906 Tasting Notes


I swear I finished half of my bag of this. I got this tea impatiently because I needed some Li Shan in my life again.

This one is on the lighter, crisper side of Lishans, but the profile is generally sweet, fresh, floral, and fruity. I tend to do this one Gong Fu, going heavier on the leaf for 4-7 grams for 6 oz and Tumbler Grandpa styling it with 3 grams. I prefer lighter temperatures for it personally, but it can handle near boiling temperatures with a heftier amount of leaves. I have yet to succeed brewing this western, but I’ll figure out a method yet.

The lightness of the green oolong is akin to washing fresh spinach or morning dew on green blades of grass in the mountains. I could simply use the word fresh again, but I like to paint little pretentious pictures anyway. I generally prefer a rinse for this leaves because the first cup can be generally water chestnutt-y or grassy, but the rinse is drinkable. The second cups always blooms with delicate flowers and powdery sugar notes from the smell. It vaguely resembles the middle range of the air in the Kualoa mountain’s tropical forests. I know, it really resembles the air in Taiwan, but just think tropical mountains covered in rain and luscious greenery.

Shorter steeps of 15 or even 30 seconds early on were grassy/mistier, and later longer steeps were more citrusy and nectar like. The profiles shift and become sweeter in later longer infusions of four minutes gong fu in steeps five or six (my average is 8 cups gong fuwith this bugger). Tasting it, the profile is pleasantly grassy, and very floral notes that are a little bit more like pinneapple for me personally. Passionfruit is much more precise. The fruity notes resemble clementine moreso in later steeps as it becomes sweeter, softer, yet fuller bodied. Plumeria and hibiscus come to mind for me over and over, moreso sweet hibiscus with a plumeria’s creaminess. Lilac is a given, but the florals are accented most by the fruity notes. Mom noticed jasmine, though I might scrap the florals to these few words: Jasmine or orange blossom, osmanthus mid to later steeps, and the usual honeysuckle. Every once in a while, a snickerdoodle notes pops up with the sugar cane, but the honey notes are vaguer for me as they are a collection of the fruity, floral, and sweeter notes overall.

As many cups and as much ceremony Gong Fu brought me, I preferred the taste in my Tumbler a little more because the creamy florals and sugary fruit notes were better highlighted in it. This is why I need to figure out a way to make this western because it probably can handle it, and I can maybe save more leaves.

I’m sorry that I am now just getting to the recommendation, but I recommend this tea as a solid Li Shan with fresher rain water qualities you might pick up with other, more expensive oolongs. The price for this is still hefty, even with a discount ($40 for 150 g and a tin), it is still worth it as a good tea. If only this were sold in smaller quantities…though I am glad that I have this much.

As much as I slightly prefer What-Cha’s Li Shan (WHY DIDN’T I SAVE UP MORE FOR IT!!!!), this was an excellent soft tea worthy of its price. I also love Berylleb as a Tea Vendor and I am so happy to have the tin this came in. For now, I am a happy Daylon.

Flavors: Citrus, Creamy, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Honeysuckle, Orange Blossom, Osmanthus, Passion Fruits, Spinach, Sweet


5/5 great review.

Yes the whatcha stuff is really good this year. The TGY is quite fruity as well

Daylon R Thomas

I had the Winter TGY and it outranked so many others that tend to be more example.

Daylon R Thomas

I had the Winter TGY and it outranked so many others that tend to be more expensive.


Yes – thats the one. great stuff!

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A way far back backlog because…I finished the sample in four days. I never had the chance to gong fu it. I brewed it 3 minutes almost every time in my French press with one exception of a near grandpa style steeping. Let’s see if I can do this tea justice from memory.

Alistair described this tea as setting itself apart from Darjeelings as a lot of Nepal teas have very similar profiles. The tendency to compare the two regions makes sense because they both come from the Himalayas, and I find myself putting them in the same category in my head. Now, I am glad to say that I’ve slowly started to prefer the Nepalese blacks, and I definitely prefer their oolongs over the few that I have had from India. Even though the market is expanding their and vendors like Alistair hopes to expose more people to Nepalese teas, I still like the teas for themselves.

What sets this one apart is it’s slight grapiness combined with the rich medium milk to dark chocolate taste that keeps on popping up. It’s very grapey and with a fair amount of malt, but I would not describe it as muscatel. The first initial sips are somewhat dry, but the following notes are rich and almost lavish ending in a slight roast drying it off. The roast was vaguely nutty, but definitely woody for me, and the grapey sweetness was almost comparable to a Chinese or Taiwaneese Honey Black tea, but the most prominent tastes of this tea were malt, chocolate, grape, light roast, and well tea. The general profile was consistent with pretty much all steeps western, though the sweet note was a little more pronounced in the second to last brews of the four or five I would get each time. The chocolate profile was more prominent in steeps 2, and 3, though two occasions of the four I had this tea had strong chocolate notes in steep 1. I unfortunately brewed ad hoc and by color, smell, and an internal clock that I can’t remember the parameters for, but generall, I added 30 seconds to a minute for stronger brews with less water and more leaves, or I incremented the minutes to 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8 with less leaves and more water.

Although the grape notes and chocolate notes were layered on top of each other making this tea stand out from other elusive cocoa and chocolate note teas, the profile for the general person trying this would be a rich black tea. While tea snobs will love the chance to try the terroir for its unique contrasts of dryness and very wet sweet notes, intermediate drinkers, wine drinkers, or anyone who can handle dryer paletted things would appreciate this tea more. Average tea drinkers would appreciate it again as a rich black tea that is not as strong as an Assam, and it is good enough to stand up to cream and sugar. However; I’d go light on the additions to preserve more of the natural qualities of the tea, or use frothy cream or just a few dabs of it along with a moderate amount of sugar to handle the chocolaty notes.

I do not know how much anyone reading can gather from this, but I do recommend this to most people. It is very hardline medium to slightly soft on the grand scale of black teas and for those who like their teas like that with dash of complexity thrown in, this is your tea. And if it weren’t for the Wild Shan Cha, the financial situation of student teaching, and what I already have, I would have purchased fifty grams of this and recommend others to do the same. Was this review helpful?


This wasn’t on the list I made to prepare for a (hopefully near) future order but it has definitely piqued my interest!

Daylon R Thomas

It is definitely worth sampling. I know it spiked my hopes and preferences up for Nepal.

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Free sample in a sexy, sexy little black folder.

I am going to ramble about my tea journey with this one. I love Mao Fengs and fruity greens, but I rarely purchase them. I started off on steepster being a Sencha lover and someone thinking he’d love dark ripe Pu-Erh’s and oolongs. Now, I stay mostly in the comfort zone of greener oolongs, whites, and blacks….constantly complaining that some green oolongs aren’t sweet or fruity enough, never mind there are green teas that do just that.

I generally stay away from greens because they are often too vegetal for me, never mind they price slightly cheaper than oolongs. As for this tea, it makes me think of rain in bamboo filled mountains. The profile is light, creamy, vegetal like sweet peas, bamboo, a little floral, and fruity like honeydew and eating whole strawberries…including the stem. I know, I am odd. The tea is straightforward, but it very clean, elegant, and sweet tasting for a green tea sachet. I got four brews out of it total, starting with 2 1/2 minutes, 3, 4, then grandpa styling the last two. I still prefer oolongs to greens even though I think this is a better tea than the Alishan. WTF is wrong with me?


Nothing wrong with strawberry stems!

I also love the tail and legs of prawns. Apparently that is weird. I disagree

Daylon R Thomas

If they are soaked in like teriyaki or whatever the coconut glaze is, hell yeah!

Terri HarpLady

hey, we’re all a little different around here, right?


the oddness in us all is what I find endearing :)

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I originally expected this tea to be darker than it was, but after looking at the leaves closely and the other reviews on here, I decided I needed to try this one once. Western or Gong Fu, it was a good experience. This is closer to a greener Dan Cong, but the distinct violet taste displayed a unique character that I don’t see in many other teas.

I feel unoriginal in copying them, but the notes displayed pretty much describe it: Floral, creamy, clean, buttery, sweet like violet and accented by a nutty roast. The roast is more prominent Western and showed up later steeps Gong Fu, and the combination with the creamy florals made me think of steel cut oatmeal. The profile is fuller in Western starting at 3 minutes giving you at least three more solid rounds, while Gong Fu gives time to differentiate the tasting spectrum. The liqour is also lighter, giving more of a Gao Shan or Bao Zhong yellow hue as the leaves turn into a healthy light green kissed by purple. The overall tea is soft no matter what, and was approachable for my brother who does not care much for straight oolongs. He reused the French Press for seconds.

I cannot say that I’d make it a staple like I might with the Toba Wangi Baozhong, but it is a unique tea that I am very glad to have on hand. I would not say no to it if I were offered it again, and it is good enough for me to chose over some Dan Congs. The violet and creamy notes are very unusual in this very oolongy oolong, and they endure most cups when brewed. It is better offered to an intermediate drinker of oolong or those looking to expand their terroir, although the soft profile makes it very easy to drink.

I’d rate it between 80-90. The quality is great for the price, and the tea is unique enough to stand out on its own. As for those who have tried it, I’d love to see your thoughts on it.


I’ve got a sample pouch of this in one of my tea totes. Around the end of the month, I am hoping to spend 2-3 days doing a Toba Wangi tea shootout with this, the Golden Needle Black, and both the Needle and Redolent greens. I’ve been curious about this producer for some time, so now that I know that this is at least a solid tea, I’ll probably go through with my plan.

Daylon R Thomas

That sounds like fun. :)

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Thank you Steven Smith for the sample!

If I was smart, I would have tin refilled this instead of the oolong, BUT I am always in the mood for oolong and would not drink this 2nd flush every day. I would drink it every other day.

“Complex flavors of butter, nuts, flowers and fruits with balanced astringency and a sweet toasty finish” is fairly spot on, but it is a fairly muscatel second flush-just the way I like it. I admit that I oversteeped the first brew because I held the tea pot while talking to my mom, but it still produced a rich, vibrant orange cup of sweet muscatel goodness. The grassy bitterness and astringency were a bit much bordering on hay,straw, or even basil, but it the tea was still super tasty. I got more almond in the early mid sip, and more honey in the mid to aftertaste as it went down with the hay-dry bitterness.

The second 5 minute rebrew was much more balanced and definitely comparable to a Bai Hao with it’s honey aftertones. The almond-lemon taste was much more pronounced, and the florals were fairly buttery. Overall, this was a very smooth and sweet cup. The third seven minute rebrew was the lightest, but again, had the lemon zest honey thing going on with some dry characters still there.

I am tempted to pick up more of this one. It ranks as my No. 1 sachet black tea as of now, Aug. 6, 2017. As for those looking for a quality bagged Darjeeling or a slightly floral black tea, I highly recommend it. This tea is also fairly easy to recommend to experienced drinkers and newbies alike. The price is my only detractor personally, though the loose leaf pricing is not bad. $11-14 for 15 sachets is not ideal, but you are paying for quality.

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Cardamon, Chocolate, Caramel, Cocoa, Lavender, Cardboard (Red Rooibos), Vanilla, Cream, Fig, Floral, Honey, Sweet pretty much describe it. I actually rather enjoy it for a herbal tea, especially a night time blend. It shines with rock sugar, or cream and sugar, and it is okay but drinkable straight. It is good enough for me to drink straight in a brew time in 3 minutes.

The cardamom is stronger that I expected, and as my brother said, it is kind of like turkish delight with a hint of lavender. Better yet, it’s like drinking Turkish cardamom coffee with Turkish delight in a watered down, slightly cardboardy form. Luckily, the lavender is not too strong because it could be too soapy. The cardamom could almost do that, but the cocoa nibs and shells prevent that from happening. Still pleasant. In terms of rating, it is between 75-80, and I lean towards 80 because I enjoy it. I would not highly recommend this one, but it is an easy going one if you want a desert herbal with rock sugar or cream and sugar. Honey is an otherwise overpowering sweetener for this particular blend.


Huh, that sounds not bad, indeed. I may need to check it out before they fold up. I’m so clueless about what they have to offer.

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So many notes to backlog….

Well, I honestly bounced on some because of the eventual close of the franchise stores, and I have not been to a store in years. This was on my hit list since I did like the Samurai Chai, and oolong chais appeal to me.

Well, it smells like the fall just before Christmas, and it is a very approachable drink. My mom enjoys it even though she is not a Chai fan, and it is flexible hot or iced. It is a jubilee of Chai spices with emphasis on cinnamon, cardamom, and pepper. The papaya peaces are welcomed for fruity flavor while the oolong makes the body a bit more robust, though its very far off in the background. The mate also makes the body a little grassier, but oddly refreshing.

Drinkable and very approachable is how I would describe this tea overall. You can do it iced, with honey, cream, sugar, hot western or grandpa style (with less leaves, and hopefully, the right balance of ingredients). It will be especially useful in the coming fall months-the spices really do help my stomach out.

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I pretty much knew what this tea would taste like and trusted eastteaguy’s suggestion, but I was curious to have a few sachets of this on hand. It’s what you can expect from a Jin Xuan, and while it is pretty good, I have had better oolong sachets from the local markets in East Lansing.

The sachets were fairly light, and even though steeps longer than 3 minutes is not recommended, I found that the sachets did fine Grandpa style. Grandpa yielded a little more nuttiness and fuller creamy textures, but the other notes pretty much remained the same in a slight flux. Western style, and just generally, the tea tasted like lettuce water and rice milk with some floral tones smoothing in the background. The cantaloupe fruit notes were there, but very subtle making the tea mildly sweet. I’d guess that the fermentation is a little higher, maybe there is bare light roast.

This tea could be stronger, but it is much better than other sachets or tea bags. Again, it is what you’d expect from a Jin Xuan: floral, creamy, and vegetal. Though I might hesitate getting it again, I do not regret having some easy going sachets on hand and I still recommend Steven Smith as a company. Their Meadow blend is one of my favorite chamomile personally.

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First Off, Current Targets:
Taiwan Sourcing Luxurious Jade Sampler (FRICKIN’ PRICEY)
Taiwan Sourcing Longhan Nectar Red Oolong
Berylleb Dayuling and Dong Ding Jin Xuan
The best coconut/pineapple oolong I can find
The best Alishan and or Lishan for the best price
The best Jade Oolong Period.
Drunken Green Dragon J-Tea
My wish list is fairly accurate though it is broad.

Current Favorites:

Vietnam Red Buffalo Oolong
China Yunnan Pure Bud Golden Snail Black Tea
Taiwan Lishan Oolong
Kenya ‘Rhino’ Premium White Tea

Hugo Tea: Vanilla Black Chai

Liquid Proust Teas:
French Toast Dianhong

Floating Leaves Tea:

Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co.:
“Old Style” Dong Ding


I am an MSU student studying to become a high school social studies and history teacher with a minor in anthropology. I unfortunately dropped the anthropology minor, but I am and will continue to be an anthropologist as well as a historian. I love to read, write, draw, paint, sculpt, fence(with a sword), workout, relax, and drink a cuppa tea…or twenty.

I’ve been drinking green and black teas ever since I was little living in Hawaii with a dominant Eastern Asian influence. I’ve come a long way since I began on steepster and now have a better idea of the teas I absolutely prefer. Any tea that is naturally creamy, fruity, or sweet without a lot of added flavoring ranks as a must have for me. I also love black teas and dark oolongs with the elusive “cocoa” note. My favorites are lighter Earl Greys, some white teas like What-Cha’s Kenyan offerings, most Hong-Cha’s, darker Darjeelings, Green Shan Lin Xi’s, and Greener Dong Dings. I’m in the process of trying Alishan’s. I also tend to really enjoy Yunnan Black or Red teas and white teas. I’m pickier with other teas like chamomile, green teas, and Masalas among several.

I used to give ratings, but now I only rate teas that have a strong impression on me. If I really like it, I’ll write it down.

I’ll enjoy a tea almost no matter what, even if the purpose is more medicinal, for it is my truest vice and addiction.


Michigan, USA

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