98 Tasting Notes


Slight cocoa fragrance, faintly chocolatey flavor. It’s a great ingredient list but the flavor doesn’t live up to expectations. I would not describe this as having surprising depth and body, even after I added almond milk. I think this tea might be nice as a low-key flavoring element for a fuller bodied puerh.

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drank Tamu Organic Oolong Tea by MAJANI
98 tasting notes

Really enjoyed this sample from Kasumi no Chagin, worth lingering over. This is neither a dark, oxidized oolong nor a fresh, green, floral oolong. It’s silky smooth, soft and round and … apricot. Apricot with a hint of assam from the nose through the long finish. The finish is slightly tannic on the second steep, though that may have been a little operator error oversteeping, not sure about that.

I am always seeking teas that inherently taste fruity (or chocolate/caramel/floral-y) without actually being flavored, and this is the most apricot I’ve tasted in that category. Smile-worthy tea sipping on this one!

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drank Chai Redbush by Yogi Tea
98 tasting notes

If I liked chai I’d be more of a fan of this. It’s a nice enough cup but the cinnamon and clove hit pretty hard into the rooibos.

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drank Paris by Harney & Sons
98 tasting notes

Molly sent me a couple of sachets of this that she’d just picked up so they’d be fresh, how sweet is that? There’s such a wide spread among the Steepster reviews and I can see why a lot of folks would love this smooth, flavorful tea, though I fall among those who are less enamoured, because it’s a bit too perfumey for my taste. The flavors are nice enough: I think Rebeccah hit it on the nose, so to speak, by calling it cherry pipe tobacco (I’d pulled out cherry and tobacco as predominant before reading her post, funny). Dark berry and bergamot are also apparent, and something smooths it out, like vanilla, which makes an appearance in the immediate aftertaste. Strong berry fragrance but this is not a typical light-bodied berry tea, it’s much rounder.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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Smooth, malty, pulls no punches, easy drinking, I like it.

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Thanks to Teavivre for the generous samples, much appreciated. This was a mild silver needle. Pleasantly buttery, with hay/grass and cucumber notes most apparent. Following recommended steeping with 1 1/2 tsp its flavor was quite subtle, so next time I will try it with 2 tsp.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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Rich flavor, marine notes are just barely detectable, it’s cleaner in that regard for those who have an aversion to puerh for that reason. I think Kasumi no Chagin hit it with the ‘peat’ descriptor. ‘Forest dirt’ hits more on the second steep. I know, this sounds so appealing, doesn’t it? But it’s a pretty good puerh for everyday drinking.

205 °F / 96 °C

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I’m not a big rooibos fan but I’d like to enjoy it more because it’s healthy, plus I stop drinking caffeine by around 1pm, leaving a tea void in every day. So I’m always on the lookout for a nice evening tea, and this falls in that category. A pleasing complement of flavors — peach, mostly, and the rooibos is played down, almost on the order of a very faint dusting of cinnamon, though of course it’s rooibos, not cinnamon.

… If you’re reading reviews for this tea looking for a good, natural-ingredient rooibos blend, this one’s very smooth and palatable with a good deal of flavor, and you might also want to check out American Tea Room’s Choco*Late, which is a rooibos blend with cacao husks and vanilla beans.

I think it’d make a nice adult beverage but I haven’t given enough thought to which alcohol I’d add… maybe some type of brandy or bourbon. ’Scuse me while I make a second cup ;)


my favourite part of this review is the last couple of lines!

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drank Imara Organic Black Tea by MAJANI
98 tasting notes

Thanks, Kasumi no Chagin for sending this – trying a new tea that I enjoy is like a friend showing up in a convertible in early spring and shouting “let’s go!” and you just drive anywhere for the experience, fun. That’s what comes to mind as I sit back with my 2nd cup :)

Gentle boldness. Caramelized tobacco. Smooth. Astringency on the finish but here the astringency was part of the enjoyment, tempered by the long finish of the flavor profile, so was an integrated part of the tea’s character.

On edit, the astringency outlasted the flavor finish … a few long red lights on the way home from the joyride.

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drank Thabiti Organic Black Tea by MAJANI
98 tasting notes

A good cuppa, thanks Kasumi no Chagin! And taking the cue from Dinosara I brewed this at a lower temp and didn’t get any bitterness, though there’s a touch of tannin.

Smooth, clean, honest and I’d even put it in the category of a comfort tea, in the sense that you can just settle in with it and enjoy its well-balanced and mildly sweet flavors. I don’t mind assam, but there’s something too assamy about an assam; this tea has hints of assam, at the ideal subtlety level, perfectly balanced by apricot and a little malt.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

okay, I have to ask. how do you bold things in Steepster?


Just an asterisk on either side, easy!

Here’s the Steepster FAQ that Jason put together — see the 5th item from the bottom for other formatting options:

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Strong preference for exploring teas au naturel, and unflavored (except for unprocessed ingredients, e.g., cocoa shells/nibs, vanilla beans, flowers, fruits…). Favorites lean in the direction of rich caramelly, malty blacks, any puerh, fresh floral oolongs and whites that have some dimension.

I am always up for swaps.

Beyond the experience of tea, I’m interested in exploring its medicinal aspects. Other interests … yoga, creative veggie cooking, environmental issues, animal welfare, music/guitar, lefty politics, preventive health/nutrition, biking, swimming, foosball, photography.

Here’s how I rate ’em:

95+: euphoria-inducing, le petite mort
91-94: extraordinary, exhilarating
85-90: delicious
81-84: definitely enjoyable
75-80: good, solid stuff
65-74: I’ll drink it, but without enthusiasm
45-64: something redeeming about it, but not much
31-44: just barely drinkable
< 30: tidy stream into the spit bucket


Metro DC

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