23 Tasting Notes


I am really enjoying this tea. The description of the blend, from H&S does not indicate the 8 teas used in the blend, but from looking at it, it is lovely, colorful and I see various types of leaves. I can definately see white tea, probably green and oolong. Assam is there.

Drinking this is like a pleasant puzzle to solve. There are multi-levels of flavor including some, but not a lot, of fruityness that brings sweet tones. You don’t need to add sugar, but try it occasionally to see if you can bring out any certain fruit flavor.

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 30 sec

Now that I have read the rest of the reviews I can see the 8 teas used in the blend. I’m glad I wrote an uninfluenced comment and it will still be entertaining to deduce various flavors.


Drank this years ago and really enjoyed it. Waiting on my reorder so I can review it. It is one of my favorite blends ever tried! :)

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V-day SweeTea Tea, thanks Saykayay!
A bright, smooth Darjeeling with a mild sweetness. A brisk roof-of-the-mouth darjeeling finish. nice.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Spices and Tea just illustrate, to me, how well our favored drink takes to blending. It virtually says, “Bring it on”! Pile on a variety of traditional chai spices and throw in rose petals too. The tea can take it.

I love rose in tea. It harkens back to the first time I tasted Turkish Delight and realized the delicate flavor of flowers can be so ‘delightful’.

This Metro Tea lived up to my expectations. I brewed for less than the suggested 7 mins, but I did add the ‘chai obligatory milk and sugar’.
It is truly Yum. Fragrant and flavorful!

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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On my last order from Metropolitan, I splurged and bought some of this. It is a bit more expensive, but on tasting is quite worth it. Also it is supposed to bring good luck, so I thought it a good way to start 2011.

Here is some further description from the companies’ site.
It all begins with a tea producer named Mr. Huyincai. Mr. Huyincai worked in the district of Panyong in Fuan City, Fujian Province. In 1851 while making a routine inspection of his tea plants, Mr. Huyincai noticed a small section that seemed to be producing leaf of exceptional quality. Mr. Huyincai regarded this exceptional crop as a gift from mothernature and decided that it should be processed in a new and unique way. He plucked the leaf and decided to allow it to ferment before firing it, a process that turned the leaf black. While this technique of its own is not unique, Mr. Huyincai also developed a complicated production procedure that resulted in a tea so special he decided to name it 9 Bend Black Dragon.

Unfortunately, we can’t tell you much about his complicated production procedure since the details of it are judiciously guarded by a handful of people in Fuan City to this day. What we can tell you is that the name is both derived from the lucky 9 Bend River that flowed through his birth-place of Wuyishan (9 is a lucky number in China), and the symbol of the black Dragon, long considered lucky in China. We can also safely say that the luck rubbed off. Within a short time his tea had won just about every award there was to be won throughout China and Europe. As its popularity grew, the tea came to be regarded as a precious gift amongst the nobility and ruling classes of both places. Letters began to pour in from people who had drunk the tea and been rewarded with bouts of good luck – a Prime Minister re-elected here, a nobleman awarded a new fifedom there, etc. Needless to say, Mr. Huyincai became very wealthy. In fact he was considered for a time to be one of the wealthiest men in Fujian. Thankfully, besides good luck, Mr. Huyincai was also blessed with brains and so reinvested his newfound wealth back into his factory and started the operation that produces his tea to this day.

As in the days of Mr. Huyincai, 9 Bend Black Dragon – which goes by the production name of Panyong Needle – is only produced in the district of Panyong in Fuan City. Production totals these days are around 50 tons annually and the tea is still regarded by traders as one of Fujian’s finest exports. Professional tasters praise this tea for its exceptionally fresh, sweetish infusion, pure, thick nose, and bright golden cup. Brew a pot for yourself or your customers today, say a prayer for old Mr. Huyincai, and keep your fingers crossed. Cheers!


The loose tea is beautiful. Long, twisted and glossy. It is a pleasure to look at.

I infused this for less than my usual 5 mins as I anticipate a couple re-infusions. I can tell you that the 2nd and 3rd are excellent as well. The flavors hold up nicely, and I can taste the oaky flavor with a light astringency. This tea is everything it is touted to be. In my estimation.

I have noticed that many of the Metropolitan tasting notes here on Steepster are of their bagged tea. I will hope to bring many more tastings of the whole leaf tea that I carry in my shop to the notes on this site. I have not had many disappointments. Their tea continues to be the bulk of my re-orders and backs up the popularity with great sales.
I only sell the loose leaf and prefer loose/whole leaf in my own tea drinking.

For TeaEqualsBliss Challenge: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3rxNCzzJpY

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 15 sec


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This morning I am trying the sample that H&S sent wth my order.
It IS a good cup of tea for chocolate tea lovers. A full bodied cup of tea and lovely aroma without milk and sugar, but ‘with’ and it tastes like hot chocolate (a bit on the watery side) but enjoyable. I like it. I will have to try it side by side with Metro’s Chocolate before I decide whether or not to switch.

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 45 sec

The shop staff and I did the side-by-side tasting and everyone voted on the Metro Tea Chocolate blend.

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If you love cinnamon bears or red hots, you will love this tea as well.

I’m not a big fan of strong cinnamon in a drink. I love it in baked items. So, this was not on my list for a recent H&S order. However, the rep suggested I add it as it is their best seller.
They also mentioned that I would need to know, to tell my customers, as I ‘would’ be asked, that it does not have any sugar or sweetener of any kind added. It is all naturally sweet due to the 3 kinds of cinnamon.

If you crave something sweet and can’t do sugar, go for this tea. Among the many touted health benefits, researchers have found that sniffing cinnamon results in improved brain function -– subjects did better on memory and attention tasks when taking whiffs of cinnamon as opposed to other odors or no odor. However, the potential health benefits of cinnamon that have received the most attention have to do with its effects on blood glucose and cholesterol.

I actually did enjoy my cuppa more than I thought I would. The spices are too strong to taste the tea. I am sure it will be a good seller for the shop.

190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Oh, it would be. The local hipppie coffee shop place here sells it (but only in bags. Sigh) and it’s one of their best sellers. They’ve been sold out before the 22nd every month this fall/winter.
You’re spot on about the sugar too. This is the only tea my Splenda happy grandparents leave untainted by chemicals and glucose spikes.


To update, I have already reorderred this tea and it continues to be quite popular.


2 years later, still reordering this tea. The herbal, rooibos version is even more popular.

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The Republic of Tea has done a nice job of packaging and marketing. I do wish they would do more with loose tea tho. I might consider adding them to the vendor list. I frequently have customers mentioning their teas.

For a bagged tea the aroma and flavor is quite nice. I do get the sage. It is definitely a good combo with the fruity blackberry.
The brewing instructions on the can recommend 3 to 5 mins.
I used 1.5 and got the best flavor. IMO. Bagged teas with the small pieces of leaves infuse so quickly it is practically instant tea.

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 30 sec

I could’ve sworn this was one of the few they sold in bulk and loose. At least in their catalog. Let me check…Yeah they do sell it loose. Do they not on their website? Odd.
And they do have great marketing for such an ethically hypocritically company. They really encourage bagged drinking in both price and size but it’s so easy to get distracted by the art on their tins. I nearly bought their “Merchant’s Tea Green Chai” because of it. (^_^;)


Thanks so much for updating me. It has been a while since I checked into these.


I tasted several of ROT’s loose teas while at the Fancy Food Show this past weekend. There were enough different and very enjoyable tastes and aromas that I added some of their line to my inventory.
The particular thing I liked tho, was the Tea Traveler Press. I got those to sell at the shop as well. Most Tea-to-go drink cups I have seen, and decided not to carry, have a separate basket that you have to remove to keep the tea from getting bitter. Then whattheheck do you do with it while traveling. Not convenient.
The ROT tea press has the silicone divider, so, once you press, the tea is nicely compartmentalized. The lid is easy to drink from as well. I think it will be a nice addition to the shop.


ROT has always had a loose leaf line in their wholesale offerings and the quality is generally quite good….particularly their unblended, single orgin teas like golden yunnan, silver rain, etc…. if your interested I could send you samples…they are also quite generous with supporting and donating teas to charity events and tea talks and have supported a number of my events through the years…ROT also recognized a market trend and just this last year changed almost 50% of thier catalog over to focus on loose leaf and the website has also followed suit…

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Can Steepster influence your tea purchases? Absolutely.
I was in TJ Max yesterday looking for some kitchen items for the Teahouse. Out of curiosity, having seen this tea mentioned on the discussion board, I checked to see if the Sonora TJ’s had some as well.

Because of Steepster, I was willing to try a bagged tea. Since becoming a tea merchant and being exposed to incredibly tasty loose tea, I have come to the conclusion that I would never want to drink bagged tea again.
If you want tea ‘fast’, bagged is the way to go. You can infuse in one minute, which is the way this tea tasted best to me.

It has a nice aroma, but the brew is a bit metallic to my taste.

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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drank Paris by Harney & Sons
23 tasting notes

I think I have had guests and visitors asking about this tea since I opened, so, just shy of a 4 year anniversary I have added Harney & Sons to my vendor list.

Aromatics are important to me. I sell a lot of tea based on customer response to the smell.
Paris certainly lives up to a wonderful nose experience. I smell the creaminess, the berry and the bergamot. Nice!

However, the smell of the loose tea does not translate to the same aroma coming from the brewed tea. This does not mean the tea is not good, it just doesn’t, to me, realize the expectations created.
I infused for only 4.5 minutes because this tea brewed dark quickly and could tend toward the bitter if over-infused. I don’t taste the berry or the creaminess (vanilla). I do get the bergamot and a hint of smoky.
The tea tastes like a wonderful black tea blend. I would certainly drink it again and again. It will be interesting to follow guest response.

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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I’ve always enjoyed Naturally Flavored Fruit teas. My first exposure was an Apricot Tea. Hence, I’ve measured following tastings by my enjoyment of that for some reason.

Metro’s Loose Leaf Blueberry tea is an excellent flavored tea. The unsteeped aroma is inviting. I favor judging expectations by inhaling the blend in advance of infusion.

This infusion was short of my typical 5 minutes. The tea brews nice, full and strong, so I don’t recommend oversteeping. The blueberry flavor is distinct and you get the back of the mouth flavor as well.
If you like milk and sugar, that will enhance the blueberry.
Very enjoyable.

This is Metro’s loose leaf blend, not the bagged which has it’s own tasting notes.
You can also get an organic blueberry from Metro.
My preference will always be loose leaf.

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 30 sec

This fruity blend was a needed perk-up this morning. First of, no doubt, several caffeinating blends to get thru a New Year’s eve day. Happy Celebrating Steepsters!!

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Columbia Kate’s Teahouse

Set in an 1880’s period barn in historic Columbia, A State Park, CA, our focus is in providing both an education in the Art of Afternoon Tea while offering a pleasant atmosphere and great food.
Opened Feb 1, 2007
Open 7 days/week 11am to 4pm

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To Trade Tea Tastings, followers may contact me at manager@columbiakates.com

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22727 Columbia ST, Columbia, CA 95310



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