359 Tasting Notes


(Backlog from a couple of days ago)

Thanks to Sarsonator who generously sent me a huge quantity, I was able to sip on this wonderful oolong during the week end.

I’ve had this TGY from previous harvests before. Verdant does oolong very well…

It’s a beautiful tea, very flavourful and what I have come to expect from higher quality TGY.

Creamy, buttery and slightly nutty. It smells like popping kernels!

Nice floral mouthfeel going on. It has also a refreshing citrusy finish.

It lasted many steeps gongfu style.

I made my session extra special by inaugurating new teawares that I love very much. (Allan, looking at you, enabler!!!)

Here’s a pic:



Yay, so glad this one found a loving home!


Love that cup!

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My head hasn’t been quite where it should be at lately… So I’ve been drinking lots of shou.

For some reason, shou helps me find my balance. I’m very passionate about it, and wish to convert as many people as I can to it.

It gets a bad wrap sometimes. But once you get passed the misconceptions and open your mind to it, it’s so rewarding…

Of course there are bad ripe pu’erhs out there and you must find the right ones.

This is the right one.

So smooth and warming. Not heavy on the earthy and leathery notes, perfect shou to try if you’re a little afraid of them.

Temple Stairs is a go to tea for me, and tonight I’ve been sipping on both the tuocha and the loose version of it. (Thanks Sarsita for those cute mini tuos!)

Thank you Mandala for helping me find my centre tonight…

Terri HarpLady

This really is a nice little tuo :)


I bought that last week, maybe I will try it tonight. Sounds good.


Glad you like it too Terri :-)

Allan, can’t wait to find out what you think of it!


Tea Fairy, did you buy the Temple Stairs cake too? I am waiting to try that too, got it with my order.


I’m the same way. When in doubt I drink shou! Any kinda pains or blues I drink shou! Not demanding and so much comfort it brings


I’ve noticed Shou has that effect on me too. Is there a difference in the flavor between the different forms of this tea? Or are they all about the same…just the tuocha being more convenient?


Allan, I did not buy ttge cake yet…

Boychik, right you are :-)

Tealizzy, I prefer just a little bit more the loose version, but not by much…they are very similar, but the loose one seems a little more flavourful to me. And yes, the tuochas are so convenient:-)


Thanks, TTF! I have this tea on my wishlist from trying a sample of the cake…I’ll have to check out the other forms!


HI!! Temple Stairs!! I climb them every morning before meditation and yoga!! Love this tea.

Here is my take on what I have found over the years with loose vs pressed ripe tea: In the first year or two, I find that the loose ripe develops more quickly in depth, flavor, clarity. But after 2 to 3 years of being pressed, the cakes develop more complexity than the loose ever will.

Of course, there are a few considerations, first of which is the overall quality of the leaf and original ripening of it. Compression and quality of storage conditions will also affect how a tea ages. But for the most part, I find loose more appealing for year one and two. After that, it’s cakes all the way!

These mini’s are impressing the heck outta me already. Glad that I had 10,000 of them pressed!

And I agree about ripe tea and its soothing qualities. You just can’t go wrong with a good ripe tea, in my opinion. Does that make me sound like a typical “shou” salesman?

Terri HarpLady

Only if the Shou fits, Garret ;)


Lol, you are everything BUT a typical “shou” salesman Garret, that’s why I adore doing business with you :-)


I know I’m late to the party, but 10,000 mini shous?? That’s so awesome, G!


I like shou also!

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Sorry I’ve been absent lately my dear Steepster friends…

I really needed some hugs and comfort today.

This tea never fails me.

It is my go to tea of choice, always good no matter how I brew it. It’s like we belong together.

The taste makes me see nice soft colours…

Sweet, soothing, and so warming.

I really needed this.

Hope all of you are doing great!


have you tried the Ailaoshan black from YunnanSourcing?


I am glad that the tea gave you a cup full of comfort, tea is really wonderful for that.


im doing ok :)


apt, can you link me to the “Ailaoshan black” on Yunnan sourcing?

Cameron B.

Kirk, this is the one from Yunnan Sourcing I’ve had that’s very similar to Ailaoshan:



{{{{{{{{TTF}}}}}}}} Hugs. I also find that tea can be a great comfort on those kind of days. I hope the rest of your day goes better and tomorrow is a better day as well.


Hugs TTF.<3


Apt I haven’t tried it…curious about it but I doubt it could be better :-)

Right you are my dead Amanda ;-)

Kirk, glad you are doing ok

looseTman, Boychick thank you for the hugs!!!

Thank you Cheri, wow!! What a gorgeous TTF hugs :-)

Love y’all :-)


DEAR Amanda, *OMG the worst typo EVER!!!! So sorry!! *


Many hugs for you, TTF!


Sending many hugs your way!


Cameron B, I just now added that to my wish list :)


I just got a one ounce sample of this tea in the mail. I may have to brew it tomorrow morning. Did you brew this western style or gongfu?


Allan, I western brew it cause it’s so good I’m too impatient to gongfu it, lol. But I hear it’s also very good that way.

My way is 1 big tbs for 16oz mug at 205F for 4 min. Sometimes I do a second steep for 6 min.
But you should check the new WP website, they now have very detailed parameters for both methods on all teas! I think you should try this way first :-) here’s the link for Ailaoshan



Thank you caile :-)

And OMG!!! It’s Swedish Chef !!! So happy to see you Fjellrev!!! :-)


Happy to see you too! I really missed you all. :)


I hope you’re doing alright and better now :)


Braiiinnsss hehe no worries about the typo ;)


Isserly, thank you so much :-)


Sooo after reading your review I just spent $50 at Whispering Pines Tea Company because it made me really want to try their teas. AH! >.<


Cincin090, always happy to enable! And i’m very confident you will not regret this order :-)


contente de te revoir, sacrée petite fée cachée :)


Merci ma petite Ysaurella chérie XOX

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I know this is a long review. Sorry but I still think you should read all of it. Just saying.

So. Shou. I kind of have a thing for it.

I drink it everyday and have lots of favourites. I have been known to have shou boxes in the house. (See what I did?) That was before I copied MzPriss and make my own “pumidrawer”. Cause you know…who doesn’t want to be like the fabulous MzPriss?

So it is established that I have a huge amount of shou in da house. But. As you probably know, I can’t resist many of the WP teas. I just go where quality is.

And I had yet to try this one. MzPriss recently reviewed it, and I was kind of envious. She got a real shou buzz out of it. I wanted that too!! But hey, you just don’t order a shoubuzz like you order a pizza.

I had already gotten a nice buzz from a sheng earlier. Pinky cheeks and all. Very nice qi. But not over the top.

There was still room for more. So…could I get lucky twice in the same evening?

Well. That is an understatement folks. This stuff should be illegal.

First I will describe the taste, then the qi. (Cause really, I could devote an entire page to it)

The dry leaves look like “chocolat au lait” shavings, so pretty.

I’m using 7g for 5oz shou yixing (shouxing?)

First steep, and wow. I mean this is as soft and smooth as angel wings. Makes me regret wasting the rinse.

No trace of earthiness or even leather in this. It’s all nuts and creamy vanilla. At first, I thought roasted pecans. When I later read the description, it said walnuts and I think it’s more accurate.

It’s sweet, in a dark brown sugar kind of way. It also provides that fresh mouthfeel of camphor that coats your entire mouth and lingers on your lips.

The third steep was probably the best. A little powdery, still very nutty and creamy.

I stopped at around steep seven, and I can tell you that by then, all I could do was lay on my back and enjoy the feeling.

The qi. It made my body twinkle all over. This tea is pure warm energy. I could feel my blood circulate. It made me tea drunk in a way I have never experienced before. Oh, I have felt this way before, but I promise you it wasn’t from tea leaves. (O.O)

And I kept thinking how nice this feeling will be on upcoming lazy rainy days. I’m gonna need
a lot more of this.

If you already like shou, this will only make you like it even more. And to all non shou lovers, please hurry and give this a try.

P.S. There should be a warning on the pouch: don’t shou and drive.


Uh oh….. Want!


I will have to try that one when they get the Rivendell in stock.


Lol, sil, you shall get then :-)

Allan, you can wait for our swap, but I have a feeling you of all people will want a much larger quantitity of this ;-)


I love this shou and I love this note and I love my Fairy


This sounds good. I just need to get over this weird thing I have going on and try shou.


I am going to have to get into this one day. Cheri “Good” shou will surprise you.


Sounds fantastic! I adore shou as well :) . . . Actually I like Sheng a lot too. I will look for this tea… This intrigued me: “No trace of earthiness or even leather in this. It’s all nuts and creamy vanilla”. That sounds delightful. Thanks for the review!


Parsifal we have a “puerh of the day” post you may like on the discussions page.


I will check that out, thank you :)

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This is a sheng I bought cause i saw Scott posting pics of it on Instagram and it being a yin and yang design, well, I knew I just had to have it!

It’s like when I sometimes buy a bottle of wine just for the label, hoping To get lucky.

Well I just got lucky!

This is quite a deal. Young sheng yes, but it tastes a lot more mature than its age.

And I’m sure it will only get better with time.

I get close to zero astringency.

It’s super mellow, all sweet and honey.

I get hints of apple pie, feels like autumn tea to me.

It’s also a bit grapey. Definitely fruity.

Tonight I’m having it with the TEAplets, but I had it for the first time last night, and it gave me pinky cheeks. And a nice buzz.

Hey, I never wear much makeup, so a nice natural blush sheng glow is always welcome ;-)

The qi is kicking and I almost feel like I stole this cake, having spent a ridiculous amount of $15 on it.

People. Get this, it’s a bargain!!


Pink cheeks!


Gettin’ lucky!!!! :p


Dr. Sheng approves!


Lolol!! You little dirty teaplets!!


WE weren’t the ones talking about pink cheeks O.O


OR getting lucky! :p


Hahaha! I love you teaplets!!


i will get one next time hopefully


TTF, Congrats on your 400th tasting note!


Awww, Charles, how sweet of you to notice that!!! :-)

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I can’t really sleep tonight so might as well drink good tea, right?

I had this tea twice today. Such a lovely shou.

I like how sweet and smooth it is. I find myself craving it.

It’s not overly complicated and complex, but sometimes, that’s just what I’m seeking.

I have mentioned that this tea was like a hug on my last review and I stand by it. Definitely a hugger!

At this rate, the little cake won’t last very long.

Sorry Mandala for not being more eloquent tonight…

Pic from earlier:



Yummmy! Maybe I will use this for the Goldie test later!!!!


Oh! Great idea!!


Goldie test?


I think I will break in my new teapot with this next week when it comes. Bought an incredible pot from purepuer.com.


looseTman – We are experimenting with my gold-lined cup to see if tea tastes different than with a regular teacup. So far, it does


A gold-lined cup, wow! Pic?

Terri HarpLady

Different in a good way?

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Having GO at the end of the day is as satisfying as having GO in the morning.

I wasn’t planning on having it now, but a tea friend invited me to have a cup with her, so I did :-)

And let me tell you that it made a very satisfied fairy out of me.

It’s such a comfort tea, no matter what the season is. I drank it all summer long, and we’re about to spend our first autumn season together.

A pure vanilla dream it is, with plenty of chocolate gooeyness. If someone can’t get the chocolate in this well…sorry but I am totally judging you!!!

My pic:



i recently placed an order for this & a few other WP teas….woohoo!

Lariel of Lórien

This is what I was drinking while watching Lord of the Rings the other day. It was nice.

Terri HarpLady

I took a large mug of this one to work with me today. :)


LOL @ the judging comment

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So I’m a little late to the party on this review.

I had this earlier today with the TEAplets. But I was unable to focus on writing my review. Now is a better time.

I was lucky enough to receive the gift of tea from Sarsonator: this beautiful Mandala cake. She made this very special for myself and MzPriss (who was also given the same cake) as it wasn’t even available yet on Mandala’s website. That’s what I call a REAL surprise!

Now how thoughtful and generous was that? Thank you so much Sarsy, I am so grateful!

Right from the get go, I had a feeling it would be a good one. The cake looks amazing, as if every single leaf was placed strategically to create a little work of art.

It broke very easily, no need to fight it, loosely compressed.

I used 8g for a 5oz yixing clay pot.

First, I love the golden liquor it produces. It’s thick and almost oily as I pour the first steep in the pitcher.

The leaves are barely awake, and already they render a taste that completely seduces me. We all agree: it’s remarkable.

Stone fruits, mostly soft and ripe apricot. Super sweet and silky, heavy mouthfeel of honey.

In later steeps, that sweetness turns into maple water. I also get juicy apple notes. It’s not smokey at all, and that astringency normally present in young sheng is nowhere to be found.

Around steep seven, I get a certain acidity, but i think I just let it steep too long. It’s very potent.

I had dinner, and went back to it. It kept giving and giving.

Thank you so much again Sarsy, and thanks to Garret who helped make this surprise happened, you are such a classy guy!

As usual, for those who love to watch:





This was so good and I loved being able to share it with my TFFs!


apricots are my fav. glad you enjoyed it




Yay! Here’s to hoping that I am able to get some more of this! Working on that today. It is selling fast and I want some, too! Great pics!


MzPriss : likewise :-)

Boychik and Stephanie: it is very likely that you will love this one

Garret: thank you! And so glad I have a whole cake of this!!


I just got two more cakes of this one in the mail today. Thanks, G!

I couldn’t risk it selling out. I’m so glad you love it, TTF! It makes me happy when you are happy!!! <3


:) This could be a great supplier to keep working with. Will soon be getting some samples of some of their other new offerings. If the quality keeps up with what I’ve tasted of their teas so far, I will be a happy tea seller.


Totally, G-Mac. And we will all be happy tea drinkers! Keep us posted on the other offerings, please. :)


Lucky rascals….

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This was pretty tasty this morning.

Toasty chocolate cereals. Oh, yum. I mean, this is really chocolaty and nutty.

You know me right? I kind of get very “enteasiast” when I like something.

If I like, I like…A LOT.

And I kind of like this blend…a lot…so I kinda ordered…a lot.

So this morning, I told myself I’d better start drinking the life out of it…cause really, did I mention I have a lot?

Get this, it’s really worth it…


It’s SO worth it.


except verdant’s stock is kinda limited atm lol

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Only september 3rd and we can already tell fall is in the air here. It was a little chilly today.

So I made a GIANT mug of almond milk chai latté of El Dorado.

This is my favourite chai.

It is classic and perfectly balanced, I can taste all the spices individually without having one that stands out too much and overshadows the others.

The snaily yums base paired with the magic WP vanilla makes it so naturally sweet… But I admit that by adding just a drop of maple in it, it brings me to heaven on a wednesday!!!

I can see myself drinking loads of this in the months to come…in my super large latté mug!

Here’s a pic (Note to self: that mug is way to heavy to hold in one hand)



Sounds yummy! Can’t wait to try this!


Lucky! It’s sauna in Brooklyn. I need some air….gasp…

Amy Herbal Mama

Oh my god that mug is ginormous.
Also, when I stepped outside this morning, taking a breath was like sipping on hot bath water. I am waiting for that chilly air to get here…count me as super jealous…


Sarsy, you shall receive some

Boychik, at least you are back home!!! :-)

Amy, I dig that, the next few months will be my favourite of the year…and then, harsh cold and long winter!!

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I am French Canadian, so please forgive me if my English is not always perfect :-/

My relationship with tea in a nutshell:

I’m married to straight Black. I have torrid love affairs with Oolong and Puerh. I party with Green and White occasionally. Flavored are not my BFF, I usually stay away from them.

Love Steepster, a place for tea lovers, where you learn and share with others.

About me:

I am a free spirit, I let people be who they are and expect the same in return.

Books! I love classic literature, but also modern and pretty much anything that captures my attention.

Music is also something I can’t live without… From Bach to Nirvana, my ears know no boundaries…

Animal and nature lover, amateur photographer.

I’ve been drinking tea for as long as I can remember.

Drinking tea is a sensorial experience. The name in itself “Camellia Sinensis” lingers the promess of an adventure for the senses…

Not a big «swapper», but will occasionally. Not because I don’t want to share but because I’m trying not to hoard so much.

Also, I have narrowed down the teas I really like over the years, and I don’t feel the need to try and buy everything the way I used to. (Maybe I have become a tea snob? Sigh…)

My ratings: because I pretty much drink only teas that I judge exceptional, my ratings are usually high. Don’t be shocked to see lots of 90’s and a few 100’s. That’s because I’ve had my share of crapy teas and I’m done with that ;-)

You can find me on Instagram here, I post about my tea sessions mostly, but also about the beautiful nature that surrounds me, and my fury companions :-)



The Laurentians, Canada

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