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4231 Tasting Notes

drank Da Hong Pao Red Robe by Steepster
4231 tasting notes


The aroma of this tea reminds me of the smell of the air here in the Pacific Northwest on an early evening in autumn. You step outside and there is a crisp edge to the air and it is scented with the fragrance of smoke rising out of chimneys … it smells rustic: like wood and smoke and crisp, cool air. Not overly smoky … just like this tea.

In my first cup (infusions 1 and 2), I got that burnt hazelnut caramel sort of flavor that Steepster suggests in the tasting notes. There is a deep, nutty note. A lovely caramel-y flavor to this. There is some smoke to the flavor too, but not an overpowering presence of smoke. This Da Hong Pao has a pleasing, clean finish.

Subsequent infusions offer more flavors. I still taste the smoke and woodsy tones, but they are softer now. A sweet-tart fruit note in the distance that begins to emerge and come closer in later infusions. Those fruit notes later reveal themselves to be a bit like a cross between a nectarine and a plum … there are some tart notes but mostly sweet.

A really nice Red Robe.

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As far as bagged/sacheted teas go, I have to say that these from Eden Grove are some of the better ones that I’ve tried.

This particular blend has a robust black tea flavor with a light, lemon-y/lime-y sort of flavor that perks up the flavor just a bit. The lemongrass isn’t a strong essence, although the flavors do continue to develop as I continue to sip.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/01/26/ivy-hills-estate-black-tea-essence-of-lemongrass-from-eden-grove/

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drank Cran-Grape Shou Mei by 52teas
4231 tasting notes


I liked this one alright. I can’t say it’s my favorite from 52Teas, but I liked it alright. I felt as though the white tea notes were somewhat obscured by the strong Cranberry and grape notes.

But mostly what stood in my way of really enjoying this blend is that I’m not big on the flavor combination of cranberry and grape. It’s not a juice blend I’d buy … and I was just kind of “meh!” about this particular blend from 52Teas. It wasn’t bad … but it didn’t tickle my toes and get me up and dancing the happy dance either.

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drank Earl Grey Classic by Compass Teas
4231 tasting notes


I love Earl Grey tea – as many of you probably know already. There are few teas out there that make me as happy as a good Earl Grey and this one qualifies as good! A strong bergamot aroma, and a tangy flavor with just a tad of sweetness to it. A very uplifting taste. Not soapy or perfume-ish, just beautifully bergamot-y.

A rich, medium-to-full-bodied black tea base.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/01/25/earl-grey-classic-black-tea-compass-teas/

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drank Organic Ceylon OP1 by Kally Tea
4231 tasting notes

I’m sad to report that Kally Tea has closed it’s doors. I really loved this company. They were so friendly and nice, it was always a pleasure to deal with them. And I really loved their organic line of teas like this Organic Ceylon.

When I opened the pouch, I smelled … leather. This reminds me of the smell you might experience if you were to walk into an old library with the leather bound books. There are subtle hints of tobacco too, so, perhaps there’s a little bit of pipe tobacco that was left by the last library patron.

This is a delightful Ceylon. I usually consider Ceylon to be pretty even-tempered, and yes, that is true of this tea. It has a medium body and it’s fairly mellow as far as black tea goes. But it has a rich flavor that is a little bit malty and sweet, and there are some earthy tones to it too. It’s a nicely round tasting tea.

The sweetness is reminiscent of dried fruit. Like ground up raisins and dates … that kind of sweetness, with maybe just a hint of molasses mixed in. Mmm! It’s a very satisfying flavor. I don’t get a lot of the tobacco or leathery flavors that I noticed in the aroma, maybe just a subtle hint of these notes mingle with the aforementioned earthy notes.

This would make a really nice late morning or early afternoon tea. It isn’t quite as invigorating as, say, an Assam might be, so it’s not the tea I’d reach for as my first tea in the morning to help me shake the sleepies. This is more like the early afternoon pick-me-up kind of tea that I’d want when I start to feel that drag begin to set in, you know? When I need just a little something to perk me up and keep me going.

It makes me sad that Kally Tea is gone now, and since they are no longer operating, I am not going to rate this.


That’s a bummer. I hadn’t ordered from them in a long time because I ordered way too much with my last order from them. But they were still on the favorites list. :(

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A really enjoyable Oolong. Fragrant and flavorful.

The early infusions were soft and honeyed with notes of sweet fruit (reminiscent of a plum.) Woodsy tones and a rustic, earthy note.

The later infusions offered stronger honey tones, and the sweet fruit notes emerged, and by the sixth infusion, I started to notice the flavors soften and meld.

A really nice cup, here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/01/24/royal-phoenix-oolong-tea-tao-tea/

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drank Rama Chai by Shanti Tea
4231 tasting notes

It would appear that this tea is no longer being sold by Shanti, and that’s a shame because I am really enjoying it. It’s a different approach to chai, offering only cardamom as one of the “usual” suspects in a chai blend (I consider the usual suspects to be cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and ginger … there are other spices used often in chai, but usually these are the four that you find in most chai.) There is anise in this which I love and while it is often found in chai, it’s not as common as the previously four mentioned spices.

But the two of these spices together with the Tulsi offer a warm, gently spiced cup. The spices are strong but they aren’t overwhelming. It presents a nice, cozy-tasting cuppa.

It gets a yum from me, but because it’s no longer offered, I’m not going to bother rating it.


Too bad it’s gone, that sounds really good :)


I just finished my cup, and I really liked it. Not a bad tea.

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I was excited to try this tea from my Amoda January box because of the name. I was thinking the chocolate and cherry cake … and then I started reading the ingredients: carob? eww. Why carob? Why not cacao nibs or cacao shells? Carob is the cheap alternative to chocolate. I don’t like carob. I like chocolate.

So, after reading that this had carob in it, I was less excited. But I still tried it.

It’s not as bad as I thought it would be given that there’s carob in it. It’s actually alright. The chocolate notes are a little weak … that’s kind of a standard complaint of mine when it comes to chocolate teas though isn’t it … and even though it is kind of a standard complaint of mine, I can’t help but think it would be better if it had cacao shells or cacao nibs. The cherry notes come through nicely.

I like the rose and the juniper in this … they added a nice dimension of flavor to the cup.

This wasn’t what I expected, but it wasn’t all that bad. It could have been better, though.


I love carob cookies from a local health food store, and carob chips in other cookies, Carob shake with almond milk is awesome! but havn’t had any more luck with liking it in tea so far, like chocolate.


Carob is naturally a little on the sweet side, so it probably works better in some applications and rosewater does seem to make it more chocolate-y. This actually sounds pretty good to me.

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drank Magical Mao Jian by teasenz
4231 tasting notes


Mao Jian is one of my favorite Chinese green teas. I love the sweet, vegetative taste to it, I find it very uplifting and rejuvenating. It’s something that I can sip when I’m feeling kind of down and by the time I’m finished with the cup, I’m feeling good.

This is a sweet, light green tea with delightful toasted nutty notes. It’s crisp and vegetal. Light buttery note. A nice balance of sweet and savory.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/01/22/magical-mao-jian-green-tea-teasenz/

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drank SBT: Honey Ginger by 52teas
4231 tasting notes


I really like this blend from SBT. Of the teas that I’ve tried thus far that were created as flavor incentives during the kickstarter campaign … this one is definitely one of my favorites. I like the way the ginger comes through … it isn’t super peppery or strong, and the honey isn’t overwhelming either.

I like the way the two flavors come together in this blend, and that the black tea seems to be the primary focus. This is one I’d reorder.

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I am obsessed with tea!

I am a co-founder of the SororiTEA Sisters:

I also review teas for the Tea Review Blog:

In addition to my passion for tea, I am also a mixed media/altered arts artist. You can see some of my art here: http://eccentricpastiche.blogspot.com

I am also a self-proclaimed foodie. I review local restaurants and the food I buy online here: http://hungryinportland.wordpress.com


My favorite teas are Yellow Teas with most Oolong teas at a close second. As far as “flavored” teas go, I love Earl Grey, Chocolate and Jasmine teas.

I also am intrigued by flavored teas with an unusual or unique flavor combination.


I don’t do a whole lot of swaps anymore, however, I do occasionally sell sampler boxes here: http://liberteas.teatra.de/ I don’t always have sampler boxes available as it depends upon how much time I have as well as packaging supplies. I usually post at least one or two sampler boxes per month, though, so if you’re interested, keep an eye out or PM me and I’ll let you know when I have some posted.


Most of the teas that I record in my notes here are going to have a fairly high rating from me. This is not because I am not discerning, but because I do not usually waste my time on drinking tea I do not care for, nor will I waste my time on writing about it.


Vancouver, WA



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