drank Ali San by Harney & Sons
6105 tasting notes

Starting into the spoils of my recent swap with Mercuryhime! My package was filled with oolongs (ok, there was other stuff, but I guess the oolongs really caught my eye), so I’m going to start off with two of them! Perfect evening tea.

The dry tea has a delicious milky scent to it, not as strong as DavidsTea’s milk oolong, but very much along the same lines, so I’m excited for what I’m expecting to be a milky oolong! The flavour is maintained during/after steeping as well.

I don’t know if it’s because I just ate a bunch of salad and have some lingering flavours (bitterness?) in my mouth or something, but I’m getting quite a bit of rock sugary sweetness from the tea. Very much reminiscent of the dragonwell I just had. The aroma is more along the lines of an oolong though, and the taste is a bit…. richer, almost. This isn’t quite what I was expecting, to be honest, but I do still like it! The more I drink, the more I’m getting the classic oolong aftertaste that I love, so I clearly didn’t accidently switch my cups around (sometimes I really start to wonder!) I’m also starting to get just a hint of a floral taste.

This tea is definitely one I would drink again if offered, but I’ve sampled other green oolongs that I prefer, so wouldn’t bother picking this one out specifically.

Thanks for passing some of this one along, Mercuryhime! :D

ETA: Second infusion the next day, 94C/4min, is definitely oolongy and yum. It may actually be a touch oversteeped, but I can live with that. I’ll try for an additional infusion later this evening. Apologies about continually bumping my note to the top of everyone’s dashboard feed… :(

ETA again: Apparently I don’t learn. Accidently left the third infusion for 6 minutes. Definitely oversteeped. Bleh.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I think my permanent collection consists mostly of oolongs so it is no surprise that the proportion shows in my swaps. :D


No complaints here! :D

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I think my permanent collection consists mostly of oolongs so it is no surprise that the proportion shows in my swaps. :D


No complaints here! :D

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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