206 Tasting Notes


I didn’t expect to like genmaicha as much as I do. I mean… puffed rice as an ingredient? What?

Also, green teas are hit or miss for me — mostly because I over-steep them. I forget you’re supposed to use lower temperatures and shorter steep times.

Today I was ON POINT, y’all. I was very careful about water and time. I was NOT GONNA BURN THIS PUPPY.

I love how genmaicha is so earthy, toasty, and prickly-vegetal. The taste of the rice adds a great counterbalance to the green. They’re yin. They’re yang. They’re the best of friends. Like Bill and Ted, they’re on an excellent adventure — in my mouth. (Uh… that sounded bad. Keep on moving. Nothing to see here.)

Plenty of points for taste. A few points off for the fact that this tea needs to be babysat. It’s not this specific tea’s fault, but it is a fault nonetheless.

If you’re ever walking around downtown Pittsburgh’s Strip District, you should check this out. (It’s called that due to its shape. Just because it its shape. Guys.) It’s near the original Primanti’s location.

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It’s time to put away the Birkenstocks and fire up the full spectrum lamp! FALL IN PENNSYLVANIA IS UPON US.

How am I celebrating my favorite season? Pumpkin spice, baby. Did you think I would rise above being basic? Fool. I am an ELDER. MILLENNIAL.

This is a mix that leans in hard on caramel. There’s not a whole lot of salty, and only a dash of pumpkin. No, this is mostly a soothing, sweet, creamy mix that tastes like candy and rich black tea.

If you haven’t hit the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks yet, this is a lovely alternative.

Flavors: Caramel, Sweet


Ooooh, my daughter might like this one. She loves PSL.

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Grabbed this puppy on sale. The first time I drank it was when I was helping people move, and let me tell you, this isn’t a Refreshing Help People Move Drink.

It tastes more like creamy coffee than a cappuchino, but it’s still pretty good.

This morning I’m not helping anyone with anything. I’m wearing pajamas and trying to work up shower-energy.


No, this is not a Refreshing Help People Move Drink, I agree. Haha.

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My husband tossed me something while I was making this. In my effort to catch it, I knocked over my gravity steeper. Boom. Two servings of ingredients all over the ground. THE TEA. IT’S DISCONTINUED. GODDAMN.

I freaked out. But it’s okay now. I made another two servings and put them over ice.

My friends sniffed the package and all agreed that the smell of wine was spot-on. And so is, I can now confirm, the taste.

This tea tastes JUST. LIKE. WINE. It’s kind of crazy how accurate it is. The berries or whatever that are in here taste like the bite of red wine, and there’s a sweetness contributed by apple that tastes like white.

I like this. It’s a little bit sickly sweet, but that’s, to be fair, accurate to wine. I wouldn’t pick this out as a thirst-quencher, but it is a very nice moment to have.

It’s better in your mouth than on the floor, that’s for sure.

Flavors: Red Wine, White Wine


I don’t like wine, but for some reason, I like this tea, which definitely tastes like wine!

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This review is of Lemon Pound Cake by DavidsTea, which Steepster won’t let me review — because of reasons, apparently.

Anyway, this is one of my all-time favorite oolongs. It has a mix of lemon and… umber? That’s the word that occurs to me. Like a smooth, almost breadlike quality. “Umber.” I’m doubling down on it.

There’s also something about this tea that tastes like it never came from a leaf at all. It’s some kind of liquified lemon danish that’s been run through a vise and dribbled into my mug. The tea itself isn’t even in play. I mean, I steeped it. I saw tea. I put the leaves into water. I know that they’re real. But it doesn’t taste like that. Which is sort of weird, honestly. The tea is just the skateboard that the flavor rode in on.

Anyway, it’s a fave. Thanks for reading this review. Have a happy day.


You may want to try it now. I updated the listing. If that doesn’t work, there is a way around Steepster’s goofiness. Click “edit tea info,” wait for the tea’s info page to load, and then just click “update tea.” After Steepster takes you to the freshly updated page for the tea, then try to review it. For some reason, this process always works for me.

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drank Black Mist by Tearunners
206 tasting notes

I drink this on a lazy Friday after staying at work late last night. This raisin-y, darjeeling-like oolong has notes of amber and spice and sweet, slow honey. It doesn’t have quite enough kick to get me going, but that’s what I get for choosing an oolong instead of a black/pu’erh/mate tea first thing. I didn’t notice, when I picked this one, that it said “medium” caffeine. MEDIUM? WHAT DO I LOOK LIKE — A QUITTER?!


It’s so weird when a straight tea tastes like another thing. Like, how? How do pure leaves taste like cinnamon and honey? What witchcraft are they performing?

I know that Jewel Staite (the owner of Tearunners) tends to be in shows with fantasy/sci-fi elements, so maybe she had some kind of magic hookup? MAYBE STARGATE WAS A DOCUMENTARY?

As the tea cools (maybe I got distracted by this review?), the piquant cinnamon flavor becomes even more pronounced. That’s pretty awesome. I don’t know the science (or even the appropriate spells). If anyone has a lead on that, please let me know.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Honey, Raisins

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I’m not 100% sure this is the correct tea listing. I was given a sample by mtchyg that says “Xing Ren Xiang Almond Oolong” on it, so I’m going to go ahead and plunk it right here.

This lovely tea comes in really long twists. One of them I measured at 3", though most of them are around 1-1.5" long. The color is pleasantly green.

In my steeper, they only partially unfurled. I left them in there, hoping they’d come open a little more, but they clung fast. Alas, the show was not to be had today.

That said, this is a sweet little number. It tastes a little bit like matcha, but not gross. (Matcha is my Last Horizon. I’m going to love it one of these days. Mark my words.) This tea tastes mostly like green, with a little bit of crispy nut, and a dash of what I’d describe as… bark?

It’s not like I sit around munching bark off trees. I don’t technically have any firsthand bark experience.

It’s just a feeling. Bark.


If you’d like a light romp through a sun-dappled late-afternoon forest, give this tea a whirl.



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“What a light, sweet, darling delight of a tea! This white/peach/strawberry/apricot delight is the tea equivalent of that coral color all the cool kids are wearing these days. Almost pastel, but with that punch of color.

Every time I sip it, I’m a little surprised. I feel like I’m getting POW!ed in the face by a cartoon character."

If you’d like a digression about the 1960s Batman series (may Adam West rest in peace), click here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2017/01/17/dragons-palm-tree-from-adagio-teas-a-signature-blend/

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52 Teas’ oolongs always tend to hit the right spot for me.

“The tea’s gestalt is like maple dressing on a really tasty salad. And if maple salad dressing does not exist, I would like to claim credit for the idea and become a zillionaire off it.

(leaves) (returns) I just used Google. Someone’s already thought of it."

Full review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2017/01/17/maple-cheesecake-tie-guan-yin-from-52teas/


This happens to me all the time. I think of something that I think might be super original only to have someone spoil it for me by saying it already exists. But, if I have no idea it exists and then come up with the idea, isn’t that kind of like I invented it? But just a little too late to get academic/societal credit for it?

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I’m a graphic designer, illustrator, crafter, geek, and recent tea convert. I love teas that are sweet, zippy (caffeinated), and hopeful. In concrete terms, that’s usually black or maté tea, with some chocolate/vanilla/berry/nut in there somewhere. If it gives me the dessert experience without the calories, my heart soars.

I’m not a big fan of mint, grass (“yogi farts”), sours, or bitterness.

I’m into the idea of trading to try new things. If you think our flavor profiles coordinate, let me know, and we can swap boxes!


Pennsylvania, USA



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