863 Tasting Notes

drank Forest White by Tea Hawaii
863 tasting notes

I was honestly convinced this tea had some scent contamination when I first opened the package. I mean, it’s a white tea – why is it smelling like raisins and cocoa? I sniffed the outside of the package and it smelled like plastic, and then moved some leaf to the gaiwan and inhaled again. Raisins and cocoa. Okay. So, not contaminated, and also completely unlike any white tea I’ve ever had. Should be interesting, then.

Steep one notes: 3 minutes, boiling water, 2 g. leaf to 5 oz. water.

The leaves are HUGE. Huge and very minimally processed, which is to say they are unevenly shaped and sized. The liquor is now trying to be much more…green oolong. It’s buttery and floral to taste but there’s still some underlying malt and raisin. WHAT IS THIS TEA??? It is really smooth, is what it is. And curiously addictive – I can’t seem to stop sipping it and I almost feel buzzed. Hmm… maybe this is what the phrase “tea drunk” means?

I like it. I like it alot.

Steep two: 4 minutes

A thinner, lighter brew this time. This was sweeter, less heavy on the florals but still really good. I truly do feel lightheaded- I’m writing it down if only to see if this happens the next time I drink this as well. Must be something about the Hawaiian terroir.

Steep three: 5 minutes

Now the liquor smells flowery again. Specifically, rose, which is awesome because I much prefer rose to jasmine in tea. This infusion is more floral in taste as well. This steeping is more of what I consider an oolong flavor profile. If I REALLY concentrate I can sort of get notes of hay that I associate with white teas as well. It’s quite the chameleon!

Steep four: 7 minutes

I let this steeping cool longer than I should have, but it was still nice. Same floral notes and an undertone of wood as well. I probably could get more steeps out of this, and I may try, but Tea Hawaii recommended only 4 so I’m stopping here for now.

What a fun tea! I loved how complex and variable it was. It is definitely a luxury tea and way too expensive to keep around in large quantities (especially with my inconsistent drinking habits) but it’s a great palate expanding adventure and I will savor my last two servings of this for sure!

Flavors: Cocoa, Hay, Raisins, Rose, Wood


Neat ;)

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Christmas tea!

I know most Christmas teas are really an orange spice blend, but the addition of plum to this is what makes it for me. It smells and tastes so warm and comforting. Tonight I’m having it plain and the spiced plum notes are the most prominent.

Absolute perfection- I have maybe one mug left so I know it won’t make it to the end of the year, but it will make the holidays that much more special!

170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Smooth Earl by Compass Teas
863 tasting notes


This is a really good Earl Grey Creme – probably one of my favorites. Alas, I keep having these problems wherein I like ONE tea by ONE company – but then nothing else. And then I can’t justify ordering mass quantities of one tea because I drink it too slowly.

So, while I do love this, Upton’s Earl Grey creme will be the one I stick with, simply because I have a few staples there already and it is more convenient. This one will be missed though. And I’m down to 46 teas! Which is good because 16 more teas are incoming… Cyber Monday singlehandedly is filling my cabinet right back up, haha.

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

YES! i’m totally with you on that… 1-2 teas so it’s like um ok… 20$ shipping to canada…4$ on the tea. riiiiiight

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I must have underleafed this one yesterday because it was unfortunately pretty tasteless and watery. As it cooled I got a little more flavor but it was nowhere near the bright citrusy ceylon and raisin notes.

Luckily I have more of this, though I do need to hoard it – it makes me so sad to think I’ll never get to buy this again :(.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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I love iced tea! Hot tea, too, of course, but I drink cold teas with meals and so it is a much more year round thing for me. This tea is another sipdown sample that comes from the ever generous Sil!

Glad I saw this only needs to be brewed for 2 minutes – I initially set the timer for 4 minutes but then decided to check and was able to yank out the steeper just in time. I added my preferred amount of sugar for iced tea and waited (rather impatiently) for dinner tonight.

I first had lime iced tea at a mexican restaurant around here and I fell for it HARD. Iced tea with lemon has never worked for me but iced tea with lime? It paired so well with the flavors of mexican food (my most favorite of all foods) that it has become my favorite flavoring to add to any iced tea, any time.

This tea was a surprise in that it was kind of creamy lime – like lime and vanilla? Only it’s actually the other way around – you get the vanilla first and a citrusy lime tang later. Like a lime flavored meringue, I guess. More of a desserty tea, actually, so I’m surprised it’s recommended to be iced.

Seriously, it’s kind of like key lime pie iced tea. Weird! Not bad, but not exactly the flavor profile I was expecting. I have had lime teas that worked better iced, so while I enjoyed trying this one I don’t think its one I’ll buy. It was fantastic getting to try it though!

Flavors: Lime, Meringue, Vanilla

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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Sipdown sample from Sil!

Had this last night with the boyfriend to end a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend. What made it so fantastic, you ask? Why, not leaving the house for 3 days, actually. Tea, the food we had in the house, reading (me), video games (him), and putting together my Cyber Monday orders. (Also known as bye bye monies…)

I’ve had the Fauchon L’Hiver blend and from the description on this I was really expecting it to be similar. Lemongrass and vanilla? Yes, please. But the lemon meringue lightness about L’Hiver just wasn’t present here – it was more tart lemon than vanilla, and I guess the white tea played more of a role than I thought in that one because this was decidedly more herby.

It was drinkable, and as the tisane cooled I definitely got more vanilla undertones, but this one isn’t the best of its kind I’ve had. Given how much money I just spent on tea though ($100+… cue heart attack) that is SOOOO a good thing!
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

awe..i miss l’hiver…

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Another sample from Sil!

I’m normally not fond of decafs and herbals but, for whatever reason, TeaGschwendner does not make a full strength Cream Caramel black tea. There is Cream tea, and Caramel tea, but the combination is only decaf. Weird.

It definitely smells caramelly. Dry leaf and steeped leaf smells specifically like caramel popcorn and when freshly boiled was deliciously cozy to sip. I did need to add creamer though – while the flavor was really nice, the watery texture was offputting and demanded some fortifying.

So I liked this. I would recommend it for someone who wants caffeine free dessert options to drink. I probably wouldn’t buy it for myself just because I would rather have the real caffeinated thing (and I may resort to buying caramel and cream separately and combining them to see what happens). But it was tasty and fitting for an afternoon cup of tea.

Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Popcorn

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

haha that’s what i did Joon, when they were like no…only decaf! I especially like having the cream on hand because it’s VERY subtle and makes a great addition to other teas to make them creamier and more delicious haha

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YUM. Another Teagschwendner sample from Sil and I’ve got to say, I’m really impressed so far!

I typically don’t really do a lot of herbal teas but these blends are really fabulous. This one in particular is very bright and citrusy – now that I know pomelo is a type of grapefruit that is definitely the main flavor I get – strange how a mix of apple, orange and lemon accomplishes this!

Two things I do want to note: I steeped this for 9 minutes but I don’t see what harm an even 10 minutes would do. Also, the ingredients list says licorice root, but none of that flavor is present (yay!).

This seems like a really nice summer bedtime tea, but I imagine a cold brew would be nice as well. This one definitely surprised me – I wouldn’t have picked it out for myself but it’s actually a GREAT fit for my tastebuds! Thanks again, Sil!

Flavors: Grapefruit, Lemongrass

Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

woohoo! glad i gave you at least one out of your comfort zone heh

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Part of a generous sampler I received from Sil!

Okay – any time I see blends and realize they are a mixture of tea types I get so nervous. I mean, black and oolong and green? What am I supposed to do about temperature? And strawberry, caramel, and jasmine? What a combination – I was curious to see what the final result would be.

I ended up going with an oolong temp (195) and black steep time (4 minutes) and came up with a light liquor that looks a lot like dan cong oolongs do, so kind of light amber. The scent is all strawberry and caramel/vanilla. I can never bring myself to add anything to oolong or green teas, so this is going to be a plain tasting.

And, surprisingly, it reminds me of the strawberry shortcake blend from DAVIDsTEA. Weird, especially because that’s a black tea I always had with milk and sugar, and this tea manages to have a strawberry and cream quality without any additions.

Yes, I quite like this, though I do think its more of an afternoon than a breakfast tea. But it’s a cold morning here so any warm beverage is appreciated…and this, I’m sure won’t be the last tasting note for me today. :)

Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Strawberry

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Glad you enjoyed it….I wasn’t to sure about it but figured it was the chicago blend so I had to get it!


Interesting. I also shy away from blended tea types (well, when green is involved, primarily). Glad it worked!

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Good thing I ordered from Upton today – this was an unexpected sipdown as well.

I feel gross. Just in time for my 5 day break from work, too. But at least I had enough of this and the lemongrass tea to settle my stomach. Soup and tea on the couch and maybe some Black Friday tea orders and all will be well (I hope!).


Feel better!


Hope you feel better too!


Hope you are feeling better soon!

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My tea habits:

*I am an unashamed Lipton iced-tea drinker (mass quantities, year round).
*I like hot teas but only in cold weather (and occasionally late summer nights or mornings).
*I love Japanese greens (the more seaweed-y the better) and good strong malty black teas.
*I do NOT love smoke in any form.
*Vanilla, cinnamon, or lemon anything will usually pique my interest.
*I’m working on pu-erh but it’s definitely going to take some time to grow on me.

(updated September 2015)


Medford, OR

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