A tea deserves at least a 90 from me when I crave its flavor, and a few extra points when I want to designate it as morning tea.

I know that a lot of people choose something brisk to wake them up, but the earthy tones and honeyed tang coax me to alert my senses and appreciate the subtler profiles. This mornings brew was more subdued than I’ve had it before. I got the heather honey, something like grilled pineapple, and a smooth texture, but I tasted a little bit more mineral that I was not expecting. Vague florals coated my tongue midsip that reminded me more of a Ba Xian, and I was not sure how to place them. If I could taste colors, I got an orange amber and purple despite the liqour’s tawny hue. Was I tasting lily? I don’t know. When the florals end in the honey note, it has a little bit of a violet effect amidst an earthier background from the light roast.

I hope that my notes aren’t too much of an actual exaggeration. Some are repetitive. I could interchange grilled pineapple and heather honey as the same note for example, albeit the char subtleties gave me the idea of grilled pineapple and the floral mix in a dark sweet end gave me heather honey. Nevertheless, this is a satisfying tea for my mornings, and one that I can see more experienced drinkers playing with for the flavor profiles.

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First Off, Current Targets:

Whispering Pines Alice
Good Luxurious Work Teas
Wang Family’s Jasmine Shanlinxi
Spring, Winter Taiwan High Mountain Oolongs

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, Taiwanese Assam, Wang’s Shanlinxi, Cuifeng, Dayuling, Jasmine Shan Lin Xi; Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co.“Old Style” Dong Ding, Mandala Milk Oolong; Paru’s 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. Eastern Asian influence was prominent with my friends and where I grew up, so I’ve been exposed to some tea culture at a young age. 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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