1705 Tasting Notes


I’ve come back to this one pretty frequently. I have tried several new teas, but I have mostly done western style and had little time to write about them. This one’s comforting rich and earthy/nutty profile is great for the cold spring weather in Michigan. We had snow just a few days ago despite being April. I am glad the gamble on this one paid off because it’s one of my more reliably morning and afternoon teas on the weekends.

Since I’m feeling kinda lazy and have limited time, I’m going to summarize a few of the other teas I’ve tried lately. Magic Hour subscribers are getting Tarot themed teas that are mostly herbals, but they are pretty decently blended and have some cool flavors here and there. I don’t drink them often because herbals are much harder to clean up than regular tea leaves. They are nice to have around, with Magician being my favorite so far.

I also got Liquid Proust oolongs that are green. He is selling winter Shanlinxi and Lishans that are dense with flavor and very good for a reasonable price. I tried the Wang Qin Yun Shanlinxi gong fu today after a few attempts, and it’s honestly very finnicky. It’s complex in its rinse having honey, pear, butter, magnolia, and a little bit of nuttiness, then it gets muddled by chrysantemum and magnolia in the longer brews. It also needs more leaves for flavor, so I personally find standard 15 sec increments and more best for it instead of the rinse 55, 45, 55 recommendation.

I very rarely gong fu anymore because I’m so busy lately. Teaching 3 subjects at atime for all high school grades has been an adjustment during a semester school year instead of a trimester school year. Granted, I’ve taught them all before, but I’ve been focused more on filling in the time with I have making tweaks instead of full fledged improvements the way I wanted to. I’ve got mostly good groups to teach, so that’s made it a little easier. To try to get things ready and up to date along with managing a chess/Dungeons and Dragons club combo twice a week, my work week tends to range from 50-60 hours. I know most people on here probably work 60-80 so I should not complain, and I’m not. I just want more time for tea and working out.

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Got this for xmas at request. I got through so many phases with tumblers. I usually stick to my bamboo or my glass one instead of my fancier ones, but this one intrigued me. It looked pretty, a few influencers on instagram raved about putting roasty oolongs in it, and then there’s the fact its metal coated with ceramic on the interior. So, it’s a cool idea.

Using it, it’s very similar to my eclipse teaware, but less expensive, yet sturdier. In terms of design, it’s more suited for prebagged tea or higher grade/larger leaves. The curl of the filter keeps a lot of leaves out, but anything smaller than a rolled oolong or black slips through.

In terms of what has worked better, I have to go for teas that are better grandpa or use less leaves for tumbler syle. It’s obvious to go for more flexible leaves in terms of tannin, but my greener oolongs didn’t fair as well as my darker oolongs, blacks or greens on average. White teas were hit or miss, which surprised me. My Taiwanese Assam was smoother than even my Shan Lin Xi Oolong. I know Green Oolongs are better for Gong Fu, but the ones I picked do better with grandpa too. I usually don’t have to worry about them. On the other end, there were more complex flavors I got out of a remaining Bi Lo CHun I’ve kept along with a Taiwanese Green.

Flavor is well preserved by the ceramic, but as with any tumbler, I actually find that heat retention is a double edged sword. This thing will keep it warm for a minimum of three hours if I leave the lid opem, but up to 6 hours if I close it. If I brew the tea for 190 F, it will remain close to that point for a while and keeping the leaves at that temperature while grandpa brewing. I usually have to add colder water to temper it If I want to drink it sooner. Again, it’s amazing that it retains that heat for travel. For preventing tannin in brewing teas, however, it’s not so great for my green oolongs.

It can be great as a mini teapot/serving vessel for gong fu for sure, but that’s with the expectation that I pour it under 30 seconds or 3 minutes. I have only dropped it twice and no cracks. I don’t recommend slamming it or hard scrubbing it to keep the cool designs. So, elegant yet durable. It’s not as versatile as the Gong Fu 2 Go Tumbler, but it’s sooo much easier to clean overall.

I really like this tumbler overall, but it’s not super versatile. Small leaves are a bad idea in since they will come through. It’s easy to overleaf if not careful. If you brew the tea in a separate mug then pour it in, it will be amazing. It also works as a modern approach better than a regular tea pot if you are brewing your tea in it. It can work for blacks and greens when I leave the leaves in, it’s okay for some flavored teas if you wash it IMMEDIATELY (hand washing only), but I’m still figuring out oolongs. A part of me wish I opted for a larger size than 12 oz since I finish it quickly, and I think I might be able to get better ratios for grandpa style with a bigger size. I’m curious about what you guys think or are curious about.

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Sipdown. Soo good and smooth. Borders between creaminess of green Jin Xuans, but with a little bit of floral notes bordering on jasmine, heavy on orchid. Love it, and sad to see it go. I fortunately have a dragons trove of oolongs right now.


oooo… a dragons trove of oolongs. Great image. :D

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I sipped this down a few weekends ago. I have tried a few new teas I could upload too, including from What-Cha, Whispering Pines, and Terroir Tea. This one was my go to tumbler oolong. I also tumbler-fu’d using the Spirit Tea tumbler they sell. That one will need a whole review in itself. This tea was the most reliable tea so far, balancing floral, green veggies, butter, and melon each time.


I always fall for melon notes in gaoshan. May need to check this one out the next time I order from What-Cha.

I look forward to reading your notes when you get the chance to write them.

Daylon R Thomas

It’s cheaper than a few. It’s not super complex, but it’s nothing to scoff at. Lishan is still the best one in my opinion, thought this one is super green.

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I sipped this down very quickly, and have worked at it between yesterday and Christmas day. I also ordered some other teas to share with Leafhopper and write about on here. I’m surprised and greatly appreciative that Brendan sent it out TODAY of all days. I did not expect it, but I really appreciate it.

This one is one of the better Vanilla teas I have on hand at the moment. I love how rich and full it is between the vanilla and natural dark wood and cherry notes of the tea. Most of the vanilla teas are out of stock on the website right now, but fortunately, I’ve got a decent share of the Taiwanese blacks to hold me off for now. I really liked how smooth and rich this one was out of all of them.

Flavors: Cherry, Cherry Wood, Dark Wood, Malt, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla


Thank you! I feel like a tea enabler in the best possible way. :)

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I got three oz of it after I swore not to get more tea. I went over budget. I don’t regret it though. Even grandpa style and bordering on over brewing and steeping, this is remains as my favorite Assam of all time.


I’m amazed you managed to find it in stock. It’s always sold out when I look.

Daylon R Thomas

I was on the email list and watched it like a hawk.


Ah, that’d do it! :) They have a Long Feng Xia as well. I clicked on it because it’s called Evergreen Oolong and I was wondering if they were selling Si Ji Chun for $11 an ounce.

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What happened to the picture for this one? Anyway, used it to test new teaware from Spirit Tea that I got for xmas. I’ll do a full review for that tumbler since it’s ceramic and not as overpiced as some others. I had some trouble with my green oolongs in it oddly enough since they’ve usually more forgiving grandpa style. My Dayuling was too green and flat in it, so since it was a Spirit Tea product that they picked from a farmer, I tried it in the tumbler. It worked better. More evolution of from floral, sweet green and grass notes, and straight into something bordering between lemon, mango, and aprioct. Nice change of pace considering I’ve ignored it for too long. It’s been too grassy or sour gong fu lately in warmer weather, so somehow, it’s doing better in the colder weather. I’m happy to see I’ll be able to finish it off.


If somebody links a photo from a sellers website and the link is changed or removed from there, it breaks the link to Steepster. I tend to save and upload photos for this reason.


I’ve been noticing a lot of broken photos lately.

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drank Milk Oolong by Paru Tea Bar
1705 tasting notes

I did one cup semi western. Smooth, but kinda spinachy with some fruit tones. I used a stove top kettle with boiling water. Think I should have done maybe less leaves, or shorter steeps than 2 minutes. Yes, I rinsed it. Was hoping for more. The dry leaf still smells incredible. Water quality issue probably. I’ve got so much of this one. I really want to get some oolong from Terroir Tea as well, but some of them are risks since they’re not all samples. It be 64 bucksish for around 200 grams of tea with the discount, but shipping is 23 bucks since it’s in Australia. I really want to travel out of country again SOMEDAY, so I need to hold back on spending.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Milk, Spinach


Whoa! That shipping is expensive! If you’re interested, Ethan from TeaForum is getting a bunch of oolongs in around Christmas. I think shipping in the States is like $10.

Daylon R Thomas

I’ll keep note.

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I’ve tried it barely once since my last note again. I decided to say screw it! I’m plopping maybe 3-5 grams of the tea in a tall mug western with 1 min 30 sec, 2 minutes, 3, 4, and 5 hoping it’s not too astringent or bold to pushout the more subtle flavors like what’s happened before this way, even overleafing it gong fu. Instead, it’s rich, silky, fruity, and malty with just three dry leaves floating above the hot water. The second steep was dense enough that it reminded me of honeybush overall, even bordering on rooibos….but much sweeter. It’s the cocoa pineapple peach black tea I love in terms of its imaginary flavours. I was soooooo relieved. Best feeling in the world when you can drink an expensive tea while busy from a long day AND STILL ENJOY IT.

Flavors: Apricot, Cocoa, Malt, Pineapple, Tea


Glad to know this tea can withstand Western brewing!

Daylon R Thomas

Last few times have been like tasting a citrus oil malt bomb, but it was well balanced this time enough for me. Though I had a headache, and craved something harsher for the bitter cold.


It’s hongcha weather here, too. I need to find a lapsang in my tea museum. I even have some of this one somewhere.

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I got this one because Roswell liked it, and I wanted to try it anyway since I’ve really liked all of the Pu-Erh blends from Magic Hour. I decided to make it hot western twice, and it’s super creamy. It borders a little bit of artificial elements to it, almost tasting like a boozy drink, but it’s otherwise very balanced between the vanilla, lemon and pu-erh. I rebrewed it a few times and was smooth and desserty throughout. I’m going to have to make it cold once. So far, I do like it though, and actually liked it a little bit more than the coconut white iced tea.

Flavors: Alcohol, Artificial, Cream, Earth, Lemon, Meringue, Silky, Smooth, Vanilla

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First Off, Current Targets:

Whispering Pines Alice
Good Luxurious Work Teas
Wang Family’s Jasmine Shanlinxi
Spring, Winter Taiwan High Mountain Oolongs

Dislikes: Heavy Tannin, Astringency, Bitterness, or Fake Flavor, Overly herby herbal or aged teas

Picky with: Higher Oxidation Oolongs, Red Oolongs (Some I love, others give me headaches or are almost too sweet), Mint Teas

Currently, my stash is overflowing. Among my favorites are What-Cha’s Lishan Black, Amber Gaba Oolong, Lishan Oolong, Qilan Oolong, White Rhino, Kenya Silver Needle, Tong Mu Lapsang Black (Unsmoked); Whispering Pines Alice, Taiwanese Assam, Wang’s Shanlinxi, Cuifeng, Dayuling, Jasmine Shan Lin Xi; Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co.“Old Style” Dong Ding, Mandala Milk Oolong; Paru’s Milk Oolong


I am an MSU graduate, and current alternative ed. high school social studies and history teacher. I formerly minored in anthropology, and I love Egyptian and classical history. I love to read, write, draw, paint, sculpt, fence(with a sword), practice calisthenics on rings, lift weights, workout, relax, and drink a cuppa tea…or twenty.

I’ve been drinking green and black teas ever since I was little living in Hawaii. Eastern Asian influence was prominent with my friends and where I grew up, so I’ve been exposed to some tea culture at a young age. I’ve come a long way since I began on steepster and now drink most teas gong fu, especially oolong. Any tea that is naturally creamy, fruity, or sweet without a lot of added flavoring ranks as a must have for me. I also love black teas and dark oolongs with the elusive “cocoa” note. My favorites are lighter Earl Greys, some white teas like What-Cha’s Kenyan offerings, most Hong-Cha’s, darker Darjeelings, almost anything from Nepal, Green Shan Lin Xi’s, and Greener Dong Dings. I’m in the process of trying Alishan’s. I also tend to really enjoy Yunnan Black or Red teas and white teas. I’m pickier with other teas like chamomile, green teas, and Masalas among several.

I used to give ratings, but now I only rate teas that have a strong impression on me. If I really like it, I’ll write it down.

I’ll enjoy a tea almost no matter what, even if the purpose is more medicinal, for it is my truest vice and addiction.


Michigan, USA

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