997 Tasting Notes

76

This tea bag sample was provided by Bird & Blend. Thank you!

It may not be particularly fancy or high quality, but sometimes a traditional British black tea blend is just the thing. Its malty profile takes so lovingly to milk, and even sugar if that’s your fancy.

This one is quite nice in that is has the raisin notes from Assam, sweet potato from Yunnan, and bright citrus from Ceylon. Grain notes in the form of malt, malt residue syrup, and baked bread have filled out nicely in my milk cup. Not sure how this one would fly without milk though!

I’d 10/10 serve this to my father and older sister. This is their style of tea to a “T”. Sadly, for them, I usually don’t stock up on Breakfast Blends.

Rating: 76 – English tea grannies would be pleased.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Lemon, Malt, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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78

This tea bag sample was provided by Bird & Blend. Thank you!

First of all, that green-blue colour is fantastic.

Secondly, my throat is sore so a peppermint heavy blend with spirulina makes me exceptionally happy right now. I also like how Bird & Blend tells us the blend is 44% Chinese oolong and 30% peppermint (not that you can really taste oolong but living in a country where our food labels aren’t super transparent, I respect this so much. Don’t change Bird & Blend).

The profile is peppermint, cream, peppercorn (which enhances the mint mostly), and slightly vegetal skewing floral note– possibly from either the pea flowers and/or oolong.

Rating: 78 – mint is life right now. You never appreciate mint more than when your throat feels like sandpaper. This also gets a couple points for being fun and novel.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Herbaceous, Peppercorn, Peppermint, Spices, Vegetal

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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86

With milk, this silky smooth incense tea may end up as one of my favourites over time. There’s sandalwood alongside all of that anise, vanilla, jasmine and spice too. Such a happy tea (except for maybe the tea name, which is a bit outdated in my neck of the woods).

Steep Count: 2

Edit Apparently, there is lemongrass in this, and anise + vanilla aren’t listed as actual ingredients (flavouring may fall under “natural flavours”). Regardless, I like this one a lot. I swear I’ve had it before under a different name too; there’s a bit of nostalgia to this blend.

Flavors: Anise, Cardamon, Jasmine, Lemongrass, Spices, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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73

I like this one hot, but cold brewed it tastes like many other teas from Dessert by Deb. Most of the blends I picked have some combination of maple syrup, coconut, citrus, and/or brown sugar. This tea has a couple of those (coconut/citrus profile)! This isn’t too much of a problem for me because I love maple syrup, citrus, and coconut but I do have to space out drinking these, as they get kind of samesy.

When it’s hot, the jasmine, lemongrass and ginger peak through and play off the sweet and creamy coconut nicely. The sencha is a mellow grass, and the profile is cooling despite being a hot cuppa. When it’s cold it’s mostly coconut, and that’s too bad. I’d probably rate the cold brew as a 60, but the hot one is to my tastes so far! I’ll give it a rating once I finish off the pouch.

Also, the tea pouch recommends steeping this one at 200F and I can’t “nope” that enough.

Steep Count: 2 hot cups, and 1 cold brew jar

Flavors: Coconut, Ginger, Grass, Jasmine, Lemongrass

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
gmathis

Sounds like a good summer choice!

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76

This was one of three random free samples from Bee’s Soulteez. Thank you!

Cold Brew

This mate blend is a lot gentler than I expected it to be and smells deliciously fruity after sitting in the fridge overnight. The hibiscus is a mild berry note – it’s fruitiness accentuated by the apple. Rosemary is refreshing here and has an effect similar to lavender (floral, fresh, herbaceous). Mate is slightly earthy, pairs well with the rosemary, and is a nice pick-me-up when coupled with the juicy and floral profile.

Flavors: Apple, Berry, Earth, Floral, Fruity, Herbs, Hibiscus, Rosehips

Preparation
Iced

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83

I don’t generally like rooibos, cocao or chocolate in teas, except when they are all together and paired with mint and vanilla, apparently. This is not the first chocolate mint rooibos I’ve enjoyed and it won’t be the last. I may like Silk Road’s more herbal Chocolate Panda slightly more because of the chamomile and anise; the maple syrup here makes this a real dessert and I don’t always have that much of a sweet tooth!

As always, this rooibos tastes best when it cools a bit (or completely).

Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Maple Syrup, Mint, Peppermint, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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79

In an attempt to try and get a good night’s sleep for once I curtailed my evening consumption of caffeine and replaced it with rooibos and/or honeybush. I now have two cups of rooibos/honeybush on the go and another queued to be made. This is weird.

Even though I’m not a huge fan of rooibos or honeybush I bought a nice big packet of this a while back. I may be a sucker for 52Tea’s berry blends and also marzipan/amaretto-esque profiles. Stuff is good especially as it cools.

Flavors: Almond, Butter, Honey, Marzipan, Nutty, Raspberry, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
OMGsrsly

Mmm, I do like a marzipan/amaretto flavoured honey bush or rooibos! Once I’m through a few more in my stash, I might have to risk the exchange rate and order…

CrowKettle

The marzipan is note is pretty faint because raspberries but they’re such a candied raspberry… Also, I was going to say I don’t think this is available anymore because it was a January blend, but apparently sample sizes are still around! Along with Maple Cheesecake Oolong. Huh.

CrowKettle

You can always just grab some of mine too though! :)

OMGsrsly

I’m not too fussed about what flavours go with the almond tbh. I bet by the time I’m ready to order there will be something new. :)

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68

This was included as a sample in my most recent order. Thank you!

Compared with the more pithy grapefruit teas I’ve been drinking lately, this one is kind of muted (or gentler). As a hot cup, the base is kind of smoky and vegetal, like asparagus. The citrusy grapefruit and guava are equal parts bitter and sweet. The guava in particular adds a mild flowery element.

As a cold brew the green base is smoother and subdued.. everything is actually. It was pretty sweet and mild, but refreshing enough.

While I prefer a more pithy and nippy grapefruit flavour and less smoky green teas I did enjoy the novelty of the guava here; it’s a different ingredient than what I’m used to! It smells lovely too.

Flavors: Asparagus, Citrus, Floral, Grapefruit, Guava, Smoke, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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82

June 2020 Reblend

Honeybush isn’t usually my thing and I have so much coconut right now, but I have to admit that this was a delicious evening cup last night. Just really nice coconut flesh, coconut cream, and honey/sweet syrup flavours that are both decadent and smooth. I like this a lot better then the poorly remembered black tea version of Frank’s, which I recall liking a lot even so (yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve had one of Coconut Cream Pies).

Flavors: Coconut, Cream, Honey

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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85

June 2020 Blend

Wooo! My box finally arrived! I potentially received too many tea parcels lately but opening them up never gets old.

This Tieguanyin is coming across as pretty silky and buttery with some florals (maybe a musky sweet violet). The ginger is more of a complimentary savoury-sweet component to the citrusy pineapple at first, adding some extra ginger zest to the finishing note (Edit: most zingy on my second steep).

My brain may be faulty after such a long period of time, but this is a pretty close approximation of Butiki’s Flowery Pineapple, the main difference being that this uses Tieguanyin and adds ginger while Butiki used a Wen Shan Bao Zhong (for the life of me I cannot recall what that base specifically tasted like besides “green oolong” and that I always seemed to oversteep it). Another easy comparison is 52Tea’s Banana Oolong – if you liked that you’ll probably like this too.

Steep Count: 2

Flavors: Butter, Citrus, Floral, Ginger, Pineapple

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Sil

Jealous! Hoping mine gets here soon.

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Profile

Bio

I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

Ingredients/flavours I tend to dislike or stay away from: apple, cocoa nibs, marine, peach, stevia, dairy products

Subjective Rating System 2.0:

90-100: My absolute favourite tea. Will impulsively buy and hoard like a dragon.

85-89: A favourite tea. May have quality flaws that I choose to ignore.

76-84: A lovely tea, maybe of high quality or masterful blending, but not one I’m likely to order again.

70-75: Enjoyable, but I may have few minor problems with quality, consistency, ingredient chemistry and/or personal preferences.

50-69: Quality, consistency, blending, or personal preference problems are apparent, but I wouldn’t pass up a cup.

11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea. I don’t give a lot of these ratings out, since I tend to grab teas I know will appeal to me.

1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This is last year’s low-grade bancha mixed with rancid coconut, stale cocoa nibs, over-enthusiastic hibiscus, and stevia sweetener. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t exist.

Location

BC, Lower Mainland

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