436 Tasting Notes

The leaves of this tea are rolled and much darker than this photo suggests.

My leaves are mostly dark olive green to chocolate brown and smell of fall leaves. This is a medium roast oolong produced in North Thailand sourced from a family run enterprise.

I decided to steep my tea using a gongfu method and used 1 TSP of tea in 100ml of water.

I started out with a 3s rinse which I decided to drink. I am happy I did so because it tasted of baklava. It’s flavour was all honey and nuts ( particularly pistachio) and pastry.

I then chose short steeping times to start out with. My times were: 5,10,15,20,25,30,40,60,90s, and 3,4 and 6min). Altogether I made 12 steeps plus the rinse of this tea.
5s scent: honey, pistachio, pastry, hint of something sharp like a currant and fall leaves.
flavour: cream, honey, with fruit, slightly tart yet creamy hinting to mango tempered by something softer like apricot. Pastry and pistachio up front before fruit and honey develop faint hint of fall leaves.
Aftertaste of honey and fruit.
1Os cream, mineral notes, fruit, with hints of citrus rind added to above, pastry, pistachio
15s cream, honey, fall leaves, pastry, fruit, nuts, spice, bits of malt, hints of bitter veg.
20s honey and pastry, pistachios, fall leaves mixed with bitter veg, cinnamon, cream, malt, apricot.
25s roasted grain, leaves, and walnuts, cream, honey and apricots, malt and faint tinge of bitter veg, spice.
30s pastry and nuts, apricot, cream and spice. Hints of malt.
40s apricot, cream,spinach, nuts,pastry, spice.
60s minerals, apricot, cream, hints of ash, sweet and bitter veg, faintly floral with good spice notes, honey. Tingling on the tongue., hints of oatmeal.
90s similar to above.
3min similar but no ash, more sweet vegetables with cream, apricot and honey.
4min. Similar to above with a floral element.
6min similar.

The finished leaves are a fairly uniform deep olive to milk chocolate colour. Some of the leaves show signs of insect distress.

I am not always a fan of mid roast Oolong’s but I really liked the nutty, sweet pastry like notes in this one. I really enjoyed it.

Siam-Tee suggests that when using longer steeps this tea has a profile approaching a Da Hong Pao. I will have to try that in the future. As for now I’m glad I tried it this way. I have never had a tea taste so naturally of baklava before.


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This tea is a very smooth, bright, and consistently fruity tea, and reminds me of summer garden parties.

The leaf looks like a medium to dark roast rolled oolong with mostly chocolate to slightly darker coloured leaves and a raisiny and slightly grainy scent dusted with icing sugar and cocoa.

The steeped tea colour is a bright red tone tinged with gold and the fragrance is very fruity.

I’ve steeped this tea using both shorter steeps and the recommended longer steeps and found similar flavour profiles both ways.

This tea has a wonderful sunwarmed strawberry note I’ve found in some Taiwanese Assam’s combined with peach in the early steeps. This is dusted with icing sugar with caramel underneath. I also found notes of light cocoa, pistachio, and malt. These notes were consistent through all my steeps ( 3 min, 3 min, 4 min/ 1 tsp/ 95°C). In my gongfu session there was a tabacco note which I didn’t find in the western steep. I also found notes of cream, cotton flower ( that only appeared when hot and then quickly dissipated) and a mineral note in the last steep. The aftertaste is very sweet with notes of fruit and sugar. The tea is very smooth, with a mild to medium body, and a good dose of caffeine. The caffeine combined with the fruity notes of the tea leave the impression of a very bright tea. Altogether a really nice experience.


Sounds delish!

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I bought this as a possible replacement for my beloved borsapori which is no longer being produced in orthodox form. It is a very nice tea, but it is not as sweet, nor does it have that milk chocolate note. It also is not nearly as floral. What it does have is a good deal of malt, cream, sweet potato, fruit, and spice notes with a bit of honey. It is quite a strong tea a level tsp is more than enough leaf for 225ml of water.

The brewed tea is a bright but deeper reddish orange tone. The dried tea smells of malt, horse feed and spice.

I have gotten 3-4 good steeps out of this tea each time I have had it. The latter steeps tend to be sweeter.

2.30 min
Scent: lemon and sweet potatoes with the upper tones of malt, cream, hints of short crust pastry with lemon juice, honey, and a soft sweet and bright spice.

Flavour is deeper than the scent with first sips containing the deeper tones of malt, cocoa, and sweet potato. Upper tones are cream, soft stone fruit, light citrus notes with zest, honey, a hint of butter pastry, and a soft floral.

3.30 increased uppertones of malt, addition of some currant, stronger spice notes with zest, cream, sweet potato, honey, citrus notes. Increased astringency.

4min, honey and spice over cream and malt and breast notes with currant. Still quite flavourful. Tannic.

While I am not sure if this is my replacement tea it is quite a nice tea and I am happy to have it in my cupboard. A nice option for those who want a malty and not to sweet tea with some complexity.

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I recently received this tea from a new seller on Aliexpress http://www.aliexpress.com/store/1393073 called Leisure Garden.

The first time I had this tea it tasted almost like fruit cocktail which surprised me. I have had other fruity Bailin’s but this one was intensely so. Since then I have played around with it and have found you can either focus on its grainy caramel honey notes or it’s intense fruit notes depending how you steep it. Cooler temperatures and less leaf draw attention to the former. This company suggests that this tea can be steeped at least 4-5 times and it has always delivered at least that. I haven’t tried brewing it using the 5g recommended with it’s short steep times (10-15s)I think this would still bring focus to it’s fruity elements.

This tea is not this companies premium Bailin. It is there higher grade everyday tea. The leaves are dark and shiny and thinner than other Bailin gongfu teas I have tried with occasional copper tips appearing.

Tonight I used around 3/4 TSP in a 100ml gaiwan and used water temperatures between 95-100°C for my steeps.

The tea brewed to an orangey brown colour that deepened and brightened by the third steep.

The tea smelled of longan,cocoa,honey, sweet bright fruit, like a touch of pineapple, mixed with stone fruit and a grainy note.

This tea is produced from cultivars normally used for white teas and the makes were able to capture some of these elements within this tea including a creaminess and a lemon tinged spice that reminds me in a couple of the later steep of sweet tea roses. Other notes include: longan, pineapple dipped in dark chocolate, grainy notes, honey and caramel, sweet cherries, butter, cream, and cinnamon and coriander. While not as cocoa rich as some Bailin’s I have had, nor as spicy, it is certainly the fruitiest. The tea while being fairly light in body is very creamy on the tongue and makes for a pleasant experience.

This companies teas are certified organic under several international agencies.

This is quite a nice tea and the price I paid for it which was under 10.00$ is close to the t-mall price and maybe even less when shipping is factored in. I wouldn’t mind trying some of their white and scented teas.


I love reading your reviews! You seem to find the most unusual teas.

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drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
436 tasting notes

Of the Kusmi teas I’ve had so far I like this one at St. Petersburg the best. This one make a nice winter tea when you want something chai like but not Chai. This tea has citrus notes of grapefruit, lemon and bergamot supported by Vanilla and Spice. I find the grapefruit and lemon strongest here with the bergamot sweetening the tea a little. Underneath this is a creamy vanilla element that really does taste like cream to me. In the spice mix I taste cloves, nutmeg, and pepper. It does make me think of the holidays and orange pomades. I don’t always love Kusmi’s bases but it works here. It is dark and slightly bitter and is a nice counterbalance to the flavouring. It also has hints of warmer sweeter stone fruit. All together a really pleasant tea to be drinking on a cool day. It reminds me of gingerbread eaten with a tart mulled wine served with coffee and cream.


both of us were drinking Kusmi today :) i liked Traktir. Will send you some ;)



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drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
436 tasting notes

This is a lovely smokey, fruity tea where the elements of the blend really shine through. I probably used a little more leaf than my preference but the resulting brew is not bitter. I mostly taste the smokiness of the Keemun and possibly the panyong, a slightly woody fruitiness from the Keemun which has hints of dried stone fruit and sweet red wine, which may be enhanced by fruity elements of the panyong and a sweet cocoa note which is mostly Yunnan but may again be enhanced buy the panyong. There is a very faint floral note from the Keemun and a touch of frankness enhanced by a honey note and a bit of malt. The aftertaste is reminiscent of wine mixed with a touch of honey and a bit of smoke. Overall a nice, robust and bold blend. Thanks so much Nicole for giving me a chance to try it!

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drank Blackcurrant Cassis by Tea Guys
436 tasting notes

I like cassis, one of my favourite ice cream blends is cassis with coconut. I like the mix of tart and sweet and that unique black currant taste.

I am of two minds about this tea. There is something off putting about the scent where it does occasionally remind me of what ifjuly found ( cat urine), but at times the flavour is pleasant. It has a tartness to it which is rather hibiscus like but there is also cream, a reference to the sweet and slight spiciness of cassis, and a certain depth and richness to the base. It is not as sharp as some blackcurrant teas I have had. This is probably not a tea I would buy but it is not terrible if you can avoid that occasional smell.

Thanks * JustJames* for the experience.

Cameron B.

I don’t know whether you’ve tried Cassis & Blueberry from Lupicia, but I liked that one a lot. :)


Thanks for the recommendation! I actually haven’t tried any Lupicia, but I’ll probably attempt the phone order option someday. They have a number of teas I’d like to try someday.

Cameron B.

I’m planning on doing an order soon, so let me know if you’d like me to add anything for you.




Good tip, Cameron B. I’ll have to check that out when I run out of Melon Oolong! :)

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I admit that this tea falls in between my usually preferences for floral biting Oolong’s, or rich fruity spicy darker roasted Oolong’s but it is still quite nice. It is very sweet with notes ranging from honey to melted sugar and has a very nice pistachio nut note that blends with toast. There are also a clover nectar and floral note, cinnamon and several herbal notes mixed with a light dose of fruit, sweet and bitter vegetal notes and mineral notes. This tea is not as resilient as the last tea I sampled, however I still got 10 steeps out of it. I probably would have preferred it if it was slightly more oxidised, but this is just my preference.

The dry leaf smells of toast, clover, hints of sweet stone fruit, and cream. They are dark olive to spruce green in colour and are rolled to a medium, size loose ball with obvious stems.

1.5 TSP in a 140 ml gaiwan

20s scent, toast, strong vegetal note, like a cross between, Swiss chard, asparagus, and clover, clover nectar, slightly nutty approaching raw pistachio, honey, hints of peach and ripe mango.

Creamy on tongue with vegetal notes up front, dissipated through a note of toast honey, nut and floral notes and a thin hint of fruit. Sweet lingering aftertaste of honey. Floral note is all clover, repeat with spices. Colour medium light translucent amber. Thick creamy texture.

25s clover spice and very sweet honey notes moved to the forefront. Honey remains a constant note but clover dissolves into cinnamon, toast, and sweet vegetal notes, hints of apricot. Lingering aftertaste of cinnamon and honey, with hints of clover.

30s feeling of dissolved sugar in the tea and a tingling on the roof of the mouth. Broth is less creamy it has a rougher texture in the mouth. Sugar, toast, pistachio, clover, cinnamon.

35s honey cinnamon, toast and nuts up front, a herbal note that has hints of thyme and original mixed with clover, honey, sweet veg, cream. Herbal tone that is al!most menthol, honey, nuts and sweet veg in the aftertaste.

45s. Weakening sweetness, hay and herbaceous, herbal notes up front, mineral notes, nuts, honey, cream and cinnamon.

65s. Spice, cream, weakening clover honey, sweet mixed with slightly bitter vegetal notes. Nuts , honey and clover in the aftertaste.

90s, clover, honey, cinnamon, very light bitter vegetal, nuts, mineral note.

130s artichoke, honey, clover, cinnamon
Mineral note.

180s artichoke, cream, honey, clover, bitter greens.

Cinnamon and clover in aftertaste.

300s artichoke, honey, bitter greens.
Thanks again to Teavivre for the opportunity to sample this tea* It was a pleasant accompaniment to my evening.


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While this may not be the most resilient Taiwanese black tea I have had it is certainly delicious. I got 5 delicious steeps (45*2, 50, 70,90s) out of it before the flavour started to fade into citrus spice and I got bored.

The dry tea smelled of rye bread, longan and flowers.

Brewed the tea released a scent that included sharp longan, and citrus note and hints of black currant, malt, sweet floral with spice and at time croissants, waffles, and bread.

The flavour included notes of sweet floral nectar with hints of clover spice, sweet fruit notes with hints of bosc pear, cherry, longan, citrus notes, and currant, honey, malt and faint cocoa underneath, cinnamon, waffles, croissant, fresh yeasty bread and mineral notes. The earlier steeps were thick and creamy whereas the last couple were drying in the mouth.

All together a very pleasant tea. Thanks TastyBrew for sharing a cup or two with me!

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Overall I found this to be a very nice tea. It had a good balance of flavours. It is soft, but has enough fruit and biting spice notes to create interest without being bitter or overly aggressive. I sometimes find this style of oolong to mild to suit my tastes but this one had enough complexity to hold my interestover 15 steeps.

The dry tea scent was of hay and clover flowers with a hint of smoke. The leaves themselves are amedium to larger sized rolled oolong with a nice bright colour thast is almost like a cross between the colour of grass and darker lime rind.

I steeped the tea in a 100ml gaiwan using enough tea to cover the bottom( around 1.5tsp). I started with a water temperature of about 90°c and increased it gradually after the 6th steep. After a rinse I steeped this tea 15 times (20, 25, 27, 32,40,50,60,70,80, 90,110,130,160, 190,240s,). The broth was a pale antique gold colour.

20s scent: soft and floral with hints of gardenia and magnolia, with honey and a sweet fruit scent of candied grape mixed with pineapple and apricots, with cream.
Taste: sweet cooked greens, mixed with cream and a cool floral a mix of magnolia and lily, hints of corn and corn silk, light hint of honey. The aftertaste is floral with a faintly sour fruit note.

25 s. Scent: stronger floral and fruit scent
Taste: similar blend of sweet vegetables and a floral fruit mix with a stronger gardenia note, a hint of mineral and spinach mixed with cream.

27 increasing fruit notes(apricot and pineapple), corn, cream, increasing gardenia note with a much more present biting spice note appearing . These notes are over top and are mostly hiding a spinach note and a mineral note. There is a tingling on the underside of the tongue, the back of the throat and lips.

32 stronger pineapple and apricot with a hint of orange, biting spicy floral notes, cream, cane sugar, faint hint of corn, veg and a definite mineral note.

40s cream, lilac, gardenia, apricot, mineral notes over sweet vegetables.

50s. Similar to above with a bit of cane sugar and sweet corn not as creamy on the tongue.

60s. Cream, corn with hints of spinach, lilac, spice, apricot.

70s cream, apricot, corn, soft lilac. Thick creamy texture.

80s apricot, cream hints of spinach, lilac, pepper, corn. ( increased temp of water). Hints of sugarcane.

90s cream, lilac, apricot, sweet greens
110s. Sugar cane, apricot, sweet greens, lilac, pepper.
130s. Light vegetable note, pepper, apricots, cream, hint of lilac.
160s. Cream, apricot, light vegetable, light lilac,pepper.
190s. Apricot , cream, light vegetable, faint lilac.
240s sweet vegetable and apricot.

As noted the finished leaves are huge with three entire leaves attached to a stem. The margins are mostly entire. Overall this was a pleasant experience and this is an oolong that would appeal to many different tastes. Thanks Angel and Teavivre for giving me the opportunity to sample this tea. I enjoyed it!


Wow! Awesome amount of steepage, I am going to have to see if I can go the distance and do that many, have a nice day dedicated to Ali Shan


Have fun.


I admire your dedication. Like Amanda, I really need to have an “oolong day” where I do as many gaiwan steeps as possible. I need to increase my oolong mileage!

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