Foruntay Tea (

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Recent Tasting Notes

I don’t know that I’ve ever done nine entire cups of tea in a day (would be up all night for more reasons than one, but that’s way TMI…sorry!) — but I’m going to, in small doses, see how this one lives up to its multi-steep claim. Steep #2 is as good and golden as the first, so we’re off…


I’m on 4 or 5, lost count, but did two in a row to fill up a bottle for chilling (literally in the fridge and figuratively in the back yard) and it’s only lost a tad of its strength.

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Happy Easter! This morning’s mental a.m. soundtrack was the muted trumpet quartet playing “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” to intro “Davey and Goliath” and Goliath’s laid-back bass, “Davey … Davey … wake up! It’s Easter morning!” And since I was reminded to wake up and rejoice (uh-oh, here comes another soundtrack … “You ask me how I KNOW He lives, He LI-VVVVVVVEEEEESSSSSS with-INN my HEARRRRRRT!”), I decided to do so over a cup of something special.

And perhaps it’s just my morning mindset, but when I opened the pouch—courtesy of—I smelled jelly beans! Well, maybe not, but a sweet/floral/candy thing was definitely going on. The leaves were huge.

Package description calls it an orange tea, but in my cup, it’s more of a peachy-golden. And wow! The flavor reminds me more of a really fine Darjeeling than an oolong—puckery with honeysuckle.

Allegedly, this will go for nine steeps. Looking forward to spending the rest of the day with it. May your day bring you joy.

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Thanks LiberTEAs!

This is a mighty fine Jasmine! I like the RINGS and LOVE that it’s an Oolong! At least that is what it says here on Steepster…I certainly wouldn’t have guessed that by looking at it! The Jasmine flavor is nice but not intense…I like that! This is a nice, solid Jasmine Flavor and a neat offering from ChineseTeaShop!


:O Those leaves are super pretty! I’m impressed.

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I attempted to visit the ChineseTea-Shop online, but it appears their website is down… maybe maintenance? I hope so…

Anyway, this is a nice jasmine. It has a bitter tone to it that hits just before mid-sip. Not a bad bitterness, though. This is definitely a sharper jasmine than some I’ve tried. The tea base is a very light tasting tea. Overall, it’s pleasant enough.


I noticed that as it cools the flavor becomes smoother – less bitterness, and the floral notes have almost a sweet, creamy taste.


does it show visible jasmine flowers?


@Kashyap – no. It’s all ringlets.


nice…thats usually a good sign of quality and craft..yum

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I’ve been looking so forward to this gongfu session, that I almost did it last night!
1st infusion – 15 sec
Medium golden hue with a deep cocoa aroma. Light sweetness, taste is mainly that of cocoa.
2nd infusion – 25 sec
Aroma is now very toasty with no apparent sweetness. This infusion is not very flavorful and has a bitter edge. I’m hoping the next infusion is better.
3rd infusion – 35 sec
Sweetness is thankfully back in the aroma and taste. The infusion is much lighter in color and flavor than the others so far. Clean and sweet.
4th infusion – 55 sec
This infusion has a very bready smell. Flavor is still sweet and very much of cocoa.
5th infusion – 1 min 15 sec
The tea is much lighter in color and doesn’t have much of a scent. It just tastes like a basic, naturally sweet black tea. Luckily, the leaves are barely unfurled so I might get something interesting soon.
6th infusion – 1min 45 sec
Light, sweet, slight hint of figs.
7th infusion – 2min 45 sec
Not much to say about this one. The leaves are still rolled, but perhaps this gongfu idea just doesn’t suit this tea. I’ll give one more infusion a try though.
8th infusion – 4 min
Okay, this tea is officially done providing me enjoyment. It was good while it lasted though!

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This is definitely a very interesting and different tea. The dry leaves are long, dark and twisted with scents of cocoa and dark fruit.

1st infusion – 4 min boiling water
The tea is a medium, translucent brown and the tea leaves are not yet unfurled. The taste is smooth and naturally very sweet with hints of raisins and figs. There is very little to no bitterness or astringency.

There are not many teas that make me say “wow”, but this is one of them. Delicious and the natural sweetness is addictive.

2nd infusion – 5+ minutes boiling water
Unfortunately, I lost track of time on this infusion. Thankfully, this tea is quite forgiving. The scent is more cocoa this time around and less fruit which carries through to the taste. There is a slight roasty flavor – all around a really great, easy drinking tea.

The beautiful leaves are still not quite unfurled so I may have another steep or two (either tonight or tomorrow). Really great stuff, this is.

I only used about half the sample, so I’m looking forward to a round of gongfu brewing soon!


I understand that this is supposed. To be the same tea as Ruby 18 and Black Ruby. If so, this is one of my favorites and is a most unusual tea. It is almost impossible for it to get bitter, and it tastes great steep after steep. I am planning to get some from Shui Tea since theirs was so much better than Southern Season’s.


It was definitely one of the most unusual and interesting teas that I’ve had in awhile.

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First off, thanks for a generous sample.

Dry leaves are fuzzy, look very gentle and smell a bit malty. Steeped you can get notes of nuttiness with a baked potato skin aroma. Leaves are very tiny and uniform.

Liquor is of bright light yellow-green color, cloudy and carries on the aroma of the leaves with ever slight smokiness.

Taste is slightly creamy, slightly bitter and nutty, a bit of each flavor from high mountain oolong and dragon well. Perhaps more roasty and a little bit smoky. All in all a great green tea, goes well on usual grey Sat morning.

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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Received this sample all the way from Singapore. Thank you Chinese Tea Shop! The dry tea leaves aren’t like any other green teas I’ve tried- and look precisely as in the picture depicted. The brewed leaves have a very grassy aroma, but the tea itself smells much sweeter and light. Taste was very smooth and delicate. Very mild, at least how I prepared it- which was only letting it steep for a minute. Have way too much tea in my cupboard right now, but will be ordering from Chinese Tea Shop in the future!

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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What an absolutely gorgeous black tea! Sweet and flavorful. Savory bitter tones, interesting fruit notes, sweet burnt-sugar caramel-y notes. Everything about this tea is making my palate swoon.

This is an excellent black tea!


This looks like a tea I bought at A Southern Season called Zhen Chuo Super China Black. Sounds like it tastes like it, too!

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

This is the same sample I requested but have yet to try it. I am excited you enjoyed it.


I forgot to mention in my note (but meant to) … this is (was?) my 1700 tasting note. :)


Rachel: I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this one. It’s so good. And it’s good for multiple infusions – the second infusion has more of a sweet/sour kind of taste, and a smoother approach. Really a delight to sip.

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

Congrats on 1700 I will try to sample it by Friday. Can’t wait to see if we taste the same things.


Oh! WOW! Would LOVE to try anything from these guys! :P


Congrats on 1700! :)

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I got this free sample from They sent it all the way from Singapore! Can you believe that? Anyway, I’m not sure what I was thinking when I chose the Jasmine tea for my sample as I don’t really like Jasmine teas. So, read this review with that in mind. For a Jasmine tea, this is really pretty good. I’m not sure whether it is a green, oolong, or a white, or whether Jasmine tea can be a tea without a base?? I used 3 g of tea in my tiny infuser cup (I think its somewhere between 4 and 6 oz). I may have used too muh tea for the size cup. It’s a little bitter, but I kind of like the bitter against the strong jasmine flavor. The tea leaves are beautiful curled uo leaves when unsteeped. If you like jasmine tea, you’ll love this.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

The tea base is probably green; although oolongs are also used, they don’t look like that. If you still have any (or if you encounter anything similar), I’d suggest trying 45 seconds to 1 minute at 80 degrees. That will likely bring out the jasmine and any sweetness in the green without drawing on any bitterness.


I think I do still have some of this left in my tea drawer. Do you mean 180 F?

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Wow, another good Keemun!
I’m really happy to have stumbled upon this company – both the teas I bought from them really exceeded my expectations.

Really pretty leaves with a preponderance of golden buds. I’d have trouble telling this apart from Silk Road’s Golden Monkey by just looking at it, but the leaves are a bit smaller here.
I’m on my second preparation of this today. First time ’round I used 4g per 125ml with steep times-temps: 1.5min-95C, 3min-90C, 4min-85C, 5min-85C, 5min-100C. Second round I used 2g per 125ml and drank from continuous infusions using 95C water and finishing at around 27 minutes first brew and 15 minutes second brew.

Dry fragrance is a bit like hay in a barn… a clean barn, but still – straw and hardwood. Wet aroma pops up with some tart apple smell and more resinous redwood. Liquor carries an apple and pear cider aroma mixed with toasted sesame seeds, flax seed, and whole wheat pasta. Tacky smelling and sort of carries a smell that reminds me of a cork board.

Flavor is a tad earthy and ever so slightly bitter, like a potato or pear carries bitterness. Balances nicely with the refreshing crisp qualities it has. Toasty, and certainly “Keemun-like” but it’s a mellow one. Soothing yet with a touch of spice. Cassia, nutmeg, and allspice. Aftertaste like the taste the air takes on around dry sand or river rocks – slight dusty tasting mineral quality I feel as a bit “spicier” than more clay- or gravel-like mineral tastes. Very pleasant, and adding dimension to this approachable tea. Aftertaste brings a bit of that flaxseed back from the front and ends on a brown rice note. A bit of dried fig/prune comes through at the end of a very long infusion. Flavor has a slow recession, but the aftertaste doesn’t linger very long at all. I usually prefer a very long lasting aftertaste and aroma, but this is the second red tea I’ve enjoyed greatly today that fades quickly.

Maybe not as complex as the Xian Zhen from TeaSpring, but every bit as enjoyable. Smoother, and with a little bit more body, though the flavor progression is a soothing flow in, then out with little trace. A huge plus for me is this is slightly less consistent between brews, developing from crisp and floral (orchid and honey notes mentioned in company description come through easily at first), to fruited and ripe, to toasty and salivating tannin, then richer wood before receding to bamboo, pecan and slight caramel accents in later infusions.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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Never thought I’d be wishing I bought a larger quantity of Lapsang. This is utterly incomparable to any tea bearing the same name that I have ever seen, tasted, or even heard of.

First, and foremost – it is not smoky. There are light whiffs of toasted marshmallows, wheat bread just finishing cooking in an oven, or a very hot smokeless oak fire oven/grill, but really it is more about the light “smokiness” of tobacco leaves and milled grains. Pay little heed to the company description of “strong and smoky”!

While this is not a pure bud tea (two leaf and a bud intact sets are common throughout) it is entirely covered in light golden hair. Leaf length and color is very similar to a pure bud Yunnan red. Measuring the 4g I used for my gaiwan resulted in a volume around 1.5-2 tablespoons. Used 125ml with steep times-temps: 1.5min-95C, 2.5min-95C, 4min-90C, 5min-85C, 5min-100C, 9.5min-85C.

Dry fragrance is similar to the Golden Monkey reds I’ve been going through a lot lately – dried apricot and nectarine – but when tossed into the prewarmed gaiwan, the fragrance was straight up natural cocoa powder. Wet leaves like doused, burned hardwood – not smoky, but toasty with a refreshing light char note oddly reminiscent of grilled Tilapia (not fishy, mind you) and indiscernible fruit “ripeness”. The lid from the gaiwan, however combined a touch of the former cocoa with piles of ripe fruit aromas. Kumquat above the rest, but also white peach, uncut nectarine, longan, intact raspberries, black figs, apricot kiwi, and just a hint of avocado and coconut. These carry through in the liquor aroma but longan takes the stage. Liquor is bright red-orange and very clear.

Flavor takes the fruit notes and blends them nicely with roasted nuts – almonds and macadamias primarily, but chestnut, cashew, brazil nut, pecan, and peanut also play a small part. The taste is a base of woody characteristics – brown rice, sesame seed, dried grasses, barley, oak, sunflower seeds and palms. Aftertaste brings in a mineral quality of adobe clay or mud bricks and a bit of gravel in the afteraroma. Not heavy on the minerals, but it certainly draws up similarities to other WuYi Shan teas. Nice heavier-medium body is much thicker than most Lapsangs, on par with heavier Keemuns. Smoooooooth. Mouthfeel again makes me think of clay in a sort of slip-slurry. There’s a very slight astringency just up against the uvula… Don’t think I’ve had a tea that hits that part of the mouth and nowhere else. Fleeting crispness and faint herbaceous acidity leaves a mouthwatering effect, but not a ton. Really clean – - aftertaste diminishes really quickly and afteraroma is short. impression of the tactile elements lingers for a while, though.

Man, this is yummy. Definitely getting more the next chance I can make the excuse. Expensive, but oh so worth it. I brewed this up with the intent of something to kick me awake, but it wound up being comforting and satisfying, making me want to curl up and take a nap. I finished long before the tea did and this would be a great candidate to drink straight from the gaiwan with. Again, you can not compare this to other Lapsangs – this is much more akin to specialty Taiwanese Reds.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec

a non lapsang lapsang, perhaps it’s for me?

Thomas Smith

Well, it is still the same tea, just rigorously graded, carefully processed, and not as heavily smoked. The breakdown of the name Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong just means “original mountain small kind,” with small-kind referring to the leaf size and originally the tea wasn’t produced with heavy smoke though it’s become the norm.
Of course, the 50g I got may not be representative of a larger quantity or next year’s batch.

Thomas Smith

You really ought to give it a try.


Gorgeous leaves. And this sounds amazing.


when my poor little tea bookcase shrinks i may have to….i think it’s the heavily smoked bit that gets me i always wonder what caught on fire

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