85 Tasting Notes


While this is an interesting tea, its a bit hard to describe. A cross between yellow tea and lapsang? Its roasty and hay up front and smooth toasty caramel at the end. There is a bit going on here, hard to distinguish individual notes. I might have brewed this a bit strong, and the roastyness comes through. Perhaps the toasty creme brulee ending would be more pronounced with a bit less leaf. As for this cup, there is enough bitterness that it tastes like the top of the creme brulee has been burnt. The second steep is the same burnt caramel taste but weaker.

Flavors: Burnt, Caramel, Hay


I LOVED a previous harvest of this, but the new one doesn’t seem the same at all. I’ll have to try it again looking at the parameters from my previous tasting note.

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I do like a nice chocolatey golden monkey tea, and this is an excellent example. I probably used more leaf than I needed, but I tend to brew strong cups of tea in the morning, and I was very happy with the flavor it produced. Is this a cup of tea or a chocolate malt milkshake? Well, the temperature would be different, but the taste is about the same. As this cup starts out as a malty piece of chocolate, it blends into slight bitter dark chocolate as an aftertaste. I’m not sure I have ever had an example of Golden Monkey that I liked so much. This is one to savor until it’s gone and purchase again when I’m passing through Fort Collins.

Flavors: Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Malt

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This is a strong cup of tea! Malty and coppery and astringent with a tangy aftertaste that reminds you its a robust cup of tea. I could think of blending it with another, gentler leaf, but I happen to like a strong cup of bold Assam, and this foots the bill. I wouldn’t describe it as complex, its mostly coppery and astringent, with a hint of malt. The lingering taste reminds me of a hoppy, bitter beer like an IPA. The second steeping is not quite as bold, but still has enough of a coppery, astringent flavor to be enjoyable.

Flavors: Astringent, Metallic, Tangy

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A little goes a long way with this tea. SF Herb says its 4th grade dragonwell tea, and I’m not sure I could pick it out as tasting different from other dragonwell teas I have drunk before. Perhaps this tea only has a one note profile, and other dragonwell teas are more complex. It is fresh, green, tastes like cut grass. Its what I think a cup of chlorophyll would taste like. I’ve not gotten a bitter brew from these tea yet, even with questionably hot water (I get impatient). I added a dab of honey to the second steep and its quite a yummy cup to me. I do tend to reach for a black tea in the morning instead of a green tea, but I should drink more of this for a change of pace.

Flavors: Cut grass, Green

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The cornflower in this tea is a bit overwhelming, the supposed malty tea base does not come through at all. Although there isn’t supposed to be any flavoring in this tea, somehow the cornflower leaves a fake aftertaste that I just don’t like. I added a dab of honey to the second steeping, and it didn’t bring out the malty base, but it did soften the cornflower aftertaste.

Flavors: Floral, Sweet

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I got a sample size of this tea and brewed about half western style. The wet leaf smells like caramel and woodsy tobacco. The first steep brewed up strong, but its more of a subtle tasting tea. Its not an astringent, metallic, or robust black tea flavor. A bit hard to describe, the front of the tea is a toasty, slight tobacco flavor, and the end of the tea is a toasty, hay, caramel finish. I’m thinking this is more like a cross between an oolong and a keemun, with a bit more of a roasty finish. As this first cup cools, I’m getting more light chocolate notes. The second steeping is a watered down version of the first, rather weak tea.
It certainly is interesting, not sure I’d go out of my way to purchase, but I might be tempted to add it to an order.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Hay, Roasted, Tobacco

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I’ve been sipping down this tea for a while, and have finally gotten around to a review. I use twice the leaf I would for any other Lapsang, and the flavor is still not that strong. This is a decent tea and I tend to add lemongrass or other herb to make it taste a bit more interesting. Today I had it plain and the first steeping was smoky with a hint of licorice. No complex undertones going on here, and oversteeping to bitterness is not an option. The second steeping was a bit more bland. I will sip down the rest of this tea, but I’m not sure I’d buy again, there are better Lapsangs out there.

Flavors: Licorice, Smoke

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This Assam is ok. Its easy to brew too strong and get a bitter cup. Though when you get the right amount of leaf, its a fair example of a malty, coppery cup of Assam. It does have a bit of a metallic aftertaste that is more pronounced with too much leaf, but becomes less pronounced as a cup cools. On the whole, I’d call this drinkable but I wouldn’t rush to purchase or call it a daily drinker.

Flavors: Malt, Metallic

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I’m not sure if this blend has changed, but I’m getting mostly grassy, yeasty Darjeeling in my cup with a slight metallic aftertaste. There’s not a whole lot of maltyness here or astringency either. I guess I expect a more bracing cup from a ‘Scottish Blend’, but what I’m tasting is maybe a bit fruity or floral, but I certainly wouldn’t call it bracing or robust. The second steep is just a weaker version of the first steep. I might try with more leaf, but I think this blend is not for me.

Flavors: Floral, Grass, Yeasty

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While this blend is an interesting mix of black oolong and lapsang souchon, it doesn’t bring out the best of each tea, but rather mutes the taste of each. In the first steeping the oolong lends a weird tangy aftertaste and the smoky lapsang is rather weak. What seems like a possible fusion to create a sweet yet smoky blend is not very complex and what I taste is a weakly smoky fishy cup of tea. The second steep isn’t any better, just weaker. Not a fan of this blend.

Flavors: Fishy, Smoke, Tangy

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I started drinking more tea about 10 years ago when I found that even my half -caf coffee was making me jittery and then sleepy after the caffeine wore off. While I started out with mostly Teavana, but soon expanded my tea cupboard to include lapsang souchon, pu-erh, Assam, and other strong black teas. I do enjoy oolongs, green, and other teas, as well as a nice tisane for an evening cuppa.
I’m not fond of jasmine or bergamont teas, though I’ll try anything once.
I am an avid traveler, hiker, soccer player/watcher.
I love trying new tea in new places, if you see something in my cupboard you want to try, hit me up for a swap!


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