318 Tasting Notes


Got the samples from Tea from Taiwan today, and they were packed in nice little vacuum-sealed pouches. I decided to start with this one. Not sure about everyone else, but whenever I get something from a foreign country, I feel the need to keep the packaging. :) These cute little packages with Chinese writing are definitely getting saved.

Dry leaves: The leaves are fairly small for an oolong, most of them around the size of gunpowder green pellets, but some are larger. They have a nice pear-like scent

Brewing: The tea steeps a nice pale yellow color like dried daisies. The steeping leaves a peachy smell with a slight marine quality. The leaves expand nicely, and most are in good condition.

1st steep: The first steep of this tea has a surprisingly vegetal/brothy flavor, something I haven’t encountered in an oolong before. There is a nice, fresh pear taste mixed with the vegetal qualities of a Pi Lo Chun and the brew has a natural sugarcane sweetness. The flavor lingers on the top of the tongue.

2nd steep: The second steep continues on the themes of the first, but this time with reduced vegetal tastes replaced by a slight grassyness and cooked peach flavor.

3rd steep: The third steep show continued reduction of the vegetal qualities and increasing sweetness. There is a slight hint of vanilla bean.

4th steep: Even sweeter yet, the dominant flavors in this steep are those of peach and vanilla with a slight floral touch. The later steeps remained similar and gradually lost flavor.

It is lovely out (FINALLY feels like fall), I got some great teas in the mail, and the speakers outside the basketball arena (which are ALWAYS on) were playing New Fang by Them Crooked Vultures when I walked by. I think its safe to say that today is a good day.

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec

I know. It’s so nice out! (Except if you live up north – lol)

I sympathize with the fascination with foreign things. When I went to Japan I got so many things, especially with Engrish.

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I made this tea a few days back using 1 tsp of tea and slightly cooler water with pretty poor (gross) results.

I decided to try it again today and made it using about twice as much tea and near-boiling water, and the tea it made was better (drinkable), but not especially good.

Dry Leaves: The leaves twisted and deep brown in color. They have very nice, bold aroma of clove and charcoal.

Brewing: I first did a quick rinse steep, which released a powerful smell of clove and tobacco. I let the leaves sit for about a minute, but not much expansion occurred. In fact, they didn’t really open up until the second steep. The wet leaves vary from black to a deep military green and have a nice fruity scent. The tea brews a mellow orange color.

1st steep: The first steep has STRONG, musty tobacco and charcoal flavors with fall spice and a slight pluminess in the background.

2nd steep: The second steep was noticeably grassier and considerably more pleasant than the first steep. The charcoal and tobacco flavors had died down, and there were slight cantaloupe and cocoa notes.

3rd+4th: The third and fourth steeps were mellower and by far the most enjoyable. The predominant flavors were of clove and grass, and were slightly chocolaty with a lemon sweetness. I tried making a fifth steep, but it came out weak and tasteless.

Overall this was meh. I feel like my tasting note makes it sound a little better than it actually was.

Reminds me of: Clove cigarettes, dirty cars, my uncle Mike

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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Yay, I found a good use for this tea!

On its own, its just too vegetal for me, and I’ve barely touched it since I bought it. It has STRONG artichoke, spinach, and marine flavors. But being a pretty strong green, I decided to make some chai with it, and it turned out quite nice! I used my normal chai ingredients minus the fenugreek and coriander, plus some lime juice, fresh basil, and some dried red chili.

I think this will be my official green for messing around with mixing possibilities, as it stands up fine to other flavors.

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Nooooooooooo! I wrote out a nice, really long tasting note, and ended up with the “oops” screen the first time… ugh. :P

This is a nice light oxidation oolong at a pretty affordable price. I brewed it gong fu style and got nine steeps out of it. My oolong notes tend to be pretty long, so brace yourselves!

Dry leaves: The dry leaves are tightly folded and have a more linear shape than ti guan yin. The smell is nice and roasty.

Brewing: This tea brews up to a nice, light golden color. It has a strong honey aroma that evolves over the steeping process. The smell begins like fresh trimmed bushes, develops a more floral note, and slowly fades to warm honey.

1st: The first steep was very fresh and grassy with notes of nutmeg and lemongrass. It has a strong natural sweetness and moderate astringency.

2nd and 3rd: During the second and third steeps, the grassyness and astringency mellowed and were replaced by the warm, floral flavor of honeysuckle.

4th and 5th: In the fourth and fifth steeps, the former flavors were joined by fruity black currant notes. The flavor continued to grow smoother.

6th to 8th: Over the sixth, seventh, and eight steeps, the flavors continued to mellow and the honey flavor was greatly increased. The flavor was milky smooth.

9th: On the ninth steep, the flavors and smoothness began to fade, so this was the last, though it probably could have gone one more. Honestly, at this point I’d had more than my fix of tea. haha :)

This was a nice, grassy oolong that felt to me like a cross between ti guan yin, milk oolong, and a Japanese green. Once unfolded, the leaves were very large, some up to three inches. I definitely plan on ordering some of this when the sample runs out :)

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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Thanks Nature’s Tea Leaf!
The samples came today in a nicely packed box. They look and smell wonderful, and there’s a whole ounce of each! This is my first Fuijan black, so take my review with a pinch of salt. :)

Dry leaves: Opening the pouch, there is a bold aroma of pepper and clove with a melon coolness. The leaves are longer than those of most blacks, and are jet black in color with a few golden tips.

Steeping: This tea brews up to a nice warm brown color. The leaves expand and unfurl to a smooth muddy, melted chocolate brown.

Tasting: This is a nice, bold black tea. It’s pleasantly bitter with a woody, peppery body and notes of cocoa, clove, and citrus.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Holy leaf expansion, Batman!

Saved just a bit of this for the christening of my gaiwan. I was thinking maybe I hadn’t saved enough, but as it turns out, the leaves expanded to fill the entire cup.

I lost track of how many steeps it made around seven. I don’t have much to add to my previous tasting note, but this is an amazing quality oolong! :)

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Drank the last of my samples from the wonderful Mr. Mopar today. I think raw pu’erh isn’t really my thing. This tea was good but didn’t get me excited to keep drinking it. This tea made a gold-yellow brew with citrus and grape skin flavors that reminded me of a Darjeeling tea.

This had some very large leaves in it, one of them really massive! I felt I had to take a picture of it (with my junky phone camera) which kind of looks like I used instagram filters or something, but that’s just how the pictures on my phone come out haha I drew in the rest, since this this monster of a leaf was only part of it, and the picture quality is pretty bad.


My phone had Instagram before it was cool! lol :P


guess you are a shu pu lover too. i can’t do much of the sheng yet.


I like your instagram! I’m with you. Lovin Shu! Here I go…
There was an old lady who lived in a SHU! She had so much Puerh she didn’t know what to DO! (naw that last part is mrmopar not me)


bonnie you are great and crazy! thats why we love you because you are almost as crazy as me!!!


Haha, love you guys


I just noticed that you want to be a VET. Well, guess where there’s an AWESOME vet school (I mean really awesome), right down the street at Colorado State University! The Horse Research Facility is a block from my house, there are vet students EVERYWHERE! Cool place to be. Hope you consider this school and the tea scene is good too. (Love this town!)


I’ve heard CSU is a good school, I’d definitely love to go there! Sounds like a great place to be. It’d be nice to have a place like Happy Lucky’s to stop by and get some tea :)

I’m kinda doing some soul searching right now; I’ve always thought I wanted to be a doctor/vet, but but lately I’ve been more and more discouraged by the competitiveness of even getting into vet school… I’ve also always loved music, but been afraid to go into it as a career, and I’ve developed a minor obsession with history… I guess I’ve realized that theres risk and hardship no matter what I end up doing, which kind of scares me. So for now I’m just trying to do my best and figure out where I want to go in life :)


Things do/will change. I was a PE major, then Special Ed. I went to Computer school and was a Systems Analyst, I ran a Call Center for Business Telecom (Apple, HP, Stanford etc.), worked at a Winery, Coached High School Track, was a ComputerTtech off and on. Programmed Central Office Telecom Switches. Point being, in a lifetime, you never know what you’ll end up doing. In my 30+ years I’ve had many adventures. I began in my teens working with disadvantaged children, then after High School I was active in the Civil Rights Movement of the 60’s-70’s.
I put myself through College. No one ever paid my way with loans or any kind of help.
Whatever you choose to study will be of value even if you change course many times. This is where you make your best guess, try to do what you love and take that leap of faith.

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Sipping my first brew from my first pu’erh cake. No classes this afternoon, so I’m settling down with a good book and a kettle of water on the stove :)

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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Tea addict since around 2011.

My favorites are pu’erhs, blacks/reds, and roasted oolongs, but I have a growing interest in good whites, and sometimes enjoy greens.

Currently trying to get an education, working a part time job, expand my ceramics/pottery skills, and trying to make the best of existential crisis.

Other than tea I love the outdoors, ceramics, guitar, and diy/building things.

I started a tea blog in February 2018, though admittedly I haven’t updated it much lately.

When I give a tea a numerical rating it’s simply meant to reflect a balance of how well I enjoyed the tea and how it compares to others of the same style. I don’t follow any universal rating criteria, and my ratings are mainly meant for my own use, to remember what I though of a tea and if I want to repurchase.


Clearwater, FL



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