134 Tasting Notes


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
134 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
134 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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drank Vanilla Nut Java Mate by Guayaki
134 tasting notes

This is the best alternative to coffee I’ve tasted. You can even brew it in your coffeemaker. Very healthy with the ramon nut added, too. Full-flavored with similar body and depth to coffee.

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drank Napa Blanc by Lupicia
134 tasting notes

First coherent descriptor that came through in my head after the surprised and delighted initial “Yum!” as I leaned over to inhale the steeping cup was … Juicy Fruit gum. Kind of honeysuckle-ish but I can see where it’s grape, too, reminding me of the wild grape vine in our backyard growing up… my dog used to love it when I peeled back the tart skin and squeezed the juicy, firm sweet inner orb into her mouth on a hot day. Forgot about that preciousness until this moment, and this tea, more than 30 years later :)

The Juicy Fruit carried through from aroma to flavor, as well, much cleaner and as sweet as the gum. Second steep is every bit as good, though with a hint of astringency on the finish that could have been due to leaving it in too long, can’t say.

I love this tea, it’s setting off the pleasure receptors in my brain, big time. A big thank you to Crystal for hooking me on this smack.

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drank Pure Green Decaf by Yogi Tea
134 tasting notes

It’s not bad. Has a mild astringency. Best thing about it – besides its being drinkable late night – is it nicely complements the flavor of a graham cracker with dark berry jam… its straight-ahead, no surprises flavor dances well with the jam’s sweetness, which in turn makes the cup smile.

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drank Milk Caramel by Lupicia
134 tasting notes

Butterscotch: if you like it, you’ll enjoy this tea. Smells like it and tastes like it… well, like toasted butterscotch, and not quite as sweet. There’s quite a bit of flavor here, no focused attention is necessary. Also Crystal, who surprised me with this delicious gift, noted a nutty flavor as well, good call on that subtlety; I’d peg it as hazelnut.

The creamy mouthfeel continues into a lengthy aftertaste, which is quite nice… like breathing butterscotch-caramel.

I’d recommend this tea for folks like me who don’t seek out “sweet” teas but enjoy a little sweetness now and then as long as it’s not all high notes.

This would be good to use as a flavoring for more plain teas, like that nondescript black that you want to use up. So … on the 3rd steep I added some Irish Breakfast that I actually like, and the results are great. Delicious, it cut some of the sweetness and added more interest to the black tea. This would be a great satisfying Saturday breakfast tea, now, like tea with a little sweet roll on the side, without the calories. When added to another tea like this, I’d give this a 90 rating. The strength of the flavor holds up remarkably well.

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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


Metro DC

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