515 Tasting Notes


Not bad, not all that good. I picked up a bit of this since I was a fan of lychee and the sample size was sooooo cheap. It would have been a crime not to try it! The lychee smell and flavor isn’t much like the fresh fruit. Seems more like lychee syrup. The black base is pretty good quality. I think I oversteeped and it was not astringent at all. Not the bestest taste but okay. I’ll enjoy the rest of my sample. :)

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Green rooibos! The best rooibos! I think it is especially suited to fruity blends. This particular rooibos, I couldn’t pass up while I was picking up black tea samples for research purposes. :) I’ve read some great reviews for this and who doesn’t like fruit and cream?

This tea smells pretty fantastic. It’s definitely like real pear. I really love pears when they are soft but not mealy and juicy and sweet. It’s so hard to find a pear in that perfect state! Why is it so hard? Well this tea smells like that luscious juicy pear with a hint of vanilla creaminess. Nicely done! The taste is pretty light, but perhaps I used a bit more liquid than I should have. It is very well flavored too. Not artificial or apple-y like some other pear teas. It’s got a bit of odd tartness, but this not bad at all. It’s not as creamy as I had hoped. I think it would benefit from a thicker mouthfeel. Not sure how that might be accomplished though.

Over all, a very enjoyable tea. :)


Ooooh pear tea!


“research purposes” Unh hunh…suuuure… =P

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This dry tea smells fantastic. Rose and dark chocolate. From the smell, I was hoping for a cheaper version of my favorite Loashan Black. Not surprisingly, this tea is not on the same level. Not to say that this tea is not delicious, because it is. The flavor is exactly strong enough for a sweet floral rosiness that neither wimps out nor overwhelms. The tea does not taste as chocolatey as it smells, but it is still super yummy. It tasted a bit weak so I let it steep a bit longer than I normally would. I also don’t like to use boiling water so my cooler temp might have something to do with it. This tea does not get bitter or astringent. That is a sign of great quality.

I don’t have much to say about the base tea. It seems to be one of these black teas where I can’t really describe the flavors. Tastes like black tea. Leafy in an autumnal way, very smooth. :) Awesome tea. I can see myself getting more of this, but I still have to get through a bunch of black samples before I decide on which ones I want to stock up on. It can’t too much better than this though!

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This is a very artificial berry flavor. I love the green/red rooibos mix. red rooibos can be a strong, sometimes overpowering base to to work with. Green is easier to get along with, less woodsy. It lets fruity flavors show through better. Unfortunately, this fruity flavor is not ideal. Tastes like medicine or cough drops or something.

I think my husband would like it.

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Finally getting this sample! Thanks Teavivre!

First impression of the dry leaf is that it smells a lot like DT’s milk oolong. Make you wonder if theirs is flavored. It’s like condensed milk. Yummy!

First steep is more like cream cheese frosting than milk. There is a lot of vegetal flavor coming through. Smooth and sweet.

Second steep is less milky and more vegetal. Maybe like creamed veggies. :)

The leaves expand like crazy, of course. Good old dependable green oolong. :) I think I might like the unflavored version more but this is something I’ll enjoy to the last drop anyways.


I preferred the unflavored version as well, even though I didn’t necessarily expect to!


I tried the flavored but haven’t tried the unflavored yet.

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I had picked up 2 oz of this tea during their promo of buy a certain amount and get 2oz (50g) or any tea free! I did a bit of research beforehand and decided on getting this, the most expensive tea they had at the time, for my free tea. The girl working there actually tried to sell me on the Ti Kuan Yin instead, which is significantly cheaper. But to be honest, after smelling both of them, I still liked the way this one smelled more. It smelled full of creamy smooth vegetal goodness. Since I do have a ton of other oolongs, it has taken me a long time to get to trying this.

After measuring the leaves into my filter and setting the kettle to boil, I promptly knocked over a glass and had it shatter into a gajillion pieces. By the time the mess of cleaned up, the water was boiled and cooling so it might have a bit cooler than ideal, but I just went ahead and poured the water over the leaves anyway.

1st steep:
Lightly flavored and lightly colored. It’s smooth with a brothy slightly creamy mouthfeel that I often get from green Taiwanese oolongs. It’s a bit vegetal and the after taste is a bit umami. I can’t say much else for it. Not too much going on here in terms of flavor right now.

Steep 2:
I’m always amazed at how much green oolongs expand. This brew is a bit darker in color. Smells a bit floral and vegetal. Nice. Hmmm…not getting much out of this tea either. Just a nice smooth green Taiwanese oolong here. High mountain? Sure, but nothing really all that special. Good quality but not unique. Am I using too much water? The wet leaves smell like cooked bok choi, but the tea itself…hmm… just not that interesting. I’m gonna stick the leaves back in and see what happens after another minute.

Ok, so I let the tea go for another minute. It’s bordering on bitter now so that was not the best idea. :) I’m getting that bok choi smell I get from the leaves before, but now it’s in my tea. I like.

Ultimately, this tea seems mediocre to me. An ok green Taiwanese High Mountain oolong with all the typical characteristics. Flavor is a bit too light even for me, and I tend to like my tea lighter than most people. I’ve got tons of this tea left so if anyone wants this, let me know! It’s not bad, but I have lots of other oolongs that I like better.

I know David’s is trying to get into more straight teas at the moment. Some of them sound quite yummy and unique. I wonder if they’d let me trade this in for some of the new better sounding ones. hehe

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I found some black tea in my numerous unsampled sample pouches from Verdant! I have high hopes for the company that turned me on to black tea!

First, the fuzzy little curls of dried leaf were beautiful and cute at the same time. The smell made me swoon. So chocolatey! I never really believed it when people would say a tea was chocolatey, but now I am a believer!

My first impression of this brew is a chocolatey dark roasted oolong. There are sweet honeyed notes along with the roasty autumnal flavor I usually get from dark oolongs. Then there’s a subtle taste of dark chocolate. The end of the sip is a bit bitter. It’s not ideal but it’s also not bad. In between sips, as you let the lingering flavors play over your tongue, you get a sense of wood chips, like for a campfire. And there’s the slightly hint of astringency. I’m thinking I probably should have used cooler water, though I think the website recommended boiling. Maybe less time.

In any case, this tea is delicious! It’s a cross between a dark roasted oolong and my new love, Loashan Black. Tasty!

As it cools, I’m getting more of an oolong taste than a black tea taste. Love that lingering dark chocolate flavor. :)

Steep 2! Used cooler water and then forgot about it for about 10 minutes. doh! But the resulting tea is magnificent! Lots of dark chocolate notes and something fruity like blueberry jam. No astringency this time. :)

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I finally got around to sampling this from Teavivre. Sorry it took me so ling. :( this tea is just lovely to look at. It’s cute and furry. I almost felt like I was drowning little fuzzy animals in hot water as I brewed my cup. :( fortunately its just dried leaves I’m drowning! Delicious dried leaves!

The tea is light yellow smells softly floral and tender green grass. Like a perfect spring day. It’s good to remind oneself such days exist on miserable rainy cold days like this one. I’m also getting some summer squash. Second steep went a bit too long but there’s no bitterness. This tea is truly lovely. If teas belonged to a season, this would go with spring. Drinking this tea now is like having a perfect summer tomato in the middle of winter. This tea is out of its rightful time. To get the proper feel of fall, I’ll have to drink some darker oolongs later. :)

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As it turns out, night time is not a good time for drinking this tea. I had a craving for something full of umami and and hint of smoke. Shoulda stuck with my Tencha Houjicha from Den’s. That’s a tasty tea that’s low on caffeine!

This tea is tasty too! Clearly I wouldn’t have pumped myself full of caffeine at 9PM if it wasn’t. :) It’s a total mystery to me how this tea can taste like concentrated umami and other teas can taste like fruit or chocolate. Tea is magical! There is something really familiar about the flavor in this one. It’s like a food that I can’t put my finger on. What is it??? It smells like the inside of a Chinese dry foods store. Where they sell dried squids, dried scallops, dried mushrooms, dried herbs and roots and nut and berries. Dried everything you can imagine! It smells like that store. Any body have experience with such stores know what I’m talking about? Next time you pass by a store in China town with open bins of mysterious dried things for sale, walk in and take a good sniff. Then try this tea and tell me if I’m crazy.

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Beware the spicy salad! Holy smokes, dad! Your hot peppers are strong this year! whew! Now I wish I had a cup of iced tea instead of this tasty cup of hot tea. :( Luckily I had a cup of this before eating my dinner. I don’t think I could taste anything other than burning right now. :)

First of all, thank you Allison Tsui, for sharing this wonderful sample with me. It’s a tasty Oriental Beauty. The smell of the dry leaves had me expecting great things. It was roasty and fruity and yummy smelling. The dry leaf looks great too. I love the varied shapes and colors. Dark brown, rust red, fuzzy white. Lovely.

My first sip of this left an impression of wet cardboard with an underlying flavor of plum and honey. This sounds bad, but it’s really not. Upon further sipping, I’m also finding flavors of toasty autumn, like with many dark oolongs. A very tasty tea.

On a side note, I’ve been trying to drink my stash down so I have had no new notes of late. I also find myself constantly wanting a black tea. I need to order some because I seriously have none. Stash depleting time is seriously the worst time to discover a whole new love for a whole new tea. I need more tea parties.

Had a weekend with my friends this past weekend. Made many pots of tea in hopes of conversion. They are still addicted to coffee, and sadly non-reactive to my favorite oolong. They liked 52 Tea’s Neapolitan Honeybush though! I’m all out of that now. ah wells. They’ll never get me to drink coffee and beer so we are even. :)


Im sorry :( Im kinda alone in the tea world here too.


Yes, me too. My oldest daughter will drink peppermint tea on occasion. My youngest on the rarest of occasions will ask for a cup of tea but we’re talking maybe three or four times a year. My hubby tolerates my many incoming tea packages but has no interest in exploring the world of tea with me. I’m the tea weirdo in my family.


Hubby will taste tea now and then but only sits and shares tea with me once in a great while usually when I do a long session with pu-erh IF he likes the pu-erh at that time.
My daughter only will drink a few, – muscat oolong from lupicia and a couple others.
Only my daughter will even try matcha.
This is why we all have each other :)


It’s just nice to share something you love with people you care about, right? Seems like this love is something I’m destined to keep to myself. :)
I find the coffee habit so weird though. I went to college with these people and they never drank coffee then. It wasn’t until they started working full-time that something happened to them, and coffee became a necessity. I, on the other hand, drank tea all through college and drink even more tea today. What did I miss?


Nothing – I am sure they were drinking sub par coffee. I do love a GOOD coffee and I don’t mean starbucks but still you can’t miss what you never had nor do you need in your life.


True enough. :) I guess I’m just wondering what turned my friend from “Ew, coffee” to “Need coffee!!” To be honest, I think I could seriously get into coffee too except that the caffeine content is too high for me. The few times I’ve had GOOD coffee, I felt like I was going to die from convulsions. Even from Arabica beans, the supposedly gently caffeinated variety. :) …and I don’t drink alcohol because I get a pounding headache from half a bottle of beer. I have to explain why I’m not drinking every time I go out with new people. And I can’t drink soda or other carbonated beverages because they seriously hurt my tummy somehow. Also no milk cause lactose intolerant. No juice cause it’s too sweet. I don’t drink anything most other people like to drink! Just tea and water for me! I love being able to come to Steepster and talk to people about tea and be understood!

And to think, I never would have found this community if Teavana hadn’t absorbed SpecialTeas and forced me to look around for a new cheap source for my favorite chai. :) As Ma Ingalls used to say, “there’s no great loss without some small gain,” or something like that.

Wow, that’s a long reply. Spent too much time alone today. :D

Anywho! Any Steepsterite who comes to NYC can look me up and I’ll take you on a tea tour of the city!

Terri HarpLady

I also only drink tea & water. I’m allergic to dairy, can’t handle sugar, coffee bothers my kidneys, alcohol is a BIG no-no. But with tea, we have so many options, so I’m happy!

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I came from a tea drinking family, but I never appreciated the different qualities and varieties of tea until older. All that time wasted! But I guess I needed to be mature enough to appreciate the tea experience. :)

My favorite teas are green oolongs and white tea. I also love greens, especially gyokuro. I have a huge appreciation for rooibos and honeybush as they are often that only thing I can drink in the evening. I am a relatively new convert to black teas. This is unfortunate for my wallet but extremely wonderful for my palate. :)

In any case, I have a love for both flavored and unflavored teas. They are different experiences for sure, but both enjoyable. I find that it often depends on my mood.

I am on a quest to find a tea that will win my husband over. I think I’m making some headway…

My profile pic features my two lovable puppies, Mr. Snuggles and Sr. Caliente.


NYC / Westchester

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