1185 Tasting Notes


Backlog sample sipdown!

Thank Alistair for this sample!

Thought I wrote a note on it. Derk nailed most of it anyway. Very herbaceous, fresh, and crisp first flush with some funky fruit and floral vibes, but the olive note was the strongest for me personally. It was bordering on nearly oolong like for a black tea, but maintained the herby, buttery, savory flavor of most First Flush’s I’ve drank. I liked the black version more than the oolong. The heavier oxidation gave it a smoother body and some fruit to counterbalance the florals and grassiness that I got from the oolong version.

I personally would not reach out for this one due to preference, but it is one of the first flushes that I’ve taken my time with Gong Fu. I enjoyed some of the unusual notes, and I will say that it was refreshing compared to other green First Flush black teas.

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Fruity, Green, Green Apple, Herbs, Olives, Smooth


Everybody and their olive tasting black teas lately. :P


Can’t untaste once it’s been mentioned :)

Daylon R Thomas

That’s called the power of persuasion and marketing. And bored tea sommeliers who need to come up with something more precise. If I didn’t have that suggestion, I’d think the flavor was green, savory, vegetal, fruity, or even pepper like. First Flushes are that way, though.

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As the sun has come out, and the air chills, I’ve been catching up on my Dancong. I’ve also become more aware of my tea preference patterns for the season, and I tend to buy and drink black during fall and then heavily in December, and then I transition back into Oolongs during late winter and early spring, sometimes going into the summer with fruitier profiles.

As for this one, I think I’ve been sitting on it for about a year. I could have sworn I wrote a notes. I am kinda glad I didn’t since it’s evolved a little bit with the time I’ve had it.

When I first tried it, the tea was heavily floral, pungent, milky, and fruity, occasionally being a bit sharp for my preference. Leafhopper already beat me to describing the almond and gardenia profile along with the other ones like the minerals, oats, and honey. The tea is definitely on the greener side of Dan Congs, and the florals with slight astringency in the over leafed gong fu session gave me a little bit of a headache, so I gave myself a break…that turned into a year.

Now a year later, the tea mellowed out a bit and not quite as green. Almond milk, mineral, and acidic fruitiness is what I’m gettting this time. Earlier brews were more florals after about 45 seconds with 5 grams and 4.5 oz, and intensely creamy accented by a little bit of a nutty roast. Second brew is milky too, but more floral with a little bit of a pink salty mineral and sneaking fruitiness. Third brew, where I’m at now, is giving me more pithiness in the after taste and heavy minerals on the tongue more than creaminess. I wouldn’t describe it as citrusy, but it has a citrus peel feel-hence pithy. Aroma matches, but is heavy into almond blossom, cream, and gardenia. Not too off from a jasmine.

Brew four is more mellow, but its almond flavor, thinner body, and sneaking minerals. The tea is still floral, but it’s starting to resemble a more subdued green.

I am really glad I got this and would recommend it compared to other YaShis. This one is actually a bit smoother, but I would recommend it more to intermediate drinkers because it requires some attention to avoid astringency and bitterness. It is less astringent than most Dan Congs I’ve had, but shorter steeps help you avoid biterness altogether, but I do recommend using a lot of leaves for quick 5-10 second brews if want to, but less grams if you don’t think you can pay attention that long. I do not recommend grandpa for this one, but it works well western and tends to be smoothened out that way if you don’t go over 2 or 3 minutes.

I enjoy this one, but this one is really more seasonal for me personally. It was the perfect wake up tea after sleeping in to late, and for me getting back into my back to school in person routine.

Flavors: Almond, Astringent, Citrus, Cream, Creamy, Floral, Gardenias, Milk, Mineral, Roast nuts, Smooth

White Antlers

What a great tasting note, Daylon. I have a similar routine with the teas I drink’ blacks and the occasional pu erh in late fall, winter and very early spring then the lighter oolongs, whites and minty herbals (often cold brewed) as the weather gets hot.

Daylon R Thomas

I’ve only had one Pu-Erh last year. I’ve kept the rest of them stored, and I find that I have to be in the mood for them. I know this is blasphemy to tea nerds, but I like some of them better as blends since they help provide a smoother texture that most coffee or darker flavored blends can lack, nevermind I prefer Sheng as pure teas. Liquid Proust’s Exquisite Poetry is one of the few I really enjoy.


I enjoyed reading your review. I went through this tea quickly, but now I wish I’d kept some to see how it evolved. I found most of the flavour to be in the aftertaste, though this could be amateur brewing on my part.

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Thank you Whiteantlers!

This is a backlog from yesterday. I’ve avoided opening this one because I put Bitterleaf Teas on a pedestal of pricy. But then I looked at the 2016 date, and the time was now.

This tea is interesting and doesn’t have the same astringency as most Dan Congs, or the Ripe Heady florals of most of the Yashi’s I’ve drank. Russ’s notes cherry were interesting because it does have a weird tang and fruitiness that resembles cherries, but lighter pink ones instead of the red ones that usually come to mind. The note itself had the soft tartness of some cascara, or coffee cherries, and that’s what I’m going to pick for my palette vocab today.

The tea’s overall character though is very milky, floral, and laced with minerals. The tea’s color itself is a very creamy yellow in shorter steeps and orange color in longer steeps, and the flavor with the mouthfeel create an almost dairy like sensation. The minerals that follow up are like mineral water, and while slightly sweet, they just add a lot of texture in every brew of the tea gong fu. Otherwise, the flavor is pretty light and I needed to add more leaves in the next session to get more flavor, and grant a medium for the bizarre cascara notes. Aroma packed a much more extreme profile that was almost like japanese milk candy. I’d almost use lychee to describe the smell, but I am so frickin’ tired of that note moniker, and the fruitiness is not tropical and not prominent.

I really liked this tea because it was easy to drink and combined my favorite elements unique to oologs. You don’t get heavy minerals combied with a creamier flavor often, Dancongs also usually go to astringent extremes between the floral, fruity, and toasty, but this one is very balanced. If I didn’t feel weird about the shipping, I’d probably would have gotten some this myself, but thankfully, Whiteantlers gave me the opportunity to drink this up.

I’d also add Hugo Tea’s Yashi Dancong they have is pretty similar to this one and a little bit heavier in its body, and has cheaper shipping costs in U.S. It does have a little bit more sourdough flavor to it, but it’s comparable. This one still highly appeals to me-I’m bumping up the rating to reflect that as I sip it down today.

Flavors: Cherry, Cream, Floral, Milk, Mineral, Sugar

White Antlers

So glad it went to an appreciative home, Daylon! :)

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Rando Experiment Note:

I decided to combine this one with the Fujian Black Jasmine I got from What-Cha. I was bad and did not measure, but I eyeballed it beginning with the black wiry jasmine black leaves, and then topped it with the golden Jin Jun Mei as the foreground. I tossed them up, and poured some water that I should have heated more. I let it sit for 30 seconds, and was surprised at the punch of flavor. It tasted like a sugary lychee candy or a Japanese cold drink you get from a store. I was impressed by my lukewarm accident.

Moving on to a more proper steep of a hot 195 F and two minutes, this one had lychee as a main note, followed by jasmine, rose, malt, grains, and finally thick dark chocolate. Viscous, silky texture, and medium body. I finished it quickly, but sweet flavor and aroma remained in my empty cup. It remained like brown sugar at the bottom of a cookie pan…but FanCY.

Anyway, this is a fun note. I usually don’t blend my teas since I’m a purist, but I have a lot of tea, and figured this make a fun combo of note. I didn’t expect the tea to be as rich as it was. This little experimental session is credit to this teas desert like qualities and to the quality of the scenting of the Jasmine.

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My note didn’t get saved right. Anyway, more flavors listed down below on top of what I’ve written on its page. Some mineral during steep three and four from my gong fu session. The notes made me think of lemon or honey crystals. Steep two and five reminded me of honeydew.

I am thankful to have acquired some of this tea, and even more thankful I get to enjoy it on a grey Sunday Morning. Well, Sunday noon now, but I woke up at 10:00. That’s still morning.

Flavors: Green, Green Apple, Honeydew, Lemon, Lemongrass, Mineral, Rose, Sugarcane

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This is a newer Jin Jun Mei that What-Cha has started selling in the last few years. I personally have had an on and off again relationship with this variety of tea because they can be very vegetal for a black tea and can have very strong tobacco notes. The older one that was sold was excellent, deep, complex, thick, and rich. This one is a lot softer, but instensley aromatic and flavorful.

What-Cha’s notes are a bit unusual for what you usually see, but it get’s “sweet malt loaf” and “subtle rose hints” in its description and as always they’re reliable when I purchase their teas. The rose was actually not subtle for me personally, but was extremely natural and very welcomed. The tea is breadsy, savory, and buttery as well as floral and rosy. There’s some malt and sweet potato too, but the push and pull of the dry and viscosity in the texture make it more grainy and breadsy by approximation.

So far, I have not gotten too much difference from it western in a tumbler and Gong Fu this morning. It’s very sweet, smooth, drinkable, and pleasing. I could see some people using the “chocolate” moniker on this one when the tea cools down, nevermind that’s just Fujian Wuyi quality.

I don’t really have more to add on this one other than the fact I wish I got more. It’s a very soft and refined black tea that combines floral with savory and malty. I highly recommend those who like more floral blacks. I wish I could write more, but that’s what I have for now.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Chocolate, Grain, Malt, Rose, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Quick backlog.

It’s been a while since I had buddier blacks, and since I got some, I craved more since the last year I had some. Most of my notes of late will consist of black teas, mostly Taiwanese blacks and Fujian blacks.

I’m also making this one quick and will add more in the future. I had this as morning tumbler fuel, and it’s definitely chocolatey with more emphasis on the malt. I didn’t expect the tea was going to be as bright as it was with the malt. It’s not bitter, astringent, or strong, but there’s some nice briskness. I personally got citrus, sweet potato, dandelion, and brassy tannin from it from the two western steeps in the tumbler giving the tea a more sunny visual in my head as I drank it. It definitely woke me up with its Qi. The flavor is still smooth and great without being as bitter as the usual Assams or occasional Keemums, though it’s powerful enough to be a breakfast tea.

I very much like it, but need to do some Gong Fu before I rate it. I still recommend it and will share. I look forward to see what other people write about it on here.

Flavors: Chocolate, Citrus Zest, Dandelion, Malt, Smooth, Sweet Potatoes, Tannin

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I’m so happy that I got 50 grams of this from 2020. It remains as one of my favorites. I had it in one of my tumblers, and it was nice and citrusy, floral, malty, and sweet. I’ll do more detailed notes in the future.

Thank you Alistair and Co.!

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Thank you Whiteantlers!

Backlog that will be super short.

Most of the notes describing the tea have already been posted. This one is much better in the second steep, and is very mushroomy and creamy. I usually like creamy whites, but the more herbacaeous and mushroom profile are a little off putting. It was like drinking a cold floral miso in the first steep, and then a mushroomy and more intensely floral second steep.

This is not something you’d normally hear from me, but I like the black version of this tea significantly more. I know it’s ‘cause of my basic preference for more fruity notes in teas, but…I don’t know. I just don’t like this one.

Flavors: Floral, Herbs, Mushrooms

White Antlers

Whispering Pines is generally quite good but every once in awhile, you’ll hit on something that’s just not for you. For me, it was his Moonlight Sonata-the urinous/dill tasting white.
: P

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First Off, Current Targets:

Whispering Pines Alice
Good Luxurious Work Teas
A good Qilan
Best Jasmine Black Tea
Best Sachet Teas

Dislikes: Heavy Tannin, Astringency, Bitterness, or Fake Flavor, Overly herby herbal or aged teas

Picky with: Higher Oxidation Oolongs, Red Oolongs (Some I love, others give me headaches or are almost too sweet), Mint Teas

Currently, my stash is overflowing. Among my favorites are What-Cha’s Lishan Black, Amber Gaba Oolong, Lishan Oolong, Qilan Oolong, White Rhino, Kenya Silver Needle, Tong Mu Lapsang Black (Unsmoked); Whispering Pines Alice, Taiwaneese Assam, Wang’s Shanlinxi, Cuifeng, Dayuling; Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co.“Old Style” Dong Ding, Mandala Milk Oolong


I am an MSU graduate, and current alternative ed. high school social studies and history teacher. I formerly minored in anthropology, and I love Egyptian and classical history. I love to read, write, draw, paint, sculpt, fence(with a sword), practice calisthenics on rings, lift weights, 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 drink most teas gong fu, especially oolong. 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, almost anything from Nepal, 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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