966 Tasting Notes


This sample was part of a gift from an anonymous Steepster friend. The leaves are very cool, and just looking at them I can understand why this tea is called “Twirl”. They’re quite thin and dark and a bit twisty and twirly. Uh oh, I hope I didn’t ruin this with my steeping parameters, as I steeped it like a black tea while others steeped it like a green…

Well, it doesn’t taste ruined… Huzzah! This is a very interesting one, it reminds me slightly of Darjeeling because it has some floral and spice-like flavors, but it’s definitely something all its own, too. I can taste the green tea part of it, and it’s extremely nutty with just a little bit of vegetal. I also taste creamy baked bread and some honey notes. Surprisingly, it’s not bitter or astringent even though I steeped it hotter than intended. It’s like a Frankentea! A combination of a nutty Long Jing, Darjeeling, and perhaps a lighter Keemun. :P

Flavors: Baked Bread, Floral, Honey, Nutty, Spices, Thick, Vegetal

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

Sounds yummy! And I’ve been meh about DT lately.

Cameron B.

Yeah, I’m normally the same way with their flavored teas. This one is tasty, too bad they don’t offer it anymore. :(

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drank Swampwater by DAVIDsTEA
966 tasting notes

This sample came out of a lovely holiday package from a Steepsterite who would rather remain anonymous. I wasn’t sure what to expect from it as the name is decidedly unappetizing, but the included flavors sound fruity and nice. I was confused by the addition of sprinkles until I saw the color of the steeped tea – dark sludgy green/black. Dry, the tea smells fruity and somewhat tart.

Meh, there’s not enough flavor here for me. Green rooibos is very mild to begin with, and the fruit flavoring is quite subtle, so it kind of ends up tasting like a big cup of bland. And for some reason it’s making my throat scratchy/itchy, which isn’t something that usually happens to me with rooibos. I guess this one’s just not for me!

Flavors: Fruity

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank BB Detox by Kusmi Tea
966 tasting notes

Another grapefruit tea that I forgot about! I’ve actually been wanting to try this one for a while, so I was very happy to find an individually-wrapped sachet in my holiday package from Marzipan. Thanks, dear! The green tea and mate is quite crushed inside the sachet, and I can see kernels of some type of spice or herb. Dry scent is mostly grapefruit with a touch of spice.

The steeped tea smells pretty heavily spiced and perhaps with licorice as well. This is actually pretty refreshing. There’s a nice amount of sweet grapefruit flavor combined with the herbaceous mate and a bit of herb/spice taste. It definitely tastes like something you would drink at a spa, and I bet it would be tasty cold as well.

Flavors: Grapefruit, Herbs, Mint, Spices, Sweet

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Yuzu Kukicha by Den's Tea
966 tasting notes

Well, this is the closest thing I have to a grapefruit tea after that Adagio sample. At least I know this one will be high quality! Stephanie and I split a package of this since neither of us wanted a full 2 ounces without trying it first. Yay for tea frens! I really liked the two Kukichas I tried recently from Yunomi, so I’m excited for this one. Inside the pouch are flat green stems along with teeny pieces of citrus peel, all coated in fine green powder. Dry scent is fairly strong on the citrus (I’ve never had a yuzu before, but I would describe the scent as somewhere between tangerine and lemon).

There’s actually not a lot of yuzu flavor in the taste, but it’s very delicious overall. The kukicha is mildly grassy/vegetal with a ton of sweetness (probably from the matcha as well). The yuzu flavor is more of an accent than the star. There’s just a bit of citrusy freshness that pops out at some moments, and especially in the aftertaste. Overall, it’s sweet, creamy, and delicious!

Flavors: Citrus, Creamy, Grass, Lemon, Peas, Sweet, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This was one of the samples I chose to get to $25 for free shipping on my Adagio order (I wanted the Christmas Cookies fandom sampler). I love grapefruit, so I figured this was worth a try. I’m not sure why I felt the need to order any of this, to tell you the truth, as I’ve been pretty much exclusively unimpressed with Adagio in the past. Oh well, impulse buy! This looks to be a generic formosa-type oxidized oolong base with some citrus peel and flower petals. Dry scent is sweetly grapefruit.

Hmm… It’s not terrible. The base is pretty much completely lame, and tastes like dry autumn leaves to me and not much else. The level of grapefruit flavor is good, and so is the flavoring itself. On a different base, this could be really tasty. As is, it’s just okay and it’s making my throat a bit itchy.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Grapefruit, Roasted

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

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drank Pineapple Barley by Lupicia
966 tasting notes

Now that my tummy is full of leftover Indian food, for some reason I reach for this one. Not sure why, but oh well! Apparently barley tea is a digestif for me. :P I’m slowly making my way through all of Lupicia’s flavored barley teas, and this is the one I chose with my holiday tea order. Dry scent reminds me of pineapple gummy bears with a strong roasted undercurrent.

Like the other flavors, this has a very strong roasted flavor that I enjoy quite a lot. It’s almost similar to coffee, or perhaps a smoother version of a heavily roasted oolong. The level of pineapple flavor is perfect, and it actually goes very well with the roasted barley. I will say, the pineapple here is definitely artificial, and it does taste exactly like pineapple gummy bears as opposed to the actual fruit. Very tasty though!

Flavors: Candy, Coffee, Pineapple, Roasted

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 11 OZ / 325 ML

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Another sample from cookies. She recommended I try this one next since it’s apparently quite similar to the Wild Black from Titan that I just tried. The leaves look somewhat different – the color is more of a chocolate brown than black and they’re more broken. There are some stems and golden tips included as well. Dry scent is similarly woody but with more of a sweet note.

The taste is also fairly similar, with strong wood and earth/mineral flavors. However, this tea is a bit smoother and less harsh, and there’s a nice creamy note and smooth mouthfeel. It’s a bit sweet, and it’s a clear sweetness that, along with the mineral note, makes me think of cool stream water. There’s also a teensiest bit of dried fruit, possibly raisin or cherry. Pretty tasty!

Flavors: Creamy, Dried Fruit, Earth, Mineral, Smooth, Sweet, Wood

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

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This is a sample from cookies. I’m always willing to try more samples from AliExpress, it feels like such a gamble since you never know what the quality will be like, but the prices are usually really low. These leaves are jet black and fairly large, and they have that fragile look about them. Dry scent is surprisingly smoky, I had to make sure this was the right tea since I thought it was a lapsang at first.

The smoke has lessened a lot in the tea itself, thankfully. This is definitely a very earthy and woody tea, in fact the first thought that popped into my head when tasting it was, “Ost wouldn’t like this, it tastes like wood.” Teehee. There’s also a fair amount of smoke along with a strong mineral taste. So overall, very earthy with a lot of dark complementary notes. Sort of forest floor-y!

Flavors: Earth, Mineral, Smoke, Wood

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

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This was one of the free 20 gram samples that Joel included with my Capital Tea Limited order. Thanks, Joel! The leaves are adorable. They’re jet black and thin, but curled up in a way that reminds me of bi luo chun. Baby snails! Dry scent is hay and honey.

OMG. This tea is so delicious! In fact, it’s reminding me strongly of Butiki’s Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black (aka Waffle Tea), which is wonderful since that one’s not available anymore. There are super strong honey and bread notes in the beginning with perhaps a touch of cinnamon, but near the end of the sip you get a huge punch of waffles-with-maple-syrup flavor. So creamy and rich the entire time. Delish! :)

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Creamy, Honey, Maple Syrup, Pastries, Smooth, Sweet, Thick

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

“… reminding me strongly of Butiki’s Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black …”
That’s very strong praise!

Cameron B.

I know! That was absolutely my favorite Butiki tea. I would call this tea a mixture of that tea and TeaVivre’s Bailin Gongfu. :)


Sounds wonderful, got to try this ourselves!


Hm this sounds quite good to me too. Actually, it sounds downright delicious, divine, and catered for my taste buds.


It is really good!

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drank Gemini by Nina's Paris
966 tasting notes

Another one from madametj! This one sounds oddly close to Taurus, though I’m excited by the addition of grapefruit. I just think it’s weird that they’d make two that are so similar. Anyway! I can’t smell any grapefruit in the dry leaf, just strawberry.

The steeped tea has a really lovely strawberry scent, it reminds me of jam. And I think perhaps I can smell a touch of citrus as well. The taste is an interesting combination of strawberry candy or jam, cream, and a touch of citrus (not sure I would pick out grapefruit, possibly more like orange). I wish there was a bit more flavor, to be honest, as it’s pretty light. Still yummy though.

Flavors: Cream, Jam, Orange, Strawberry, Sweet, Vanilla

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Hello, my name is Cameron. I’m 25 years old and currently living in New York state 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
Yunnans (esp. Pure Bud)
Lightly Roasted Oolongs
Japanese Greens
Most “Dessert” Flavors (caramel, toffee, butterscotch, cake, cookie, etc.)

Favorite Companies:
Capital Tea Limited
Yunnan Sourcing

Not A Fan
High Mountain Oolong
Overly Floral (esp. Rose)
Strong 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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