818 Tasting Notes

Love this sheng! It has a wonderful sweetness that comes on soon…like 3rd steep! I upped my leaf to 7g this time and I’m definitely feeling it! A bit tea drunk, but also a good energy that will hopefully get me going on this lazy day. I want to get some weeding done!

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drank Zhen Qu by Butiki Teas
818 tasting notes

Okay, so I like this one better brewed western style. I’ve been on a gong fu brewing kick lately, brewing all sorts of black teas that way. I did PTA that way yesterday, and although they are still good, they are better brewed western. At least I know now. It’s fun to watch the leaves open up with the flash steeps though. Zhen Qu is especially interesting, as it goes from pure fluff to actual leaves. :) I think the best blacks to brew gong fu style are the sweet potato golden tip blacks. I especially liked one of the YS golden black teas that way. This one had a nice nutty flavor with a bit of cocoa, but it really stands out more brewed western. I guess I’m done experimenting, for now! ;)

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drank Caramel & Rum by Lupicia
818 tasting notes

Didn’t I just restock this? It’s almost gone! Guess I need to buy the 100g pack next time. Just the best rooibos ever! And btw, it’s amazing with a little honey in it. I added that to help my scratchy throat that never seems to get better after having a couple of colds already! Geez! At least there’s this tea. Guess I’ll be going back to Lupicia soon!

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I’ve had this tea twice and it’s very good. It has a mild smokiness, a touch of bitterness, and plenty of sweet fruitiness. The leaves are beautiful. Very good sheng, overall. Here are some pics of my latest session:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15962271428/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/16123917596/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15527373294/


Apricots and Apricots.


@mrmopar – YES! :)

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I’ve been really bad about posting on here lately. I’m kinda obsessed with Instagram. It’s so visual! Anyway, I enjoyed a nice session with this tea last night. I got a really nice caramel sweetness in the later steeps. I also enjoyed it in one of my new teacups from YS. I think tea tastes better in them!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15526001794/


“I’ve been really bad about posting on here lately. I’m kinda obsessed with Instagram. It’s so visual!”
As one who enjoys Steepster, I hope we don’t loose you to Instagram.
Is it just the visual aspect? Or have the Steepster website issues of the last ~6 months also been a factor?


I think it’s mostly the visual aspect and the fact that I’m not drinking that many new teas. I still manage to enjoy steepster despite the issues.


Did not see that gorgeous cup. Did not. If I saw it, I’d have to order one. So I did. Not. See.


I love this tea and that teacup is great!


@Nicole – lol! Yes, it is hard to resist! I had to have it when I saw YS post it on Instagram.

@AllanK – thanks!

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This is the other sample that came with my tray! I gong fu’d it and it was oh so buttery! Yum! I also got a hint of vegetal and floral at the end of the sip, but the butter really stood out. Would definitely drink this again. :)

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drank Black Beauty by Mandala Tea
818 tasting notes

I got a tea tray for Christmas! My first! And it’s beautiful! I put it on my wishlist, and my secret Santa (my grandma) got it for me! I was worried too, because when I looked at the site recently, it said it was sold out! My grandma’s got great taste! :D Of course the amazing Garret included a hand-written note and two tea samples, one of which was this beauty!

This tea is so fruity! It reminds me of TeaVivre’s nonpareil yunnan dian hong ancient wild tree. It’s also nicely malty with some honey notes. So good, and so pretty! Here are some pics of my session:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/16087334526/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15927060809/


that is a gorgeous tray!


Thanks, Nicole! I just saw that Dragon Tea House also has it if anyone’s interested.


It’s beautiful. Your grandma’s got really great taste!




Gorgeous tea tray! I agree that she has great taste.

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My mom got a bunch of holiday teas from Teavana for Christmas, and she shared some of this one with me and my little bro last night. I am wary of teavana blends because I think they focus too much on the flavoring, rather than the quality of the base tea. This tea confirmed that, but the flavoring was nicely balanced. A little creamy, a little peppermint and not too much of either, but the tea was a bit watery, probably due to not enough Rooibos to back it up. I still like Lupicia rooibos the best. I felt a bit bad to have taken the cup of this last night because my mom decided not to make another for herself, and I didn’t love it. She does have the whole rest of the bag to enjoy though. It seemed like my bro liked it. :)

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I haven’t yet reviewed this, though I’ve had it a couple of times. It is a really great tea. For a tea only flavored with vanilla beans, it tastes remarkably like cherry, almond, vanilla and cocoa. I like it without any additions, as it is quite rich. Reminds me of a European pastry! Yesterday, I shared a pot with my mom and little bro. They both liked it, as expected, and my bro said he liked it because it was subtle-ly flavored! Quite the palate on that one!

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Happy Christmas Eve all! It’s the first day of 6 days off work in a row! Woot! I’ve got tea and warm kitties and I’m looking forward to relaxing and visiting with family. Might go see the movie Wild later too!

I thought I would gong fu this tea today. I’m really enjoying steeping good quality black teas that way now. This one has a really odd color in the first steep. Kinda grey-brown, but the flavor is sweet and yammy. It doesn’t have the longevity of the other golden black teas I got from YS, but it’s not bad. Just don’t expect a long session with this one.


Merry Christmas eve and happy vacation from work!

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Another profile facelift! My tastes have changed a lot from when I first discovered loose leaf tea.

I can trace my tea journey back to October 2012, when I discovered DavidsTea. Before that, I had the occasional cup and enjoyed high tea at An Afternoon to Remember, which has since closed.

I went through a period of wanting to try all the teas, and was really into flavored teas, especially dessert blacks, but my tastes have substantially changed over time.

I still enjoy the occasional flavored black or rooibos, but I’m more into unflavored black teas right now and recently, puerh. Chinese black teas are amazing…with their notes of chocolate or sweet potato, who needs a flavored tea? I had a much steeper learning curve when it came to puerh. I used to dump out cups of puerh for tasting like leather. Now, I am really enjoying them. I think it took finding good quality puerh and steeping them gong fu style to really enjoy them.

I also, on occasion, enjoy a good oolong, white, or green tea.

Favorite tea companies right now include: Mandala, Teavivre, Butiki, Golden Moon, Lupicia, and DavidsTea (for teaware mostly).

Just a note: I don’t rate my teas numerically because my iPad doesn’t like the scroll bar. Maybe someday that will change…hint hint, steepster! ;)

P.S. My profile picture is of one of my 2 cats, Holly, who is a little princess but very photogenic, and she loves boxes, including those that bring me tea! :)


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