I thought I had a note for this one. Anyway, I’ve been saving it for when the moment strikes me since it is a VERY good tea. I had a little bit when I first bought it, and it does incredibly well gong fu or western. I can’t remember everything about the first time I’ve had it other than its general profile. The notes were a little bit closer to an Bai Hao than other Himalyan based black teas I’ve had, but it is very muscatel, juicy, and floral the way I like it. I prefer lighter blacks and muscatels anyway…I’m a snob.

Moving on to tonight’s session, the dryleaf has a nice aromatic that sneaks up a few seconds after you open the bag, then nuts, orange blossom, hibiscus, cocoa, earth, dried leaves (NO DUH), and something else wafts through the air. Orange blossom, red grape, muscat,and autumn leaves come to mind amidst its viscous mouthfeel, although the tea is oddly refreshing right now. Woodsiness starts to come through as it cools.
I admit that I upped the leafage to just over 5 grams for 8 ounces, and I didn’t count the steep time. I would guestimate under a minute, probably 30-45 seconds. The water was 180 F. I did 40 seconds the 2nd steep. More wood and muscat, a little bit of something that reminds me of red and orange flowers. The texture is still mouth coating and oddly thirst quenching. Dryness rises a little bit at the back of my tongue a little, but its sweet and very pleasant. It’s the woodsy note I was talking about.

Steep three…. I did not keep track of how long I brewed it. My cuppa was excellent nevertheless. The same notes popped up with a bit more mouthfeel. It began with dryness at my teeth, juiciness at the tongue, and a little bit more floral dryness at the throat. Eastteaguy will no doubt describe the florals and dryer notes more profoundly. I can’t wait to seem him write about it. The longer brew reminded me it was indeed a black tea, but it’s still closer to an oolong to me personally.

I know I can get more cups out of this session. 5 was the highest number I got last time western, 7 gong fu. We’ll see.

I’ll write again later. Although I have the Vietnam version of a Bai Hao, this one serves that craving more despite being a black tea. It is comparable to the best 2nd flush Darjeelings I’ve had, but then again, I actually like Nepalese teas more, especially Jun Chiyabari. Too bad it’s sold out.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Flowers, Grapes, Honey, Muscatel, Orange Blossom, Peach, Sweet, Wood


Thanks for the review, it was particularly well timed as it reminded me I had 2kg of this year’s Royale Ruby waiting to go on sale once last year had sold out, which I’ve now just put up :)

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Thanks for the review, it was particularly well timed as it reminded me I had 2kg of this year’s Royale Ruby waiting to go on sale once last year had sold out, which I’ve now just put up :)

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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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