676 Tasting Notes


I came across this tea while shopping at World Market. The stunning deep blue color and the intoxicating blueberry aroma that wafted out immediately grabbed me. Since I was fasting that day, I wasn’t able to taste it but it was enough to convince me to come back later and buy a tin.

Although advertised as a beauty tea, the blend itself is pretty interesting in its own right. There are over a dozen ingredients including green rooibos, butterfly pea flower (for color), rosehip, blackberry leaves, schizandra berry, lemon balm, hibiscus, etc. It’s as if they tried to cram every herb under the sun into this tisane.

The tea brews up a pale violet with a jammy blueberry flavor that’s up front and center. This is accented nicely with a touch of lavender and a slight tartness from the undercurrent of hibiscus. The instructions call for 1 teabag in 6oz of boiling water for 5-7 minutes but I found that it amped up the woodsiness of the green rooibos. For me, 10oz and 3 minutes produced the most balanced cup.

Love sipping on this in the evening. I find it more relaxing than chamomile and the purple color is a treat for the eyes.

Flavors: Blackberry, Blueberry, Hibiscus, Lavender

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Sencha Shin-ryoku by Den's Tea
676 tasting notes

Another lovely sencha from the Den’s sampler. This was an asamushi with a fair amount of broken leaf. Fresh, pistachio cream aroma. Light green liquor. Once steeped, it has a warm grassy flavor with vegetal and umami undertones. Resteep was even better. Deeper green taste and lasting oceanic sweetness.

Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Garden Peas, Ocean Breeze, Pistachio, Umami, Vegetal

165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 15 sec 3 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
Marshall Weber

That pistachio aroma sounds heavenly!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Another sample courtesy of derk.

My session was kind of rushed so I didn’t take the best notes. The enormous green leaves had a faint floral aroma which turned cucumber-like and fruity after a rinse. Took quite a few steeps for the flavor to develop. Mellow with gentle florals, a pear like fruitiness, and a candied sweetness once it cools. Being a year old, some of its oomph is understandably lost but it still gives a nice glimpse of its past glory.

Cold brewing brings out a much livelier flavor. Clean, fruity, and refreshing with a green grape crispness and lingering floral aftertaste.

Flavors: Cucumber, Floral, Fruity, Grapes

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Bancha Suruga by Den's Tea
676 tasting notes

This was a sample included by Den’s from their tea of the month club. It’s the first green tea I’ve ever had that actually tastes best with boiling water. It’s fairly insipid when steeped using normal green tea water temperature but with boiling water its bright, grassy, and fresh without a hint of bitterness. Go figure. The downside is boiling water zaps most of its goodness so it doesn’t have much to offer on resteep. The best it can do is 2 infusions.

Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Nori

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Currently my favorite flavored tea. My brother bought this tea for me from his visit to London last year (tea gifts are the best gifts!).

It has an intense aroma of bergamot and citrus. Very tropical and perfumey. The bergamot is subtle here and nicely accents the sweet fruity mango. The flavor is true to label, very clean and refreshing especially when cold brewed.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Lemon Zest, Tropical

2 g

I bet those two flavors complement each other nicely.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Last teabag from the Den’s sampler. Once again I ripped open the teabag to inspect the contents. I immediately understood why they used a teabag when I saw how powdery the tea was. But looks can be deceiving. Despite the homely appearance, it tasted better than more expensive hojichas.

The tea has a sweet, milky chocolatey aroma and when brewed, is smooth and delicious with just the right amount of roast. A tad light, could have used a little more leaf. The mellow flavor is perfect for leisurely sipping away in the evening.

Flavors: Milk Chocolate, Roasty, Smooth

185 °F / 85 °C 1 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Kiwi Fukuyu by Dammann Frères
676 tasting notes

A big thanks to derk for sending this one to me.

This was my first time trying a kiwi-flavored tea. The aroma is absolutely intoxicating. Very fruity and sweet but not quite like kiwi. It’s reminiscent of something like warm raspberry compote or jam.

The tea has a delicious fruity flavor. Juicy peach and tropical mango up front and a mild note of mint later. The flavoring is done well here despite the kiwi being a little hard to discern. Tastes very natural, not overpowering or fake. Cold brewing does bring out more of a kiwi-like tangy-sweet flavor. Enjoyed this a lot more than the other excessively perfumey DF teas I’ve had before .

Flavors: Kiwi, Mango, Peach, Raspberry, Tropical Fruit

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Pretty good for a bagged tea. Very powdery, dust like leaves inside. Brews up vibrant green and a little murky, almost matcha like due to the fine particles. Medium-light body, mossy flavor, not overly grassy or umami heavy. A very serviceable sencha but doesn’t really stand out in any way.

Flavors: Wet Moss

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 7 OZ / 207 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Dong Pian by Wang Family Tea
676 tasting notes

This tea surprised me quite a bit. It‘s the first Taiwanese oolong I’ve ever had that tastes exactly like Tie Guan Yin. The familiar creamy orchid and vanilla notes of TGY greet you at every steep. On the bright side, it’s not obnoxiously floral like TGY can sometimes be. It has a thick, lingering aftertaste and lasts through several steeps. The flavor more or less is the same after every steeping.

It was nice having a Tie Guan Yin type tea again but I prefer the more subtle florals, layered flavor and texture of a real gaoshan.

Flavors: Custard, Orchid, Vanilla, Violet

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


This sample had been sitting forever in my cupboard. I had an unpleasant experience a while back with another Adagio coconut baozhong which made me a little reluctant to try this version. That and coconut being one of my least favorite ingredients in blends. But in the spirit of sipdowns, I finally gave it a go today.

I ambient brewed the tea for 3 hours and then poured over ice. The flavor reminded me of coconut cream pie. Rich, buttery and very coconut forward. You really have to love coconut to appreciate this tea. I couldn’t taste the pouchong base as the coconut flavoring overwhelms everything. Would like to blend this with a straight tea next time to mellow it out a bit.

Flavors: Coconut, Cream, Floral

Iced 2 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



My Rating Criteria:

95 to 100: Top shelf stuff. Loved this tea and highly recommend it

90 to 94: Excellent. Enjoyed this tea and would likely repurchase

80 to 89: Good but not great. I liked it though it may be lacking in some aspects. I’ll finish it but probably won’t buy again

70 to 79: Average at best. Not terrible but wouldn’t willingly drink again

60 to 69: Sub-par. Low quality tea, barely palatable

59 and below: Bleh

Fell into tea many years ago and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and flavored Teavana teas. My tea epiphany happened when I discovered jade oolongs. That was my gateway drug to the world of high quality tea and teaware.

For the most part, I drink straight tea but do appreciate a good flavored tea on occasion. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks have started to grow on me. I’m less enthusiastic about puerh though. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, philosophy, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky


around Chicago

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer