521 Tasting Notes


This the 2017 Harvest.

This is a refreshing and subtle tea. The leaves are light, thin, and vibrantly green. I can pick up a deep umami scent along with sweet nectar, lilac, lily, okra, butter, and a nutty background with a light scent of unripe tree fruit. This is a complex and wonderful aroma with many layers. I grabbed my tetsubin and began steeping. The steeped leaves are just as vibrant as they are when dry and they emit a fresh green tea scent alike high quality longjing. The liquor is pale jade and thick with a first taste of fresh greens and the image of spring. The oily brew is alike a bud heavy green tea taste as well as a the silkiness of Anji Bai Cha. The finish is sweet with a soft bitterness of notes of green bean and a light sunflower finish. The tea bears a hefty price tag, but it is quite a treat. The drink is refreshing and nourishing with a “happy body” feeling. I sipped this outside on my porch during a surprisingly warm day. The brew was wonderful and put me in a laid back mood fitting for music, books, and conversation. I really enjoyed this, and I am glad that I was able to brew some up.


Flavors: Butter, Flowers, Green, Green Beans, Nectar, Nuts, Sweet, Umami

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec 10 g 24 OZ / 709 ML

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This was an odd one.

The leaves are lightly red and tightly rolled with an odd roast tone. I can pick some starch-y cloth scents (linen?) with heavy dark fruit notes. I warmed up my shibo, and I placed what I had inside. The smell is an exact copy for run-of-the-mill hongcha. Malt. Roast. Nutty. Dark. I washed the leaves once and prepped for brewing. The taste is comparable to Bang Dong from White2Tea. The tea has some roasted tones with a bit of sweet fruit and malt. The aftertaste is nice with a succulent red fruitiness covering my throat. The tea is interesting and smooth. This isn’t something that I would seek, but it was a decent tea. It was fun to drink Vietnamese oolong.


Flavors: Fruity, Malt, Red Fruits, Roasted, Smooth, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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I had a bunch of this for some reason, so I decided to brew some up and see why.

The leaves are light, large, and smell of dried flowers with grassy high tones. I placed a fair amount in my kyusu and brewed away. The taste is very sweet but thin. I get the prominent green bean note along with some light florals. This was a nice tea, and it was easy to relax with; however, the brew is much to thin.


Flavors: Floral, Grass, Green, Green Beans, Sweet

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 45 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I’ve never had tea from Columbia before, so this was a first!

The leaves are darkened and slightly twisted with a bean-y aroma along with some slight grass, and a minor floral. This was a rough smelling tea. I grabbed my kyusu and filled it up. The taste was different. The brew was very light and grassy with a slight sweetness. Later sipping, I could note some mineral. This was a strong or complex tea, but it was decent it smooth. The drink was light and would make a nice lazy easy drinker that requires little attention.


Flavors: Beany, Grass, Mineral, Smooth, Sweet

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 45 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This tea was surprisingly nice. The leaves are frail with sweet roasted scents of caramel, roasted fruits, plum, and tobacco. I grabbed my wee lil jianshui and warmed it up. The sauna’d leaves give off distinct roasted oats, dark wood, and a burnt sugar aroma. I was really diggin this tea. I washed the leaves once and began my steepin. The taste was of sweet nectar with some mild roast underneath. The base was heavy brown sugar and a yielded a nice oily aftertaste. Also, I noted a hidden peach tone that peeped up later on. This was really good, and I liked this tea. The price is superb, and this makes a wonderful daily drinker.


Flavors: Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Dark Wood, Nectar, Oats, Peach, Plum, Roasted, Sweet, Tobacco

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 2 OZ / 70 ML

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I got a few chunks of this, so cranked the puscifer, grabbed a pot, and began a boil.

The leaves are moderately compressed with strong scents of hap, white grape,and sweet but heavy wood. I let this boil until a deep ruby colored liquor (pictured below), and then I let it cool for a few minutes. The brew was medicinal with sweet but very rough body. The aroma was fantastic! My home was filled with the scent of sweet candied dates. The brew carried a nice plum and date taste with phenomenal qi. The brew gave a rush through my head and made me feel lopsided. The later sipping I could hint at some burnt sugar; this was a very interesting experience. I used about 11g and maybe 1L or so on the stove-top. It was a lot of fun, and I was pretty drunk by the end.



Flavors: Bitter, Burnt Sugar, Dark Wood, Dates, Hay, Medicinal, Plum, Sugar, Sweet, White Grapes

Boiling 8 min or more 11 g 34 OZ / 1000 ML

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I drank this during an oolong binge.

The leaves are tightly rolled with smooth dark grass notes, kale, spinach, and some floral (chrysanthemum?) . I warmed my teapot and placed what I had inside. The warmed leaf gives off some odd roasted tones along with stir fried veggies. I washed the leaves twice and began my steeping. The brew brings some strong bean notes of the palette along with a slight astringent grass note. The brew is bit drying but it has some agave sweetness that lingers in the back of the throat. A minor floral note peaks through (pompoms?), and the brew continues with wet grass, dry, and agave. This was a okay daily drinker for me.


Flavors: Beany, Bitter, Floral, Kale, Spinach, Sweet

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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I really hate when there are multiple “teas” for the same teas, for I get confused on where I should post…

I grabbed this tea from my sample sack and got to brewing. The leaves are loosely threaded with a sweet menthol lick scent along with some wood, roast, and an odd sesame scent. I warmed my pot and placed a bit inside. The scent moves up into roasted veggies with some tandly light green wood. I washed the leaves once and prepared for drinking. The tea has the iconic odd “pencil shavings” taste which translates to a sweet dry wood. I can not some faint honey tones later one, but the brew does grow bitter. An intense green wood note (paloverde?) comes through with the pencil shaving building up. The pencil-y wood note was very direct and easily spotted. The tea is decent, and it makes fair travel tea, but it’s nothing I would keep as a staple. The qi is good though with a clear head feeling and nice energy.


Flavors: Bitter, Green Wood, Honey, Menthol, Sweet, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

Farmerleaf is intriguing to me. I like the small, family production aspect to it, but was wondering about the quality. Thanks for the review.


Anytime! :) So far, this company’s teas have been fair priced and mid quality. They make great tea for traveling and no fuss sessions, for Jingmai is sweet and easy to brew with little attention needed. I’ve liked them, but they haven’t really been anything more than just “something to drink”.

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This is the 2017 harvest.

I am very excited for this year’s spring teas, for I have a hunch that this will be much better than 2016. This will be my first tea of the spring teas, and this will be a first from this company as well. I usually get my Darjeeling from a few other places, but I have been hearing good things about Vahdam.

I am a huge fan of Upper Namring estate. Their teas are always crisp and refreshing with good fruity sweetness and a short bite. These leaves were small and slightly curled with fresh scents of flowers and sweet tree fruits. I take another inhale to bring about brown sugar and honey butter undertones. I grabbed my tetsubin and scooped in what I had. The brew is sweet and rich. A base of pine notes brings unripe mangoes to the palette. The tea finishes with a light bite that cleanses the palette and sweet succulent aftertaste. The liquor is aromatic with heavy honey roasted almonds and sugar crusted papaya. The taste continues to be smooth and rich with a great complexity of heavier molasses/brown sugar maple tones and higher softer florals/fresh white flesh fruit. This was a great Darjeeling, and a wonderful start to a joyous season!


Flavors: Biting, Brown Sugar, Floral, Fruity, Mango, Nuts, Sugar

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 10 g 24 OZ / 709 ML

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Back to some puerh!
I have been searching for a decently aged sheng (besides 90HK) for “daily” consumption, and I have yet to find one that is both easy drinking and affordable; this may be an endless journey.
The leaf is heavily compressed and dark with very faint scents of earth and dry wood. I grabbed my zini and warmed her up and then put old lumps inside. The scents open up into some strong earthiness and slightly sweet with oak and cherry. The aromas are mild and this was definitely stored on the dry side. I washed the leaves once and prepped for brewing. The brew is dry with a heavy bitterness. I can grab at lots of cedar notes with a slight sweetness towards the back of the throat. I couldn’t much of any huigan, except for some slight dried plum notes that wandered to the back. The brew gave me quite a bit of tongue numbing. The qi is moderate and approaches soon with a good head buzz. However, the tea does not go down easily. The brew tends to leave an acrid taste on my tongue. I continue to brew and the soup still almost crosses over the line to the sweet territory, but it is stagnate above staying in its home land of wood, bitters, and dry. I finish the session with a nice qi in my head and some float-y feelings. The tea is fair. I peak inside my pot and do some digging, and I note that I spot a few green and yellow leaves; which is a bit odd for the vintage; however, this may due to the heavy compression. The tea is okay, but in relation to price and what my stomach needs, this is not what I am looking for.


Flavors: Bitter, Dark Wood, Drying, Earth, Oak, Plum, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 50 OZ / 1478 ML

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Young and experienced Tea consumer. I’m continuously learning and developing knowledge about tea. If I have learned anything at all from the world of tea it is that I do not know anything about the world of tea. I enjoy good tea, and I try to acquire the best of the best. I usually brew gongfu but I’ve been known from time to time to resort back to western brewing.

I have an Instagram (haveteawilltravel), and I am proud of my photographs. I use my pictures in my reviews,and I hope that they aid in portraying the beauty of tea and teaware.


Tea Rating System:
I rate my teas based on the category they fall into (Puer, Red, Oolong, Darjeeing, Flushes, Yancha… etc.)
This means that I will rate a Oolong based on how it stands up as a quality Oolong. I try not to compare teas, rather I work to evaluate them on their craftsmanship, harvest, processing, and qi.

I am most strict with Shou and Sheng Puerh, only because of the vast expanse of various experiences, such as; region, vintage, production, processing, etc.


Middle of nowhere, New York

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