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My friend Carey give me this tea months ago. I do not think he was a big fan of Pu-Erhs. He said they upset his stomach. I really think he may have steeped his way too long. Anyway, it took maybe a minute before the liquor went from clear to red and the mini cake was still intact. I was getting a nice numbing sensation and a firm, strong brew. Cup 2 is utterly stimulating after I broke up the cake and steeped it for maybe 30 seconds. Cup 3 is the winner. I steeped it for maybe 2 minutes and I am getting a slight carbonation with a true eye opening flavor. This is a very convienient way to enjoy Pu-Erh on the go. A very nice tea. Now I have to get him to join Steepster….

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My brother and I found this particular tea while travelling China. We first tried it in our hostel in Beijing where we shared some tea with one of the ladies running the hostel. We both found it to be delicious and made certain to get more information on it so we could track it down as we traveled further.

It was purchased in markets in early 2011, so was harvested 2010 (though harvest date and precise location is uncertain). Some was purchased in Kunming, and more in Menghai. In Kunming, it was found at a stand in an open-air market. In Menghai, in a tea shop near the bus station.

The aroma is lightly vegetal, very slightly hay-like, with a hint of sweetness. Overall, this is a mild tea. It is lightly earthy, with mild astringency with each sip. With a small amount of bitterness with each sip, but mostly the herbaceous sweet flavor of the tea, I absolutely adore this tea.

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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drank Pu-erh Mini Tuo by Unknown
91 tasting notes

I have tasted a number of random pu-erh teas and this is one of my favorites to date. It was an added random sample mini tuo with an order from Life In Teacup, but I have been unable to identify just which tea it is. However, it was so tasty, I wanted to write up a little something.

Using a gaiwan and relatively recently boiling water, I gave this pu-erh its first new breath of life. And smelling the air wafting from it as I poured that first infusion, that’s exactly what it was. It’s very earthy and natural in scent. As I tasted it, I felt as if I was hiking the woods on a dewy spring morning. The sensation of tasting this particular pu-erh brings back happy memories.

Though it has a light bitterness to it, I was surprised at how light the flavor was on the first infusion compared to how darkly the liquor brewed. The bitterness has a hint of sweetness, like you would expect of a hoppy ale or porter.

At this point, all I can say is that I’m saving the wrapper and going to do all I can to identify this pu-erh so I can order myself a larger quantity!

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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This came in small silk/synthetic tea bags, and a wealth of flavour and woodsiness oozed through them. Alas my packets are gone!

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This is actually a lot better than I expected it to be! After all, it is an unbranded, stringless tea bag amidst an assortment of candies and crackers from a gift basket.

The black tea base is recognizable as Ceylon and confirmed on the box. It’s only a tiny bit bitter, but not uncomfortably so. It’s the hint of bitterness I almost always get when I drink black tea.

I added a little bit of sweetener, and it really brought out the cranberry and apple flavors. I’m thoroughly enjoying this afternoon cup at work, while trying to plow through some of the duller assignments. I can’t wait for Christmas vacation!!!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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drank 2010 Qi Hong Mao Feng by Unknown
108 tasting notes

A crisp, sweet black. Flavors of pineapple and rose petals with an aftertaste of brown sugar that names it an Anhui tea. The liquor is brown-gold with a medium body. This is the last of my batch.

The second and third infusions held up quite well for the age of this tea. The third may have been the best at around 3.5 minutes. A rich chocolate flavor on the front of the tongue appeared out of nowhere to light up the finish.

Brewed in a small gaiwan.

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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drank Cranberry Orange by Unknown
1060 tasting notes

This was a gift from a friend. She bought me several loose teas at a shop in Ocean City, NJ as a thank you for babysitting her cat and garden. I wish I had more information about the teas, but the lack of information has not kept me from enjoying them.

This tisane is good. The cranberry is strong with the orange taking the edge off the tartness. It’s a lovely evening drink when I want to relax with a warm cup of tea and a good book.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Lychee Black by Unknown
223 tasting notes

I got this as a gift from a friend who recently visited China. She doesn’t remember where she got this from though. I ADORE lychee, so I loved this tea. The lychee aspect was sweet, soft and totally not overdone, which I am glad of. It pairs really well with the black tea base, which is smooth and not bitter at all.

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drank Kitmai Coconut Black by Unknown
1725 tasting notes

Not bad! But not a repurchase either, I don’t think.
Dry, this tea is highly fragrant, with green/white spots of coconut (I didn’t know it could be green)
Steeeped, well I think maybe I added too much leaf? it was really heavy on the tongue. The black tea is almost entirely hidden, coming out only in the finish and astringency. Coconut is there in the first, middle and last part of the sip. Also, the tea is rather sweet, as expected, without any sugar added at all.
I made a second steep for Dad and only managed to sneak a sip but it was much lighter, I think… I couldn’t tell much else about it.
It doesn’t help that I’ve had a headache since yesterday afternoon and have to be at a family lunch in less than an hour. oh joy. (normally would be more excited without the headache, I swear!)
The one Advil I took isn’t helping so it’s time for another now. bleh.

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drank Dong Ding by Unknown
311 tasting notes

I don’t know that my unknown Dong Ding is related to the one described above, but it’s a sample from a teaSwap, and if I recall correctly, the swapper didn’t know much about it. But this is a lovely grand tea, a marvelous blend of the roasted, toasted, traditional style, but still full of the deep spicy flavor I associate with Alishan oolongs.

Nice stuff. I’d mostly dismissed Dong Ding, but this convinces me I need to keep exploring.

Can’t pu the time/temp slider on the phone: brewed to fill gaiwan about 2/3 full when hydrated, water 195 degrees, infusions 45 seconds to several minutes by the time i am ready to stop, perhaps 6 or 8 infusions into the session.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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I had hoped this would be slightly sweet on it’s own, and I guess it was somewhat, but not enough… even after I added a few swirls of agave.
The tea itself may have been a yunnan base, as it was a touch earthy, underneath the distinct cran essence.
Next time I’ll try it with milk. Still, unless it surprises me with a sudden turnaround I doubt this one will ever make the repurchase list. Too bad, I had lofty dreams for it

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drank Matcha by Unknown
6770 tasting notes

Had a matcha latte at Wegman’s tonight – I’ve had it before but can;t find it on here…not sure who they go thru for their matcha…I’m thinking it might be RIshi. Regardless it was quite FAB…frothy, creamy, with a hint of natural sugary goodness!


I hear Wegman’s are amazing. I wish they’d come a little further east in NY! The latte sounds really yummy!


How “upstate” are you!? If you don’t mind me asking…even a nearby city :)


I’m not far from Albany, NY. We have Hannaford and Price Chopper yay (note sarcasm)


We are just getting our first Wegman’s in Frederick, MD, but since my grandparents live in Brockport, I’m no stranger to this awesome grocery store. Now to hear they have lattes?! YUMS!


If you go to their Deli/Food prep area – you know – with the cafe type area/sit-down area, ready to eat or open and serve stuff…most of them have coffee and/or tea, etc now…YUMMO!

Ours added sushi (including VEGAN Sushi Options that I am grateful for) this past year! YAY!


Did you take this picture (of the matcha) or just pull a random one from the internet? If you took this pic of the matcha you got from them, then they got their matcha from Marukyu-Koyamaen (a very well-known Japanese producer of matcha). At least, this picture is of tins of theirs!

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drank Lao Shan Cha by Unknown
30 tasting notes

This is an unknown treasure! I spent three years living in the shadow of Laoshan (Mt. Lao) where this tea is produced. The yearly picking is tiny in comparison to export-driven tea growing areas. Most people in China have not heard of this tea. I am pretty suprised to even see an entry here. If you managed to get your hands on some Laoshan and it was not mind-blowing, please don’t judge all Laoshan tea from that one. As with any area, there is a huge range of quality. The farmers I had a chance to work with still hand process each batch. The best Laoshan tea can hold its own against anything, from Dragonwell to Gyokuro. The fields are fertilized with soybeans to give the tea a more rich and creamy taste. Very interesting tea. I am importing the spring 2011 batch from some farmer friends to introduce it to America properly.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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This makes one heavenly cup of tea. It is from Taiwan, and as I got it as a gift and I can’t read kanji I have no idea of the company or any other info than the only English printed text there is on the canister: High land Uolong Tea.

This tea is really unbelievable – it is definitely the best oolong and the best tea I’ve ever had. There’s not a single sign of any astringency, the taste is very soft and flavourful and also somewhat sweet. The scent of this tea – both dry and liquid – is to die for. I sometimes just open the canister to smell this tea – my own personal tea heaven :D

I’ve been drinking this tea for at least 6 months now I think, and I don’t think it has lost almost anything in taste or scent during that time. I still continue to enjoy this very much, this tea always restores my fascination and love for tea if I ever accidentally have been drinking bad teas! :)

3 min, 0 sec

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drank Delícia de Champagne. by Unknown
358 tasting notes

A chance buy, and I am really looking for the name of the company which blended this, because it was a tremendous hit with me and some friends. The sencha is there and delicate, the champagne flavour ( it must be artificial but it works) and strawberries just make it so much more lively. A lovely lovely special tea.

Very large whole leaves, expands a lot.

On searching for the blender:
it might be https://www.dethlefsen-balk.de/ENU/27659/22443_flavored%20Sencha%20tea.html?FromNo=10550 , this one.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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i must say their pomegranate White Tea was very refreshing. Light and pleasureable. and it costed only .44 cents for 4 or 5 cups worth. when i find more i will update this more. but did enjoy it thoroughly.
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Peach Vanilla by Unknown
603 tasting notes

This tea had such potential to be a delicious dessert tea. I could hardly smell the peach or the vanilla, mostly only the black tea. This was a smooth cup, but I would have loved to taste the peaches and the cream. I didn’t taste either in the cup. I was able to get a few hints of the peach in the smell, but it was very faint.

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My boss and I went to ‘our’ cafe this afternoon after work. We discovered it at some sort of tea-introduction event thing a couple of years ago (where I learned exactly nothing and violently disagreed with other things, although I kept my misgivings to myself). They have a fair few things to choose from, although there is a shocking lack of oolong of any sort. Seriously. Not a one.

But anyway, today my boss opted for coffee, so I took a small pot for myself and I chose a sencha with apple and lemon.

It was… lemon-y. Not very sencha-y and not even slightly apple-y, but definitely lemon-y. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail, because it’s several hours later now and I wasn’t paying that much attention, but it certainly wasn’t what I was expecting when I chose it.

Drinkable, nice even if you’re looking for a straight lemon tea, but ultimately disappointing when led to believe there would be more to it.

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This is my 100th tasting note!!! Yay for steepster and great tea! I picked this one up in my local loose tea shop (which I am headed to tomorrow with some friends who are tea newbies). It is surprisingly good and is a decaf. It has a definite creamy taste and feel to it. Also has almost a caramel note to it. Very nice for a relaxing evening!


ACK and this has to be unknown in brand! I want! lol


Congrats on reaching 100 tasting notes!




Congrats! :)




I will try to find out the brand today at the tea shop!

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drank pumkin spice by Unknown
193 tasting notes

I picked this up at a local tea shop (I will have to find out which company) a few weeks ago. It is a full bodied black tea, with a great pumpkin taste with hints of spice and vanilla. Since I was painting pumpkins with my daughter I thought it was an appropriate afternoon cuppa. Enjoyable!


When I find out which company I will update!

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drank Gen Mai Cha by Unknown
47 tasting notes

This is my mellow green tea standby.

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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drank Genmaicha by Unknown
93 tasting notes

… Only one thing comes to mind.

Popcorn soup.


I wish I could find a Gen Mai Cha that tasted like popcorn soup- I always get toasted rice cereal soup. :(


Rice cereal?
Lol huh… well… mine taste like popcorn – no doubt about it.
Buttery salty and nutty…


Yep, cuz it’s made w/ toasted rice that actually pops like popped corn (at least all the Gen Mai Cha I’ve seen is).

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I know I said I was going to write about Bai Hao and Darjeeling, but I’ve got to slip this one in there just for kicks…
This was a piece of Da Hong Pao brick that James brought back from China. I had been holding on to it (as I do with all my aged oolongs), hoarding it for a special occasion…Then I got over it and decided that the tea itself WAS the special occasion…

Nicotine. Dry sandy soil. Bitter, with only a suggestion of roundness. Both aroma and taste reminded me so strongly of tobacco—not smoked, but the dry leaves…although one could say there’s a hint of ash thrown in there. Feels earthy in quality and not so much head-y as heart-y…although I felt it in my 3rd chakra, too! An ancient hearth, charred bits of old sacred manuscripts…the royal secret safe.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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My first genmaicha!

I just ordered a green tea at my favorite sushi place, having no idea what kind of green tea it was.
I noticed immediately the toasty rice flavour and had my suspicions it was genmaicha, so I asked the server. She didn’t know the name of it, but did know it was toasted rice green tea.

It was very good! Not too grassy, but definitely green. It was a beautiful colour green. The rice flavour was the predominant one, which was really nice.

At the bottom of the cup there was about half a teaspoon of very fine green powder. It looked like matcha powder it was so fine. No rice, though.

Regardless, I will definitely be getting some genmaicha!

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