499 Tasting Notes


It only took a month, but my Wanja order is finally here! Yay for delayed tea!

Something in the dry leaf and liquor aroma makes me want to roll around like a cat on catnip.. except I’m not a cat so I did a lot of hopping and skipping around instead. After taking a sip, I did even more of that. Being caffeine sensitive is usually good for the spirit but bad for gaining a respectable public image.

This bright, vivid orange-brown cup is like floral silk and citrus rind. The finish is brisk but not drying. Second steep is even more floral silk, almost thick enough to be a thin cream.

I’m not sure I’d pick this over my favourite mouth shredder, the Wanja OP, but I’ve an ounce-length span to make that decision if I need to.

Flavors: Flowers, Orange Zest

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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While I enjoyed the Shan First Flush, this one’s a complete miss for me. It has a delicious fruity note near the finish, but I’m not a fan of the amount of “marine” this tea throws at me. Or the metal taste. I think that last one is the biggest deal breaker for me; I don’t want to feel like I’ve been rolling pennies all day when I’m drinking tea.

I’m going to try some different steeping parameters, water, and palates (lucky roommates) before I move on.. hopefully my assessment as it stands now doesn’t stick!

Thanks, SFTGFOP, for another new green tea to try!

Flavors: Metallic, Ocean Breeze, Stonefruits

170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I do not drink this one near enough.

This is your classic, straightforward breakfast tea with milk, and it’s all kinds of amazing. It gets huge comfort points. The wisp of smoke is an added bonus today.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Vegetal greens aren’t really my thing, but there’s no denying I really enjoyed the citrus notes in this. The whole flavour profile reminds me of eating lobster (or insert your preferred seafood), with a good squeezing of lemon and a dash of butter.

This isn’t the cup to win me over to Team Green, but I don’t mind drinking up two individual tea bags of it. Thanks, SFTGFOP, for sending this smoky smelling Myanmar tea my way!

Flavors: Lemon Zest

170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I finally got a HB temperature variable kettle for school. Now it lives in my room with the soul purpose of manufacturing oolong-perfect water at my whim. It’s so satisfying knowing I can do that!

I really should be prepping for bed, but instead I thought I would celebrate the new kettle with a cup of this. It’s crazy floral-sweet today; undeniably like honeysuckles. The salty butter on the back of the tongue wasn’t apparent at first, but it has saturated my mouth with a vengeance now. I’m getting something almost minty too today.

I told myself I’d only do one steep tonight but I lied. I forgot how much I love this one.

Flavors: Butter, Flowers

180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Yay! A new kettle! :)


Is it the Hamilton Beach Pro? I think you match VariaTEA and I! And yes! ILU new kettle for letting me drink oolongs and greens! That should make for a more enjoyable semester for you! :)


Ohh… I want this kettle… and I think my subconscious knows and is helping me get it. My water thermometer had an accident today whereas it fell inside the regular kettle with near boiling water. The poor thing was all fogged up and rendered non-functional for time being. If it stops working for good I’ll probably get the variable temp kettle. Oolong is my Goddess… it would be so much easier with this kettle.


Congratulations! A good kettle and a water filter are a must! In fact, I’d choose the filter first really. Calcium and iron in water seems to especially effect the taste of oolongs for me. I’m a freak though.
Enjoy your new baby! Whoot!

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drank Cherry Blossom by DAVIDsTEA
499 tasting notes

Main notes for me are Sour Cherry Blasters and roses. There are some muscatel, vegetal, and citrus notes that pop up now and then but they are less defined. The coconut is barely apparent at all, but when it is it’s more akin to an oil or water than coconut shavings.

This isn’t a bad tea, artificial cherry and all, but it has to be steeped with some care. I think I burnt mine the first night and it had a bitter green veggie note midsip (between the rosy cherry and coconut-rose). Luckily the second steep that night came out smoother.

I may have my complaints and I would never add this to the “search and hoard” list, but I wouldn’t pass up a cup either. David’s has me excited about seasons months before their time, so there’s that too (my sense of time is a mess).

175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Just don’t try going outside in just a sundress and sandals. :)


Almost did that when I saw how blue and sunny it was today. Then it started snowing. :/


Oh, you made me laugh. :D

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drank Golden Fleece by Verdant Tea
499 tasting notes

I decided to crack open my sample of this today and made one big pot long steep (+3min steep) and one little glass pot steep (15sec).

15sec is light and smooth, but on the bright and sweet side. My roommate tried some and asked if I added a little sugar to it. Big pot has a thicker flavour, and yielded honey nectar syrup. I don’t really pick up any spices from either session but long steep has something musky about it that may be reminiscent of cloves.

For me this is a very sweet tea. Maybe that changes in later steeps, but I won’t find out until later tonight.


Oh wow, I wouldn’t have thought that this one would be that sweet.


Yes it has a honey quality…not dark honey though. The sweetness is cocoa cream to me.


I love Dian Hongs. A good one can taste like mead.


…and I just realized that almost all the “good” black teas in my book taste like alcohol!

Darjeelings = Champagne
Keemun = Whiskey
Assam = Bourbon


I have a puerh that was aged in a bourbon barrel and it’s crazy good!


OMG Bonnie…bourbon barrel puerh??? That DOES sound amazing.


Comes from Oregon…I’ll have to review it…but Happy Luckys Tea House in Fort Collins has a few pounds for sale (might be on the website.. www.happyluckys.com don’t know though). Not ‘flavored’
but ‘aged’ in the bourbon barrel until all that yum gets infused into the puerh. Pretty kickin!

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Sipdown. My last pot of this was so rich, like buttered spice cake, that I may have to pick up more asap.

205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 15 sec

I love this one too. So good~ I love how well Verdant’s blends re-steep :)


I was surprised how well this one re-steeped after the initial 6min first steep. :)


Because of you, I busted out my Vanilla Citrus spice and just downed two Nordic mugs. The second steep was indeed very flavourful. :)

Lily Duckler

So glad you enjoyed! :) Since you might want to pick more up, I do want to let you know: we are running very low on the base to this blend! So far, it looks like we’ll be able to keep this in stock just through the first week or so of February.


CrowKettle, I have a $10 certificate and was thinking of picking some tea up. Did you want me to add some of this to my order?


If it’s not inconvenient for you that would be awesome :)


That sold out quickly! It just goes to show you should never hesitate when it comes to something you love. I’ll anticipate the return of this blend (and the Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha).


I know! I was waiting for the Black Chocolate Genmaicha to come back in stock as was going to order both of these, but alas, now this is gone as well.

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This is part of my recent fruit-herbal kick.

This is tart, fruity, with a dab of yogurt. I was surprised to find that I liked this better hot than cold (it’s too much like sour yogurt for me). A shorter steep time (4min?) prevents Hibiscus from manifesting completely in all its sour glory. I often never remember this though, which results in a thoroughly shredded tongue and throat. Whoops.

On a side note: DT and Purdy’s decided to join forces today at Hillside (maybe they’re doing it in other places?). They’re handing out samples together, which included two “tea” chocolates (Passion-fruit, Chai). Interesting stuff!

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

This is the second post I’ve seen today and I had it so early on in my “tea career” I may not have given it the proper chance.


Maybe? I’ve had a few pots of it so far, but am not wowed by it either. I’d rather give something new a shot first.


I’ll keep that in mind. Perhaps next time I go to fill my guayusa tin I’ll pick up a wee bit. No special trip needed!


Neat! I’d go down there and check it out but there’s no way I’d make it on time.


Aw, I hope they do something like this again. It was nothing big, but I wouldn’t mind more free tea and chocolate.

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drank Coco-Lemon Thai by DAVIDsTEA
499 tasting notes

The thing about not having microwave and trying to reheat Indian food is.. it really makes the aroma sink into everything. I have an easier time heating up rice and veggie dishes on the stove, like eggplant bharta (new favourite thing!), than the meat/potatoes dishes.

Anyways, this tea. I’m not as big a fan as I used to be, but every once in a while I get “cravings” for it (umm..). Today’s cup ended up being in the top percentile of Coco-Lemon Thai cups, which is amazing because I don’t know how long I steeped it or what the temperate of the water was. Somewhere between vindaloo and tandoori chicken tikka.

I want to get over this tea but I can’t- it has that awesome citrus cream thing going for it that I love so much in Della Terra’s Lemon/Lime Chiffon. The whole coconut cream and lemongrass thing gives me a cheery spring vibe. I think this tea was released during the onset of spring last year, so there’s that going into my overall impression too. It’s a tea full of happy (and it goes well with curry).

195 °F / 90 °C

That’s one thing I hate about Indian food! But it’s so delish…ever went to indian restaurant? You come back home smelling like a portable spice boutique!


Ha! That happened to me when I went to an Indian restaurant a few days before going home for the holidays. My jacket smelled like curry for days, so I left it to air out. Luckily when I got back, it was back to normal. Powerful stuff.

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I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

Tea Preferences: My absolute favourites are the floral inclined oolong and white teas. I also enjoy unflavoured green and black teas. Puerh is a hit or miss.

Fruit, cedar, anise, and vanilla are good. Black licorice, bergamot, and cheap chocolate are less good. Jasmine, cinnamon, and hibiscus are usually too strong in teas for my taste, but otherwise I like these flavours!


95-100: A Personal Favourite; I’m never without this tea.

90-94: Great! I’ll try to keep a small amount around.

80-89: Enjoyable; I may buy more at some point.

70-79: Nice, but not something I’d drink often. I may have a few problems with it.

50-69: Something about this tea falls flat for me. Still drinkable.

30-49: This isn’t a particularly pleasant cup.

1-29: There’s no way to put it nicely..


BC, Canada

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