Teabox Tuesday! While I won’t be doing monthly themes this year in my effort to Sipdown ALL the Teas™, I am going to try to get to one of my stashed away teabox teas on Tuesdays until all of those have been sipped down! Since I typically only kept a single serving of these, this seems a reasonable goal to start things off.

This one is actually from the older teabox I took part in when I first joined on Steepster, bless tea-sipper for letting me take part as it has really let me experience a lot of teas as a relative “tea newb.” Thankfully I don’t have many Here’s Hoping Teabox teas left (mostly just pu-erhs, so I like to think they are gracefully aging?), and this is one of only two oolongs I had left from that box. I’ve never had a Wuyi Rock Oolong, so take anything I have to say with a grain of salt! Neeeeewb! (Thank you tea-sipper and all who contributed to the last Here’s Hoping Teabox for this opportunity!)

I also really want to try to do more eastern-style brewing this year, as I just don’t get around to it very much. On work days I just don’t have the time (I can’t do it at work, and after work I can only drink herbals) so I’m going to try to get in at least one gong fu session a weekend. It’ll help me learn to brew better in that style, and since I need to take western-style brews to work in a thermos, it’ll be nice to have a comparison of some of these teas between the two styles.

So, I prepared my single 3g serving of this leaf in my shiboridashi.

3g / 100ml / 208F / Rinse|20s|25s|30s|35s|40s|45s|50s

The first two infusions were fairly similar. The wet leaf produced an aroma that reminded me of roasted nuts and cashew. The steeped brew was a dark caramel color, and smelled very roasty with notes of char/smoke, nuts, and minerals. The tea had a sort of mineral/wet rock flavor at the beginning of the sip, followed by a vegetal watercress and nutty cashew flavor, with notes of roasty old leather and smoke closing out the sip. The middle steeps opened with a more tobacco and ashy/smoky taste, but closed tasting a bit more roasted and nutty. Toward the end of the session the smokier notes started to wane and the tea became more nutty, which was probably my favorite steeps of the session, and by the seventh steep I could tell the tea was losing flavor and I was feeling quite tea heavy so I closed things up, even though I was finally getting to a place where I liked the taste a lot more.

While I like roasted flavors (like houjicha) I really don’t like strong smoky flavor (especially if they lean toward ashy or tobacco) so this was not a personal favorite. I have one more Wuyi Rock Oolong sampler in my collection that is apparently floral scented, so maybe I’ll like that one more? Or maybe it’ll just make my flowers taste like they’ve been through a meadow fire. I hope that won’t be the case! Have a feeling in the grand scheme of things this may just not be a type of oolong that is for me, if it always has a strong smoky taste, just like Gunpowder green tea and Lapsang Souchong just isn’t my thing.

Flavors: Ash, Char, Leather, Mineral, Nutty, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Smoke, Tobacco, Vegetal, Wet Rocks

Boiling 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Cameron B.

What a great idea! I might have to do something similar for swap teas…

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Cameron B.

What a great idea! I might have to do something similar for swap teas…

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud genderqueer asexual (she/they) and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little condo!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Bergamot (in moderation)

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Hemp/CBD teas
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.


My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/xjt9ptx3 . I am open to tea trades (within the United States only!) at this time. Note that I will not trade teas that I currently have in a quantity less than 50g (samplers, 1oz packages, etc.) or any teas that are currently still sealed/unopened in my cupboard.

Contact Info:

Feel free to send me a Steepster PM, or alternatively, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.


Idaho, United States



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