King Tea Mall

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Recent Tasting Notes


Solid classic dianhong, nice for the price. Robust, chocolaty, malty. Great daily black tea.

Flavors: Cocoa, Malt

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The last of my samples from this KTM order, and the last of the LiMing teas I have tried. The quality of their teas overall is quite variable. Some tolerable while others are great and others are pretty bad. Can’t ask for anything too crazy at the price points for their tea, and it’s certainly a lot cheaper than old Dayi or Xiaguan.

Mild-med astringency that lingers. A bit of hui gan that’s nice. Mouthfeel is pretty thick. Mild sweetness, mild bitterness.

Flavors: Sweet, smoke, fruity, apple.

Flavors: Apple, Astringent, Bitter, Fruity, Smoke, Sweet

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First MKRS tea I’ve tried. Not writing them off based on one sample, but this one was very mehh. Basically no flavors I could tell other than maybe a bit of smoke. Nothing harsh about this one either, but at $0.20/g, this would be a massive waste of money IMO.

Will likely revisit other MKRS offerings in the future as they are so well-liked by teaheads online haha.

Flavors: Smoke

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The most disappointing showing for LiMing so far. Not undrinkable, just kind of bland to my taste buds. No harsh notes or anything, but the main flavor I get is just the typical semi-aged “puerh” note that’s difficult to put a finger on. For this price, it’s certainly not worth it. One more sample of LiMing to try before I’m done with the bunch. Doubting any can compare to the Light of Dawn. Strange how inconsistent their teas seem to be. Makes sampling broadly all the more important.

Flavors: Hay

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Hmmm this one isn’t bad. Not good enough to cake, especially as it sits in the shadow of their Light of Dawn. But a respectable puerh for sure. I’m sure this is not Gu Shu per say, although the leaves are fairly large for a factory puerh.

No astringency or bitterness. Mild sweetness.

Flavors: Hay, Sweet

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This cake is wonderful. Super well balanced. Fruity flavors from the start, sweeter honey flavors towards the end. Smokey background note throughout. Better believe I’m caking this one :).

No astringency or bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium thickness. Mild-moderate sweetness that builds with the steeps. Get about 12 infusions out of it.

Dry leaf: Smoke
Wet leaf: Smoke, herbal
Flavors: Hay, smoke, sweet, honey, apple, herbal

Flavors: Apple, Hay, Herbal, Honey, Smoke, Sweet

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First Liu Bao, and the third heicha I’ve tried (Hunan Fu Zhuan, Shou). Pretty similar to shous I’ve had, although I prefer many shous to this specific example. Not really bad, just very basic. The main distinguishing factor is root/root vegetable notes.

No sweetness, bitterness, astringency. Mouthfeel is similar to shou – medium thickness. Smooth, easy drinking.

Dry leaf: Camphor, cardboard
Wet leaf: Radish, parsnip
Flavors: Roots, wet forest floor, dirt, decay

Flavors: Camphor, Cardboard, Decayed Wood, Dirt, Forest Floor, Roots

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I have heard from r/puer that Liming is a respectable factory outside of the Big 3. Figured I’d give them a try, so I ordered a bunch of samples of semi-aged Liming from KTM (plus a few others thrown in). This is my first, and I’d say it’s just okay. Very drinkable, but not complex. Better after the 5th infusion, which is the case for a lot of puer.

No bitterness or astringency. Mildly sweet. Mouthfeel is nothing special. 10+ infusions. Not a bad value at < $0.10/g. Just not much going on to my tastebuds…

Flavors: hay, apple, sweet.

Flavors: Apple, Hay, Sweet

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First aged white tea – this one with almost 8 years on it. I get why people like it! Definitely the sweetest tea I’ve tried.

First infusion is hints of what’s to come. Second infusion is incredibly sweet and thick like honey! The remaining few infusions still have strong sweetness, but much more toned down. Very smooth, no off notes.

Pretty good for $0.04/g :).

Flavors: Sweet, thick, honey, apple.

Flavors: Apple, Honey, Sweet, Thick


I have loved the few aged white teas I have tried, and I have a couple here aging.

Marshall Weber

I’m pretty pleased with this one too! Definitely getting a cake given the ridiculously low price :). Need to explore the genre a bit more at some point too.

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Hmmm I probably have to cake thissss. Pretty darn good. The earlier infusions show signs of past harshness that has been aged away (thankfully). The later infusions are pure gold.

A really lovely tea. Not super complex, but a wonderful puerh with no other issues. Mildly sweet. No bitterness or astringency. Lasts 12+ infusions.

Flavors: Smooth, sweet, earthy, wood.

Flavors: Earth, Smooth, Sweet, Wood

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The first puerh in a minute to inspire a note. There’s a smokiness that is, just for an instant, a whiff of old cigarette… and in the time it takes to think, “That actually… doesn’t seem appealing, does it?”… it’s gone. Replaced by fresh tobacco and lovely huigan. Full mouthfeel, yes saliva. Many steeps, handle it!

I probably bought this for the promise of smoke and an elevated experience, which is properly what I got. I couldn’t really justify $300 for any cake, but I do understand the appeal and, reluctant though I am to admit it, the price point.

Flavors: Smoke, Sweet, Tobacco

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First of three shou samples from KTM. Pretty nice!

Thick, wet mouthfeel. Very fragrant dry and wet leaves for puerh. No bitterness or astringency. Medium fruity sweetness throughout. Impression is rain-soaked soil of a decaying forest floor. Brings me back to hikes on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica.

Don’t think I like it enough to cake it at the price point, but it’s definitely nice and I might reconsider if I had more money and hadn’t just bought a bunch of cakes. Certainly not overpriced!

Flavors: Dates, Forest Floor, Fruity, Soil, Sweet, Wet Earth

Boiling 3 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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7542, take 2. Different vendor, different year. From a fresh order of KTM samples, most of which are shou. Had I known how hyped the 2010 vintage is before making this order, I would have gotten a sample of that instead haha.

This one is hands-down better than the 2006 vintage. Not sure how much of the difference is due to storage parameters. Pleasant tea to drink, although I cannot discern much flavor no matter how hard I try. Mouthfeel is neither watery nor full. No bitterness with low astringency. 10+ infusions. Like its predecessor, this tea is also heady, with cha qi kicking in at infusion 7-8.

I find it hard to fathom that the 2010 vintage is superior enough to this tea to warrant caking it. Perhaps I’m wrong, however, and the vintage really does matter that much. Or maybe I just don’t enjoy the cha qi experience as much as others?

Flavors: Astringent, Spices, Vegetal, Wet Earth

3 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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Thanks to Mort for the sample! I can’t find KTM description anymore, but assuming this is it since this is the only XG GFZ tuocha I see online.

5.3g, 90mL gaiwan, boiling Brita filtered tap. Quick rinse.

Nice texture and aftertaste on the initial 3-ish steeps. The smoke in wet leaf in the rinse and initial steep reminded me of BBQ smoke, and that carries a bit into the initial couple steeps but disappears after. There was a slight medicinal bitterness, aged sheng berry tastes, mint and mushroom (but both more clean and enjoyable than say, YQH style) to some later steeps. The kill steeps got pretty bitter but enjoyed it overall. Good spot for mid-aged sheng, and room to develop but still somewhat rough from the bitterness at the end.

Wet leaf:

Will try to include more wet leaf pictures when I can. Forgot I could do this lol. Also usually end up thermos’ing teas and after that most don’t look the same after with the amount of heat the Zoji retains. It’s also really hard to get the color tone correct. Maybe hard to tell from pic but it does look like the leaves were older (as advertised to be an aged maocha pressing) and not 2017.

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100 mL gaiwan, 5.8g, 212f Brita filtered tap
5s rinse

dry leaves: not much scent

wet leaves: smoky, roast, dried fruits

5s: very light, slightly medicinal woody and leaves a lightly sweet aftertaste

15s: hint of bitterness. more medicinal and woody.

later infusions gain a citrus note.

Not sure why I didn’t make more detailed notes on this one, but seems like it was also during midterms season. Oh well.

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Dry leaf aroma: metallic, peach, baby powder, floral blossoms

Steamed leaf aroma: baby powder, stone fruit, floral blossoms

Tea tasting notes: medium thick mouthfeel, olive oil, stone fruit, bouquet of flowers

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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Brewed this gong fu style. I have to say I really enjoyed this one. It was very floral and fruity, and with notes of raspberry on the nose. Smell of the tea is very refreshing, and bright. Not gonna leave a long review, just wanted to say a little about it since I think it deserves a few words!

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Raspberry

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 2 OZ / 50 ML

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Hello Steepster! It’s been a very long time.

I wanted to post a note on this tea because it’s bombdigity! It’s the best or one of the best classic “dian hong” style blacks I’ve had. As you open up the bag it smells like opening a box of cocoa or brownie mix. Like the aroma it tastes of cocoa but also malt and a bit of brown sugar/raisin. It’s not necessarily the most complex, just very very pleasing. Good for gongfu or larger pot brewing.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cocoa, Malt, Raisins, Toast

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

Welcome back! But please ignore the (hopefully temporary) glitches.


Thanks tea-sipper! Hopefully the glitchy-ness will improve!

Martin Bednář

Welcome back. Yep, you haven’t selected the best time to return, but it seems it works well again :)


Ooooooo, that sounds good! I need to check out King Tea Mall. The owner seems super nice.



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The fragrance comes out from GaiWan with steam,
attracts me so much,
when LongJing tea leaves encountered hot water.
Brightly yellowish tea leaves.
There is still some unique fragrance produced during killing green using relatively hot pan to completely stop the natural fermentation by enzyme included in tea leaf.
Some like roasted flavor.
85-90℃ is suitable temperature of water.
I opened the cap of teapot to let it cool down soon after boiled.
Gongfucha style may seem ridiculous for brewing green tea,
but I like it because it keeps tea leaves from coming into mouth when use traditional “one-stop” like tea cup.
Compare to Puerh tea, the astringency of LongJing is minor.
No bitterness at all except infused too heavily.
HuiGan comes from aftertaste is fresh like spring water from mountain. Very different from the sweetness comes from Puerh tea which is thicker and more viscous.
Salvation is satisfying and lingers long.
Fragrance from the dry leaf seems like disappeared during every infusion, even you sniff the tea liquid or cold tea cup deeply. But it comes back from deep throat during aftertaste.
Soothing mind feeling even in this hot and humid morning in Guangzhou.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 tsp 70 OZ / 2070 ML

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DaHongPao, WuYi YanCha also called Cliff Tea or Rock Tea.
Dry tea leaf:
Heavily Roasted.
Dark color with some reddish appearance.
Charcoal like flavor from dry tea leaf.
Floral mixed with caramel aroma.
Tea liquid:
At first 1-3 infusions, the color is brownish yellow color, then it turns to golden color from then on.
Caramel like sweetness can be felt at the first sipping.
Mellower than lightly or medium roasted tea, also less irritation to stomach.
Mouth feelings varies along with infusions.
Soothing mind feeling.
Brewed tea leaf:
Greenish color appears more apparent during the end of session.
*Toad skin seems like on every leaf especially these with greenish color. Toad skin hears like unpleasant as description right now, but definitely it is always used to describe these tea leaves roasted better and well approves the skill and ability of the tea master who processes tea.
No bad quality tea leaf.
Brewing method:
4g tea leaf.
70ml GaiWan (full capacity of 120ml)
97 Celsius degrees to boiling water.
P.S Enjoyable and I am becoming understanding why someones like heavily roasted WuYi YanCha.

Flavors: Caramel

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 tsp 100 OZ / 2957 ML

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Pure GuShu tea sessions from left to right:
Left (3rd session):
BingDao (冰岛) LaoZhai (老寨) which means Old village of BingDao. 
Bitterness just appears in a blink during every sip. 
Astringency is very minor. 
Salivation comes firstly than HuiGan and alongside momentum.
Chinese word 舌底鸣泉(she di ming quan) describes Salivation springs up like a spring hided under tongue. 
Now I can find a place to use it without hesitation. 
Then HuiGan(sweetness from aftertaste) and Salivation comes in turn. 
ChaQi is the strongest during the 3 kinds of tea tasted this afternoon. The most obvious body feeling is smoother and broader breath and clearer head than before.
Middle (1st session):
DiJie (地界), another sub-village of BingDao village. 
The taste is very different to LaoZhai.
Soft, sleek silk like or even oil like tea liquid with roundness in mouth. 
Both bitterness and astringency are not so obvious near very minor. 
The most easy to be remembered character is candy sugar like sweetness emerges on the front and wide surface of tongue and stays very long. 
Also felt throat was widened and soothing feeling.
Right (2nd session)
BangDong (邦东), a place near XiGui(昔归), with around same altitude and along the river, so it gets another name BangDong JiangBian(邦东 江边). 
Very strong aroma emerges from dry tea leaves. Like FengHuang DanCong of YuLanXiang flavor. I still don’t know the reason and assume there maybe some similarities on minerals from soil or others? But also mixed with classical puerh tea flavor especially appears in LinCang area. 
The most impact or irritation to mouth during the 3 kinds of tea. 
Ever bitterness or astringency is strong but very different from tea of MengHai tea region. 
Also another character of Rock flavor called YanYun(岩韵) in Mandarin. This word is usually used to describe the unique flavor of WuYi YanCha directly translated as Rock Tea or Cliff Te a because this rock flavor. Take a look on the photos taken from BangDong JiangBing, very less grass and other brushes plants compared to luxuriant brushes in MengHai tea region in spring. Many places are naked soil and large or small rocks only. Is it the reason? Or other reasons, I still have no idea before having confidential evidences.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 tsp 150 OZ / 4436 ML

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