486 Tasting Notes

i learned the bad news today. Steven Smith lost his battle with cancer. I love his teas.

This one is one of my favorite Yunnan Black( Red ) tea.
i brewed it Western today. my usual parameters 3g 8oz 200F for 3min

This tea is wonderful. its smooth and sweet but not overly. Im getting tired of sweet potato notes. thankfully this is not this kind. Some floral and savory. very enjoyable cup.



200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

i wish i had 49 in my cupboard still to mourn his passing


i dont have 49 either. i wasnt happy with last year harvest.


that is sad… :(


Cancer is an asshole :(

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drank Rougui by Nannuoshan
486 tasting notes

I received samples from Nannuoshan for review.
let me just say its creative presentation and i really loved personalized letter.

Today i decided to start with Rou Gui. i sampled a few before so i knew what to expect.
i prepared it according to website parameters.
3g 90C 110ml porcelain gaiwan
rinse/ 60/60/60/90sec
i really loved the aroma coming when i rinsed the leaves. Simply divine. Mix of roasted nuts and florals. But floral notes in this tea are not strong (thank god). its just beautiful compliment to the complex mix of peaches and roasted nuts and cinnamon.

1 steep @60 sec – pleasant, not super roasty, some floral, hint of cinnamon. slight sweetness coming thru. Very aromatic

2,3 steep @60sec- leaves are opening up more, more intense in flavor. but never harsh. i found 2nd and 3rd steep are pretty similar.

4 steep @90sec – very nice and pleasant, not harsh in any way. Some citrus-y notes emerging and cutting thru sweetness of peach and nuts (not roasted any more lol). now im thinking it reminds me nectarines more than peaches.

To sum up: many people are not huge fans of roasted oolong. this one is perfectly fine and safe. Give them a chance, its like delicious fruit compote in your mouth. The sweetness is lingering long after i finished my session.

6g for 100cc and flash or quick steeps. This is my usual parameters . im pretty sure i didnt experience the whole beauty of this tea my way. i have 3g left. i may do it my way and report the results.

For the record I stopped rating any tea long time ago. it is hard for me to put a number. the more i try the harder it is.






195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

ooooh! “delicious fruit compote”… yum.
And, I’m with you on the number rating thing… I just can’t do it.


(loved the instagram pics, too!)

Red Fennekin

Sounds really delicious! I’m with you on roasted oolongs too – they’re really special teas that definitely do not not need to be feared!!


I agree with your comments on ratio. I’ve stopped packing my pot as much as Iused to, but like my Yancha with lots of leaf!!

As long as you’re OK with a little bitterness, bringing up the leaf-to-water-ratio really helps to enhance the body, mouthfeel, etc.


I like roasted oolong when roasted right.

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First steeps were very mild but i knew its deceiving. on a 3rd steep it hit me. it is strong bitter tea but i like it a lot. only few months ago i probably wouldnt be able to drink it. Besides being bitter its incredibly smooth, even creamy. and there is a sweetness comes in the end of the sip. very happy i was able to try this sample. its a swap from Instagram member. i need to ask him if he is on Steepster.



5g 95ml gaiwan 205 F
rinse/ pause/ flash steeps , then increased to 7-10-15 secs

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 95 ML

It’s punchy for sure. But I like it


I’m seriously thinking of push aging mine. There is no way I’m gonna live long enough for it to age naturally.


Cwyn, You can send it to me to age in the “pumidor”…


I may skip this one, I have enough bitter shengs for now :D


Mr mopar, yeah I might do that.


I’m putting mine in the shengidor. When the shengidor is finished, which it almost is. Thanks mr mo!


I’m on steepster and enjoying the NA2 right now :) I love that tea… I’d be curious to see how it aged out but honstly I’m about halfway throught the cake already :)


im picking it up with my next order ;)

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drank Taiwan Ruby by Zen Tea
486 tasting notes

I was desperate getting nice quality white tea cup. White because it shows the true color of the tea.
its not that easy. The cup had to be around 80-90ml and not too thin. While i like thin cups they are not practical for me. its too hot to hold them. and im always afraid to break them.
So Zen Tea Life has pretty extensive Korean ceramic pieces which i happen to love. And i found my perfect cup there.

They got new Taiwanese teas . I had to add a sample of this tea.
Its delicious. made gongfu 5g 100ml 195F
Leaves are gorgeous, long full,not broken. had many steeps. it has usual Taiwanese black tea profile of fruity longan sweetness and raw nuts.

Zen Tea never disappoints me with quality of teas, teaware, pricing and careful packing. And i got it in two business days from Canada.




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

YAY!!! The cup (which is exactly the type of thing I need…need? maybe more ‘want’, but it feels like a ‘need’! haha), sounds so perfect! I haven’t looked at their teaware before, but now I have to check it out.
Gorgeous pictures, too. :D


How does this Taiwanese tea compare to similar offerings from Butiki and TTC?

boychik DeliriumsFrogs, i will send you PM.

looseTman, the tea is very good. $20 for 100g . and you can get a sample, their samples are 20g. Pretty generous. This is not Taiwanese Assam,so I cannot compare it Butiki’s PTA, but Taiwan Ruby #18. i’ve sampled some TTC black teas. Some I liked , some were ok, or so so. its not side by side tasting but I assure you it is very good tea.


Red #18s are interesting teas. Eco-cha has a nice one, lots for rich sweet sundried tomato and minty notes. They set me up with ’12 and ’13 from the same farmer, and it was really fascinating to taste the two side by side. Clearly the same tea, but so different at the same time. Like the same girl dressed for an upscale restaurant one night and beach bonfire picnic the next.


lol, never seen a tea seed in a black tea before, only in puerh bricks

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I’m so sleepy. I thought this tea would give me a nice boost. It did, nice and gently. It’s very smooth, not bitter or doesn’t need any additions if you make it @200F for 3min


1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Yum, “ze tiger”!!

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Marzipan sent me this tea. it was a total surprise along with our joint Tao Tea Leaf order.
I love smoky teas. And i love this tea. smells pretty strong but doesnt taste too smoky/ashy to me. in fact, its quite sweet. i didnt need any maple syrup which i usually add to LS.
I really enjoy this tea during our Juno Blizzard all morning. thank you so much Marzi for sending this tea to me. im sure this 50g wont last a long time ;)



200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

I saw Sil say something about putting maple syrup in LS the other day, and I had never heard of that before! I have some LS from zen tea that I can’t decide if I like or not, and I think that trying it with maple syrup would be delicious. Adding maple syrup to my grocery list….

Also, STAY WARM!! Thinking of you in that blizzard!


Hope you are nice and cozy in the blizzard, boychik!


Thank you Steph, im drinking tea non stop. very warm. cant wait till tomorrow when my family will go back to work and school, haha


Maybe I just don’t like LS, then, if I’m wanting to drown the zen tea LS in maple syrup. haha
Your pictures are lovely, by the way. :)


I find that most smokey LS need just a little bit of maple syrup (the real stuff) but there are some that I think need more than others. I have yet to find one that I wouldn’t add MS to.


i was going to order some but i decided on replacing it with fancy grade dragonwell. (i adore dragonwell). i hope my parcel arrives soon. i spent almost 200$ on it :(

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drank Finbarr's Revenge by The Devotea
486 tasting notes

revisiting. This is a perfect Assam. very smooth. no additions needed. i would call it elegant. it was comforting. no astringency, no bitterness. perfect !


200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

Oh, i LOVE your photo! Elegant, indeed! :D


thank you DeliriumsFrogs. i tried lol


that IS a nice photo! and your description sounds like an impossibiliTEA, i mean, an assam that doesn’t cry out for milk and sugar? hmmmm. i may have to check it out.


ok juliebeth, the temp was 200F and 3min. it works 99% for all Assams and Darj. This particular is extra smooth.


A blend of Assam and Ceylon, nice. I’ll have to try this one out! Thanks for the recommendation!

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sipdown of old version. i do have a brand new tin ;)
made gongfu. 5g 100ml. Rinse/ short steeps.
Delicious tea. i came to conclusion that chinese red teas have to be made gongfu. having long steeps turn them spicy bitter with earthy notes. for many people it is not appealing . I really enjoyed this tea. perfect breakfast tea. it is replaced by the same better quality better leaves. but they dont taste the same. im glad i still can have them both ;)


200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Nice collection of goodies!


Thank you Fjellrev ;)

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drank Dan Cong Red Tea by jing tea shop
486 tasting notes

Revisited. This tea is delicious. in my previous note i used 4g, this time 5g. thats my ratio nowdays 5g for 100ml. as previously mentioned its citrusy, longan, grapes and raw nuts. Still love it. i would restock at some point


200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Sounds amazing

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drank Red Queen Cupcake by Butiki Teas
486 tasting notes

today i tried this tea . it was on my wishlist and Stephanie was so kind to send me in Christmas care package.
it was delicious. it does have espresso notes ( i love espresso). Strawberries and chocolate are great addition. the tea is so pretty to look at. smells and tastes heavenly.

Thank you so much my #teafiend for making my dreadful afternoon so yummy and cheerful. i need to make that last order w/Butiki.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

this is hilarious ;)


So glad you enjoyed <3


Making Fiends is amazing. :)

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I’ve stopped rating teas long time ago. Couldn’t be happier ;D

Puaddict flirting with Taiwanese teas at the moment





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