1283 Tasting Notes


I love this oolong because I have always had different and high flavor notes each time. I’m gong fuing it properly or more properly by taking my time today, and I’m digging it. Strong aroma with 5 ish grams, and magnolia wafted off heavily in my kitchen. Tasting it, some heavy cassia, cherry, rhaspberry, and honey in the finish. Second steep was more subtle, but very sweet reminding me of ginger and something flowery. I also got a weird note like a white pepper. It’s not really spicy per se, but it’s got a kick.

There are very few aged teas and even fresh teas that has as much flavor and aroma as this aged tea. I’d almost rate it 100-big thing holding me back from going all the way to that rating is that it doesn’t quite have a lot of staying power. I still enjoy every session and don’t feel like I finish it prematurely.

I’ve only made it to steep three, and I never really get bored with it. It doesn’t always last passed four steeps often, and I’ve maybe pushed it back to 6, but I haven’t gone much further yet. I’ve also hoarded it for a few weeks in my stash with the same kind of reverence and neglect of a forgotten pharaoh’s tomb. I even have the statues of Anubis, Horus, and other gods and a nearly dilapidated book shelf to go with theme.

A part of me regrets not getting another 50 grams before it sold out, but I think I have just enough to last me. I also really want to get the Wild Jin Jun Mei maybe. I still have to go through the whopping 500 grams of black tea I’ve got, but I somehow finish the majority of oolong I have year by year. Hopefully, I will be able to hold myself off from this treasure so I can rebury, and then rediscover it over again.

Flavors: Cherry, Creamy, Floral, Fruity, Gardenias, Ginger, Honey, Orchid, Smoke, Smooth, Sweet, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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Backlog from yesterday. Thank you for the sample! This used to be one of my favorites, but I took a break from it because the last seasons I had were too brisk and malty for my changing preferences. I brewed 5 grams in my pretentious Manuel Gaiwan, and incidentally steeped it for 45 seconds when I meant to do closer to 20. It was a little bit too malty, but the longan and brown sugar notes were there in the after taste. Then i heavily lightened up the timing, doing 15, 25, 35, 65, and a long western brew that I just let sit.

The second brew was more prominent with the brown sugar, but it was still more malty than sweet. The fruitier longan tone and caramel note that I really like in this one didn’t appear until the 35 second steep, and really hit home in the last western one. I’ll adjust the time in the next session. I think I used to rate this tea in the 90s, though I’m not sure about that rating right now. I’m still happy I got to visit this one again.

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I lightened up the leaf to 3 grams and 5 oz western this morning. The overall profile was brighter on the orange blossom end and less malty, but very viscous and malty overall. There’s still a lot of dryness, and personally something that reminds me of medium to darker beer ales, giving me some oats and barley malt. Maybe it’s something else lighter like wheat, but this tea gives me a dry beer vibe. Watching the leaves unfurl into a caramel gold color was pretty cool.

I was hoping for more sweetness on this one, but it’s on the drier end of golden bud teas. There’s decent layers and complexity to it even though I need some sweeter notes to balance the dryness for my palette. I think this tea would be great for people who like malty teas or need a higher end lunchtime kind of tea. It’s still delicate enough for later times while retaining heavier elements if you push the leaf. I enjoyed it, though I can see someone else enjoying the remaining grams more than I will.

Flavors: Floral, Malt, Oats, Orange Blossom, Wheat

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I can’t remember if I got this in 2019 or 2020…I think 2019. I wanted to try it since I was personally not a fan of the other Nepal Black. It bordered on tasting like Barbeque to me. As for this one, I have yet to pin it down. I didn’t get the tropical fruit that he describes, but I got a lot of dry floral notes that were very hoppy in an intensely malty body. Orange blossom is definitely there, but thick malt and some sweet potato are dominant. I’ve had Nepal blacks in a similar style to this one, but there are a lot of resemblences to Ancient Spirit which is personally not my favorite. I like this one a little bit more because it’s got more brightness, however.

I’ve alternated gong fu and western, and so far it’s either too light or too florally drying and malty. I’m curious to see other opinions on it. I do like it more than the other Nepal Black, but I’m not certain enough to say I really like it. The later steeps are definitely more fruity, so I will experiment a little more.

Flavors: Drying, Floral, Herbs, Hops, Malt, Orange Blossom, Straw, Sweet Potatoes

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This is the staple I drink pretty much every day that I cannot run out of, and offer to people just getting into tea. Hugo Tea kind of went through a rebranding, and has moved towards a more upend style of tea company, especially as they’ve released experimental teas.

This tea actually changes from season to season, and the 2020 spring is softer than the earlier year I wrote about it. Their notes of white flowers, riesling grapes, and softness are spot on. There are still hints of fruitier notes like peach and orange blossom, but it’s not as acidic as it has been in the past. Aroma was amped up for this one, and the flavor actually gets sweeter as it cools. I love this tea so much because it resembles the Dragon Pearls of other companies in its full viscousness, but unlike most dragon pearls, it’s softer in profile. Now the tea can get astringent like other greens or fresher shengs, yet it retains a softness I’d associate more with whiter versions of this tea.

It’s my favorite of all my green teas, and there are times when I prefer to have this over my oolongs.

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Rating between 85-90, maybe higher. Less is more is the way to go with this one, and shorter steeping times can cut back some of the roast to emphasize sweeter flavors. I brewed 3-4 grams gong fu, 20 sec, 15, and onto the current steep that I let sit a little too long. First steep was nearly perfect not needing a rinse. Honey, grapefruit, and creamy hazelnut in the accents. Second brew was mostly citrusy, and the current one has a little bit of smoke and roast, but lots of nuttiness and citric honey.

I like this a lot because it’s flavor forward and complex. The roast goes really well with the citrus notes in the tea, and it’s a flexible tea to where I could emphasize more of the roast OR more of the florals and fruits if I wanted to. The lingering aftertaste is also really exceptional with some dryness, but lots of sweetness. I can see a lot of people being into this tea for it’s smoothness and nice acidity, but they would mostly be divided about the roast.

Flavors: Char, Citrus, Citrus Zest, Grapefruit, Hazelnut, Honey, Roast Nuts, Roasted, Smoke, Smooth, Sweet

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drank Sakura Midori by UNYtea
1283 tasting notes

Interesting tea from one of my favorite companies. Whiteantlers sent me this sample a little bit ago, and funny enough, it was one I was meaning to try. I have the tendency to have too much black tea that I don’t drink enough of, so I didn’t purchase it initially because of that.

Trying it out, it’s very floral, malty and grassy for a black tea after flash style brewing. Even with less leaves, I usually don’t exceed 10 seconds when I steep it because this one can get bitter. Steep one and 5 are the mostly grassy for me a lot like a benifuki or a malty hojicha tea, but steeps 2-4 are the sweeter ones. The cherry blossom note is pretty prominent between steep two and three. The floral and almost oaky wood notes combine differently with vegetal ones like yams and squash, ending in a tannic and brown sugary sweet finish.

Like described, it packs a punch. I know it doesn’t have much caffeine, yet this tea can give me the sweats. The most I go with this one is to steep six, but I am having a hard time making it past steep 3 today. I personally would rate this one higher in terms of quality and taste, but it’s not a tea that I’d drink often.

Flavors: Cherry Blossom, Dark Bittersweet, Dry Grass, Malt, Oak, Sweet Potatoes, Tangy, Tannic, Vegetal, Yams

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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Backlog: I was going through some of the samples that Whiteantlers gave me a few years ago, and I took a break from the usual oolong for an actual green tea. I was kinda surprised this tea was flavored because it just smelled like a really fresh green sencha when I opened the bag.

I used my whisk and bowl, and when I tried the tea-I was caught off guard by the citrus sweetness. It reminded me of emergency a little bit, but it was sweeter and lighter. It was a hot summer day, and the orange was welcomed. It reminded me of some Japanese Sherbert Ice Cream I used to have in Hawaii, and there was a little bit of a sugar crystal texture in the lightly grassy green matcha. I was very happy with it and finished it quick.

Flavors: Citrus, Creamy, Grass, Orange, Sugar


I hope White Antlers is well.

Daylon R Thomas

Me too. I need to email her to say and check in.


Just heard from White Antlers. She had delta variant Covid that broke through her vaccine protection and was in hospital. Still recovering and weak so staying with a friend but getting better, the summer heat making it harder.


oh no! One of the unlucky ones who had to go to the hospital with the vaccine, but if White Antlers didn’t have that vaccine… wishing you speedy health, White Antlers.

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Notes are still the same, but it’s faded a little bit. I thought it would hold up since it sat in rye and it’s newer, but it’s lost some lustre. The flavors are still there, but I had to amp up the leaf a little bit to 6ish grams. One of the sessions had lingered a little bit too long at minute instead of 35 sec like I intended, but good. I’m not ready to rate it yet since I’m hovering between 90-100. I am a little disappointed it faded somewhat-still good.

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drank Jasmine Green by Tea Forte
1283 tasting notes

I’ve had this sample for a few years…and it still held up. Smelling it, there was a bit of a hot grass heaviness, so I cold brewed it in my tumbler throughout the day to hold off on astringency. The florals were brought out and quite creamy after about twenty minutes sitting in the cold water, and refreshing. Like the other reviews, this is a decent jasmine that’s unassuming and easy to drink. I was afraid it might be too strong and perfumy. Luckily, it wasn’t and something I’d have again if offered. No idea how much it would cost on it’s own, but I wouldn’t overspend on it personally.

Flavors: Cream, Floral, Grass, Hot Hay, Jasmine

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First Off, Current Targets:

Whispering Pines Alice
Tillerman Tea Traditional Oxidation Oolong
Tillerman Tea Phoenix Village Dong Dings
Good Luxurious Work Teas
A good Qilan
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. 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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