Summer Vacation! I’m onto Taiwan now, and while I don’t have a lot of Taiwanese teas in my collection, they usually bode well for me (I really like Taiwanese oolongs!) Depending on how this last week of August goes, if I run out I may make a vacation stop in Thailand or Vietnam… we’ll see!

First up is this sampler that was gifted by derk! Thank you derk! I have never tried anything pomelo-flavored (or eaten anything pomelo for that matter) which is what made me curious about this one. I like trying “exotic” (to me, anyway) fruits. I’m attempting this gong fu style since it is my day off and I have some more time this morning, but we’ll see how it goes. I don’t have a lot of practice with it. I’m doing the 4g in about half the volume of my shiboridashi, which comes out to 75ml, because the full 150ml per infusion is just too much tea for me over the course of several infusions of a session. Still waiting on that tiny 50ml gaiwan from China… shipping woes.

Gong Fu [Shiboridashi] / 4g / 75ml / 200F / 10s rinse / 30s|45s|60s|65s|70s|80s

The aroma is very floral, but citrusy… like orange blossoms and citrus oil. It comes off slightly perfumy when the tea is still very warm and steamy, but I find that settles a bit as the tea cools. The flavor is certainly something unique; I’ve had teas with a natural fruity/floralness before (sakura), but that soft cherry note is very different than this citrus note from the pomelo flowers. It tastes like a light mandarin orange flavor mixed with jasmine flowers, and below that is a fresh green watery vegetal note from the oolong, along the lines of lettuce/celery/cucumber. The pomelo flavor leaves an aftertaste on the tongue, and there is a very mild astringency left after the sip. In the second steep the pomelo flavor was much fuller and I got a grape note beneath the florals that was very pleasant, but the astringent drying on my tongue in the finish was also a bit stronger. The increased steep time by the third steep seemed to help a lot with the astringency in the finish, and the floral became very smooth and flowery, and the tea quite sweet with some new sugarcane and pear notes. I went for six steeps and at that point the flavor was starting to give out and become quite mineral-like.

A very pleasant oolong and unlike anything I’ve tried before. A bit drying (some accompanying water is a must) but the citrusy floral note produces a very unique flavor. Thanks for letting me try this, derk!

Flavors: Astringent, Celery, Citrus, Cucumber, Drying, Floral, Grapes, Jasmine, Lettuce, Orange Blossom, Pear, Smooth, Sugarcane, Vegetal

200 °F / 93 °C 4 g 3 OZ / 75 ML

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Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud asexual and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little condo!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Bergamot (in moderation)

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Hemp/CBD teas
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.


My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/xjt9ptx3 . I am open to tea trades (within the United States only!) at this time. Note that I will not trade teas that I currently have in a quantity less than 50g (samplers, 1oz packages, etc.) or any teas that are currently still sealed/unopened in my cupboard.

Contact Info:

Feel free to send me a Steepster PM, or alternatively, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.


Idaho, United States



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