818 Tasting Notes

This tea is absolutely fabulous! Allan raved about it on Instagram, and it turned out I was planning to try it today also. I agree with him that I would buy more if I could. Too bad they don’t sell it!

I infused the crap out of the leaves. ;) They were beautiful, big leaves too! They just kept going and getting sweeter and sweeter, but the most dominant character of this tea is how crisp it is! I mean, CRISP! Like crisp lettuce in taste and mouthfeel. Crisp, and sweet, and slightly vegetal. No bitterness, just loveliness! The crisp vegetal note seemed more like spinach in the beginning and then moved more towards endive or fennel, I think, but very very slight. The crispness and sweetness were the dominant notes. So good! I’m really glad I have enough leaf for one more session.


This appears to be available on their web site for a small donation http://www.globalteahut.org/allteateaware.html think I’ll order a cake.

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drank 2015 Poundcake by White 2 Tea
818 tasting notes

I got this tea in the gourd shape from the monthly subscription and I’ve tried it three times. The second time I didn’t get the parameters right, so I thought I’d do it again before reviewing it. I had a nice long session with it today in my Jian shui pot. I used 7g and it was perfect. I also did very short steepings for most of the infusions, because it’s bitter if you push it too hard.

The first time I sessioned it, I got creamy citrus notes. This time, it was all creamy vanilla. Absolutely delicious! I’ve not had a sheng with vanilla notes before! I also got a nice energy from it, but it wasn’t crazy, and didn’t bother my stomach, which are all good things. My only complaint is the shape of the gourd, as it’s really compressed and you have to be careful or you will poke yourself with your pick. Also, I feel like it makes me break the leaf more. I would consider getting a regular shaped cake of this one, as the flavor is quite unique.


Good choice of vessel, I started mine on Gaiwan and transferred it to a Jian Shui, it was way better there!


I love my Jian shui pots for puerh…totally improves the tea!

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This tea is STRONG. Totally became tea drunk the first day I sessioned it. I was lightheaded, silly, my tummy gurgled, and afterward, I got sleepy! My first 8 or so steeps were all shorter than 25 seconds! Like I said, STRONG!

I used about 7g in my Jian Shui pot the first day and then steeped it in my shiboridashi the second day. I really enjoyed the flavor of this tea. I loved that there was a sweet note peaking out even in the early steeps. It also has great complexity, and by that I mean, it tastes like there are a lot of flavors, but I had trouble picking them all out. With the sweet note, there was also bitterness, but different than I’ve experienced in other sheng. It was like a note of bitterness playing nice with the other notes, rather than domineering them. The texture was also slightly oily throughout. On the second day, this tea was nice and sweet, a tropical fruit sweet, like pineapple or papaya. Delicious and definitely worth steeping it out fully. Just don’t do it all in one day! ;)


I definitely agree with the flavors on this one being difficult to tease out. There’s sweetness, bitterness and fruitiness, but none of them are the main event. Rather, everything is very subdued yet integrated.


Paul was totally on-point of saying this was the best value of their 2015 collection. Worthy of a cake purchase!

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Milk chocolate goodness! So glad this is officially in my cupboard now!

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drank Qimen by Joseph Wesley Black Tea
818 tasting notes

When I saw this one come out, I had to pick it up. I love Qimen, and I already had a couple other JWT teas on my wishlist, so another excuse to make an order!

The leaf is really curly, thin, and a nice rich black color. I used about 4.5g and gongfu brewed it. My first impression was that it reminded me of another Qimen I liked from Nannuoshan Tea. Like that tea, it has a lot of complexity, and the notes are delicious! This one has the usual smokiness, with notes of chocolate and honey! These flavor notes were really distinctive, and I loved it! It was also super smooth. I kind of forgot about my fourth infusion, but I didn’t need to worry about it getting bitter at all. I’m so glad I now have 50g in my cupboard!


“I love Qimen …”
Agreed! Keemun is an excellent way to wake up each day.

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drank Kris Grey by ETTE TEA
818 tasting notes

It took me forever to get around to trying this tea because it’s hard to distract me from my love of unflavored tea gong fu sessions, but I actually got to it at work today.

Under light, you can totally see the sparkles. Fun! It also tastes pretty great. I’m not a huge fan of earl grey, but like it occasionally. This hit the spot. The flavoring wasn’t too powerful and the overall texture of the tea was smooth. I didn’t add anything, and it was pretty great for a gloomy SF morning at work.

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I guess I haven’t reviewed this one yet! I’ve gongfu brewed it a couple of times, and this one seems to like it if you go heavy and long with it, meaning more leaf, longer brew times. I overdid my third infusion by at least a minute and it came out delicious! Chocolate and stone fruit delicious! Yum! Definitely a good way to start the weekend!

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I got this in the mail earlier this week, but haven’t had time to sit down with it yet. I took today off to relax, so it’s a perfect day to spend some time with this tea.

I liked it right off the bat. As the information card notes, it has a sweet tang to it. I decided that this was an apricot sweetness with kind of a sour note, like a sweet and sour flavor. Very interesting! I love when a tea has a unique characteristic that makes me want to come back again. This one has that. The texture is slightly oily, which sounds bad, but it’s kind of how I find good sheng texture thickness. This one isn’t that thick but has that smoothness. It was not hard on my stomach at all, which is also nice. Overall, a very good sheng!


Mmm love oily sheng

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Thanks so much to boychik for this sample!

This is a really fabulous Shou! Thick and sweet with some bitter cocoa notes, it coats your mouth with its deliciousness! It’s also long-lasting. I definitely recommend it. I had a nice session in my jian shui pot with the entire 9g sample, and will consider getting a cake next time I order from YS.


Yay! Another winner! It is looong lasting and delicious. Glad you like it too ;D

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drank Chestnut by Lovey's Tea Shoppe
818 tasting notes

I got to go out for high tea last weekend with a couple of friends. It was great, and it’s been forever! I got the black current tea with the queen’s tea, which included pear and Stilton and egg and onion sandwiches, a scone with preserves and Devon cream, a crumpet with lemon curd, a petit four, a shortbread cookie, fruit and salad. The scone was amazing, and that’s something because I’m very picky about scones! My friend ordered this tea and I liked it so much I picked some up to take home.

This tea is sweet and nutty and delicious. I’m not really sure it is representative of chestnuts, but I don’t care, because it’s yummy! Very affordable too. It doesn’t need cream and sugar, but takes them nicely. It actually reminds me a lot of Butiki’s praline horizon, but it’s not a CTC. If you’re ever in Pacifica, CA, check this place out!


Glad you had a great time! I’ve never had those tiny sandwiches, bet they are delicious


They are delicious and go great with tea! You should go out for high tea sometime!


The only place I could think of is H&S. But. Im afraid to go there because I will buy more tea :)


Lol! That IS a problem! ;)

Terri HarpLady

The London Tea room, here in St. Louis, does an awesome tea like that. Unfortunately I’ve never had all those tasty looking things because of food allergies (dairy, gluten, sugar…pretty much everything that is wonderful). But I love looking at those things!


That’s too bad, Terri! Some places will accommodate food allergies, etc. You can also make stuff at home. I’ve hosted some tea parties myself and you can find recipes for gluten-free scones and such.

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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! :)


San Francisco Bay Area

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