436 Tasting Notes

drank Christmas (Rois Mages) by Kusmi Tea
436 tasting notes

Currently, I am suffering from allergies and was craving something a little spicy to get the annoying buzzy feeling out of my ears and throat, so spice it is! JustJames sent me a bit of this around Christmas.

I brewed 1.25 TSP in 225 ml for 2.5min.

Hot, I smelled mostly fruit, with the base tea combining with the orange and vanilla to create something almost berryish, cloves and ginger and a hint of cardamon. As it cooled the almond and vanilla notes, as well as the orange became more distinct.

I found the tea to be not as spicy tasting as it smells but the cloves and possibly pepper does create a tingling on the tongue and a cooling in the back of the throat. The fruit is very present in the forefront, with the vanilla becoming more distinct and separate as it cools and the base contributes a cherry note that sweetens the orange. The base contributes a sense of thickness as a result of a mild astringency and its moderate level of tannins. It is quite fruity on its own and contributes a hint of floral, as well as slight malt and bready notes.

Altogether this is what I needed at this moment. Thanks James!


Hope your allergies will clear up soon :-)


Thanks, so do I!

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drank Thé sur la Lune by Nina's Paris
436 tasting notes

This tea certainly has a breadier, maltier and less sweet base tea than Nina’s other black teas I’ve had. It gives the tea a certain density and takes the tea from being a spring/summer tea to a year round tea. The tea initially smells a lot like other raspberry orange teas I’ve had, but on closer inspection this one is sweeter and more rounded than the other one I currently have. The berry notes are especially noticeable under the two dominant fruits.

The raspberry and orange blended with the bready, faintly leathery base are the first notes present but once these dissipate a warm sweet mixed fruit flavour opens up underneath. The puerh mixes well with the orange raspberry and as it cools, I am tasting a bit of passion fruit between the top notes and berry, and a faint floral note in the raspberry. The tea is warming at first but finishes with a cooling feeling in the mouth. I brewed this tea for Nina’s recommended 3 min and it creates a really good balance between the flavouring and the base tea flavours. An interesting pleasant tea that I like better hot than my current raspberry/orange tea.

Thanks for the opportunity to try this tea go to Laurent at Nina’s!

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I’ve had this cupboard for a while. The first few times I had it I think I overleafed or over steeped it as I did not experience the delicious fruitiness and spice that I am getting today.

Today after steeping 1tsp in 225 ml of water at around 94°C for 3 min I have a tea that’s yielding a lovely spicy, fruity tea. This tea has notes of brown sugar, yam, malt,cocoa, blackberry, cinnamon, and a faint floral clover nectar. The second steep remained delicious and smooth even though I rediculously over steeped it.

I would purchase this tea again if Capital Tea restocks it, in the mean time this one is tempting me. http://www.capitaltea.com/shop/product.php?productid=247&cat=3&page=1!


Mmm. That ceylon sounds really good…and what’s up with 100g for only $9??


Capital Teas does have some really nice Ceylon’s at good prices. The Lumbini always makes me think of you and Dexter because it has some pretty nice Cherry notes, but caramel, malt and raisins sounds amazing how when I’m in the mood for something warming.


Lol, cherries, oui, oui :-) adding Lumbini to wish list!

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I’ve been sipping on this tea all morning and it’s still going strong. The dry tea scent promises cocoa, a roasted note and a grainy bready note. These notes do appear in the brewed tea but the grainy note does not make a strong appearance until later steeps. A lot of my other Bailin teas have been very fruity, this one is not although it does have some nice plum notes. What it does have are notes of molasses(more than caramel to me), a roasted note, cream, sweet potato , plum, a floral note, a hint of hay, grain notes, a hint of leather(in later steeps), cinnamon and malt. The tea tasted more robust in later steeps, but remained very smooth throughout.

I brewed this tea using 1.25tsp in a 150ml Gaiwan and used a water temperature of 92°C.
I used steeping times of 30,40,50,70, and 120s and will probably get at least one more good steep out of it. The tea brews to a pretty deepening maple shade.

This is a nice mellow tea, that has made a pleasant companion this morning. Thanks Sil for sharing!


yay! glad you enjoyed it

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I’ve come to see Tan Yang teas as kind of a geographical designation like VQA with wine, with most of the teas grown in the area named that way except for the Lapsang Souchong, the teas grown from the guanyin varietal, and most of the really tippy teas which are labeled either as Jing Pin or Jinjunmei depending on the wholesaler. Some of the sites refer to a Tan Agar varietal of the tea plant as well, but I haven’t found much information on that as of yet.

This tea is from Fuan, and is a lower grade of the golden monkey tea, it is sometimes referred to yin Mao hou. The sources I found on this tea said that it is often fruitier and sweeter than golden monkey so I was curious to try it.

This tea was harvested on April 28,2014. It has dark loosely curled leaves with scattered copper toned golden tips. The dry leaf smells very sweet and chocolatey with an undertone of roasted grain/malt tones.

I brewed this tea both western and gongfu styles and found similar tones in both. Styles.

I brewed 1tsp/20Oml/[email protected]°C. And ended up with a golden, orangey,brown broth with a golden ring.

The scent of this tea was of cocoa, with a touch of longan and a lighter peach/mandarin scent, with a buttery tone and cane sugar.

The tea presents a light bright first impression with the fruit up front with longan, a sweeter citrus mandarin note and a sweeter creamy peach like tone during some steeps especially in western style.

The fruit tones are separated from the deeper tones underneath by a cane sugar note.

The deeper tones include cocoa, butter, a hint of salt, a slight hint of something floral, and a faint roasted note.

Later steeps had a deeper richer flavour and introduced a clover nectar tone, and more distinct malt. Some steeps had a creamy texture and were almost syrupy. The tea had a light sweet aftertaste.

The western style steeps still had the bright fruity flavours on top, but had a deeper, heavier flavour underneath.

Altogether this tea was smooth, sweet, creamy and bright, with a good balance between the flavours. A very nice tea and great for summer.

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drank Nova Scotia Blue by The Tea Brewery
436 tasting notes

In mid summer, while I worked in the Chapleau Crown Game Preserve tracking Black Bears, we would reach a point where half the bears would dissapear from their home ranges as they left in search of food. That population is basically dependant on the success of the blueberry crop for survival. Once they started to leave their home ranges we would spend part of the day tracking/searching for our wandering bears, and part of the day sampling blueberry plots among other duties. After which we had tons of berries to freeze, eat and turn into many baked goods. At the study site we had two species of blueberries; Vaccinium angustafolium, which had smaller tarter berries and smooth leaved shorter plants, and V. Myrtilloides which had furry leaved taller plants and big sweet berries that tasted a little like blueberry bubble gum. This tea reminds me of the latter, with a rich sweet syrupy scent and flavour that reminds me a little of a blueberry pancake breakfast drank with a hearty rich tea.

This tea does a really nice job of balancing the flavours between the base tea and the flavouring. The scent and the taste are of those large bubble gun tinged blueberries I picked in the field up near Chapleau, with a nice sweet slightly syrupy notes, all over a malty and slightly biscuit noted base that has a slightly tart fruit reference. The sweetness of the flavouring is tempered by both the tannins in the tea and the blackberry leaf. The base tea is only slightly astringent, but has enough texture and tannins to give it a nice density in the mouth. Despite the flavouring and scent being quite distinct they do not overpower the base and the tea does not require sweetners for the flavouring to pop. Well done Tea Brewery At the moment this is my favourite blueberry tea in my cupboard.


You have a cool job. Bears are awesome!


So was that job as awesome as it sounds? ’Cause it sounds pretty great (as does the tea!).


Such a cute story, I can understand why this tea triggered such memories :-)


It was a very cool job! We lived at a field camp on the lake with a population between 4 and 20. The study’s focus was population survivorship and fecundity. In the spring we spent the morning checking our lines of live traps for bears, whom we would weigh measure, take fat pinches and blood samples if they were a recapture. New bears would be tagged and more in depth measurements and samples were taken. Females were always coloured, males not so often, as they tended to through the collars. We had early GPS collars that were huge as well as normal radio collars. We tracked the bears in the afternoon and sometimes well into the evening until there was a change of government that changed my bosses good will for ‘extras’. We also did botanical monitoring and staging. In our free time we went rock climbing of fire tower climbing, hiking, biking and canoeing and occasionally wolf howling. It was a fascinating job bears are fascinating to observe behaviorally,have an interesting social organisation and a really interesting physiology. It is definitely among my favourite job experiences. Ironically I think I experienced greater culture shock coming back from that job than from some of my overseas experiences.


Just wow…


What TheTeaFairy said!

Christina / BooksandTea

That sounds like the coolest job ever.



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drank Assam #8 by Tealux
436 tasting notes

Not really a detailed note, but more a reminder to myself. Short steeps really bring out the fruity notes of this tea, I think I prefer it this way.

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At one point last year I had a tea moment with this sample from an aliexpress dealer. The tea tasted like a chocolate caramel oolong and was incredibly smooth. Since then I’ve been on a search for that tea or a tea like it. It can be difficult because tea packaging is sometimes used regionally and may not be specific to a brand. Anyways after my last attempt boychik offered to send me some of this tea as part of my quest to find that tea, and you know, it comes quite close. This one is more malty, not quite as smooth and has much stronger caramel notes, but it is really good. It makes a nice dessert tea.

I steeped 1 TSP in 200ml and used a water temperature of around 92°C and did 4 steeps of this tea (60,90,120,210s).

This teas warm honey broth had a scent of light longan cocoa, butter caramel, and something slightly nutty.

The first sip was quite sweet with caramel coming to the forefront, with ccocoa, yam, and nutty tones with a hint of molasses. As it cools the longan becomes apparent between the butter caramel and other tones. The tea is buttery but slightly more astringent than my fantasy lapsang but really good and very close to the one I am looking for. This one has more caramel and longan and less cocoa, but it is a really nice flavour. As it cools the malt becomes apparent under the other flavours and the tea taste slightly less sweet. The aftertaste of hot chocolate with a little bit of longan.

In future steeps a malt tone became apparent and the caramel became more of a butter note with a mild sweetness. Longan was more apparent in the second steep and then faded. Whereas cocoa remain relatively constant.

Altogether a very good tea which I would consider buying once I get through some of my existing Lapsang Souchong collection. Thanks boychik It really is close!


yay, happy you like it;)


this one is quite delicious!

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This teas was part of a sample set of Dancongs I got on aliexpress after really enjoying my first one (an Osmanthus Dancong). I was hoping it might help me get an idea of what Dancings I prefer. So far I have the Osmanthus I love and a honey orchid which is OK but that I prefer to brew western style.

The name of this one is a little off putting , but there is an explanation of it here https://www.peonyts.com/what-is-phoenix-dancong-xing-ren-xiang/ and no, it does not smell or taste like its name. For English speaking markets it is often called Black Leaf Dancong. I’m glad I got this sample because the first few steeps are quite good and interesting and afterwords it tastes very similar to a Tieguanyin with slightly different spice notes.

I followed a sellers recommended temperature and brewing times of >95°C for 20s and probably used about 3-3.5 g of leaves so that they loosely covered the bottom of my 150ml Gaiwan.

The dry leaves of this tea are large bars of forest green to dark almost black green. The scent is a very clean, green floral with a hint f orange. It is very fresh, clean scent.

The broth is a hay toned yellow,

The scent is of a soft fruit and floral like some rolled green Oolong’s. There is magnolia, a hint of cinnamon, peach and a touch of orange juice. A soft floral is the dominant sent.
20s after rinse.
Magnolia, light mineral tone, orange juice, hint of cream, fairly dense mouthfeel, sweet underneath like it has a tinge of cane sugar.. Aftertaste of magnolia and oranges. becomes sweeter as it cools the orange also gets this orangina like tang that seems tinged with ginger.
15s. Magnolia with spice, hint of honey cream and orange.
Slightly sweeter than last steep, honeyed orange with a tint of peach meld into magnolia flavour which is less distinct. Very creamy. hint of woodiness, mixed with cooked spinach. The sweet orangey, floral scent is dominant and finishes in fresh ginger.
Gradually develops a warming feeling at the top and back of the mouth.

20s. Cream magnolia spice,orange
Creamy texture and taste orange tone to the forefront, with ginger, fading magnolia, honey, with spinach woody tone underneath very faintly. Flavour still quite rich at short steep.

30 s cream , strong orange, mineral notes, spinach, finishing with ginger.

40s very much like tgy soft gardenia/magnolia, cream spicy tones from fading orange ginger, light spinach, mineral notes and a touch of form. Still ginger in the aftertaste

60s cream honey magnolia, ginger spice and faint tinge of fresh orange rind. The tea still has a nice body.

90s more gardenia than magnolia, floral spice with a bit of nutmeg, cream, hint o sweetness, mineral tones and spinach.

140s. Similar

240 fading remnants of spice and floral, and vegetal notes.

I really liked the first few steeps of this tea, enough that I would like to try more of it and would even consider purchasing this one. I’m glad I picked up the sampler or I would have never tried it.


Incredible! And about the name, that story is hilarious, never would have guessed! When I first read “feces” I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me!!


duck feces? is that real?


That’s the translation, the original developer of the cultivar apparently gave it that name to deter tyheives and imitators. Made me hesitant at first, but it has nothing to do with the flavour or scent of the tea. The more I read about tea in China, the more of these types of stories I here. I like Rizhao green teas and apparently there is a big problem with counter fitters because the teas in Rizhao tend to have a higher level of plant polythenols and cathecins and can demand a higher price. Crazy name though. No wonder they are trying to market it as Black Leaf Dancong here.

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