487 Tasting Notes


Thank you TastyBrew! After much deliberation, I decided to try this one first from the samples that you sent to me.

This is a very rare sort of tea that actually tastes better than it smells. It smells like caramel-apple-cardboard-style. I was prepared to be disappointed.

It’s quite tasty, but doesn’t taste like a caramel apple to me. It does taste sweet, and it tastes like assam, but I’m not exactly picking up individual flavors beyond that. I much prefer underachieving dessert flavor than over anyway. This makes for a good biscuit-dunking tea. I have teas that I drink alone and teas that I reserve for my most favorite Biscoff biscuits.

This is definitely a tea that I’d like to have around, but I don’t know yet if it will become a regular.

UPDATE 5/25/2013: I found another tea that better fills my niche for this one (Macaron -Mariage Freres) as it smells and tastes good and I like the apple flavor of the new one better.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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(Oh darn-it, I went and put this log under the wrong company and didn’t catch my error before at least a couple of you read it. Oh well. It’s where it belongs now.)

What a neat looking tea. The pearls are much bigger than I thought they would be. I wasn’t sure what an appropriate serving size would be, so I just went with a default teaspoon which fit about 5 pearls. I steeped them for 3min30sec and it made a very strong smelling cup. It smelled like a black tea alright, and a bit earthy too. Something about it was even reminiscent of a pu-erh, but not quite. The flavor is quite malty, but not quite as sweet as other malty blacks (like the Hong Jing Luo also from thepuriTea). It’s a good robust cup of black tea nonetheless.

EDIT: as I near the bottom of my cup, I can’t help but think that this tea really could use some sugar or honey. I prefer my tea straight, though, and would rather drink a cup that doesn’t ask for extra frills.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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I had to try Milk Oolong sooner or later just to know what it’s all about. This one had spectacular reviews, so I went with it. I didn’t expect to like Milk Oolong based on descriptions, and, unfortunately, it turns out that my expectations were right.

The dry leaves and the brewed cup smell very buttery. I had a very buttery flavored tea before and it was not my cuppa, so I was afraid to take the first sip of this one. The flavor is not so buttery, though. The first taste I get is very similar to a green tea; sort of vegetal. I almost thought I was going to like it. But then there’s a coconut after taste. I knew of the potential coconut encounters going into this, but sometimes descriptions don’t always match my personal experiences, so I had to give it a chance.

I can now officially say that Milk Oolong isn’t my thing.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Birthday cake tea, from Shmiracles!

Birthday cakes are a really big deal to me. I have super high standards for them. I am generally a health-nut, but when it’s time for cake, I don’t hold back. The thing is, if I’m going to stuff my self with something I’ll regret later, it better taste super damn good. I love a fluffy white cake with pastel confetti sprinkles and fluffy buttercream frosting. My current not-made-completely-from-scratch cake is Pillsbury Funfetti. It’s in a box, so I always ask someone to make it for me on my birthday.

This tea certainly isn’t Pillsbury perfection, but for a tea, it’s not half bad. I haven’t fancied too many rooibus blends, but I fancy even less all of the cake teas made with black tea (so far anyway, still searching for ‘the one’). As far as rooibos teas go, this is the best I’ve had. It will have to do for now, until I find my cake-tea soulmate. (^^)

ETA: speaking of that yummy cake. Not long after I logged this, my sister happened to bake me one for my ‘half-birthday’ (she was looking for an excuse to bake this cake for me). How awesome is she?

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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I just love the way the leaves are all coiled up. They look so cute.

The first sip I took, I thought it tasted sort of musty, like a moldy bath towel. I was about to call this one no good, but that flavor was a fluke! Maybe it was still too hot to get a proper flavor out of it. I really shouldn’t be so impatient about taking the first sip.

I am now tasting the sweetness, like sweet potatoes and malty goodness.

Brew Notes:
2 level tsp in 14oz of water
3 min. steep

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Oh wow! This is the best green tea I’ve had in a long time. I haven’t ever smelled such potent, fresh dry leaves (of course, I’ve never had such a fresh harvest before either). I could smell the bag of dry leaves all day.

The brewed cup does not disappoint either. Tastes as creamy, sweet, and vegetal. I must order a larger bag of this next time as I don’t think this one will last very long (^.^)

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Another decadently exotic sample from Shmiracles.

I was pretty excited about this one. the leaves look and smell good enough to eat! The brewed cup isn’t quite so decadent (for me, anyway). It’s got a sort of tart or liquor-like flavor about it. The chocolate is there, but I’m not too fond of liquor flavor with occasional exceptions. I was hoping for more of a creamy backdrop for the chocolate.

But this really is all for the best. I still fear the day when I am tempted to spend more on shipping than on the tea in order to get it from afar!

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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So i was thinking I’d make a black tea and I pulled this out of my unopened samples box, not paying too much attention and kind of in a hurry. After a few minutes, when I was going to take the leaves out of the cup, I thought, “hey, thats a funny colored black tea!” It’s not exactly green though either, more like amber. I thought maybe I didnt use enough leaves or something. Oh well. Then I took a sip and it was definitely not black tea flavor. haha. Still, very good. Once I overcame the state of confusion, I decided that I like it quite a lot. It’s a very unique flavor of Green Tea.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Thank you so much Shmiracles for sharing such a coveted tea treasure; the only tea that you deemed worthy of a rating. It must have been hard to part with! haha.

So I have to start with a bit of backstory: About a week ago, my father was grilling bbq chicken and he used some fancy smoke-flavor thing that my brother had given him as a gift some time ago. I took one bite of this chicken and complained immediately that it tasted like a chimney and that I was pretty sure I was exhaling chimney smoke from my nose for half an hour after eating it. But my father loves smokey flavors, so all the better for him. What he doesn’t like are most of the teas I bring for him to sample. “tastes like seaweed!” … “that tastes like seaweed too” … “too weak” … “too boring” … “SEAWEED!!!”

I had never tried Lapsang Souchong nor any blends made with it, but I read plenty about it’s smokiness and told my father that I will have to get him some. It’s not a tea I ever would have considered getting for myself as I knew it wouldn’t suit me.

So fortunate it was that I happened to get a Lapsang blend in a swap. I opened the bag, smelled it and thought “yep, this has Papa written all over it!” I took it over to my parents house this evening and told my father that I found the tea for him. And guess what? No surprise, he LOVED it. He even asked if there was more before he finished the cup that I gave him. I also poured small sample cups for my mother, little sister, and myself (because I can’t officially say that I don’t like it unless I try it). It was one awful smelly cup of blech to me and my mother wasn’t too tickled either. As for my little sister, her story is special too. She’s been sampling several teas that I bring over there and not once ever has she not liked one. Every tea is equally good in her book and I was determined to find something she didn’t like. Finally did. She didn’t even finish her sample, but gave it to Papa.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Oh man. If you found someone who loves smokey flavors, I have about 2 oz of California Tea House’s Organic Lapsang Souchong that I would be more than happy to part with! I got it for Fiance because he likes some smokey flavored things, but tea just isn’t one of them. (I’ve been using it in homemade BBQ sauce, but I can only make so much BBQ sauce….)


BBQ sauce made with tea… interesting. My father would certainly love that Lapsang Souchong that you have. And I have no doubt that he’d dump tabasco sauce in it and call it nirvana. haha.

But I’m not sure I have anything left good to swap for it as we’ve already swapped a couple times recently. I have added a few new things to my cupboard since then though, so maybe. pm me and let me know.


so glad somebody liked it! i do love the tea. i’m probably gonna order more right now cuz my mouth is watering just reading about it. i know it’s a strange tea. but i think that’s what makes it so appealing to me.
i LOVE that more than one person tried it to. it’s definitely a conversation piece if nothing else hah.
ummm, if you guys haven’t decided to swap i’d be happy to take the Lapsang form you Moraiwe :) !!


Oh gee, no, my father neeeeeeds it. He’s been asking about it every day since. lol.


haha congrats on creating another tea convert!!! :)

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drank Red Robe by thepuriTea
487 tasting notes

Tastes like a roasted oolong. A bit nutty too, like Houjicha. It’s quite good, but not exciting. Lots of roasted oolongs out there. I like this better than some and less than others. This one could be one of many roasted oolongs that I cycle through me regular stash (I always like to have at least one)

I do, however, like the name, so it may get preference once in a while just for that.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Name: Shelley Lorraine Limegrover
Location: Colorado
Occupation: Graduate Student and Evil Genius
Ward: 2 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, 1 Cocker spaniel, 1 super cranky but lovable siamese cat, one bipolar black turkish angora, and my husband’s black and white cat.

Hobbies: Learning, reading books, math, physics (have a degree in it), literature (have a degree in it too), anthropology, traveling, piano, and making TEA, of course (^o^)

Future plans: World domination >-)

Favorite teas: Kukicha, Green teas in general, aged oolongs, charcoal roasted oolong, taiwanese oolongs, Assam . . .

Don’t like: Genmaicha, Earl Grey, Darjeelings, ginger, coconut, smokey teas (even mild ones), nut flavors, overwhelmingly strong floral flavor (esp. Jasmine), most della derra and adagio teas. . .

My Rating System

100 My happiness absolutely depends on it

95 Will definitely repurchase

85: Might repurchase (teas that depend on my mood)

75 Won’t repurchase (but I would drink it again if offered).

65: meh

45: I reluctantly finished a cup.

15: Couldn’t finish a cup.

I simplified my ratings to single numbers rather than ranges because I can’t precisely compare so many teas with a system more detailed than this.

An unrated tea is most often one that I recognize as having significant notable quality, but that does not suit me personally. Sometimes, I leave teas unrated for other reasons, such as I am undecided or I brewed it wrong, etc.

Note: Boiling temp. barely reaches 200 where I am (and a few times it sticks at 195, I assume due to unexplainable shifts in altitude or the position of the moon. . .aliens?. . .).



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