1313 Tasting Notes


Really, really smooth and sweet. I wanted to try a golden tipped tea, and the only other black that I could compare this to would be a Mokalbari Assam, and maybe a Keemum. Like the Assam, it had a malty full bodied aroma and taste, but with the smooth cocoa notes of a Keemum and its lack of astringency. I drank it on an empty stomach and thankful that it didn’t upset it like the Assam.

If I had the option of drinking higher grade black tea consistently, I would probably pick this one as one of them. The only deterrent would be the simplicity of this tea. The taste and smell are certainly sophisticated, but I personally was expecting a little bit more flavor. A stronger Keemum, Ailoshan, or maybe Fujian black might be more preferred because of their more distinct cocoa.

Altogether, probably best for someone who likes black teas and wants to try something smoother and different. Gotta drink them all!

Flavors: Caramel, Carrot, Cocoa, Malt, Sweet

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 7 OZ / 207 ML

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I was able to get 9 full bodied steeps from one sample in a western style. For being a white tea, it endured. The jasmine taste and smell balanced perfectly with the smooth, almost silky texture of the silver needle itself. My only set back was the fact that I’ve had very similar tasting flowering teas to this one for cheaper. Nevertheless, it reminded me of the tea that I used to drink a lot growing up in Hawaii. The flavor was almost the same, and honestly, the taste was best by the fourth steep and kept on getting smoother and smoother save the very last two steeps.

This is my first tea from Teavivre, and I got it pretty promptly considering the distance from China to Michigan. All the teas in the sampler I got were fairly fresh, and out of all of them, this one is probably my favorite. The service was great, and I am so glad I got free shipping. If it weren’t for the sale, though, I am not sure if I would have gone out of my way to get this one.

You can say that I was very satisfied, but not jumping up and down for it. I would introduce someone new to tea using this one, and maybe drink it with my more tea obsessed friends if they like jasmine.

Flavors: Cream, Herbaceous, Honey, Jasmine, Sweet

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 45 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Wow…talk about a pick me up. I got it as a gift from a friend up in college, and the saffron is what I needed to get through the day and the tea kept me awake. This one is really fruity, and pretty great for a bagged tea. The green tea could either be a Sencha or a Dragonwell and could definitely be tasted. The saffron adds another warm, sweet layer with the mango bringing the green tea and this spice together. I enjoyed it with or without honey as sweetener, though I used honey more often when I drank this to treat my cold. I probably will buy it again this coming semester. Probably good for people newer to teas or intermediate to them.

Flavors: Fruity, Grass, Green, Mango, Saffron, Sweet

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I tried this one at a standard Barnes and Noble Starbucks, and I was pleasantly surprised with it. Other reviews of this one were not stellar, but I can say that compared to the Teavana and Tazo lines owned by Starbucks, this Oolong tea was way better than any of their other teas. This Oolong was definitely and An Xi variety. Green, nutty crispness dominated the cup over the pomegranate which for me, was a relief. The flavoring does add a slight sweet kick which is pretty nice, and the leaves aren’t too bad looking.

If I were limited to my choice of teas, this would be a descent go to for me since its a greener oolong. However, this one really loses out on oolong’s full complexity and I personally would save my money for something to savor. Considering that I was able to drink this at a Starbucks, I can say it was worth it for that slightly better drink. I would recommend this maybe to a friend, yet I wouldn’t try to sell them on it.

Flavors: Fruity, Grass, Green, Walnut

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 45 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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This was the first Oolong that I have ever tried, and probably my first stone for comparison. The name sold me, and my taste buds freaked out when I first tried it. Was it a green tea? Black tea? Was I smelling a plumeria, or an orchid? And that roasted smell, that taste. What-is-this? From there on, it became one of my favorite teas.

Pretentious story line aside, this is a good clean tea with staying power. It’s lighter with a paradoxical full body, smelling and tasting like a floral forest. I’ll definitely have to try this one again, and do another review to see if the experience is different. I’d say it’s probably for some one who likes Oolongs and green teas, maybe for a newbie.

Flavors: Creamy, Flowers, Green, Roasted, Sweet, Wood

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

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I liked this tea, but a little too astringent. I was honestly sold by the myth surrounding it for the novelty. The leaves are gorgeous, the aroma is fresh and mystical, like smelling mist on the mountains. As for taste, it really is in between being a white and green tea. The website describes it with a mild astringency, but I would say it’s one of the more dominant aspects of it. The body is a clear yellow green like glass, but the taste is a really strong, astringent green tea.

I can say it calmed me after the first cup, but after the second, I was a little spastic. Definitely worth a try for my newbie tastes, but I am not sure I’d recommend it. As for the company, they give you some pretty awesome deals and service.

Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS IS A MATCHA AND IMPOSSIBLE TO MAKE WITHOUT A MATCHA WHISK. I wanted to try something different, and when I found out there was a white version of matcha, I immediately wanted to try it. I also was curious about the health benefits since there has been a little press about general white matcha’s as being high in polyphenols and a potential pre workout supplement for weight loss. As with any claim, there is a degree of truth in the antioxidant amount and the effectiveness as an appetite suppressant and stimulant. I can say that I was more focused and less fatigued during workouts that without it, placebo effect excluded.

Getting back to the actual taste, the website provides the best description of it, as something like dry moss reminiscent of an Oolong. It has a lighter, or even more earth like or dirt like taste and presence compared to the usual Green Matchas. Backing up, this is a potent tea, and I would not use more that 4 grams even for a stronger whisk. I’d advise this for someone who is more adventurous or who likes whites and oolongs-not for many people though. If you want a natural pre workout, and you have a low caffeine tolerance, than this works.

Flavors: Astringent, Dirt, Moss

175 °F / 79 °C 3 g 5 OZ / 147 ML
Daylon R Thomas

Okay, I tried this again with the recommendations that I posted on steeping like before, and it is much better. There is actually some cream to it.

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Smells just like cherry tobacco which I love. Definitely strong cherry and rose profile that naturally sweeten with a barely noticed tartness. However, the flavoring by no means overpowers the seaweed green profile of the Sencha. I would highly recommend to some one who is a little bit more of a newbie or is a Green Tea lover.

Flavors: Alcohol, Astringent, Cherry, Freshly Cut Grass, Green, Rose, Seaweed

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I really enjoyed this tea because it is coffee. With caramel. And Jasmine. And Pu-Erh. The smelliest fermentation level of tea. Pu-Erh is a tea more for the curious, and those who want to become a little bit more worldly in teas. The first one I had was the Numi’s Chocolate Pu-Erh, which I kinda hoped to have more of a cocoa taste. Every bag was different, and inconsistently satisfied me. When I found this one, I was really happy because it combines four of my vices together. And it was satisfying. My only complaint was the unpleasant earth smell, but hey, it’s Pu-Erh.

I would recommend this only to someone who likes strong tea and black coffee-any one else would probably be repulsed. Of the many little samples I got from this company, this was the one that enjoyed the most, especially with the extra caffeine kick.

Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Coffee, Jasmine, Sweat, Wet Earth

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Milk Oolong by Mandala Tea
1313 tasting notes

This is a tea I was saving up for, and I am really glad that I went ahead and got it. All the flavors and tasting notes are definitely present; the first thing I smelled opening the bag was toffee. The first brew, which I steeped for about 24 seconds, was the best having the full, floral, buttery, creamy, vegetal, sweetness that is constantly described. The following tastes accented the vegetal tastes more making it taste more and more like a lighter green tea. This is only the second time that I’ve used the Gonfu style after applying to a Wu Yi Rock Oolong, and I was pleasantly surprised with how much flavor this tea had. I typically like fuller bodied teas, or teas that have a more complete flavor profile. Though Mandala’s Milk Oolong is lighter with a Gongfu style, it’s flavor profile has that completeness making it a truly unique experience. Thank you Garret so much! And thank you so much for your nice note with the Tie Guan Yin and Jin Xuan samples.

With all that said, this tea is primarily for some one who has really sensitive taste buds, or in other words, an amateur to a more experienced connoisseur. Also, not for some one who purely likes western black teas or more British styles with lost of cream and sugar. The sweet creamy notes may or may not off set that preference, but to the majority of the population, I don’t think it would.

I will definitely get this tea again, but I’m not sure I would in the near future because this is a more expensive tea. I realize that I am paying for something that is of a high, rare quality to be enjoyed for hours and steeps on end-it’s paying for the unique experience. And that is an experience to be savored.

Flavors: Cream, Floral, Grass, Milk, Sweet, Toffee, Vegetal

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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First Off, Current Targets:

Whispering Pines Alice
Grand Crew Teas
Wuyi Origins Jin Jun Mei Sampler
What-Cha Jin Jun Mei
Good Luxurious Work Teas
A good Qilan
Best Sachet Teas

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, Taiwaneese Assam, Wang’s Shanlinxi, Cuifeng, Dayuling; Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co.“Old Style” Dong Ding, Mandala 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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