219 Tasting Notes


Made this last night since I’ve had it forever and I wanted to see if it’s still any good. Originally I picked this tea up from a little shop about an hour+ drive from where I live. That was….geeeze, at least over 2 years ago. x.x; But since I haven’t had much luck with ‘newer’ tea, I wanted something simple. It’s one of those teas that you like, but not really enough to drink everyday. So it gets shifted around until it’s at the back of your cupboard, then you find it one day and you’re like ‘Oh I love this tea!’. Lol.
Onto the tea. It’s a neat little tea that has curly leaves and little red sugar crystals mixed together. Not sure what type of tea it is since I wasn’t into tea like I am now when I got it, so I didn’t think to ask. The smell is a simple sugary vanilla.
Brewed this has the same smell as the dry leaf, and the taste is lightly vanilla and black tea. Not malty or peppery or tobacco or whatever, just a nice straight black tea taste with a vanilla highlight. Even with all the sugar from the crystals, it’s not really as sweet as you might think. I actually added a smidge of Truvia and it made it very nice.
I’m almost out of it now, but I don’t even know if the shop is still there or if they still carry Star of Persia anymore. Lol. I’ll have to check around online to see if someone carries it since I’d hate to be without it honestly.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Glad you found an old friend, & hope you can get yourself some more :)

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So I actually made this last night after my disappointment with the Caramel Vanilla Assam. Wanted something new and different and I remembered I had pulled this from my Dec Steepster box to try.
Opening the package I get a peppery, oddly minty smell. Which I wasn’t expecting at all. I had to give it another sniff just to be sure.
Since there was 2tsp/2.5 tsp, I just used the whole package with 12oz of water.
Steeped this at first had a….dusky smell to it is the best description I can come up with for it. Maybe hay? Chocolate? Something cooked, but not exactly smoked/burnt/roasted. Hard to describe exactly. I could probly just keep smelling the brew to figure it out. Lol.
First sip is sweet, but not in a sugary sort of way. I get the peppery taste that people mention. And definitely what I’m guessing is the tobacco. (Not having any sort of contact with tobacco/stuff of the sort I couldn’t say that this is what I’m tasting.)
At first I thought that ‘well, this isn’t bad’, but the more I’m sipping at it, the more ill drinking this tea is making me feel. So the cup ended up being poured out not even half drunk. Which is disappointing, but so it goes.
I probly should have but I didn’t even try a second steep since the first made me feel so rotten. Bleh.

Flavors: Tobacco

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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I am going to murder my tastebuds. They’re making everything taste different now.
So when I first got this tea, I adored it. It’s one of the few teas that I ordered a most likely absurd amount (at least in terms of everything else I had in my cupboard) so that I could have it because I loved it so much. Because of the cost I had intended to make it only for special occasions/as a treat sort of thing. But I have so much tea and it doesn’t stay good forever so I resolved to drink it more often.

But the last time I made this, it wasn’t as amazing as I remembered it. Still good, but not the blow your mind tea drinking experience I remember. I chalked it up to something I did or my mood and moved on.

I made it today and it’s very different from what I remember. And not exactly pleasantly. This brew is kinda bitter and blah tasting straight. Like, I still get the caramel and vanilla scents that I recognize. And the taste is kinda vaguely caramel/vanilla. But where I used to not have to add any sweetener to make the intended flavors come out, this time I had to use far more than I had expected.

I think my tastebuds are changing, because I heard that they do that (like my allergies that came up suddenly and supposedly will go away just as suddenly….can’t wait for that). But this is going too far. /cries/ The thought actually crossed my mind that I should just sell off the unopened 1oz bag that I had gotten last time this was on sale to refill my tin when it emptied enough. Which months ago would’ve been blasphemy. sigh

Flavors: Caramel, Vanilla

0 OZ / 0 ML

If it helps, I’ve had a similar experience with this specific tea. :(

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drank Wuyishan Black by Steepster
219 tasting notes

Alright. FInally trying this out of the Steepster box I got, errmmm, back in January. Lol.
Ended up using the entire pouch for 12 oz, which might or might not have been 2 tsp if I had heaped the spoon. As it was I took one tsp out intending to just do 8oz, then measuring to see how much was left. Then just went screw it, and dumped it all in there and went with my usual 12oz. Lol.
Kinda smokey/earthy sort of smell with a hint of something vaguely malty to it? I need a list or something so that I can pick descriptions off it.
Sipping at it I definitely get a bit of smoke, but it’s not like ‘Ugh!’ sort of smoke. It’s actually very good. And I get earthy, mulchy sort of taste which again, isn’t unpleasant. It’s kinda astringent after the sip, but I don’t mind it that much (which is rare since I detest that feeling you get from even most mildly astringent teas), at least not enough that I’ll be pouring the cup out instead of drinking it. And there’s a faintly fruity aftertaste to it, but nothing strong or specifically identifiable.
It’s a little tart and slightly bitter (which goes along with the astringency), but not unpleasant enough for me to want to dump the cup.
About halfway through sipping at it trying to figure it out I added a bit of Truvia, which got rid of alot of the bitterness and I can taste a but more fruitiness coming through on the sip instead of just in an aftertaste.
I can say that the longer I drink this tea, the more the astringency seems to be building up. Which now makes it a tea that I’ll be happy to finish off the second pouch of, but nothing that I was seek to buy.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Sheng Pu'erh by DAVIDsTEA
219 tasting notes

Ehhhh. I got a half oz of this last time I was at Davids. It sounded good on their website and I figured why not? Lol. I don’t have any exprience with puerh tea ough, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect aside from what I’ve read.
It said to use 1 1/2 tsp, but the leaves were so fluffy I had to estimate. Since I was making 12 oz, I used about 2 heaping tsp (as best as I could figure), steeped at 185* for 3 min.
I have to say that while the dry leaves didn’t really have much of a scent, the brew smells like the water in my aquarium. Fishy. Ugh! Makes me want to pour the whole mug out but since it’s brewed, I might as well try it.
Taste wise I only get a bit of ‘fishy’ taste but that might be from smelling it as I drink, and it’s kinda grassy tasting. Maybe seaweed? I think someone else had mentioned seaweed, so I guess it makes sense. I still find it unpleasant though.
Maybe puerh just isn’t for me. Or I just haven’t found the right version. Who knows.
The package does say that in a year or so this tea will get better, but I’m not sure I want to even give that a shot. Not to mention I’m not sure if this should be stored sealed up like other teas or open like I know puerh is supposed to be stored.
Likely this’ll go into the swap bin, or possibly into the Traveling Tea box I’m considering throwing together.


If you’re going to venture in too puerh, I’d suggest mandala for a start, or a swap to get yourself a few samples rather than wasting money on large amounts you might not like

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drank Yunnan Jig by Adagio Teas
219 tasting notes

So against my better judgement and the safety of my wallet, I’ve been considering an order from Andrews & Dunham teas (in addition to a golden moon order). Specifically of their Yunnan Gold Tips, which sound oh so tasty, but is oh so expensive for a tea I have no idea if I’d like or not. Unfortunatly I have very little set distinction between the differences of Assam, Ceylon, Yunnan, Keemun, etc aside from what they’re vaguely supposed to taste like and what people say. I’ve been mostly concentrating on flavored teas since I started. One day I’m going to get solid examples of each and make them all and compare. But that’s a project for another time.

Anyway, I found this Yunnan in my Adagio samples and figured that it would give me something vaguely to expect, though probly comparing this and the A&D tea is like comparing apples and cherries. XD But it was something.

Dry this smelled chocolaty and rich ish. I only had about two tsp left so I dumped the rest into a strainer and added a bit over my usual 12oz. Now this is where I may have gone wrong, or possibly the temp (205*), or even the time (3min), but this cup is pretty undrinkable to me.
It’s fruity and chocolaty smelling, and the very beginning instant of the sip is good, but it immediately turns bitter and astringent. So I’m not sure if it was me or the tea, though I remember making a fine cup when I first got the sample, so it’s probly me.
But now it makes me question whether I want to take the chance with the fancy A&D yunnan tea. /sigh/ making this cup didn’t help and now I’m dissatisfied. Meh. But then again, it means that I’ll just have to brew another tea to make up for this one. Lol.


did you ever order from Andrews and Dunham?

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drank Ruby Pie by Butiki Teas
219 tasting notes

Yeesh. I’m so far behnd on logging teas that I’m pretty sure I’m never going to catch up. Lol. Logging them on an Ipad just sucks too much and tests my patience to the line. Lol.
I was originally planning on finishing up a random mix of teas left over from when my friends and I had a blending tea party (I ended up taking all the tea blends left over and tossed them all together which actually isn’t as awful as it sounds….the cinnamon kinda covers most of the weirdness. Lol). But I digress. Anyway. I picked this out of the bin of ‘teas I absolutely have to at least try before drinking anything else’. Got it in a swap….gods, I have no idea when. Smelled fruity though so I thought what the heck.
I’m pretty sure I got no bunny grahams, chocolate chips or even any cinnamon chips in the remnant bag I got. But there were a few bleached out pieces of fruit that I’d guess were strawberries. Lol.
Brewed this according to Butiki recs and it came out….nice. Not really sweet, it tasted like fruit water to be honest. But it was still nice and fruity. Added, well, more Truvia than I usually do to make it sweet enough to really like, but so.
It was nice….but it would probly do better being drunk ‘quickly-ish’ and not sit on a hotplate for an hour+ plus while one gets sucked into reading a book. Lol. Sitting that long it was still frui and sweet, but it was definately turning towards bitter with a coming vengeance. And it had an odd, almost minty sort of effect. Not astringency but more the sensation you get after taking a menthol drop or something. Not…well, not pleasant for me at least.
But all things considering, and after a rather rambling review, I think I would be tempted to pick up a measure of this for myself. To see if it differs from what I got, and gets better than the potential I could taste.

Terri HarpLady

I still have some Ruby Pie…I’m thinking cold brew maybe?

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drank Caramel by Kusmi Tea
219 tasting notes

So I feel pretty guilty because I have four teas backlogged that I really need to write reviews for still. But I’m drinking this one now so I figure I should probly just review it….even though trying to review something is unfriendly with my Ipad.
Imremember drinking this when I first got it in a swap from….shmiracles I think? But I guess I never got around to typing it down. I remember it being amazing and with that Rue La La promotion with Kusmi I was planning on buying this and maybe two others. But I had this and wanted to try it one more time to make sure it was as amazing as I remembered.
Unfortunately it really isn’t anymore. I’m pretty convinced that there’s something wrong with my tastebuds at this point because it seems that every tea that I drink now that I thought I remembered as amazing is…well…not so much anymore. Which makes me horribly depressed when I let myself think anout it and the cupboard of teas I’ve collected.
But back to the review. This one isn’t as caramelly as I remembered it being. It’s not even a particularly good black tea to me either. It’s just kinda meh overall. I’m wondering if I underleafed it (I used 1 1/2 tsp for like 9 oz ish of water for 2:30min)? Possibly but since that was the last of what I had, I have no way to give it another try.

Totally bummed that this isn’t what I remembered it being, but I guess it saves me $17. Or rather the $25 of the promotion. /sigh/

Tea Sipper

I think my tastebuds changed recently too! Some of my teas aren’t tasting like I remember. I just looked it up… apparently they change every 7 years.


Ugh. I hope that’s no my problem, though it sounds plausible. That’s my issue with allergies. Years ago I became allergic to alot of fruits/veggies that I was fine with before. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is my year to phase out of them because I absolutely detest being allergic to apparently every fruit I ever loved when I was younger, with very few exceptions.
I didn’t realize that it was the same with just general tastes. (Which also sucks, by the way). Lol.

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So after drinking some Caramel Vanilla Assam all day I wanted something different and new. So this is the 4th tea I got as a free sample from Teavivre’s very generous sample offer.
Opening the package I get woodsy, malty, grain-esque smells. It actually made me think of really good iced tea. Lol. Or the first time I had black dragon pearls, which is strange because they’re totally different teas. Lol.
I used 2 tsp in 195* water for 2:30min (I write this down because it is nigh impossible to use the slider selector bars while on an ipad).
Smells the same brewed as dry. First sip is …..oh man. I think this is the sort of tea I’ve been craving without actually knowing what I was looking for. It’s slightly woodsy, and fruity and sweet. I get almost a gentle smokeyness from the sip too.
I get a touch of bitterness and a medium strong astringency from the end of the sip, but it might just be because I overleafed my cup. Next time I might just try 1 1/2 tsp just to see.
Otherwise this tea is absolutely delicious. It might even become a staple in my cupboard after I’ve given it a few more tries….and pared down dome of my cupboard. It’s certainly not going into the swap bin. Lol!
I’m also going to have to give this a shot iced, though I haven’t decided if I want to straight up cold brew it or brew it hot then chill.


Mmmm… I’ll be trying this with my next Teavivre order… I wanted to order it this month but there was so many other samples I wanted to try. Definitely next time.

Terri HarpLady

I really enjoy this one, it is definitely one of my favorite Keemuns.

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I wanted to cut soda out of my life, so I started drinking more tea. Now I’m quickly becoming addicted. But that doesn’t seem like so bad of a thing considering all there is out there to try.

I started with blacks, but oolongs are quickly becoming my new favorite. Unfortunately, I haven’t really been able to find a green or white tea that I really enjoy. Eventually maybe.

Always open for swaps. If you see something in my cupboard that you’re interested in, feel free to send me a message about it. I do have alot of sample sizes in my cupboard, so there might be a few that I won’t be able to swap. But it never hurts to ask. ^^

Likes – Fruity teas (Peach, Apricot & Pineapple to be specific, but I’d likely be open to others). I’m always on the lookout for a good caramel tea too…and a vanilla one. Or any sweet, dessert teas.
Oolongs and Blacks over any others.

Indifferent/Undecided – White teas are a bit delicate for me but I’m not opposed to trying something new. I haven’t yet found a green tea I like since I dislike vegetal flavors, but there has to be something out there. Coconut can be too strong, or alright depending on the tea.

Dislikes – Spicy/chai stuff not so much since I can’t seem to get past the spice taste to anything underneath. Anything overly astringent, though I can’t imagine anyone /liking/ astringency (but I’m probly wrong. Lol). Earl Greys, heavy florals, tart/sour teas, rooibos heavy, mint of any sort, vegetal, musky/leathery, citrus, hibiscus, coffee-esque flavors, lemon.

Allergies – Mangos, some nuts especially walnuts, cherries. Rose petals/heavy rose teas make me ill though it’s not an allergy so to speak. Heavy artificial flavors also make me ill.

Brief ‘How I rate things’ scale:
(Subject to change at any time. Lol)
100-80: I’d definitely reorder this/Keeping this in my cupboard.
79-50: Possibly reorder these. Either if there’s a sale or I’d consider swapping for it’s on a list and I don’t see anything else.
49-40: It’s alright. Glad I tried it but I won’t be ordering/reordering this.
39-20: Glad I tried before buying ‘cause I’d be ticked if I bought this. Ick.
20-lower: UGH! Get it away!


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