101 Tasting Notes

If someone was to ask me about how I felt about having silver foil in my tea before I had this I might have said something negative. But somehow having the silver flakes in the bottom of the cup invokes all the half remembered narnia magic of mirrors and pools of water. Do yourself a favor and don’t pour this through a fine meshed strainer.

Evol Ving Ness

This one sounds totally fun.

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I saw this tea repeatedly during the summer and ignored it going on sale more than once. I didn’t realize it at the time but since I started drinking loose leaf I had completely stopped drinking any sort of ‘breakfast’ teas other than a heavy dose of CTC in my chai mix. All those finely cut leaves just screamed low quality, and when I tried this tea during a sample day my suspicions that ‘taste test winner’ or no this was still a tea not fit to be drunk without sugar or milk were confirmed. So I continued to ignore it until after drinking through a bunch of chocolate malty Chinese blacks from yunnan sourcing made me start craving something brought and bold in the morning. I picked this up on a whim after that and ended up quite enjoying it. it had a number of small golden tipped pieces and brew up a beautiful clear ruby brown color. It does taste indeed a lot like the English breakfast tea bags I remember but clearer if that makes any sense. It certainly does not need any milk or sugar although it does have to be brewed with care to prevent the bitterness from getting out of hand much like what must have happened to that sad sample I tried.

TL;DR Good bold bright breakfast tea, no milk or sugar required.


Love the name.

Gooseberry Spoon

@Nicole It is fun to order

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Moroccan mint is one of the first loose leaf teas I started drinking and one I’ve continued to buy semi-regularly. I picked this up along with some nilgiri to ice on an unseasonably warm day and was satisfied that the mint is nice and zingy. Nothing is worse than the dead mint flavor of bulk bin mint tea. I can’t say I’ve ever had a version of this that ever wowed me, but this seems nice and solid if perhaps a bit heavy on the mint. The gunpowder tea does have a tendency to settle out so perhaps I got the top of the bin (or perhaps I’m not mixing my bag enough). Anyway this is nice, reasonably priced, and great iced.

Flavors: Mint

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Dragon ball from 2017 sheng Olympiad.

Should have started this on a free weekend since it steeped out forever and I had to refrigerate it a few times. I think maybe half a tea ball would have been a better amount for me if it were possible to split tea balls. Brewed this on a 200ml gaiwan with just under boiling water for the first steeps then a thermos of very hot water for most of the sessions. I found this to be very floral with a lot of lingering aroma in the back of the mouth. There was almost no bitterness, which I actually would have liked more of. A few times it verged on being sweet but that faded rather quickly. As I said it seems like this steeped out forever with long 20-30 minute steeps at the end.


So good to grandpa style at work when you run out of time? Or no, due to the nature that it’ll leave you tea drunk?

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Out of my last YS order this was definately the immediate stand out as I could smell it opening up the box. I smelled apricots, and I could not believe it was coming from this and not a sheng sample. I’ve brewed it gong fu style and was unimpressed. It did tease out that lovely fruity aroma, but I find most black teas more enjoyable western style.

I brewed this at work today in a travel infuser. The leaves were more tightly compressed than I thought and I ended up with half the infuser filled with leaf by the time everything unfurled. I steeped it multiple times over the day with the leaves staying in the infuser the entire time. After all that punishiment I could not be more pleased with this tea. It was strong, rich, and flavorful with just enough of a tannic flavor to keep it interesting, but it never got too dry or bitter. Lighter steeps have that lovely fruity aftertaste. Almost my entire YS order was devoted to tea I could abuse like this at work and this so far is the only thing that has far exceeded my expectations.

Now if only it came in 200g cakes.

Flavors: Apricot

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Cold brew: I’ve been sick so my sense of taste isn’t all there. This was super refreshing cold brewed though. A cooling Citrus zestyness comes out after you take a sip. Pretty good for my poor throat.

Flavors: Citrus Zest, Grapefruit

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Bought a sample of this in my last order since I really like the Chesnut tea and thought this would be similar. It smelled and tasted to me exactly like peanut m&ms. There’s definately a Nutella-ness to it as well. This is much more of a “dessert” tea to my tastes than the Chesnut. I tried a second steep with (probably too much) whole milk and honey, but I think I overwhelmed it a bit. Seemed good.

Dessert teas aren’t my thing so I don’t think I would buy this again, but if you are into seasonally themed desert teas and want something nicer tasting than hazelnut creamer I can see how this would be good.

Flavors: Chocolate, Hazelnut, Peanut, Vanilla

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I’m really enjoying the sample I got of this. Floral and silky, resteeps really well. Doesn’t seem to be too finicky about brewing parameters. Just good :)

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From puerh plus TTB:

3g in a small gaiwan multiple steeps at boiling water. Finally getting back to these Puerh samples. This was pleasant with only a mild briney fermentation flavor and sweet fruity later steeps. No cassia though, which is a shame since that’s what made me pick this up in the first place. I think I might try adding some cassia cinnamon to my next batch of everyday shou to see what it would be like.

This tea made me a bit uncomfortably warm even with only drinking a 3g sample and not being able to steep it out completely before bed.


are they all twigs? or leaves too?

Gooseberry Spoon

It was mostly leaves which makes me wonder if the “twigs” weren’t actually included in the tea but stored with it? I have no idea to be honest.

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I’ve been drinking this at work so with an eyeballed amount in a Libre tea infuser being steeped multiple times with random water temps. It’s been holding up to this abuse pretty well. There’s just a slight amount of astringency that comes out, enough to keep it interesting but it has yet to become overwhelming. It’s full flavored and still manages to be so three or four steeps in, surprising for the smaller leaves. Tastes like a light Darjeeling crossed with a higher oxidized oolong. Fruity, hay, and a bit of toasty goodness.

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Likes: Jasmin, citrus, blackcurrants, Japanese greens

Dislikes: Chamomile, lotus, “dessert” teas

Curious: pu erh, chocolate, US tea

Drinking habits: No milk or sugar unless masala chai. At least one hot cup a day and two iced.


90-99: Fantastic, unique, and I’ll have to keep restocking FOREVER
80-89: Excellent! Will buy when I have room and can afford it.
70-79: Great tea, A solid tea. Will keep around.
60-69: Good tea, would buy again on sale.
50-59: Average tea will drink what I have left but wouldn’t go out of my way to look for it.
40-49: Meh, would drink up if given some
30-39: Kinda sad, would put up with it.
20-29: not good might finish the cup. Would drink if there is no other choice.
10-19 Bad. Do not want. Can I just get a cup of hot water instead?
0-9: Horrible, would spit it out and dump out the cup.


Midwest US



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