4461 Tasting Notes

drank White Lemon by Shanti Tea
4461 tasting notes

I’m revisiting this tea because TeaEqualsBliss sent me a bit more of it in the last box that she sent me. (Thanks sister!) Here is my full-length review of this tea: http://sororiteasisters.com/2011/02/25/white-lemon-from-shanti-tea-2/

It tastes as good as I remember, although, I did slightly oversteep it and the bitterness of the lemon sort of peeks out with the longer steep time.

I think that either Shanti Tea has discontinued this tea, though, or at the very least, they’re currently sold out of it, because I can’t find it on their website. It’s a shame, because even with the slight bitter edge to it, it is still quite pleasant.

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When I was measuring this tea out into my Breville basket (yes, I normally do brew Oolong teas in my gaiwan, however, this is no ordinary Oolong and I thought that it would be better prepared in my Breville because of the other ingredients), a HUGE chunk of papaya accompanied the other ingredients in my scoop. Papaya is not a flavor that I would normally associate with Chardonnay … but hey, what do I know? In the last 6 months I’ve consumed about four sips of wine … and that was a Merlot. I know less about wine than a wine novice would.

But with all the big chunks of fruit, I will say that my interest was definitely piqued. And once I poured the tea into my mug, I could definitely SMELL the chardonnay.

It has a very warm and luscious kind of smell, and as I sip it … it is like being wrapped in a warm, soft, thick-pile blanket. So soft and luxurious! The cinnamon gives it a warm taste while the vanilla gives it a very soft, luscious kind of feel and taste. I do taste the tropical notes of citrus and papaya, although these flavors are less apparent than some of the flavors that are mentioned by Vintage TeaWorks: pear, butter, melon, and butterscotch. It is silky smooth and sweet and absolutely YUM!


I am absolutely placing an order with them tomorrow when I get paid!


Azz – Between Liberteas and I – we can send you some, too!

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If you’ve ever read a tasting note or tea review and read the word “muscatel” and wondered exactly what it might taste like – this is the tea to try. This tea will show you through its amazing flavor what muscatel is. It is more than grape. It is a wine-like taste, grape, sure … but a fermented grape. Sweet and dry. Hints of black currant. Even notes of musky spice and wood. This tea has that. And it is SO good.

This is quite possibly one of the most pronounced muscatel tastes that I’ve yet to experience.

The tea itself is also a bit different from other Darjeeling teas that I’ve tried – which tend to be light, crisp and even a bit sparkling in nature. This tea has more of a Ceylon-like body, not quite as crisp and sparkling, it is more substantial. Smooth and silky. Sweet. Dry without a overwhelming astringency.

Just plain … amazing.


Mmmmm Muscat! So good!


So I’m still learning about Darjeeling teas, but do you know if this is spring/summer/first flush/whatever. I’ve got a Margaret’s Hope (which is guess is the estate) Autumnal so I was just wondering. :)

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drank Lime Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
4461 tasting notes

I ordered this particular flavor of Matcha primarily because of the mixing options it offered … primarily, I thought that lime and watermelon Matcha would taste amazing … and I also figured that it would add a bright citrus flavor to smoothies as well.

The aroma is very lime. But there’s more to it than just that. It actually smells like a lime tree … like the aroma that one might experience if sitting beneath a lime tree. The limes, the blossoms, the leaves, the earth, even the tree itself. It’s bright and citrus-y but also earthy.

The flavor is lime and matcha (oddly enough! ha!) but it isn’t overwhelmingly tart. The sweet flavors of the matcha sort of offset some of the tartness that I expected – or at least I think so. I expected something that would encourage a little bit of a pucker. But I’m not disappointed that it isn’t sour as I’m not a big fan of sour taste. This is more sweet-and-sour, with a leaning toward the sweet, and even a bit of bitterness from the lime. This makes me wonder how it might be if I added a pinch of salt to the Matcha before I whisk, I might try that next time to see if the bitterness is more balanced.

As it is though, it’s not bad at all … in fact, it’s really quite good. Not as good as the licorice Matcha I had a while ago, but, it’s still quite nice. It has a bit of an acidic bitterness, but it isn’t too much of either of these elements, and the fruit flavor gives off a bit of sweetness and seems to bring out some of the earthier qualities of the Matcha that I don’t often experience in pure Matcha.

It is smooth and creamy and has a flavor that is quite unlike the other Matcha that I’ve tried – and if for no other reason, I find that to be a good reason to try this one. I love the brightness, and I’m thinking that now I must get some of the lemon Matcha too … another blending possibility with this one! Mmm… Lemon-Lime Matcha!

You can find this deliciously different Lime Matcha here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/lime-matcha.html

EDITED TO ADD: The specs for this order are my usual go-to specifications: basic/classic grade Matcha with distinctive level of flavoring.


put it in a margarita! It’ll be so pretty!


Well, I don’t really drink alcohol, so I’m not in to Margaritas much. This might also be pretty good with lemon lime soda… might have to try that!


I’m not a fan of alcohol either, but it looked so pretty in a frosty martini glass with a curl of lime zest in my imagination. :)


yes, I bet it would be pretty. And it might even be tasty… but not something I’d drink regularly. :)


Whenever I see the lime matcha, I think of “put the lime and the coconut” song. Then I think of the coconut matcha. I wonder if they would actually taste good together?


I am considering this one.


@Meg: well, I’ve tasted lime and coconut flavored tea before (although I’ve not combined the lime and the coconut matcha yet), and it was pretty amazing.

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drank Licorice Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
4461 tasting notes

I am a licorice FIEND! Black Jelly Bellys are my favorite, my candy choice at the movie theater is usually Good and Plenty. I love the flavor of black licorice – a balance between spicy and sweet, with an intriguing minty undertone … oh so good!

And this has got the licorice flavor spot on. It’s a strong licorice note (my specs for this Matcha were my go-to specs: classic/basic grade with distinctive level of flavor), but it works with the rich, creamy, slightly buttery and vegetative notes of the Matcha. This particular flavor of Matcha is a little less balanced than some of the others, but I can’t really complain about that because the licorice flavor is so crisp and good. The aftertaste reminds me of Altoid’s Liquorice. oh yum yum yum!

I have to admit though, that I was a little scared to try it because I worried that because Red Leaf Tea had proposed a “new and improved” licorice flavor a few weeks ago when they were asking in the forums for input on new flavors to add to their already extensive line of flavored Matcha, and it made me worry that maybe the current Licorice flavor wasn’t good, and NEEDED to be replaced. But if this is the non-improved licorice flavor – KEEP IT. I can’t imagine it getting better than this. I really can’t!

If you like licorice, you should try this. But if you LOVE black licorice – you’ve GOT to try this. This one might just be my new favorite. Yeah… I love it that much!

You can find this amazing Matcha here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/licorice-matcha-organic.html


I love licorice too! Most people don’t, but I go straight for the black jelly beans.


I am not a licorice lover at all, but one that tastes like the candy sounds much more appealing than that nasty cloying herbal licorice root taste!


Black jelly beans are my favourite! But for some reason, I’m not really a huge fan of licorice in tea. It’s possible that’s just because of the few (mediocre) experiences I’ve had, but it always somehow coats my tongue, which feels kinda gross. Besides the spot-on flavour, did you have that experience with this matcha? If not, I might have to add it to my shopping list.


I didn’t notice anything unpleasant about this tea. I loved it.


Good to hear!

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drank Zhen Qu by Butiki Teas
4461 tasting notes

This is fantastic!

The dry leaves are gorgeous – lots of golden curls amongst the dark chocolate curled leaves. The aroma of the brewed tea is chocolate-y and sweet, with notes of malt and caramel. Nutty too. My taste buds are eagerly awaiting a sip as I wait a few moments to allow it to cool a bit.

Ohhh… so good! Rich and malty with a strong honey-esque tone. Chocolate-y, yes … and deliciously caramel-y too. The caramel and honey mingle together to form a honey-caramel overtone that possesses hints of the caramelized sugar that have not quite burnt… but have developed a really rich, brown color.

It’s remarkably smooth, and the flavor also possesses something I did not anticipate from the aroma – a floral note. Like a hint of flower somewhere in the distance. I did not really smell the floral tone, but I can taste it.

A really REALLY good black tea. It has some vigor to it too.


I really like this one too

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Wow! If the first time I tasted Pu-erh was at all like this tasting, I would not have ever come to the conclusion that I did not like Pu-erh. This is really very good. Yes, I taste the earthy pu-erh, but, when combined with the sweet-tart notes of raspberry and hints of floral notes and even just a touch of softness from the white tea, it just … works. The earthiness doesn’t taste off in any way. It all works together in such a harmonious way.

I’m really loving this tea. It’s very smooth and has a richness to it that reminds me a little bit of coffee, but without the bitterness. A really remarkable blend!


Ohhh sounds great – never heard of this company either!


Sounds like a great combination. I’ve got a strawberry pu-erh incoming from Nothing But Tea, which I have high hopes of now. Especially since I already know their orange flavoured one is great.

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drank Black Currant by Foxfire teas
4461 tasting notes

Backlog: I had one more pot of this tea this afternoon before sending the rest off to my SororiTea Sisters. I really like this – the crisp, sweet fruit notes meld deliciously well with the robust Assam tea.

If this tea is any indication of what I have to look forward to with Foxfire Teas, I’d say that I’m in for a treat with the three other teas I’ve left to try from them!


Oh nice because I need to really learn more about black currant – I just had it in matcha form and was confused yet loved it lol

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This is tasty. I don’t know that I’m as excited about it as some of the others who have tasting notes on this one, but it’s good. It’s definitely better as it cools versus when it’s hot. The cheesecake flavors really seem to pop when it gets colder. I taste the creaminess, the tangy flavors of the cream cheese, and even a bit of buttery crust. And the apricot is sweet and juicy and tastes like sweetened apricot … it doesn’t have a fake taste to it.

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drank Black Currant by Foxfire teas
4461 tasting notes

I hadn’t planned on drinking more black tea today (I already have a black Darjeeling waiting for me after I finish this one) but when the mail came and brought a box of teas from Foxfire Teas – a company from Portland that I’ve wanted to try for a while now – I had to add another black tea to the queue … in fact, this tea “took cuts” in line, because I didn’t want to drink an Assam too late in the day. It’s already 6:20 pm, any later and I’ll be up all night.

This is an AWESOME black currant tea. I think it might just be the best black currant tea I’ve tried. Not that I’ve sampled a whole lot, but, of the ones that I have tasted, this one belongs at the top spot.

It smells incredible. The fruit tones really POP … it smells a bit like my gramma’s kitchen when she’d make grape jelly. I’m not a big fan of grape flavored foods, but, my gramma’s grape jelly? Now that stuff was awesome! She’d make it from the grapes right off her grapevine, seed the grapes and then cook them then mash them through a sieve. She’d then pour off just a little bit of the juice and let me drink it after it had cooled and before she’d add all the sugar and pectin to make the jelly. To this day, I really don’t like other grape juice, because nothing compares to that juice.

And while this does SMELL like grapes cooking, it doesn’t taste like grapes. It tastes like currants. Although I must admit that currants and grapes do have a similar flavor profile, or perhaps I should say currants and fermented grapes (wine) have a similar flavor profile. This tastes more like currants than fresh grapes. It is sweet and tart … leaning more toward the tart than the sweet, but balanced enough between the two to keep it from being too tart for my sometimes tart-sensitive palate.

The Assam here is fantastic. I love that this is an Assam and not a Ceylon! It gives the cup a very rich, bold flavor. This is a wine-y Assam as opposed to a really malt-y, biscuit-y kind of Assam, but, there are some really lovely malt tones to this as well.

Truly lovely!

Here’s a link to Foxfire Teas: http://foxfireteas.myshopify.com/ They ROCK!


I am a black currant tea fan.. especially iced. BUT this post is making me salivate.


I love black currant teas too.

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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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