1514 Tasting Notes

drank Benefit Tea by Wuyi Origin
1514 tasting notes

Thank you leafhopper!

Quickie note. I was more into this one than I expected. It’s very woody and heavy on the sweet potato / yam side, but super pleasant in smell and taste. It’s on the cedar, incense, sandalwood spectrum with a little bit of cooling effect in the aftertaste bordering on rosy. The smell is deeply floral like Geranium and Roses. Super comforting. It didn’t change much steep to steep gong fu, but I have some left over to play with. I very much enjoyed it, and actually liked it more than some other Wuyi teas that are more overpowering.

Flavors: Cedar, Floral, Geranium, Incense, Malt, Resin, Rose, Sandalwood, Sweet Potatoes, Tannin


I also liked this tea, though I didn’t get many florals. What were your gongfu parameters?

Daylon R Thomas

1/2 the sample, 195, 20, 35, 25, 45, 1 min and improvised after


I always did shorter steeps with this tea. I’ll have to try steeping my black teas longer.

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Thank you Leafhopper in all your efforts to save this one, because it’s special. I’m pretty much going to say what Leafhopper wrote before I read hers, but this is a green floral oolong that has the highlight of a soft, slightly burnt marshmallow texture. Green, coconut, bok choy, pineapple, honeycrisp, spinach, lettuce-all of that and more with some tropical florals and fruitiness. I used the entire sample at once and did it short steeps, longer steeps, and back to flash steeps again to get more out of the tea.

I think it’s really good and comparable to the one I have from Trident. I am not sure about the price, but I am very happy to have had the chance to try it.

Flavors: Apple, Coconut, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Honey, Lettuce, Marshmallow, Orchid, Pineapple, Spinach, Stonefruit


It was US$30 for 50 g, so not cheap but worth it in my opinion. Glad you liked it!

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drank Shanlinxi by Ethan Kurland
1514 tasting notes

Tried this one, and wish I didn’t do it on a hotter day yesterday because the sweeter notes were a bit muddled. Really good shanlinxi that I brewed in my clay easy gaiwan, though leaned heavily into cream,florals, orchids, spinach, osmanthus, nectarine, stone fruits, pine. I made a few mistakes and the tea was too spinachy and grassy in some parts. I will write a full review later, and I’m going to try it again this week.

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Finished this off yesterday-thank you Leafhopper! It would only last two-three solid steeps each session, 10, 20, 30, and then malty woodiness. The flavors were forward and had heavy honey, malt, some chocolate, dried papaya, a little bit of passion fruits, herbs, wood, nectarine hints, and of course, tea. It tasted like it was a ready boba with the brown sugar already in it, with a little bit of the Taiwanese fructose sweetness.

I liked this one quite a bit, and am glad I tried it.

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Quick note-

It made my night after a tough day. I decided to sample this first, then Bok’s Lishan.

I will write more later, but this tea tasted very strongly like pineapple to me. It was more fruity in the earlier steeps than later ones gong fu shifting more floral. It does get sweeter, but sugarcane/almost gardenia sweet. The dry leaf is super complex in the smell, bordering on nutty and toasty, and the nuts was more prominent in the rinse and third steep.

Either way, this checks all my oolong lover boxes so far. I will go into depth when I’ve got more time.


Glad you got the box so fast! I remember enjoying this one.

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Better today and yesterday. I did short then long steeps and overwhelmed it a little. Today, I only did short steeps and the florals were more prominent. It was green, slightly grassy, and orchidy with some clear cardamom notes going on this time. Really cool tea. I’m not ready to rate it because it’s still so finicky. I’ve been so tempted to get Eco-Cha’s Yushan, but I have too many oolongs already.

Flavors: Cardamom, Floral, Green, Orchid, Smooth, Sugarcane

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2 month backlog: I got a whopping 50 grams because I wanted higher end silver needle. I should add the tea to the database, but I want to write a quicky note. Don’t worry, I’m not writing a book or a novelette.

I like it. Jasmine and the cucumber, stone fruit, and light tea base are really well balanced, the needles are super furry. It makes a decent western or tumbler style tea, but best gong fu so far. You really have to abuse it for bitterness. Oddly enough, it became more bitter with sugar after a western steep for my mom, so there’s more to explore. I am a tea purist, but I’ve rarely had that happen.

A part of me wishes I got a little bit less of it, but I won’t have a problem sharing it and drinking it down this spring.

Back to the present, jasmine, nectarine, and cucumbers are heavy in flavor, especially stonefruit finish. Digging it, but I have to be soooo careful. It is forgiving, but not as forgiving as I used to think. I do like it a lot, but for some reason, I’m not in love with it.

Flavors: Bitter, Creamy, Cucumber, Floral, Jasmine, Perfume, Plant Stems, Stems, Stonefruit, Sugar, Sweet

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Backlog and current log. Hot tumbler brew.

Decent, went lighter on the leaf around 3-4 grams ish. Butter, herbs, lilac after about 5 minutes. More florals and green flavors later, edging on pineapple skin. The fruit flavors did not develop until about 10 minutes in. I think it was a little too hot. I swear the metal raised the temperature in the tumbler, but it gote sweeter as it sat. I’m re-brewing the leftover leaves in a regular kyusu since they are open and smell fresh and fruity. I hope it gets something good…

And yes. WAY fruitier notes. Still soft green oolong, but clear lilac pineapple, and a little bit of creamy mango in texture. Not super forward, though more what I like. Maybe I should do longer steeps western with less grams?

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Sipdown! I should have kept more for leafhopper, but I could feel the time ticking on this one, so I drank it down using a really short style for 3 grams. I rinsed it for 5-10 using 2-3 oz, and kept on flash steeping 10, 15, 20, 15, 25, 30, 45, 55 (closer to a minute), 1 minute, 2 minutes, and then, I added more hot water to about 4.5 oz, , and let it sit for lord knows how long and am drinking it now. I’m not exactly sure of the temperature since I’m using primo heated water, but it’s definitely between 185-195.

All the notes I wrote earlier are still pertinent like they describe. Overall body consists of herbed compound butter leaning into cilantro and oregano, but aroma and flavor leans heavily into the jasmine florals with nectarine finish. I get more fruit in the 2 and 3rd steep, and more green apple in the very last brew. Jasmine is fairly present, though not as strong as a scented tea, it’s comparable.

I am not super strong on the rating, but it’s leaning towards a strong 92, maybe 93. $21 for 50 grams pushes it past the 90s for me, and the complexity of the flavor pushes it to be 87-90’s range minimum. The tumbler rating is holding it back a little bit. It’s also good western, but lasts significantly longer in shorter steeping gong fu. The shortened session with less water brought a lot more nuance in shorter bursts, and made the tea last a lot longer.

I highly recommend this one for tea nerds, and the fact you get a decent quality dayuling for bug bitten sweetness is pretty good. I’d also choose this one easily over the Exuding Jade I have, and it’s pretty close to the High Mountain Goddess in preference, close to their Lishan in terms of flavor.

Flavors: Apple, Butter, Floral, Herbs, Honey, Jasmine, Nectarine, Sweet

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

This sounds like a good tea, and $21 for a Dayuling is a great value. I hope I’ll get my hands on this tea eventually!

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I’ve held this off, and was time to finish the 2021 sample. Thank you Alistair for this one, and now, I can properly appreciate it. Whole and golden kissed black needles fell into my tea vessel, having decent length and much larger than usual ceylon size.

So I started indecisive between gong fuing my sample or having it western. Everyone recommended 3 minutes, so I started it out that way in my Manual Tea Brewer (westernized gaiwan) with a slight sip. Light, citrus, caramel, smooth. Not expecting that. A little bit too light, so I let it sit more…then one or two minutes extra as I did some chores. I’m not going to say anything new other than its a smooth and easily drinkable ceylon. I get notes of malt, caramel, oats, citrus rising in the mouth, and a caramel, almost cocoa finish ending in tannin. There was some extra bitterness, but a chocolate kind if tea bitterness.

There was mild astringency, and I was impressed with how smooth the body is. What-cha aims for smooth qualities in all of their teas-hence why I buy from the company so often. It’s got the trademarks of Ceylon teas, but it’s so much easier on the palette than the majority I’ve had.

I decided to go so much shorter, brewing 10 seconds, and it was smooth dark chocolate malt, tea tasting, with some healthy citrus and tannin.

Another 10-15 seconds, less water-3-4 oz, and citrus/orange leads the way. Malty finish still there with a little bit of tannin, yet precisely balanced and mildly drying.

I am going to be able to get more cups, but before I do, I’m pretty much set on what I think. And I have to workout. Time is of the essence.

I’m thankful that Alistair included it because I’m usually one to snub Ceylons and some Assams. I know they are essential for most breakfast teas and the blends I drink regularly, but they’re usually too drying, astringent, or tannic for me. This one was a lot more balanced and resembled some good Yunnan blacks, though the chocolate toffee tannin aftertaste is distinctly Ceylon. Keep in mind I’m using “chocolate” as an approximate adjective and not a accurate one, but it’s got the same bittersweetness chocolate does, and that’s what a lot of people like in their tea. It’s not super robust, and it stands on its own legs easily while being soft and nuanced enough to drink it straight.

Although I won’t have this in my consistent rotation (because I pay too much for other tea), it stands out as one of the easiest to drinks Ceylons I’ve had yet. I think it’s a good stepping stone noob tea, and I’m glad Alistair used it as a way to expand some palettes here on Steepster.

Flavors: Caramel, Citrus, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Drying, Malt, Oats, Orange Zest, Smooth, Tannic, Tea, Toffee, Wood

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First Off, Current Targets:

Whispering Pines Alice
Good Luxurious Work Teas
Best Sachet Teas
Spring, Winter Taiwan High Mountain Oolongs

Dislikes: Heavy Tannin, Astringency, Bitterness, or Fake Flavor, Overly herby herbal or aged teas

Picky with: Higher Oxidation Oolongs, Red Oolongs (Some I love, others give me headaches or are almost too sweet), Mint Teas

Currently, my stash is overflowing. Among my favorites are What-Cha’s Lishan Black, Amber Gaba Oolong, Lishan Oolong, Qilan Oolong, White Rhino, Kenya Silver Needle, Tong Mu Lapsang Black (Unsmoked); Whispering Pines Alice, Taiwanese Assam, Wang’s Shanlinxi, Cuifeng, Dayuling, Jasmine Shan Lin Xi; Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co.“Old Style” Dong Ding, Mandala Milk Oolong; Paru’s Milk Oolong


I am an MSU graduate, and current alternative ed. high school social studies and history teacher. I formerly minored in anthropology, and I love Egyptian and classical history. I love to read, write, draw, paint, sculpt, fence(with a sword), practice calisthenics on rings, lift weights, workout, relax, and drink a cuppa tea…or twenty.

I’ve been drinking green and black teas ever since I was little living in Hawaii. Eastern Asian influence was prominent with my friends and where I grew up, so I’ve been exposed to some tea culture at a young age. I’ve come a long way since I began on steepster and now drink most teas gong fu, especially oolong. Any tea that is naturally creamy, fruity, or sweet without a lot of added flavoring ranks as a must have for me. I also love black teas and dark oolongs with the elusive “cocoa” note. My favorites are lighter Earl Greys, some white teas like What-Cha’s Kenyan offerings, most Hong-Cha’s, darker Darjeelings, almost anything from Nepal, Green Shan Lin Xi’s, and Greener Dong Dings. I’m in the process of trying Alishan’s. I also tend to really enjoy Yunnan Black or Red teas and white teas. I’m pickier with other teas like chamomile, green teas, and Masalas among several.

I used to give ratings, but now I only rate teas that have a strong impression on me. If I really like it, I’ll write it down.

I’ll enjoy a tea almost no matter what, even if the purpose is more medicinal, for it is my truest vice and addiction.


Michigan, USA

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