701 Tasting Notes

drank Milk Caramel by Lupicia
701 tasting notes

Back to Lupicia! This sample came from Starfevre, thanks dear! I haven’t been the biggest fan of houjicha so far, but I figured a caramel-flavored one might suit me better. The dry leaf is a large variety of sizes, and unbroken and broken leaves. They’re a medium warm brown in color, and there are a couple tiny pieces of brittle or something mixed in. The dry scent is light, sweet caramel with a milky creamy smell.

The steeped aroma is quite roasty and toasty with a lovely sweet creamy caramel smell. The flavor is actually much lighter than I expected, I wonder if I should have steeped it longer. There’s a light roasted flavor along with an even lighter sweet caramel note and a touch of cream. I did add a touch of raw sugar to help being out the caramel even more. Overall, it’s pretty good, but I may use more tea or steep longer next time.

Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Roasted, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Lariel of Lórien

I made my for 3 minutes and it turned out good.


This just sounds so good, but I’ve been trending away from flavored teas….

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Thanks so much to Dexter for sending me samples of these pricey Whispering Pines teas! The leaves of this one are rather broken, but I think that’s mostly because it came from the bottom of the package. I can see the cedar leaves and a few scant saffron fragments mixed in. Dry scent is earthy, woody, and reminds me of scotch.

This tea has a very manly aroma. It’s a mixture of woody and leather with a touch of vanilla, and makes me think of a study with a vintage wooden desk and leather-bound books. Hmm, this one is actually quite interesting. It tastes much as I would expect it to from the aroma – there’s a strong woody flavor and roasty note. It tastes almost exactly like high-quality scotch to me (I don’t drink, but my boyfriend loves scotch so I’ve tasted his on multiple occasions). I can taste a hint of menthol at the end of the sip. Overall, very unique, though I don’t see this being worth the price.

Flavors: Alcohol, Leather, Menthol, Roasted, Scotch, Vanilla, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This is my second free tea sample for review from Paul at Mellow Monk. Thanks again, Paul, for the opportunity to try your lovely teas! This is Mellow Monk’s version of sencha, and the 1228 refers to the grower’s street address, which I thought was really cool. The leaves are rather irregular in terms of both size and shape – some are long and thin like needles, some are shorter and wider, some are somewhat curved. There seem to be a lot of broken leaves, although by looking at it I would say this is intentional. The dry scent is a lovely comforting combination of sweet alfala hay and succulent grass with some honeydew notes. I did three steeps of this tea, all at 165 degrees: 1.5 minutes, 45 seconds, and another 45 seconds.

The first steep was 90 seconds. The liquid is a lovely yellow-green that reminds me of a certain lemon-lime carbonated beverage! The aroma is both sweet and savory, the sweet being grass and butternut squash, and the savory being a touch of seaweed and vegetable broth. It also smells creamy and buttery with notes of soy milk. Wow, the sweetness in the taste surprised me! It’s quite sweet with steamed spinach and dark grass notes, but there is a savory touch of saline seaweed and vegetable broth. The texture is definitely thick and creamy, and I’m detecting a light touch of floral. The aftertaste is all sweet grass.

The second steep was 45 seconds. The aroma seemed quite similar to me – a combination of sweet butternut and savory seaweed broth. The taste, however, was even sweeter than the first steep. The texture has lightened a bit, and now there’s a touch of crisp, sweet apple. I’m still tasting steamed spinach and the floral has identified itself as jasmine to my palate. There’s a very slight drying sensation and a tiny hint of bitterness in the aftertaste.

The third steep was also 45 seconds. The liquid is just slightly lighter in color this time, and perhaps a touch more green. Aroma is sweet and mild with spinach, grass, and jasmine notes. Again, the taste is super sweet, and it reminds me of honeydew melon juice. The foundation of steamed spinach and sweet grass remains, and the jasmine seems to have become slightly stronger for me, especially in the aftertaste. Astringency is extremely slight, and I’m picking up a light lemon flavor after the sip.

I really enjoyed this one! I did find it to have some similarities to the Top Leaf – both are quite sweet with spinach and honeydew notes, but the Kuma Green 1228 had a distinct natural jasmine flavor while the Top Leaf was more citrusy. Both are totally delicious Japanese greens from Mellow Monk!

If anyone would like to try a sample of either of these lovely teas, please let me know with a comment or a PM. Willing to share!

Flavors: Apple, Broth, Butter, Butternut Squash, Creamy, Grass, Honeydew, Jasmine, Lemon, Seaweed, Spinach, Sweet

160 °F / 71 °C 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

ooh, I’d love to try the Kuma Green. I’ve had the Top LEaf before and it is delicious…

Cameron B.

TeaBrat, I’ll be sure to send you some. :D

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drank Sunny Fruits Puer by Lupicia
701 tasting notes

This Lupicia tea is a sample from Mikumofu, and it’s in sachet form. I can see cute little shreds of red flower petals mixed in with the dark puerh leaves. Dry scent is sweet and tart citrus with some fishiness from the puerh. I used 1 sachet in 8 ounces of water.

Once steeped, it smells much the same as it did dry – sweet and citrusy – but it’s now more earthy instead of fishy. Yum, I actually really like this one! The fruit flavor is nice and refreshing and sweet, and it seems like a combination of citrus with some stonefruit. I can taste the puerh only a little and it just manifests as an earthy flavor. Very yummy and summery!

Flavors: Citrus, Earth, Fruity, Stonefruits, Sweat

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Framboise Chocolat by Lupicia
701 tasting notes

More Lupicia from Dexter! Chocolate and raspberry is definitely a flavor combination I can get behind. So, the base tea… To me, it looks like a mixture of small leaves and little CTC pellets (although they’re bigger than other CTC teas I’ve seen). Then there are the most itty bitty little white flower buds mixed in. I tried to look it up on Lupicia’s website to see if it described the base tea at all, but it’s no longer there! Oh well. Dry, it smells like mild cocoa with a lovely fresh raspberry note.

Hmm, steeped it smells like some kind of raspberry-flavored candy… The chocolate is there also, smelling lovely. Hm, I’m not a huge fan of the raspberry flavor here. It’s definitely raspberry-flavored something as opposed to actual raspberrries. The chocolate is that dark and somewhat bitter variety, which is fine since I added a sprinkle of raw sugar. Overall, this one is just okay, the raspberry flavor is mediocre and it’s the strongest flavor in the cup.

Flavors: Bitter, Candy, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Raspberry, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Lariel of Lórien

Is this discontinued?

Cameron B.

I guess so? It’s not on their website.

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drank Kuuipo by Lupicia
701 tasting notes

My second Lupicia Hawaiian tea from Dexter! I was worried when I saw that this one contains hibiscus… It has the same small black leaves mixed with rose petals and small pieces of fruit. Dry, it smells fruity and somewhat tart, which is a nice change from Hua Ki.

Once steeped, it smells fruity but I can also catch hints of tart hibiscus and floral rose. Wow, this one is way milder than Hua Ki, which is odd considering I steeped both the exact same way. I can taste very light fruit notes (papaya?) and a slight touch of hibiscus tartness. There’s also a weird powdered sugar note that I don’t enjoy. Overall, finding this one rather weak in flavor, which is disappointing.

Flavors: Fruity, Hibiscus, Powdered sugar, Tropical

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Hua Ki by Lupicia
701 tasting notes

And Lupicia day #2 commences! This one is from Dexter. The black tea leaves are quite small and dark and somewhat broken, and there are crushed dried green leaves and a couple fruit pieces mixed in. Dry scent is extremely sweet and fruity, like sniffing a bowl of tropical fruit hard candies.

The steeped tea also smells sweet and fruity, but more specifically like mango with a touch of pineapple. This tea is definitely full of fruit flavor, and there’s something about it that make it taste like hard candies or gummies (is there cherry…?). I dunno, it’s nice but overall it’s a little too artificial tasting for me. I can see it making a very nice fruity iced tea though.

Flavors: Artificial, Candy, Cherry, Fruity, Mango, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Morning Sun by Mandala Tea
701 tasting notes

Good morning Steepster! This sample came to me from Dexter. I’m excited to try this one, it’s been a while since I had a golden snail tea. These curls are about half to two-thirds golden, and they have a gentle bread and honey scent.

Wow, I was surprised by the aroma. I was expecting sweetness and bread, what I smell is decidedly savory with smoked food. And the taste is savory as well! Definitely different from other golden snails I’ve tried, or at least how I remember them tasting. It’s definitely a savory flavor, though there is some breadiness there. The main flavor for me is smoked meats along with a hint of pepper. I do pick up on some sweet honey notes also, especially in the aftertaste. Overall, it’s lovely, though not what I expected.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Honey, Malt, Smoked

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This one was a sample from albertocanfly. I was looking through my caffeine-free samples and this sounded so amazing, I had to try it! I love lemon, especially when paired with something sweet, as in lemon cake or sweet lemon candies. Honestly, the dry bags don’t smell much like lemon to me, more like a buttery pound cake with some lemon glaze as an afterthought. I used two sachets for about 10 ounces of water.

Ahh, the steeped tea smells much more lemony, hooray! I added a small amount of raw sugar to this one, because cakes are sweet of course! Hmm, the flavor is actually weaker than I thought it would be, especially since you’re supposed to use 6 ounces of water per bag. However, this is an extremely delicious and convenient lemon dessert tea! It tastes like a lemon cake with vanilla buttercream on top! And since it’s green rooibos, there’s no base tea flavor to interfere. Maybe next time I’ll just steep it longer or use even less water per bag. Yum!

Flavors: Butter, Cake, Frosting, Lemon, Sweet

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 10 OZ / 295 ML

yay! This is a good one :)

Cameron B.

Very yummy! My favorite lemon tea so far. :)

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Taking a break from Lupicia teas, and saving the other 4 or 5 I have left to try tomorrow! This tea is yet another sample from Dexter’s big box of tea love. This blend is very…chunky. There are whole mulberries and big chunks of coconut and other “food” things. I do see a few scant silver needles mixed in with all of the additions. Dry, it smells very sweet and almost vanilla-y with some tart fruitiness.

The steeped tea smells quite mild, but I can definitely identify coconut in there, along with something that reminds me of vanilla. Hmm, this one is a bit too much for me I think. It’s very strong on the coconut, which is fine, but the flavor combined with the mouthfeel gives me the impression of drinking straight coconut milk mixed with butter. There’s definitely too much richness here for me! It’s like eating a coconut candle… :P

Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Cream, Custard, Sweet, Thick

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Hello, my name is Cameron. I’m 24 years old and currently living in Saratoga Springs, New York with my lovely boyfriend (a software architect). I am currently not employed, which leaves plenty of time for cooking and tea-drinking! I am a staunch lover of pugs and other squishy-face dogs, although sadly I do not currently have one. :(

I originally got into tea a couple of years ago. My sister introduced me to Teavana (there was a store in the nearby mall) and I was hooked. I have just started to drink tea again and I am very grateful to have found this community where there are so many with experience and wisdom to share!

I am a shameless Western steeper!

I love swaps! If you see something in my cupboard that you’d like to try, shoot me a private message and we’ll work something out!

My general tea info:

Taiwanese Blacks
French Flavored Teas
Yunnan (esp. Pure Bud varieties)
Japanese Greens (esp. Sencha & Gyokuro)
Genmaicha (traditional or otherwise)
Most “Dessert” Flavors (caramel, toffee, butterscotch, cake, cookie, etc.)

Favorite Companies:
Yunnan Sourcing
Mariage Frères

Not A Fan
High Mountain Oolong
Overly Floral (esp. Rose)
Licorice Root
Rose Hip
Strong Bergamot

Rating Scale:

90-100: Spectacular, a staple
80-89: Delicious, might buy again
70-79: Pretty good, won’t repurchase
60-69: Just “okay”
00-59: Undrinkable!


Saratoga Springs, New York

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