasted rice! And I think Houjicha is a bit underappreciated. This is a good combo! Roasted and savory. It’s also a bit sweet. Very comforting tea. I do feel like classic genmaicha tastes better though.

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I’ve got a bunch of unopened 52 Teas cause I bought a bunch a while back where there were sales. Recently, someone asked for some of this one is a swap so I ripped it open and took a big whiff. Mmmm…maple syrup. Decided to have a cup this morning. So tasty. Syrupy sweet. Like there’s actual maple in there! Yummy!

A second steep yielded less flavor. Tasted like just a regular tea with a bit of sweet flavor.

I don’t detect much in the way of butter or pancakes, but I did not think too much about the flavor while I was drinking because I was taking care of my husband who’s sick with a chest cold. Lots of ginger and lemon tea for that guy. I’m gonna have lots of vitamin C now so I don’t catch his cough.
Terri HarpLady

Hopefully he’ll feel better soon, & you’ll remain unscathed!

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drank Coconut Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
525 tasting notes

So I got an ounce of this hoping it would taste like Golden Moon’s version. It kinda does! I do think GM’s was better, but I don’t know if this is because I had it near the beginning of my true tea obsession and everything tasted amazing or because it’s actually better. But in any case, it’s close enough if not exactly the same. Creamy sweet coconut and lightly vegetal green oolong. Very nice. It tasted like those coconut dusted mochi balls made with coconut milk that you can buy in Chinese bakeries. Hmm…I haven’t had one of those in a while….Must seek this out…

So yeah! Good tea! I need to start keeping a stock of cold brewed teas in my fridge! Lovely warm weather today! I can also feel the beginning of a very humid summer. ugh, NYC summers are gross.

Rachel J

I second your UGH from a fellow NYC-er. Straight from too cold to too hot. :(


I never thought about it that way, but it’s true! Today was one of those rare days where the temperature is pretty perfect. It’s really the humidity that bothers me most.

Rachel J

Anything over 70 is too hot for me, lol… I wear a tshirt when the temp is 60. :) But you are right, the humidity is the worst part of it.

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drank GABA Tea by Tea from Taiwan
525 tasting notes

Okay, I’ve had this sample for over a year. I’ve been afraid to try it. The other notes on this tea have been terribly discouraging. But I just have to do this once and for all.

The leaves are balled up but pretty dark. I find that the dark oolongs tend to be long and twisty and the green ones are balled up like tiny wads of spit balls. (Maybe I should have used a better example…) But these are dark and balled up. It’s a crazy upside down world.

First, the the smell of the brewed tea is like roasted brussels sprouts. It also tastes like brussels sprouts only it’s weird at first because of that honeyed fruity flavor on the front of the tongue. This also reminds me a bit of chrysanthemum tea. The flavors in this tea clash for sure, but I don’t hate it like I feared. I wouldn’t say I liked it either though.

Will have to try a few more steeps. You never know an oolong unless you infuse it a few times. But first, I’ll take my pups out for a walk before the sun goes down. They didn’t go out much in the winter cause they are so tiny that they’d get too cold, even with coats. They are loving this warmer weather. :)

EDIT: Okay, no resteep because I’m an idiot. Took the cup and infuser basket into the kitchen area so that I could pour the hot water over the leaves. Except when I got to the kitchen, I dumped the leaves and started washing out the tea ware. Half way through scrubbing the infuser basket my brain went, “….wait…wasn’t I supposed to do another steep with those leaves? …those leaves that are sitting in the garbage can? …I suck.” I’ve got enough leaf to try again, but that will have to wait for another time. It’s time to move on to herbals and other decaf/noncaf teas.


Argh! I feel your pain!

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Finally, cup of black tea that fulfills my cravings. Dark cocoa. Hint of vanilla pastry aroma. Bit of malt. Roasted, but not too much. It tastes a bit untamed and unrefined. Just a bit of unpleasant harshness. But still, Yunnan black! Delicious Yunnan black. Just what I needed all weekend.

Okay, so I’m probably just making is sound really good because this is the closest I’ve come to a black tea tasting the way I want it to in a few days. It’s probably just above mediocre for a Yunnan black tea, at best. There are better ones out there. But I haven’t had any better ones lately, and that makes all the difference for excitement levels.
This reminds me of that time I went camping with my friends and we didn’t have anything resembling fresh veggies or fruits for daaaaays! On the way home, we stopped at a diner and that minuscule side of soggy from-the-freezer string beans was the best thing I had ever eaten. But I digress.

I knew this was going to be what I’ve been craving all weekend the moment I opened the bag. Roasted dark chocolate aromas wafted up to me. The brewed tea is a clear orangey black. Pretty and tasty.

Steep 2: Unfortuately, not chocolatey on the second steep. Just kind of generic now.

Their Gyokuro Black is better.

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drank Nepal Black by DAVIDsTEA
525 tasting notes

Fine downy young leaves. I can feel the little hairs prickle the back of my throat as I swallow.

This was a light cup of tea, but then again, I suspect I under leafed my cup. Still, smooth and nectary sweet. Bit delicate for a black tea, really.

Otherwise, this is not too memorable.

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I’m trying to create a new tea for the Spinach Chive, but it keeps bringing me to that “kettle was left on” page. Argh!

Anyways, I got this as a sample from the NYC Coffee and Tea Festival. I was really intrigued and hopeful about this since I do love soup and the idea of having soup whenever I want sounds pretty awesome. Unfortunately, I don’t much like this. There’s a reason why I rarely cook with dried herbs. They don’t taste good to me. The concoction here actually does taste like a soup made from bouillon cubes, but it also has that bitter medicinal quality dried herbs have.

Anyway, I definitely taste the chive. The spinach is a milder flavor. I think I would be pretty interesting to use in cooking, maybe. But I wouldn’t drink it straight. Maybe good as a base for a potato soup?


I am so curious about these! They haven’t made it into any local stores yet.

Oolong Owl

I really want to try those! Though, not sure if I’ll like them.

(when I get that adding tea error, I don’t add a photo and it works. Then reedit again to add the photo)


Thanks for the tip! I’ll try that next time. :)

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Went for this after my last attempt at creating a tasty cup of Laoshan Black. sigh. You should have seen my face at the first sip. I was completely taken aback by the syrupy sweetness. The honey. It was just a bit of a shock to go from one flavor profile to another. It’s also toasty roasty like a roasted dark oolong. Minerally as well. I can also detect that dark cocoa nibs. As I continued to sip, the novelty of the honey notes wore off and was peeking out a bit behind the heavy roasted flavor and the malty chocolate notes.

Not sure that this tea is to my taste as it’s a bit more roasted than I prefer and the honey note isn’t strong enough to make up for it. Might be good as a cold brew.

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
525 tasting notes

Aaargh! I can’t do this! This…just isn’t tasty. Barely at all! I tried everything! Various temps and times. Gong fu and western. Water filtered and not filtered. This batch just doesn’t taste good to me. I see from the description on the website that this is from the autumn 2012 harvest. So, note to self: don’t get autumn harvest of Laoshan Black ever again. It’s just too heart breaking.

So is there a summer harvest? Or do they just do spring? I need to know which harvest produced that nectar of the gods I had the first time I sampled it. As for the autumn harvest version, if you want it, let me know. It’s maybe 1.5 oz at this point. I can’t deal with this batch anymore. I’m also removing my rating because it’s too confusing for me to rate. It’s good sometimes but not always…what? See? Too confusing.


Marcel Duchamp

I’m interested in 1.5oz. PM me if you want to get rid of it.


Marcel – pretty sure she tossed this in the us swap thread as well in case you didn’t see it there


Oh yah, I put this up in both in cases so that it would be more exposure. :) I’d hate to have a tea languish in my cupboard when I know so many people out there like it.

Marcel Duchamp

Thanks Sil! :-) I sent Mercuryhime a message with some swap options.


I may have to wrangle a swap with marcel for a taste of this one before I order more. I’m totally paranoid to drink the last of mine now hahaha


Sil, I can send you a bit of the 1.5 oz if Marcel is okay with it. No need to go through a middle man. :)

Marcel Duchamp

Of course! No wrangling necessary. haha. I have a stash of this tea already. If Sil would rather swap for it, that’s fine too :-)


I really just want a sample so that I can compare it against my older version. Ill buy more if I love it still and not, if I don’t lol. I don’t need the whole bag or more than a cup. Happy to swap with either of you if there are things in my cupboard that excite lol


Marcel and I have agreed not to swap so 1.5 oz minus whatever Sil wants is up for grabs again. :)


I am so glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t like it! I really want to try the spring or summer harvest to see how different they are.


Well, my theory is it’s either the season or the production. I’d think that the production shouldn’t vary much so I hope it’s the season. Either that or my tastebuds have gone crazy on me.

Charles Thomas Draper

I am no expert by any means but with all of the info I am gathering spring harvests are generally the only tea to have…

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drank Pineapple Oolong by Lupicia
525 tasting notes

Buttery fresh green oolong. Sweet tropical pineapple. A hint of creamy rich coconut.

Mmm… Green oolong, my true love.

Brothy mouthfeel. Refreshingly cleansing feeling on the tongue. Eminently slurpable. There should be more flavored green oolongs. Especially from Lupicia. Utterly fantastic ripe luscious pineapple flavor. Love. And it’s not trying to mask the tea base. The quality comes through and supports the fruitiness, keeping if from being too sweet. I would certainly enjoy this without the pineapple, but it wouldn’t fulfill my desire for a light fruity tea.


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I came from a tea drinking family, but I never appreciated the different qualities and varieties of tea until older. All that time wasted! But I guess I needed to be mature enough to appreciate the tea experience. :)

My favorite teas are green oolongs and white tea. I also love greens, especially gyokuro. I have a huge appreciation for rooibos and honeybush as they are often that only thing I can drink in the evening. I am a relatively new convert to black teas. This is unfortunate for my wallet but extremely wonderful for my palate. :)

In any case, I have a love for both flavored and unflavored teas. They are different experiences for sure, but both enjoyable. I find that it often depends on my mood.

I am on a quest to find a tea that will win my husband over. I think I’m making some headway…

My profile pic features my two lovable puppies, Mr. Snuggles and Sr. Caliente.


NYC / Westchester

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