35 Tasting Notes


It always seems that when I come back, that a layer of dust has covered my Steepster account…. and man, it’s been a minute since I’ve posted on here…. Lots of stuff has been going on lately, lots of crazy, hectic stuff… I still drink tea during my hectic schedule, but I don’t get much time to do so. Most of it is at work, with unfiltered water and using tea bags…. Quite sad actually… I still find time to drink the good stuff at home, but it doesn’t happen as often as I’d like…. But I’m off of work today for a change, trying to relax…. and as I sit here writing this, drinking this Blood-Orange Smoothie Tea, I can’t stop this sense of jitters that I have… No, it isn’t from this tea that I’m drinking, it’s caffeine free… These are more of a nervous type of jitters…. I just made the final few design contestants in Adagio’s tea shirt contest. I’m both excited and nervous about it at the same time. I’m not going to lie, one of the reasons I wanted to post about this tea I’m having is to ask you, my fellow Steepsterites, for help in this contest… If you could possible head over to the facebook album page for the contest and vote for my design, I would greatly appreciate it (it’s ok if you don’t like it and choose to go with another design I guess, thanks for taking the time to vote at least). If you do give me a vote, I greatly appreciate it… Maybe even ask friends and fellow tea lovers to do the same? ;) …

My design on there is #2. I went for a Wabi Sabi thought process and aesthetic with the design I chose. There is a rough feeling with the brush strokes of the cup design to mimic that of an uneven surface. It is simple, yet so in depth. The simplicity touches on the notion of Less is More. With Wabi Sabi, you learn to find the most simple object to be interesting, fascinating, and beautiful. It can change your perception of the world to the extent that the individual, uneven brush strokes makes it a more interesting object and gives it greater meditative value.


Once again, thanks very much if you vote for my design. I really appreciate it. :)

And now, on to actually rating this tea and talking about it more in depth! Brittany recently went to San Francisco to check out a grad school, and she happened to come across The Spice & Tea Exchange and stopped in to pick up some stuff for me. She got me some of this Blood-Orange Smoothie Tea, some Coconut Oolong Tea, some Green Tropical Tea, and some Green Tea Mints (Lychee flavored!)… This tea instantly reminds me of a dreamsicle when I smell the dry leaf. One thing about this tea that I wish they changed though was to put steeping instructions on the bag. They give a general steeping instructions card, but I didn’t realize that I had this card until after I had steeped my tea. I just went with a general steep for rooibos with this tea to play it on the safe side. This tea tastes quite good. It is naturally sweet, naturally tart. It has a strong orange taste to it, but that smell of dreamsicle that I get from the dry leaf, doesn’t translate very to the taste very well. If anything, there is a slight dreamsicle taste to it, much less than I wished it to have. Don’t get me wrong though, it is still a very good tea. I want to try it served latte style like the bag recommends, that might give it more of the dreamsicle taste that I am wanting. It is a great night time tea since it is caffeine free. I enjoy this tea so far, I just need to experiment a little more with it. I can’t wait to try the other Spice & Tea Exchange teas…

Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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blows dust off of Steepster account

Hello Steepsterites!…. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been on here to log and review teas…. I’ve been drinking a bunch of tea and have been on here lurking and reading everyone’s reviews, I just have been a bit too lazy and haven’t had time to write on any of the tea I’ve been drinking… I have been keeping busy with work and random things. Just recently during the end of summer/beginning of fall I took a trip to visit Brittany in Japan. After staying with her for a bit, we both went to Taiwan for a little while. While in Taiwan, we visited Pinglin, being there was a tea lover’s paradise pretty much, being able to go to where Pouchong is grown and produced was just awesome. While there, we visited the world’s largest tea museum, went to some tea fields, drank tons of tea, ate tea related foods, ate tea itself, and more! It was a blast…. I will have one of my upcoming reviews on one tea I purchased there and it will include tons of photos from our time in Pinglin.

Anyway…. About this sparkling tea….

I had to go to Whole Foods to get some Tofurky for next week. Last year around Thanksgiving I waited only a couple days before which was a bad idea, but I was lucky enough to get the last box of a Tofurky dinner, this year I made sure to give myself plenty of time, so they had a bunch in stock. Anyway, after grabbing my Tofurky along with some other things, I made my way to the registers, but something had caught my eye…. I thought the bottle/package design looked amazing…. And when I looked a bit closer I read “White Jasmine Sparkling Tea”…. I thought to myself “Sparkling tea!? That sounds pretty interesting, I wonder what it tastes like….” So the tea lover in me forced myself to buy it even though it was pretty expensive…. I told myself that I’d only buy it if I had it for Thanksgiving, but….. that didn’t happen… I caved….

Like a lot of people stated, it is kind of similar to white sparkling grape juice. That is pretty interesting considering that only silver needle jasmine tea, organic cane sugar, and water were used in the making of this. I guess something in the fermentation process causes this. When you first take a sip, you get the sparkling grape juice sense from it, but then the aftertaste hits you, and it has this subtle hint of jasmine with it. This tea isn’t overly-sweet but there is a slight sweetness to it. I love jasmine teas, so part of me wishes it was more prominent, but for what this is, I really enjoy the taste of it.

Like the label and description state, it pairs well with food and is the perfect accompaniment to any meal or celebration. This went great with the persimmon-cranberry fried squid that I made…

I would definitely purchase this again, but only for special occasions like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, etc… It is far too expensive to drink on a regular basis ($9 a bottle).

I would recommend this if you are looking for something new and exciting to try and don’t mind splurging a bit.


It’s good to read your notes again, Garrett! Your trip sounds amazing!! :)

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drank Minty Green Chai by Rishi Tea
35 tasting notes

I was in the mood for something hot and sweet…. I don’t usually drink my tea with any form of sugar or sweetener, but tonight I was in the mood for it. I do LOVE chai being sweet, so I decided to go for some chai tonight. I ended up choosing the Minty Green Chai because it is the only chai in my current collection that I haven’t tried yet.

Using 2 tablespoons as suggested, saying this tea is good for multiple infusions would be a total understatement… i’m already on cup 4 and it’s still going strong….

I don’t typically like my chai to be really minty, but more spicy….. Initially, I thought the mint was a bit too much for me, but it’s really grown on me in these past few cups….. I think it might be because I have used a bit more milk in my following cups than I did with my first cup……

This definitely hit the spot…

Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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drank Lemonberry by TeaSource
35 tasting notes

Thanks to Meghann M for also sending me this tea.

There is definitely a nice lemon and berry scent to this before steeping. After steeping, the lemon and berry scents become a little less noticeable…

Steeping this tea produces a nice darkish red liquor on the first steep. The taste of the ceylon is quite strong, and the lemon and berry flavors become almost non-existent. The second steep produces a deep yellow liquor. The ceylon taste is much lighter, and it is a little bit easier to taste the lemon and berry. Third steep, not that great…. this tea maxes out at 2 steeps….

Not too bad

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I’ve been busy with stuff lately and haven’t really had time to sit down and write a nice review after having a cup of tea.

I got this tea through a contest I won from SafaHimalaya (thanks!). There were two small packets of oolong (jade and night) along with my 55g of Himalayan Spring First Flush Black Tea. I was in the mood for an oolong and decided this one would do.

The smell of the loose leaf is just amazing. Has a slight floral smell to it, with a nice sweetness to it.

The liquor is a nice pale yellow color. First infusion in my oolong pot http://www.flickr.com/photos/gpudlowski/4608939561/ … The taste is very light. Almost reminds me of a green tea in a way. It has a very faint floral taste to it and seems quite naturally sweet. With each additional steeping, it seems to just keep getting sweeter and sweeter. I used my Samovar Oolong teapot, so it made many many nice small infusions. Dry leaf in my oolong pot http://www.flickr.com/photos/gpudlowski/4609546672/Macro of dry leaf in pot http://www.flickr.com/photos/gpudlowski/4608938915/ …. Size comparison of the pot to my hand http://www.flickr.com/photos/gpudlowski/4609547206/

Overall, this is a nice light oolong. I would definitely consider buying it when I run out of what I have currently.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Nice pics :)

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drank Blueberry Rooibos by Rishi Tea
35 tasting notes

So, before I get into this tea, I’ll walk you through my day and how this tea comes into play…

Today was pretty amazing…. Spent the day golfing and drinking…. So I’m a little tired from walking through the golf course and whacking balls, plus drinking alcohol just dehydrates you more…. So throughout the day I’m slowly losing more energy bit by bit…..

This was followed up by the Blues’ final home game of the season. Keith Tkachuk’s final game…. And what a game it was…. such an unforgettable night….. The Ducks are a pretty decent team, and have been somewhat evenly matched against the Blues….. I could tell it was gonna be a good night…. Huge hits all night…. Crombeen beat the snot out of Brown… This got the energy flowing… Then two of the rookies the Blues picked up this season… Eller and Junland… Eller’s 2nd goal of the season, assisted by Junland (he got two tonight) was reviewed for a possible high sticking… called the goal good… Energy just keeps building and building… Brewer gets a goal, I dislike him as a player, but whatever, it’s a goal, I’ll take it…. Energy is slowly building…. Ducks got a goal, my energy level is put in check for now… Ducks get another goal, now it’s 3-2… My energy slowly starts to fade… Blues come back, Andy Mac to Tkachuk to Colaiacovo, GOAL!… Walt gets an assist in his last game!… Energy comes rushing back to me… But then stays at bay because not much is happening with the game…. Then McClement gets a goal, I’m so hyped up at this point because we are leading 4-3… Not even 20 seconds later, Perron to Tkachuk to Andy Mac, GOAL!… Oh my GOD I’m going crazy! Big Walt has 2 assists! What a final night for him!… Then my boy Backes gets goal 6 to put the nail in the coffin of the Ducks! (6-3)… Oh man, energy is RUSHING through my veins… In the final minute of the game everyone stood up and just started chanting…. KEITH TKA-CHUK! KEITH TKA-CHUK! KEITH TKA-CHUK! KEITH TKA-CHUK! The buzzer goes off, the crowd goes WILD… Tkachuk picks up the puck from his final shift in his final hockey game…. I’m so full of energy at this point….. Everyone keeps standing and just applauds Big Walt for a few minutes as he takes a final lap around the ring with his kids….. He gave a few words and there was a tribute video to him and his amazing hockey career…. I’m floating on cloud nine at this point….. Thanks for all the memories Walt…

So, after my not-so-short babblings I’ll get to where the tea comes in…. So I get home from the hockey game and realize I’ve gone all day without tea! And I need to quit drinking because I have a meeting at work at 7am and I can’t be hungover… So I wanted to end the night with some nice tea…. But it’s about 11…. I’ve already got all of this faux energy from the hockey game… so I didn’t want to stay up due to the tea… But I didn’t want a chamomile tea that would put me to sleep… I just wanted to be able to enjoy a tea and ride out this natural high that I was on… So I decided to give this a go since I just got my first Rishi order in a few days ago….

This tea smells amazing in leaf form…. The blueberry is definitely noticeable… The brew is a deep almost maroon color… Man… did this tea hit the spot…. Naturally sweet from the berries, and caffeine free rooibos… Typically when I have had berry teas in the past, they have been somewhat tart… but not this tea… not tart at all for being fruity…. Definitely soothing, but not like a chamomile or other nighttime teas that will leave you snoozing…. This is just a nice relaxing tea without all the caffeine and stuff… What a great way to end my awesome day…. with an awesome tea…. I’m glad I chose this as the first Rishi tea to drink…… I’d highly recommend it…

(P.S. has a second steep to it, but not nearly as flavorful and colorful… but still good)

(P.P.S. Sorry for the extremely long blurb for this tea)

(P.P.P.S. I think I’m just doing this now to see if I can get on anyone’s nerves by taking up their entire dashboard page….)

(P.P.P.P.S. Ok, I’m done now… Time for bed, g’night)

200 °F / 93 °C 7 min, 0 sec

Even tho my Sabres are out of it – I always have to give a THUMBS UP to fellow Hockey Fans (unless it’s Ottawa or Dallas! LOL)


haha, nice… yeah, the Sabres ended up keeping the Blues out of the playoffs by about 2 games roughly, makes me sad :(


Well, we didn’t get very far LOL

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Hmm… Still searching for the caramel…. I think last time I made this I used way too much leaf, over-steeped it, and at a temp that was too high. This time I used only about 1 – 1.5 tsp of leaf, steeped it for 3:45 at about 195-200….

This brew still wasn’t caramel tasting, but definitely I was able to notice very very slight undertones of burn sugar when I started to get towards the bottom of my mug.

Still going to leave it unrated until I can experiment more…..

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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drank Tranquil Dream by Teavana
35 tasting notes

I really love this tea… Especially when it comes to nice nighttime chamomile teas…. Definitely helps me go to bed….

Now I bid you all adieu…

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drank Shiki Matcha Powder by Maeda-en
35 tasting notes

Last weekend some friends and I went to club/bar that had $15 all you can drink beer and rails, needless to say, shit got crazy and it was a blast…. But the next morning I wasn’t feeling so great…. Britt told me that she just recently read something that banana milk shakes apparently are good for hangovers because the banana helps calm the stomach, and with the honey, builds up the depleted blood sugar levels. The milk soothes the stomach and re-hydrates your system. Bananas are also rich in the important electrolytes, magnesium and potassium, which are severely depleted during heavy drinking, thus giving you a nice energy boost in the morning. Sadly, last weekend I didn’t have any bananas, so it was just water and Gatorade for me.

Fast forward to this weekend… after a night of Gin N Juice, Smash Bros, and Bang!, I didn’t wake up hungover, but I still didn’t feel like 100%…. So since I now have bananas, I decided to give the banana shake a try even though I wasn’t feeling too bad. But then I remembered reading in a tea book that green tea is good for hangovers, then it hit me…. Banana Matcha Milkshake!

So, pulled out my remaining shiki matcha powder (about 1.5tbsp), added 3 bananas, 2-3 tablespoons of honey, 2 cups of milk, and a handful of ice cubes to add a nice texture too it (plus, H20 always helps with re-hydrating yourself)… BAM! Heaven in a cup…

Boy, does this hit the spot… Great form of sustenance, I feel like I don’t even need to eat breakfast now, I’m actually full from drinking this….. Like I said, this morning, I’m really not hungover, just feeling really lethargic… I already feel a nice little boost of energy from this… So I could definitely see how this would be a nice hangover remedy…

This is a perfect blend of banana and matcha… You get a nice banana flavor, with grassy undertones that mix well together. Then you get that little extra bit of sweetness from the honey… With how glorious this tastes, you’d think it wasn’t healthy for you at all… BUT IT TOTALLY IS!… So I’ll definitely be making this in the future for hangovers or if I just want a nice, refreshing, and healthy drink to satisfy my sweet tooth!

Now I’m just gonna sit here and relax while drinking my shake and watching highlights from last night’s Blues game….


I want one! I might actually need one Wednesday morning >_>


After a weekend full of beer pong, I sure could have used one of these shakes. Sounds wonderful.

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So, I wanted a nice boost of energy to get my day started, so I decided to go with this tea. I figured I’d go with a yerba maté over black tea cause I’d need the extra energy before I go into work later today since I’ll be getting out pretty late.

My tea blend isn’t straight RRLM though, I had a little less than 1oz of Maté Lemon Blast left over in my tea stash, and when I originally got the RRLM I barely saw any maté leaves in it (not surprising since most of their tea is stuff with fruit anyway). But I definitely wanted more maté leaves in the RRLM. Looking at the ingredients I noticed the MLB was just lemon grass and green maté, which are both in the RRLM, so I decided to just mix the rest of it in with the RRLM (2oz RRLM : 1oz MLB). Now this definitely has the amount of maté I’m looking for, and it only increased the lemon scent of the RRLM by a tiny bit.

The smell of this tea is pretty amazing, extremely fruity, I don’t notice any floral smells from the hibiscus or rose buds, only notice the lemony raspberry scents.

This tea turns a deep deep ruby red color, probably the darkest out of any of the teas that turn red that I currently have. The fruity smells seem to decrease a little bit after steeping.

This tastes so fruity and tart/sour (which is nice since I’m looking for that nice kick). I definitely am glad that I added the MLB to this, to give it a bit more of a maté flavor to it. I think this tea would be GREAT as an iced tea, but hot isn’t bad either.

2nd steep on this is ok. The brew is a light pink color now. It definitely loses A LOT of the tart/sour qualities. There is a slight sweetness to it now, and the mate is a bit more noticeable.

If you like fruity and tart teas, or if you want a nice refreshing iced tea to drink while playing sports or being active, I’d say give this tea a shot.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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I’d like to think I’m an artsy graphic design student. I’m obsessed with tea. And I also hanaseru sukoshi nihongo.


St. Louis



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