425 Tasting Notes


Many thanks to adagio breeze for the bag. I didn’t feel like making an entire pitcher, so I broke open the bag and brewed it looseleaf.

This actually isn’t bad hot. Crisp, grassy, with a hint of orange. Nothing astounding, but not at all awful. Good for an afternoon pick-me-up or as an accompaniment to a light Mediterranean lunch.

Cold, this is quite lovely! Bright and tangy. Quite refreshing. I suspect this would be especially good with a touch of sugar. Definitely better for a hot summer afternoon than the early days of fall, but I suspect we’ll get two or three more hot days in the next few weeks before fall fully settles in.

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The dry leaves are thin and needle-like, with a bright vegetal smell. They unfurl into the cutest little yellow-green leaves. The brewed tea is a very, very pale yellow. As in, you can barely tell it’s not water. But it sure doesn’t taste like water! This is wonderfully vegetal and buttery, without being too heavy. There’s a nice dry aftertaste too. This easily gave me two good steeps. I probably could have gotten a third, but I’m trying to make a dent in my stash. As usual, high marks for Teavivre. Many thanks to Alysha for the sample.

Protip: Teavivre’s sample packages always have more than one serving but aren’t easy to reseal. Luckily, the labels on Teavivre’s sample-size packages peel right off and stick nicely to a tin or baggie! Most people have probably already figured this out, but I thought I’d share for anyone who hasn’t.


I actually just did that like five minutes ago! The little DAVIDsTEA samples are the same way. Now if I would only work for Verdant! ;)


Teavana labels are actually like that, too (though with Teavana’s reputation, I’m slightly ashamed to admit knowing that).

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Sipdown! Many thanks to my friend rashad for the sample.

This has sort of a floral, citrusy smell, which is about what you’d expect from a Jasmine Lemon tea. The flavor is heavier on the citrus than the floral. It tastes like lemon tea with a flowery undertone. And it is flowery – not distinctly jasmine. That might have something to do with the fact that there are a lot of other flowers in the mix. What are rose petals and lilac doing in a jasmine tea?

Overall, this is acceptable but utterly mediocre. Finished the cup, glad I tried it, not going to miss it.

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drank Movie Night by DAVIDsTEA
425 tasting notes

Last time I had this, I wasn’t getting any of the popcorn flavor. I thought it was because I was also having real popcorn at the time. Not so. I’m not getting any popcorn this time either. It just tastes like a candy apple. In a really fake way. The maple gives it a lovely syrupy/caramel smell. Unfortunately that’s the only thing I’m enjoying about this tea. The taste is just too cloyingly artificial. I don’t even really want to finish drinking it…

Other people don’t seem to have had the same impression. Maybe I overbrewed?

UPDATE: I had the opportunity to try it again after it cooled. Tasted just like caramel corn. I’m not sure that I like that in a tea, but it’s substantially better than the flavor I was getting when it was hot. One serving left – maybe next time I can draw out that caramel corn flavor while the tea is still hot.

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drank Momoko by Lupicia
425 tasting notes

Many thanks to oOTeaOo for this. The leaves are so pretty! Even dry, this has a natural fruity scent. There’s a floral aspect, too, which I like. Brewed, this smells like a nice juicy peach. The flavor is all peach, with a touch of vanilla and tartness. Very summery. Perfect for an afternoon break.

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drank Lapsang Souchong by Nina's Paris
425 tasting notes

Gahhh too much smoke. The smell is so smoky that it makes it hard to taste anything else. It’s not ashy or astringent. There is a touch of sweetness if you can get past the super smoky scent. But bah, it turns out that I really don’t like smoky tea.

No rating because I think that this would be enjoyable for people who do like smoke. Thanks to Laurent at Nina’s Tea for the sample.

Nina's Tea USA

lol, sophie said the same thing!

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Mmmm. I picked this up in Taiwan and have mostly been hoarding it since my return. The leaves aren’t totally whole, but they are very coarsely cut. The dry bags are only half full in order to allow for room for the leaves to expand. And seriously, it’s kind of fun to watch the tea bag fill up as the leaves absorb water. For those of you who care, the bags are pouches rather than triangle bags, and I can’t tell what kind of material they’re made of – it’s not as obviously plastic as the triangle bags and looks fibrous, but is also pretty strong.

The brewed tea smells distinctly but not overwhelmingly of jasmine. The color is a lovely gold. But you probably want to hear about the taste, so here goes. The jasmine is definitely prominent here. Personally, I like it. The underlying tea is rather grassy, which complements and supports the jasmine beautifully. There’s a lovely, dry aftertaste that I encountered in most Taiwanese tea that I still haven’t been able to find the right words for. It’s sort of… metallic-smoky, in a good way. I realize that’s a totally useless description that makes no sense, but it’s the best I can come up with. If anyone has experience with this tea and can articulate a better description, please chime in!

Overall, this is a great go-to tea that’s easy to brew in a hurry, and will always be a personal favorite because it carries good memories of my trip.

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Mmmm creamy. At first, the flavor of this is overwhelmingly creamy with just a touch of coconut. The coconut comes out more in the aftertaste. As I keep drinking it, though, the coconut really comes out to play and it’s about an even flavor balance between creamy and coconutty. Kind of like coconut water with a thicker mouthfeel. Alas, I don’t actually like coconut, so this goes in the nice-to-have-tried-it-but-don’t-want-more category. Many thanks to whatshesaid for the sample!

The dry leaves are also super pretty!

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drank Jasmint by Della Terra Teas
425 tasting notes

I think I made this wrong. I brewed it for 3 1/2 minutes, which is apparently too long. Nonetheless, I shall make a tasting note. No rating for now though.

The first brew came out rather bland. Neither the jasmine nor the mint really stood out. It was just overall underwhelming.

But I decided to do a second brew. Much better. The jasmine and mint both came out in this brew. At first I thought there wasn’t enough mint, but after a while I came to appreciate the fine balance between jasmine and mint. I agree with Alphakitty that you get one flavor at a time in any given sip. It’s quite pleasant. I’m looking forward to make a proper brew next time. Hopefully it will be even better than this one!

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drank Casablanca by Alice's Tea Cup
425 tasting notes

Work on a Saturday, you say? Oh gee look at that I haven’t made a tasting note in absolutely forever I better catch up on my Steepster activity! Procrastination FTW.

This one’s a little bit of a backlog. I made some and took it to work on Thursday. You know those days that are just bad? When everything that could wrong does? When it rains and you end up late on the one day you really truly can’t be late and it shakes your confidence and you end up making a fool of yourself? When all you want to do is close the door to your office and curl up and hide from the world? Yeah, it was one of those days.

And you know what? This tea actively made it better. There’s something about having your favorite mint tea on hand that just makes the world more tolerable. As always, the perfect blend of mint and citrus to bring a little sunshine into my day. A lovely bit of comfort right when I needed it.

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