drank Samurai Chai Maté by Teavana
303 tasting notes

So this is the fourth and final tea from the gift pack I first talked about in this note: http://steepster.com/annchen/posts/184829

Today is an important day; it’s Swedish Cinnamon Roll Day! http://www.su.se/english/about/news-and-events/cinnamon-bun-day-kanelbullens-dag-1.5166 Please go honour this sacred occasion by procuring a suitable cinnamon pastry this very instant.

And as I can’t get anything even remotely similar today (Seriously, Rome. Sometimes you’re just so Italian.) I’m tackling this chai mate. See, I despise cinnamon in tea. Loathe it. In food and pastries, cinnamon is one of my favourite flavours of all time, but drinking it is just vile.

In other words, I’m not the right person to review this poor tea. It has a weird sweet-sour hint to it – I can taste it on the sides of my tongue far better than on my tongue, which is a very weird feeling – disregarding the flavour, the mere act of drinking this tea is unsettling.

The tea tastes like it smells and looks – like spicy tea leftover salad. I guess it’s supposed to appear bountiful, but it just seems like there were all these bits and pieces that didn’t fit anywhere else, and that were just thrown together, resulting in this blend.

Just… no.

[Purchased/gifted at Teavana in Honolulu, January 2013.]

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

I must leave work at once to procure my pastry. This is of immediate urgency!

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I must leave work at once to procure my pastry. This is of immediate urgency!

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I’m going to try all the teas.

Then I will choose a lucky few perfect specimens, and we will live happily together in my tea cupboard.


* *


This will be a year of in-betweenness and logistics. Where to put the teas. How to arrange the teas. Which teas to replenish – which ones to say goodbye to.

Still doing Project Green.
Still doing Project Jasmine.
Still doing Project Peach.

Dr. Tea is the name, I’m ahead of my game
still, steeping my leafs, still f*ck with the temps
still not loving Assam (uh-huh)
still rock my Bosch kettle with its high-pitched shriek
still got love for the greens, repping Lupicia
still the cup steams, still doing my thang
since I left, ain’t too much changed, still

(With apologies to Mr. Young.)


This year, all bets are off. I am going to drink both peppermint and chamomile and possibly suffer a little. But it’s okay – it’s for science.

I’m doing Project Jasmine, Project Peach and Project Unflavoured Green.

In terms of flavoured teas, Lupicia and Mariage Frères have become my massive favourites, and I have learned that Dammann Frères/Fauchon/Hédiard and Butiki aren’t really for me.

The O Dor, Adagio and Comptoir des thés et des épices are all on this year’s I’d like to get to know you better list.


Getting back into tea drinking last fall, I was all about rooibos. This past spring has been all green tea, all the time, with some white additions over the summer. Currently attempting a slow, autumnal graduation to black teas. Oolongs are always appropriate.

The constant for me, flavour wise, is the strong presence of fruity and floral notes. Vanilla is lush, as long as it’s not artificial. Peach, berries, mango. Cornflower, rose, lavender.

No peppermint.

No chamomile.

No cinnamon.


* *

My ratings don’t reflect the ‘What does this tea do for me?’ standard, but rather my own ‘What would I do for this tea?’ scale.

My absolute favourites. Teas I would travel for – or, in any case, pay exuberant postage for, because they simply have to be in my cupboard. Generally multi-faceted teas with complex scents and flavours. Teas with personality. Tricky teas.

Teas I wouldn’t hesitate to buy again if and when I came across them. Tea purchases I would surreptitiously weave into a travel itinerary (Oh! A Lupicia store! Here?! My word!).

Teas I enjoyed, but don’t necessarily need to make any kind of effort to buy again.

Varying degrees of disinterest and contempt.


Rome, Italy

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