2725 Tasting Notes


Another Yezi tea this morning! The leaves of this tea look quite similar to the Qing Pin I tried last night – they’re thin and mostly dark but have some nice golden spots. Like the other Yezi samples I’ve tried so far, the dry leaves smell strongly of hay, both in and out of the package. This similarity makes me feel like my sniffer is broken! :P

The steeped tea is aromatic and savory. I can smell rye bread along with caraway seed and a strong roasted note. The taste is pretty much identical to the smell. It’s very strongly roasted and I can taste a lot of that caraway flavor, which always makes me think Fujian. And this is a Fujian tea, so I guess it’s warranted. :P This is definitely the sort of tea that makes me feel like I’m eating a meal because of its dense, savory flavors. It reminds me of eating a huge, thick piece of homemade wheat bread.

Flavors: Bread, Herbs, Roasted, Thick, Wheat

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

Wow, caraway. Now there is a note you don’t see every day.

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Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – December 7th

Ooh, another green tea. Normally I’m not a huge fan of flavored greens, but I think it’s a different story when it comes from such a quality company. Generally I don’t like flavored greens because of the base tea, and that seems to be a non-issue with DF. Anyway! The leaves in this sachet are surprisingly intact, and I can see some citrus peel among them. Dry scent is strong orange and cinnamon with a touch of marzipan.

The steeped tea is quite strong on the candy cinnamon aroma, with a bit of sweet almond. Hmm, this is actually surprisingly light on the flavor, especially the base tea. I can taste cinnamon and ginger mostly, along with the orange. For some reason there’s a tart sensation at the end of the sip, not sure what that’s from. I wish I could taste the vanilla or almond, but alas I cannot. The green tea doesn’t seem to have any taste to speak of… just a foil for the cinnamon, ginger, and orange flavors. Perhaps the smallest touch of grass?

Despite not loving this, I’m very excited to see the first Christmas tea of the calendar! :D

Flavors: Cinnamon, Ginger, Orange, Orange Zest

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Qing Pin Black Tea by Yezi Tea
2725 tasting notes

Another Yezi tea (yes, a black tea at 10:30 PM – I’m living on the edge!). I must say, I find the name quite amusing. I can’t look at it without thinking “Kingpin” and then I imagine this tea at the head of some kind of secret black tea crime organization. Epic. The leaves are rather thin and a mix of chocolate brown with some golden tips. Dry scent is quite hay-like with honey sweetness.

Wow, there is a ton of cocoa in the steeped aroma! I can also smell some caramel and these two notes make an interesting contrast with the savory rye and slight smoky element. Hmm, this tea is definitely more savory than it is sweet. There’s strong and thick rye bread paired with a light smoked meats taste. I think I can taste cocoa here but it’s definitely unsweetened cocoa powder as opposed to chocolate. There’s a very light touch of floral at the end, along with a caramelized sugar richness. Overall, it’s quite good.

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Cocoa, Floral, Hay, Roasted, Rye, Smoked

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

One of my favorite tea names. :D

Cameron B.

Clearly Yezi’s black teas are secretly plotting something…

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Hooray, Yunomi finished reorganizing/revamping their subscription program and sent me my first month (I paid for 3 months not knowing it had been suspended so I’m getting them now!). The concept is actually quite cool, it’s a comparison of the same tea with and without matcha. They sent two versions (with and without matcha) of three different teas, for a total of six samples. Tonight I felt like a genmaicha, so I figured I’d break into the samples. The sencha in this tea has very thin and dark leaves, but unfortunately it’s very broken up, which makes me worry about getting a bitter brew. There is also the usual toasted rice and a few pieces of popped rice. Dry scent is rich and buttery.

Thankfully, I can smell the toasted rice more in the steeped aroma. It’s a lovely lime green color. There’s a bit of sediment at the bottom of my cup, so I’ll try to drink this as quickly as possible to avoid any bitterness. I can taste the roasted flavor best in the beginning of the sip, after which the sencha takes over until the end. The sencha here is quite smooth, but has a concentrated vegetal flavor that reminds me of steamed spinach. There’s also a nice touch of sweetness reminiscent of snap peas. I can also taste a nice, brothy umami presence that makes this so satisfying to drink. In the aftertaste, the rice flavor comes back out to play and mingles well with the other notes. Overall, it’s quite nice and I can definitely tell that this was made with a premium sencha.

Flavors: Broth, Grass, Peas, Spinach, Sweet, Toasted Rice, Umami

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Yunomi has a subscription?!

Cameron B.

Yes, they do. It’s kind of hard to find on their website for whatever reason…


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Yay, I got this as a free sample from Red Leaf Tea. Thanks so much, I really appreciate the chance to try some of your product before buying! I must confess, I am a matcha novice… I have really no experience with it, but I’ve heard good things from other people here on Steepster, and when I saw that the French Vanilla was available for sampling, I had to give it a go! I decided to follow the directions for a cold latte, minus the ice cubes. So I put 8 ounces of vanilla soy milk in an empty water bottle and added a half teaspoon of the matcha, then shook it vigorously for a few seconds.

I must say, it came out very tasty! I think next time I might try it with 6 ounces of milk instead of 8 (the instructions recommended 6-8) just because I wouldn’t mind a stronger flavor. I figured I’d stick to the lower matcha:milk ratio this time, just because I was unsure whether I would like it or not. Next time, all bets are off! I will say, the vanilla of the soy milk combined with the vanilla of the matcha is lovely. However, I find that this has a light coconut flavor to it as well, so not sure if that’s from the matcha? Either way, delicious creamy vanilla-coconut goodness.

Flavors: Coconut, Vanilla

8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Goût Russe by Dammann Freres
2725 tasting notes

Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – December 6th

Hooray, another black base! I must say, I’ve been very happy with the ratio of teas in the calendar so far – it’s been almost all black teas, with one green and one rooibos. Just how I like it! :) I was very surprised that I had to add this tea to Steepster (there were two similar teas but not this exact one). Anyway! This is a black tea with bergamot and orange oils, so it should be similar to Troika from Kusmi. The dry scent is quite lovely, and I can definitely smell the sweet orange clearly.

Yum, I like this one a lot. The bergamot and the orange are both strong enough to be easily identified, but not so strong that they overpower your mouth. The base tea is mellow and smooth, and though it doesn’t really have any distinguishing characteristics on its own, it serves as a nice base for the citrus oils. I’m drinking mine straight, but I’m sure this would be lovely with a touch of sugar or milk as well. Thanks Dammann!

P.S. – I must say, I’m actually very happy that this advent calendar is in sachet form! It’s so convenient and doesn’t leave me with extra bits of tea to sipdown later. :)

Flavors: Bergamot, Orange, Smooth

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

Actually, sorry but this is the same tea as this one… http://steepster.com/teas/dammann-freres/12143-gout-russe-douchka

They just left the “douchka” off the name on the sachet. I wonder if Jason and co. are able to merge teas again?

Anyway this has been one of my faves for a while. Glad you enjoyed it!

Cameron B.

Oh… really? Dammann has them listed as two separate teas – one with bergamot/orange and one with bergamot/orange/lemon.


Cameron B.

But if they really are the same, it’s not problem. I can just copy the note over to the other listing and mark this one for deletion.


Hmm I am pretty sure they are identical teas, despite the slight difference in description. But I suppose we would have to ask someone at the actual shop to be certain. :)


I agree, sometimes I like sachets for their easy usage. :)

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drank Ming Hong by Yezi Tea
2725 tasting notes

Oh em gee, I totally forgot that I have these Yezi samples to try! Silly me. I ordered samples during their Cyber Monday sale, and ended up getting 7 samples for under $10. Such a good deal, thanks Yezi! I admit, I chose this one at random out of the 5 black teas I got. They all have Chinese names that I am not familiar with, so I figured I’d just go with the first one I picked up. The leaves are long and thin and somewhat twisty. They’re a lovely dark chocolate brown with some grey spots, and there are a few stems included. Dry scent is very hay-like, though I can pick up on some grain/bread notes as well. I don’t generally weigh my teas, but since I knew it was a 5g sample, I weighed out 2.5g to make sure I would get two good cups out of it (it ended up looking similar to 1.5 teaspoons anyway!).

Ooh, the steeped tea smells delicious! I smell savory tones as well as bread and honey, possibly also a hint of green beans. Mm, yum. This tea is thick and bready and so comforting. I do taste a bit of a vegetal note, and it does remind me of green beans or something similar (edamame perhaps?). It’s definitely more of a savory tea than a sweet one, though I do get a little taste of dried fruit near the end and in the aftertaste along with a bit of caramelized sugar. Yum, so good! What a great start to my Yezi samples!

Flavors: Bread, Burnt Sugar, Dried Fruit, Grain, Green Beans, Rye

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

Cameron, Which Yezi tea have enjoyed the most to date?

Cameron B.

I think I prefer this one so far, but I’ve only tried 2 out of my 7 samples. :)


I look forward to reading your impressions of all 7 of them.

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drank Jasmine (Jasmin) by Løv Organic
2725 tasting notes

This is an individually-wrapped sachet from my Løv Organic sampler. Now, as all of you know by now, I’m not big on floral teas. However, jasmine is one of the few floral flavors that I do actually enjoy every now and then. I’m not sure why this is, possibly because it’s a sweeter floral? Anyway. Though it doesn’t say in the name, this is a green tea with jasmine. I don’t see any petals mixed with the green tea leaves. Dry scent is sweet and somewhat potent jasmine.

Yum, this is a tasty tea. The only other reviewer said they found it bitter, but I don’t get that at all. The jasmine flavor is present but it’s not too strong. The green tea base is fairly standard and unremarkable, but I don’t taste any bitter or grassy elements here. Overall, it’s a perfectly nice jasmine tea. :)

Flavors: Jasmine

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Citrus Rooibos by Dammann Freres
2725 tasting notes

Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – December 5th

Ooh, a rooibos today. I know a lot of people who aren’t fans of rooibos, but I happen to like it a lot, especially when it’s well-flavored (as DF tends to do!). The package is such a happy and bright yellow-orange color, and it made me smile when I saw it inside the little door. There are a few small pieces of citrus peel and some yellow flower petals mixed in the with rooibos base. Whoa, the dry scent surprised me. I could smell the citrus, definitely, a combination of lemon and some type of orange. However, it also smelled almost effervescent? So I looked at the description again, and found that it also has “kola” flavor. Doesn’t exactly come to mind when I think of a citrus tea, but I’ll go with it!

I can definitely smell the cola in the steeped tea, and it reminds me of the cola-flavored Bottlecaps candies. Hm, this is a bit strange! I can taste the red rooibos, and then there’s an effervescent cola quality, which for some reason makes the citrus end of this lean more toward lime rather than lemon/orange. So it sort of becomes similar to a lime-flavored cola. However, near the end the cola sort of dissipates and I can taste the lemon and clementine flavors clearly. This is definitely a strange one. Not bad, but unusual.

Aww… Cola isn’t an available flavor to select…

Flavors: Citrus, Lemon, Lime, Orange

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

Wow, definitely strange!

Cameron B.

I know! Crazy Frenchies. :P


Interesting, I was going to get their cola-flavoured black when I tried to make an order the other month. Sounds like they nailed the cola flavour!


sounds really unique! I wonder how you make a tea taste effervescent?

Cameron B.

Fjellrev, to be honest it reminded me more of cola-flavored Bottlecaps than actual cola. Not sure if that makes a difference. :P


I don’t know why, but for some reason that is what I was expecting anyway haha. Well actually, more so the cola bottle gummy candies.

Cameron B.

Happy Cola! Ha ha… :D But yes, definitely more of a cola-flavored candy flavor.

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Another caffeine-free option from my Løv Organic sampler! I must say, I’m not generally a fan of fruit tisanes, as they almost always contain hibiscus (this one does as well). I do like fruit flavors, but I prefer them in conjunction with a base tea. Anyway, the wrapper is a lovely rich turquoise color that definitely goes along with the “exotic” theme, and there are all sorts of pieces of fruit in the sachet. Dry scent is lovely – a combination of peach/mango and pineapple.

Hmm… I can definitely smell the tart hibiscus in the steeped tea, but it’s not completely fuchsia in color, so that’s a good sign. :P Hm, the flavor is a little weak, but I’m impressed that’s it’s not completely overcome by the tartness of hibiscus. It’s actually a nice little mix of peach/mango and pineapple. There’s some tartness here, but it actually goes well with the tropical flavors, since pineapple is pretty tart anyway. There’s an interesting little hint of sweetness at the end of the sip that kind of reminds me of an extremely mild licorice root, so I’m not sure where that’s coming from. Overall, it’s good. :D

Flavors: Mango, Peach, Pineapple, Sweet, Tart, Tropical

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m a 30-something software engineer currently living in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two pugs, Gobo and Ume. I tend to cycle between my different hobbies, and they include knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, bento, baking, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is collecting hobby related-things… ;)

~ February Sipdowns: 4
~ Total 2022 Sipdowns: 45

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I will often sweeten iced tea. I brew Western style, and fluctuate between using mugs or teapots with small cups depending on the season. Occasionally I’ll brew Gongfu style when I’m in the mood. I also use a kyusu for Japanese teas.

I am always up for a swap! Just let me know if you’d like to try something in my cupboard.

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms. These days, I drink mostly flavored teas, and I tend to gravitate most toward black, green, and oolong varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however. I also enjoy maté, rooibos, honeybush, and herbal tisanes. I love matcha and drink it often!

Fruit: All of them! My ‘go-to’s tend to be in the red fruits, stonefruit, or citrus spectra. I also really love apple, banana, berry, fig, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially passionfruit, mango, and pineapple. I am not generally a fan of coconut in tea, though there are some exceptions.

Dessert: I love creamy vanilla and marshmallow flavors, along with anything in the caramel family such as butterscotch, toffee, or maple. Chocolate is also a favorite, though I’m often disappointed by it in tea. And don’t forget anything buttery, cakey, or cookie-y!

Floral: I’m a little bit more particular in this category. I very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura and chamomile. Osmanthus is also a favorite of mine. But I’m not crazy about rose or lavender flavors, and I prefer hibiscus in moderation only.

Spices: I don’t generally find myself drawn to masala chai, but I do enjoy spices combined with other flavors. My favorite spices are the warm ones, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cardamom. A bit of heat from black pepper or chili is okay too, as long as it’s not overwhelming! Ginger can be a lovely accent, but I find it difficult to drink as a starring flavor.

Aromatics: I’m obsessed with Earl Grey! I also love cooling flavors such as mint (especially spearmint), pine, juniper, and eucalyptus. I am not a fan of strong rosemary or sage in tea.

Favorite Purveyors:
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Taiwan Tea Crafts
Yunnan Sourcing

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age.

Cupboard Spreadsheet:


Austin, Texas



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