85 Tasting Notes


This mild, pleasant tea has a strong smell out of the bag but a mild one in the cup.

I like eating cranberries for food, but wasn’t sure about as a focus note in tea. It’s in the background and almost makes me want to say it’s an astringent feel, but it’s not. It’s natural and not artificial, not strong, blending in.

Unfortunately the issue is the black tea base is bland to me and this is a boring cup. It’s mild but hardly there and I even ended up making this with more than the recommended amount and steeped a good amount of time. Not bad but nothing special.

Flavors: Cranberry

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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Very good! The smell out of the bag is like a sweet candy, but the smell when brewing is earthy mushroom. The taste is great – I can taste an almost cocoa note but very natural. The cocoa/chocolate does NOT stand out like teas such as Florence from Harney & Sons. Not a fruity taste for me this first time around, although I smelled that in the bag.

Very comforting, smoothing, no astringency, no bitterness, such a pleasant, HAPPY tea :)

I’m also in love with the name. Will definitely order more of this and try out again. I think I’ll experiment with brewing longer than the directions

Flavors: Chocolate

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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A very good tea from Harney & Sons. I’m a recent convert to Lapsang, so was excited to see the description of this one blended with that tea for a smoother version.

It is smoky but slightly, and all the teas blend together to make a smooth, smooth tea that has no bitterness, no astringency, and a subtle but very there flavor that’s not artificial at all.

When I’m drinking this I find myself hoping for a little spice or something – it feels like that’s missing here, even though it wasn’t really supposed to be spicy. The smell is great and pops as soon as I put the tea in the water.

It’s a good blend that’s a breakfast tea but not really for strong Lapsang fans looking for that kick by itself. For some reason this also has a slight fishy taste to me in every sip. Not sure if it’s just this batch or what, I don’t see that as a note for anyone else but it’s definitely there for me.

Next brew I’ll experiment with a stronger steep. A nice wakeup feel from this one!

Flavors: Fishy, Smoke

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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A very unusual tea. It has a lot of green in it, and brews and tastes to me more like a green tea than a black, as the other reviewer mentioned. It also has a small unpleasant bitterness. I think the next time I brew it, I will make it like a green tea with a lower temperature.

The smell is vegetal and aromatic. The taste is grassy, vegetal, and earthy. I like it, I just don’t like bitter aftertaste, so will have to experiment with it and do another tasting note. Ordered more than a sample of this, so will have to experiment with it in different ways.

Flavors: Bitter, Grass, Green, Vegetal

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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Oh, so yummy! I wasn’t sure what I would think of this one because of the unusual sounding combination. The smell out of the bag was rich with cheesecake and a small sniff of plum – the tea was dark and with flecks of purple and colors. A happy looking tea.

At first sip I didn’t get much but more came clear with further sipping. The brandy isn’t a typical brandy taste and I almost missed it, even though it’s listed as the first note. I tasted the plum in bursts at time, particularly at the bottom of the cup, very good. The cheesecake in the background loaned a creaminess. The black tea by itself seemed a bit flat but this worked to bring the subtle nuances of flavor out of the tea.

Unique and very good – would definitely order more later if Butiki was not closing its doors.

Flavors: Brandy, Cheesecake, Creamy, Plums, Smooth

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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drank Lavender Nirvana by Zen Tea
85 tasting notes

This…isn’t pleasant. I’m a big fan of Zen Tea but not of lavender. It doesn’t do anything for me – the same can be said for Jasmine. I’ve had worse, but this isn’t my thing. The rooibos has a nice sweetness and this tea is a dark color. Smooth flavor, tad of sweetness, the floral isn’t overpowering but layers.

Flavors: Lavender, Rooibos

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

Oh noes, I just picked this one up with my last Zen tea order… I don’t usually like drinking lavender. what was I thinking?


Hopefully you’ll like it more than me, floral really isn’t my thing.

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Not for me. I’m not a straight vanilla in tea fan anyway so I had doubts I’d like this. It’s not the worst thing but not something I can keep drinking or will drink again.

The smell is slightly artificial but kind of pleasant. The taste is…well, not good for me since I don’t like vanilla teas. People who do like a Vanilla extract taste in their tea (which is what this seems like to me) should dig it.

It’s like blending a pleasant Roobios with a ¼ tsp. of Vanilla Extract.

Not my cup of tea.

Flavors: Rooibos, Vanilla

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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This tea is from my local tea shop. I haven’t been impressed with everything I’ve tried from there, but love the place – so cute and cozy. They are moving right now to a bigger location.

This pumpkin rooibos has pumkin seeds and flecks of all kinds of goodies. This is the first Roobios I have tried – I was hesitant to try it because the smell of Roobios kind of repels me. I am surprised – it’s very good. And actually is very sweet without any flavorings having to be added.

For this one, the taste is more of a pumpkin spice out of a can rather than the fruit pumpkin or anything like pumpkin pie. Have the cinnamon dabbled in there for sure, can taste it richer the more I sip. I can almost picture a dab of whipped cream on top.
It works – and works well. There’s something else it reminds me of, but I just can’t place it.

Thankfully I have more of this left. I also have their carrot cake roobios to try.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Natural Pumpkin Spice Flavor, Rooibos

200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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I was so curious about The Black Lotus. Even the name is awesome. The reviews are great. It arrived here fast – loving the design of the bag. So sad Butiki is closing right when I am discovering them.

I brewed this twice – the first time I must have done it too hot a steep and too little as it wasn’t quite strong enough. I resteeped at a cooler temperature, added in some more leaves, and more of the flavor came out.

Both steeps had flavor and were pleasant. I agree with some of the reviewers who said it is more of an afternoon treat tea. It has the blends of a morning breakfast but typically I see breakfast blends as more robust. This is creamier and smoother, and perfect for an early evening on the porch or an afternoon pick-up.

There are a lot of flavors described in this mix – what I taste, with my weak buds, is an earthy, smooth black tea with a bit of mushroom. Very nice. The mushroom shouldn’t turn off anyone who doesn’t like mushrooms either, it’s just pleasant, earthy, hard to describe. Even the coating of my mouth and tongue seem to feel smoother after frequent sips.

There is absolutely no bitterness or astringency – thankfully. I steeped it a long time the second time (forgot about it for a second) and still no bitterness. A great quality tea that really tastes great quality.

When I think of breakfast blends, I think of waking up – with this blend, I think of relaxing and mentally stimulating at the same time.

Flavors: Mushrooms

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML
Zack S.

Hi! Just wondering if you have any of this tea available to swap? Its one of my all-time favs and I’m trying to get my hands on more of it since it has become unavailable =(

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Okay, I’m much more of a tea noob than many here – and apparently a little bit of a cheapskate as well.

I can’t help it, I love the old fashioned porceline cups with dainty handles and cherry blossom tree designs. Novelty teapots will make me giggle like a child in a candyshop. I could browse online stores and stare at teaware for hours. I get all into high teas foods and treats.

I dislike mint and most florals, especially Jasmine (yech). Don’t care for Earl Grey (Bergamot flavours) but love English Breakfast. Not into bitter and highly astringest.

I’m a black tea nut. Love almost all forms of the stuff – especially digging Phoenix Pearl from Zen tea right now, divine. Strangely, I’m not a darjeeling fan. I do dig Oorlongs and recently found and fell in love with Lapsang. Like golden teas.

Most of the Green tea I’ve tried isn’t for me, although I have a love for Coffee Shop of Horror’s Bog Goblin Green Ginger tea. Funny since I’m not crazy about lemongrass, dislike strong ginger in BLACK tea, and am not a green tea fan – but I love this tea. Go figure.

I’ve cut back a lot on sweet, iced tea because of weight/diet, but when I do drink that stuff, I’ve taken to iced tea cubes and fruit cubes over regular ice cubes. A lot of fun experimenting with and works so much better. No watering down.

Phoenix Pearl by Zen Tea
Golden Monkey (Harney & Sons or other source)
Paris by Harney & Sons
Bog Goblin Lemon Ginger Tea by Coffee Shop of Horrors
Assam Melody by Adagio Teas
Christmas Tea (Bags) by Twinings
Lapsang Souchong by Zen Tea
Florence by Harney & Sons

On the lookout for my perfect loose leaf Breakfast Tea and my ultimate Chai blend…

Besides tea, I love BOOKS and reading all sorts of things – run the website, The Paperback Stash, and active on Goodreads for several years. Also a huge music lover – books and music are my mains. Have an last.fm account and over 100 created playlists on 8tracks under JCFantasy23. Christian for life. Have a mean cat I love, a house bunny, two hermit crabs, and a black moor goldfish. People wise, blessed with the greatest son in the world, amazing parents and brother, perfect friends. Life is good.


Lakeland, Florida, United States

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