1442 Tasting Notes

It’s been so long since I’ve had this tea style that I’ve completely forgotten what it tastes like. For some reason, when I initially bought it, it smelled a bit like a puerh (I did buy a flavoured puerh, so possible contamination via plastic bags). Since arriving home that has dissipated to a more familiar Yunnan Black tea profile (ex – hay, honey, earth, etc)

Sipping this one right off the cuff invokes hay barns, timber yards, and cigar parlors – notes of wood, earth, tobacco, leather, malt, tannins, and whisky with orange rind. It tastes like the outdoors and boozy comforts; it would make a fun tea for a camping trip. As it cools down it mellows out enough to reveal a subtly sweet side: stonefruit, raisin, and honey notes.

Steep Count: 2 + a short rinse (3 pearls). The first steep was on the longer side.

The more abrasive notes of first steep become secondary to the honey, raisin, and stonefruit. Add a dash of pepper to the mix. This flavour profile reminds me a bit of a gentler assam – another tea style I haven’t had for ages. As this cup cools, it verges into milky/creamy territory.

Flavors: Cedar, Cherry Wood, Citrus Zest, Dark Bittersweet, Earthy, Fruity, Hay, Honey, Leather, Malt, Orange, Pepper, Raisins, Smooth, Stonefruit, Tannic, Tobacco, Whiskey, Woody

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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A shoot-off of Spice & Tea Merchants, I believe. They are located in Temecula, California and carry teas from a dozen suppliers – including a cultivated selection from aforementioned Spice & Tea Merchants, and Harney & Sons (who else has Paris and Florence?). I recognized a few familiar faces but I bet a lot of Steepsterites would be able to identify more.

It was near the end of my trip and was beginning to feel the absence of Earl Grey in my life so grabbed an ounce of this. It’s not reinventing the wheel but it does the trick. The bergamot is well balanced, while the vanilla notes are almost cake-ish in creamy sweetness. This dessert-like quality went over well with my Earl Grey-loving parents and sister. An easy and pleasant sipdown after I arrived back home too. No complaints!

Flavors: Bergamot, Cake, Citrus, Creamy, Malt, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Root Beer Float by 52teas
1442 tasting notes

Sipdown!

I don’t know how long this reblend has lived in my cupboard but I decided to take it with me on my roadtrip to California. It holds up well as a cold steep, against the harder (than I’m used to) water. It tastes exactly like namesake, except less cloying sweet, so I’m happy.. and also a little sad to see such a satisfying tisane blend go.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Root Beer, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla

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drank Mango Panna Cotta by 52teas
1442 tasting notes

a lovely and vibrant mango flavour with a touch of bitterness that invokes mango skin (both the wonderful aroma and bittersweet flavour). Tastes good both hot or cold steeped in the fridge overnight too.

Flavors: Bittersweet, Bright, Fruity, Grassy, Mango, Silky, Smooth, Sweet, Tropical Fruit, Vanilla, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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85

A very creamy oolong with the perfect amount of jasmine for me. Not really sweet but still manages to vibe like a cream puff or a jasmine-infused scone with clotted cream. There is this Korean purple rice and yogurt-based drink chain that does something with osmanthus jelly and rice wine (you can also add jasmine jelly). This tea reminds me of that as well: floral, creamy, rice-like, and faintly but pleasantly sour and bitter – in the way of yogurt and certain floral profiles.

Surprisingly, this isn’t really a grassy oolong (I get a hint on the finish in the second steep; it comes out more in subsequent steeps). It does have a vegetal quality but it’s on the milder lettuce & cucumber side of things.

I picked up 25g of this, figuring that it, in combination with 50g of Green Jasmine Dragon Pearls, would last me a while. Sadly, this is not proving to be the case.

Steep Count: 4

Flavors: Banana, Creamy, Cucumber, Floral, Grass, Jasmine, Lettuce, Milk, Mineral, Orchid, Osmanthus, Smooth, Toasted Rice, Vanilla, Vegetal

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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80
drank Pineapple Sencha by 52teas
1442 tasting notes

Sipdown! And, this time it’s real; this is definitely the last sample pouch.

I over-leafed it, and my kettle’s lowest setting is a little too hot for optimal Japanese sencha, so I drastically shortened the steep time. It worked out and gave me a great cup (and one resteep so far) to end on! This is such a delicious tea, but I have so many other flavoured green teas – including the newer Pineapple Whip – waiting in the queue and begging to be cold brewed to honour this sunnier weather.

Flavors: Citrusy, Floral, Fruity, Grassy, Marine, Pineapple, Seaweed, Smooth, Sweet, Tropical Fruit, Umami

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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85

2023 Spring Harvest

This was included as a sample! I’ve tried this one before, way back in 2020… That’s so many tea-years ago that it’s essentially brand new again (also, this tea type is right up my ally). The aroma alone is divine: creamy, buttery, vegetal-floral goodness with a honeyed-sweet, fruity jam note.

The flavour profile is an entire spectrum of the most verdant green: umami seaweed, calcium-rich spinach, apple, fresh grass… It’s also a bouquet of flowers: honeysuckle, orchid, vanilla, lilac, hyacinth, heliotrope (you know – all the most expressive-smelling flowers that I want to eat but probably shouldn’t in most cases). I even picked up a little pineapple but it’s not as fruity to taste as some similar oolong.

Which notes come forward and which notes mellow out or combine to make new flavours varied greatly over the course of six resteeps. I wish I could say I was paying attention but I inhaled it.

Flavors: Apple, Apple Candy, Butter, Cucumber, Floral, Grass, Lilac, Milky, Mineral, Orchid, Pineapple, Seaweed, Smooth, Spinach, Sugarcane, Sweet, Umami, Vanilla, Vegetal

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 45 sec
Michelle

Ummm, how long is a tea-year? asking for a friend.

Crowkettle

Oh, I’m not sure how I’d define it… I think I meshed together the idea of “dog years” for tea shelf life, harvesting cycles, and my own ability to forget details, or entire teas, over an unmeasured range of time XD

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90

2023 Spring Harvest

While I’m trying (and failing) to avoid buying or accumulating new teas right now, it’s been years since I had one my absolute favourite types of tea: Jasmine Pearls (also Dragon Well). And, so, a short while ago I caved suddenly and all at once – buying both.

Green Jasmine Pearls always remind me of late winter turning into early spring. It’s probably the combination of clean and warm notes of grass, honeysuckle, melon, squash, stonefruit, and fresh evergreen. Jasmine is also pleasantly banana-ish to my brain – creamy, vanilla bean-like, and sugar-rum sweet. It’s such a decadent floral flavour.

I can’t get enough of it, although I’m not super picky about where I get it (What-Cha is a reliable go to when I’m craving it though… or Teavivre; I’m surprised I’ve never written up a note for this or the other varieties What-Cha carries! Oh, well). This is also one of my mom’s favourite teas so I should try and do a better job at keeping some around… Such a hardship given how much I love this tea :P

Steep Count: 4 (first steep @ 2min; last steep @ 5min)

Flavors: Banana, Creamy, Evergreen, Floral, Grass, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Melon, Nectar, Pine, Rum, Smooth, Squash, Stonefruit, Sugarcane, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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83

There is a glorious sweet spot to this tea. If steeped at just the right (mysterious) parameters, it smells and tastes a little like brioche, wheatgrass, and osmanthus (edit: originally mixed up my flowers here). It’s mildly sweet, verging on buttery, as well as slightly nutty and honey-infused. It’s thick feeling — even rich at times. It reminds me of the sweet-smelling grasses and vegetation in Hawaii (also, the sweetgrass in my own region). It’s such a joyful flavour/aroma profile.

I’m not sure if this is characteristic of this tea or because it’s oxidized overtime to the point that black tea characteristics are now present (it’s a 2021 harvest). I love it though! (OK, looking up the website’s description, sounds like this is just what this tea is like. Amazing).

In other steeps, I sometimes get a slightly bitter and sour vegetal-wood note (think asparagus and pine notes) in addition to the above-mentioned characteristics, That also is an enjoyable cup; the nippier quality of this profile mellows and diversifies out as it cools too. The general complexity and richness makes it a dynamic multi-steeper and a rewarding tea to commit to.

Steep Count: 4

Flavors: Asparagus, Bread, Buckwheat, Butter, Creamy, Drying, Earthy, Floral, Grain, Grassy, Honey, Nectar, Nutty, Osmanthus, Pine, Sugarcane, Sweet, Thick, Vegetal, Wheatgrass

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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84

Sipdown!

I’m going to miss this because it’s an awesome, full-bodied smoky tea that I’m particularly drawn to on cold, dark mornings. Added bonus is it resteeps well, up to 3-4 times. Black Leopard has your typical smoked wood profile – with hints of florals. Also present are fruity notes, like jammy dates and guava – but they’re very subtle.

This may be a re-order down the road (and in a tin if they have it)! Lapsang Souchong and similar styled teas are an easy staple for me – and not one that I’m particularly picky about – but this one has something that pops compared to the few others I’ve tried.

Flavors: Bittersweet, Dates, Floral, Fruity, Guava, Malt, Smoke, Smooth, Tobacco, Vanilla, Woody

Martin Bednář

It seems they have it in the tin :) Interesting, but honestly not sure if I would be able to drink 80 g (or more!) of it in timely manner.

Crowkettle

I’d share this if I ordered more (probably in the fall) and anyone is interested. Although, sending it out in flimsy plastic bags is tricky because it has such a contaminating aroma lol

Sometimes, smokey teas last for years in my cupboard (I have a ok one from A&D circa 2013…), but this I still polished off relatively quickly, despite attempts at rationing. It’s not different enough to win over the smoke-adverse among us though (my mom is such and she hated when I made this tea in her presence :P).

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Profile

Bio

I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

My favourites are teas like Milk Oolong, Silver Needle,and Japanese Sencha/Gyokuro, or fruity and floral flavoured ones. However, I generally enjoy ALL the teas, including a good old cup of Earl Grey or Breakfast blend.

FAVOURITE INGREDIENTS/NOTES:

DESSERT FLAVOURS
Vanilla, Maple, Caramel, Butterscotch, Cream, Toffee, Nougat, Marzipan, Butter

FRUIT & BERRIES
Citrus Fruits, Passionfruit, Banana, Pineapple, Melons, Blackberry, Raspberry, Currants, Elderberry, Persimmon, Rhubarb..

SPICES
Ginger, Turmeric, Clove-forward chai, Cardamom

AROMATIC & HERBACEOUS NOTES
Sandalwood, Frankincense, Juniper, Eucalyptus, Mints

FLORALS
Lavender, Jasmine, Rose, Lilac, Violet, etc.

VEGGIE/GRAIN NOTES
Spinach, Grass, Hay, Cucumber, Rice, Sweet Potato

Less Preferred Flavours/Ingredients:
Stevia, Apple, Cocoa Nib, Almond, Licorice, Cinnamon-forward blends, Chinese Sencha

Subjective Rating System:
I don’t give a lot of low ratings out, since a) I tend to grab tea I know will appeal to me, and b) I don’t have a lot of strong dislikes.

90-100: Favourites. The Desert Island Teas.
80-89: Loved teas. Possibly staple-worthy.
70-79: Good teas, but I’m less likely to repurchase. Minor quibbles.
60-69: Ok teas. Likely a few preference and/or quality issues.
50-59: Cup of meh. Will do in a pinch.
11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea.
1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This tea is the embodiment of the primordial swamp, an unholy abomination. It’s very gross and I’m almost positive it doesn’t exist.

Location

BC, Canada

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