43 Tasting Notes

drank Xiao Hong Pao by Old Ways Tea
43 tasting notes

2021 harvest. This strikes me as a nice classic yancha – makes me think of some kind of bitter honey, sticky and sweet with strong mineral notes and an astringent aftertaste. Everything I’ve had from Old Ways Tea so far is of very good quality.

Flavors: Astringent, Bittersweet, Chestnut, Cotton Candy, Honey, Mineral

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(I think I have the 2020 harvest of this tea, but I’m not certain of the year.)
I love a complex black tea. This one is both fruity and smoky without being overwhelming, reminds me of applewood smoke. Moderate body. Carries a variety of flavors that are all distinct but blend together really well, I’m struggling to describe it – it’s like the brushstrokes in a Turner painting, individually they’re fuzzy and muddled but together they form a clear picture. Towards the end the tea becomes pleasantly bitter in a way that makes me salivate. This one deserves paying attention to.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Persimmon, Plum, Smoke, Whiskey

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drank Qi Lan (Zhong Huo) by Moychay
43 tasting notes

Unfortunately I think this one was roasted too long. There’s a nice floral aftertaste, but it’s hard to taste anything over the roast, and either I accidentally underleafed it or the flavor is very thin and mild overall.

Flavors: Gardenias, Roasted

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drank Sencha Okumidori by Moychay
43 tasting notes

I’m honestly shocked how good this sencha is, given that Japanese tea is not at all Moychay’s specialty. Nice thick texture, and the flavor is intense but not at all bitter; kind of one-note sweet grass, but I don’t mind that. It can stand up to boiling water, too, and the price (as with most things at Moychay) is very reasonable.

Flavors: Apple, Grass, Sweet, Warm Grass


Okumidori is by far one of my favorite cultivars for Japanese teas. You can use it for sencha, Gyokuro, Matcha.. etc and I feel like I always find the same notes I love in it.

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This was the first loose (well, cake) tea I drank after a week of teabags and it was like night and day. And the bagged tea wasn’t bad! But this puerh was just such a multisensory experience, nothing from a supermarket can compare. The flavor is rich and deep, the texture is thick, it’s got a cooling aftertaste like menthol but a generally warming vibe – reminded me why the shipping time from China is worth it. I like to leaf this hard, but that’s my MO with ripe puerh in general.

Flavors: Cherry, Dark Chocolate, Menthol, Oak

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I don’t often drink sheng so I don’t have much means for comparison, but I liked this one. A mild flavor with fruity undertones, tangy but not bitter. Really smooth and easy to drink, reminds me of the smell of rain somehow. A good way to start a chilly morning.

Flavors: Apricot, Hay, Yuzu

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Spring 2021 version. I think I originally ordered the pure bud Bi Luo Chun but was sent this one instead, but I don’t mind because it’s great. What struck me was an intense dark chocolate flavor, to the point I wondered if I’d accidentally spilled cocoa powder in my teapot somehow. Very sweet and long-lasting flavor that handles lots of resteeping. Hard to go wrong here.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Chocolate, Grapes

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drank Mengsong Da Shu Cha by Moychay
43 tasting notes

Nicely satisfied my craving for shu today, but nothing particularly unique about this tea. Very woody (physically, too, loosely compressed with lots of stems), with a little bit of a sweet aftertaste. The price is certainly right, though.

Flavors: Caramel, Mushrooms, Wet Wood

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drank 2020 Fox Down mini by white2tea
43 tasting notes

I received this as a sample and enjoyed it, but I don’t think I’ll be buying more for myself. Reminds me of white2tea’s “A&P” dianhong, but I liked this one quite a bit better. The flavor is strong and bitter, both savory and fruity in an interesting way. Noticeably thick texture. I do enjoy these little coin formats, they travel nicely and fit perfectly into the teapot!

Flavors: Grapes, Hops

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I’ve been drinking tea as a hobby for a few years, thought I should finally start leaving reviews. I’m most fond of teas on the darker end – black/red, roasted oolong, ripe puerh. I’m no good at translating a review into a numerical rating, so I usually don’t give one.



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