149 Tasting Notes


Backlog from last night. Or was it two nights ago? I don’t remember.

Anyway, I got this as a sample from TeaVivre ages ago and have finally gotten around to trying it out. Thanks, Angel and Teavivre!

This is going to be a short note since I didn’t write anything down whichever night I had this.

Smoky, but less so than some other lapsang souchongs I’ve had. Most of the smokiness seems to be in the smell. Smooth, malty, with a bit of sweetness that becomes more pronounced as it cools. Very enjoyable with the fall weather!

Thanks again, Angel and Teavivre!

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Had a sample of this from a while ago, finally got around to trying it out. Magical. Simply magical. I’m going to have to save the coherency for another time… this is simply stunning.


I still have several oz left. It’s magical all right! No way to explain this tea…You just have to experience it for yourself. Time for me to drink a little…it’s been awhile.

Terri HarpLady

I love it. I’ve been hoarding it for a year, lol. I’ll be hoarding it for longer, having an occasional session to remind myself of it’s awesomeness.


It’s available again on Verdant under the reserve tab at $19.95 an ounce (well worth it) and going fast. You can get up to 30 steeps from one session (not to mention the physical/ethereal effects). Certainly, as David Duckler told me once, this is a mystical tea…one to share with friends.

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drank Qing Pin Black Tea by Yezi Tea
149 tasting notes

Took a short break from the oolongs and thought I might as well try out the last Yezi Tea sample I have.

First off, I want to say that the dry leaf aroma is just enchanting. Like toasted chocolate. Kind of reminds me of Laoshan Black, the last time I had it (which was a while ago).

While the description says smoky, I don’t detect any of that in here. Just sweet, chocolatey, toasted goodness. The sweetness is sort of fruity, but I can’t quite place what fruit it is. It leaves a ‘clean’, yet ‘empty’ feeling in my mouth, if that makes any sense. No particularly strong aftertaste or complex finish, no dryness or bitterness, either. It just feels… blank. Like a sentence missing the period at the end. Hm. I’ll keep steeping this (gongfu style) for a little while and see what comes of it.

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drank Jin Xuan Oolong Tea by Yezi Tea
149 tasting notes

Another sample from Yezi Tea— thanks!

Thought I’d follow up the last tea (an oolong) with another oolong, so I can hopefully more easily detect the differences.

Quick notes:
Mellow, sweet, creamy. Very lightly floral, with a soft vegetal note.

Will update as I continue steeping.

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drank Li Shan Oolong Tea by Yezi Tea
149 tasting notes

Thanks to Yezi Tea for the sample!

While I really enjoy oolongs, I admittedly don’t have very much experience with them, especially the greener ones. I’ve basically only had a few milk oolongs, a couple tieguanyins, and several roasted oolongs mostly from the Wuyi region. Yezi Tea is currently doing a promotion where you can get three free samples of their teas and only pay a few dollars in shipping. I got two oolongs and a black tea, in the hopes of being able to learn to differentiate the oolongs. They also add an additional sample to orders (mine was another oolong which I believe I’ve already reviewed in brief).

Anyway, on to the tea. I’ve steeped this 5g sample four times so far and have enjoyed each steep. I wasn’t able to take notes for each specific steep, unfortunately, so I’ll just write my overall impression.

Very floral (orchid, specifically), but not overpoweringly so. Sweet, honeylike taste. Lightly grassy aftertaste. No astringency or bitterness. Smooth. Makes me think of spring meadows with wildflowers everywhere (minus the allergies!). It does taste different from the last oolong I had (Dong Ding Winter Peak), but I can’t quite place it. I believe the texture is slightly different but I’m not sure. Still working on figuring out how to taste oolongs!

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Very after-rain-woods earthy, with a bit of sweetness. There’s barely enough left in my pouch for a proper steeping, sadly. While great, nothing particularly stands out about this. Still a comforting evening accompaniment.

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Huh, could’ve sworn I’d written a note about this, but Steepster may have eaten it. Didn’t keep a backup, so this’ll be a lot shorter than whatever I had originally.

First time drinking a sheng, I believe. Reminded me of yabao, which I really love. Crisp, bright, and sweet, with very slight astringency. Smooth, almost creamy. Very enjoyable!

(Sample sipdown!)

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drank Yu Lu Yan Cha Black by Verdant Tea
149 tasting notes

I discovered a sample of this as I was rummaging through my tea trunk looking for a tea to drink. Gosh, I have so much tea…

I have to say, I always find Verdant’s black teas to be delicious, and this is no different. It’s like chocolate and sweet potato drizzled with honey with a hint of something kind of fruity near the end. Mmmm.

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drank Sleeping Dragon by Adagio Teas
149 tasting notes

Picked up a sample of this a while back with my Adagio order to bump up to free shipping status.

Crisp, vegetal, hint of sweetness and a touch of smoke. Kind of reminiscent of the one gunpowder I had from Teavivre, but less smoky and a little sharper and fruitier. A nice and refreshing cup!

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I have far too many interests. Tea is one of them.

Background in bioethics, medical anthropology, and evolutionary biology with aspirations of eventually going into a medical field. I also have strong interests in theater, computer science, and food (which shouldn’t be particularly surprising).

Brewing method is usually Western style for black teas (2-3 minutes at near-boiling), “grandpa style” for shu pu’ers and longjing, and gongfu (with a gaiwan) short steeps for sheng and shu pu’ers (two 5-second rinses, then 5, 10, 15-second steeps with a gradual increase in steep times to taste). The gaiwan is also used for oolongs though I sometimes use a brew basket if the gaiwan is occupied and I’m taking a break from pu’er.

I enjoy black teas, pu’er, and oolongs (leaning towards aged, cliff/Wuyi, or roasted/dark), depending on my mood. I don’t usually drink green tea but do enjoy a cup every so often.

My rating methods have changed over time and as a result, they’re very inconsistent. For the most part, as of 11 November 2014, unless a tea is exceptional in some way (either good or bad), I will refrain from leaving a numerical rating.

The final iteration of my rating system before I stopped (note: I never did get around to re-calibrating most of my older notes):
99 & 100: I will go to almost any lengths to keep this stocked in my cupboard.
90-98: I’m willing to or already do frequently repurchase this when my stock runs low.
80-89: I enjoy this tea, and I may be inclined to get more of it once I run out.
70-79: While this is a good tea, I don’t plan on having it in constant supply in my tea stash.
50-69: This might still be a good tea, but I wouldn’t get it myself.
40-49: Just tolerable enough for me to finish the cup, but I don’t think I’ll be trying it again any time soon.
Below 40: Noping the heck out of this cup/pot.

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