284 Tasting Notes

drank Toffee Dream by Zen Tea
284 tasting notes

Thank you to TheTeaFairy for a sample of this. I used the entire 2-cup sample. I have to say I am not getting a lot of toffee. It’s an ok tea but I sweetened it with honey and so I’m getting mostly honey flavour. I tasted it before the honey went in though and it was slightly … toffee. As in, if I try really hard and someone whispers to me “toffee”, then I’ll be like “yes, yes, you’re right, toffee!”

My first Zen tea. Didn’t make a whole lot of impression.


Oh well :-)


I know, I feel like such an ungrateful asshole. But hey, better than not writing a note at all. And I totally loved that you sent me a comforting box.


Noooo, I’m not saying that to make you feel bad, please! I don’t think you’re ungrateful at all! I’m the one thinking which teas I should have sent instead… I’m glad I sent a good supply of Caribe at least, lol!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Buttered Rum by Earth Teaze
284 tasting notes

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


A couple of days ago I made a cup of this hot and I said I would try to cold steep the rest of the sample from the generous TheTeaFairy because I wasn’t getting as much blueberry flavour as I was hoping to get based on the smell.

I was right. Cold steeped this is way more berry than choco :) 1.5 tsp for 8 oz cold water in a closed mason jar in the fridge. Once it was ready (approximately 2 days because I kinda forgot it) I made a quick simple syrup and sweetened my cold brew. It is finally satisfying. Leaving rating the same.

1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Nooooo! Why do I have to be the one with the first note?!? Me! A total newbie! One who is determined to like ripe pu’erh and drinks it solely because , well, breaking in a horse is tough, right?

Again, many thanks to Dexter3657 for the sample. I am certain this is good pu’erh. Maybe even excellent pu’erh. Also, according to mrmopar who I’ve sought out for advice I should be trying a good pu’erh at least three years old so that it’s starting to mellow a bit. You see, I really didn’t want to purchase pu’erh from unknown sources (or even known) without knowing for sure it is good pu’erh. I mean, I’m already struggling. I’d hate to struggle and then find out I’ve been drinking shitty stuff that’s just not going to be tasty no matter what you do. But how to know for sure? Well, Dexter3657 swears by Mandala and mrmopar steered me towards menghai. As luck would have it dexter sent me a piece of this cake, which fits all the criteria I’ve been presented with. It’s ripe, it’s at least 3 years old and it’s menghai sourced by mandala. How can it not be good?

So here I am, steep number 4. I made it this far!

I am certain I overleafed because I don’t have a digital scale so 5grams got eyeballed. Also I used less than 2 cups of water.

The first steep was my favourite. (30 seconds after a short rinse). Gorgeous reddish brown colour, kinda like clay. Did only barely smelled fishy. Which I need to say, because I forgot, the dry leaf to me smelled like smoked/cured whitefish. So yeah, I was surprised. Not fishy! I can drink it although I think the days where I actually look forward to this are rather faraway.

Second steep. (1 minute) Uh-oh. It has darkened. Like coffee dark. But happily, I can drink this because it DOES NOT smell. And I am not sure what I taste. And it’s chewy. I think.

Third steep was the same as the second in colour of the liquor and its taste.

Made it to steep four, kept steeping times not much longer than a minute because I was afraid. It’s cooled because there is only so much I can drink in one sitting. It tastes a little fishy. I cannot get any subtler notes or anything. Patience, grasshopper.

woohoo! A few more practices and who knows, I could actually be joining the little league. Well, maybe the bush league first.

Gosh. I am not looking forward to tomorrow’s practice but we must press on!

Thank you to dexter, mrmopar and of course mandala for providing a source of tea we can actually trust when it comes to quality. Maybe there are others out there but hey, for me if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Also known as why look for better when you have the best?

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

Great review, grasshopper :-)


You did it, you did it! I hear you on the distinction between being able to choke it down with dignity versus actually looking forward to it, or actually wanting it and not pretending to want it haha…this sounds like a great start!!


Well at least you survived the experience. If you liked the first steep best, then maybe try shorter steeps for 2 and 3 – like 30 sec 1st, 30 sec 2nd, 45 sec 3rd? It’s all personal preference.
IF you decided you want to keep exploring – I can send you other samples. I have a Haiwan Tea Co cake that I think is as good as this one (and of course lots of Mandala). Didn’t/don’t want to overwhelm you – will let you decide if you like it or not. :))


it’s a pretty good tea…I haven’t had it in a few years…hmm,maybe i’ll break it out…I’m glad you enjoyed this one..

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Smells awesome, this one. I love blueberries. Taste is alright, I get blueberries more than chocolate which is great because I have tons of chocolate tea so if I wanted a chocolate tea I would have just brewed those.

Unfortunately it is way more juicy smelly than it tastes, you get a fair bit of base, — oh man, if this tasted like it smells! — but I will definitely enjoy it as i start my workday this morning. Taking in the travel mug, two steeps combined, with 1 tsp of sugar added. Has good but faint blueberry aftertaste.

Thank you to TheTeaFairy for this sample. I think I will cold steep what’s left just to see. DAVIDs blueberry jam tastes way better cold steeped (don’t know about the chocolate bits in this one though).

Side note: I slept 3 hrs last night. I started reading “50 shades of grey”.

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

Naughty girl…


Oh my! Hopefully Christian grey was all worth it.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Green Apple by tweed and hickory
284 tasting notes

I totally should have read the description on line before making this tonight. Then maybe I would have changed my expectations and wouldn’t have been disappointed. Because if I were reading “tangy and astringent” would have likely opted for a different one tonight.

I was thirsty and thought yeah, iced tea, since TheTeaFairy who sent me the sample — thank you! — said she prefers it iced. I really thought I was getting green apple and it sounded delicious. I got no apple in sight just a bunch of astringent base. I thought to myself “ok, I know, maybe this is like the SBT: watermelon, a bunch of sugar will make a lot of difference”, so I added 3 tsp to the 14 oz iced tea I had in the mason jar. Nope, still no green apple.

Also, I have yet to develop appreciation for Sri Lankan tea. Thanks again, TheTeaFairy for leading me in this exploration but no promised land in this one.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Almond-Orange Swirl by Tealux
284 tasting notes

Oh look, a sample from TheTeaFairy (who probably didn’t know, when she picked her name, that it will be really hard for people to mention her properly since they have to capitalize three letters in what the iPad recognizes as one word. That’s like having to write PaRtY!)

Just kidding, fairy, you know you’re special.

Anyway, this tea was kinda not my thing. I trusted the steeping instructions written on the sample label although I rarely steep a green for 3 minutes and rarely use 185F. I am getting mostly orange, not at all almond although the orange is not in your face so there’s something muting it. Also,the tea is lightly bitter. Not sure if a two minute steep would have fixed that or not. I used the whole sample in one shot figuring I won’t want to drag 1 tsp around so I went for broke: 2 perfect scoops in the 16-oz DAVIDs steeper they went. Did not resteep (yet).

Can be enjoyed as is but to cut the bitterness I added 1 tsp of honey.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec



WeLL, I JusT ThINk iT’s kINd oF fUN tO WriTE ThiS WaY…sIL, YoU sEEm To SHarE mY poiNT oF VieW???


You are not doing this on an iPad I bet. It’s hard!


TeaFairy is indeed special!


iPad is all I use these days, just so you know missy! Lol.

Aww, Bonnie, right back at you :-)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Quick! Someone other than me compare this with Bai hao Yin Zhen from DAVIDs Tea. I would swear up and down that they are the same tea except Bai hao is supposedly white. Maybe they are marketing is as white thinking it works better than saying it’s pu’erh? The teas look the same in dry form and they taste the same once brewed. Even the steeping instructions are the same. Bonus for me is that DAVIDs is $29 for 100 grams when not on sale and the Tealux works out to be $25.00 for the same quantity.

I am serious, you guys. Dexter3657 , I know you have both. Pleeeease have the Bai Hao tonight and let me know? Whoever else has both of them and can compare, please tell me I’m not crazy!

Also, I think now is a good time to maybe address the pu’erh issue. I maintained I do not like it. Maybe I need to clarify by saying I am trying to get an appreciation for the shou kind. The cup I have right now is awesome! But again, I don’t feel like I’m drinking pu’erh.

Many many thanks to Dexter3657 who sent me some pu’erh samples so I can figure out once and for all if it’s for me or not. Dex, you’re a gem.


I told you it was mild….
Ok Ok, I’m at work, I don’t have my whole stash here. Will try the Bai hao tonight. I drank this the other night before I sent it to you. I like the Silver Tips Mandala cake I have better – it’s more “pu’erh” than this is – but this has some pu’erh characteristics…


Tealux also has 20% off sales pretty regularly…


I have this one. I also found it tasted more like a white tea than a pu’erh.


isn’t this just white puerh? aka puerh made from white tea..hence it should taste more like a white? (i am not overly knowledge about such things…but that’s how they play out in my head)


I found this one thicker, but I don’t have any left to compare. It’s on my ‘to buy’ list!


White Silver Tips Pu’erh leaves are larger and there are more buds. The Bai Hao leaves are darker and furrier. The silver tips steeps to a slightly darker color.
Silver Tips is light and fragrant but does have some earthy pu’erh on the top of the mouth and the back of the nose – this comes out more as it cools.
The Bai Hao this is similar but not the same – it’s grassier, and more astringent – there are more floral notes to it. All this is really subtle – it’s not in your face grassy but that’s what I’m getting.
I think these are similar but not the same – they should be similar – as Sil suggested this is a white tea pu’erh – I’m definitely some of the “dirty, earthy” notes of pu’erh.
Dunno – just my thoughts – but then I’m not getting any “peaches and cream corn” from the Bai, so what do I know?


I had a white puerh called Moonlight White but when I looked it up to learn more one review said it was a white, sold as a puerh, processed as an oolong but never listed as one! And said it could be classified either way as white or puerh. I liked it but it was $81 a cake at the place I tried it and it is far cheaper online.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


What a lovely surprise to find a sample of this in the box from TheTeaFairy !

I have to say I thought this would be way more flavourful. More carrot cake like, if you will. Maybe I’m used to the dessert teas from DAVID and Della Terra where you really get cake. I know butiki is usually more delicate. But then again, I had “Three Friends” and I found that tea to really deliver on the flavour promise, it wasn’t pussyfooting around that one!

Here I get a fairly strong base, stronger than the carrot cake or vanilla frosting. I do get the vanilla and yes, there is carrot cake but don’t expect this to be your dessert. Have some cake if you want it because this will not be standing in for the craving. This is tea. Remember. Tea.

Many thanks to the fairy who parted with this limited edition and no longer available tea. Hopefully it wasn’t too begrudgingly, I was thrilled to be able to taste it.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

I don’t even remember if I’ve tried this one yet :-)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



I started drinking loose leaf tea in the spring of 2013 (why do we feel compelled to mark the date of tea drinking somewhat like addicts counting their sobriety days?)

Never been much into tea before. Growing up in Romania, tea was something mom made for you when you were sick. As an adult, my hot beverage of choice has been coffee, both flavoured and regular. I’ve recently stumbled upon Teavana and DAVIDs TEA and quickly got addicted to the latter. Then came steepster and all else followed.

Formerly a mathematician and insurance adjuster, I gave up the corporate world and am now a professional chef. I drink wine and sometimes cheat on it with tea.

I lean heavily towards flavoured black teas. I’ve started to crave the occasional straight oolong and green but so far unflavoured black teas leave me unimpressed.

I’m learning so I drink them all. Am even introducing myself to pu’erh. So far I can do fine with the sheng cause frankly, they don’t taste like pu’erh to me. The shou is another story.

Note*: The virtual cupboard does NOT contain any of the samples I hold since most of them are one-cup quantity.

Note**: My partner, our home improvements, gadgets, mortgage, travel, wine and food have budget priority over tea.


Toronto-ish, Canada

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer