436 Tasting Notes

drank Vanilla Black Tea by Capital Tea Ltd.
436 tasting notes

The dry leaf of this tea smells of vanilla custard and chocolate and is composed of large pieces of broken leaf orange pekoe and occasional short pieces of vanilla bean. The leaves are thin and tightly folded blades.

I breweed this tea for the recommended 3 minutes at 95°C. The tea brews up to a rich golden red with a gold ring around the edge of the cup. It smells of vanilla custard with a warm sweet vanilla note behind it with a touch of caramel and cream, a hint of malt and tarter fruit is peaking out behind the vanilla.

The first sip is a blend of a cooler vanilla taste, a bit like that found in good ice cream, mixed and balanced with a light bitterness from malt. It leaves a cooling sensation in the mouth. Underneath is a faintly vegetal note mixed with slightly tart stone fruit. There is a hint of an almost eucalyptus note and there is a caramel note up front that mixes with the vanilla. Best drunk slowly to fully appreciate the warm vanilla notes dissipating in the mouth and opening up first through malt, fruit and ahint of wood and cocoa, then finalling to a cooling eucalyptus. The vanilla is up front in the flavour and is distinct. Their are hints of it in the aftertaste but the aftertaste is more a blend of fruit, eucalyptus and bitter malt tones with the vanilla to temper them and smooth them out. Quite a nice vanilla tea. The vanilla is quite natural tasting and distinct, but does not overpower the tea itself which is quite robust. I could easily restock this in the future.


Sounds wonderful!

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This is another Ceylon from Capital Tea Ltd. The description of raisins, malt and caramel, left me expecting a rich, warm sweet tea, however I would describe it more as a bright, sweet, brisk tea. Its still very nice, just not quite what I was anticipating. This makes a nice morning or afternoon tea, it’s lively and has a nice dose of caffeine.

The dry leaves are long, thin and wiry lightly twisted blades that smells like rye bread. After steeping for 3.5 minutes at 95°C they produce a clear copper coloured tea with a sweet scent of caramel over sweet potato with fruit.

The tea tastes of spice (a hint of nutmeg with cinnamon), mixed with a dry hay note that is followed with a hint of aged cedar, over a bright sweet fruit note of grapes drying on the vine that are not quite raisins, or very fresh yellow Sultanas. There are hints of malt and barley underneath mixed with notes of caramel. The overall impression is of a bright and fruity tea with a light bitterness underneath it to give it depth. There is a light astringency which contributes to this impression. The resteep is a deeper red gold colour and is slightly sweeter and rounder tasting and is very faintly floral with a hint of rose and is distinctly more malty, with caramel in the aftertaste.

Although I still prefer the Lumbini estate tea, this is a nice light and bright tea that offers a nice contrast and is quite enjoyable.



Love the photo… thanks for the review :)

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
436 tasting notes

Today I decided to compare to Zhenghe teas Tao Tea Leaf’s Zhenghe gongfu, Jin Ping village http://www.taotealeaf.com/zhenghe-gongfu-black-tea-jin-ping-village/ and Titan teas Zhenghe Gongfu. http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Fujian-Zhenghe-Gongfu-Black-Tea-herbal-tea-health-tea-Chinese-100g-bagged-tea/1359449_1980624893.html

I decided to use western brewing for this comparison starting with the following parameters:
2g/2 min/95°C/150ml water


Titan tea

Dry leaf. Long folded and lightly twisted and curled dark brown leaves with dome copper brown tips. The tea smells of carob with grain notes.

Brewed colour.clear deeper copper brew.

2 min.
Scent. Hot Chocolate, cinnamon, stone fruit, hint of yam.

Taste. Hot chocolate, roasted grain/leaf note, caramel, hint of a mineral note, cinnamon, hint of yam and cherry.

3min. hints of molasses chocolate, fruit, cinnamon

Smooth, cream, chocolate, roasted notes, caramel, cinnamon, plum. Very sweet aftertaste.

4min. Cocoa, hints of citrus notes, spice

Grain, cocoa, molasses, spice, faintly peppery, cream, plum.

5.3 min. Cocoa, grain, hints of citrus, peppery notes, caramel, hints of plum.

Tao Tea Leaf

Dry leaf shorter, smaller and thinner than the titan tea slightly more wound but still loosely wound leaves with some copper, gold tips.
Scent, fall leaves, grain, and cocoa notes.

Brewed Colour. copper

2 min
Scent. Longan, plum, honey, grainy notes, hints of cocoa.

Taste, longan, floral, spicy, grainy note with cinnamon and ppepper, honey, cream and a hint of cocoa, slight astringency and cooling in the mouth, hints of cherry and stone fruit with the cocoa.

3min longan, grain, honey, hints of cocoa

Honey, grain,longan, cocoa, hints of cream, plum and a peppery floral spice, tingly on the tongue. Aftertaste of longan, cocoa,cream and honey.

4 min grain, hints of longan, cocoa, pepper, hints of plum.

5.30 min. Grain, longan, honey, cocoa, pepper, cinnamon, cherry, hints of nuts.

First steep picture http://instagram.com/p/tYNfikGK7h/

Flavour wise these are quite different teas. Tao’s tea is bright and llively, peppery, and complex, with more grain notes, less chocolate, and nutty, floral notes. Whereas Titans tea has a lot of Chocolate. They are both quite resilient, still yielding a lot of flavour after 4 western steeps. I enjoy both teas and am glad to have them in my cupboard.

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drank Keemun Xiang Luo by Capital Tea Ltd.
436 tasting notes

Xiang Luo roughly translates into fragrant snail and is a tea that combines the processing methods of traditional keemun and biluochun. It is produced from whole bud first flush tea and yields a rich and fragrant tea deserving of its name.

This tea has fairly long tightly wound glossy black leaves that are loosely coiled into corkscrews. Occasional golden brown tips are seen among the dark coils.
The dry leaf smells of chocolate, caramel and grainy notes.

The tea smells complex and spicy with chocolate and caramel rising first from the cup, and with light longan mixed with plum and other stone fruits underneath mixed with bright spicy notes of cinnamon mixed with a tone resembling bay leaves and some upper tones of malt.

I used a TSP (@ 1.5g of tea)/225 ml in just off boiling water steeped for 3.5 minutes.
The resulting tea has light longan mixed with honey and spice flavour notes up front that are blended with buttery caramel. The spice is lightly floral and is pleasant and bright. Cocoa is underneath mixed with a tone that is a slightly bitter sweet but mixed with cooked barley mash. The overall effect is a creamy, sweet and bright tea, that is well balanced with deeper lightly bitter notes. There is a light astringency but this is countered by the the body and creaminess of the tea. The tea produces a cooling effect in the mouth. There is no determineable smokiness.

The Resteep at 4.5min is similar in flavour in colour, but is slightly more tart, with more apparent malt and grain tones. The tea remains spicy and sweet though with chocolate, spicy floral and fruit tones. It is peppery and cool on the tongue, yet remains very smooth. The tea is still very flavourful suggesting it may yield another resteep. Altogether it is a really tasty cup, with a nice dose of caffeine and is suitable for all day drinking.


Thanks Capital Tea Ltd for the sample. I would definitely consider repurchasing this tea in the future!

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The dry tea smells first of chamomile touched by rose mixed with a fruity grassiness from the base tea. The tea includes rose buds chamomile flower heads and a medium long slightly wide bladed silver green toned tea bud.

I steeped 1.5tsp in a 170 ml gaiwan and got 5 good steeps after which the flavour began to fade and the tea thinned. As a caveat this tea does have a moderate dose of caffeine so is perhaps better suited to a time when you want a mellow alertness rather than later on in the evening.

1 min Chamomile scent with a faint hint of spicy rose and a fruity slightly sweet vegetal note from the base tea.

The tea is creamy and sweet with a mineral note.creamy sweet soft slightly fruity and nectar like note from base opens up to a cooling spicy note from the chamomile and a faint hint of rose as the flavour dissolves on the tongue.

90s tea has a slightly deeper tone under the chamomile. Cream, sweet soft fruit and nectar, sweet vegetal note, almost a hint of peaches and cream corn with rose appearing briefly before the chamomile.

2 min. Similar scent. Chamomile more dominant, with base tea sweetening the mix and adding cream notes underneath. Rose presents a certain spiciness at the end.

2.5min. A balance between the flavours. The base tea has developed a little more depth with vegetal notes, but it is still very fruity and creamy. There is a faint hint of citrus notes.

3 similar to above with a slight bitterness.

4 not as sweet or creamy but still flavourful.

5 min continuing to fade.


I enjoyed this tea and liked how the sweet and creamy white tea enhanced the chamomile with the rose being a minor player. Thanks to TeaVivre for the chance to sample this blend!


Sounds lovely :-)


Love the pic;)


Everyone I have shared this tea with has purchased some for themselves!

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I think I am in danger as I really enjoyed this introduction to Sheng. I loved the mix of exotic woods, spice, fruit, floral notes, leather, honey, vegetal notes and cream. I also loved the warming sensation it produced in my body. Can see why people can get addicted to this style of tea. It was also really long lasting I ended up getting 27 steeps out of one tuocha steeped in a 140 ml gaiwan. Thanks so much to TeaVivre for the chance to sample this tea. It has definitely left me with a desire to sample more.

I used short steeps and near boiling water for this tea.

10s rinse.

5s: slightly darker broth than my average green tea.

Sweet, straw like nnotes, honey, cocoa, cotton flower in the scent with flavours of cotton flower, straw, honey, cocoa, hint of ffruit, plum, and a touch of artichoke and leather. The tea had a creamy buttery texture and produced a slight tingling on the underside of the tongue.

7s deeper gold colour. With regards to the scent and taste, the leather note is stronger, with hints of aged cedar mixed with sandalwood, honey, floral notes and cocoa.
There are some vegetal green tea notes, with spinach, artichoke and spice, hint of frackensence. Plum. Creamyspicy woody, honeyed floral taste overlying some bitterness

9s frackensence, cedar, plum, floral notes, aged spicy woods, honey.
Cream, artichoke with spinach, exotic wood and spices, some honey, over some bitter tones. It presents a warming sensation in my body.

11s similar to above but a little sweeter and fruitier smelling.
Cream, spinach and artichoke frakinsence, aged cedar, allspice, honey, leather,plum, aftertaste of spice. Warming in the body, cooling in the mouth.

15s. Spice, plum, hint of spicy floral.

Cream, exotic woods and spices, indistinct savoury veg, hint of leather,

20s. Floral mixed with woody notes_ plum and artichoke.
Similar to above still spicy exotic woods, veg,plum, and honey over bitter notes, a little more drying in the mouth.

23s. Spice, cotton flower, plum, brighter than last steeps.

Even blending of above flavours exotic spices devolving into a spicy floral note cream, fruit. Gardenia.

26s similar to above but slightly more bitter and spicy floral notes are slightly biting.

30s tart intro to scent mix.
Cream honey ,veg note, gardenia, plum and a touch of exotic woods.

34s More honey and plum, bitter veg tone and gardenia mixed with exotic woods.

40s bright spice over letter, woods and greens, smell a little of perfume.
Frakinsence, cream, aged cedar, artichoke, plum.

46s. Cream, plum than other notes in succession.

54s. Plum, cream, woody notes, spice. Honey

62s same as above with some floral notes. Honey move forward with cream.

70s Much more intensely sweet with hints of licorice to the honey, plum, spice. A mild woody dryness and lots of warmth and heat produced in the. Front of the mouth yielding to a cooling.

80s similar to above but slightly creamier.

90s slightly stronger cedar, and spice notes, very warming.

110s spicy exhautic woods, salt, cream, some savoury notes.

120s. above mixed with bitter sweet greens

130s honey, spice, greens, cream.

140 s similar but a little weak.

160 s same.

180s. Licorice woody notes, spice, plum

3.30min plum, woody notes, licorice, spice.

4 min softer version of notes above.

5 min creamy soft with licorice appearing with spice and honey.

6 min. Honey, cream, sweet cooked greens, faint hint of spice.

Thanks again I really enjoyed it!


Wow! That is a large number of steeps.


Sounds amazing.


i cant believe you never tasted sheng before


I know! Pu-erh in general intimidated me for awhile.


Welcome! very addictive;)

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This tea was sent to me as a sample with my Capital Tea order. I was excited as I have been interested in trying some of their African teas. This tea has beautiful dry leaves that are tightly wound dark needles that smell floral and spicy and citrusy. The first time I steeped this tea I used a sugar spoon from a tea set to measure the leaves and I realise I under leafed it. It is a testimant to the quality of this tea that even these first steeps were very good and rich in flavour as I used only about 1g of leaf. Later I used 2g of tea. The broth in both cases is a clear medium orange-red.

First steeping:

3 min. Scent: Molasses, citrus notes, sweet potato, cocoa, spice, stone fruit.
Taste: Cocoa, sweet potato and roasted skins, brown sugar, darker tones of malt, a touch of molasses, roasted notes, dried stone fruit.

As it cools, it tastes lighter in the tongue and becomes spicy and cooling with hints of pepper and herbs with touches of rosemary and tthyme, over the other notes.
Sweet, rich and savoury. The tea itself is very smooth on the tongue.

4.2min The resteep is spicy with herbacious, floral, spice and pepper notes over sugar/molasses, sweet potato and sweet red fruits with cherry and plum. This steep is still rich but feels much lighter on the tongue. There is a touch of butter.

6min. Scent: weet, more citrusy and spicy
Taste: Malt, spice, butter, fruit, cocoa

2g. 3 min. With more leaf the scent is similar but with stronger malt tones and more distinct cocoa, fruit, and roasted tones and spice notes.

Sweet potato notes are stronger and more biscuit, with a bit of briskness, and a deeper malt tone. Along with spice and fruit.

Altogether this is a rich sweet tea with savoury, spicy, fruity tea with cocoa and malt notes. Both lighter and heavier leaved options are excellent. Thank you so much for giving me the chance to try this tea!


I need to quit reading your reviews! I keep finding more teas I need to try based on your excellent reviews. :)


Its really worth trying, Its been a nice accompaniment to the day and pretty forgiving. I forgot a bought the Resteep from my second steeping and it is still pretty nice and is a little more fruity.

Zen Tea Jazz and Sci Fi Books

I love your tea reviews that paint beautiful pictures and gets my taste buds rollicking as though I am sipping the tea myself :-)



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drank Rum Raisin Ice Cream by 52teas
436 tasting notes

I got this tea in a mystery pack! It actually reminds me more of old-fashioned bubblegum, with its fruity spicy sweetness. I had a raisin in my leaf this time. The leaf is finely chopped and smells like a brighter version of the brewed tea. The brewed tea contributes a deeper scent and I can also catch a bit of vanilla in the tea as well.

The tea itself tastes to me like it smells with a bit of a vegetal note. Not exactly rum and raisin to me but it is a nice bubblegum tea!

The Resteep is very fruity and a little more rum like with hints of vanilla.

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This tea has long, medium large slightly curled and loosely wound leaves covered in a copper gold down. They are beautiful to look at.

I used 1.6g in 150 ml of water, and the result was a golden brew that lasted me through 5 good steeps. ( 50*2, 2,3,5 min) in 85-90°C water.

50s. Honey, smoke, cocoa, spice, dried fruit.

Savoury spicy taste like a mole sauce, dissolved in honey and smoke flavour added in.
Plum lies underneath. The taste is surprisingly bold and rich for a delicate looking tea. The broth is creamy with a medium viscosity. Touch of malt apparent as it cool.

50s hint of butter, malt and stronger fruit among the other previous scents.
Very faint hint of candyish floral.

Savoury, smoke has dissipated and fruit, cocoa, lighter malt and spice all meld into each other, hint of citrus, bright mole and fruit, with a hint of beer.

Honey and citrus as it cools along with cream and plum!

2min in strong honey cocoa, plum, light malt, nectar, light citrus., butter. Faint leather and grains with a touch of smoke. It has a faint nutty tone.

3min leather, plum and a hint of grape, malt, honey, floral tone, hint of cocoa.

5 min, honey, malt, and floral notes, a hint of ash.

7 min. Discarded, vegetal.

This tea was richer and more savoury then I expected initially, but it was a great accompaniment to the first half of my day.

Thanks boychik I really appreciated the chance to try this tea. I like it.

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