350 Tasting Notes

I had this one… yesterday morning? So this is from memory. One thing I thought was interesting about this is that it seems to me like a classic “breakfast tea”, in the sense that the base is a fairly robust, malty, wake-up-your-tastebuds kind of black tea. It’s smooth though, I didn’t have to add milk or anything. The maple in this tea is very nice, and apparently I’m picky about maple in things. The pancakes… well, if I really concentrate I can imagine some pancake flavour there, but I think if you had just handed me a mug of this tea I wouldn’t have picked up on it. Good tea though, I’m looking forward to having it again.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Cinnamon Roll Honeybush by 52teas
350 tasting notes

I’m drinking the reblend version from the New 52Teas. :) This is a very tasty cinnamon honeybush blend – sweet and smooth and cinnamony. What I’m not really getting is any of the bread elements of the cinnamon roll. The honeybush provides a nice neutral-sweet base, but it’s not evoking baked goods for me at all. I’m also not really getting any of the frosting, even with a bit of sweetener added. I’ll have to try this again and shake the bag up a bit next time – maybe some ingredients settled to the bottom. It’s a tasty evening tea but not quite what I was hoping for. :)

190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more 2 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Another Arya sample, this one a green tea. Date of picking: Nov 20, 2014. Grade FTGFOP1, Invoice DJ 132.

The dry leaves are greenish-brown, with a herbaceous and fall-leaf aroma. The liquor is sweet and vegetal with a lot of grassy and leafy notes. I’m still getting hints of that herb note but can’t quite identify it. I tend to associate green teas with spring, but this really does seem like an autumn tea, weirdly enough. Tasty, but not exceptional for me.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Grass, Herbaceous

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


This is the first flush SFTGFOP1 picked on Apr 3, 2015. 3g for 10oz of water, 90deg, for 3min.

First flush darjeelings are so unlike any other black tea out there. The dry leaf was a blend of green, grey and brown leaves, with an intensely floral aroma. The liquor is golden, also with a floral aroma. The flavour brings in more vegetal notes, like crisp cucumber and fresh peas. The overall impression is very airy and aromatic, light and fresh.

Flavors: Cucumber, Floral, Peas, Vegetal

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

This tea sounds lovely. I really need to try more FF darjeelings. It can be so overwhelming to look at all the options and pick though.


I have a bunch of What-cha darjeeling samples from ages ago (last year), plus all these Golden Tips samples that I’m trying to work my way through. I could probably send you some… :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Ok, I’m determined to get through a bunch of these Golden Tips samples this week. :) First up: Arya Ruby Darjeeling Organic Summer Black Tea (picked June 27, 2014, FTGFOP1). 3g in 10oz mug for 3min.

Leaves are mostly twisted and dark brown, with a few silver tips. It’s a fairly fluffy tea – 3g was almost 1tbsp. The aroma of the hot tea is really interesting, it’s kind of spicy and biscuity, not quite what I was expecting from a darjeeling! The flavour is complex and a bit hard to describe. There’s the “it tastes like tea” flavour that I usually get from Indian/Ceylon blacks. There’s a blend of fruity and floral notes. There’s a woody richness. It’s a bit sweet and quite smooth, with a bit of astringency building up as I get to the bottom of the mug. Very nice.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

A random Verdant sample! (I have amassed quite a little collection of Verdant samples due to my multiple purchases over the past year). Put the whole 6g sample in the 100ml gaiwan, boiling water, two 10 second rinses, and so far a few steeps of about 10 seconds.

This is a nice sheng, with good balance of savoury, sweet, and bitter. The wet leaves are very aromatic, with a bit of smokiness that doesn’t translate too much to the liquor. Quite a bit of sweetness already building up in the back of my throat. Clean, fresh, zingy, with a bit of a mouth-coating quality and a bit drying in the cheeks. Lots of flavour, even with quite short steeps. I like it!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Thanks to Nicole for the sample! I put the whole 4.5g sample in my 100ml gaiwan. Water mostly in the 90-95deg range. Steeps starting at 10sec, adding a few each time, then some longer steeps (using the “ignore it for a while, and then go ‘oh yeah, tea!’ method”).

The dry leaves are gorgeous, black with lots of gold. The wet leaves have a really rich, earthy and spicy smell. The liquor is a bit less sweet than I was expecting, malty and earth/woody and a little bit fruity. Quite a few steeps in, I’m starting to get a bit of a drying sensation in the back of my throat, but otherwise it’s fairly smooth. It’s good but not something I feel the need to buy more of. :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Wow, this one is really working for me tonight! Sweet and delicious. I put 4g in the 100ish ml gaiwan, started out with 95deg water and let it slowly cool with successive steeps. Quite quick steeps: 5, 8, 12, 15, 18, 22, 25 (ish) seconds. First steep was sweet with a vanilla creaminess. Then the next several were chocolatey, but with the same sweet creaminess, so like milk chocolate rather than the dark cacoa flavour you get with some teas. Then some toasted grain mixed in with the chocolate. Now I’m starting to get some fruity notes, but that cane sugar sweetness is still there as well. Yummmmmm. :)

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Chocolate, Plum, Toasted, Vanilla

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Wuyi Gongfu Black by Verdant Tea
350 tasting notes

I think I’ve tried this one before, but apparently didn’t log it. Anyway, 4g of tea in the 100ml gaiwan, 90 deg water. I did a quick… well, it was supposed to be a rinse, but I drank it. :) Very light, slightly sweet and mineral flavour, and then a surprising amount of chocolate in the aftertaste. First proper steep was about 10 seconds. Sweet, very smooth, no bitterness or astringency whatsoever. Kind of an airy, expansive mouthfeel. Cocoa and caramel in the aftertaste. The wet leaves smell earthy and sweet. Subsequent steepings continue to be sweet and smooth, with a slight minerality that evokes fresh mountain spring water. I tried a longer infusion just to see what happens if you push the leaves a little, and ended up with a darker amber-coloured liquor, and some more intensity of flavour (especially the mineral), but it remains a light and smooth tea with most of the action in the aftertaste. If you’re looking for a rich and malty black, this is not the tea for you, but for what it is, it’s lovely.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Cocoa, Mineral, Sweet

195 °F / 90 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

This is a random sheng from my W2T goodie bag. :) The wrapper it came in had no English clues for me, but did include the number “2008”, so I was wondering if it was another aged sheng, but this doesn’t taste very aged to me. None of that earthy/musty character at all. The wet leaves are mostly an olive green colour, some a bit mottled with light brown, and a few noticeably darker brown leaves mixed in. They are pleasantly aromatic and zingy – even many steeps in, I like sniffing the leaves in my gaiwan after pouring. The tea liquor brews up a light to medium gold colour, and it has a fairly bright, tangy flavour. I kept the bitterness at bay by sticking to 80-90deg water and ~20 second steeps many times in a row. There is a slight softening and complexity (compared to the 2015 shengs I’ve been drinking recently), and I remember getting some interesting muted floral notes about 5 or 6 steeps in, but other than that, not much beyond “hi I’m a sheng!!”. There is the sweet coating on the back of my throat, but not much sweetness in the actual sip. I’m getting a moderate amount of astringent drying on my inner cheeks. Having said that, I keep compulsively steeping and drinking this over and over, so apparently all the bitterness and astringency is no barrier to my enjoyment of this tea, lol. :) I’m actually finding it a bit energizing, which is a nice change of pace from all the teas that keep making me want to have a nap (secondary theory: the time of year is what’s making me want to have naps constantly). I’m so confused by all these bitter/astringent teas I keep drinking, when normally I love me some sweet, smooth, creamy teas (black, green, oolong, etc). Ahhhh, I think I’m being bitten by the puer bug, this is so, so unfortunate, lol.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



Well it has been over a year and everyone I know thinks my tea obsession is a bit out of hand, so… I guess I’m not a total newbie anymore. :)

I’m drinking a lot more pure tea these days, though I still love a good flavoured blend too. Current favourites: Chinese and Taiwanese blacks, fresh Chinese greens, oolongs both green and roasted, sheng puer.

I really love companies that buy directly from tea farmers, and have an emphasis on quality and sustainability. Favourites: Verdant, Whispering Pines, Eco Cha, White 2 Tea. I live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, so I buy almost all my tea online.

For hot tea, I’m usually brewing in either a 100ml gaiwan, or a 10oz mug with a steeping basket. For cold tea, I cold brew overnight in 500ml mason jars.

My cupboard on Steepster doesn’t include small samples, just the ones I have at least 15g of. So if you see something you’re interested in, I probably have enough to share. :)


Northwestern Ontario, Canada

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer