1315 Tasting Notes

drank Phoenix Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
1315 tasting notes

Nourishing, strengthening and calming, my face is a furnace!

Sweet aroma. Juicy minerality, oily and full of voluptuous honeyed lychee with yellow plum hints. Very diffuse, tingly bitterness with oaky/plum skin tannins. Aftertaste comes from the throat and is strongly caramelized honeydew, toasted coconut and cocoa butter and oh, yes, does it linger. Even some cooling in the mouth after the first several steeps. By the fifth steep, the taste has faded into roasty, woody and hay notes mixed into a tart taste.

This tea is a brilliant introduction to the world of Dan Cong oolong. It gives what it has without challenge. There are pronounced aromas, mouthfeels and tastes along with a seductive aftertaste. That diffuse bitterness perfectly balances the sweetness. I see this tea’s lack of longevity as a strength. The first four steeps were all I needed for a wholly satisfying experience.

Thanks for the sample, Leafhopper :)

Oh yeah, a tiny dab of patchouli on the wrists while drinking this was magical.

Flavors: Cacao, Caramel, Caramelized Sugar, Chocolate, Coconut, Dill, Fruity, Hay, Honey, Honeydew, Honeysuckle, Juicy, Lychee, Mineral, Mint, Oak, Oily, Plum, Roasty, Sweet, Tannin, Tart, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Mmmmm love patchouli…and sandalwood and neroli and…

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drank Benefit Tea by Wuyi Origin
1315 tasting notes

Another sample from Leafhopper, thank you :)

This is an Wuyi tea I can get behind. It’s too tannic and drying to want it everyday but it has a great expression of heavenly orchid, rainforest, and gingerbread aroma. The actual taste is cedar dominant and can be a little clunky at first as I work my way around the tannins and tartness but it smooths out in later steeps into a gently sweet, rounded character of hay, gooseberry, squash, leather and chamomile. The orchid and spice-rich aftertaste and energy spread throughout my head and upper body, eliciting a mellowed, unfocused mindstate. It’s like the way a high quality incense trails with a weightlessness through undisturbed air, wrapping its resinous tendrils around whatever comes within its path, infusing, permeating. A mood-altering tea with dense meditative energy.

Flavors: Apple, Bark, Blackberry, Blueberry, Burnt Sugar, Cacao, Cedar, Chamomile, Cookie, Floral, Ginger, Gooseberry, Hay, Incense, Leather, Malt, Molasses, Moss, Nutmeg, Orchid, Rainforest, Resin, Squash, Tannic, Tart, Wet Wood, Wintergreen, Woody

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

As always, I’m impressed by your ability to detect nuance. For me, this was a daily drinker tea. I didn’t get any of the mood-elevating characteristics; I just noticed a rather vegetal but nice affordable Wuyi tea.

Daylon R Thomas

I got the resin and incense vibes in heavy doses too. It hovered between squash, ginger, cocoa, and fruit, though the tea was densed out by woody notes.

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Spring 2019 harvest from Leafhopper, thanks for sharing :)

The scent of the leaf both in bag and in hand is admirable in its spicy and floral characteristics that complement dry-roasted sweet potato, speculoos cookies, black grapes, rye and chocolate. And then there’s the warmed leaf which is an intense, rich mix of earthy, sweet and spicy chocolate-rye, red apple, varnish and cooked carrot.

Soft cocoa aroma in the cup.

First few sips are like drinking a raw, starchy sweet potato. It is astringent and medium-bodied but without much structure to the taste. I get a sour tomato-like finish followed by aromatic allspice aftertaste. When tea has cooled several degrees, it tastes morel like a mix of cooked potatoes, squash and carrots with a hint of clove and nutmeg. Tannic but not heavy; overwhelmingly drying.

Second cup is thin, savory and toasty, strangely sweet. Third goes back to only savory and is with the rye and malt impressions. I also notice fleeting mandarin orange and a hint of caramel before that sour tomato taste-feeling in the finish takes over. A flash of mouth cooling. Fourth infusion is earthy and sour.

Overall, there are some really nice components to the tea but it is severely disjointed and painfully drying. I suspect this tea is roasted with sugarcane and possibly has flavoring applied because of the way the rich and spicy scents do not translate to taste but then show up again briefly in the aftertaste. If I hadn’t taken the time to smell the dry and warmed leaf this tea would’ve been a big disappointment. I agree more with the assessments here on Steepster rather than at Yunnan Sourcing.

Flavors: Allspice, Astringent, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Carrot, Chocolate, Clove, Cocoa, Drying, Earth, Flat, Grapes, Mandarin, Nutmeg, Orchid, Potato, Red Apple, Rye, Savory, Sour, Squash, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Tannin, Thin, Tomato

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t tried this tea yet. I just thought it would be something you’d like. Maybe Yunnan Sourcing isn’t the place to go for lapsangs.


I do see a review from you! The aromas were spectacular, so I am grateful that your generosity allowed me to try this tea on a chilly morning :)

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A sample from White Antlers’ Swedish Death Purge — I hope you’re well wherever you are.

A good pick for a Sunday morning in which the valley is again blanketed by autumn’s marine layer. The cool weather complements the scent of the dry leaf which has pleasant aged notes of old books, forest mushrooms, bamboo grove, an old leather jacket embedded with the smoke of a long-ago extinguished campfire, remnants of dried cherry and jerky in the pocket. Overall, the leaf scent is a combination of lukewarm-dry and cool-damp-petrichor associations.

The warmed leaf smells like a dense walnut bread with brown gravy as part of maybe some kind of eastern European meat dish. TCM comes to mind as well. Rinsing mellows this aroma and brings out a hint of berry-ish wintergreen.

In terms of aroma and flavor, it is not a particularly penetrating tea. Most notable in expression are its mild alkalinity and smooth and flowing, almost creamy mouthfeel. Some gentle effects present on the tongue such as a numbing of the tip and a mild tannic rasp. The expression of flavor is a very rounded warm nutty-woody, cool limestone and gentle TCM character with steeps that range from probably 30 seconds to several minutes long. Not until the second steep can I pick up on the low-sitting aroma of dried jujube, olives and latex hidden within the liquor.

I agree with Togo’s description of the energy as sedating and would also say it is soothing in a way that wandering through a foggy old-growth forest with an old friend can feel.

It’s been a while since I’ve had aged heicha and this was a gentle re-acquaintance.

Flavors: Alkaline, Bamboo, Bark, Bread, Campfire, Cherry, Dates, Leather, Limestone, Meat, Mushrooms, Nutty, Olives, Paper, Petrichor, Round, Smooth, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Walnut, Wet Earth, Wintergreen, Woody

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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January 2021 harvest

Aromatic and warm floral-woody-sweet-fruity-bready fragrance with a mouthfeel that is juicy and viscous. The taste is clean, bright and warm, buoyant plummy-sweet with all the nuances of the aroma. Lingering aftertaste that eventually gives way to some gentle tang and mouth-watering. Calming, warming and nourishing.

This tea is seamless in its expression and opens up easily with a range of brewing times and temperatures, at least when prepared western-style. Beginner-friendly, especially for those who aren’t bothered with steeping the leaf more than once. I do think it tastes best brewed in a glass vessel which lets the sparkling sweetness shine.

I can’t help but smile every time I drink it :)

Flavors: Bark, Bread, Bread Dough, Cherry, Cinnamon, Dried Fruit, Floral, Fruity, Juicy, Lemon, Molasses, Nectar, Plum, Raisins, Rose, Rosewood, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Tangy, Viscous, Woody, Yeast

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

I can’t help but smile at that review. Sounds lovely.


I’d probably like this tea! :)


You’re probably right :)

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Spring 2022 harvest

A delicious green tea. I’ve been western steeping it during the work day and having several bowls worth during evening classes.

It presents quite different than other Lu Shan Yun Wu I’ve tried. Darker and more humid, almost dank, but to my tastes, this character is not a flaw since it is well balanced by other characteristics.

The combination of the vegetal tone and gentle bitterness of this tea is most like asparagus, brussels sprouts, rutabaga and zucchini roasted on a metal pan. More aptly, the impression much less dense in flavor, is like the juices collected from these roasted vegetables but with a restrained pungency and no distinct char/roasty notes. There is also a mild and welcome umami that is similar to a few pieces of kombu floated in a clear fish broth. Now imagine this profile among the slippery rocks at the bottom of a humid, almost dank, forested gorge on a chilly day.

A few stands of saffron brewed with the leaves turns this into a mellow broth that rejuvenates and calms. Green yellow red, leaf liquor spice — a pleasing observation in the tea bowl.

Flavors: Alcohol, Asparagus, Bread Dough, Brussels Sprouts, Fish Broth, Guava, Pungent, Seaweed, Tangy, Vegetal, Viscous, Wet Moss, Wet Rocks, Zucchini

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drank Royal Rose by Richard
1315 tasting notes

Leathery-herbaceous “tea” taste like the first cup this morning of Royal Peach and Thyme. Good spicy-floral rose aroma with that leather. Tannic and drying — I think this could stand up to a splash of milk when compared to the Peach and Thyme, which is much more herbaceous. Royal Rose is going very well with my breakfast of sprouted wheat toast topped with a spicy feta-labneh spread, fried egg and za’atar. (I’m so proud of myself for making breakfast all week!)

Flavors: Drying, Floral, Herbaceous, Leather, Rose, Spicy, Tannic, Tea

2 min, 30 sec 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Royal Peach & Thyme by Richard
1315 tasting notes

Peachy and very herbaceous aroma , though I’d never guess thyme. Flat “tea” and leathery-herbaceous taste. Very drying-tannic but not bitter. Lingering peach aftertaste that’s nice aling with a hint of mint but my mouth feels like I drank stewed dead leaf water with all those tannins. I considered adding some milk from the work fridge but I don’t think the body is robust enough to handle it. Probably much better as an iced tea!

Flavors: Drying, Flat, Herbaceous, Leather, Mint, Peach, Tannic, Tea

2 min, 0 sec 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Nine Lotus by Mandala Tea
1315 tasting notes

Orchids everywhere. Whispers of bitter greens, sweetgrass and mossy granite. Silky with some interest provided by refined astringency. Long, gripping floral aftertaste. A unique feeling in the body. Muscles feel swelled with a subtly powerful, vibrating bass energy but I’m also encouraged to meditate.

Flavors: Astringent, Buffalo Grass, Butter, Cocoa, Floral, Kale, Moss, Orchid, Roasted Nuts, Silky, Wet Rocks

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drank Laurel by Chroma Tea
1315 tasting notes

Mild tea with a moderate, muddled flavor. I was surprised with sweetness, which at first thought was the result of licorice root but there is none here. Only fennel seeds and the two mints can produce the little bit of syrupy quality. A little grounding I’d attribute to the burdock root. I do wish the tulsi was noticeable. Laurel is decent as a lukewarm nighttime cup but I would like to try the remainder as an iced tea.

Flavors: Earthy, Fennel Seed, Herbaceous, Licorice Root, Mint, Sweet

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Eventual tea farmer. If you are a tea grower, want to grow your own plants or are simply curious, please follow me so we can chat.

I most enjoy loose-leaf, unflavored teas and tisanes. Always on the lookout for teas from countries and regions not commonly known for tea production or those that are not well represented in the western market. I seek these teas to gain an understanding, however vague, of how this plant performs in different climates.

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