40 Tasting Notes

I’m not sure how it happened, but somehow, I’ve turned 180 degrees from my stance on black teas at the beginning of my tea journey. When I started exploring loose leaf teas, I could not find black teas that I enjoyed. Now, it’s the type of tea I drink most.

Maybe I just needed to find the good ones.

This is a good one.

Tasting notes:
Sweet, floral aroma to the dry leaves, with a backbone of sweet potato
Brewed aroma: floral, fudgy, sweet potatoes
Brewed tea: rich, smooth, full, malty, sweet potato flavors, starchy

There is an addictive quality to a very few black teas, something in the smell and taste that drives my senses wild. This tea has it. Another black tea with that quality is Whispering Pines Wild Taiwanese black, although this tea is heavier while I think of the Taiwanese as quite light in nature.

Flavors: Caramel, Floral, Malt, Sweet Potatoes

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This green tea is buttery sweet! The dry leaf is fruity and vegetal. When the water hits the leaves, sweet and nutty notes emerge. The taste is like buttered fresh picked peas. A lovely, simple tea.

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This is the 2017 spring harvest. On smelling the dry leaves, I noticed honey, sweet potato and some pastry or baked sweets. The aroma of the brewed tea was more honey, malt as a sturdy foundation and a sense of richness. The sipped tea is smooth, malty, sweet with Demerara or coconut sugar, with a background note of sweet potato. It’s complex but not too challenging. Just delicious. The brown, carmelized sugar character was what made this tea special to me and it is one I’ll want to keep on hand.

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When I tried it last six months ago, it was lighter and more floral, a soprano Wuyi: predominantly high notes. Now, a lower register is developing, with floral just a suggestion rather than dominating the conversation.

Warm, embracing, roasted grains and mineral, there is still a bit of lightness, a lilt at the end of the sip that I have not had in a Da Hong Pao before. It’s almost a drawing up of my soft palate in response to the tea as I end my swallow.

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This is an enjoyable tea. The primary flavors I am getting are caramel and fruit. The fruit smell fits with papaya for me, but the taste may be closer to the Grand Marnier spiked plum jam I used to make each year. The black tea base lets the nice flavoring down, so next time I’ll try adding a bit of high grade black tea with some caramel and chocolate notes to see what happens.

2 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

That’s such a good idea to mix a different black tea in with this one—I loved the flavoring but didn’t think the base was the best complement for it either.


Yes, I’m excited to see how it works out. LuckyMe suggested it, so I can’t take credit for the clever idea. I’ll report back.


Ok, I added golden needle black tea and I think that was the right choice, but the ratio was too high and the flavoring is too muted. I used 2g of df and 1g of golden needle. I’ll try the same df and a half gram golden needle next time.

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Puerh Plus TTB. I am enjoying the bitterness of this tea. It’s kind of like a somewhat insensitive teenage guy. He doesn’t care too much what anyone thinks of him. He makes a few too many jackass observations to be a good friend, and is really pretty shallow, but in a plot twist personality-wise, loves to make you laugh. The kind of guy who would tickle you even though you hated it, and then you’d laugh because you couldn’t help it.

Do I keep this guy around for the laughs? I’m not getting much else, but there’s value in a tea that will bring on the smiles.

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Drank the 2016 version, which was significantly more enjoyable to me than the 2015. Really nice second flush Darjeeling with pronounced muscatel notes and the perfect amount of offsetting tannic notes. Lovely cup of tea

Flavors: Honey, Muscatel

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This was a very enjoyable black tea. Malty, with an overtone of caramel. There is a nice level of acidity, keeping it from being at all boring. I keep trying to find similarities to its companion sheng, but other than the fact that I liked it very much too, I’m not able to identify any.

Flavors: Caramel, Malt

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Finally enjoying this tea from the June teaclub. Will be breaking out the black later. I agree with KittyLovesTea. I can taste wet wood, grass, peas, a floral quality and a bitter edge. Each sip is followed by lingering sweetness. Very clean and gulpable.

I’m enjoying this sheng!

Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Grass, Peas, Sweet, Wet Wood

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This is one of many first flushes I ordered from Teabox. I’ve been impressed by their customer service and the quality of the tea.

This tea had a lovely fresh quality. I agree with the notes on the tea from the vendor: white flowers, green, toasted almond in the scent. The green isn’t the green of edibles, but perhaps wormwood or another garden plant.

The taste is also consistent with the vendor notes: citrus blossom, dried fig and tree fruits. But I think those words give the impression that the tea is lush and it isn’t. I also taste something like how wormwood smells.

It’s not a bad thing, but I don’t think first flush teas have lush qualities typically. Even if the scent makes you think it will be. Especially in the non-clonal types.

There’s something slightly dry and in the front of the nose that it’s unique to FF Darjeeling. Hard to describe. It is almost resinous and herbal.

All in all, a pleasing light tea.

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My first tea love was the oolong served at Chinese restaurants when I was growing up in Houston. In 2015 I started exploring tea for real and it has become an obsession.

Favorites: Chinese green tea, most oolongs except dark roasted tieguanyin, and sheng. On a quest to find my favorite black tea.

Also, I am known to bumble into landmines by answering rhetorical questions. :)


Minneapolis, MN

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