869 Tasting Notes

drank Tourbillon by Dammann Freres
869 tasting notes

Day 3 of advent calendar.

Black licorice water.

That is what this one tasted like. I actually went and looked at my old review and I actually seemed to quite like it last year. This year I am getting mostly black licorice. Every once in a while I wonder if there is caramel or vanilla in the cup but then it turns back to the black licorice. Reminds me of licorice allsorts candies.

I actually didn’t even finish this cup. I am not much of a black licorice fan at all. I will leave my rating as it stands from last year. Weird this one is so different to me this year.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

Wow, I got strong orange blossom out of this one. So weird how different teas taste to different people. :P


I’m assuming part of that is because, with all tea bags, they probably using what left in the bottom of the barrel of the tea blend. So you might not be getting an accurate picture of the real tea blend.


Weird I hate licorice and I loved this one!

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drank Flocons d'Épices by Dammann Freres
869 tasting notes

Day 2 of Dammann’s advent calendar. I am behind :(. I kept forgetting to bring each day’s tea to work. In fact I forgot day 2 on day 2, then on day 3 I forgot day 2 and 3. By then tme get home from work it is too late to be drinking caffeinated teas. So today I remebered to bring them and I have 3 teas to drink at work today to catch up. I was so jealous reading the reviews from Cameron B and Dinosara the past few days.

I love this tea. To me it is delicious. It tastes like hubba bubba/bubbilicious bubble gum. I love the sweet orange flavour. It is like candy. The other spices are really light in the background. The black base is fairly light but I find the liquor quite thick. I was quite happy to have this one in the calendar again this year.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

HAH! I’m so glad you taste bubblegum, too! :D

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This one is again, from Scribbles!

This will be just a quick note. I either did not steep this one long enough or use enough leaf.

The overall taste is good. Malty. Earthy but not is a dirt way, if that makes sense. There is a very nice natural sweetness to the tea. I get hints of roasted potatoes or something like that.

It is just too thin and weak. I will have to adjust and report back.

I made another cup with about 2 tsp. This tea is pretty “airy” so I thought I should use a bit more. The flavours stayed the same but it was much more thicker liquor. Even though the mouthfeel was thicker it still tasted a bit thin/weak. Overall still a good tea. Not the best Dian Hong I have had though.

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

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drank L'Oriental by Dammann Freres
869 tasting notes

Day 1 of Advent Calendar.

This is one of the teas in the calendar I had not tried before.

On first sniff of the tea sachet it smelled strongly of green tea, maybe a bit bitter with strong artificial strawberry scent.

The brewed tea initially tasted quite bland and thin and my first thought was that I needed to add some sweetener. After the tea sat for a bit in my travel mug it thickened up quite a bit. The green tea base is quite creamy and buttery. Slightly vegetal and astringent in the aftertaste. No need to add sweetener becuase the tea also has transformed into hints of sweet strawberry, albeit artificial strawberry. On every few sips I feel like I get a kick, like the kind you get from tart pineapple. I don’t seem to taste any other fruits but the overall taste is vaguely tropical. I think the cornflowers are what is giving the tea the thick feeling. I anticipated it to have a bit of pastry flavour but I am not getting any of that today.

A decent start to the next 24 days.

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 15 sec
Cameron B.

Wow, we had completely different experiences! It’s amazing how that works. :)


I know, I read your view first so I wasn’t anticipating what I ended up tasting.

Roswell Strange

I’m definitely jealous of you two :P

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I received this one free from Joseph Wesley. Thank you so much Joe!!! It is greatly appreciated.

For the most part I don’t usually like Darjeeling. It seems to always taste like ash or dirt or a mixture of both to me. It doesn’t matter whether it is high or low quality tea. I haven’t been able to figure out why most Darjeelings taste bad to me but every once in a while there is one that I don’t mind. There are a few blends of Darjeeling I do quite like, Red Tailed Hawk from A&D is one of them.

First off, I love Joseph Wesley’s packaging. It came in a cardboard tin, the tea was in a sealed package inside the tin with an additional card with brewing instructions.

The dry leaves are small, dark and uniform in shape and colour. This tea is pretty. The smell of the dry tea is quite sweet. Maybe a sweet floral type scent, floral more like honeysuckle vs rose.

The tea brews up a reddish brown colour. The scent is still the sweet floral. There is also that slight scent of ash that I often get from darjeelings. This tea tastes quite good. It is definitely on the small list of darjeelings I like. The tea is crisp and clean. There is a strong sweetness, and a light honeysuckle type floral flavour.

While the tea is hot, I quite enjoyed it. There was a very slight but pleasant drying on the back of my palate after each sip. I found after it significantly cooled, the pleasant dryness turned into an astringency that I didn’t like. The ash flavour also became more dominate in the cooled tea with a long lingering aftertaste.

I definitely like this tea while it is hot. I am sure I will be able to manage drinking it that way :)

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

Have you tried steeping Darjeelings at a lower temperature? I’m liking them a whole lot more since I started treating them like green tea instead of black.


Lala – what was shipping like from Joseph Wesley. The website shows free shipping over 40.00 but can’t find a disclaimer for US only. I’ve put together a mock order and got all the way into PayPal with no shipping added. Is it really free to Canada? If not was it reasonable?


Anlina – I have tried steeping at high temps, low temps, I have varied the leaf to water ratio. I have tried several different brands and estates of Darjeelings. It is really just hit and miss for me. I haven’t yet figured out why I like some Darjeelings and not others.

Dex – He sent it to me for free so I am unsure how much the shipping was (just sent via USPS). I was looking at that sale as well but had the same concerns about the shipping


Thanks Lala – sorry I thought you had placed an order. One more question, can you figure out where the coupon code goes on the checkout page. I can’t find a coupon code box – can’t get teas to reduce in price on the site. I would LOVE to place an order but their web site is frustrating. Great Teas, awful web site. :((


Dex- No I never got that far into my order. I agree with the website :) haha. I will PM you the email Joe gave to me if you would like to contact him.


Thanks – I would like that. Normally I would just give up in frustration – but there are cups I want and the tea is SOOOO good. It shouldn’t be this hard to order online…..

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Another sample from the amazingly awesome Scribbles!

On first smell of the dry tea, I get strong vanilla and cake/pastry notes. Which I found odd for a keemun but I am keen to continue.

When the hot water first hit the tea, the smokiness of the keemun wafted up. It was sweet, slightly smokey.

In order, the first flavour notes I got from this tea were: malt, smoke, tobacco. Delicious. There are definitely light undertones of vanilla cake. The smokey flavour was quite light. There was a very natural sweetness to this tea, that complemented the smoke flavour. The tea liquor was thick, it was moderately bold, there was no astringency which was quite nice (and also a surprise).

My all time favourite teas are Assams, but keemuns do come in a close second.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

I think Keemuns are one type of black tea I’ve never really been fond of – they’re always astringent. I might have to get my hands on some of this to try, because it sounds pretty good.

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Thank you to the lovely Angel for sending me some oolong samples :)

The dry tea looks like clusters of darker green tea. The scent it a bit cabbage-y. It very much reminds me of a long jing green tea scent.

I have had this tea before, and looking at my review, I feel like this is a totally different tea. To be honest it probably is a different tea as it would be from a different years harvest. I also brewed it differently.

The tea brewed up quite nice. The clusters did not fully unfurl which indicates to me there are many more steeps to come.

This tea is very lightly floral, but there is that nice vegetal flavour similar to the long jing. It is smooth, slightly buttery. I am not getting any astringency that I picked up on the first time I had this tea.

Again, very impressed with Teavivre as usual :)

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec 7 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Another sample from the Awesome Scribbles!

I was looking for just a straight black tea this morning. I couldn’t stomach the thought of a flavoured tea for some reason. No matter, I picked this one.

This tea is interesting. I am getting a lot of earthy tones, slightly mushroom. I immediately wondered if this one was blended with a pu-erh tea, but it doesn’t seem to be. It is thick, bold, malty and slightly sweet, sweet only in the way a black tea could be sweet. Still getting lots of fresh soil, earthy tones. Which is not terrible, just not what I anticipated from this tea. I could imagine how good this te would be with milk, but I went for straight black as I usually do not add any milk or sweeteners to my black teas.

Not my favorite Joseph Wesley tea so far, but it is still good, just not to my taste.

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

This one is just ok for me too.

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

Do you have the 2013 Classic Chinese or the 2014? The 2014 is very tightly rolled and full leaf. The 2013 was quite broken and not very tightly rolled? They were made from the same estate, using the same leaves but we took last year’s leaves and used them for one of our tea sachets. This year’s tea is a much higher graded black tea. I suspect you have the leaves from last year. If true, I would be interested in getting your reaction to the new leaves. Send me a message at [email protected] and we can figure out a way for you to compare the two tea. Cheers, Joe

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Another sample from the awesome Scribbles!! She sent me a few Joseph Wesley teas to try in addition to all the Assam teas that she scent me.

When I first smelled the dry tea, there was a very strong scent of cinnamon and sweet fruit. I think there was some scent contamination from how it was packaged, I left it in an envelope with other fruity flavoured teas.

However, after it was brewed, the cinnamon scent was gone. There was a very sweet potato scent to the tea, slightly vegetal, a bit malty.

I quite like other Bailin Congfu teas and this one doesn’t disappoint. The liquor is thick but it is not bitter or too bold at all. There is a slight spice, which I am unsure if it is supposed to taste like that or if it was the contamination, but either way, I like it. There is the sweet potato flavour but also a hint of some fruitiness, makes me think of dried fruit. I feel like I am getting a bit of burnt flavour, kind of like burnt caramel without the over the top caramel sweetness, but also it makes me think of charcoal.

This one did not disappoint. I am very grateful to Scribbles for sending me these great teas to try. I think I am starting to like this Joseph Wesley character :)

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

i really like their teas

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drank House Matcha by Hibiki-an
869 tasting notes

Ok this should be my last review on this matcha, for now anyway. I have now tried it cold shaken so I think I have done my due diligence in reviewing this one.

I used 1/2 tsp for approx. 6 oz water, I added 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of white sugar. It took a little more shaking than usual to get it to fully dissolve, which is ok, I am pretending that was part of my exercise routine for today :) It frothed up very nice and was a dark but still bright green colour.

It tasted very smooth, no bitterness or astringency at all, it was slightly sweet vegetal. It could have used a bit more matcha, I will have to play around with it to get the right proportions,

I am super happy with this matcha, which is pretty obvious by my raving, ha ha. I think for a cold shaken, I would not need to use this specific brand name of matcha, but it is the best I have found so far in regards to versatility with a good price point and excellent quality. I also like how I can determine how much sweetener, etc, to mix in with it versus using a pre-mixed sweetened blend.

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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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