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drank Ceylon Highlands by Teawala
214 tasting notes

Ashmanra’s Sipdown Challenge | February 2023 | A tea swap tea or gifted tea

Getting in one more sipdown on the final day of February! This one came from Kaylee in our advent swap.

I haven’t gotten through many of this month’s prompts… February has been busy with work and school! Right now I’m sequestered in the “cat room,” reviewing hard-copy printer’s proofs for work and drinking tea. Our elderly cat is on bedrest for two weeks while we try to get some symptoms of suspected spinal disc degeneration under control, and she doesn’t love being alone… so we’re spending lots of time hanging out with her in her bedroom. :)

Anyway, this brisk, bracing tea is gonna start me off on the right foot today! It’s standing up nicely to a breakfast of oatmeal with walnuts and maple syrup. A very tasty Tuesday morning indeed.

Leaving my rating the same.

2023 sipdown count: 25/75

Flavors: Brisk, Drying, Tannic


Awwww, give kitty a kiss on the top of her head from me – very gently!


Aw, I will! She’s extra appreciative of affection when she’s loopy from her meds. :)

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drank Ceylon Highlands by Teawala
214 tasting notes

Advent Calendar from Kaylee: Day 18

After so many flavored blends in my advents, it’s nice to receive a straight tea! I’m enjoying it this morning with the offcuts from a batch of orange biscotti I made last night. I finished the first semester of my (part-time) grad program Monday night, so I’m finally able to do some holiday baking. I’ve already got loads of goodies to bring up to my family in Rhode Island!

Anyway, this tea is simple and unfussy, which is sometimes exactly what one needs! It’s quite smooth and bright, and just a bit tannic. I typically prefer maltier and more robust black teas, but I certainly wouldn’t mind having something like this on hand for folks who prefer something a bit lighter and more crisp.

Flavors: Bright, Crisp, Drying, Smooth, Tannic

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drank Rice Oolong by Teawala
1671 tasting notes

Tea Thoughts Countdown

A tasty rice oolong. They can sometimes turn my stomach if the sticky rice flavor is too intense, but this one is nicely balance. I don’t think I have any others in my stash right now, so it’s nice to have on hand.

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Didn’t come back to it. I’m drinking the Milk Oolong today with its fabric softener creamy aroma and well rounded green cream butter flavor, and finished the High Mountain quickly.

Quickie backlogs:
Lemongrass- lovely, great to cook with and drink. I needed to up the leaf more than two teaspoons to get full flavor, but incredibly smooth.

Ceylon-smooth and high quality, but quintessentially matly black tea. Not my favorite, but I’m snob when it comes to black teas. A lot of Ceylons and Yunnans are described as being chocolatey or bordering on dark chocolate, but for me, Fujian Teas fit that category more. Still lovely, and I recommend it for people looking for a really balanced breakfast style tea.

I still recommend Teawala for tea education. The instagram is also really cool to follow.

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Saw this on Nichole’s blog, and reading the description, the milk oolong was not a usual Jin Xuan: it’s actually a Shan Lin Xi Jin Xuan. So with that and stellar reviews of the company from many bloggers, I got some.

Of course, I began with the Green Oolongs.

Yunnan Black-cake style black.
I tried it out first to give it a chance and at behest of dark chocolate notes and crashing from pneumonia symptoms. It’s smoother than most Yunnan Blacks with some pu-erh like qualities, very Cabernet like in parallel notes. It was more malty and tannin heavy than I like in my blacks, though not bad. Only got through four rebrews though before I gave up.

Milk Oolong-
If I were blind tasting this, I would have thought Shan Lin Xi because of it’s thick, sweet profile and high mountain misty quality green and florality. I do get orchid and some definite hazelnut in layers, but not so much on the “fudge.” Maybe oolong spinachy milk in the viscousness? Still good, though I have not made up my mind on it yet. I do like it very much in comparison to other Jin Xuan’s I’ve had.

High Mountain Oolong
It’s an Alishan, and I forced myself to try to be surprised I liked the it best, yet I was not. It’s technically more vegetal than the Milk Oolong, and very nutty with a slightly higher oxidation while still being green, buttery and naturally sweet. I finished it quickly.

The Bai Mu DAn
Higher trichomes than normal, some needles with the rest of the silver leaves. Very crisp and vegetal, cucumber, bready, light, and malty. I have yet to get the muscat grapes described. Maybe white grapes. Good and I still need to play with it.

Haven’t done the Ceylon yet or the lemongrass. They’ll come in the future. Oolongs impressed me overall the most. The milk oolong was more distinct, though the High Mountain Oolong had the fullest flavor. The Bai Mudan is the highest quality, though it’s finickier to brew than expected. I was very pleased with everything I got though, and am enjoying my new tea journal.

Evol Ving Ness

And what’s the deal with these pneumonia symptoms? are you ok? Please keep us posted. Stay safe.


You seem to find the most recherché high mountain oolongs. :) I also hope you’re okay.

Daylon R Thomas

I will. I am recovering better, but I just have a cough. Boosted, and tested negative several times so far. I had severe bronchitis months ago, partially recovered, got sick, AGAIN, and then on the mend, AGAIN.


I’m glad to hear you’re getting better and I hope your bronchitis is gone for good. :)

Evol Ving Ness

Aww, rats. That sucks, Daylon. I hope this time, it has been dispatched for good.

While teaching, I have had walking pneumonia several times. Occupational hazard?

Daylon R Thomas

Being around sick kids in North American winter, yeah.

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