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709 Tasting Notes

drank Earl Grey by Hampstead Tea
709 tasting notes

I picked this up a while ago at Winners when they were selling some Fauchon teas. The box was pretty. This is a tea I could easily drink at work. I read the box (I thought anyway) and decided to pick it up.

So I am at work, I open the first individually sealed packet and there. Is. A. Smell. Hmmmm. What is going on. I put the bag into my cup and flip over the packet to read it. Oh no! My beloved Earl Grey has been…(dramatic pause)…Darjeeled!!!!

I am no fan of Darjeeling. I don’t know why. I have never ever like it. In taste and smell it reminds me of cheap cigarette ash. No matter what kind of Darjeeling I have tried, I just don’t like it. I find it worse when it is in a blend because that is usually the first and only ting I can taste.

Well…proceed with tainted tasting note, I guess. Even though I don’t prefer Darjeeling, I think I will be able to finish off this box of 20 tea bags. There is some bergamot in there. It is super light, all trampled and beaten up from the Darjeeling. Not as much as the package makes it out to be (“the zing of the bergamot oil…”), but it is just a work tea. I often don’t even taste the teas I drink when I am at work, I just quickly gulp and move on.

Upon closer inspection of the box, it does say this is a Darjeeling Earl grey, but it is kind of buried under all of the cute graphics and fancy writing. No wonder I missed it. Damn marketing…

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

Darjeelage! Seriously, cute graphics and fancy writing can be so distracting. Lethal.

I’m trying to figure out how I feel about darjeeling, but I’m still on the fence.


Butiki has several really good Darjeelings…I never thought I would be big into them but those converted me :)

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drank Fete de Versailles by Nina's Paris
709 tasting notes

This is one of the teas I got in my latest Nina’s Tea order. (To tell the story again, I was in Florida, and Laurent and Sophie from Nina’s Paris USA shipped my order to my hotel. This saved me a whole lot on shipping. Laurent stayed in contact with me the whole time until I received and was satisfied with my order). I had been wanting to try this one for a long time. It was only available in a tin but the tin is beautiful.

The dry tea is beautiful. The black tea leaves look nice, dried orange peel and bright blue and red flower petals are mixed in with the tea leaves. It smells super delicious. Like sweet candied orange peel. Almost has a bubble gum quality to the smell.

The smell of the brewed tea smells a little bit flat. Still candied orange but not as strong or as sweet and with a bit more pepper.

The brewed tea, like I find most Nina’s Paris Teas, is delicious. The tea base is just bordering on bold. There is a sweet, candied orange peel flavour, it is delicate and not overpowering. There is a slight pepper from the orange rind but it is very light. It almost tastes like there is a bit of orange juice in this tea. There is a slight sweetness, I would maybe add a bit of sweetener next time I have this tea. The flower petals give a thickness to the tea with a bit of a bread-y flavour.

The sweet orange flavours become much more prominent and bright as the tea starts to cool.

I am really glad I picked this up. I would like to know if there is a story behind the flavour of this tea and the name.

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

I think my next order of Japon I will go for the tin. They really are beautiful.


I think the tins would not be so great for stacking, but they look beautiful. The one I have has the name of the tea on the front (It is a white tin with a design on it, not the red one). And the lid appears to fit tightly but not so tight that I can’t get it off :) And they are so cute.


I agree. I think eventually I will collect some of the basic H&S tins for stacking, but sometimes pretty tins are nice for a few teas. :)


I believe this was a special tea they brought in for Christmas and so it has a specialty tin. I saw it when I went to their office and I think it is so pretty but I don’t like citrusy teas.

I think I might pick up the Marie Antoinette in a tin because I like the pretty pink tin. Plus I have one of their baby tins and it is so cute but actually fits a fair amount of tea.


By the way Lala, I LOVE your profile picture/avatar change.


Thanks Courtney. I figured I could use a yearly avatar change. And who doesn’t love the chesire cat. Even when he is creepily portrayed.


That’s the best part about it haha. The Cheshire cat is awesome.


That’s such wonderful customer service.


This was my 3rd order from Nina’s Paris USA and I have to say I have had excellent customer service with all 3 orders.


They truly set the bar for customer service in my opinion. I went to their office in Florida and had such an amazing experience with them. It helps that their teas are delicious as well.


Great customer service tales from tea companies warm my heart, and make me wanna order all the tea LOL


I splurged on 50g of japon in a tin…because, if nothing else it goes with my black MF tin :)

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Received this one from Teavivre’s free tasting activity.

This one is an interesting oolong. I was expecting a normal Taiwanese oolong, but there is a bit of a surprise to this one.

It is a light green oolong, with some floral scents. It is smooth and creamy, almost like there is a bit of milk oolong in there. There is also a pleasant metallic taste, as well as a spice to it. On my first sip, I almost thought this was a ginseng oolong, but there is not real ginseng taste to it. The more I drink it, the less like an oolong it tastes to me. It is taking on a more bold, very slightly roasted flavour. I am hardly getting any sweetness. It is reminding me of a green and black tea blend. It is quite good. I am a little sad I have waiting so long to try it.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 7 g 20 OZ / 591 ML

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drank Pistachio Ice Cream by Butiki Teas
709 tasting notes

No real tea review here.

I overleafed this one just a little bit because I was at the end of my sample and there wasn’t enough for two cups but a bit too much for one cup. There was also quite a bit of leaf dust, being the end of the package. I shoulder have steeped for less time due to this but forgot so it is a bit bitter. Still drinkable but not as enjoyable as it could be.

So I had plans today, tea plans. And nothing gets in between me and my tea plans. Except a water main break which will have my water shut off for 5-6 hours. cries.

I can’t even be too upset about it. I was at home and saw all the city trucks driving down my street, then a man came to my door and told me I have 15-20 minutes before my water gets shut off for minimum of 5-6 hours. So I got all flustered. I filled up the bathtub and sinks, and all my pots and pitchers and cups with water (just in case). I was in the middle of laundry but the washer was on the last rinse so that had time to finish.

In my flusteredness I filled my kettle up to the top with sink water, instead of the filtered water I normally use. So I went to make a cup of tea and had to boil the entire 1.7L kettle of tap water. My tap water is not even bad, but I usually use filtered water for the kettle, so it tastes different.

And how do you clean your tea implements? Well you can’t really. I wasn’t planning on doing the teas with multiple steeps today, but I guess that is what my plans are now :(

And don’t even get me started on the toilet situation.

I shouldn’t complain though. At least I was home and had a chance to prepare. My neighbours with kids aged 4 and 1 are not even home, so they are going to get a surprise when they get home for supper.



shoot, darn water ruining your tea plans!

Roswell Strange

I feel your pain. My landlord shut off out water completely for over two days, and we only had about an hour of notice. It was a rough two days with limited tea drinking. I went through a lot of lattes…


Ugh, nooo.


Hopefully they’ll have the water back on soon!


That’s horrible!

Terri HarpLady

What a bummer! Hang in there, & hopefully the water will be back on soon, with NO complications.


Thanks everyone! The water came back on about 5 and a half hours later. I greatly overestimated the amount of water I would used during that time. So now I have a whole lot of water sitting everywhere that I don’t want to waste. It was a good lesson. (Although I think in the back of my mind I was worried I would be without water for days).

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drank Lychee Coconut by Tea Forte
709 tasting notes

The last time I made a note about this tea, Tabby commented that it is great iced. So I thought I better try it iced before I decided to get rid of it. I don’t really have much left anyway, I sent most of it out on the GCTTB.

I brewed this one up 2 tsp for 1 cup water for 2 minutes. Then poured over a 20oz mug filled with ice. Added 1.5tsp of white sugar and then cooled in the fridge.

I actually wasn’t as horrible iced as it was hot. (This one is not good when you brew it hot, then let it cool). So whatever it is about the chemical reaction, or whatever, when it is made from more of a concentrate, it is better. Still get a very strong floral, perfumey and chemical taste, but it is very blunted. Drinkable as a flavoured tea.

After I drank some down, I filled the top 1/3 of the mug with carbonated water and voila! Even better. The carbonated water either blunts or hides some of the perfumey taste. I probably have enough of this left to make a full pitcher of iced tea. I think I will be able to drink it down that way.


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I had this earlier today, and it tasted really good after it had cooled. So I popped a cup of cold brew into the fridge for a few hours. But it wasn’t as good. It was a bit sharp as a cold brew, not as creamy. Definitely more vegetal than floral. I think next time I will brew it hot and just let it cool to room temperature.


I am afraid of hot yoga, too. Though I really like Iyengar. Unfortunately there’s no Iyengar close enough to me that I could make it to a class regularly. :-(


Oops, I think I put this comment in the wrong place. Sorry! LOL

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drank Bailin Gongfu Black Tea by Teavivre
709 tasting notes

Another one I received from Angel at Teavivre for the free tasting activity!

This is a great black tea. It is complex, dark, roasty. I always seem to get a different taste every time I try it. It is re-steepable. I brewed this one up my usual western style. I actually used the whole sample to make a pot of tea. Which is unusal for me as I usually go cup by cup because I always want to try something else. But I knew I would enjoy drinking this one today.

The dry tea is small leaves, uniform, quite airy. It smells of roasted potatoes. The brewed tea is dark in colour, reminding me of black coffee.

Today I am getting roasted nuts, potatoe-french fry-carb notes in the brewed tea. There is a slight, natural sweetness to the tea. I feel like there is some dark plum or black current notes hiding in the tea somewhere. I know a lot of people get chocolate or cocoa out of this tea, but I don’t. There may be some slight dark cocoa notes in the aftertaste but I think I am just looking really hard for it. Its still good either way. It is thick and bold with no astringency.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 7 g 24 OZ / 709 ML

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Received this one from Teavivre’s free tasting activity (back in November). Thanks Teavivre for being so awesome!

I have had this one before and quite liked it. The dry tea is varying shades of dark green. The leaves are rolled into small but loose balls. I brewed this one western style, 1 tsp per 8 oz for 1 minute.

The brewed tea smells sweet and floral. There is a dairy-type smell. I associate it with fresh unpasteurized milk. It smells creamy.

The best way I can describe this tea is fresh, bright and sunny. The liquor is thick and creamy. There are definitely sweet, floral notes. But it is not perfumey or bitter floral. It reminds me of edible flowers that you get in baking or salads. There is a very slight vegetal component to this tea but it is very slight and sits underneath the floral flavours. I would not say this tea tastes like milk, but it has the sensation of creaminess in the mouth. It is thick, slightly sticky in the aftertaste.

I took a sip after this one cooled and the first thing that came to my mind was green tea milk shake. I want to drink more of this cold.

The leaves have unfurled but not completely with the first steep. Definitely will be able to get more steeps out of this.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I have a lot of green teas in my cupboard. I used to kind of like green tea so I bought a bunch of different kinds of tea, some large amounts, some samples, some straight, some flavoured, a couple bagged, the rest loose. I was just trying things out.

Then I decided I am not the hugest green tea fan. I much prefer dark roasted oolongs and black teas. I don’t mind greens, but I have much more in my cupboard than is feasible to drink. But like any good tea drinker [addict], I will keep them in my cupboard until I drink them, or drink most of them.

In saying that, I do like to have a small cup (4oz) of green tea after lunch at work, I have to a lot (and I mean A LOT) of talking/verbal teaching at work. No matter what I eat for lunch, I always feel bloated and burp-y when I have to immediately launch into a speech after lunch. So I like to have a bit of green tea which seems to help calm my lunch-stomache. Of all green teas, sencha is my all time favorite, dragon well is a close second, but I like to have my sencha. And some of you may or may not agree, but it is hard to find a good sencha.

I picked this one up at my local tea shop. It smells like delicious sencha. Like buttered steamed greens. The taste is a bit bland. Not as strong as the smell. I would like it to be a bit more buttery. But it is smooth and silky. The vegetal part of the green tea is a bit more steamed cabbage than steemed spinach. I will definitely be able to drink this at work. I may try for a bit longer steep next time.

170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Mint Green Tea by Tetley
709 tasting notes

I had a few bags of this in my cupboard and decided to make it as a cold brew. 4 bags, 1 liter, for about 13 hours. I brewed it for a bit longer than I had originally intended to. I forgot about it… I find for me, with cold brewed greens, I like a much shorter cold brew time.

This one is ok. The mint is kind of refreshing after shovelling snow for the last hour (and I am not even done). The mint though, is bordering almost on toothpast mint. The green tea is light. It didn’t get bitter or astringency which is why I don’t like to cold brew greens for too long.

Definitely will be able to drink the last of this.

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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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