578 Tasting Notes


I’m not familiar with Assam teas on their own, although they’re in quite a few flavoured and breakfast blends I’ve had. I thought trying this and Butiki’s Taiwanese Assam would help me understand what “Assam” means, but the two teas are different, both in geography and taste. At least I know a little bit more than I originally did, but that doesn’t say much.

I really enjoyed this tea and every time I drank it I noticed something different. It’s fun for myself to note that I never would’ve liked this tea a year ago; it’s the mouth drying astringency that I’ve warmed up to recently.

I enjoyed drinking this with and without milk as both emphasized and curbed different things in the tea. Without milk, it really drove home that this is a full bodied tea with a kick, with a good dose of malt and astringency and a touch of dried fruit. I often had it like that for early mornings, when I needed something to wake me up.

I chose to drink it with milk today as I didn’t want to deal with the astringency (ok, so I haven’t quite warmed up to it). I guess it’s common sense that milk brings out cream but this gets really creamy! It’s like the difference between milk in a Cream of Earl Grey versus milk in a normal Earl Grey- it multiplies the creaminess instead of just adding cream. I don’t know how else to put it without sounding even sillier.

The cream is good but my favourite part of this tea is its quiet sweetness. It’s a “brown” sweetness- like raisins, maple syrup, or dates. The dry leaf and now empty cup smell of raisins and cocoa and the lingering aftertaste is fruity dark chocolate.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I’ve come to learn that I don’t care much for flavoured greens, but this is probably my favourite one. It’s also my favourite of the four mariage frères tins that I was gifted almost a year ago, and the only one I’d repurchase.

It drives me absolutely bonkers that I still don’t know what it’s scented with. That’s actually part of the reason I’ve taken so long to write a tasting note for it. I just end up frustrating myself with “mystery flavours” instead of enjoying the tea, which all of me agrees on being fruity sweet and mildly floral (isn’t that enough to know?).

The tea tastes light, smooth, and sweet, before an moderately astringent and tart finish- which makes me think citrus rind or seed. That smoothness reminds me of the best moments of a juicy orange, but I have a feeling that there is more than one fruit behind this cup. The lingering aftertaste is a gentle fruity sweetness.. like that of a ripe frozen persimmon!!! I tried frozen persimmons for the first time a week ago and I am almost positive that that is what I’m tasting. Sorry. Mid-tasting note epiphany. I’m so freaking excited; if I identified that right this tea puzzle would make a little more sense. Hopefully, that now familiar flavour sticks around in further sessions with this tea.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

I know what you mean about not knowing the exact flavours driving you bonkers – me too, though not about this particular one. And their descriptions sometimes “silky marvelous tea” (which is what they describe Thé au Tibet, which admittedly it is), so not helpful sometimes.

There is a weird alchimy sometimes in their blends – I taste loquats in Montagne D´Or though their (french) site for once discloses the fruits and says it is mango, lychee and Bengal apple (whatever that is). Surabaya is supposedly guava and blackberries but to me it tastes of lychee. Weird alchemy when we do not know!


Those are some very unique fruit combinations there. I can’t begin to imagine what those pairings would taste like. Knowing that they do create blends with a wide range of fruit make me feel a little less stressed that I can’t figure this one out. Thanks for the information!

Mariage Frères lack of ingredient disclosure challenges me by making me question how much my preconceptions go into perceiving what a tea tastes like. I appreciate that reminder but I wish I knew more about this tea other than that it’s “fruity and velvety” and is under their website’s “floral” section.


I think there might be clove in this tea as well as the fruits?

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“Does this taste like a malted milk ball candy?”

Yes, yes it does, although the very small amount of skim milk I added may have helped with that. Man, I haven’t had malted milk balls, or malt eggs, in ages- not since I was well under five feet tall. I never liked them as a child but this tea somehow makes me look back fondly upon them. This tea is somewhat tangy (another thing I associate with malt eggs), as well as creamy and smooth.

I’m getting next to no chocolate in this; it is as watered down as the crummy skim milk I added. I’m grateful for that though because I wasn’t looking for a super chocolate tea this morning, and didn’t realize it had chocolate until I had already dumped it into the strainer.

While not as sweet smelling as some of the other teas Cavocorax sent my way, this still has a subtly sugary taste (Edit: and not so subtle dry leaf aroma; my nose is malfunctioning badly). I had low hopes for this one but it completely surprised me with the sudden burst of nostalgia and calming flavour.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec

Okay, now I want.




love this tea.


My mother stole my second steep, said she liked it a lot and that I should pick up more. This tea continues to surprise today.


Hahah. You just inspired more tea purchases! :P I gotta say, I’m happy I grabbed 2oz!

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There’s always money in the banana stand. I could really go for a chocolate dipped frozen banana right now. Luckily, Jackie T sent this my way.

This particular banana may be hot instead of frozen but it’s a small point; it’s still coated in chocolate. The liquor is a little murky and smells strongly of the two objects in this rooibos’s namesake. The flavour isn’t disappointing either, although it’s weaker than the aroma and I am tasting a bit of the base. I wouldn’t mind a banana split right now either. Or a fried banana. I’ll probably settle for one of the raw bananas sitting in the kitchen though. Bananas are the best food.

On a side note, this reminds me a lot of Banana Dream Pie from David’s Tea, which also has chocolate and banana flavours.

Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

You’re totally making me crave a banana now, but all I have are frozen ones. Banana smoothie for me!


Every time I see mention of your banana smoothie concoction on here I regret not having a working blender. Banana smoothies are a favourite of mine and I bet I’d love them with matcha.


:D Awesome. You can always get that super cheap one from Sears! I think it’s worth it.

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It turns out that smooth and malty black tea, along with some sour hibiscus and citrus rind, makes a decently convincing cobbler. Apple is a distinctive flavour here for me. It tastes lightly spiced too. It comes off as a bit tart but it’s not bad, especially when some of the astringency tones down a bit as it cools. Thanks for giving me the chance to try this, Jackie T!

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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Thank you for the sample, NM Tea co. I’ve never had a tea that attempts to mimic wine before and was very excited to try this. I’m so grateful that there a couple of mugs-worth in the packet because it’s going to take me a few tries before I figure out how I feel about this one. On first impression I like it a lot.

This is a nice floral tea. I wasn’t expecting that and thought it would be more on the sweet and fruity side from the name and the smell of the dry leaf. There’s a hint of roses, with a sweetness that drifts up from the liquor’s aroma. The base is also giving me those crisp and fresh cucumber-melon notes, which contribute to a sense of sweetness.

The same profile that reminds me vaguely of roses also lends itself to a flavour that I can only describe as grapey- I get this more near the finish and when I inhale and sip (I probably look funny). The aftertaste, in particular, is fruity sweet. It does make me think of a sweet wine.

Second steep accidentally went over six minutes and tastes a lot like the first steep. It’s silky with a mildly fruity astringent finish.

I have yet to try a Riesling, and the one icewine I’ve had the pleasure to sample was of the red variety, so I can’t fairly say how this tea holds up to what it’s trying to imitate. My obsession with Silver Needle has also made me neglect getting familiar with White Peony, the base of this tea. I’ll have to amend some of these things.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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I polished off this sample from Cavocorax today, just in time to get my tin of Irish Breakfast.

This is a nice and simple chocolate mint tea, in the vein of Read My Lips by David’s Tea which I can’t help but compare it too. Both are After Eights in liquid form but this one has more minty freshness and dark chocolate vibe, and less of a cloying sugar effect than Read My Lips. Peppermint is typically sweet enough on its own for me so I’m OK without the extra sugar.

I completely forgot to try this with milk or baileys. Chocolate teas and milk sound like they should be the best of pals. Small regrets.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

I think I may like this on account of the lack of peppercorns :)

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Coconut, distinctive level flavoring. One pound package. Free shipping sucked me in again. No regrets, though, because the sugary deliciousness of this burns with the intensity of 1000 suns. I will never get a green tea frappe from Starbucks again (that statement is almost definitely a lie).

I made this up as a warm latte, with one tablespoon of powder and about a cup of frothed soy milk. I didn’t sift or whisk anything up although I superstitiously stirred with a spoon a few times in a halfhearted manner. There was no debris at the bottom so I figure I got away with it.

My invoice says I ordered Caramel but the package label and it’s powdery green contents clearly say Coconut. I’m not phased by this whatsoever, and wasn’t fully invested in caramel anyways.

I’ve tried the the regular coconut matcha from Red Leaf at a robust level, and wasn’t particularly won over by the whole sunscreen on the beach vibe. It turned out to be an excellent flavour here, however; it’s a lot lighter on the senses than the robust coconut matcha. This is exactly how I like my coconut, creamy, thick, and light, with a good dash of sweetness to boot. One pound will likely not last too long.


So this one was supposed to be caramel I gather? I love coconut and this sounds delicious. I even have their website opened now to check it out, though I’ve gone a wee bit overboard ordering lately…


Oooo, this is the next one I want to order, but I thought in would get regular matcha rather than MATCHAccino and upgrade the base one notch. It sounds soooo good.


Oh, it’s so good. I have the same one and use it in my smoothies every morning. If it wasn’t almost bedtime, I’d try it hot. :)

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It’s provincial elections in BC today, which is always a fun thing.. so fun that my body decided it would be the perfect time to get a cold (or allergies, I can’t tell). Whatever it is, I’m going out of my way to be a big baby about it. ;)

I think I’m going to dedicate this week to teas that don’t smell the best, or that I’ve had for a tad too long. This one doesn’t actually fall fully into either of those categories but its strong roasted aroma and marshmallow sweet flavour make it a desirable candidate for my wimpy day. The flavours are not complicated enough for me to miss anything important, either. It kind of just does the trick right now.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec

When did you get this batch? The one I got in the fall tasted amazing, and I just got the most recent batch in and it’s definitely off.


Haha I enjoyed this post. Hope your “wimpy day” was improved with this tea :)


Thanks Courtney! It helped a little :)

This batch is one of the newer ones from a couple months back. I wish I’d had the chance to try the original batch with the real marshmallows.


I’ve heard that the non-vegan version was good, but honestly, the first couple incarnations of the vegan version were fabulous as well. It’s just the latest batch(es) that are off :(

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Happy Mother’s Day, Steepsterites!

I’ve never had upside down cake but this tea gives me the impression that there is a whole lot of sugar involved. Caramelized sugar and brown sugar are the two dominant notes I pick out of this, with tangy sweet pineapple creeping in near the end of the sip. I thought there would be more pineapple flavour but it’s a subtle thing here. It’s rich, buttery, and creamy- it’s extreme cake tea. There may be more cake here than in some actual cakes. It’s a little overwhelming.

I personally do not need or crave this much cake in my tea, and prefer some of the lighter dessert teas to sugar monsters like this and Red Velvet Cake (from David’s Tea). This is great for what it is, however, and I’ll enjoy drinking the rest of the sample that Cavocorax provided (now I know what sample made your envelope smell so sweet)!

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

Pretty sweet, yes. :) It’s a recipe that’s been around since the 20s or 30s and it starts with brown sugar and butter caramelized on the bottom of a pan with pineapple slices and sweet butter cake baked over the top. When I was growing up, we always had it served with Cool Whip to cut the sweetness. :)


Ha, this is such an appropriate Mother’s Day tea.

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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.


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: …


BC, Canada

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