863 Tasting Notes

drank Osmanthe D'Or by Dammann Freres
863 tasting notes

Received this as a free sample from Dammann.

I initially thought this was a black tea as it was packaged in the black coloured packaging which generally signifies black tea with Dammann. The tea description was in French but I could make out ‘Chinese dark tea’, so assumed black. I obviously did not put much thought to the name or I would have realized what I was getting into.

Upon opening the package I realized quite quickly that this was an oolong. It is a darker oolong but I would not describe it as roasted. I often mistake the smell of osmanthe flowers as jasmine. So jasmine was my first thought when I smelled the dry tea sachet.

The brewed tea brews up nice, light and clear. It has the osmanthe/jamsine flavour and scent. The oolong is very light, slightly floral but also with some butteryness. There is a nice light and natural sweetness to the tea.

These are not my favorite kind of oolongs, but this one was quite a nice surprise. It is quite good even after it has cooled in my cup becuase I have been too busy at work to drink it.

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec

thank you for teaaaaa!

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drank Adam by Nina's Paris
863 tasting notes

Upon opening the package for the first time, the dry tea has a very strong citrus mint scent. The tea is so pretty to look at, blue flower petals, lemon peels, green and black tea leaves all mixed together.

Brewed, the tea has a very distinct mint scent. The tea flavours are quite blunted compared to the scent. There is definitely a smooth ceylon base, but without astringency that often accompanies ceylon tea. There is a very light, sweet mint flavour. There is a slight, tart, citrus flavour. It reminds me more of orange vs lemon. The flavour is very light.

This is a very interesting tea. It is not quite mint, not quite a black tea.

I think this one may need to be steeped for longer to bring out more flavour.

The mint and lemon flavours become much more prominent once the tea is cold.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Ying De Black Tea by Tao Tea Leaf
863 tasting notes

This one is much better with a normal steep time. It still tastes the same but not as bold and thick and dark.

I’m getting malty flavours of bread, sweetness, honey like flavours, dates, no so specifically stone fruit though.

It is very light and smooth with no bittness or astringency but at the same time I would say it is a moderate boldness on the black tea scale.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Ying De Black Tea by Tao Tea Leaf
863 tasting notes

Recd this one from the generous Scribbles.

The dry tea smells strongly of bread and dates. Very thick stone fruit scent. Also a slight alcoholic fermented smell, but a pleasant one.

I accidentally oversteeped this one by quite a few minutes becuase I am at work and got distracted. On first sip it is super bitter- I am blaming this on the over steep. But after it cools significantly the bittness mellows a bit.

This is a strong black tea, bold, slightly malty. Strong flavours of bread. Not so much stone fruit or date flavours. It is reminding me of burnt coffee grounds actually.

Reserving the rating for when I make is one properly. I am thinking the strong flavours are a byproduct of the steep time.

200 °F / 93 °C 7 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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I am not much of a resteeper but I was lazy (and also curious), so I decided to reuse the leaves of this one.

It is a whole new tea. I love it when a resteep is full of depth, and not just watered down from the first steep.

There is very minimal smokiness in the second steep. I would describe this one as deep and dense, bold and heavy. A lot of woody, tobacco flavours. The sweetness is stronger and more dominant. My sixth sense for Darjeeling is not kicking in as strongly. No drying effect. I think I like the second steep better. However, the one bad thing is that there is no longer an association to ale or lager or beer, etc.

On a side note, it is Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. I had an interesting personal moment this week. I had to explain to someone from Fiji, what the point of Thanksgiving was, other than just a Statutory holiday. I was almost at a loss of words and had a hard time thinking of how to explain it. It left me with an odd feeling because I thought I was always a person who would not take for granted the reasons we celebrate certain days, holidays, times of year, etc.

So I have had a lot of time to reflect and determine what I am thankful for and to be thankful to be in the country and culture in which I choose to live (choose being the important word).

So what are you thankful for?

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Terri HarpLady

Today I’m thankful for my wonderful man, Tony :)
And a bunch of other things…


I am thankful for my family, friends, my fur babies and that we are all in reasonable decent health.


I’m thankful for so many things – and right now that the sun is shining and also that I am able to be here and enjoy reading steepster notes.

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Awesome! End review.

Ha ha.

Well I will try my best at a decent review. I have been trying to post this all day and it just hasn’t been working out in my favour.

I love Andrews and Dunham. Their teas are always good, but the showmanship makes everything taste so much better!

So on first opening the canister, it has a quite smokey scent. The tea brews up a very nice red/brown colour.

Don’t be fooled by the scent, the tea tastes only slightly smokey. The base is bold and very malty. The liquor is moderately thick. There is a definite sweetness to the tea, it made me think of honeysuckle. I am getting a bit of dirty old leather … darjeeling … I am pretty sure I taste dajeeling, it is quite hard to sneak that by my taste buds. But it is ok, it is just an undernote in the flavour profile. There is quite a drying effect in the aftertaste, but I would not describe it as astringent as there is no bitterness and no bite that you get with astringency. I would describe this tea as being similar to an amber ale. Perfect for Oktoberfest!

Quite enjoyed this one.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I agree with you. I made 3min and it wasn’t bitter or astringent


I will have to try a longer steep I think:)


Oooh I like the sound of this


oh god…i need this now…

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I was so sure that I would have reviewed this tea already. But I couldn’t find my review, so I thought steepster was eating the reviews again. I then sashayed over to the teavivre website but I had not posted a review there, so I shamefully have to say that this one was my fault. This was a free sample from Teavivre. Thank you so much Angel, you’re the best!

This tea so sooooooooo cute :) It is little, loosely curles leaves of differing shades of green. It is a perfect looking fall tea. The tea has a strong cabbage type smell, which is my favorite.

The first taste I get from the tea is fresh sweetness and a very slightly caramelized flavour. It is smooth and milky. I feel like in the very first part of the sip there is a quick saltiness to the tea, almost like Sencha, but it soon disappears. There is a cabbage flavour but it is very light. There are faint hints of a green tea floral. I feel like I am getting hints of spinach and turnips. To me this feels like an autumn tea. It is very crisp. This tea is very fresh and clean on the palate, I am not getting much of an aftertaste, which is very pleasant.

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Well. I am am going to give this review thingy a try. Steepster hasn’t been working in such a long time. I can’t even remember the last time I reviewed a tea on here. Becuase I am part of generation impatient I am only going to give this one try.

This tea is from the lovely Scribbles. When I first opened the package, the smell of malty tobacco wafted over me. I love it. It kind of makes me laugh becuase it is titled a Gongfu tea but the instructions call for 1tsp steeped for 2-3 minutes. Ha ha. But that is ok, I don’t gongfu anyway.

The tea brewed up really light. My mug this morning is clear, so the colour looked extremely pale. I was a bit worried I either did not use enough tea or that I didn’t brew long enough. The taste of the tea is wonderful. It is a very nice gongfu tea. Malty, with some sweetness. A hint of honey flavour. There is a really nice light, sweet aftertaste. Even though the colour of the brew is light, there is a moderately bold flavour.

I am really liking this one.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

it’s getting better but still not quite there yet.

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

Well, it appears that Steepster (fingers crossed) might be back up and running. The dashboard is at least. The discussions and search functions are still all screwy. le sigh.

I am well aware I am very late to the party with this one. I have no excuse – well really I have lots of excuses, but no good one. Other than I have way too much tea!!

This one smells so delicious. A nice sweet, smooth, popcorn-ey scent with caramel drizzled on top. I can’t help but crave caramel corn, the kind you get at the fair, and its probably been sitting there forever so its got that crunchy outside and kind of chewy inside, but oh so good :)

The base tea is interesting because it is a black/green blend, I would say I think I am getting a bit more green tea taste than I am black, but the black tea pretty much covers up any of the vegetal type green tea flavours. It is very smooth. The base seems to be very light and lingers in the background. The flavours are what are predominate. I feel like I am drinking a caramel latte. There is that genmaicha/toasted rice/popcorn kernel flavour, the caramel is sweet over top. It adds depth to the flavour without making the liquor feel too thick. One of the first thoughts that came to my brain on the first sip was ice cream float (not sure why, but I think that pretty much covers the taste for me).

Very delicious. I am sure now that I have uncovered this one in my vast tea cupboard(s), it won’t last too long.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

MMmmmmm…sounds so yums!! :)

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drank Earl Grey by Tazo
863 tasting notes

I ordered tea at a restaurant today and picked a bag of this out of the basket. Good ol’ stand by.

After brewing this up in my cup I was a bit apprehensive because there was just something unusual about it. When I took a sip I definitely got a non-Earl Greyish flavour. Lavender. There was lavender in this tea. Hmmmmm. I dislike lavender.

So I read the package the tea came in and it read something along the lines of “essence of bergamot lavender”. I was not aware the bergamot contained lavender.

Anyway, I think this must have been some kind of special addition, or this tea has changed greatly since I last had it. Who knows…? I am fairly sure this tea never had lavender before.

I still drank it. Lunch was delicious otherwise.


I hate being surprised by junk additions to my Earl Grey. I’ve never noticed lavender in a Tazo EG either. Now I’m afraid to have another.


I drink wines at restaurants. Never have a problem :)


Ha ha. I was at a little café and they didn’t serve any alcohol, unfortunately. Food is delicious though.

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I am a lifetime tea lover.

I did foray into the world of coffee for a period of time, but I returned to my true love. I still, however, enjoy a good cup of java.

My all time favorite tea is Earl Grey, which I drink every morning, the stronger the bergamot the better. I definitely prefer natural oil of bergamot to artificial flavouring.

I mostly like black and dark oolong teas. My current favs are Fujian blacks, Keemun and Assams, and Wuyi oolongs. I gravitate towards anything with lychee in it. I also drink a lot of herbal blends but am wary of hibiscus. I do not favour mate, or pu’erh tea, although I have found a few blends that I like. (I so badly want to like straight pu’erh tea but it all tastes gross to me. I keep trying though). Rooibos, green and white teas fall somewhere in the middle. I find myself gravitating towards heavily roasted oolongs and teas from Paris/France based companies.

I love iced teas and cold brews.

My current tea goal is to make the perfect cup of chai from scratch – almost there…I think.

I am in love with the whole experience of tea.


Saskatchewan, CANADA

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