602 Tasting Notes


The dry leaf is so pretty! The darkness of the chocolate and the bright red of the saffron really add depth to the medium brown of the rooibos and honeybush. The chiles contribute a strong, spicy smell.

The brew is a medium reddish-brown. There’s a bit of film on the top that I’m not excited about. The chile scent is deeper now, with a chocolate background. The flavor is nummy. Dark chocolate at the beginning of the sip fades into a sharp spiciness. The chile really lingers on the palate. I’m normally not very good with hot spices. The lingering heat of this blend is just on the edge of what I can handle. A bit of rice milk adds creaminess but does nothing to tamp down the spiciness. This is an intense cup for me!

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drank Eggnog Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
602 tasting notes

Sipdown. Thanks for the sample, Red Leaf!

I decided to try this iced today. Cold rice milk + matcha + milk frother. De. li. cious. Vanilla creamy goodness. For about 15 minutes. After that it got grainy. Lesson: drink within 15 minutes of blending.

I wonder if this would be good with coffee. Hot, of course. But I imagine that eggnog matcha + milk would serve nicely in lieu of creamer.

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This is showing its age a bit (over a year, I think), but still decent. Thick mouthfeel, slightly sweet cinnamon mid-sip, and a lingering ginger note. It’s surprisingly competent cold, developing an almost hibiscus-y sweetness in addition to the cinnamon and ginger notes. Not bad.

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I woke up to a sunny and temperate day that just cried out for a springlike tea. I chose this one based on the light, grassy smell of the dry leaf and the fact that I lurve sencha. I made it in my travel mug, so I can’t speak to brew scent or color. The taste was fab though. Reminiscent of freshly cut grass. Perfectly springlike. I look forward to trying this gong fu style.

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Thanks to Angel at Teavivre for sending me a sample of this! I brewed it Western style, 1tsp/8 oz of water. I got three solid steeps. All of them were at 185f.

First steep – about 3 minutes
The brew is a very pale green. It smells fresh and spinachy. Maybe a hint of asparagus. It tastes like butter and spinach. This actually quite reminds me of Obubu’s Kabuse Sencha, which was smooth, creamy, spinachy, and fantastic.

Second steep – about 4 minutes
There’s an unexpected and delightful toastiness here, especially as it cools. However, it leaves my mouth feeling somewhat unpleasantly dry.

Third steep – length of steep unknown, I got distracted
This tastes like roasted spinach. Dry mouthfeel with a mildly sweet, fresh aftertaste.

Overall, I find this wonderfully green and springlike. However, the dryness is detracting from my enjoyment because it undermines the smoothness of the sip.

185 °F / 85 °C 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Many thanks to MissLena for sharing some of this. I originally intended to try blending it with other teas, but ended up just drinking it on its own as an evening tea. Hot, the ginger/sage combo is soothing. Cold, it’s brisk and refreshing. This is a smartly done blend, albeit not a must-have for me. There are just other herbals I like more.


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This smells like ripe, juicy peaches, in an over-the-top way that verges on the artificial. The flavor is peachy with a veneer of tart hibiscus. Or is it hibiscus with a veneer of peach? Either way, it’s very drinkable. Blunt, sweet, simple. Tasty iced. I don’t think of it as particularly exceptional, but then again I made it to the bottom of the mug awful quick.


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The “Flavors” category on this tea’s page lists caramel, cream, mineral, and espresso. I have no idea what folks are talking about. I am not picking up on any of those flavors. Instead, I’m getting honey and roasted rice. The brew is even a light honey color. The first steep reminded me of genmaicha because the roastiness was so dominant. Subsequent steeps were sweeter. Four steeps in all, made western style. Loads of honey goodness. I wonder why my experience of it is so different from everyone else’s. I know tastes differ, but this is a pretty substantial difference. Hmm.

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I made a big ole’ teapot of this just so I could get the sipdown. It’s nice today. The strawberry is here, more like strawberry hard candy than the fresh fruit. I’m not getting much of the cream. There’s a dryness here that lingers long after the sip. I’m generally not a fan of dryness in teas, but it’s drinkable.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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drank Milk Oolong Tea by Mandala Tea
602 tasting notes

This is my first milk oolong. Thanks Stephanie!

I first tried this gong fu style. ½ tsp for 4 oz at 195f. The dry leaf smells creamy and sweet. After a quick rinse and a 20 second steep, the first cup smells the same as the dry leaf. The tightly rolled leaf has started to unfurl. There’s a creamy fruitiness in the smell of the brewed leaf. I can’t place it; pit fruit maybe? The creaminess of the tea hits right up front in the sip, followed by a green flavor…parsley or spinach maybe?… and a creamy finish.

Second steep, 25 seconds. Yup, creamed spinach. Well, cream and spinach. I’ve never had actual creamed spinach, so I can only guess what that tastes like.

Third steep, 45 seconds. This steep is more green, less cream. Parsley? Other than the creaminess, this tastes more like a green than an oolong.

Fourth steep, 1 min. Fifth steep, 1 min 30 seconds. Sixth steep, 2 mins. All taste basically the same – creamy and vegetal.

Seventh steep, 2 mins 30 seconds. A bit of toffee comes out.

Eighth steep, 4 mins 30 seconds. Starting to lose flavor. A touch of creaminess, a hint of toffee, and a lingering green flavor that I’m calling spinach right now. The leaves are gorgeous. Big, brownish-green, with slightly jagged edges.

I also tried this Western style: 1 tsp/8oz, 197f, 5 mins 30 seconds. The taste was about the same as I got from the gong fu brewing. Creamy, slightly sweet, vegetal. I don’t know that I have a preference between the two brewing methods for this tea, except that Western style takes less effort/overall time.

I haven’t decided how I feel about this tea. The creaminess was weird at first but grew on me after a while. I think I need to try a few more milk oolongs before I can meaningfully rate this one.



Nice review! I love this tea…


Glad you had fun trying it :)

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