3862 Tasting Notes


Feeling tropical lately in the depths of winter, so beware I might have a string of tropical tea notes!  I already dug a bunch of tropical teas out of the “cupboard” so they are ready to go! This is from StarFevre a while ago. Thank you!  It’s even more aged now, since I received this years ago, so I wasn’t expecting much.  But I like that there are small fruit pieces here – supposedly pineapple and mango.  Sometimes mango teas are simply “sweet” but there is some fruit flavor here on a malty black tea. It’s actually a nice base for these flavors and makes me miss their Key Lime tea…  I imagine it was much better back when it was fresh, but this is enjoyable.  The second steep was even better.. the black tea melds great with the fruit.  I bet it would be a good iced tea.  I also drank Tiesta’s I Gotta Colada today.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 12 minutes after boiling // 1-2 minute steep
Steep #2 //   just boiled // 3 minute steep

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Taking a whiff of the dry leaf – oo boy.  Very HEALTHY earthy scent, which is probably mostly the turmeric.  The flavor is much the same, but also stevia.  The stevia and the turmeric are a BIT much together — like the stevia is supposed to make up for the earthiness.   The stevia and turmeric is about all I can taste here.  I can’t even taste the mint, let alone the cardamom.  Good to find out though:  fresh stevia is still really bad for these tastebuds and it isn’t a matter of aged stevia.
Steep #1 // 1 heaping teaspoon for a full mug // 33 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 minutes after boiling // 2-3 min

Flavors: Stevia, Turmeric

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From Michelle! Thanks so much! An apricot tea on a black base with some matching colored (to apricot) safflower petals. And the apricot flavoring is not lacking — plenty of it here, and then some of that apricot left over in the second steep! It’s a bit of a candy flavored apricot. The base tea seems to really just be a background for the flavors, a little bit of a thin black tea. However, I didn’t see any actual fruit chunks in my sample like the photo shows, so maybe it would have made it even more apricot delicious? But if you’re craving apricot, this suits. Pretty straightforward here.
Steep #1 // 1 heaping teaspoon for a full mug // 22 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 minute steep


This is a comforting sweet tea I reach for when I don’t feel like a straight black. Go for three steeps!

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additional notes: Been breaking out some older teas lately, including this solid assam. Probably one of my favorite assams! (My last note - eight years ago- said “the perfect assam”.) Rich, never bitter. Great cold leftovers the next morning. Basically a note to say: I’m still loving this!

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Ashmanra’s sipdown challenge – January 2023 Tea #9- A tea by candlelight

Anyone else a fan of those Yankee Candle scenterpiece things?  It’s not really a candle, it’s cups that set in a device that warms the scented cups of wax for a couple hours, and they are easily changeable.  Anyway, I received one of those scenterpiece systems as a gift years ago, so that gets stoked up once in a while.  Honestly, it was better when the scent cups were WAY cheaper a few years ago (especially on sale), but what wasn’t cheaper back then? However, I might yet actually light an actual candle at some point!
The tea!  This is very old now and yet still wildly different from any Dan Cong I have ever had!  It is not charcoal AT ALL.  It’s grapefruit and lemon myrtle and probably other bright fruits. It’s completely opposite from what I expect from a typical Dan Cong.  And this is why Steepster is wonderful:  my first tasting note years ago, I made sure to note to use very short steep times and very cool water and it made a HUGE difference.  Only the last steep had a hint of charcoal. I’m glad I took a chance on a sample but if anyone is looking for a unique light Dan Cong, this is definitely worth trying!  Next time a sipdown.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 50+ minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 50+ minutes after boiling // 1 min
Steep #3 // 22 minutes after boiling // 1 min


Our mall Yankee Candle closed a year or so ago…they were getting so expensive, we don’t miss it much. We’ve found less expensive versions of our favorites.


I never really loved malls, but now that they are disappearing, it’s a bit sad.

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additional notes: I was intending to steep this one up soon from my dwindling stash and woke up this morning to see it’s included in B&B’s vote back with a slight name change! I think it’s the same tea anyway. I love this one and would love to see it win the vote back.

eta: mmm… steeped it up the next day and YES it is just as loved as I remember. I REALLY hope it wins the vote back! Combining milk oolong + genmaicha = amazing. Do NOT let the rose hip in the ingredient list sway you from trying this! I saw a big ol rosehip go into the amount of tea I was steeping and I can not taste the rosehip AT ALL. Still, it would be better if it wasn’t wasting space in this awesome blend, but I’m glad I am not tasting the rosehips.

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additional notes:  My original note for this was for a really old teabag — so I think it’s time to update for the loose leaf.  It’s Lupicia’s extra special strawberry flavoring — the rare tea shop that can get strawberry right, with a nice balance of chocolate on rich puerh. Usually if I crave a strawberry tea I know to go for Lupicia.  If I wasn’t trying to make this small amount of this last a while, I’d probably use two teaspoons but a teaspoon and a half is fine.  Raising the rating from 80.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug //  19 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4-5 min

Cameron B.

I agree, Lupicia does strawberry so well!

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I bought this in the summer — I forgot I had rewards points and I will usually want to try any Hattialli.  My favorite tea ever, by far, after trying thousands of teas, was hands down, no hesitation, Butiki’s Hattialli Golden Lion Assam!  So I splurged for a tin.   I have tried it a couple times, but sadly, the Harney in no way can compare to Butiki.  The Butiki leaf had such a depth to it!  The Harney leaf is very thin tasting — like a very mild tomato soup.  Only a hint of tomato soup…. and really no other flavors. Hopefully that isn’t because I had just had tomato soup in the mug before that!  Maybe a bit of nuttiness on the last gulp.  The second steep, I might have overdid it.  A bit astringent but also not really an increase in flavor complexity.  The brew color is quite dark and yet the flavor still seems watered down, even losing the tomato soup quality. The Butiki was so complex, it’s just amazing this tea can even be sourced from the same area.  What a shame.  Very disappointing, wouldn’t buy it again.  Not for that price!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 2 minutes after boiling // 3-4 min


Bummer, this didn’t turn out to be a good Awesome tea. Ah, Butiki we miss you!


Yep! Imagine Butiki coming back… Yet maybe a sample of this one will find its way into the tea package I have not forgotten I owe you which will happen at some point!


Nice, I’m always up for an Assam!

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Ashmanra’s sipdown challenge – January 2023 Tea #8 -Jan 20 – coffee flavored tea

additional notes:  I always forget about this tea and YES it does have an occasional coffee bean.  It’s a green yerba mate mixed with black tea, so it always steeps up a bit weird to me.  Roasted yerba mate would have been better.  Lacking raspberry flavor now.  And despite the cocoa shells, this is barely chocolate.  It was never really my favorite from B&B.  BUT this is also an older tea now, so I can’t fault it too badly.


I am surprised they didn’t use roasted!

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Ashmanra’s sipdown challenge – January 2023 Tea #8 -Jan 20 – coffee flavored tea

additional notes:  Hate coffee but love a great coffee tea. So I will have two coffee teas today!  Somehow this is still fantastic tasting, even with old coconut and old coffee beans.  It was always a great mix of flavors.  Next time a sipdown!


Ooooh, and it is herbal?!?


Nope, uses black tea, Herbal Infusions is just the name of the tea shop!


Ah, okay!


Love the idea of added coconut!

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Hi! I love tea and trying new ones – it adds a bit of variety to my day! Books, music, TV & movies are my thing… and tea, of course.

Some of my favorite tea shops (still operating):
Dammann Freres
Yunnan Sourcing

Favorite tea shops (RIP):

My icon photo is Richard Mayhew from the graphic novel ‘Neverwhere’ by Neil Gaiman, Mike Carey & Glenn Fabry.

Most of the teas listed in my cupboard are actually sample sizes. I don’t really have 2,000 ounces of tea around here! Many of my teas have only one teaspoon left… maybe two. But I like keeping them in my cupboard list for reference to what I could be sipping. Usually, I write tasting notes once for each tea. I’m still drinking them, just not writing tasting notes each time!

I’m always in search of: Hattialli, Qu Hao black, Jin Jun Mei, teas using marshmallow root.

My dislikes: hibiscus, ginger (unless in chai), turmeric, bee pollen, charcoal type flavors

My ratings:
95-100 – Super awesome deliciousness favorites – cupboard essential
80-95 – Also pretty delicious
65-80 – Pretty good
50-65 – Okay
1-50 – Probably won’t want to sip it again

I’m planning on being a Steepsterer as long as there IS a Steepster, so if you’re not hearing from me, that means something happened to my health… if you know what I mean. (Or as evidenced by the great computer hiatus of 2019, something happened to my computer… I have a dumb phone so can’t access internet on that. As of 12/20/21 my wifi might start getting unreliable.)

Happy sipping!



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