49 Tasting Notes

I’m drinking this tea western style, in a tea strainer with a mug, today. The slight oxidation of this white tea (yes, true white tea is very slightly oxidized, contrary to popular belief) shines through when I brew it like this, slight malt notes and roasted macadamia. The body is lighter, which lets the more delicate flavors of maple and toasted oat come to the forefront.

I enjoy this particular Silver Needle more and more every time I try it. It’s slightly different from other silver needle teas that I’ve had, and a far cry better than Teavana’s!

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This is my night time brew for the past few nights. The calming of the chamomile is there, and the slightly hay-like taste from the elderflower is there. Unfortunately, there is a bit of rose hip in the blend, and this seems to overpower all of the other flavors. Maybe a hint of peppermint too?

It’s a pretty good tea blend. I prefer straight chamomile, though.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML

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This is my afternoon cuppa, or I should say gaiwanna, for today.

I’ve been drinking this tea for weeks now, and it never fails to mesmerize me. The flavor does not change much from brew to brew, like most wulongs do, but it still yields a very intense, sweet and milky liquor.

The aroma bursts with tropical flower qualities, and the flavor is as if I am biting into a sugar cane stick. I also get notes of freshly picked snow pea, rock candy, and ripe melon. I can easily extract upwards of six full flavored brews in a gaiwan or small yixing pot.

There is also one flavor that is very unique to this tea, and the best way to describe it is “sunny.” This tea was hand picked on the sunniest day of a twenty day picking period. I’ve tasted many tieguanyins, and there is definitely a certain, unrivaled sunniness to this particular tieguanyin. I’ve only tasted it in a couple other batches (From Verdant and Ku Cha 2012).

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Hello fellow steepsters! According to my tasting notes, it’s been two years since I’ve been on this site… such a long time. I look forward to catching up with y’all as I start adding tasting notes again and become more active on the site.

Right now, I’m sitting in SoCal, watching the marine layer recede from the sky through my window. All morning I have been enjoying Seven Cups’ Bai Hao Yin Zhen (Silver Needle) 2014 Organic White Tea. I am steeping the leaves in one of these cool tea jars where you let the leaves steep in the jar and the strainer at the top keeps the leaves from getting into your mouth.

WHAT!? You might say. The tea leaves just sitting there forever and ever? Don’t they get bitter, especially since it’s a white tea?

Actually, contrary to popular belief, a truly good Chinese green/white tea will never get bitter, no matter what you do to it. And, pleasure be mine, this tea has held up to that standard. I allow the leaves to steep in the jar for extended amounts of time, and the brew does not get even remotely bitter.

The first steeping graced my mouth with a medium-light body and notes of toasted cashew and pumpkin seed. Hints of peach pie also come through.

Second steep: body is maintained, notes of nutmeg and tree nuts.

Third steep: flavor is holding up extremely well, even though the mouth feel becomes lighter.

Residual: mostly whole, delicate tea buds, about 30% broken buds, which is more than what I’m used to coming from Seven Cups.

Overall, I enjoyed this tea very much. It’s the first time I’ve tried it since they changed their source and cultivar to Zheng He from Fuding. It’s not quite as buttery as it used to be, and the buds seem more delicate (they break more easily), but it’s still very good and worth the price I paid for it!

Happy tea drinking!

190 °F / 87 °C 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

Welcome back!


“I am steeping the leaves in one of these cool tea jars where you let the leaves steep in the jar … The tea leaves just sitting there forever and ever? Don’t they get bitter, especially since it’s a white tea?” I have always wondered about why the Chinese do this; and now I am gladdened to read “a truly good Chinese green/white tea will never get bitter, no matter what you do to it.” Perhaps I will have to try this sometime with at least one of my highest quality greens.


SimpliTEA, definitely try out some of your greens brewing with this method, especially if you have a Long Jing, Bi Luo Chun, Huang Shan Mao Feng, Bi Tan Puao Xue, Jasmine Pearls, or Bamboo green tea. It is actually traditional to brew these teas by putting the leaves straight into a tall clear glass with 185 degree water. The flavor should only get sweeter and more potent over time, with little to no bitterness. If all your teas get bitter with this method, PM me and I’ll see what I can do to send you some samples (I still have plenty of this tea and a wonderful an ji bai cha) that are bound to work :)


Thanks for the offer, chadao! I have a high grade longjing (AAA) that I can try this with.


Let us know how it works out!


This sounds wonderful. I too am just now returning to this site after two years of near-inactivity haha :)


Why, hello! Welcome back. :)

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I am not very familiar with herbal tisanes. I usually just stick with a good Chinese tea. Today, I went to Sojourner’s Coffee and Tea and decided to have this tisane. The ginger is not overpowering, but it is the main flavor in the infusion. It makes a wonderfully refreshing iced infusion, very smooth and well-balanced compared to other ginger tisanes that I have tried. Teatulia may not yet know how to do teas just yet, but they sure have their herbal infusions down pat!

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drank Perfectea Rock Sugar by Teavana
49 tasting notes

Are you actually rating the teas what you think they’re worth or are you just rating them bad because you don’t like the company?


Alex I am sure whatever you are going through is monumental and beyond just the stresses of this job if in fact you work for Teavana. I would however hope that if in fact you do that you realize you are the biggest fish of them all. I realize the economy is rough right now but surely you should seek other employment and not let any one company take away your power to this degree.
Its a bit alarming because your disdain is not only aimed at the company but also the consumers.
Posts like this are alarming because posts like this are often made right before someone snaps a gasket.
At first I found your posts interesting, well written and I could sympathize but at this point it looks a little frightening.
I do hope that you get some help with what is going on within you as there is certainly a huge internal struggle even if it is spiking your creative zeal.

Autumn Hearth

Thank you Azzrian! I was at a loss for words last night, debating if it was my place to say something and feeling guilty that I helped fuel this. While it has been mostly entertaining to read and I can very much relate, heck this could be my internal dialog, all these things have certainly gone through my head, except I would never think of my guests as fish (it is a very poignant analogy though) and find it rather degrading. But that’s why I decided I couldn’t work there anymore and (attempted at least to) quit.

Alex I seriously think quitting would be better for your career than getting fired. I know you are trying to push as hard as you can to get corporate to react since you know they are watching now and of course venting at the same time but I never wrote a tasting note in anger nor gave in a lower rating than I thought it deserved. I know you are a bigger tea snob than me so that’s all relative and probably were before you started working at Teavana. I also know you have a dream of opening your own tea emporium (as do I) so I would encourage you to quit now so that it’s only two years before your non-compete contract ends, you can get a decent paying job in the meantime and not loose people’s respect on here, because we would love to buy tea from such a knowledgeable, conscientious and passionate member of the tea community. So please step down from the ledge, for the love of tea…


I debated as well but I feel being part of an online community in this day and age is similar if not equatable to a “real life” society and it is upon us all to reach out to those struggling. A spiritual side of me says let everyone walk their own path positive or negative as there are lessons for us everywhere no matter the direction we take. On the other hand to ignore someone’s struggle means we are not being true to our own if it be in our nature TO reach out. That is why I posted.
I value Alex as a member here, he has been here longer than myself to add to that but I fear that he is walking on the dark side of things and he would be far better off fulfilling his dream and educating people rather than knocking people down. Its unfortunate to feel the way you do Alex but your own internal compass IS guiding you AWAY from this job! Don’t let the COMPANY keep you in their hooks! We care about you!


@Emilie: it’s a little of both

@Azzrian and Autumn: I apologize for making you feel alarmed/guilty/frightened. My discomfort for acting out of accordance with my conscience at work has caused me to write this story. Although I regret my analogy of a customer to a fish (we’re all human here), I cannot lie to myself or to you and say that I did not enjoy writing this story and sharing it here. I will take advice from both of you. Azzrian, I will seek counseling for my internal struggles, as I already have a fine therapist that I work very well with. Autumn, I will seriously consider putting in my notice in the near future. Thank you both for your input, your care, and your concern. I promise from here on out that my posts will be more civil in their language, and positive in their message.

Autumn Hearth

Good to hear Alex and best of luck! Writing can be very theraputic and like I said I did enjoy most of it, feel free to private message me if you ever need to vent/rage/talk.


so is it good or bad or in between?


your stories show a great example of freud’s theory of the id, ego, and super-ego. this is so cool.

the morality is there, which means you have a functional super-ego. however, your ego (the mediator) is letting more of the id (gratification) shine through. the reason this is happening is because you’re in a situation that makes the ego act this way. the ego knows that if you don’t act this way, you may get fired. even though you know that what you’re doing is wrong, the other side of you does it anyway because of the detrimental consequences of not doing them.

when you take yourself out of this situation, your mind will adjust. however, this adjustment takes a while. in order for this to occur, you need to find another tea shop, like adagio or others before you actually quit. when you do leave the current profession you’re in, you have to realize that what your other job required you to do isn’t required for the new job you’re in. if you don’t make this realization and don’t make an effort to adjust your mindset, you might as well be working at teavana.

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This is the lament of Alex. Your fish should also be responsible. I know which chocolate company supports child labor. All the information is online so I don’t buy their chocolates. You are right that we should support companies that pay workers a decent wage for work.

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reviewed Cast iron tea pot by Teaware
49 tasting notes

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