Hoarded this 2021 sample til the mood struck me. I steeped it up about twice so far in short 15 and 20 second steeps, and it’s heavy on the baked pear and syrupy thick texture, but light on the roast and woady profile this time. Now, even steep three at 15 sec, and four at 30 sec, there’s a sweetness that leans almost in a vanilla or maple direction. Steep three was a little bit woodier, but four fruitier with the fancy poached or baked pear flavor again. Steep 5, forgot the time-maybe less than a minute, aroma remaining. The charcoal creeps up a bit, but so does some minerals, vaguely cinnamon (by association and imagination), and rock sugar. Oh yeah, didn’t I mentioned a cooked version of a pear yet?

Either way it keeps coming and its a nice break from the frequent greener oolongs I’ve had. I still prefer to drink the greener oolongs more often for some reason, despite the cinders I’ve flecked from my wallets well scorched hole. Oddly though, my palette like fruitier tones and higher oxidized oolongs tend to be in fact fruitier than green ones, but I go back to the green ones.

Sometimes, the higher oxidised oolongs are actually too sweet for me, edging for cloying. I know most people wouldn’t use that word for red oolongs and I’d argue they are a little bit better suited to a western palette in some ways, but it’s the weird border into fructose, honey or syrup that makes me think they are. I’d be curious if anyone else has the same kind of experience. I know I’m hypocritical because I like vanilla, floral, chocolate, or fruit leaning black, white, and oolong teas, but I’d be happy to know I’m not the only one. Maybe it’s just my western palette preferring those teas.

I still recommend this one though. It’s quite good. I still agree with most of the earlier notes written, and the newer ones drawing the dill and spice comparisons. It’s like a savory baked fruit desert or starter.

Flavors: Apple Skins, Brown Sugar, Charcoal, Cherry, Cinnamon, Fruity, Honey, Maple Syrup, Mineral, Pear, Red Apple, Smooth, Sweet, Thick, Woody

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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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