259 Tasting Notes


5g in 150ml Chaozhou Hong Ni teapot

1st infusion (85˚C, 0:20)
Wet leaves smell incredibly musty, like something has spoiled, gone “off”. Now that I go back to smell the dry leaf, yea it’s definitely (inadvertently) aged a bit while in the fancy gift tea canister that isn’t airtight. Damn this humid Singapore weather.
Liquor actually tasted fine and had nice floral and nectar notes, but to be safe I threw the second half out.
Rating: Rinse

2nd infusion (85˚C, 0:20)

Flavors: Butter

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Date drunk: 2023 May 31st

Dry leaf smells of a fragrant sweet softwood like sandalwood or cedar.
Wet leaf smells woody and like baking brown bread.

Liquor tastes very flavourful, mushroomy and bready like a well-fermented olive bread. Very enjoyable and pairs great with food and fruit.

Rating: 84

Flavors: Bread, Mushrooms, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

That sounds like a delightful tea!

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Date drunk: 2023 May 29
Dry leaf smells gorgeous, like a savoury-sweet crispy snack – I think it smells floral and roasted-chestnutty, like almond paste or like fried shallots.

1st infusion: (80˚C, 0:20)
Wet leaf smells like roasted butter asparagus or fried garlic nai bai.
The leaves look really tiny like herb leaves (oregano or thyme), but obviously don’t smell or taste like them. I feel like I’m drinking an exquisite clear vegetable broth with just a tiny hint of fat like butter.
Rating: 94

2nd infusion: (81˚C, 0:35)
Colour became dark amber – I could tell I overbrewed slightly. Astringent but still has the nice vegetable broth notes, more like a bitter-savoury herbal broth now but still quite lovely.
Rating: 86

3rd infusion: (81˚C, 0:30)
Leaves and liquor still smell like buttered stir-fried veg like green beans. Liquor tastes slightly astringent but less than before, it’s still fairly nice and silky. I think the leaves still have much to give but from this point on I can pair it with food and not feel it’s a waste.
Rating: 87

4th infusion: (82˚C, 0:30)
Getting lighter. I’ll push it harder next round.
Rating: 84

5th infusion: (85˚C, 0:50)
Rating: 86

Overall Rating: 87

Flavors: Almond, Asparagus, Astringent, Bok Choy, Butter, Chestnut, Garlic, Green Beans, Onion, Vegetable Broth

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML

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Date drunk: 2023 Apr 26

5g in 100ml porcelain gaiwan

1st infusion: (80˚C, 0:15)
Wet leaf smells sweet and floral – stunning.
- Liquor smells vegetal and a bit nutty, no sweetness. Delicious umami-rich savoury broth
- Rating: 80

2nd infusion: (80˚C, 0:35)
Wet leaf still smells gorgeous.
I overbrewed it. Bitter and very astringent.
Rating: 73 (actually 70 but it’s not entirely the tea’s fault)

3rd infusion: (81˚C, 0:25)
Wet leaf really gives me Longjing vibes.
I steeped this for the correct time now because the astringency is minimal. Liquor tastes buttery and nutty too, like a 2nd or 3rd infusion of Longjing – buttered green beans.
Rating: 84

4th infusion: (81˚C, 0:30)
Clearer and cleaner-tasting than the previous infusion, still has buttery and nutty fragrance, but also less sweetness and overall flavour.
Rating: 82

5th infusion: (84˚C, 0:30)
A bit too light on flavour now but still very refreshing as an afternoon drink.
Rating: 79

Verdict: A very respectable “poor man’s Longjing” that I would buy as a daily green tea.
Rating: 80

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Green Beans, Nutty, Umami, Vegetable Broth, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Flavors: Bitter, Grassy, Peach, White Grapes

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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5g in 100ml gaiwan

Wet leaf smells smoky and a subtle fruity sweetness like juicy pear.

1st infusion: (100˚C, 0:15)
Liquor tastes gently smoky, in a very pleasing way. Slight fruitiness beneath the tobacco – a bit of apricot-like tang, and a bit of juicy sweetness like fig.
Rating: 90

2nd infusion: (100˚C, 0:15)
Smokiness is even milder than before, even more pleasant when infused into the liquor. Slight astringency and bitterness mingled with floral sweetness and the smokiness is really quite lovely.
Rating: 88

3rd Infusion (100˚C, 0:15)
Despite the short brewing time, this infusion is pretty astringent. However, I’m still enjoying the tobacco note and noticing a nice umami flavour like mushrooms.
Rating: 78

Overall Rating: 86

Flavors: Apricot, Fig, Mushrooms, Pear, Smoke, Tobacco

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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4g in 100ml gaiwan

Dry leaf is small rolled pieces, smaller than a Jin Xuan or Jasmine Pearl. Smells like a medium-roast, sweet oolong.
1st infusion (85˚C, 0:20)
Gives me Jin Xuan vibes – fruity and floral – sweet melon, peach, cherry blossom, slight citrus/apricot tang, milky sweetness. A bit light
Rating: 76

2nd infusion (85˚C, 0:30)
Deeper milky creamer notes, a hint of apricot/yuzu but less tangy than 1st infusion. Flavour and texture still not as full-bodied as I’d like. Maybe because the leaf fragments are quite small. No bitterness or astringency.
Rating: 79

I got several more steeps out of this but forgot to record. Overall a solid 78 rating.

Flavors: Apricot, Cantaloupe, Cherry Blossom, Milk, Peach, Stonefruit, Yuzu

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Jasmine Pearls by Tea Chapter
259 tasting notes

Harvest Year: likely 2022 (expires 2023)

4g in 100ml gaiwan
1st infusion: (80˚C, 0:20)
- I guess this would classify as the “rinse” as the balls are not unfurled yet. Almost no green tea flavour in this. All floral. A slight soapy note which makes this unpleasant, a bit gagworthy for me.
- Rating: 65
2nd infusion: (81˚C, 0:30)
- Liquor has very slight faecal smell (?!?!?) Reminds me of a horse stable smell… hay and bitter / rubbery tinge of manure omg. But makes it complex and quite enjoyable to drink
- Rating: 75
3rd infusion: (81˚C, 0:35)
- Still a bit animalic scent but milder than before, nice like a subtle perfume. Liquor is super tasty green tea
- Rating: 80

Rating: 73

Flavors: Compost, Hay, Jasmine, Soap

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Former farm kid here—compost and hay scents make me smile!


Jasmine tea may contain indole, which is a compound also found in poop!


I think some raspberry and strawberry flavorings smell like vomit and discovered that is due to butyric acid.


Whew, the stuff you learn around here!


Heh I think you would like this tea a lot then gmathis :) Wow, amazing that you knew that ashmanra! Now I’m relieved my olfactory senses may not be broken after all…

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Harvest Year: 2022
Date Drunk: 2023-04-14

5g in 100ml porcelain gaiwan
Dry leaf smells sweet, fruity, grassy and floral – stunning. Nectarines, chestnuts, and almost a cotton-candy-like note.

1st infusion: (85˚C, 0:15)
- Wet leaf smells incredibly nutty and lovely. I’m getting Longjing vibes.
- Liquor itself smells way more grassy/vegetal, slight common floral. Ok the liquor is decent but falls far short of Longjing, not as complex. Not sweet at all when hot, has some chestnut-like sweetness when cooler. Tastes sweet and delicious with my oatmeal. A nice fresh subtle Chinese green tea. Slight flat aftertaste.
- Rating: 74
2nd infusion: (85˚C, 0:30)
- Wet leaf still gives me Longjing vibes, and this time the liquor smells more like Longjing too.
- Liquor tastes more flavourful and nutty now than the first infusion. A bit bitter and flat-tasting – probably overbrewed. Doesn’t pair as well with my oatmeal.
- Rating: 73
3rd infusion: (87˚C, 0:30)
- Ooh that is really bitter and astringent now. Would probably pair well with sweets…
- Rating: 69
4th infusion: (88˚C, 0:45)
- Mellowed out now. Quite nice and less bitter than previous.
- Rating: 73

Verdict: A daily drinker if anything.
Rating: 72

Flavors: Bitter, Chestnut, Grass, Nectarine, Vegetal

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML

Glad to see this. I will stick with their longjing instead.

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NOTES FOR NEXT TIME: Use 5g to 100ml water OR Yixing clay pot

Date drunk: 31 Mar 2023

4g in 100ml gaiwan

This section of the sample had quite a few large stems. Dry leaves smell like raisins, slightly musty, wood. Rinsed once. Wet leaf smells like yellow honey jujubes and sweet fragrant wood.

1st infusion (100˚C, 0:15):
Subtle sweet flavour – jujubes, white fungus, mineral-y, chestnut, unidentified floral (maybe lotus?), sweet rice and lotus leaf notes. Reminiscent of cheng tng. Not much body, quite thin but still enjoyable. Bit of sharp metallic aftertaste.
Rating: 77

2nd infusion (100˚C, 0:15)
Wet leaves smell of Asian pear. Stronger, starchier notes of jujubes and sticky rice. A bit astringent / bitter now. Not as sweet as previous. I get some tangy and fruity notes when liquor cooled – notes of apricot or pomelo. Body still quite thin.
Rating: 74

3rd infusion (100˚C, 0:20)
Flavour is smoother but even more muted now. I think these leaves aren’t very strong, or maybe it’s because of the stems in this portion. Still getting jujube faint sweetness, floral. Astringent, dry aftertaste.
Rating: 73

4th infusion (100˚C, 0:45)
Stronger now but still has this dry papery note to it, probably from the ageing. Unfortunately not my favourite. It’s a not a good sign when I feel like ditching these leaves and switching to brew a new tea for the rest of the day. Oh man it reminds me of the tea that Gong2’s relatives gave us in Guangdong – now I realise that was probably an aged raw Yi Wu pu-er as well. But well, still don’t like it.
Rating: 65

Flavors: Apricot, Chestnut, Raisins, Sticky Rice, Sweet, Tangy, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Amateur tea enthusiast here. I told myself I would start with studying Chinese teas when I first encountered good tea at Song Tea in San Francisco in 2016, and it’s now 2023 and I feel like I’m still just beginning to scratch the surface of Chinese teas.

Maybe someday I will move on to Indian, Japanese, Korean, etc. teas…

For my day job I work in tech as well as write some fiction on the side.

The next step in my tea journey is to start training my nose with an aroma kit to get a more precise handle on floral notes.

My Tea Rating Scale: (adapted from @benmw)
100 : Unforgettable, life-changing tea experience.
95–99: Extraordinary – Beyond impressive.
90–94: Impressive – Deep complexity, extreme clarity, or unexpected discovery of wonderful flavor. Made me reconsider the category. Would always want to drink this if I had the chance.
80–89: Delicious – Nuanced, balanced, clear, and complex layering of flavors. Would probably buy this tea again.
70–79: Very Good – Nuanced flavors, perhaps not as balanced or complex as the next step up, but clear and very enjoyable. Would consider buying again if the price was right.
60–69: Good – Clear flavors, representative of the category, but doesn’t set a standard. Good as an everyday tea. Would not buy unless desperate (e.g. when travelling without access to better tea).
50–59: Average. Would not pay money for this, but would drink if it was provided FOC.
30–49: Below Average. Would not drink this again even if it were free.
0–29: Undrinkable. Could not even finish the cup.



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