1346 Tasting Notes

A quicky from the iPod! My sister and her husband received this as part of a wedding gift in the summer.

Not bad at all; a smooth black tea with some prevalent peach notes to make it softly sweet and fruity. The light astringency comes off as rather pleasant.. Maybe it’s that way because I always understeep my black teas.

I’m glad I got to try this! I had completely forgot about it until I opened my sister’s and brother-in-law’s pitiful tea cupboard. What they lack in tea they make up with (unwanted) pigeons on “their” apartment “balcony”, however. City birds are fearless and better at sleeping through the whine of the sirens that ricochet off buildings than I am!

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Thank you, BoxerMama, for this sample. I think these tuocha pieces found a good end, although they definitely aren’t something I would find myself drinking regularly!

To me they have a musky odour. They taste exactly like moist clumpy rice ,that has been wrapped in vegetal bamboo leaves, once steeped. I went with a rinse and 30 second steeps.

I have two cups of this beside me right now (first and second steep). First is more oily and buttery and makes me think that there might be egg in the middle of this rice ball. Second steep comes off more green, although equally buttery. Mild astringency but no bitterness. Picking up salty and sweet notes.

Third steep is more astringent and bold; the tuocha disintegrated completely (so cool!). Almost have to reduce the steep time when it falls apart to reduce the briskness.

Pros for me: not fishy, coffee-like, or bitter. Flavours of buttery steamed rice with a pinch of green. Savory and filling profile.
Questionable qualities: light musky body that may rub people the wrong way if noticed (like eggs, mushrooms, or fat). Also picking up a note very similar to cilantro. I like cilantro but it’s a wild card.

I think this may be very good alongside certain dishes.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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drank Winter Nog by Della Terra Teas
1346 tasting notes

I heard you like eggnog, so I put your eggnog in your eggnog tea so you can drink eggnog while drinking eggnog tea…(sorry).

Half completed experiment last night where I put eggnog in this, as I felt it wasn’t quite eggnoggish enough. However, after making it I decided I wanted to sleep instead and placed the cup in the fridge. Result? Not bad. Cold, creamy, somewhat eggnoggish spiced rooibos that tastes like it has alcohol in it.

I think I prefer it on its own. That way I can appreciate how naturally creamy and spiced it is, even if it doesn’t taste quite like eggnog.

The snowflake sprinkles are cute!

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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“You know you are addicted to tea” when you dream about walking into an average grocery store and finding Tiger Assam, from Andrews & Dunham, on sale, in bulk quantity, just before check-out. What is this!? Best dream ever. I want to try assam so badly.

I was worried that this oolong was going to be too syrupy, in the vein of DT’s Canadian Maple Rooibos, and taste like little else. To my glee pecan nuttiness, maple sweetness, and rich dark oolong are all kept in tactful balance. Some roasted notes are paired with caramelized sugar to create a savory, warming tea. Soft tangy quality too. I love how naturally everything pairs together; it doesn’t taste artificial either!

Thank you, Stacy, for this last generous sample. I’m officially out of new Butiki Teas to try. Tasting them was a great experience that I hope to repeat in the near future.. I need to withhold on buying teas for at least a month. :/

End day edit: Neglected it second steep and it still came out smooth. Being able to eat the pecans in the leaves at the end of the session: priceless.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 45 sec

if you get desperate, let me know…i can send you a bit of my stacy stash lol


Sounds like a great dream! :)


You shouldn’t tempt me… there’s only one correct way to respond to your proposition. :P


You can always. DO YOU HEAR ME ALWAYS!!! Trust Stacy!!!

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drank Mango Lassi by Butiki Teas
1346 tasting notes

The cup is full of ripe and unripe, peppery mangoes. It doesn’t always pull off the mango lassi in every sip, but when it does life is good. The cardamon is prevalent and compliments the bright and juicy mango. Something, possibly the calendula, adds a light salty element near the milky finish. Lingering aftertaste is peppery mango. The rooibos never takes over, although it is present.

Thank you for the sample, Stacy! I’m not typically a fan of rooibos blends but the solid mango notes put this one near the top for me. I’ll think about getting this again; I need more non-caffeinated beverages to drink at night.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Butterbeer by 52teas
1346 tasting notes

Sipdown… :( At least there’s more on its way and my first wave order from 52teas arrived today! Hurray for fandom teas!

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec

Eeek. I may have to check out their website too. :|


lol. Steepster is the worst for enabling. I checked their website today and there’s now a Smaug themed spiced dragonwell. Drat! Tempting, but I want to save up money for other tea companies in the future. :/

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Buttery sourdough notes, a roasted chestnut and toasted rice nuttiness, and something sweet. I love holding up the bag of dry leaves to my nose; it smells like sourdough or pickled plums (umeboshi). Sweet & sour and, oh, so very good.

Butiki’s introductory note on steepster for this “puerh” spurred me on to make my first purchase. Yeah, that’s right.. it wasn’t the Cantaloupe & Cream but this! It sounded so intriguingly unique and, even though my experience with puerh style tea is limited, I always get a mouth-watering sensation when I see posts for them. Weird, yet it worked out for me here!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Sourdough! That’s the first time I’ve heard that adjective in a tea description. It sounds wonderful!

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Happy New Year (or New Year’s Eve, depending)!

Man, this is good! Today I finally worked up the courage to try the five second steep, gongfu method, in my measuring glass. When I made it yesterday using my wonky method it felt like the oolong was jumping from one flavour profile to the next in a chaotic array. This allowed me to taste all of the transitional stages, slowly, step by step. This is simply magical.

I let my mother smell the wet leaves and her reaction was in the negative but then I pleaded her to take a sip of the first steep, and also the fourth one, I think (when the finish became delicious). She told me it was smooth and like drinking a fine eighteen year old scotch. A positive reaction.

I haven’t kept track of how many times I’ve steeped this; I’m just enjoying the transformation of the flavours. It started out malty smooth, had a stage that tasted and smelled like fruit jam, and is now on a buttery, creamy, honey stage. I’m not getting anywhere near as much of that “roasted rice/genmaicha” flavour as I did yesterday. Where did it go?

I don’t have a gaiwan or a device to measure grams but I can do this! Yummy oolong, although I think I still prefer the greener ones.

180 °F / 82 °C

Fun to experiment isn’t it.


Yes!!! And today I was rewarded for it :)


Man, I’m so tempted to get a gaiwan! They’re cheaper than I thought.


I want a gaiwan.


I have 3 gaiwans, a fat white one 5 oz. that is easy to handle and cost $10, a purple clay that I use for shu pu-erh also 5 oz. and has a handle and built in strainer $17, and a stone looking pottery gaiwan with that’s speckled and has a spout 5 oz. also $16 that I mostly use for sheng pu-erh. All three have been great investments because I use them often.
Yunnan Sourcing U.S. (make sure it’s U.S.) is inexpensive if you don’t have a walk-in shop close to you.


That sounds super reasonable! Do you have to dedicate it to one specific tea, or can you just have an oolong gaiwan, green gaiwan etc?

I’ll check out the website too. I’m in Vancouver so I thought I’d try Chinatown, but I wasn’t sure how I’d know if it’s authentic.


Ah. I’m mixing up gaiwan and yixing pots, both of which I want. :p


I’m on the lookout for a nice gaiwan too. Thanks for the tip Bonnie! Those don’t look too expensive. :)
Cavocorax, if you find a good place to buy either a yixing pot or gaiwan in Metro Vancouver let me know!


I have lists of teaware sites for handmade pieces too if anyone is interested.


I’m interested!


Me too! I don’t want to buy unless I know it’s ‘the one’. :P I don’t have enough room to buy extra teawares.

CrowKettle – I noticed that ZenTea has a few gaiwan’s for under $10, but idk about the patterns: http://zentealife.com/index.php/teaware/teawares-region/china/gaiwan-mugs-cups.html

They have a yixing pot I like too (with a squirrel on the lid) but it’s almost $40. :|


I want to check out Zen Tea so badly. That yixing pot is cute and reasonable prices for a gaiwan. I think I’m merely being picky about patterns now.


Nothing wrong with that! I’m feeling the same way!

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Bengal Spice used to be my absolute favourite hot beverage; I brought boxes of it with me when I started university away from home. It was my comfort drink. Then things got busy, I “discovered” tea, and this was pushed to the back of the cupboard. Until now.

I went to check up on my mom, and she handed me her mug and said “I think I’m spoiled on pumpkin chai.. try this.” I never thought I’d be the type of person to say “blegh”. Just awful cinnamon cardboard water in milk. We both agreed to dump the rest of it down the sink.

Maybe.. the box had gone stale (better chuck out the box). I’d like to believe that but I think the truth is that it’s not for me (or my mother) anymore. I wish I could give this a higher rating, just for old times sake, but I’m afraid my face looked very similar to that red dude on the far left of the spectrum.

Lady 0f Spaydes

Celestial seasonings is just kind of bad once you’ve had anything better. I want to like them too. :(


They have such pretty boxes too.. :/


used to be my fav too


I used to love this tea when I first got into Chai and one whiff of their other fruit teas takes me back to my student days. It’s just a shame that, to my refined/jaded palate, CS just tastes like overpriced dishwater.

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When I think of nauseating, overpowering jasmine teas this is one of them.

This pretty pink tin of twenty tea bags was given to me as a birthday gift last year. It was an incredibly sweet thought and I had never seen pearls before this. The individual sachet bags are gorgeous; the leaves themselves look like delicately rolled bits of green and white cloth. At the time, the jasmine aroma reminded me of root beer.

This tea is consistent. The jasmine is exuberantly floral. Sometimes, I pick up a pleasant “salty” sweet finish. The flavours have a tendency to overwhelm and I can’t imagine following the suggested four minute steep.

Unfortunately, this isn’t one of those teas I find myself reaching for. I still have twenty tea bags. They must have given me extra because I’ve had this at least three times in the last year.. just did a count on my gifted Paris tin and, although it says “twenty sachets”, I counted twenty-one. Lucky me!

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Lady 0f Spaydes

I love super-jasmine. Jasmine has always beenn a good friend to me. When I was a kid and couldn’t sleep at night, i’d sneak outside and stare at the moon and I could smell jasmine from blocks away. :) Maybe it’s just me, but the more jasmine, the better!


Hi guys, i’m new here. Just to react to this. I’ve tasted my first jasmine tea this morning (Oriental Jasmine, twinings). Steeped in a french press. 4/5 minutes. P
A great smell for my flat. But it is really bitter.
erhaps you’ve got some suggestions for me.
The first tea without sugar i’ve drank is Christmas Tea. With an absolute pleasure.


I love the smell too; we even have a jasmine plant in the backyard! Embarrassingly however, jasmine, along with vanilla and honey, tend to make me feel faint. I’m a wimp.

Hi Greg, I’m somewhat of a tea novice as well! :) You could try reducing the steep time. If it’s a green or white jasmine tea you will also want to steep it in water just under boiling temperature. When I first started making green tea I always over-steeped it in boiling water and drank many bitter cups. Depending on the blend, white and green teas are often placed in temperatures anywhere from 72°C -93°C. Tea strength is impacted by steep time, temperature, and water/leaves ratio.


I hated jasmine until I tried Teavivre’s. did you know you can sign up for free samples on their website? They are generous, too, and I have yet to meet a Teavivre tea that was less than excellent.


@crowkette thanks for your tips. I’ll give jasmine another chance next time :)


@greg, no problem! :)
@ashmanra, I’ve been eyeing Teavivre’s website, and thier fancy tins, for a while. I’ve only heard good things and the have an extremely appealing shipping deal to boot. It will be a couple months before I can buy new tea though. I overspent myself badly.


@Crowkettle: I bet if you signed up for the free samples they would try to accommodate you if you request certain ones you are interested in! Then you could try now, buy later!

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I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

My favourites are teas like Milk Oolong, Silver Needle,and Japanese Sencha/Gyokuro, or fruity and floral flavoured ones. However, I generally enjoy ALL the teas, including a good old cup of Earl Grey or Breakfast blend.


Vanilla, Maple, Caramel, Butterscotch, Cream, Toffee, Nougat, Marzipan, Butter

Citrus Fruits, Passionfruit, Banana, Pineapple, Melons, Blackberry, Raspberry, Currants, Elderberry, Persimmon, Rhubarb..

Ginger, Turmeric, Clove-forward chai, Cardamom

Sandalwood, Frankincense, Juniper, Eucalyptus, Mints

Lavender, Jasmine, Rose, Lilac, Violet, etc.

Spinach, Grass, Hay, Cucumber, Rice, Sweet Potato

Less Preferred Flavours/Ingredients:
Stevia, Apple, Cocoa Nib, Almond, Licorice, Cinnamon-forward blends, Chinese Sencha

Subjective Rating System:
I don’t give a lot of low ratings out, since a) I tend to grab tea I know will appeal to me, and b) I don’t have a lot of strong dislikes.

90-100: Favourites. The Desert Island Teas.
80-89: Loved teas. Possibly staple-worthy.
70-79: Good teas, but I’m less likely to repurchase. Minor quibbles.
60-69: Ok teas. Likely a few preference and/or quality issues.
50-59: Cup of meh. Will do in a pinch.
11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea.
1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This tea is the embodiment of the primordial swamp, an unholy abomination. It’s very gross and I’m almost positive it doesn’t exist.


BC, Canada

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