I bought this a long time ago for the novelty value and never opened it until today.

The tin contained four oranges, two of which were individually wrapped. Two of which were wrapped together.

After taking off the cellophane, the little orange smells like… old orange, and a fishy, earthy, shu smell. The tea was fairly well compacted within the little orange and had to be pried out. I put about half an orange’s worth into the little gaiwan I use, and have enough for another session left in the orange. I stuck a bit of the peel in the gaiwan, too, as suggested in the description.

I rinsed and then steeped with boiling water for 10 seconds. I followed this, roughly:
1st infusion: 10 seconds
2nd infusion: 10 seconds
3rd infusion: 20 seconds
4th infusion: 30 seconds
5th infusion: 40 seconds
6th infusion: 1 min.
7th infusion: 2 min.
8th infusion: 4 min.
9th infusion: 5 min.
10th infusion: 6-8 min.

The tea starts out a clear copper color and smells quite vegetal. Carrots, celery, mushroom. Not fishy. Maybe a hint of orange, but not a lot. By the second steep, it darkens significantly to dark amber with a reddish tinge. The flavor continues in the same vein. Some earth and leather notes, but they are secondary to the vegetal ones. Around the fourth infusion, it becomes more mushroomy. A sort of spicy note, which may be the orange, comes to the fore in the sixth infusion. The tea’s color started to lighten again around steep 6, too.

I could have stopped at 6, but I continued. The tea pretty much gave up the ghost at 6.

It’s an interesting tea and not bad tasting. It gets points for having some different characteristics than other pu-erhs I’ve had in my recent experiments, but I would have expected it to go on longer and to generate a deeper, more robust flavor than it did.

Flavors: Carrot, Celery, Fishy, Mushrooms, Orange


Login or sign up to leave a comment.

People who liked this

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer