160 Tasting Notes


A delicious, chocolatey experience. I actually like slightly overbrewing it to accentuate the dark chocolate notes. It tastes like biting into a bitter dark chocolate bar, whose flavor gradually softens to rich milk chocolate. Other flavors include cafe mocha, cherry cordial, and blackberry syrup. Some sweet woody notes linger in the background.

An exceptional black tea. Very few black teas deliver the richness and depth of flavor as this one.

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This is a very nice Wu Yi for those on a budget. Solid notes of caramel, cinnamon, baking spice, and peanut shell on the arrival. A “wet rock” minerality develops on the palate. The finish brings up juicy and tangy fruit flavors of red currant, gooseberry, and tart raspberry. There is also an interesting nutty creaminess in the aftertaste, coupled with a lingering aftertaste that fades into a slight mintiness.


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A really tasty ripe. Solid notes of chocolate and cocoa (sort of like chocolate digestive biscuits), with strong bourbon cask and vanilla flavors. Soft wood and cereal notes form the backdrop for these flavors. Not much fruit on the palate, more like the skins of dried fruit than the pulpy parts. There is a soft citrus note in the long finish that is interesting. Never noticed that with other ripes.


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drank Keemun black tea by Yunnan Craft
160 tasting notes

A nice go-to daily drinker. Dark caramel with tart berry sweetness. Some nuttiness in the body. Lingering minerality in aftertaste. There is also a little horehound or sassafras in the nose of the dry leaf that I thought made an appearance on the palate.


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A really satisfying black tea that has a balance of all your favorite hong cha flavors. An assertive dark caramel sweetness, stewed fruit sour-sweetness, and a little roasted nuttiness. Noticeable spice notes of white pepper and maybe a little horehound. Very dynamic on the palate. This one just jumped to the top of my repurchase list.


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A green ya shi xiang with notes of honey, canned pineapple, buttered yeast roll, and fresh mint and cilantro. Aftertaste is fresh and longlasting.

I’m not a huge dancong guy – it has just never resonated with me. I also am fairly inconsistent with brewing parameters – let’s call it “intuitive”! That’s not a great combination with dancongs. But I have to say, this one is very good and dealt well with my nonsense. The flavor in-mouth can sometimes be lacking, in the sense that body and mouthfeel is there, but there are no strong flavors coming to the forefront. When it is strong, there is a really tasty buttery yeast roll flavor complemented by a subdued nuttiness. But again, this inconsistency is likely my fault.

Lots of tasty florals and fruit flavors in the aftertaste, which – in my opinion – is the best part. There are sweet and refreshing flavors – peach, fruit blossom, pineapple, fresh cilantro and mint. A really nice tea, particularly if you slow down and really allow the aftertaste to open up and develop.

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drank Huo Shan Huang Ya by Yunnan Craft
160 tasting notes

This is a great experience for green tea lovers looking for some new, interesting flavors. Yellow tea is a great opportunity to explore. The base of this tea provides notes of sweet corn, corn husk, and honey. Not unlike sweeter green teas.

It gets interesting with notes of honey roasted peanuts, mint, and even hints of lemongrass and coconut. There is also a consistant sweet note that I can only describe as cinnamon pastry. Complex and delicious.


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A nice nutty sweet hong cha. Savory notes of roasted nuts and pleasant woodiness give a backbone to sweet notes of dark caramel, toasted marshmallow, dark honey, and blackberry syrup. Even hints of toasted coconut.

Great daily drinker. Be sure to use lots of leaf. My first few sessions turned out a bit thin because I was underleafing (which is very rare for me!)
Dry leaf – blackberry syrup, raw almond, bitter dark honey, pine wood

Smell – woody, toasted marshmallow, hints of toasted coconut, honey roasted nuts, dark caramel

Taste – roasted nuts, honey roasted nuts, toasted marshmallow, some light blackberry syrup fruitiness and toasted coconut

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This is a nice hong cha for those who like them fruity and sweet. This guy has very prominent notes of dark caramel and blackberry syrup from nose to aftertaste. It also has a very solid body, with woodiness, minerality, and nuttiness to balance the overt overall sweetness to the tea. There is a hint of smokiness, which manifests itself through the dark (maybe slightly burnt – but not bitter) caramel and roasted nut flavors. Very tasty.

Dry leaf – dry chocolate and cocoa powder, red currant, waxy fruitiness, blackberry syrup, notes of roasted peanut. In preheated vessel – dark caramel and blackberry syrup.

Smell – dark caramel, blackberry syrup, roasted pecans, woodiness, sweet smokiness, hint of toasted coconut

Taste – caramel, blackberry syrup, roasted pecans, woodiness, minerality, sweet smokiness, hint of toasted coconut.

Interesting to note that jian shui clay cup brings out more smokiness and English breakfast tea tannins. Porcelain cup has fruitiness on palate, continuing through aftertaste; clay cup cuts through it and adds woodiness and minerality.


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This tea has aged well. Great fruitiness with solid tobacco and hay notes backing up the whole experience. The quality of the body of the tea is shown in later infusions, when, despite losing some of its initial top notes, retains a buttery and satisfying flavor and texture. A very nice tea at a very nice price.
Dry leaf – stewed prunes, dried dates, sweet tobacco, hint of pond flora and pencil shavings. In preheated vessel – blackberry syrupy sweetness

Smell – prune and date, pencil shavings, funky gummy sweetness, sweet tobacco, mushroom broth

Taste – sweet tobacco, date, prune, gummy sweetness, mushroom broth, hay and straw. Becomes very buttery in later infusions

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Rating info:
100 – I haven’t found the perfect tea yet!

92-95 – So good that I will purchase this tea again, guaranteed. Excellent flavor and value.

88-91 – A tea that I would consider purchasing again at some point. Great flavor and value.

85-87 – Tea that was worth the purchase and that I enjoyed drinking, although I probably won’t be purchasing it again any time soon. Flavor may have slight drawbacks, or the price might be a little expensive.

80-84 – A tea that has some good points, but falls a bit short on its price:quality ratio. Flavor is a bit mediocre.

No rating – I did not like this tea and would not drink it, given other options.


Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

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