271 Tasting Notes


Tea Swap Session, Backlog

I used to think that charcoal roasted teas were so horrendous to the point that I avoided trying and/or buying any at all. However, through recent tea swaps, I’ve been seeing them pop up in my boxes from tea friends. Lo and behold, I do like some charcoal roasted oolongs/tea if they’re done correctly.

Notes: I was surprised when I discovered that this tea wasn’t similar to licking the bottom of a piece of charcoal; rather, it had plenty of other, unexpected notes attached to it: cornflakes, mineral, and buttery notes throughout the cup.

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Naka Group Buy, Backlog

I had this tea on Sunday-Monday. I had steeped this 4-5 times on Sunday, but the overall flavor wasn’t too appealing. I figured I’d move on from this and come back to it on Monday to see how much the overnight rest would change the flavor of the tea—not much. I will admit that from the 2-3 teas I’ve tried out of the group buy thus far, this was my least favorite of the bunch. The flavors (leather, moss, & creek rock bed) were consistent throughout the session, but after a while, it became bitter/astringent. I wasn’t able to get past the 10 steep mark, unfortunately. I try to keep a sheng going for a while, knowing that there’s often potential for it to change, but this one hadn’t really changed at all.

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Tea Swap Session

I’ve been meaning to start reviewing teas again…So, I started a “plan” on getting that done: Drink tea every week and write a quick review on each one the following Monday.

Notes: It had a nice buttery, savory note throughout the session. I had started this session with 4-5 steeps before allowing the leaves to rest a few hours before concluding the session (one thing I’ve noticed with a lot of teas is that they tend to change once they’ve rested a little while). Throughout the remaining 3 steeps, I allowed the water temp to increase (190F, 195F, & 200F) with each steep, to see how far this tea could to be pushed; which, I must admit, can be pushed after it has been mostly “brewed out.” However, the 200F steep didn’t really do much with the tea since it had mostly lost all of the flavor prior to the last. This definitely was a good tea, though. I’m not one to boast about green tea, but this was definitely one worth trying.

Flavors: Broccoli, Butter

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drank Milky Oolong by Zen Tea
271 tasting notes


I had drank this about a week ago now, but as I look through my tea notebook with all of the unwritten notes, I realize that I need to catch up. I want to start producing more notes on here; rather than getting too far behind….Which I am already. :P So, here is my attempt at doing that.

Notes: Thick, creamy mouthfeel. Reminds me of almond milk or vitamin D capsule. The longer the session, the less “creamy” it becomes and it “smooths” out a bit.

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Oh, I’ve missed this tea so very much. I lost a bet last baseball season in the World Series, so I swapped the 3/4 cake via the losing of the bet. I forgot that I saved the “crumbs” of the leaf and finally rediscovered it within the depths of my stash. Sigh

It has gained a nice sweet-smoky note to it. Reminds me of a citrus-y smoked something or other, but the age of the bits has done very well. I’ll have to get another cake if and/or when I’m financially back on my feet. But, to me, this was my first sheng experience; which I must admit, served me well. Always will be my top favorite raw cakes….

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I had this on Sunday while drinking tea/conversing with friends on Google Hangouts. I honestly didn’t get the chance to note too much, but the opportunity to try this while spending time with tea friends was well worth it. It was definitely a special to be had.

Notes: Nice wet storage with the tea. The color of the liquor was dark for the first 6-8 infusions; however, it had lightened up slightly until the 12th infusion (I stopped noting or paying attention at the time). The flavor was a strong camphor/wood note throughout the entirety of the session; which never seemed to let up. Overall, I really enjoyed the consistency of this session and the time with friends had made all the better.

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“2003 Yiwu Sheng” -Unknown Source

Tea swap/Backlog

My notes on this tea session was minimal…..

Notes: Smooth, sweet, and floral. Zero astringency/bitterness. Consistent ‘sheng’ flavor. Dry storage? Light liquor.


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I had started the day out with a random tea which I had blindly chosen before deciding to get everything else in order before heading to work. I’ve not updated on anything that I’ve sipped lately, so I figured I’d catch up on today’s session and hopefully a few more.


Dry leaf was very nutty.
Wet leaf had a buttery-asparagus note.

I had noted that the tea even tasted a little like butter asparagus, with a touch of seaweed, too. On the third infusion, the tea became quite mouth drying, and slightly bitter; however, the bitterness left was only present in that infusion. I had stopped brewing after the 5th steep and plan on letting the tea ‘rest’ before finishing the rest of it up after work tonight.

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Sip Down

“2004 Yang Ping Hao”

I have had this since the first Puerbertea (?) Group Buy that LP had hosted. I had a session shortly after getting the tea, but hid this away for some time now. I am on my second day session with this, but it’s lightening up now. Throughout the session, there have been some pretty nice earth notes that remain throughout; which I quite like a lot. My wife thought that I was drinking something that reminded her of my parents basement, but to me, I had noted “deep earth after a rainy day.” This tea brews long and hard; I’m currently going at boiling water for 3-4 minutes. I think it’s time to quit shortly and find something else to be had before going to bed.


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“Island Green Tea” Mauna Kea

Clean, crisp, & aquatic/seaweed aroma/flavor. Very nice throughout the session. Never better or mouth-drying.


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I’ve been drinking quality teas for a couple of years. It all began in college when an old roommate introduced me to loose leaf teas.

I figured that it’s time to have a place to go to, where I can share my thoughts and opinions with others on teas; while expanding my palate and learn about new teas from others.

As C.S. Lewis once said, “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

A little bit about me: I’m a writer, an avid hiker, a poet, a teacher, a tea drinker, and I like collecting books. I enjoy the journey in the woods—the calm of the river and/or creek as it carries itself along the woods. I love people, and I enjoy conversations and meeting others to talk about books, tea, etc.

Rating Scale:

0-69 is below average (never try/buy again)

70-85 is average (glad I tried it, but will never buy it).

86-100 is beyond average (I want more).

PS. I really like oolong (Dancong, Alishan, Bug Bitten, etc), Sheng, & shou puerh.


Northeast Ohio

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