43 Tasting Notes


I tried less leaf and cooler water this time, yielding a lighter and less complex, but definitely very tasty tea. The lower bitterness and astringency allowed me to focus more on the mouthfeel of the liquor, which is oily, thick and effervescent. There is still some powderiness from the astringency, but fairly subdued.

Flavors: Rooibos, Seaweed, Umami

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec 4 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
43 tasting notes

[Some zheng shan xiao zhong I received from a friend]

Starts of very light with strong smell of longan fruit and fermented apricots. The fruitiness is definitely present in the second infusion’s taste, which is also more crisp and medium to full bodied. There is some coffee bitterness and in the smell I noticed nettle, strangely enough. Third infusion has more sweetness, akin to sweet potatoes. Starting from fourth, but especially in fifth infusion, astringency appers fully, changing the mouthfeel again.

I feel like this is a fairly unusual black tea, it reminded me of the “Longan Nectar” oolong by Taiwan Sourcing, but it is more sweet and not quite as fruity as that one.

Flavors: Alcohol, Apricot, Coffee, Fruity, Sweet Potatoes

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Very strong smell of buth dry and wet leaf. It is unlike anything I have ever smelled, but it does remind me of fresh sawdust a lot. On top of that there are fermented fruits and some strawberry in the aroma. It is strong and I kind of like it, but it can be overwhelming.

The taste is sweet with some bitterness and astringency that is a little different from tea astringency. It is quite medicinal as well and not super complex, definitely much less so than the smell. Finally, the liquor is very thick and coating, especially once it cools down a bit.

Overall, I am not quite sure how I feel about it. For sure, it is different from any other drink I have had, so maybe I will change the evaluation as I drink more of it in the future.

I should definitely use less leaf though, the 6g yield a lot of liquor. I am on 3rd 300ml infusion right now and it is still very strong. Especially at night that’s too much liquid to drink before sleeping.

Flavors: Alcohol, Bark, Bitter, Medicinal, Oak wood, Sawdust, Strawberry, Sweet

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 45 sec 6 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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I tried cold-brewing this tea today. It was very aromatic for a cold brewed tea with strong astringency, some umami and fruity sourness. Very refreshing and fragrant brew, I think next time I would use a shorter infusion time (was around 12 hours at room temperature today), and maybe do two cold brews, this one was a little too astringent.

Flavors: Astringent, Butter, Fruity, Stonefruits, Umami

Iced 8 min or more 5 g 14 OZ / 400 ML

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Vibrant, medium bodied oolong that can wake you up in the morning.. I would recommend using longer infusions, I find that it can sustain them without getting bitter. On the other hand, that way one gets fuller, more complex taste with some astringency as well.

It is a fairly aromatic and balanced tea, with some chocolate notes in the aftertaste. All in all the price/quality ratio is exceptional, definitely worth trying out at least.

Flavors: Astringent, Chocolate, Flowers, Pleasantly Sour

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

It looks like we made very similar orders from Taiwan Sourcing—Egret 17, Sanxia Oriental Beauty, Winter Rhythm. (I ordered too early to be tempted by the pricy winter offerings.) You’re getting to the teas faster than I am!


Yeah, it’s my first foray into Taiwanese teas (and oolongs in general) and I am enjoying it quite a bit :)

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[Spring 2017 harvest]

What a wonderful smell this tea possesses. It is very floral and sweet, reminiscent of some high quality honey.

The liquor is medium to full bodied with oily and slightly drying mouthfeel, which becomes minty and cooling afterwards. It is a very refreshing tea to drink and the taste is fairly complex. It took me a while to appreciate it though, at first I wasn’t very fond of it. There are some vegetal, buttery, floral and astringent notes, but nothing really stands out. The aftertaste transforms the sensation into somewhat fruity, sweet direction and lasts for a very long time.

One other thing to mention is a very noticeable and calming cha qi, probably my favourite among the oolong teas I have tried.

P.S. Originally I was going to rate it around 75, but with the aftertaste and cha qi kicking in, I had to reconsider the rating and change it significantly.

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Hay, Honey, Stonefruits, Sweet, Vegetal

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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This is an incredibly smooth tea, very floral with some subtle sweetness. There is absolutely no bitterness and only a very little astringency, but the mouthfeel is slightly drying and, interestingly, also mouth-watering.

Out of the oolongs I have tried, this one is definitely the closest to Darjeelings. It can also yield a lot of tea as long as you keep the early steeps short enough. Today I did 10 infusions giving 1l of tea from 5g of leafs.

Flavors: Floral, Honey, Muscatel, Sweet

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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I like to do fairly short infusions for this one, the astringency can then get mild and pleasant, while the tea still retains a lot of flavour and depth. That’s a sign of a good quality green tea. My recent choice was 60s (70°C), 15s (80°C), 30s (80°C), 45s (80°C), 60s (90°C), 120s (90°C), which turned out very well. Maybe I would cut down a bit on the first and last infusion.

Otherwise, the taste and smell profile is not very different from other chinese green teas. The nutty and buttery notes seem to dominate over floral and vegetal ones though. There is also more umami than one would find in Long Jing for example. The body is medium and the aftertaste is very sweet as expected from an astringent tea like this.

I definitely recommend the tea. It is one of those with which you cannot really go wrong, as long as you enjoy green tea.

Flavors: Astringent, Butter, Dry Grass, Nutty, Sweet, Sweet, warm grass, Umami

165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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This is quickly becoming one of my favourite teas, very aromatic with some similarities with both darker darjeelings and oolongs. I found it to be quite complex, both in the smell and taste.

In particular, the smell is kind of hard to identifyr, although fairly pungent. I noticed some musk, sugarcane (maybe rum?) and malt. Some prunes and floral notes are present too.

The taste starts off with some nutmeg spiciness and brandy impression. Soon, some heavier fruity notes appear, I identified red grapes and plums for instance. It is mostly a mix of controlled sweet and sour tastes, with the spiciness reappearing in the aftertaste to complement the acidity of balsamic vinegar. One other thing I noticed once the tea has cooled down is a little bit of seaweed savouriness.

As for the effects, I feel this tea is fairly warming with decently strong cha qi.

All in all, a very exciting tea, highly recommended.

Flavors: Brandy, Caramel, Dried Fruit, Floral, Grapes, Malt, Musty, Nutmeg, Pleasantly Sour, Plums, Rum, Sugarcane, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Clouded liquor with a dark red colour. Smell of the wet leaf is mostly peat-like.

The taste is not very complex, savoury notes of mushrooms dominate, but there is also considerable herbal bitterness. There is a long aftertaste, in which some sweetness apears as well.

I quite like the cha qi, which is fairly mild. I reckon due to the relatively mild fermentation the tea can change over time to develop more sweetness, which right now is very subdued.

Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Moss, Mushrooms, Peat, Spicy

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

i love camphor and mushroom tastes in shu! look for “2006 nan jian phoenix ripe mini brick” my favorite swhu


Thanks, I will check it out :)

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Currently, I am a PhD student at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario. Apart from teas and mathematics, I enjoy sports and traveling, as well as music of all kinds.

I have been a fan of green tea for a while and only recently (in 2017) started exploring other kinds of tea in greater depth. I rarely drink blends or white tea and avoid artificially scented teas. Other than that I try to keep it varied. The one thing that I am currently missing in my collection are teas from India, in particular some Darjeelings.

My rating description:
100 _ Unforgettable tea, an experience that changes your life.
90 – 100 _ Excellent tea.
80 – 90 _ Very enjoyable, I will buy again.
70 – 80 _ I enjoyed it, but I most likely won’t be buying it again.
60 – 70 _ Decent.
50 – 60 _ Average, forgettable.
40 – 50 _ I didn’t really like the tea, but it is drinkable.
0 – 40 _ I would prefer to avoid the tea.


Waterloo, ON, Canada

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