Mountain Stream Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

80

This was a freebie so fresh it wasn’t even on Mountain Stream Tea’s website when I received my latest order. Thank you :)

The leaf aromas are fresh and floral, cool grassy and creamy, blue-green in scent-color, scalded milk and millet. Warmed leaf smells more like a nutmilk with fruity pineapple-guava tone and some plumeria.

The liquor is glassy-viscous. Squeaky clean young grass and gentle sweetness mix seamlessly with a jackfruit and unripe tropical fruit taste that holds a savory undertone of orange-flesh squash and cooked peaches, carrying through into the aftertaste. Slightly creamy floral perfume of moderate intensity sits above and settles into all the spaces. The floral quality interestingly expresses itself most fully in the later infusions where I can differentiate plumeria, honeysuckle and jasmine.

It does very well grandpa style and also with very hot water.

Overall, it’s an wulong of moderate intensity and well done. More perfumey floral and grassy than fruity and creamy. As long as you’re not expecting a ‘scented’ flavor bomb, can we agree that this is a nice Jin Xuan?

Flavors: Astringent, Butter, Creamy, Floral, Fruity, Grain, Grass, Grassy, Green, Guava, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Macadamia, Milk, Peach, Perfume, Pineapple, Plumeria, Squash, Tropical, Viscous

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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70

I think this is now the third harvest (March 2022) I’ve had of this tea (others’ notes listed here: https://steepster.com/teas/mountain-stream-teas/85471-orange-blossom-oolong ).

This has been pleasant steeped up western style during the workday. Not complex by any means, just an upfront sweet and zesty orange blossom note atop a mildly milky, muted vegetal taste. It’s a surprisingly substantial brew, chewy and sometimes heavy.

This morning’s gongfu brew caught me off guard. The first several infusions, in retrospect, should’ve been used to water the garden. Due to the amount of orange blossom petals, my mouth was overtaken with floral bitterness. The 8 infusions or so after, though, have been pleasant. Reminiscent of western brews but with less intensity and with a more pronounced yeasty-biscuit note.

I’ve never been sure what to make of this tea but I keep buying it so that must mean something — perhaps it’s only that I’m hopeful one of these harvests will truly impress.

Flavors: Bitter, Bread, Floral, Heavy, Milky, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Sweet, Thick, Vegetal, Yeasty

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2022 sipdown no. 16

Thank you Cameron!

This is a really smooth tea. There is an upfront light vegetal flavour, followed quickly by a subtle buttery note. The flavours are soft here, but still delightful. I have been enjoying two steeps of this and somehow made it through 25g without making a note!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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70

Decided to bust this out whilst playing some Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. I wanted to sip on something casual and unique. I threw one of these into the Ingenuitea and let it sit for 3-5ish minutes. It’s a flower, so it tastes like a flower; a sweet flower. It doesn’t seem to open up into anything amazing; slightly mushy. Ha-Ha.

I always get sleepy when sipping this flower. I know that the properties can cause drowsiness and the possibility of hallucinations (per Google, only if smoked, so I’m safe). I have one last flower left, so I’ll save it for another day this week or whenever I need a restock/wait for more CBD tea.

Side Note: This does pretty well gongfu’d, too.

Flavors: Floral

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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71

This is the final tea in an order I made from Mountain Stream several years ago. Given my well-known penchant for bug-bitten teas, it was inevitable that I’d pick this up, especially given Derk’s glowing review. It isn’t currently on their website, so I’m following Derk’s parameters of 30, 45, 60, 70, 80, 90, 120, and 240 seconds using 6 g of leaf in 120 ml of 195F water.

The heady dry aroma is of honey, grain, and citrus. The first steep is very light and immediately indicates by its strong cereal aroma that this is a roasted tea. I get lots of honey, citrus, rose, and wood. The next steep is stronger and has citrus, cherry, grain, mild spices, rose, and lots of honey, but also a touch of astringency. The aftertaste is woody, drying, and a bit sour, though the honey aroma at the bottom of the cup is mouthwatering. The next couple steeps feature the same flavours, but the fruit starts to disappear by steep five, leaving honey, grain, and roast. The end of the session is much like a black tea, with notes of malt, honey, and tannins.

While I enjoyed the fruity flavours and beautiful aromas in this tea, the roast was quite noticeable and I didn’t think it was well integrated. I’ve had many bug-bitten teas and am a bit spoiled regarding this type, and my rating probably reflects that. The tea also lacks longevity. I won’t have trouble finishing my 25 g pouch, but am glad I didn’t buy more.

Flavors: Astringent, Cherry, Citrus, Drying, Grain, Honey, Malt, Roasted, Rose, Spices, Sweet, Tannin, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
derk

Oh, I remember this one clearly and the way I felt after drinking it. The roasty flavor, like if you could lightly today honey, was well integrated for me. Maybe you had a different harvest or age didn’t treat it well. If not, then a case of different palates! Looks like I’m the only person here who truly enjoyed it :P

Leafhopper

I looked it up and I had the 2019 harvest, so age definitely could be a factor. I didn’t get any body feels from this tea, but then I usually don’t get body sensations (except for white teas, which tend to hit me hard). The fruity flavours were nice, but dissipated quickly. Do you want me to send the rest of this in our swap?

derk

A sample would be nice :)

Leafhopper

Okay, will do. :) It’d be nice to give this tea a good home.

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67

Sipdown 8-2022

Found a sample of this in my sample box. Yay sipdowns! Super roasty, with a bit of a charcoal note that lingers. More sweet and caramel than I would have predicted, but the roastiness is still the focal point. A bit vegetal in the aftertaste- like roasted artichoke.

Flavors: Artichoke, Caramel, Charcoal, Roasty, Sweet

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2022 sipdown no. 1

Thanks Cameron for this tea!

This roasted oolong is pretty tasty. A lovely sweetness up front and almost none/none of the minerality flavour I find in roasted oolongs. I’ve been steeping this twice and both steeps have great flavour.

If I ever decide to keep more roasted oolongs around, this would be a great addition.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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82

Sipdown! (8 | 8)

The last of my yummy samples from a previous Mountain Stream order…

Another lovely red oolong, which is possibility my favorite kind. Probably because I adore Taiwanese black teas, and this is sort of like an oolong pretending to be that. :P

Very sweet and rich, with lots of dark brown sugar and honey mixed among hints of red and golden fruits. A generous sprinkling of cinnamon as well, which is a note I only tend to find in oxidized Taiwanese teas. This one actually has a bit of malt as well, and could probably convince me that it was a black tea if it was so inclined…

Yummy, sweet, cozy goodness. A perfect tea for fall and winter weather. :)

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Bread, Brown Sugar, Caramelized Sugar, Cinnamon, Dry Leaves, Honey, Malt, Red Fruits, Round, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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One lotus flower was what the sunny day requested.

DrowningMySorrows

Those flowers look gorgeous! If they taste even half as good as they look it must have been a tasty brew.

derk

I brewed it in a glass teapot with 500mL of water then refilled a few times. MST said boiling water produced some bitterness, so I opted for something like 185F. It was nutty and very sweet with complex lotus aromatics. Calming, and good for a day of fasting.

Evol Ving Ness

Sounds like a lovely way to start the year.

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2021 sipdown no. 121

Thank you Cameron for sending this my way!

The immediate taste is a creaminess, followed closely by a vegetal taste mixed with a bit of a hay. It’s a nice cuppa, but perhaps not necessary to order. Nonetheless, always happy to have the opportunity to try new teas!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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2021 sipdown no. 119

Thank you Cameron for this tea!

This is the third red oolong I’ve now had the opportunity to try, and the first two were divine. This one has a small amount of that oolong minerality that I’m not fond of, though it’s a smooth cup overall. Sadly, it does seem to be lacking in the magic I found in the other red oolongs. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, but it’s not one I need for my cupboard.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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2021 sipdown no. 116

Thanks to Cameron for this tea! :)

This tea smells fairly strongly of honey, but in a delightful way. There’s also a typical breakfast tea scent, but the taste is so breakfast tea luxury. It’s hard to describe!

There’s not a stitch of astringency, which I love. There’s a typical Assam flavour, but with a lightness to it and not as much maltiness as I might expect. Like a Taiwanese high mountain mixed with an Assam.

Edit: As this cools, as incredible sweetness comes out. Just another reason to love this tea!

This is a must order for me.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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2021 sipdown no. 113

Thank you Cameron for all of these delightful oolongs to explore!

This one actually has a bit of a roasted scent, despite being unroasted. And I noticed the leaves were darker than I anticipated before steeping as well.

There is a roasted flavour to this tea with plenty of delightful sweetness (but none of the minerality I’m not fond of). I’m having a difficult time accepting this as unroasted. I’ve only had one other Dong Ding Mr. Chang (from Camellia Sinensis), which I noted was vegetal and floral. This one mentions notes of “strong floral, deep vegetal…” and I’m not getting that at all.

Okay, okay. I’ve had to search the Dong Dings on the MS website because I just couldn’t accept that the label on this tea was correct. It looks like the 35% oxidation (as is labelled on the tea in front of me) is matching the Charcoal Roast Traditional Dong Ding Oolong, along with the flavours I’m tasting, but the production date is not the same.

Well, I’m not sure what else to do, save for enjoy this tea regardless of what it may be!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML
Cameron B.

Lol, that’s funny! Well I’m glad you enjoyed it either way. :)

Courtney

Me too (plus a wee distraction from other work was welcome)!

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Well, this one smells delicious. Similar to Yuchi Wild Mountain Black with the sweetness emanating from the cup.

The flavour is very honey-like. Wow! I often find honey has such a strong flavour of it’s own, I would struggle to add it to much else than peppermint tea when I’m not feeling well (if I ate it!). However, it’s delicious as a unique flavour found naturally in this tea.

1st steep: 1 minutes
2nd steep: 2 minutes 30 seconds

Thank you to Cameron for all of these wonderful teas to try!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML
Cameron B.

Yum, sounds wonderful!

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Another delicious tea courtesy of Cameron!

This one has a mix of dates and maple sweetness and even a subtle scent of cinnamon. This is a very smooth tea as well and it comes across as an oolong mixed with a black almost — not quite fully oolong. I’m really enjoying this one. We’ll see what a second steep brings!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML
Cameron B.

Ooh I love red oolongs. :D

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2021 sipdown no. 112

Wee sipdown of this tea from Cameron!

I have determined I quite enjoy an Alishan (Ali Shan). Well, the two I’ve tried haha! Perhaps I will eventually pick up a more oolong appropriate tea-drinking apparatus (can you tell I’m not sure where to start here?).

1st steep: 1 minute
2nd steep: 2 minutes 30 seconds

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML
Cameron B.

I like grandpa-style for oolong, but I would say a gaiwan is probably a good place to start?

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A wonderful surprise from Cameron — I’m so excited to try these new-to-me oolongs!

I have an exam at 6a tomorrow, so green oolong is where it’s at this evening. Something about a green oolong and it’s soothing qualities just lends itself to better concentration.

I really enjoyed the Ali Shan from CS, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to try this one too. I love the mellow flavour here, with the most subtle hints of bitterness intermingled with floral-ness.

1st steep: 1 minute
2nd steep: 2 minutes 30 seconds

Thanks Cameron :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML
ashmanra

Exam at 6 am would make me cry. Maybe it means you have the rest of the day to enjoy, though. I hope so!

Cameron B.

So glad you’re enjoying them, and best of luck on your exam! ❤

Courtney

Thanks! Sadly, I have a full day of work after my exam haha (and then a paper to start working on)! But I’ll soon have a holiday break from both school and work – yay. :)

Martin Bednář

Don’t talk about exams… pretty please.
Can’t wait for break from work, but then my studies start again.

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drank Sanxia by Mountain Stream Teas
1199 tasting notes

2022 sipdown no. 28

I ordered 25g of this for myself in March and ripped through it far too quickly. This tea is really great, really great. It’s silky and full of flavour. Almost like a cross between TTC Yuchi Wild Mountain and Teavivre’s Bailin. I really love it and must have more soon!

I resteep this once as well and it retains a significant amount of flavour.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 13 OZ / 384 ML
Sil

oooh

ashmanra

I think I have this one! I need to check!

Courtney

So tasty! I have a cart started, but ugh, the rate!

ashmanra

I just checked and I do have it! Never even opened it, so deffo plan to try it this weekend.

Courtney

I hope you enjoy it!

Sil

need to keep an eye out for a sale i guess :(

Cameron B.

So glad you found some winners from Mountain Stream! ❤

Courtney

Thanks to you Cameron! :)

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drank Sanxia by Mountain Stream Teas
1199 tasting notes

2021 sipdown no. 124

My word, this tea is tasty. Like a baked fig syrup against a smooth black base.

Even the second steep still has plenty of flavour. This is a must order.

1st steep: 1 minute
2nd steep: 2 minutes, 30 seconds

Thanks Cameron for introducing me to this company!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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drank Sanxia by Mountain Stream Teas
1199 tasting notes

A wee surprise was waiting for me in the post, courtesy of the wonderful Cameron!

Naturally, I chose a black tea I thought would be the similar to Yuchi Wild Mountain XD. The dry scent is very similar to Teavivre’s Bailin, and the steeped scent reminds me of prunes!

There is a light, yet syrup-like sweetness. A prune sweetness, which I’m enjoying. The tea is light overall, and smooth.

I will try to resteep this to see how it goes!

What a lovely introduction to this company! Thanks Cameron!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML
Cameron B.

You’re welcome!

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88

Sipdown! (32 | 484)

I’m not generally a floral person, but I love osmanthus, and this tea is no exception. The baozhong base is light yet creamy, with a silky texture. It has a lovely soft mineral flavor that makes me think of a clear mountain stream. The osmanthus is sweet, nectarous, with a beautiful apricot flavor that melds perfectly with the hints of stonefruit found naturally in the oolong. There’s also an additional floral note here, reminiscent of honeysuckle.

I should really keep an eye out for osmanthus teas, they’re always so lovely…

Flavors: Apricot, Creamy, Floral, Grass, Honeysuckle, Mineral, Nectar, Osmanthus, Spring Water, Stonefruit, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Thank you for reminding me. I’ve been meaning to pick up osmanthus something at some point.

Funny that you mention you are not a floral person and you liked the Noel a Pekin by DF. Totally, to my mind, a floral tea once you get past the lovely fruit.

Cameron B.

Jasmine is another exception for me when it comes to florals ha ha. I am not a fan, however, of rose or lavender.

Mastress Alita

And I’m opposite, I love rose and lavender, but rarely like jasmine teas for being too overpoweringly perfumy, which triggers migraines for me (I’m fine with the flavor of gentle jasmine or it blended with other things, though!) The one floral I really don’t jive with is chamomile.

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80

Sipdown! (27 | 479)

Another small sample from my Mountain Stream sampler order a couple of years ago. Probably not a tea I would have chosen for myself, as yancha isn’t usually a favorite of mine. I don’t dislike it, but I tend to prefer bai hao or “red” varieties when I want a more oxidized oolong.

That being said, this is a very tasty tea. It does have that characteristic “autumn leaf” sort of flavor that I associated with oxidized and especially roasted oolong, along with a gentle woody character and plenty of minerality. The gentle roast is noticeable but it doesn’t overpower the other flavors, instead it adds a warm coziness. There’s a subtle sweetness and hints of honey and dried stonefruits. A floral note appears in the aftertaste, but it’s quite light and airy without any perfumey quality.

Not something I would order, as I still prefer my sweeter oxidized oolongs, but I enjoyed sipping down the little 10g packet. :)

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Dried Fruit, Floral, Honey, Honeysuckle, Mineral, Plum, Roasted, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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88

Sipdown! (24 | 476)

Wow, mixed reviews on this one lol! I wonder if it’s because of the differences in individual harvests.

Anyway, I think this is a scrumptious tea. It’s incredibly smooth and rich with oodles of deep caramelized maple brown sugar and syrupy sweet dried fruit. I’m thinking along the lines of dates with maybe some fig and a bit of golden raisin. There’s a gentle honey note as well, which adds a nice aromatic, nectarous sweetness. All of this rests on a comforting base of crisp autumn leaves, baked sweet potatoes, and lightly toasted nuts and grains. Perhaps a hint of caraway that reminds me of a Fujian black tea? At the end of the sip, there’s a whisper of lush-yet-sweet floral, and it tends to build slightly as I sip my way through the cup. A clear spring water sweetness lingers on my tongue.

A lovely tea, and so so perfect for Fall with its supremely cozy flavors. It reminds me a bit of a Bai Hao combined with perhaps a Fujian black tea. Definitely one I will consider reordering in the future, as the price seems fairly reasonable to me at $26/100 grams.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Caraway, Dates, Dried Fruit, Fig, Floral, Grain, Honey, Maple Syrup, Nectar, Raisins, Roasted Nuts, Smooth, Spring Water, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
gmathis

Your review makes me want to swim in it!

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84

an absolutely wonderful tea. I wish they had a sample set to go through all of the roasting options available

Flavors: Burnt, Cocoa, Dark Wood, Earth, Smoked

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec 5 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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