1254 Tasting Notes


I’m liking how every Jalam Tea cake I get, though all raw/sheng, are all very different.

This pu’er starts off very delicious – light at first, developing a stronger flavor at end of sip. Hay, juicy vegetable stalks and buttery corn notes. There is also a milky texture that is really nice. However, with each infusion Meng Hun gets more crisp and astringent.

I also found the recommended water temp of boiling water made the tea dry by the 3rd infusion, and really dry in later infusions. I preferred 185F, but the flavor wasn’t as strong, but no dryness until the 7th infusion.

Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/meng-hun-unfermented-puer-jalam-teas-oolong-owl-tea-review/
Pu’er cake unwrapping woes.

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g
Cameron B.

That rascally owl, making such a mess! :O


I’m obsessed with your owls :) where did you get them?


as soon as I get into puer im signing up for this club.


I had a feeling. So cute!

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reviewed Carry Travel Mug by DAVIDsTEA
1254 tasting notes

I needed a tea travelling mug that could hold in heat (or cold) well – so i decided to get DT’s new exclusive carry travel mug.

It indeed holds temperature very well for hours and hours, no matter what temperature it is outside. The strainer part is very cool – there is a basket as well as a filter under the lip – so you can drink using either or both. It is also leak proof!

my issues:
The lip is on the fat side to drink from, so not that comfortable to drink especially if the tea was steeped with boiling water. I do have a small mouth, so maybe others will have a different experience.

The secret compartment to stash tea does not keep my tea dry. It does okay if the travelling mug is stationary, but if its rolling around in your bag the leaves will get wet.

Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/carry-travel-mug-davidstea-oolong-owl-teawave-review/


I have their 12oz timolino and I almost always brew my tea in a pot before pouring into my timolino. And I too have a small mouth and I find that the lip of it is on the thicker side, so I always drink straight from the timolino itself.
It’s a nice mug! And I love their timolinos so much, I gave the burgandy travel mug to my sister and she loves it as well!

Oolong Owl

I tried sipping out of the body itself and totally burnt my face! This thing keeps tea really hot! I was looking at the zojirushi ones at the Tea Expo and but felt they had too many working parts to open the lid and locking buttons.

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drank Black Tea by Shan Valley
1254 tasting notes

Review rating bump.

This is really good iced and makes for a good blending base. My first review was this tea hot and it was just to woodychippy (like red rooibos) and astringent for me. Iced, its more mellow with the elements I disliked are gone.
I also steeped this with equal parts of a fruit herbal and had a killer fruity iced tea!


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Bow down to the delicious Phatty Cake II

WIth gongfu steeping, I found Phatty Cake II started sharp, strong and rich – almost abrasive. Each steeping, this tea mellows on you, like it got to know you and is now friendly. Chocolately, woodsy, vanilla, very smooth, mineral notes, and spice.

Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/phatty-cake-ii-ripe-puer-mandala-tea-oolong-owl-tea-review/


This is really wonderful to read here and on your blog, my friend! I had a session with this on Sunday and was super pleased about it. Whenever I first make a ripe pressing, it takes a few months for things to really start shaking out. There is some curing that needs to happen before they can begin coming of age and this one was no exception. When I first tasted the pressing (about 3 weeks after pressing), I was not so excited. But just as with every other pressing I’ve done, I remind myself that it will change significantly over the first 3 or 4 months.

Reading your take on it, coupled with my Sunday exploration of it, makes me realize that this is a great cake. Not that I don’t trust myself to know whether it is good or not, it’s just nice to have a trusted friend mirror back to me what I was thinking.

So thank you for that!

Rockin’ in the tea world,


I love that the picture looks like a stack of PANcakes. haha.

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I got a sachet of this tea at the World Tea Expo 2014. Weirdly, they have pretty nice looking loose leaf, but only samples of the bagged stuff. I asked a question about the bagged tea leaf being different (and it is, ground up for bagged tea) and they opened the package to show me how it still smells good – and gave it to me along with some other sachets of other stuff.

Decided to drink this one as its open (and mysteriously did not get tossed about or wrecked in my shopping bag) and I prepared it iced. Actually, a pretty decent bagged tea – the ceylon black is not bad and the mixed berry flavor comes out strong – I can taste blueberries mostly. Slight tart, but pretty fresh overall. Good level of fruityness that I didn’t add any sugar.

I wouldn’t go out of my way to secure more of this tea, but it is pretty solid for bagged – much better than the usual grocery store tea offerings and a tasty fruity iced tea. Wish I had it in loose leaf form tho.


My sister will be sharing her samples from the trade show with me…. can’t wait to compare notes with you! :)

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A very delicate tea! What I love here is the texture – it sips in juicy, meyer lemon sweets, and mid sip Lemon French Macaron gets creamy, silky, melted butter and fluffy, tasting of pastries. That creamy texture lingers after each sip! I also enjoy how the lemon here tastes natural, but not tart.

LFM tastes better cooled – a little sweeter, the lemon mellows more and melds with the creamy pastry flavors, so this tea is awesome for working away without worrying my cup got too cold.

Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/lemon-french-macaron-white-tea-butiki-teas-oolong-owl-tea-review/

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 15 sec

Oh, mercy, you are making me hungry and thirsty simultaneously :)


That blog post made my mouth water xD I gotta get around to ordering from Butiki soon!

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reviewed Smart Soak by Mandala Tea
1254 tasting notes

HOLY !#$%^ This stuff works and is AMAZING! DAAANG. I was stubborn and liked my cheapy “baking soda and water scrub” method, but I never got my strainers clean. So I decided to buy the 6oz of the Smart soak to try it out.

Seriously steepster, check out my blog post (Oolong Owl) for the pictures of Smart Soak at work – I test run the smart soak with a gongfu tea strainer and it came out brand new. http://oolongowl.com/smart-soak-tea-stain-dissolver-mandala-tea-oolong-owl-review/

I then tried it on my horrific, disgusting, about to trash it gravity steeper from the tea stained bowels of hell and it came out impressively clean! I had scrubbed the blasted thing many times, but after 2 minutes using the smart soak I could see the tea stains peeling off.

I actually noticed my tea tasting better with the sparkling clean tea strainers – like I was using a brand new strainer. Very spiffy!

(on a side note.. rating this 100, with the Steepster green licky happy face is weird. Not drinking this stuff and it is probably a bad idea and smells like stale old tea)


lmao i love this stuff!

Jilly Beane

Huh! Maybe it’s time to beautify my horror of a gravity strainer. I really never liked using it because of how hard it was to clean, so i fully admit to putting minimal effort into its cleanliness.

Now it lurks at the back of my cabinet.


LOL! I was just about to review this myself as I cleaned up all my teaware with it day before yesterday. It’s magic!

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I had a sample of this from my last Butiki order – very rosey, sipping in creamy smooth with an interesting aftertaste that has a savory and sweet element.

I sipped away at this while watching my dramas (Prince of Lan Ling) and working on amigurumi Owls. Before I knew it, my tea was all gone! I might need to get more of this tea!

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Now this is a fall tea! I should of really tried it months ago! Oh well. I highly recommend sweetening this tea as there is much more going on – baked apple flavor, malty black base, light spice and a warm molasses flavor adding lots of comfort food and snuggling by the fireplace feels.

I like the molasses as it is a unique concept, but I still rather have DTT’s more stronger teas like their Pineapple Upside Down Cake tea.

Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/apples-molasses-black-tea-della-terra-teas-oolong-owl-tea-review/

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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drank White Christmas by Lupicia
1254 tasting notes

I got a package of this tea for free when I bought a buncha stuff at Lupicia Honolulu. However, I had this tea before in bagged form. It was actually one of my first reviews for Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/white-christmas-by-lupicia-tea-review/

The loose leaf is much nicer! It actually has those big blobby metallic sugar crystals, which I didn’t see in the tea bag. The flavor is much smoother and creamy. Also sweeter (probably from the sugar). I wonder how much better favorites of mine (ie Champagne Rose) would be loose rather than bagged?

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I’m a tea blogger – The Oolong Owl
www.OolongOwl.com – I do tea reviews, obsessively photograph teas with mischievous crocheted Owls and get tea drunk. I am also a crochet and knitting designer at Awkward Soul Designs.

To contact me for reviews, check out details at OolongOwl.com/about or email me at [email protected]

I was raised on floral oolongs and green teas, mostly “beauty” teas. Early on as a kid, I can guzzle an entire pot of tea (or two) at a Chinese or Japanese restaurant.
These days I like adventurous and interesting tea blends. I’m fearless in trying new teas! I’m into oolong, pu’erh, white, green, black, guayusa, mate and herbals. I’m not into red rooibos but I keep buying it anyway.

The tea brand that got me started into loose leaf teas was DAVIDsTea. I used to live in Vancouver Canada and had access to their shop, however that is now limited since I moved to southern California.

However, the perks of living in the US is ultra cheap, fast shipping! Since then, my tea stash insanely expanded.

Other stuff I’m into that sneaks into my tea notes: Brazilian jiu-jitsu, metal music, drawing, painting, cooking, photography and nail polish.

BTW, my Steepster cupboard is not even close to accurate and I track my teas on a spreadsheet. Last update 573 Teas – August 2015.


Seattle, WA USA



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