734 Tasting Notes


To begin, I’m very new to green teas and my previous experiences have not been good so far. (I think I’m to blame for this, however, due to my tendency to make tea with too much gusto. And my long history of loving black teas.)

So anyway, I love the way the bright green, glossy leaves look. So long and flat, almost like preserved grass. As they brewed, the green became more vivid, as if the leaves were still alive. But the scent of it put me off a little… it was strong and reminded me of the ocean. And not in the sea breeze kind of way. But I gave it a chance anyway, as I feel like I’m in need of a green tea education.

I used 2 teaspoons for 8 ounces of water, brewed for 1:45 at 175 degrees. Any critiques you could offer about my preparation? The result was pale yellowy green and tasted much better than I expected. I feel like I understand what people say when they describe green teas as “buttery” now. It also has a sort of veggie flavor, like seaweed. I can’t really say I’m a fan, though. I believe these sorts of teas are going to have to be an acquired taste.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 45 sec

I do not know about the method, temperature, but just for the dragon well tea I have, the way i like it best is a LOT of tea for not too much water, not too water – I save the leaves and make tea again (same ammount of not too much water) a few more times in the same day with it, basically till it no longer tastes awesome. First cup I do not usually like much.

(hmm, trying to do some mental conversions on my head, I think I use the same ammount of water, just a little more tea. )

Charles Thomas Draper

Dragonwell is one of Chinas top 10 teas for a reason. When you get a very good one its truly the nectar of the Gods. I have found that brewing them in a glass at lower than 175 is the way to go. Maybe you used to much tea? Experiment. A great green can be poetic….

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drank Waterlilies Fruit Tea by Teavivre
734 tasting notes

I ended up steeping this tea for quite some time, long past the eight and a half minutes I set my timer for. I was playing Minecraft and not paying attention, so I didn’t hear the beep.

But this tea does not suffer one bit from oversteeping. True, it’s very dark maroon and a little tart, but it’s still great. I like this one more than the other fruit tea I’ve tried by Teavivre, Apple Awakening. The pineapple is a great touch and goes well with the rose hips. It’s like a hot, mouth-watering fruit punch. I bet it would be perfect iced, which is what’s happening next with this tea.

Boiling 8 min or more

This would be a good tea for me, or at least a good tea for my forgetfulness, I can’t count the number of times I’ve oversteeped a good green or black tea and turned it into soap…


It will be in your package, then. :3 I’m still waiting for that Yunnan to get here, but when it does…

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The guys and I are sharing a pot of this tonight with the balcony door left open. My glass mug is still steaming furiously, but I keep trying to steal a sip anyway. I’m impatient. I still love this tea. It’s such a complex and summery thing.

We’ve been having a pot of tea every night, since I always have at least one person hanging out at my place these days. Previously, I’ve been blending my teas and not logging it because I don’t really like making pages for custom blends. But I’ve been mostly making “fall” teas. Apple cranberry, vanilla assam, stuff like that…

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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drank Lady Grey by Twinings
734 tasting notes

This is one of the best Earl Greys I’ve ever tasted, and it’s also my first Lady Grey. (There seems to be an assortment of them out there from different companies.)

The black tea aspect is very mild, hidden under layers of fruit zest. I can barely tell it’s there. The strongest flavor is mostly lemon, but it isn’t tart, just a little tingly. The bergamot shines through just as strongly, adding that classic Victorian flavor. All around, this is a great tea, and I’m really impressed by it, even if it’s bagged.

I think I’m going to embark on an Earl Grey exploration very soon. I’m really starting to get a taste for them. I’m going to add bergamot to my balcony garden soon, as well.

Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

Honestly, this is one of my favorite “normal” bagged teas – surprisingly tasty. And as someone that has been on the quest for the perfect Earl Grey for what seems like forever, I wish you a good journey on your exploration!


Thank you! I think it’s going to be a lot of fun tasting and comparing. :D

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This is my second Tie Guan Yin, the first was from my local farmer’s market. I’ve been wanting to get into oolong, and I think I’ve found the first that I truly like.

This oolong is fresh and highly floral in a way that reminds me so much of spring. (Which is a little depressing in November, I have to add.) The flavors remind me of gardenias, honeysuckle, and jasmine. There’s also a note of sweet, clean hay.

It still has that nutty oolong flavor, but it’s mostly in the scent. At first I was a little nervous, since the vegetal scent was so strong. But no, after a little honey, this is lovely and satisfying. I’m going to have to start trying oolongs to Teavivre’s brewing instructions, I think.

Boiling 1 min, 45 sec

Why not? Honey is delicious.

Charles Thomas Draper

You are correct. I eat tsp of YS Eco Bee Farms Antioxidant Power Honey everyday. It’s a combo of buckwheat, forest, manuka and multi floral. And Raw. I just think all of those flavors that you found existing in tea were beautiful. I feel the honey would overwhelm them.


Well, I didn’t sweeten the whole pot. I’ll try the next cup without honey and see what happens…

Charles Thomas Draper

And my apologies. I do not want to appear to be a tea snob. A purist. Yes



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It’s actually a little cold here in Atlanta today. I guess winter really is coming. I was starting to think it had forgotten us.

Anyway, I’m warming up with this tea, which I am just as fond of the second time. It’s smoky but mild, with a decent amount of caffeine. I’m saving the rest of this sample for Kaliska, I think.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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Well, my apartment complex’s office has a Keurig now. However, I didn’t want to be down there any longer than I had to, despite the cookies, so I snagged the pod and got the hell out.

The leaves are not in good shape at all, crushed to pieces about the size of sugar in the raw. However, that might have something to do with it being compatible with the Keurig, so I’m not complaining. I brewed them in a steel infuser instead and got what I assume are the same (if not similar) results.

This is a little weaker than what I’ve been having lately, as far as black teas go. The flavors are very straightforward and a little coarse, but it gets the job done. I think Adagio’s English Breakfast was much better. Anyway, this is a fairly boring tea, but I wouldn’t turn it down if it were free again.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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At the sight of this tea, I knew I would like it. It’s a lovely mix of fragrant and brightly colored dried fruits with a few pale green leaves. (And anything with rosehips is golden in my book.)

The tea brews to a lovely amber red. The Steep Time counter only goes up to 8 minutes, but I steeped mine for about 8:45. The result tastes strongly of dried apple, and is a little on the tart side even with sugar. I can definitely taste the rosehips as well, but I’m not sure about the other two ingredients. I’ve never had anything with verbena leaves in it before, so I’m not sure what I’m tasting.

Either way, this is pleasant and reminds me of drinking juice. I bet it would be fantastic iced, which I will certainly try some time soon.

Boiling 8 min or more

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The first thing I noticed when I was steeping the tea was a bold, smoky scent. I was reminded of lapsang souchong, as the tiny black leaves also brewed up very dark, very quickly.

The flavor, however, was less smoky than I expected. Which is good, because smokiness is something I’m still adjusting to. Anyway, it’s a strong, hearty tea that would go great with breakfast. There is no harsh aftertaste at all, just a sort of rounded maltiness and woodsmoke taste.

This would be a good segue tea between plain blacks and lapsang, I believe. And I also think a slightly longer steep time is in order. I’d like to taste what this tea is like when it’s stronger. So, next time…

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 45 sec
Jim Marks

There is a huge spectrum for lapsang teas. Some really are like drinking bacon, and some are nothing like that at all.

A personal favorite of mine is the “black dragon” from Upton. Not at all “meaty” or like standing downwind of a campfire.

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Today, I discovered a nearby Oriental market that was literally a mile from my house. I wanted to cry when I went in, because I could have been buying my spicy ramen, wasabi, frozen dumplings, and tea there the entire year since I moved here.

Anyway, since I walked there, I was limited in what I could carry… and I wasn’t leaving without a case of Shin Bowl. But I made sure to get some Thai tea. I have a pitcher cooling in the fridge as I write this. No steeping involved, just mixing it with hot water.

It smelled heavenly when I opened the container. Like creamy, soft vanilla. I found that the ratio on the label made it rather weak, so I nearly doubled it. For 5 cups of water, I used 21 teaspoons of mix. Don’t judge me! It’s pretty good this way. Still not as strong as the Thai tea we make where I work, but it’s close. And it’s good for how convenient it is to make. No sticky, sweetened condensed milk to deal with.

There is a sort of powdered milk taste that I’m not liking about it, though. It’s mostly in the aftertaste, but it reminds me of the center of a Whopper. (The chocolate-covered malt candy, not the burger.)

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Quiet, strange, and in love with the world of tea. Living just outside of Atlanta. Cat lover, electronic music geek, balcony gardener, and collector of fossils. On the hunt for the perfect tea in each of my favorite categories.

After 10 years on Steepster, I have given up. The lack of maintenance, updates, and mobile compatibility have finally discouraged me. I still use my Cupboard and add teas to the database, but I won’t be logging teas anymore.


Decatur, GA



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