109 Tasting Notes


New to gongfu style, so any tips are appreciated :)

4g leaf in 100ml, 96C/205F. Timing is approximate.

First infusion (15s) : Scents of earth, smoke, caramel, cinnamon and nutmeg. Taste is like watery espresso, colour a dull light brown. Maybe I should have poured away this steep as a rinse. I’ve read in another review that someone was rinsing these a few times over because the pellets are quite tightly wound.

Second infusion (20s): Scents of burnt coconut emerge. Slight fruitiness appearing. Sweeter profile. A little drying in the mouth.

Third infusion (30s): Smells and tastes like darkly burnt brown sugar with water aged in an oak barrel.

Third infusion (1min 15s): Burnt coconut is back with a woody aroma. Sweet and surprisingly refreshing. I wonder why my other steeps had a drying quality to the mouthfeel and this one not so much.

Fourth infusion (1min 45s): More balanced aroma, very sweet. This one tastes like a good quality batch brew of light coffee. Favourite infusion so far.

Fifth infusion (2min 15s): Taste is same as above, but a tad lighter and a little oakier. Bit of dryness coming through again. Colour of liquor gets slightly brighter with each steeping, which is interesting.

Sixth infusion (3mins): More or less the same again, but lighter still.

Seventh infusion (5mins): See above.

I’m inclined to believe that any more steeps would be quite similar and I’m rather full of liquid now haha so I might stop here..

Oh what the heck, I’m gonna try for one more.

Eighth infusion (7mins): Yep, same but lighter.

Overall, I’m glad I got to try this tea as the session was quite enjoyable, even with my lack of experience in gongfu brewing. It was my first darkly roasted tieguanyin and it was quite educational to see the different levels of roasting in an oolong.

Will use Western method next time and see if it brings out that golden coffee note I liked so much.

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Either the leaves were sitting in my cupboard too long or I oversteeped/overleafed this one. Turned a bit bitter :(

In my other experiences with this tea, it was a solid chocolatey-note black tea. However, I much prefer (and miss) North Winds for the added complexity of a blend, or Golden Snail for the gardenia note.

This is a good tea though, and a good representation of Fujian style black.

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drank Calming by Yogi Tea
109 tasting notes

This does taste calming to me but only when I get enough of the stevia flavour in my sip. Otherwise, there’s a strange, slightly sour note that I’m not a fan of.

Not too many tasty herbal blends out there (that I’ve tried anyway, regardless of teabag or loose leaf) but I think the St John’s Wort blend by Yogi is a better alternative if you want something supposedly calming. That, and the Bedtime tea.

Will finish, but not repurchase

Boiling 7 min, 30 sec

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This must be pretty old in my tea stash. I’m sure the flavouring has lost some of its impact by now but still found this plenty sweet without sugar.

Quite cupcakey and yes, chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. A little bit of the espresso note yeah.

Will re-try this with sugar next time though. What a shame I only got to order from Butiki once before they closed down!

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Back in my cupboard yes!!

Hardly ever repurchase teas, but there you go. A much fruitier bergamot than your traditional Earl Grey, combined with the complexity of the oolong and white tea base. Would make an amazing cold brew and has very good resteep potential.

The strange recommendation to steep this with boiling water is actually alright, as long as you don’t overleaf or overbrew.

Oolong/white tea drinkers, definitely give this a shot. It is seriously underrated.

Boiling 1 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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So expensive. But so refined.

Berries and flowers. Sophisticated like every MF tea that I’ve tried. However, I think favourite black tea with a berry note will always be Paris by Harney & Sons.

Would steep no longer than 3 minutes if having this straight. At 4.5 minutes like I did just now, it’s going bitter. Perfect if you’re adding milk though.

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After a two year hiatus from Steepster, I am now back to my original obsession following the short-lived affair I had with coffee. Still love coffee but after sowing them wild oats, I know where my heart truly belongs now.

Shipping to Australia is $US18/$AU25 which is pretty high considering other international brands are roughly $5-$10. However, it is speedy service (less than two weeks) with reliable tracking. But it’s pretty much the only thing which stops me from ordering Whispering Pines on a regular basis.

This is from my third Whispering Pines haul and the second time I have ordered this particular tea. Leaves are dazzling indeed. And soo soft and pretty!

Cocoa, malt and fruit flavours with the slightest hint of dairy, savoury and forest aromas. Very balanced in all aspects.

A little bit of good qi going on with this tea, even though I’ve only ever also noticed it in WP’s Wildcrafted Da Hong Pao and some pu-erh served at a local tea house. It could also be because I’ve been reading up on cha qi lately and y’know, power of suggestion and all.

Delicious stuff.

Evol Ving Ness

Hey, welcome back!

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As an insomniac, I have always been on the look out for caffeine-free infusions to promote a better night’s rest. This journey on the hunt for a tea that is both herbal and delicious has been fraught with some difficulties, for chamomile has always been a high recommendation but the taste was never quite inspiring. From supermarket teabags such as Celestial Seasonings and Yogi Tea, the loose leaf variety available in bulk from Chinese health stores, and even gourmet suppliers such as T2 have not been able to sway me into regular consumption of chamomile.

Previous experiences with other brands had left me convinced that chamomile was bland and flavourless, often with an unpleasant mouthfeel to match. So when I received a box of Organic Chamomile as a gift from Altitude Tea, I was skeptical of whether I would enjoy it but nonetheless, I remained openminded and was happy to brew up a pot.

It is astounding that it took me so long to find an enjoyable chamomile tea! And it is with Altitude that I finally proclaim their chamomile blend as a new and permanent member in my tea cupboard. The reason for this is that it simply tastes wonderful. The floral aromas comfort the mind and soul, and are refined with notes of green apple and honeyed nuts. It is flavoursome but never overpowering, naturally sweet yet completely refreshing and very satisfying all round.

Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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Since when do I wake up craving pineapple? Never, really.

Alas, today I did and this was so satisfying to drink. It’s a rather old pack of tea in my cupboard and the pineapple flavouring has since diminished a little since its opening.
But because the oolong base is pretty solid, and it’s very pineapple-y to begin with, it still made for a delicious cup. It also got rid of that strong buttery note that I wasn’t so fond of when I first tried this tea.

Reminds me of those sweet pineapple Chinese buns with the crusty sugar topping that you buy in Guangzhou for twenty-five cents. Ah, good times.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 15 OZ / 450 ML

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Australian tea drinker from Sydney.

I enjoy all kinds of tea except rooibos. Black and roasted oolongs are my true lovers while green tea makes me a little dizzy. Pu-erh I have yet to explore, despite being gifted several cakes. On the look-out for a great herbal tea and also getting the matcha madness.

Have yet to add everything to my Steepster cupboard, but would be interested in an Australian tea swap in the future!

The variety here is not as extensive as other places due to import regulations and the cost of shipping but I own and like stuff from Harney & Sons, Lupicia, T2, Teavivre, Butiki, Mariage Freres, Verdant, Yunnan Sourcing and Whispering Pines Tea Company.


Sydney, Australia

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