1363 Tasting Notes

I honestly wasn’t too excited to see this one when it arrived. Then I tasted and remembered that I actually love gingersnap cookies. This tea tastes like aforementioned cookies in a way that awakens some serious cookie-pining (imagine how perfect it would be to dunk a gingersnap cookie into this gingersnap tea). It’s so good.

I appreciate how the nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla are merely subtle accents and a vehicle to convey the gingersnap ideal. I love that I get gingersnaps whether or not I choose to add milk. Wish I’d picked up more of this.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cookie, Ginger, Malt, Nutmeg, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Ashmanra’s sipdown challenge 2023 – A flavoured white tea

Ok, this is the only flavoured white tea I currently have so it’s off for it. My initial impression way back when was one of intimidation because the honey aroma of the dry leaf is thick. It’s impressive that honey doesn’t dominate the actual cup once steeped up; it’s a pretty good balance between the tea base, a floral citrus, and the would-be tyrannical honey. I enjoyed it even though White Peony isn’t my favourite.

The thing this tea most reminds me of is an odd one though: White Rabbit Candy. Something about White Peony has always been papery to me (in the most flattering way.) It’s likely linked to the cucumber and hay notes that white teas have but Silver Needle doesn’t do this to my brain. When it’s paired with the thick sweetness and tactile memories of honeycomb and the subtle nuances of blood orange, it crosses wires into milk-sweet rice paper territory. White Rabbit candies reminds me of my childhood so we are good.

Steep Count: 3

Flavors: Beeswax, Blood Orange, Candy, Citrus, Cucumber, Floral, Fruity, Hay, Honey, Orange Blossom, Paper, Rice, Smooth, Sweet

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec

I love white rabbit candies!


I had to google that … are they like vanilla tootsie rolls?


@gmathis: I really don’t think so. They have more of a milky flavor – like a sweetened milk – rather than the vanilla flavor of the tootsie (which I also love, btw) – and the texture is a bit different too. I find white rabbits to be a little more “toothsome” than tootsies. You kind of have to warm a white rabbit in your mouth (suck on it) a while before it softens up and you can chew it, whereas tootsies are soft and chewy.


@gmathis – the shape and form are similar but otherwise taste and texture are pretty different in all the ways Anne describes.

I’ve also seen White Rabbit flavoured ice cream in some grocery stores. I’m intrigued how that would translate.

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Ashmanra’s sipdown challenge 2023 – Your oldest oolong tea

With a 2018 harvest date, this is definitely my oldest oolong by quite a bit. This last cup is a lot of tea dust but it’s still a decent sticky rice flavour – grainy, creamy, sweet and slightly sour. I’m sad to see this one go but there’s been more air than tea in the pouch for a couple years now – and it’s totally getting buried under newer oolong acquisitions.

Steep Count: 4

Flavors: Butter, Milky, Nutty, Popcorn, Savory, Smooth, Sticky Rice, Tangy, Toasted Rice, Umami, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Ashmanra’s sipdown challenge 2023 – February 2 – Groundhog Day: drink the same tea (or type) twice!

Did I have two separate sessions of this with one resteep each today? Yes, I did. Now, I’m off to reconvene hibernation – which was the general consensus of Vancouver Island Marmots who weighed in today (literally, they were weighed to make sure they’re not loosing too much weight during hibernation; otherwise, the consensus in my province is not to wake up the sleepy marmots).

To catch up on other groundhog news 2023 check here (RIP Fred): https://www.ctvnews.ca/climate-and-environment/six-more-weeks-of-winter-here-are-the-predictions-of-groundhogs-across-north-america-1.6256937

This was always a fun tea to have because, due to not shaking my pouch ever, I kept getting a different distribution of ingredients in my filter. This means the tea never tasted the same. Sometimes, it reminded me of Butiki’s Pumpkin Milkshake blend, which was nice. I will miss it.

Flavors: Allspice, Caramelized Sugar, Cinnamon, Creamy, Ginger, Malt, Nutmeg, Pumpkin Spice, Smooth, Vanilla

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Oh no, poor Fred! I learned just yesterday that here is Alabama we have Sand Mountain Sam the opossum forecasting our weather. He predicted an early spring so I guess we’ll see over the next few weeks who got it right.


*IN Alabama


This tasting note made me chuckle. It illustrates exactly why I always put “shake pouch” on the brewing parameters because I seldom remember to shake before I measure. It makes for an adventure with every cup!


@Shae, Thank you for bringing Sand Mountain Sam to my attention; I love the regional takes on groundhog day but also have a soft spot for opossums :)

@52Teas, usually I’m pretty good at absentmindedly shaking my teas up in the morning… but not this time. The result was a sedimentary strata-like distribution of the spices. Whoops!

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Dammann Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 24

This is never going to be my favourite but I can’t deny it’s festive. I don’t recall drinking it over a month ago but I must have. I do recall my mom liking this one both in 2021 and 2022 though. Different teas (and tisanes) for different folks.

2022 Advent Summary: I continue to love how solid and affordable DF is even if I don’t love their actual orange-cherry-spice Noël blends (everything else is tasty or at least interesting). Also, we go into 2023 knowing they are unlikely to leave Rooibos de Noël to the last advent day two years in a row, so hurrah! The future is bright.

Flavors: Bubblegum, Cherry, Citrus, Orange, Spices, Woody

Cameron B.

The Dammann advent is my favorite!

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Mariage Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 25

Another catch-up note. The penultimate day was the blue version of this tea; I noted it would be lovely to try that spicy flavour profile on a black tea base and MF delivered. Memory is foggy now but I recall enjoying it a lot despite having difficulty describing it. It’s spicy, bready, and fruity but not remotely sweet; it’s like a christmas cookie-scented incense, which is apparently something I like. My mom shared a cup with me and thought it was magical, so vague tea.

2022 Advent Summary: MF really surprised me this year. I thought this was a far superior selection to 2021’s hyper focus on “Rhapsody” and “In Love” collections (both are meh imho) – even though it still leaned heavily into green and oolong teas. However, if I wanted to stock up on most of them I’d have to opt for expensive but pretty tins. I’m admittedly more than tempted when it comes to a few; there were some pretty neat teas but also pricey!

Flavors: Bread, Butter, Cinnamon, Citrus, Clove, Cookie, Ginger, Malt, Spices, Vanilla, Woody

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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12th Tea of Christmas 2022

Woops! I never wrote notes for my last day of advents so let’s fix that (and now I must gather my fuzzy memory of a tea I drank over a month ago).

I recall enjoying this but also finding it a tad tricky. Sometimes the chemistry was spot on with the almond cookie bliss, while other times I steeped it a couple seconds too long – resulting in an astringent cuppa (confounded by cranberry antics). That was ok because then I happily added milk and had a decent brisk (for me) mug.

Anyways, I enjoyed my 12 Teas of Christmas a lot this year (as usual) even if not all the blends matched my preferences exactly (majority votes and I get out of my comfort zone lol). Looking forward to next Christmas 2023! :)

Flavors: Almond, Astringent, Brisk, Cookie, Cranberry, Malt, Marzipan, Nutty

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Happy belated New Year, Steepsterites!

This one smells like it should have notes of cocoa but I mostly get sweet, dark malt, sweet potatoes, powdered sugar, and stone fruits – so sweet and deep but not chocolate-y like some of the yunnan teas per se. Still, it’s delicious and I’m glad Martin facilitated bringing these Georgian teas to my (and everyone else’s) attention. Thank you! :)

Steep Count: 3 – Western Style. The third steep is where I start to pick up the powdered sugar; there’s even a hint of pepper and spice. It’s a thinner cup but packs a lot of flavour into it.

Flavors: Dates, Malt, Pepper, Plum, Powdered Sugar, Smooth, Spices, Stonefruit, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Tangy, Winter Honey

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

This one really surprised me — so delightful!


Yes, it’s wonderful! I’m still playing around with the steeping parameters to get the most out of it but it seems forgiving too :)

Martin Bednář

I am so happy you got to try so unusual terroir of tea and moreover, you are happy with their teas! Considering that it has started as a very wild idea, getting Georgian tea directly from Georgia, continued with complicated comunication with them and in the end getting all packages for you done, it was an amazing journey with lovely teas!

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11th Tea of Christmas 2022

I had to chug this while heading out the door yesterday and am a little sad about that. It was tasty though – as I remember it being in the past. More of a candy rum than real rum, which is fine by me! I still don’t love that vegetal base (Chinese Sencha) but it doesn’t show up completely empty-handed and grass-stained; it also decently amplifies the butter and citrus notes. I enjoyed this one in the past and still enjoy it now but need a little more time to savour it (maybe Boxing Day?).

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Steepsterites! Now back to hovering over the turkey.

Flavors: Allspice, Butter, Candy, Cinnamon, Citrus, Cut Grass, Marine, Molasses, Nutmeg, Rum, Spices, Sweet, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Martin Bednář

Merry Christmas! Is the turkey done yet?


Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays! Hope you’ve enjoyed the festivities.


Merry Christmas, CrowKettle

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10th Tea of Christmas 2022

Still not a great lover of rooibos, but it’s nice to have something so unabashedly chocolate orange in the evening. Also pairs well with actual chocolate!

Probably going to use the rest up in a latte, later tonight. Should be good.

Flavors: Candy, Chocolate, Citrus, Orange, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla, Woody

195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more

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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.

My favourites are teas like Milk Oolong, Silver Needle,and Japanese Sencha/Gyokuro, or fruity and floral flavoured ones. However, I generally enjoy ALL the teas, including a good old cup of Earl Grey or Breakfast blend.


Vanilla, Maple, Caramel, Butterscotch, Cream, Toffee, Nougat, Marzipan, Butter

Citrus Fruits, Passionfruit, Banana, Pineapple, Melons, Blackberry, Raspberry, Currants, Elderberry, Persimmon, Rhubarb..

Ginger, Turmeric, Clove-forward chai, Cardamom

Sandalwood, Frankincense, Juniper, Eucalyptus, Mints

Lavender, Jasmine, Rose, Lilac, Violet, etc.

Spinach, Grass, Hay, Cucumber, Rice, Sweet Potato

Less Preferred Flavours/Ingredients:
Stevia, Apple, Cocoa Nib, Almond, Licorice, Cinnamon-forward blends, Chinese Sencha

Subjective Rating System:
I don’t give a lot of low ratings out, since a) I tend to grab tea I know will appeal to me, and b) I don’t have a lot of strong dislikes.

90-100: Favourites. The Desert Island Teas.
80-89: Loved teas. Possibly staple-worthy.
70-79: Good teas, but I’m less likely to repurchase. Minor quibbles.
60-69: Ok teas. Likely a few preference and/or quality issues.
50-59: Cup of meh. Will do in a pinch.
11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea.
1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This tea is the embodiment of the primordial swamp, an unholy abomination. It’s very gross and I’m almost positive it doesn’t exist.


BC, Canada

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