283 Tasting Notes


Tea Swap Session

I was sipping this tea for 4 days prior to quitting. When I had opened the sample bag, I saw that it was incredibly compressed. I gave it a few rinses to ‘open’ up more, but due to the compression, it mocked me by looking the same as it had when I first started the session. I steeped it a few times after the first two rinses, but nothing much happened to the compression. The flavor was a little weak, too, so I had to force the chunk apart with my fingers; which seemed to help bring the tea to life.

Day 1 Notes (4 steeps): Nothing much going on with the tea. Pretty light in flavor/color. After brewing this a few times there is still a very tight chunk of tea, so I broke it apart with my fingers and will brew tomorrow.

Day 2 Notes (3 steeps): A little more flavor. Definitely an aged tea. Has that slight basement note, but not your grandma’s basement note/smell. More like, when your mother becomes a grandma, but that hasn’t happened, yet smell/note. Nothing really mind blowing…

Day 4 Notes (Day 3 wasn’t noted; 6 steeps): Starting to lighten up again, but started out bold. Thick mouthfeel, dark liquor. Uncooked pea pods notes (?), still a hint of your mother’s basement (mildew?), and leather (?). Reminds me of a ripe (fake ‘aged’ raw).

My notes were rushed on Day 4, so I’m not really sure what I was writing/thinking. Ha-ha.


Haha “not your Grandma’s basement” :)


Someday, when I am old and retired and have time to waste, I want to go back through the archives here and write down all my favorite tea descriptors. Grandma’s basement will definitely be in the top 10!

S.G. Sanders

Gmathis :)

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Swap Session

Last night, I was drinking several teas along with this one; however, this was the only one which I made any notes on since this was the only one not being had with people via Google Hangouts. I had the time to make a few notes with this tea since I wasn’t preoccupied. I had grabbed a few samples from the “swap box” for the session online with tea people; however, since there were plenty of those samples leftover to review at a later time; this one wasn’t so fortunate to have had been enough for two sessions. ;)

Tea Notes: This one brewed pretty lightly when I had first started with the ‘basic’ temperature that I often brew my tea (195 F). After attempting to get more than a “light honey sweetness, but nothing else,” I increased the temperature to 200 F per suggestion of another. That did the trick. I had a lot more honey sweetness, a thicker mouthfeel, and a slight note of ‘sheng taste in the aftertaste.’ See, I don’t know what that sheng taste is per se, but I recognize it from time to time…..hahaha. Overall, this was a very nice session. I brewed it out about 10 times from last night to this morning.

A place to release some air: I’ve come to the conclusion that tea is among one of the few comforts that I have (reading & hiking fall closely behind) which give me an absolute sense of ease from the oftentimes unintentionally sought out chaos which befalls us in this world. I am at the point where I must stop purchasing tea and drink what I have (I’m 100% ok with this, though) and to learn to appreciate and feel fortunate that I have what I have (a practice on humility)….Anyway, I could go on, but I feel that this would overshadow the tea review, rather than becoming a place to rant and rave about my own misfortunes and eventual blessings which derive from them….

PS. Thank you to whomever swapped this out with me. My memory isn’t so great, so I forget who I swapped tea with. ;)

Flavors: Honey

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drank Si Ji Chun by Unytea
283 tasting notes

Sipdown/Sample Session

I’ll be brief for my mind is failing me this morning due to my inability to sleep properly. (>.<) I had this session prior to work and after work yesterday. I wanted to try to get my “weekly samples” worked through this week, but I’ve found it difficult to resist the urge to try some oolong tea. Ha-ha.

Notes: Thick mouthfeel. Sweet floral notes throughout with a touch of cinnamon. For a greener oolong, I was pretty surprised to taste cinnamon, but according to my notes, I wrote that down three times (steeps 3, 6, & 8). Brewed this to 9-10 steeps before moving onto another oolong.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Floral

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I was drinking this on Saturday evening before bed, but with the result of it being a black tea, my bedtime came later. Ha-ha. I oftentimes will have a sample of oolong, shou, or green tea prior to bed, but I’ve been in the “drinking down my samples” mood. I’ve acquired more tea through swaps with friends, rather than the actual tea that I own, so it is my goal to have everything finished by next summer. Ha-ha. I think that this one here is the last of the LP tea blends. I may be wrong, but I’ll find out after digging down to the bottom of the tea sample boxes…..

Notes: Creamy vanilla; almost reminds me of pancakes.

Edit: This was not from a swap, but the “sipdown” stuff will get thrown into those boxes as well. ;P

Flavors: Creamy, Vanilla

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Tea Swap Sample

I was drinking this a few days ago prior to a weekend-long camping trip. I wanted to drink something “easy on the mind” to help me go to bed, so that I’d be able to wake up the following morning with ease, rather than struggling to do so on the account of having a puerh or something else that produces high energy.

Anyway, I had a few steeps that evening, taking a couple of notes as I sat and drank. I didn’t complete the whole session in one sitting, but I finished the remainder of the tea the following morning before packing….

Notes: Crisp, light, floral, and soft. There was a touch of astringency that happened briefly due to user error by increasing the temperature too much. However, once the temperature was adjusted back to the original (175 F), everything seemed to go back to normal. The last steep went for 4 minutes, but the notes were depleted at this point. I managed to go 8 steeps with this tea; which was overall quite satisfying.

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drank Alishan Oolong by Unytea
283 tasting notes

Brief note: Everything about this tea which I had previously mentioned was nearly the exact same thing this time around—-honeydew, floral undertones, etc.

The one thing I had noticed during these two sessions with the sample was that this tea has a thick mouthfeel. Maybe I hadn’t had too many teas at the time of my last review, but it was definitely something I had picked up on this time around. Overall, it was a very pleasant tea and I regrettably have no more of it. Tis the life of good teas being had too often. Ha-ha.

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Brief note: Smooth, neither bitter nor astringent. “Light” texture and profile, but once I had increased the temperature, it seemed to progressively increase in strength.

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Tea Swap Sample

I had a busy weekend and was unable to make an official note of anything that was had during the time. I had 3-4 sessions in total, but my note taking was minimal.

Notes: mineral bite (stone?) with a touch of floral undertones. Doesn’t really progress too much, but it’s not a bad tea.

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I figured that I should catch up on these notes while I’m up early (by means not on my own freewill).

I hardly noted anything with this session, other than the flavor profile. I was drinking this at work in my Kamjove and working, so my mind wasn’t fully on the tea at hand.

Notes: Nice fully earthy body, with a reminder of a rainy Spring day. A lot of “earth” aromas and flavors.


Flavors: Earth

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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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