I use this blog to keep track of what to buy and what to avoid,
I hope someone else may benefit as well.

~ DISCLAIMER ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The “articles/posts/words/sentences/reviews/notes” are not to be taken seriously or as a recommendation for or against a tea/company/individual etc.

I’m not a tea expert, i’m not a tea reviewer. I am some dude at home playing with tea in water. These are my notes in words i can understand. I can’t describe subtle qualities, textures, so i’ll do my best to explain and hopefully diversify taste and tea vocabulary. Peeves: I do not like the word SOUP when describing TEA. TEA IS NOT SOUP. I do not like the word aroma either…

DONT MIND THE “RATINGS” i give, they’re INNACURATE. thanks. i’m  s l o w l y going over past “reviews”/tasting notes, and numbers will be removed. They havent helped as much as i thought in the beginning.

I’m not doing story writing, i’ll stick to the bare essentials.
All spelling, grammar errors are intentional 🙂

As taste differs from person to person, and tea batch varies in time, vendor, method of preparation, water, etc, my experiences may not equate to your own, = these ‘reviews’ are not to be taken as an absolute definition.

~ METHOD, TECHNIQUE, UTENSILS, ETCETERA ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In day to day tea drinking I do not follow any methods of making tea. Its mostly how much time i have, what cup/mug/gaiwan is closer to my hand at the time. When there’s a new tea it goes in the gaiwan. If comparing teas they go in the cupwans. Dan Cong (Phoenix oolong) goes in the yixing.

In general i use 4g tea for 4-8oz water. Filtered water, heated in a electric hot-pot dispenser (Tiger). Sometimes boil on stove.

Any pictures i take I’ll try to fix the colors, but i wont spend more than a couple minutes on them so the outcome may not be an exact representation of the tea leaves, liquor.


I drink tea for the taste, not for “health”, and to help concentrate (due to any caffeine in tea).

– Don’t like coffee.

– My caffeine effects:

  • Coffee caffeine will help me concentrate better if I’m in the right ‘set of mind’+ some heart racing, anxiety. If my brain is not ‘in the mood’ i can drink coffee and go back to sleep… Coffee effects are predictable.
  • Tea effects: about after 3 8oz cups of black tea i will start feeling anxious + some palpitations, and maybe help concentration. It is variable with tea: it depends on the batch of tea, sometimes its stronger, sometimes its weaker. I also found an oolong (wulong) tea which has a pretty stimulating amount of caffeine(?).

– Energy/power: i get energy from: #1 is EXERCISE, and sugar(but sugar doesn’t stay long), #2 heat, #3 caffeine/redbull.


I’m spending my own money for tea, no sponsoring, affiliations – so
don’t leave comments linked to the “blog” of your commercial website,
or any form of subversive marketing tactics – such as ‘nice blog’ with a link to your store.
if you sell something do not email me to participate in your “blog”.
I may have received free samples for review – those are marked something like ‘review sample’.


c o n t a c t i n f o r m a t i o n

silverneedles at gmail dot com



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  1. Fabulous idea for blogging.

    I love tea but – would you believe it – am allergic to it!

    Nonetheless, I wish you well & hope many others discover this blog & enjoy it! 🙂


  2. I have been experimenting with tea all the time. So far my favorite is
    a cup boiled with black tea – then brewed with semi-green tea.

    Here is my logic: Black tea is for the strong kick in taste, but since boiling loses all the aromatics, stage 2 is for adding the aromatics.

    I get my kick and the subtle flavors in the same cup.

    One thing that you have completely missed in your posts is – caffiene

    You drink alcohol not just for the taste alone, you also drink it
    for the after affects. Same with Tea.

  3. Thank you for your comment, i was about to change this page in that regard :).
    , but a quick response: #1 i drink tea for the taste.
    , i don’t drink alcohol because of the after effects, and the during the drink effects (it burns my stomach).

  4. Interesting site. Enjoyed your comments. Stumbled on the site trying to find a local distributor for Hyakunen-cha.

    Keep up the quest for the best!

  5. Thank you for your comments,
    mmm… if you didnt find at WingHopFung… maybe you can try the smaller ‘herb’ and roots little stores in Chinatown, i am unfamiliar with health/herb teas, but the name itself sounds Japanese?

  6. I just found and really like this website and blog.I bought a 2nd house in Coastal Scoth Carolina where the city water is wierd and produced some pretty foul tasting brewed tea. Is there some tea lover out there who can teach me a bit about the right water chemistry for brewing good tea? I am Chem Engineer working in food industry so would prefer technical input if available. Many Thanks

  7. Thank you for your comments.
    I use a Kenmore countertop water filter that works pretty good, also since the filter is large, water can flow pretty fast.
    Since you have a house you can try installing the under-sink water filters. Get it from Sears test it out, see if it makes any difference.
    For good tea some think some mineral content is desired as it gives tea a better flavor.
    You can also test some bottled waters to see if you like some more than others.
    On the Rec.Food.Drink.Tea http://groups.google.com/group/rec.food.drink.tea/topics there are some knowledgeable folks who might have the details you’re looking for,
    some water topics:

  8. Just wanted to say I enjoy your reviews–they seem so honest and straightforward. Have definitely found a few teas I want to try–and some I will definitely avoid! 🙂

    If you’re bored sometime, please stop by my blog, where friends and I review our own favorite teas (and no, we’re not affiliated with any store!).

  9. Hi,
    Just a few words from a reborn tea lover in Quebec City, Canada. Beleave it or not I found a tin can of Lapsang Souchong, bought in India some 20 years ago, opened it, the smell was great, had a cup and it was great !! Twenty something yeas old, stocked in the attic or basement (moved 5 or 6 times) and still that particular smoke almost ham like smell. Amazing… It has awaken a bunch of souvenirs of travels in India and reafirmed my taste for fine teas. If any of you blog readers come down here in Quebec City or Montreal. The absolute finest bunch of tea experts in eastern Canada are at a place called CAMELLIA SINENSIS. They have the products and the wnowledge and they offer tasting classes and tea workshops. They travel all the time in China, India, Sri Lanka etc. to buy their products themselves. I learned so much from them in a year. It’ really exciting. This is where I discovered Pu-Ehr and Japanese tea. I am now a devoted tea lover and perform my little ritual every day with the right water temperature, the right cups, and the way to pour etc.

    Vive le thé !


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