52 Tasting Notes


Beautiful smoked black tea from Fujian Provence. A very different tea experience, but one well worth having and often. The pine smoke aroma brings you to a campfire which seems naturally paired with the mildly astringent cooked squash notes of the black tea. Traditionally served with milk, but I rarely do that as its just great on its own.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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As Jasmine teas go, this is about as simpl and elegant as it gets. Delicate floral perfume of jasmine wraps around a lovely Jinagxi green tea. Great chartreuse color and a balanced flavor and aroma greatly represent how jasmine tea can be elevated into something special.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 6 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Solid every day black tea blend, which brings together Chinese and Indian black teas in a mellow, exotic and lightly smokey cup. This is a tea that can be over-extracted purposely to intensify the flavor and can be an ideal tea to drink with the traditional addition of milk. This is perfect for when you are having someone over for tea and don’t feel like wasting your single garden 1st and 2nd flush SFTGFOP1 teas!!

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 7 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Color: very light chartreuse, leaning more towards golden-yellow, whitening slightly towards edges.
Aroma: Slightly roasted, hidden notes of squash on the brewed leaves is very subtle in the cup and instead holds a classic subtle sweet nose with hints of the roasted leaf scent.
Taste: Vegetal/green and light, mimicking the aromatics. Sweetness and coating softness linger on the finish which lasts for minutes and eventually creates a very mild astringency on the pallet that goes almost unnoticed if not looking for its effects.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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Color: A brilliant, seemingly impossible chartreuse. One of the prettiest green teas I have seen. Seems to almost have a luminescence to it… I considered turning off the light to see if I could see it… but thats crazy, right? The brewed leaves hold a brilliant green color, closer to fresh leaves than most.
Aroma: Fresh and vegetal with classic hints of cut sweet grass, seaweed and honeydew mellon.
Taste: Mimicking many, if not all of the flavors on the nose, the pallet is light and yet has a mysterious richness that lingers unlike a common green tea or even a noteworthy one. In addition to the classic sweet grass clippings, honeydew melon and seaweed a touch of fresh hay and a very illusive but clear note of sweet potato sends this green tea over the top. Wonderful sweetness that gives way to a ridiculously long finish with a very mild and extremely pleasing astringency that haunts you for an uncommon amount of time. This is truly an imperial drink.
Mental/Physical effects: Slightly heady, clear and focused and relaxed after 8oz… after 16oz this increased and by 32oz (16 on 2nd infusion) Cha zui had crept in.
Notes: Produced by hand in the Aichi Prefecture… one of the finest green teas I have ever had. 2nd infusion was quite good, slightly softer but still amazingly present.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 7 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Aroma: mild astringency (similar to fall leaves) buttery nut or chestnut and light flowers (not perfumey at all). Taste:  Clear and light, taking on similar characteristics as the aroma but with the loss of almost any astringency and the light added sweetness of honey notes.  Finish is very soft with a light touch of dry astringent tannin rounding out a round medium+ body palette.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Ti Kuan Yin by TeaGschwendner
52 tasting notes

A go-to Chinese Oolong from Min-Nan region, south of Min River in Fujian Province.
Aroma: very mild astringency, chestnut, winter squash and light fruit (apricot) and floral notes.
Taste: very smooth, floral, light fruit (apricot), hints of the chestnut from the aroma and light almond notes.
A pleasant Oolong, that is actually quite different from others I have had, yet has a character all its own worth exploring.
Notes: “Kuan Yin” means Goddess of Mercy. Wild grown Anxi or “monkey picked” is reference to the difficult to reach places that these traditional style Tieguanyin tea bushes flourish. The semiball rolled style leaf gradually opens revealing the full leaf and a little connecting stem show the great skill in bruising, rattling phase of production. The leaves have distinct deep crimson edges and a deep grey-green color after multiple steeps.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec 7 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Color: Yellowish bright green (Chartreuse, leaning more towards yellow). Aroma: Very light, grassy with light vegetal qualities. Taste: Flavors which cary over from the aroma, sweet grass and vegetation with a background of honeydew melon . A rich creamy mouthfeel, finishing with a very long lasting (over 15 minutes) sweetness and wonderful medium+ / high- astringency that is almost mildly numbing. A brief 2nd steep offered a very light taste and a loss of some of the astringency that was enjoyable, but not nearly as focused as the first steep. Mental/Physical Effects: Very clearing and focused, with a very warming pulsing and relaxing alertness with clear Cha Zui after 12oz+. In a word, this tea makes you ‘high’ in an almost drug-like way. This effect is muted highly in 2nd steep. Notes: Following the 3g / 8oz / 2:00 method created a very mild cup… almost watery. This is because of the “shaded” style and it is supposed to be this light, or if possible the tea is a little older and has lost some of its punch. The color was also leaning more towards yellow than green and this may also be due to age. To correct this, I allowed the tea to steep a little longer and this seemed to bring out more aroma and taste… however, it pushed the astringency levels higher, so I only used my first and second 4oz cup as a measure for my tasting notes.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 6 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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A great black tea from Assam. Taste:  Squash, tobacco, burnt caramel with medium+ to high tannin  content.  Very dry astringent finish which lingers with an aftertaste (15+ minutes) that clearly exaggerates the raisiny aspect of the tobacco notes. Physical/Mental Effects:  alertness, but not an overwhelming caffeine flush.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Color: light+ maple with hints of reddish amber and touches of green in denser areas.   With longer steeping the color can reach chocolate to coffee.
Aroma: Wet earth with hints of zoo animal/horse-barn, subtle sweetness and a background of malt and old paper.
Taste: Classic, yet mild, sweet moist top soil and very mild notes of barnyard, malt and leather.  Soft+ mouthfeel, light tannins and I nice lingering finish with lasting mild astringency and throat sweetness reminiscent of older tea trees.
Physical/Mental Effects: Mild but clearing head and internal energy with relaxed muscles.  This intensified during the 3rd 4oz cup and continued in strength with each following cup.  Into 2nd 16oz steep a clear Cha Zui is present with focus yet wandering mental effects.
Notes:  1 nest per 16oz water and a 3:30 steep…  color notes are based on the very first cup.  The color, astringency and overall strength increased (as expected) as the tea sat in the water.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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A Food and Beverage professional for over 15 years in Chicago Illinois and professional musician. Studying tea, along with wine, beer, spirits and food has been a lifetime passion.
Aside from my service profession I am a private music teacher and music director for multiple music ensembles including The Chicago Zither Orchestra.
Pastimes include composing instrumental music, collecting and listening to historical and rare classical music recordings, gourmet cooking and enjoying the sport of baseball.

Tea: I am really into a wide variety of teas. I tend to avoid flavored teas but will try herbal teas. If I had to list favorites I am a fan of Japanese shaded green teas, Darjeeling 1st flushes, Assam 2nd flushes, Pu-erh (sheng and shou), Oolongs and delicate refined whites. I really do not have a favorite tea, just as I do not have a favorite food, wine, artist or composer… as there are just far too many enjoyable variables and differences that can be “my favorite” depending on the context.

Feel free to private message me about whatever.


Chicago, Illinois



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