308 Tasting Notes



Baked bread with a citrus notes.

That’s all I wrote? :P

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Right off the bat: Not bitter at all, smooth, has longevity (16 steeps), & DO NOT brew anywhere below 195 F until the end of its life….Still pretty good stuff, though.

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I’ve been bad at getting notes posted as I try the tea. For whatever reason, I feel most comfortable when allowing the notes to pile up, collect dust, and become long forgotten. However, my goal this morning is to ‘catch up’ and get everything—no matter how brief the note—down.

This tea was by far one of the better non-roasted oolong teas that I’ve had in a while. I’ve started to lean slightly toward the roasted oolong side of tea, so most of the time, I pretty ‘eh’ about the greener stuff. Ha-ha.

Notes: Pretty sweet melon-y notes throughout. I cannot remember any bitterness/astringency coming from this tea. I was able to push it to 13 steeps (the last 5 steeps were noted “1 min per following steep”), so it definitely had a bit of life in the leaf.

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Brief notes

Smooth start—sweet, floral, & stone fruits. It developed a leather-y note after the first 3 steeps, added with a sourness. On the 8th steep, the tea developed a bitterness on the initial taste, but had a sour/leather aftertaste.

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Late Night Session
Tea Swap

I have had this tea in my stash since last December from a Secret Santa gift exchange/tea swap. I have reorganized my stash to start drinking the older teas first, rather than breaking into the “newer” stuff. I figured that with my new system in 2018, I might as well start with the old and work my way to the “new.”

This was from a swap/tea exchange from 2016 (thank you again, Matu); which I’m currently finished drinking/sampling/sipping. This tea is the last of the stash! :)

Rinse/1st Steep: Buttery, crispy, & fruity.
2nd Steep: Creamier/milkier, buttery, & refreshing.
3rd Steep: Creamy & fruity

And the notes end there.

Evol Ving Ness

You inspire me! Thank you!
Going to reorganize stash this minute. Or at least part of it.

S.G. Sanders

Evol Ving Ness—Do it! It’ll help give a perspective of how much tea one truly has! :P

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Backlog—“Yu Lang Xiang” from LH Tea Farmer

I’ve been without a computer for the past few weeks, but with plenty of patience of waiting on parts to arrive in the mail, I’m up and running again!


Dry leaf—Grits, oatmeal

1st Steep: Sweet pecan & with a thick mouthfeel despite the color of liquor.
2nd Steep: Nutty/pecans & slight bitterness in the back of the mouth.
3rd Steep: "Mixed nuts w/pecans, a slight bitterness still; less “sweet” more “savory.”
4th Steep: “You get the idea.” xD


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drank 2015 Pin by White 2 Tea
308 tasting notes

Backlog/Tea Swap/Sipdown

I must admit that the teas which are “high end” teas like this make me avoid going to a companies website and blowing a hole in my wallet just for a “meh” cup of tea. Overall, it was pretty “basic” and “boring” after a while. Toward the beginning of the session, the tea was without much “oomph” or flavor. I had to increase the temperature to 205 F to get anything from the leaf; which resulted in too much bitterness. I reduced the temperature back to 195 F after a while, but after the 9th steep, it sort of died away. Is this worth the $70/cake? For me, no, but I can see how some people may enjoy this one….I apologize to the person who had swapped this out with me, but I still appreciate the swap, despite my hardness toward the tea…

PS. Regardless of my initial “points” awarded to this or any tea, I will always add 5 points to the tea only when it is swapped and/or gifted as a courtesy to my tea friends!

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I’m reading through my notes from last weekend when I had decided to get a few sessions in prior to my trip down to North Carolina (which had stopped a day short due to my wife and I both getting ill and having to return home to fully rest). Upon resting for nearly four hours, upon the return, I’m able to muster enough strength (mentally/physically) to sit here and write the reviews….

Notes: Light flavors upon the first few steeps until the ball had “blossomed;” which allowed the tea to start producing stronger notes. After the tea had
bloomed there were honeysuckle/orchid and orange/citrus flavors. Balled tea is hit or miss for me due to the fact that it does take time to expand/produce a flavor profile; however, once this had opened up a bit, I had enjoyed the steeps following that initial “bloom”

Flavors: Citrus, Honeysuckle, Orchid

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I have started to crave random teas lately—chai especially—so, I’ve been getting some samples of everything that I find missing in my tea journey. Now, a chai, for me, has always been that special tea ever since I was a child. I remember first discovering chai at our local bakery down the road from our house while growing up.

My father would oftentimes get a dozen donuts every other week, so I’d like to tag along for the ride (I was able to choose my donuts directly, rather than relying on nasty cream sticks; which have been unappealing to me ever since I had my first jelly donut. Ha-ha).

Anyway, during that time, I had made a note of their drink specials while going with my dad and saw that they had “chai lattes” for the same as a cup of coffee. One of those times, I had asked my dad if I was able to have a cup of the chai latte to try. In fear of having my mother find out that he was going to buy his son a cup of “coffee” (which during this time in my life was restricted for two reasons: I was “too young” for tea/coffee & for another undisclosed reason), he made sure that we sat in the bakery at the only table they had and sip our beverages there. I will admit that that moment was pure bliss. I had found something truly amazing & purely delightful—so much so, that I’d secretly ride my bike there every Saturday for a cup until they went out of business in early 2004-ish. ;)

So, with that said….I found this at the local Giant Eagle before work…..I wasn’t so sure how much to get, so I weighed out an ounce and took it for work….

Notes: A bit maltier than expected, but the spices mixed well with the base of the tea. I had to add a touch of cream to cut that slight bitterness out, but it wasn’t too bad overall.

PS. Sorry about the accidental story time. :p


Aww, that’s a fantastic story! Awesome that you dad let you indulge in chai.

S.G. Sanders

Yes, I admit that I mention that my tea journey started a few years ago, but upon reflecting on this incident as a child, it started years prior to my “first cup” of tea in college.


The great stories are why I hang around here! Especially when they involve pastry.

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A coworker and I have started sharing tea samples with each other. Despite her “coffee ritual” from Starbucks on the way to work, she has started to look forward to “work tea time” (where we swap out tea during the slower hour(s); despite oftentimes having different tastes in tea)…My tea from her was this HiCaf Caramel Black….

At first, I thought to myself that this may have had potential, on the account that Republic of Tea is usually a more expensive brand of bagged tea. However, from what I’ve tried in the past, it has always been quite disappointing, so there was no hope in this being good.

I had three bags of this tea, so I had cut one of them open and poured the contents onto a piece of paper. Following that, I did the same with a bag of Lipton (just for fun). I asked my other coworker which tea might’ve been the better of the the two and he stated,
“Umm…there’re not the same?”

With that said, ROT & Lipton are the same to anyone looking at the tea directly, rather than basing their opinion on the box/packaging and/or type of tea present.

Notes: Gross. Bitter, tasted stale, & zero notes of caramel. I took one sip before spiting the tea out and making a cup of something else. My coworker that had made the tea swap with me found this to be some sort of hilarious joke, though. She also dislikes this tea, but wanted my opinion on it….Sadly, ROT has yet convinced me that their teas are worthy of the $9.99 per tin.


Another nominee for the “Hall of Shame”

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

I figured that it was 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.

A little bit about me: I enjoy writing, an avid hiker, a tea drinker, book collector, and gamer.

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).


Northeast Ohio

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