1234 Tasting Notes

drank Biluochun by iTeaworld
1234 tasting notes

If you haven’t yet checked out iteaworld (either their company or tea) I highly suggest you do both. Anne has been kind enough to supply me with a sample of this tea as well as some others and I really am impressed with many different facets of this company. I also decided to do an unboxing video on tiktok.

I highly suggest sticking to the suggested infusion time in order to fully enjoy all the tea has to offer without worrying about ruining it. The bitter tannins will punch you in the face.

Update: I’ve opened the second package of this one. I’ve only tried two of the teas so far and for some reason, this was calling out my name again. I’ve raised the score on this because I don’t think I appreciated the flavors the first time as much. In the west we’ve become so acclimated to teas that steep in bags or steep longer that steeping for seconds is something that takes a while to master. This is a good tea for that type of practice.

Dry leaf: Twisted tightly with some slight curl. The aroma isn’t quite as strong as I was hoping but there is some lingering hay and veggie notes.
Wet leaf: Still twisted with the first infusion but slowly opening. Aroma of stone fruits and veggies and a very slight hint of camphor.
Flavor: Very vegetal. Fresh asparagus, cooked green beans. These are prevalent in each of the three infusions I’ve done thus far. Only the first showed the strongest notes of stone fruit and slight cream.
Please do go check out this tea and more here: (https://iteaworld.com/products/chinese-tea-sampler?ref=ay9eddnn

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drank Ginger White by Ancient Leaf Tea
1234 tasting notes

For a white tea, one may open the bag and wonder if they choose correctly. It is a mix of brackish yellowish brown almost like stone ground mustard with light and dark browns and a few greens. The Silver trichomes on the buds number a few more then the ginger pieces. And while you wonder why there isn’t ginger you soon discover this as you slowly bring it to your nose. Breathing in too deeply you discover that this is fresh dried ginger they’ve used. An intense ginger with a strong personality. Less is more in this case. The aroma is full of gingery notes that mostly hide the earthy or other notes of the leaves. While the appearance isn’t the most pleasing you realize that this is a fairly new tea farmer and white tea is more difficult to process than most people realize. You warm your water to 195 F. We are steeping in a gong fu this second run to see what we an pull out that western steeping can’t. While it steeps you get notes of freshly cooked artichoke, a bit of ginger, along with a pile of leaves. Our first taste reveals ginger, artichoke, and leaf compost. Second time at about a minute is very earthy with plenty of previous notes mixed in. Same notes with the third steep. Definitely different for a white. I want to mix this with mamaki and see how it tastes.

There were approximately four different tea farms I wanted to visit while on the Big Island. However, it has been a long time since I’ve been there and since it was the first time my husband and kids had been there I knew I needed to tone it down a bit. Ancient Leaf was our second and last tea farm to visit. While overlooking the lush forest of the Onomea Bay area we sipped tea (after a tour of her farm) on her back porch. We were also treated to a few whales jumping and tail splashing.

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drank Gen Mai Cha by SerendipiTea
1234 tasting notes

This tea has been waiting for me in a plastic package since December. While that’s not too long I can definitely tell it has taken a toll on the dry aroma. At first when I poured in the water it smelled like burning hair at a salon but now that brown rice, like a senbei rice snack. The wet aroma is glorious. Toasty with rice notes but also toasted rice snack. A gentle, rolling brown rice flavor. Slight grass notes but you have to seek them out. The aftertaste lingers with some pleasant toasty notes and slight grass. I’m on my fourth infusion now.

On a side note… I’m going to Japan in June. I’m taking a master’s course with the Global Tea Association in Kyoto. I’m trying to rally up the amount of learning I am doing so let me know if you have any suggestions.)


That sounds exciting! I know Yunomi has lots of courses and sample sets for Japanese tea, though you’re probably learning that already if you’re taking courses. I look forward to reading about your experiences in Tokyo!


Japanese is not easy to learn, but repetition from an app or podcast will help. It’s always nice to be able to say pardon me and where is the bathroom in any language. They are so polite there that they will appreciate any effort on your part to use their language. What a fun trip!

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drank Alishan Cream by Mei Leaf
1234 tasting notes

Sigh… I readied my water and then forgot bc… drama. I need this cuppa more so now. Almost spilled all the tea everywhere. I can’t seem to open these Mei Leaf samplers without dropping a few leaves. I should just cut them. But then I spilled my gaiwan of dry leaves out like a fan.

The dry leaf is quite nice in aroma and appearance. Balled with a dark green hue and aromas of fresh florals, petrichor, and different minerals. Peach candy. very mineral. Wet rocks. Wet aroma: Fresh leaves. There is so much going on it’s almost hard to pin it all down. Slight butter. Soft mouth feel. When you over infusion it is similar to chewing on a piece of dandelion leaf. Bitter with harsh summer florals. Astringency that will put a crinkle in your neck.

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Another sample from the sample box from Mei Leaf. I think fuzzy tea buds are impossibly cute and this tea is an all-inclusive trichome party. These are all silver… That’s a big duh I suppose. Soft. Full and long. For the aroma, I am faintly detecting pear and a bit of earth. Initial aroma is hay, barnyard, creamed peas, or maybe pea soup. The flavor is fascinating. I was expecting high barnyard in your face notes but this is fruity, with bits of hay, and cream of wheat, plain. The wet aroma is perplexing. I feel like I need to go out and smell more things. It’s kind of spicy, and kind of wheat raisin bread.

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The end of the bag for this one. I’m always a bit pensive brewing up a tea that is the dregs. But thus far it’s been a pleasing experience. The dry leaf is a dark brown with golden tippy buds in a few places. I’m glad these leaves stayed intact so nicely despite the TTB. I enjoy a long twisty leaf. Oh man. Initial aroma: plums, spices, sweet purple potato. Much stronger then I anticipated. Some of the aroma I couldn’t quite put my finger on but so nice! As far as flavor goes there is slight malt, woody, and a bit of plum. The mouth feel is soft with barely any astringency leaving a bit of camphor euphoria in the aftertaste.

On a side note I recently tried a Palo Santo Kombucha while in Hilo at The Booch Bar. If you ever get a chance to try it as a kombucha definitely do it. My husband wasn’t into it but I thought it was such a unique flavor.

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The last person to update this tea with a review was over 10 years ago. I find this a bit surprising but also understandable. It may not be the most aesthetically pleasing website but functionally it does what it needs to without being confusing and that is what really counts. I was privileged to be able to meet Eva Mar 3rd, 2024. Granted we paid her for a tour but still privileged nonetheless to be able to go to the Big Island and do what we did. If you are on the Big Island please make sure you do a tour with Tea Hawai’i. It’s an amazing experience. I’ve already had one cup of this. We were at the Hilton Waikoloa and I’m so glad I brought tea with me. My first experience was fantastic but I forgot to write tasting notes. I do however remember malt, chocolate, and cream. Let’s see if this second stea bag is similar.

Dry Leaf aroma: (She only had bags and it’s not really coming through but I will cut and see if I can release the aroma that way)
Dry Appearance: Mix of small and big leaf. Mix of brown hues.
Liquor aroma: creamy, dark caramel.
Wet Leaf infusing: Caramel, dried pinewood, cream, slight leafy compost
Flavor: Mainly woody. Different wood types including pine and redwood. A bit of malt and cream. Funny how each cup can prove to be its own character.
Mouthfeel: Smooth with a touch of astringency. (How I like it best!)

Please note that you will find them on Google but not on Google maps. All of the tea farms allow tours but are run at their places of residence so please contact them for a tour date, don’t just show up. Also as a heads up the road to get to Tea Hawaii is not for sports or low-riding cars. It is quite bumpy.

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Back from Hawaii. Only got to two tea plantations. But it was still a wonderful time. Gorgeous Leaf. Lots of silver buds. Some lime green and evergreen mixing in with the slight browns and other hues of green. Aroma of dried leaves (anyone reading this who is not a tea drinker will roll their eyes at this but it does indeed remind me of dried leaves in fall), a bit of chocolate and cream. The taste is mainly farm. Wet hay. Dry hay. A mix of both. Nut milk.

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Generally I tend to avoid tea bags but I just wanted a super simple cup this morning. And being that we are in a hotel they had a tea bag. I was glad to see Harney instead of the usual ugly choices they give. I quite enjoy Chinese Keemuns. Creaminess mixed with woodiness to top off thus first not raining, not super windy morning on the Big Island. But you just gotta go with the flow. Enjoy every moment. It’s even more enjoyable with a nice cup of tea

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Having a collapsible travel kettle has been incredibly helpful. Wish I had discovered these sooner. The dry leaf is a nice mineral and floral. The infusing leaf has notes of wet rocks, The wet leaf leaves an interesting sweet note in your mouth. The leaf has unwound nicely. But still has a bit of way to go. On the third or fourth infusion now the flavor has remained fairly constant. Mineral and floral.


I like my immersion wand, but I love love love my collapsible kettle Don’t know how I lived without it. My favorite piece of gear.

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If you love to discover new tea companies please check out my blog www.teatiff.com

Cupboard updated: 7/27/2023

Tea Profile:
Allergies: Almonds and Dairy.

I’m a purist but I will try a flavored as long as it doesn’t have artificial flavors.

I will drink any type and love to taste whatever I can get my hands on.

(Purple is not a type of tea it is a cultivar known as TRFK 306/1)



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