333 Tasting Notes

drank Boomstick by Butiki Teas
333 tasting notes

I didn’t think something so citrusy would go well with milk, but for some reason I got it into my head to add vanilla creamer this morning. And it turned out fantastic! The perfect orange cream flavor and silky consistency.


Sounds tasty… I’ll have to try it with milk sometime this week :)

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Made iced, for the ridiculously hot weather today.

Was it minty? Yep!

Was it refreshing? Definitely.

Does anything else come to mind? Nope…not really. But mint is one of those things that’s always good to have on hand. Thanks beelicious for the sample!

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drank Matcha by Unknown
333 tasting notes

I typed in “matcha unknown” into the search box to see if it would get any hits—and what do you know, this is already there!

So anyway, I was walking by Minamoto Kitchoan (a Japanese confectionary shop) and saw that they were offering samples and matcha green tea. The tea was being prepared with a whisk in-store, and I think this is really the first time I’ve tried matcha with the traditional preparation. And it’s really good. It was served in a small cup, very dark green and frothy, and was deliciously creamy and smooth. Umami and sweet, rich…and somehow very different from the flavor of other teas or foods that have had matcha added to them. This was a whole other level, and I would love to get all the utensils and learn to prepare matcha at home now. But maybe that’s a project for another time :)

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From the Simple Loose Leaf box. This is a unique-sounding oolong, and it did not disappoint. The tea comes in tightly wound “pearls” that unfurl a bit after rinse and one infusion, and expand fully after two. The first infusion (2 min) has a flavor and aroma of sesame seed and grains, like wheat crackers or maybe toasted rice. It’s savory but light, and went well with a sweeter afternoon snack. (Red bean paste and mochi wrapped in a sponge-like sakura pastry—yum!) The second infusion (4 min) mellows out substantially, making for a completely different experience. There’s a more floral, vegetal undertone from the leaf, as well as a sublimely smooth honey sweetness to the finish. It’s unlike any oolong I’ve tried before, and I feel like it has quite a story to tell!

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend and Valentine’s Day!


This sounds like a good one! Have a great weekend! :)


Thanks and you too! :)



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Second one of the free Twinings samples. This one smells like dried strawberry out of the bag, with more of the tart fruit aroma of pomegranate coming out after brewing. It’s a standard green tea, fairly smooth and on the grassy side. The fruit flavors are definitely all there, but a little artificial and candy-like. Not bad, not spectacular either.

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drank Jasmint by Della Terra Teas
333 tasting notes

This is my tea of the afternoon. The leaves are dark green, and there’s a strong jasmine fragrance as well as the slightest hint of mint. Brewed up, it’s a highly enjoyable jasmine green tea. Smooth, definitely “dark green” but not overly vegetal, with an almost vanilla quality in the base that the jasmine complements nicely. It’s mild and definitely relaxing as an afternoon or after-meal tea. But I didn’t notice any particular flavor from the mint. Upon further inspection, I had been storing the sample pouch vertically, and all the mint leaf pieces (much smaller than the tea leaves) had fallen to the bottom, so I didn’t get any of them. Next time I’ll mix it more evenly for a more accurate tasting experience.

No rating for now—but so far, so good! Thanks beelicious for the sample!




I spent a long time trying to figure out if this was a pun or reference, and then realized you were probably trying to say jasmint + vanilla. D’oh!


hahahaha. I was trying to create a new name for it :P
That is, if it had vanilla in it intentionally.


I think the vanilla note is part of the tea itself, but it’s a catchy-sounding name (and better than the dreaded Jasmintilleul) :p

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drank Blackcurrant Breeze by Twinings
333 tasting notes

Those free Twinings samples they were giving to everyone from way back last year have finally arrived. I’d almost forgotten about them!

This one has a sweet blackcurrant scent, and brews up to a dark tea that is surprisingly smooth as well as brisk. I wasn’t expecting much from the filter bag, but it’s decent. It would make a nice iced tea given the berry-like blackcurrant flavor. The sweetness seems slightly artificial, but other than that it was a pretty good, unassuming fruity black tea.


I forgot, too! I don’t remember ever getting mine. I wonder if they are on the way? LOL!


I remembering I had asked for samples once before, a few years ago, and they actually sent me an email apologizing for how late they were. Maybe this year they’re still on schedule by some loose definition ;)

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drank Big Red Sun by Harney & Sons
333 tasting notes

Sample sipdown. I’m impressed at how much mileage I get out of the Harney & Sons samples, this one has been around for many mornings. It’s a very solid breakfast blend, and one that I might go back to again.


Ooh, this sounds like a good one! I like their Ceylon/Assam combination tea, so I bet I’d enjoy this one as well!


It’s a great combination! I have also heard that their Royal English Breakfast is basically the same as this tea, and might be easier to find at some locations if not ordering online.


Awesome, thanks! I’ll look for both, I think they might have that Royal English Breakfast at the grocery store near here!


This is the same as Royal English Breakfast in the Historic Royal Palaces tin that they sell at Barnes and Noble! I buy it loose leaf as Big Red Sun. My daughter loves it.


Nice, thanks! It sounds like I have a few options!

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drank Coffee Pu'erh by DAVIDsTEA
333 tasting notes

There are coffee beans in this blend! It has a pleasant, coffee-like aroma as well. I was a little wary of the base as I have not tried any of DAVIDs pu-erh blends before, but it did not display any offensive qualities. There was no fishiness, and reviews to the contrary seem to be from some time ago, so they may have improved the blend since then. As for the quality of the taste…was it earthy? Possibly. Did it taste like coffee? A little bit. Was it smooth and recognizably not black tea? Yes. Did it have its own complexity or distinguishing qualities? Not so much. But oddly enough, it was enjoyable to drink—maybe I just craved that aromatic, coffee-and-caramel experience in the morning. In all, if I were to recommend a flavored pu-erh blend, I would pick a different one (the tea base is much more pronounced in Lupicia’s blends, for instance), but this isn’t bad either. Thanks to beelicious for the sample!

Sakura Sushi

Glad to read your review. I was mildly curious about this one, but I always thought that if I wanted something that tasted like coffee, I would just, y’know, drink coffee. ;)


It doesn’t taste quite like coffee, either…so if you want coffee, the real thing is still your surest bet :)

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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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