281 Tasting Notes

drank Bai Hao Yin Zen by David's Tea
281 tasting notes

I received this with my last online order, and it is really delicious. I am hesitant to say what it tasted like but let’s just call it vegetal. Well, ok, if I searched my taste memory hard I thought maybe it tasted like peaches and cream corn (but uncooked). I don’t know. And then I looked it up on the website. Of course it’s flippin good, it’s unbelievably expensive. I think it might be the most expensive tea they carry. Now I have seen — and purchased — stuff at similar prices but it looks cheaper when it lists “1 oz = $10.00” or even “1/2 oz = $4.99”. For some reason my eyes popped out a little when I saw $19.00 for 50 g.

Maybe one day…

The leaves are so beautiful, fuzzy, white, almost unprocessed looking, if you know what I mean. Almost like it went from plant straight to package. They don’t smell like much to me in dry form — or in wet form for that matter.

I was in the mood for a tea today, not for a juice type thing. I stared for a while at my plain choices and decided against the pu’erhs and the oolongs and went with this one, not knowing what to expect. Didn’t look it up beforehand but with a name like this I assumed it was unflavoured. It really was so very good. I must have been thirsty because I finished it so fast. I am not into straight teas and certainly not into straight whites so I expected this to be a struggle. Surprise! said Bai Hao Yin Zen…

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Tokyo by Harney & Sons
281 tasting notes

Finally brewed a proper cup of Tokyo. First attempts were disastrous so I had to dump it. Both previous times I’ve either burned the leaves because I didn’t wait for the water to cool enough, I just winged it and well, some green tea you can’t do that with. Second time I didn’t set a timer because I’m so awesome..l and forgot about it for close to 10 minutes I think. It was bitter both times so watch your Tokyo, don’t just get busy and forget it.

Now that I managed to steep only 2 minutes and around 180 I can drink it. Because I can see the sesame seeds in the dry leaf I expect there to be sesame taste. Don’t get any. Also, can’t say I get caramel either. It is, however, somehow smooth and buttery and it does taste like maybe a 3rd steep of Genmaicha would. I prefer Genmaicha.

The color of the brew is pale yellow and is not very fragrant but a good sniff will tell it has the same smell as the dry leaf.

I’ll keep it just because I don’t have much straight green tea in the house. I would hardly call this flavoured despite the sesame.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Hmmmmm, I don’t really like fussy teas. 3rd steep genmaicha – LOL you aren’t instilling a lot of confidence in me that I’m going to like this. It was in the drink next pile, it might get moved to the drink soon pile.


Drink next, for me? I’m curious if you’ll like it.


Tommorrow…..will try it tomorrow – I’m doing comparisons between straight blacks tonight. LOL this wouldn’t go with those. (I was drinking that walnut green stuff today – need something heavier to erase that memory).

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drank Happy Kombucha by DAVIDsTEA
281 tasting notes

I think it’s important to say that Happy Kombucha makes me A LOT less happy when I drink it hot. That is all. Now I must go fetch some icecubes.

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drank Pineapple Bacon Rooibos by 52teas
281 tasting notes

Sipdown. I had this from Dexter3657 a while back and finished it today. Not because she sent me so much but I didn’t care for the first cup and then I took the left of the sample with me to work where it got shuffled around.

It’s weird… This tea tasted exactly like root beer to me today. Unfortunately for this tea, I don’t like root beer. I wasn’t raised in North America and when I discovered root beer as an adult I likened it to some toothpaste. End of root beer exploring right there.

Glad to have tried pineapple bacon though, I would have been helluva curious about it. Expectation not met.

Holly Faye

Somehow, it makes sense that the three flavors in the title would taste like root beer. And I was raised in the States and I don’t like root beer! I’d drink it thinking I was going to like it, and then it would just be the wrong kind of sweet.


this one is in my ‘to try soon’ pile. i always come close, and then raise doubts right at the last minute before i pick something else. soon pineapple bacon! soon!

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drank Mulberry Magic by DAVIDsTEA
281 tasting notes

My first herbal tea. When I was little my mother tried to make me drink chamomile once or twice. Yuck. Definitely never had any other herbals since. I’ve had teas with some mint in it before but never straight-up herbal.

So, the color. It’s sort of unpleasant, isn’t it? It’s kinda brownish green. As for the taste, I get the nuts and some spinach. Or spinach and nuts. I’m not sure I like it. I don’t dislike it, it’s not at all unpleasant but am at the moment regretting this choice as an afternoon tea. I don’t need to be quite this relaxed.

Dry nose: sweet macadamia nuts
Aroma: spinach or very faint chamomile (at least to me)
Flavour: nutty spinach.

I guess this is what mulberry tastes like? I’ll have to try others if given the chance just to make sure. But not too soon.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

That was my reaction to this tea too!

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drank SoHo Blend by Harney & Sons
281 tasting notes

I am at the cottage and bought a new teapot while antiquing. I guess “new” and “antiquing” don’t really go together but you know what I mean. I would have liked to brew an oolong in it but didnt bring any and I couldn’t wait till Tuesday so .. SoHo it is.

It’s just as good as the first time. I can’t detect any difference as a result of having brewed it straight into this pot. I’m wondering if I can drink any other teas out of it rather than just one. Anyway… The point is, this is a good tea! (And somehow I haven’t rated this until today)

ETA: oh, here’s the teapot. I feel like I should name it, I’m introducing it around :)


Sounds like fun!


the blend is so lovely !

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drank Coconut Grove by DAVIDsTEA
281 tasting notes

Tried this iced again yesterday, I’m all for giving things a good honest try. I think it needs a spark, like a splash of citrus. I wish I loved coconut water, man. This would be fantastic. But it’s just too one-dimensional for me.

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drank Jumpy Monkey by DAVIDsTEA
281 tasting notes

sipdown. I made a cup at work this morning and gave the rest of it (1-2 cups worth) to someone at work as she wanted to try it. I warned her not to get her hopes up.

I don’t care for this one. There’s coffee smell, but it doesn’t taste like coffee. Almost like unroasted coffee beans. And to me it tastes kinda like straw. It’s not awful. If I was on a deserted island and all I had was this tea, hell, I’d drink it. But given all the other choices I send this monkey packing.

I have to say it does not get astringent if you forget about it, and it does not get bitter so … look for the silver lining?

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drank Red Velvet Cake by DAVIDsTEA
281 tasting notes

Dry leaf, this smells of chocolate, or crumbled up cookies, maybe some vanilla. Brewed, it is sweet enough that no sugar is needed but if you add sweetener it could be out of this world delicious. I only added a bit of caramel creamer.

I could do without the sludge tracks it leaves in my steeper and cup but it’s what you get what with the sprinkles and chocolate chips in there. When it comes to chocolate teas, I like Love Tea #7 better but not by much.

If you haven’t tried this yet, try at least a 24 g bag for those nights you want to cozy up with some cocoa or something.

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drank SBT: Watermelon by 52teas
281 tasting notes

This will be a longer note than I usually write because there are several things I want to go over. First, I am really surprised by this tea. I had tried a few other SBTs and found them lacking in the flavour department, for me. Then, when I had lost all hope, along came this one. I brewed it two days ago and it was still in the fridge, untouched. This morning, I took some to work in a travel mug. I wasn’t getting as much flavour as I wanted so I added a tsp of sugar to my 14 oz travel mug. It is like I’m drinking a different tea, you guys. It is bursting with flavour. The interesting part that I want to bring up is the fact that at home I’m sweetening with agave, NEVER with refined white sugar. Could the choice of sweetener make this much difference??

Also, there is a woman here at work I occasionally give sips of my tea to try. She is used to drinking only straight Chinese black tea because her grandfather drinks that and ever since she was a little girl she shared her grandfather’s tea. I gave her this and she didn’t like it. Yet she loved a subdued in flavour “cheeky lychee”. I have come to the realization she would have loved all the other SBTs that fell short for me, simply because she relishes the subtle flavour, the “finish” more than the blast your mouth stuff.

The moral? These steepster ratings are so subjective.

As for this tea, dude, it is so freaking watermelony delicious I’m in danger of running into the open arms of white sugar!


I use raw cane sugar most of the time, but I have found that the flavor of these SBT blends blossoms like mad if you leave them in the fridge for a couple of days to mellow and meld. In fact, that is how I like all of my flavored iced black teas! Now I have to run over to Frank’s store and order watermelon flavor…


Nooooo! Don’t give in, white sugar bad, BAD FOR YOU!!!! (lol)

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I started drinking loose leaf tea in the spring of 2013 (why do we feel compelled to mark the date of tea drinking somewhat like addicts counting their sobriety days?)

Never been much into tea before. Growing up in Romania, tea was something mom made for you when you were sick. As an adult, my hot beverage of choice has been coffee, both flavoured and regular. I’ve recently stumbled upon Teavana and DAVIDs TEA and quickly got addicted to the latter. Then came steepster and all else followed.

Formerly a mathematician and insurance adjuster, I gave up the corporate world and am now a professional chef. I drink wine and sometimes cheat on it with tea.

I lean heavily towards flavoured black teas. I’ve started to crave the occasional straight oolong and green but so far unflavoured black teas leave me unimpressed.

I’m learning so I drink them all. Am even introducing myself to pu’erh. So far I can do fine with the sheng cause frankly, they don’t taste like pu’erh to me. The shou is another story.

Note*: The virtual cupboard does NOT contain any of the samples I hold since most of them are one-cup quantity.

Note**: My partner, our home improvements, gadgets, mortgage, travel, wine and food have budget priority over tea.


Toronto-ish, Canada

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