1251 Tasting Notes

drank The Tea of Kings by RiverTea
1251 tasting notes

Thank you to River Tea for this sample.

The raw tea smells a little fruity but it’s subtle but definitely berry like. Using my personalitea teapot for this to share with my husband whose home after a stressful day at work.

Flavour wise this is a mild black base with gentle lychee flavour and a smoky finish. It also has rich malt tones which come through after a few sips. It has some natural sweetness but it’s light compared to the base and next time I will have to try it with a little sugar, see if that makes the lychee pop.

It’s a nice tea but average, tasted lots of teas like this one and I don’t think this will be on my purchase list.

Flavors: Lychee, Malt

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

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drank GenmaiCHAI by 52teas
1251 tasting notes

This was left over my 12 days of Christmas teas, I got sick towards the end and didn’t want to waste the teas when I couldn’t taste very well. After that this has been behind some other teas and I completely forgot about it.

The blend was very spice heavy, not sure if it was cinnamon or clove but that was the first thing I could smell as I opened the packet. Under that was the toast from the Genmaicha which went surprisingly well with the spice notes.

In flavour (with a drop of milk added to look like the picture as I imagine that is how it’s meant to be drank) It’s thick and more Chai than Genmaicha. Cardamom, cinnamon and clove scream at me “I’m a chai, I’m a chai” while the after taste bares a subtle toasted quality from the Genmaicha as if to say “Don’t forget about me”.

It sounds odd and perhaps it is a rather unique combination but I admit they do work well together. I do wish the chai spices didn’t dominate as much so the Genmaicha could shine through a bit more, not sure I would know it contained it without reading it. Sure the after taste is a little toasty but it’s not to a usual Genmaicha strength. perhaps some Bancha would knock it up a notch. If I get more of this tea I will try.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

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drank Nina's Japon by Nina's Paris
1251 tasting notes

I’ve just raided my stash to pack a tea parcel for my hapatite swapping buddy. A great excuse to send a ton of teas that are just not to my taste. Not sure if my buddy is on Steepster but if you’re reading this then know you will have a large package shortly :)

Reading the ingredients I am lead to believe this is a Genmaicha with a difference, with the toffee and vanilla I’m expecting it to be sweet and toasty which sounds like a nice combination. The blend certainly smells sweet and toasty, vanilla is strong but so is the toffee/caramel and without any green tea likeness. It is a nice scent though and strong at that.

Steeped it takes on a different scent, still sweet but also toasty, like vanilla and toffee popcorn (which sounds amazing and is now my new craving).

Flavour is toasty at first though light before creamy vanilla and sweet caramel ooze into the after taste and cover the slight grassy green tea. It tastes like a mild Genmaicha at first but it develops into a sort of Genmaicha ice cream with toffee sprinkles. I’m making myself drool as I write this. I never thought vanilla in Genmaicha would taste this good, it’s revolutionary.

I need more of this in my life. Don’t think it’s possible unless I visit France as they don’t sell online. :(

Flavors: Caramel, Vanilla

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

I usually have fruit for breakfast but this morning I have gone all out and made a good veggie style English breakfast. Two veggie sausages, baked beans, fried chestnut mushrooms, two fried eggs and some toast to mop up the food explosion that is on my plate. Not healthy but it will keep me going until dinner time and with something substantial in my stomach I am free to taste teas for the rest of the day without getting tea belly.

This sample of Golden Bi Luo Chun has been sat with me for just over a year and I don’t know why I was worried about sampling it before, or perhaps I forgot about it. Anyone’s guess is as good as my own. Either way an English breakfast is never complete without a cup of black tea.

The tea balls were nice and reflective and golden but they were also very small, I’ve had larger versions of this before elsewhere. I brewed this while I was cooking so I had a mixture of smells (my bad) but I could pick up silky malt tones.

I love my personaliTEA teapot from Adagio, it’s perfect size for 2 mugs of tea and comes in handy when I have days off.

Once steeped a dark brown liquid is produced that bares a sweet malt and chocolate scent that is light and silky. Very nice.

Flavour is mild but matches the scent very much ie soft, sweet, silky, malt, chocolate tones. Also a little smoky though it’s very subtle and hints of wood. After a few sips I can also taste a mature raisin or plum fruit.

This tea is wonderful and I’m sorry for keeping it on my shelf for so long. It makes the perfect start to my day.

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Plums, Raisins, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

English breakfast, yum!


sounds good to me!

Terri HarpLady

That sounds like an awesome breakfast! I can’t even imagine that there is anything unhealthy about it!


Yes! Awesome breakfast!

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drank Gunpowder by thepuriTea
1251 tasting notes

This has been on my ‘need to review’ list for a while and it would make a good comparison steep against my previous review which was also a Gunpowder Green.

In appearance this looks similar to a Lan Gui Ren rather than Gunpowder Green. The grainy rock style effect is not a type I have seen before with Gunpowder Green. Scent is sweet, floral and grassy. Has an earthy tone however but it’s hard to define.

For the sake of comparison I will use the same steeping parameters as my previous Gunpowder Green which was taken from Teavivre.

Water : 3oz / 85ml 203℉ / 95℃
Use 7 Grams Tea
6 steeps : rinse,10s,25s,40s,50s,70s,90s
Rinsing time is around 3 seconds

First Steep – 10 seconds
Light green liquid with a a subtle sweet, floral scent. Flavour is gentle and floral with a sweet after taste.

Second Steep – 25 seconds
I can taste something sweet and refreshing…is that ginseng? Is this Gunpowder Green with ginseng? If not it is a very good imitation. Very sweet and lingering in the after taste.

Third Steep – 40 seconds
Strongly ginseng/mint like still. No astringency at all. Very sweet with hints of smoke.

Fourth Steep – 50 seconds
Toasty, honeyed, highly ginseng and sweet. My mouth is wonderfully perfumed with this sweet lingering smoky flavour.

Fifth Steep – 70 seconds
Milder but still ginseng heavy.Not mint so much now as maybe clove, same refreshing feel. Also grassy.

Sixth Steep – 90 seconds
Very light in strength of the green tea but the ginseng remains thick and heavy. Toasty and super sweet.

This was unlike any other Gunpowder Green I have ever tried, it tasted and looked exactly like Ginseng Oolong which I like but need to be in the right mood for. Now I’m just highly confused, is this a mixed blend? Or was the ginseng flavour just a coincidence? Either way it was enjoyable and my husband agrees.

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This is from the 2013 season and I believe they are currently getting in this years crops so unfortunately my review will not help with future purchases. At the very least if it’s from the same crop area as last year I can give you an insight to it’s quality and flavour.

The leaves are small and tightly rolled with a few pieces of stem present. They are dark green in colour with a high shine and a floral, somewhat peppery/spicy scent.

Water : 3oz / 85ml 203℉ / 95℃
Use 7 Grams Tea
6 steeps : rinse,10s,25s,40s,50s,70s,90s
Rinsing time is around 3 seconds

First Steep – 10 seconds
Colour is dark yellow green and has a dry pepper scent which matches it’s dry form. Flavour is mild but has floral and mineral tones that I liken to grass.

Second Steep – 25 seconds
Stronger and with a touch of astringency. Like buttered broccoli with a touch of pepper. A little dryness in the after taste.

Third Steep – 40 seconds
Pretty full on in flavour, reminds me of a mild raw Pu Erh. Again a little astringency and also some earthy tones and spice. Also getting a raw pea flavour.

(By the way my husband has tasted many teas with me but this one he thought was an Oolong by taste alone, he was surprised it was a green).

Fourth Steep – 50 seconds
Mild and similar to the first steep. Grass, raw pea and low earthy tones. No astringency but it is dry.

Fifth Steep – 70 seconds
Pepper, light wood, grass. All mild and again no astringency but some dryness.

Sixth Steep – 90 seconds
Very grassy and with some sweetness though rather dry at this point. Remains peppy and non astringent.

Overall – A very peppery and grassy tea that changed over steeps and became very raw Pu Erh like. Very strong flavour for a green and dark flavour at that but enjoyable at the same time. Gunpowder green has never been a favourite of mine but this was a nice and unusual green for me. I wonder if this years crops will be stronger?

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My bravery has grown enough for me to try this unusual tea so after dinner here I am with a mug of pale beige liquid that smells like butter milk (sweet yet sour and creamy). It’s….unusual…I was never a butter milk fan, or a milk fan since I was allergic to it as a child. Mostly this tea is to say that I have tried it, after all I will just about try any tea (I say just about as anything gross like animal dropping tea is a definite no).

Ok so butter milk, which is funnily enough what this tea is. My first sip was not great, it’s very sweet, extremely creamy and full on buttery….all that and it’s rather watery and thin. My stomach turned a little. It’s not terrible by any means, just that I am not meant for this tea and it is not meant for me.

Sorry tea.

Terri HarpLady

I’m so proud of you for giving it a try! If it weren’t for my milk allergy, I’d sample it :)


WOW NEAT! I’ve always been intrigued by Tibetan butter tea! :)


Mmmmm butter


i wanted to try this every time i go look at yunnan sourcing lol


With that kind of name my stomach is turning just thinking about it :|


Kitty thanks for posting about this. I have some and have always been reluctant to try it. I think I may have a better understanding of it now.


I have a sample of this and I’m dead scared of it. I only have one of the red pouches and no instructions or anything. I wasn’t even certain if it was actually tea or if I was supposed to try and put it in tea. I take it I’m just supposed to pour hot water on it and stir then, like when making a cup of hot cocoa?


The instructions on the side of the box say to mix one pouch with boiling water and roughly 180ml water which I believe to be mug sized. This particular brand (but guessing it’s similar if not same as others) say it contains powdered down high quality brick tea. It’s like an instant mix, just add water and you’re good to go. You will see once you make it that it’s already milky and super sweet.


I compared mine to the picture and they appear to be identical. Still afraid of it though. Hmm. Well, at least it’s definitely interesting.

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Thank you to Yunomi.us for this sample which was included with an order a few months ago.

Crisp dark green needle leaves mixed with a few light yellow green stems. They have a very sweet honeydew scent that is very pure and beautiful.

The steeping instructions are a little different for this tea, it recommends doing one long steep rather than several short ones. So this will be steeped in my Kyusu for 2 minutes. 80ml for 2 minutes seems a little strong but that is what the instructions say on the website.

The resulting tea liquid is medium to dark green and has a sweet yet savoury broth scent. Flavour is strong though not overly so, the umami is rich and lingers into the after taste. Savoury and sweet at the same time with some astringency and rich mineral tones. Like thick cabbage water.

A further steep with the same 2 minute rule reveals more savoury umami but less sweet than previously. It’s still thickly mineral with cabbage and broccoli notes yet it seems toned down as a whole compared to the first steep. Still slightly astringent.

Another 2 minute steep – Severely toned down from what it was but it still has a lot of flavour, only now this is more standard Sencha like. Medium strength, minimum umami and astringency but remains mineral with added grass tones. Has some sweetness once again.

Another 2 minute steep making this number 4 – Extremely mild, all that remains is sweet grass.

This was a pleasant tea that offered lots of umami for the first two steeps which work well as a boost throughout the day. Sent me a little tea drunk.

145 °F / 62 °C 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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Another Yunomi.us club sample for me to try. The website description of this Sencha likens it’s flavour to that of coconut milk. I do like the sound of that on this beautiful sunshiny day.

The leaf is dark green with a few hints of light green mixed in, also some stems are present. They are a crisp, long needle like shape and have a sweet yet creamy and floral scent. Very similar to a milk Oolong, not sure about coconut yet but milk is very apparent.

First Steep – 30 seconds
Light green liquid with a sweet milk scent that is light yet pure. Flavour has gentle grassy notes with some sweetness and a hint of milk/cream in the after taste. Also has floral tones that remind me of sweet pea mixed with buttercup.

Second Steep – 10 seconds
Despite the short steep it has tripled in strength and has some astringency. Not as sweet as before or creamy though some is still present. More mineral also like sweet grass or fresh spinach.

Third Steep – 30 seconds
More astringency and again less cream and sweetness. Tastes more like a standard Sencha at this point. Highly sweet grass and sweet pea like, thick flavour but with minimum astringency really overall which makes it a pleasant steep. Offers minimum dryness upon after taste.

Overall – This tea started off with high cream notes but ended up being mineral and more standard Sencha like, almost like it transforms from one tea into another. Quality was good and this would be a splendid every day tea.

170 °F / 76 °C 5 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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My third Postcard Tea to try today and I was impressed with the previous two, a great introduction to the company. The three I selected were towards the lower end of the scale in terms of price, I now can’t wait to try the more expensive and exclusive teas. Plus they have adorable tins that can be re used.

The tea looks like green tea, the leaves are medium sized, full and perfectly preserved. They have a rather mineral and grassy scent, much like a green tea.

Colour one steeped is a light green, yellow and and it has a sweet grass scent. Flavour it’s very sweet and honeyed with light fruit notes, I just can’t determine which fruit. Not quite peach or strawberry but a mild mix between the two….does such a fruit exist or am I making it up? I don’t know. But at any rate it’s subtly fruity. Also it has a toasted quality similar to that of a light Oolong. Yes that’s what it tastes like, an Oolong. A caffeine free Oolong like tea…now that is a special thing indeed. Plus it gets creamy the more you drink.

It’s a nice herbal/tisane, unique and naturally sweet but is enough to cure my night time Oolong cravings without the hassle of the caffeine buzz.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 150 ML

Sounds lovely! I’m adding this one to my wishlist!

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I’m 27 years old from Leicester, England named Kayleigh. I have a wonderful husband called Richard whom I am very lucky to have in my life.

I started off many years ago drinking herbal and fruit teas which over time peaked my interest in trying new types. Eventually I began to import and sample many different teas and cultures which I still do today. My life goal is to try as many teas and ways of having tea as possible.

Tea wise my cravings change constantly from pu erh one month to jasmine green to the next and so on.

I adore cats and have four of my own called Honey, Cassie, Mr Soots and Ivory.

I also have two fish tanks which thankfully my cats have no interest in. They house an array of tropical fish and shrimp.

I am a proud vegetarian and have been for the majority of my life. When I say vegetarian I mean just that as well, no fish or seafood, no chicken now and again, no animal products such as gelatine and cochineal.

I also enjoy watching Japanese Anime and horror films.

I am always up for tea swaps so if you see anything in my virtual cupboard then please contact me.

A short list to help swapping with me easier though honestly I am not fussy and am willing to try anything. Plus the notes below are usually, sometimes I love a tea that has an ingredient I tend to dislike and other times I hate a tea that I thought I would love.

Likes: Any fruit but especially melon and orange, vanilla, all tea types (black, green, white etc), nuts (any), flowers, ginger, chai.

Dislikes: Licorice, aniseed, clove, eucalyptus, lavender.

My rating system
I have my own way of rating teas that makes each one personal. I have different categories, I rate each tea depending on what it is made of. For example: I rate green teas in a different way to black teas or herbal teas. So black, white, green, Pu Erh, Rooibos, Oolong, blends and tisanes all have their own rating system. That way I can compare them with other teas of the same or similar type before for an adequate rating. And when I do give top marks which is very rare I am actually saying that I would love to drink that tea all day, every day if possible. It’s a tea that I would never turn down or not be in the mood for. So while I agree that no tea is 100% perfect (as nothing is) I am saying that it’s as close as it comes to it. After all, in my book the perfect teas (or close to perfect anyway) are ones that I could drink all the time. That is why you will find a high quality black or Oolong will not have as high a score as a cheap flavoured blend, they are simply not being compared in the same category.


Also a proud SororiTea Sister


Leicester, England, United Kingdom



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