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494 Tasting Notes

71

1.5 tsp for 250mL water @98C, steeped seven minutes, drunk bare.

I find rooibos needs a long steep.

This tastes like mint plus milk chocolate plus rooibos, with a bit of vanilla. And it’s a decent rooibos base, not woody or, oddly, minty on its own. Decent, but not great; if the rooibos were separated from the other flavours, you wouldn’t taste much.

Fun to drink.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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75

1.5 tsp for 250mL water @98C, steeped four minutes, drunk bare.

I got this in a gift pack.

It is good.

It tastes like red velvet cake, and like a mild China black tea. I don’t usually enjoy flaovured teas (though I keep trying one) but this one is lovely and actually satisfied my sweet tooth.

Whenever I make it at the office, everyone asks who made the cookies.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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92

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.

I got a Damn Fine package in the mail! Woot! And I ordered it just before they put the 3-pack on sale, weh. Not to worry: I wanted to snatch the Captain for one last tryst, so I got one of the remaining Hot Teas on High Seas sets … and a big ol tin of Double Knit.

The copywriting and design of A&D tins gets me every time.

Dry leaf smelled very Keemun heavy, and good Keemun, with oaky notes but no tarriness, plus some red winey notes. Big smiles.

Liquor is a medium brown. Body quite light, almost like a Darjeeling in mouthfeel. In fact, I’d swear there’s some Darjeeling or Nepal in this blend, giving a slight bite. Darjeeling and Keemun at least … mineral notes on the finish and a faint pucker — like a gentle kiss. Not a chewy black tea, but that’s what Assam is for. A really good blend, bright and thoughtful.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Michelle Butler Hallett

Not chewy, but that pucker at the end is either Assam or a Kenyan. YUM.

Michelle Butler Hallett

GOTTA be a pinch of Assam. As I get further down the cup and thibgs cool off slightly, a creaminess develops.

Bonnie

I like a strong cup too!

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86

1.5 tsp for 250mL water @98C. Steeped 4 minutes. Drunk bare.

Pu-erh and I have never gotten along. Pu-erh often left me with an upset stomach. Guess what? I was doing it wrong, steeping wayyy too much.

I got Chocolate Orange in a gift pack. The scent is lovely: sharp orange, dark chocolate. Liquor is almsot coffee-dark. The pu-erh itself is quite mild (I’d tasted from horrible fishy ones). A harmonious blend, with no one dominant note. A pleasant surprise.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Too true, you have to be careful.

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92

1.25 tsp for 250mL water @90C. 1st infusion: 3 minutes. 2nd infusion: 5 minutes.

1st infusion: A lovely genuine vanilla scent and taste here — vanilla bean, as several others have said. Something lactic, too — vanilla yogurt, again, as others have noted. I found the finish very clean, almost cool. I didn’t get much oolong.

Liquor is a lovely sunshine yellow.

2nd infusion: less vanilla, more orchid, more oolong. Clean and mineral finish. Much prefer the second infusion.

This 30g packet came to me as a gift from the DavidsTea fan who initially suggested this recipe to the company. She sent it in months ago, they played with it, then released Vanilla Orchid. Tea geekery!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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88
drank Joy by Tazo
494 tasting notes

1 sachet for 250mL water @90C, steeped 4 minutes.

A very strong scent of apricots or peaches when you first open the tin this year, but no peach or stonefruit flavour comes out in the tea. I treat this blend like an oolong and get some decent nuances, but this year’s blend is not as flavourful as last year’s. I still quite like it, especially the creamy mouthfeel coming from the blend of Darjeeling (just a pinch this year, I think) and oolong. Needs a careful eye on water temp and steep time, though, otherwise it becomes a bland mess.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Michelle Butler Hallett

Major downer: this tea is expensive, and the sachets are petroleum-based. The leaves are decent, though. Fifteen sachets for $8.65 — ouch. Cool tin, though I’ve yet to figure out how to re-use it.

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34

1.5 tsp for 250mL water @ about 75 (guessing by appearance of water), steeped four minutes.

Ehhhhh …

I’m not sure what’s supposed to be special about this, what it is I’m missing. I tasted a slightly briny/scallopy medium-bodied green tea. Ttat was it.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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96

1.5 tsp for 250mL water @ 98C (DON’T DO THIS), steeped 3 minutes.

I lost focus on the kettle here at work and poured boiling water on this beautiful tea. YUCK. I can still get some ginseng sweetness, but mostly it’s a bitter medicinal horroshow, like getting a powdery pill stuck on the back of your tongue. Totally my own fault. I put this up as a warning.

Generally, I find this tea good for at least 3 steeps of 3-4 minutes each, if the water’s at the right temp.

gmathis

Never had any luck with ginseng myself … tastes like you’re licking a tree root.

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96

1.5 tsp for 250mL water @ 90C (guesstimate), steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.

So my local DavidsTea was late getting their shipment of this one … and my husband bought me a whole bunch of the little sample packs to keep me going. Yes, it’s THAT GOOD. The first infusion is sweet and crisp; the second infusion gets more mellow, more oolong-contemplative. I’m greedy and steep the first infusion a good four minutes leaching out a lot of the ginseng right away. And it’s refreshing. Really refreshing. I really hope this stays part of the permanent collection.

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81

1.5 tsp for 350 mL (I think) water. Made for me at a DavidsTea store. Steeped 5 minutes. Drunk bare.

First off, do not steep this tea as long as 5 minutes. I got stuck in a lineup behind someone buying those scratch lottery tickets. I should have hurried him along by slapping my wet teabag upside his face.

Oh, what a lovely rose black tea. Everything balances well. You can handily taste the black team which is pretty mellow — Chinese, I’m guessing — with a very subtle toast finish. I would hvbe liked this better steeped at 3 or 4 minutes; after 5, things get bitter and soapy. But I’ll put up with a lot for roses.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

Writer and tea fiend. Author of DELUDED YOUR SAILORS, SKY WAVES, DOUBLE-BLIND, and THE SHADOW SIDE OF GRACE.

I prefer straight teas but will try almost anything … so long as it’s not tainted with hibiscus. I loathe hibiscus.

Oolongs and blacks are my favourites.

Location

St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

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