1700 Tasting Notes

drank Gyokuro Green Tea by Simple Loose Leaf
1700 tasting notes

My very first ever gyokuro. Know what I love about the reviews for this one? Every one has a very different take on it. Here’s mine – One of the reviews said the leaf looked like confetti. Yeah, that’s it. To me it has a grassy aroma with some citrus notes. When I read the instructions for this tea I thought, man that’s fussy. It requires more leaf and waaaaay cooler temperatures than anything else I recall brewing. As fast as a kettle heats, it is hard to get it right. Then 5 minutes for the first steep? Crazy.

Turns out this is worth the fuss. This is probably too cool for most people’s taste. It is perfect to me. I taste of grass at first. My brain adjusts and then I pick up on citrus. Then cucumber. I love that flavor in a tea so it jumps out at me. Others mentioned this being sweet. I don’t really get that. To me it is savory. Not salty but that sensation. And there is a note that reminds me of dill. There is no bitterness. It is kind of drying. It’s OK because the cucumber and dill linger in the aftertaste. With the next cup it added a touch of earthiness.


haha glad you had a great experience with it!


A great review, glad you enjoyed it too! I always wish tea could cool faster so this is just right :)


“To me it is savory. Not salty but that sensation.” I’m pretty sure that the word you’re looking for is “umami.” We don’t have a word for that in English, but you’ve described it perfectly.


After some thought I do believe it expresses my take on this tea better. Thanks.

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Snow and ice. My youngest left at 5:30 this morning for work. 10 minutes later he pulled back in the drive. I asked him what was going on. His reply, “It’s just McDonalds. It’s not work the risk.” I’d like to say I taught him well but truth is I was never that smart.

I can’t post on my blog until the new billing cycle. I can write on it just fine but pictures can’t be uploaded while I am throttled for going over my data limit. le sigh.

So you guys get first crack at my take on this oolong. A Nepal oolong is unusual enough. This one is rolled into pearls. Not sure what effect monsoon flush has on the taste but thanks to the pickers who got wet so I could try it. The brewed aroma is strongly apricot and nectarine. The taste is much less so, but is stone fruit. Starts mellow and smooth of fruit. Then turns sweet and mineral. Next it develops a peppery spiciness (not too strong – just enough to be interesting), along with hints of mushroom. It trails off into a sweet aftertaste. I notice hints of cucumber making my connection to this more white tea like than oolong.

If you aren’t normally an oolong fan because they tend to be either a cup of geranium or too heavily roasted, then you might just find this appealing. It is very much not your typical oolong.

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drank Li Shan Black Tea by Green Terrace Teas
1700 tasting notes

Had a little of this left over. Seemed like a good time to finish it off. Even though this is 7 months old in an open package sealed only with a paper clip, it is still really good. Baked raisin bread and honey, with grape and cinnamon notes. Wonderful stuff. I prepared a mug for myself and one for my son. He was not impressed. His tastes seem to run more toward harsher Ceylon teas. I happen to like those as well but there is just something about a smooth tea loaded with depth. Top notch, I say.


Sounds fantastic!

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It is -5 here at the moment and the expected high may reach +8. Out of curiosity I checked the weather in Alaska. As far north as you can go it is still warmer than here. The southern part of the state has temps in the 40’s. sigh.

Grabbed a hot bowl of oat meal and this Yunnan tea. The dry leaf had a chocolate and tobacco aroma. The orange brew was baked brownies, honey, and malt. Just a gentle bite around the edge of the tongue. Very comforting. I just may survive this frigid day now.


haha that’s kinda funny :)


Excellent day for oatmeal and yunnan dian hong! I am not enjoying this cold either :(


Sil, just guessing, it must be much colder up your way. I’m being a whiner.


it’s apparently 3, feels like -15F ? I know we have antoher extreme cold weather warning but i always feel like those are a little silly, having grown up in alberta where we often had -40F weather in winter lol


Alaska has that wonderful body of water surrounding it to keep it more moderate. Us folks in the great plains just have the cold wind! I was a little surprised by the cold this morning. It has been so warm this winter relatively.


Alaska has that wonderful body of water surrounding it to keep it more moderate. Us folks in the great plains just have the cold wind! I was a little surprised by the cold this morning. It has been so warm this winter relatively.


I keep trying to remind myself how much milder our winter has been than last year. We just got our first real snow (10"). Last year we were buried all winter. Still, the cold is killing my knees. March is just days away. Come on spring.

carol who

+1 It’s soooo cold. I’m in IL and the weather is about the same as K S in Indiana. I’m baking some sour dough bread and chocolate chip cookies. I have two slow cookers going – pot roast and chili. Keeping warm and toasty surrounded by good smells. Ahhhhhhh.


We have a slow cooker of chili going right now as well. It is making very hungry. Not sure I could take all those baking smells on top of it – but I sure wouldn’t mind finding out. Dang it. Now I need a hot chocolate chip cookie.


oh man…yes please!

carol who

Luckily they seem to pretty much get to the delicious smell stages at different times. Bread was rising, made cookies and chili and pot roast into slow cooker… no smell from crock pot yet. Bread baking after the cookie smell pretty much gone (And most of the cookies gone) then bread smell and last the crock pot. Kept the house smelling good and warm and toasty all day. Lots of tea has been drunk today!


I was dating someone who used to live in Winnipeg and then moved to the Yukon. He’d regularly text me to let me know it was warmer there in the winter than it was here :P



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drank Cape Jasmine Oolong by Tea Ave
1700 tasting notes

Alishan…. need I say more? OK, how about the addition of a light scent of Jasmine? So yeah, this is really good. Except, man I can’t go with their steeping directions. 8g for 130ml. That might work for some of you. I went 4g for 90ml.

The first cup was excellent. It was lightly jasmine followed by the wonderful sweet florals of the high mountain oolong. I had flashes of citrus bouncing between orange and lemon.

By the second cup all that leaf had filled my tiny gaiwan and I did not like this cup. Just too much. It was like a cup of geraniums. Maybe this would work with flash steeps but at 1m 15s I was overwhelmed.

I moved the leaf over to my glass teapot and used 10oz of water for cup three. Yeah, this is much more the way I like my tea. Lovely oolong florals. Just a touch of jasmine. This drifted into a good mineral with spice. The aftertaste was sweet, lingering, oolong.

Jasmine and oolong make a great pairing. Not sure why this is the first time I have seen it. Anyway, thanks Tea Ave. and great start to my samples.


Hey KS. How long did you do your first infusion. 1 minute?
I used about the same proportions of leaf to water that you did and found this tea a bit lacking in flavor. It was really light, and this is the usual amount I use for rolled oolongs, and several other of the Tea Ave oolongs tasted great this way. Though I did not use fully boiling water (about 194F) and only infused the first infusion for 45 seconds. I may have to pile on a little extra next time.


I did use boiling water and a 1 minute steep. I tend to like subtle teas but I don’t recall this being a lightweight. In fact I know the second cup was too much for my tastes because I thought it was over leafed. I sort of followed the instructions but my normal procedure would be 2 1/2 – 3 grams and 8 – 10 ounces of water (250 – 300 ml). I also tend to drink after the cup has cooled more than most people like it. I taste pretty much nothing with a really hot cup.

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10" of snow fell on us yesterday and the temperature is hovering in the single digits. I’m not complaining as I’ve seen what Boston is dealing with lately. Trivia – I looked up the Fahrenheit scale. You know what it is based on? Neither does anyone else. There are some guesses but the truth has been lost. 32F being the temp water freezes is the only point of agreement. Just glad I don’t have to go outside where the amount of snow is higher than the temperature.

Needed something to warm me up. This is perfect. Well it was, cause now its gone.

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drank Lapsang Souchong by Simple Loose Leaf
1700 tasting notes

This one has a far more intense dry aroma than it does once steeped. It remains definitely a lapsang souchong, yet lighter and thinner than many I have tried. The taste, to me, is not overly smoked meat or bacon. The sweetness does mingle with the smoke to give it a savory touch. What I get is an initial smoky blast that quickly mellows into a mineral note before a menthol coolness kicks in. This finishes with a solid smoky sweetness. Solidly campfire without overwhelming. What sets it apart for me is the menthol cooling.

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drank green tea powder 250g pack by Tradition
1700 tasting notes

Over the last several days I have prepared hardly any tea except this one. I can’t function in the morning without my tea powder and milk. I’m out of flavored syrups to add to it. So just milk and some sweetener. No it is not Matcha but it is pretty good for as cheap as it is on Amazon.

We have our first real snow of the winter so I hope that means I have time for tea.


Did you ever try the one from Nuvola? Pretty darned good and amazingly cheap back when I bought it. Just be sure to change the currency to US dollars. I almost fainted when I saw the Hong Kong dollars price!


I have not tried it. Looks pretty high class compared to this one. This is like the Great Value version of green tea powder. It’s less than $11 for 250g.

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Most of the time I can’t tell much difference between Darjeeling and Nepalese teas. I’m just not that familiar with them even though I always enjoy them. This one though, maybe it is because it is autumn flush or maybe it is the estate but this is the first time I get why some people are obsessed with Darjeelings.

The dry leaf looks like fall, which is somehow comforting on this miserably cold day. The scent is tobacco, then cocoa. Followed by a range of notes I can’t pull together long enough to grasp but at this point its sort of mint, orange, citrus, and candy.

I steeped for 3 1/2 minutes at 200F. It could have gone longer and hotter but I erred on the side of caution. Kind of light in color. The wet leaf is juicy grape followed by woodsy and a hint of chocolate.

This is mellow with only a light briskness and no bitterness. The flavor is grape, but it isn’t straight up grape. It is fuller like there is a hit of citrus backing it up. This is followed the woodsy leaf taste with just a hint of chocolate. As that fades the grape rises up again and remains in the lingering aftertaste.


Oh wow, this sounds really delicious!

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drank Manmai Fermented Puerh by JalamTeas
1700 tasting notes

I started a session with this one today. So far I am at a loss for words. I am really enjoying this puerh but can’t come up with the words to explain it yet. I used about 7 g in my 90ml gaiwan. I am doing flash steeps – fill, put lid on, and pour. The tea is almost as dark as coffee from the first cup. Very little rough edge, no bitterness. It does not taste at all like the menghai palace I had recently, yet the cedar and leather keeps coming to mind and that is what is throwing me. I can’t explain how it is different but it is. I see other reviewers found it creamy. Maybe I’ll get that later.

Until I figure it out, I’ll just be happy with it. I am also kind of impressed at how well I have handled the gaiwan today. It’s almost like I know what I’m doing. I haven’t even burned a finger yet.


I got to get into this club….


Haha, one of the great mysteries in life is trying to describe the flavors and aromas of a ripened puerh… I often struggle to find any identifiable tasting notes, except simply that the ripe puerh tastes like a ripe puerh, with the variation perhaps coming from astringency, mouthfeel, color, intensity, etc… It’s a nice tea though, drinking some right now!


After determining it is a ripe puerh, I can tell you if I like it or not. After that it gets a lot more fuzzy. I tend to have broad categories. Leather seems to be one of the few flavors that I can usually subdivide into various types. Though I notice I didn’t here. I’m such a newb.


Wow, subdivisions on leather notes? Impressive… I never ‘think’ leather, but now that you suggest it, it’s definitely easier for me to see/taste that.. thanks!

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Having a passion for tea and living in rural America is a tough combination. The nearest tea vendor is 65 miles away. Joining Steepster has completely changed the direction of my tea journey.

My Rating System

90-100 Love it enough to keep around
80-90 Like a lot, would drink often
70-80 Above average
50-70 Average – take it or leave it
0-50 I don’t like it and don’t want to like it


Indiana, USA



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