333 Tasting Notes

drank Ripe Mango Oolong by Lupicia
333 tasting notes

I’ve managed to go through 3 boxes/bags/tins of this over the years, and somehow never left a note. It’s quite good! The base is what I think of as Lupicia’s standard Taiwanese oolong, greenish and fresh. The touch of mango complements it nicely. More of a summer tea than anything. Maybe I’ll restock when warmer weather rolls around?

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drank Soleil Levant by Lupicia
333 tasting notes

This was a sample that came with the monthly Lupicia flyer. Opening it, I was greeted by a little cloud of tea dust and a mix of bright, fruity aromas. I was expecting this to be a holiday tea with all the bells and whistles, but the fact that it could be a green tea slipped my mind. But sure enough, it had a distinctive sencha-esque scent too.

Brewing this turned up one of the weirdest colors I’d ever seen. Have you ever seen a green tea trying to be red at the same time? Reddish green without being brown? That was what this was. The flavor of this was decent. The green tea base is savory, a little umami, a little seaweed-ish, which are all things I’m happy to find in a nice smooth sencha. The contrast with the fruity flavors is interesting, not what I’m used to, but it doesn’t clash either. The fruit notes are fresh and recognizably Lupicia. In particular, this has got to have some of the same stuff as Napa Blanc in it. Sweet and light, not cloying, but a little candy-like. I would recommend this more as a spring or summer, rather than winter holiday tea.

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drank China Green Tips by Tazo
333 tasting notes

This was the hotel tea when I was traveling a few days ago. It tastes just like fresh snow peas. Sweet, with a little crispness in it, and not too light.

I have lots of Chinese green tea in the house, and my family is from a green-tea-loving region, so I’m sometimes a little skeptical of Chinese green teas that are mass produced and easily found in a US grocery store. That said, this is pretty good, nicely refreshing, and not finicky to brew either.

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Was at the local French cafe and wanted to try something new. While this wouldn’t have caught my eye normally, it’s the holidays, so why not!

This smells like a genuine, fresh-baked apple pie with plenty of cinnamon and sugar. And there’s a whiff of a clean, crisp tea base underneath it all. The taste itself is a little lighter on the apple and spice, but sweet and smooth. Looking at older reviews, I wonder if they hadn’t improved the tea base over the past few years. Overall, it’s nice and cozy and not too in-your-face!

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It’s hard to get either chocolate or strawberry flavor down right, and this tea does both in one lovely, creamy, natural-tasting combination. And, accounting for the minor difference of a puerh vs. black tea base, it’s an almost perfect rendition of a long lost favorite, Butiki’s Red Queen Cupcake. I never thought I’d encounter another blend with all the things I loved about it again! That was a tea I enjoyed over the holiday season too, a couple of years back. The cold weather makes these richer, flavored teas more enjoyable. And, although both might have the same base, this one knocks Sunny Fruits way out of the park.

Trying this tea was enough to remind me to return and start logging my teas again. It’s been a busy few months (as usual) but life is pretty good. I’m glad to see many familiar names still active around here, and hope everyone is doing well!

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drank Fruits d'Alsace by Harney & Sons
333 tasting notes

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drank Lover's Leap by Harney & Sons
333 tasting notes

By the time this arrived in the mail, I had forgotten what it was, and from the name thought it was bound to have flowers in it. I opened the package to a marvelous fragrance of pure tea, a little evocative of darjeeling but mostly a nice “golden raisin” scent (it’s easier to just call it muscatel but that’s what it smells like to me). This turned out to be a great light-bodied Ceylon, crisp and just a little sweet and everything I hoped it would be. Delicious iced, and also quite tasty hot, which is good because we’ve been having a mixture of very hot days and cool, overcast ones!

My experience with Ceylon (as with most non-Chinese teas) doesn’t go very far back—only a couple of years ago, when I started wondering why the iced tea served at a particular cafe tasted good compared to everyone else’s, did I even learn the name of this tea. There’s a lot more to explore, but this is one of the good ones I’ve encountered so far!

Super Starling!

Ceylon is also the base of that bomb-diggity Thai iced tea. It’s that and condensed milk or somesuch. I want to experiment with making it sometime.


I love Thai iced tea but I never knew that, making it myself sounds like something fun to try too!

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This has been on my wishlist for a long time. Why? I don’t remember, but I probably heard about it from someone’s recommendation here. It makes a tasty matcha latte with two heaping teaspoonfuls to a cup , as recommended. Nicely creamy, a little sweet, “dark green” tasting. I used soy milk so I can’t speak to how much the soybean content of the powder itself shines through.

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Science writer and a cat that learned to type.

I grew up in a tea-loving family, and tea has always been a part of daily life. I’m still astounded by the amount of tea and teaware back home every time I visit! While I’m most familiar with straight Chinese teas, I’m growing to explore and appreciate other types of tea, including blended and flavored ones. A good blend can reflect the thought and creativity that was put into making it, instead of being too sweet or busy in a way that gives the “genre” a bad rap.

-most black teas (even lapsang)
-most oolongs, especially Fujian teas, baozhong and dancong
-straight white teas

Variable (some are great, some not so):
-most green teas
-tie guan yin
-flavored white teas

90-100: definite repurchase if possible, recommended
80-90: enjoyed, possible repurchase
70-80: fair to good
60-70: fair with some shortcomings
50-60: there’s still a chance I’d take this if it were free
under 50: absolutely not


Southern California

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