618 Tasting Notes

drank Milk Oolong by Mandala Tea
618 tasting notes

I am trying out this tea with a longer steep time and I think I like it better than the suggested short steeping times. I’ve also realized that every time I’ve had this tea that the first steep is the best and that it slowly declines from there. In my experience, this happens for me most often with flavored oolongs.

I do enjoy the sugary, milky first cup and actually think it’s worth buying just for that. I think that this milk oolong is special because it’s soft, milky, sweet and the slightest bit leafy. I hope to bring out more of this flavor in second and third infusions to make this one a bit more affordable!

Cameron B.

How long of a steep did you do, and at what temperature? I’m trying really hard to like milk oolong. :P


mandala’s is the only milk oolong i really like..


Cameron B., I tried this particular cup at 195 F and 3 minutes!

Sil, Mandala’s is definitely a unique milk oolong and sort of sits by itself in terms of a unique flavor. :)

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drank Hello Sweetie by Butiki Teas
618 tasting notes

I remember trying a sample of this tea a while ago and not writing a tasting note because I gulped down the cup quickly without concentrating. Hopefully I’ll be able to slow it down with today’s cup! The scent of this tea is delicious! I smell crumbly cookies, bananas and coconut. The dry tea leaves are absolutely huge and a little bit creepy. They remind me a bit of twisted tree branches from a dark forest.

Sipping… mmmm! I first taste the banana. It’s a nice, very well-rounded banana flavor. Nothing fake about it! I love that I taste the sweetness from the banana, but the coconut also comes in and adds a sort of tart, sour flavor. This coconut I can tolerate because it’s very balanced with the banana and doesn’t become too overwhelming.

I taste a bit of biscuit next, sort of a shortbread flavor that adds a nice richness to the tea. I also love the assam base for this blend as it wraps everything up nicely and adds the slightest bit of astringency at the finish. I think that this tea would be really delicious with a splash of milk. I think I’ll try that next time as a creamy note would take this over the top! Such a tasty and unique tea!

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drank Milk Oolong by Mandala Tea
618 tasting notes

I’m excited to try this tea since I’ve read such amazing reviews about it. I’m always up for trying a new milk oolong, especially one that is so loved by the community.

First Infusion: I quickly steeped the leaves and they haven’t opened up much, so I suspect I’ll be getting a bit more flavor in the next few cups. It is faintly milky with a touch of peach and sugar. I think I really enjoy how this cup is delicate and rather light. I like how it’s on the milky side instead of the more savory and buttery end. I’m really excited to see how the next cups taste!

Second Infusion: The leaves have now really popped open and are nearly without their little curls. The scent is stronger for this cup, but is still very faint. It’s hard for me to pick out any individual notes with my nose. Sipping… still very nicely milky with the same faint peach notes. I find that I have to drink a lot of the tea at once to bring out the peach, but it’s tasty.

I’m interrupted at this point and can’t continue to steep this tea right now… but I will try again tomorrow! Overall, I really love the milky character of the tea and love how it’s delicately soft and not super buttery and overwhelming.

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drank Wuyishan Black by Steepster
618 tasting notes

I’m sitting here finishing up some studying and wanted to try a new cup of tea and write a tasting note to relax. This one sounded ideal as it’s supposed to be sweet and smooth. It smells sweet, a little bit tangy and very earthy.

Sipping… eh, I don’t know if I like this one. It’s smooth and quite sweet, but it has a sort of smoky hay note that I’m not fond of. The finish leaves a sort of sourdough tang in the back of your throat. It’s weird because the first part of the sip is very tasty… sweet and silky. It just changes so fast into that smoky hay flavor that it ruins the cup for me.

I can see this tea being a favorite of some as it does have a silky, smooth mouthfeel and light sweetness. My tastebuds just don’t seem to agree with this one today.


I was not a fan


Stephanie – glad I’m not alone in not enjoying this one so much. I feel like it had such potential to be awesome, but something was just off about it.

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The scent of this tea isn’t as interesting as other black teas I’ve had in that I can’t really pick out layers. It does smell very comforting and brings back memories of having black tea and milk with friends. I pick up on something that resembles lemon, as if someone has placed a slice of it on the side of the cup.

Sipping… this is a very nice, crisp tea. It’s got a lovely citrus brightness to it, but also remains true to it’s “black tea” flavor. I can see this being a nice morning cup of tea. It’s brisk enough to wake you up, but not so heavy and alarming as some other teas can be. So far, not my favorite from Joseph Wesley, but definitely a lovely and bright tea.

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I’m not a chai person, but I will have one on occasion. It either needs to be really milky or very light on the spices for me to enjoy it. I found that Zhena’s gypsy chai teas with the red base + a short steep time are best for my tastebuds in the chai world.

The scent is very sweet and deep, with lots of layers. I smell the chocolate first, followed by the rooibos and a hint of cinnamon and cloves. It really does smell like a fancy, spicy hot chocolate.

Sipping… hm, this is nice. I taste a watery sort of chocolate (not really all that dark-tasting.. I’m getting more of a milk chocolate note) with a heavy mouthfeel. The spices come out at the end of the sip and they’re actually not too bad. They’re on the sweeter side and aren’t all that spicy. I also think that the sweet spices bring out some of the chocolate as well. The rooibos sort of hides behind everything and is most strong when the spices fade away.

Overall, I am actually quite pleased with this chai. I think it might be even more delicious with the addition of milk.

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
618 tasting notes

Good tea has really been the only thing keeping me going while I study. Funny that studying can be done when there is the promise of a tasty tea! I’ve sort of been neglecting this one — not on purpose, but because I’ve been distracted by other teas lately. I find that if I don’t devote some time to taste this tea that it really is just tastes “roasty” to me and not at all like the deep chocolate that makes it so delicious! Sometimes I feel like I have to add a bunch of leaf to get that flavor as well. Tonight’s cups weren’t the greatest (a bit flat, roasty, not a whole lot of chocolate), but I do know what this tea is capable of so I’ll try again with this tomorrow.

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drank Je t'Aime by Nina's Paris
618 tasting notes

The dry leaf of this tea smelled brilliant – creamy, sweet caramel!

Sipping… I am a little bit surprised that the caramel and vanilla are more toned down. I think I was expecting a stronger cup. It is still yummy, though. The black tea adds a bit of astringency even with a short steep time, so I would watch it closely. For me, I would like to have a stronger vanilla and caramel note, but I can see this being a nice cup for someone who wants a more subtle flavor. Thank you, Laurent, for a sample of this tea!

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drank Coconut Cream Pie by 52teas
618 tasting notes

The last time I tried this tea was three years ago.. so I’d like to see what I think it tastes like now (not using the same leaf from years ago)! I’ve added a splash of milk to this cup to help make it a little more creamy.

Sipping… I’m glad that I did add milk because it does make it a bit softer and it works well with the coconut. For me, this is a coconut black tea.. not a coconut cream pie tea. I don’t taste any crust or cream.. but I am enjoying the milk and coconut combination. I just wish that the other flavors could come through so that it could truly be what it claims to be without adding anything extra.

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The scent is very earthy, sweet and reminds me of baked bread. It’s been a while since I’ve had this tea, so I’m excited to see if anything’s changed with my tastebuds.

Sipping… It’s mostly earthy, a bit floral and a tiny bit astringent for me. I also detect some bread, honey and tree bark. It’s not as tasty as I remember it. I think I might be picking up on more of the earthy dirt notes instead of the honey. I wish it had a little bit more body or richness. Not sure if I would purchase more of this one, but happy to have tried it again!

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Tea (& Coffee) lover. Bookworm.

Favorite teas: Milk Oolong, Flavored blends, Dessert teas, Creamy Teas, Rooibos, Oolong, Black, Green
Dislikes: Spices, Peppery flavors, Cloves, Cardamom, Licorice, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Mate, Puerh, Chai, Ginger

My Rather Picky Ratings
90+ – Reserved for the very best! Always in the cupboard!
80-89 – Quite good! A very pleasing cup.
70-79 – Room for improvement, but not bad.
60-69 – Mediocre.
50-59 – Bad. Will not purchase.
49 & below – Depending on the more specific rating: Undrinkable. Yuck. Will not purchase.

Note: Teas in my cupboard are all of the teas that I’ve logged, regardless of their current presence in my actual cupboard. For an updated list on what teas I have available for swap, check out the swap thread and not my cupboard! Thanks!

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