96 Tasting Notes


A lovely light tea with a sweet scent. Liquor is quite dark for a white tea. The Earl Grey flavoring is well balanced with the Silver Needle. Thus far I’ve found that all of Harney’s white blends are beautifully balanced, so I was keen to try this.

I over-steeped (2.30 min) one of my cups so added a splash of milk, which was a nice addition. I also tried it with sugar, which was yum (but thats not difficult to achieve with sugar granted), but found that both milk and sugar tasted very odd.

I would definitely repurchase this as I can see myself drinking it in both the winter and summer (when I find that blacks are too hot & heavy). I’d also be curious to see what it’s liked iced.

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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A fresh light golden cup. Smells nutty and sweet. Tastes similar, with a hint of caramel. Has a “clean” quality to it (the very beginnings of astringency I’m sure) which is a pleasant change from the heavier Chinese blacks I’ve been having of late. I’m almost tempted to add in a couple drops of fresh squeezed lemon juice instead of trying milk or sugar… I wasn’t planning on splitting this cup, but curiosity has the better of me now.

with a couple drops of lemon juice; ABORT! ABORT! ABORT! WHY DID I THINK THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA??? Quick, add honey! More tolerable…but nope. Worth experimenting I suppose.

with sugar; Enhances the caramel note substantially.

with milk; Yum. Winner.

with milk and sugar; Also yum.

I would be happy having this plain, or with milk (and sugar if I feel like something sweet). Glad to have tried it, onto the shopping list it goes.

Boiling 2 min, 45 sec

Phew! This made for tense reading; so glad you survived okay. :)

Miss Starfish

Hahaha, it was a close call! ;)

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drank Chai by Harney & Sons
96 tasting notes

Brr, It’s cold tonight. I’ve made a steady stream of tea throughout the day to keep myself and my partner warm instead of turning on the heater. That’s the only thing I’m looking forward to about the upcoming winter – I’m going to get through a lot of my tea.

Dry, this smells like a beautiful mixture of nutmeg and sweet Assam.

This was my first time making chai. I used a 2:1 ratio of milk to water, and added 5 tsp of brown sugar. Gently simmered for 4 minutes. Came out quite well. I was wary of the cardamom (not a huge fan), but it hardly spoke up. Due to the nutmeg, it reminded me a lot of Pumpkin Pie…and now I have a craving which won’t be satisfied until I visit North America again!! Nooo!! Damn you New Zealand and your lack of Pumpkin Pies! (but thank you for your delicious pumpkin soup, which I always miss when I’m in Canada).

I definitely want to explore more chai’s, and the looming cold weather is going to give me an excellent excuse for a tea order in a couple months. Either Bukiti or Verdant (new to both), haven’t decided.

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 45 sec

I like Harney chai quite a bit and I love Butiki chai- they are the two I make sure to have on hand. Haven’t tried Verdant yet.


I’ve never tried harney chai but verdant and butiki are both delicious, though each in a different way.

Miss Starfish

Thanks lovelies – good to know!

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Steeped for 6 minutes at 85 as suggested, but tastes a bit “overcooked”. Not astringent, or bitter, just overdone. Liquor is a light sunflower yellow. Has a strong oolong taste and smell, but also reminds me of a dragonwell – buttery, reminiscent of veggie broth and a titch earthy.

Definitely not what I was excepting at all. I don’t detect any floral or fruity notes. I was also surprised to see some twigs/sticks in the tea, which I haven’t encountered before – unsure if they’re supposed to be there or not, but would guess not.

In subsequent steepings I lowered the water temperature to 80, which I found much more favorable, but only got 3 steeps total out of the leaves.

185 °F / 85 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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This tea is a result of a nationwide contest for choosing New Zealand’s preferred Earl Grey. Last year Twining’s put out the chosen Breakfast, which was such a winner, so I was very keen to try this years pick.

I prefer this without milk or sugar, steeped for 3 minutes. Which is odd, since I hardly ever have earl greys without milk, but find it dulls the citrus notes too much.

Taste wise, it’s basically the classic Twining’s Earl Grey with sweet orange added. Which is nice, don’t get me wrong. I will have to revisit this one as I think my expectations were a bit unfair to this cup. =/

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Coconut Rough by t Leaf T
96 tasting notes

Woohoo, new Game of Thrones!

Dry, this smells of chocolate and caramel with a titch of coconut. The tea is full of chocolate and coconut pieces.

5 minutes – The rooibos is the dominant flavour, followed by coconut.

7 minutes – Coconut comes through more, with some hints of chocolate, all the while being backed by rooibos.

After being steeped for 10 minutes the chocolate comes through a lot more and the rooibos diminishes significantly.

Overall, quite nice with or without additions and being caffeine free is always a bonus for expanding late night options.

Boiling 8 min or more

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This smells mainly of lemongrass, but once steeped more of a lemon and lemon zest flavour come through. A little zingy (for a unflavored herbal), overall quite a nice cup to wind down with at night.

Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

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Dry, this smells of rich cocoa and black tea. MMMmmmmm!

I tried this at 3 minutes (which is usually my cut off point for blacks) and while I liked it, I chose to steep it for another minute. I was pleasantly surprised, this actually pulls of a semblance of chocolate, unlike other chocolate teas I’ve tried. Not artificial chocolate, or cheap oily chocolate, but rich dark chocolate. I added milk to try to bring out any creamy notes if present, but it overwhelmed the cup.

Next time I’ll try a 5 minute steep or overleafing if I’m planning to have it with milk. Quite nice on it’s own though.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Mon Secret by Nina's Paris
96 tasting notes

The keemun base is smooth, but that is all I’m tasting sadly. No peach, melon or papaya. There’s a light fruit scent, but I’m not finding that it comes through in taste.

My thanks to Laurent from Nina’s Teas for the sample.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 15 sec

Sounds like my experience. Maybe if we had more than a sample, we could get more fruit chunks in there?

Miss Starfish

Perhaps that’s the issue, but I have found that all of the samples that I’ve been lucky enough to try have lent more towards being perfumed then flavored. It’s common for the human body to register fragrance as taste when eating, so that could attribute for reviews saying they could barely taste the additions. It could be that the samples may be from the “bottle of the barrel” or perhaps old stock (although I would doubt it) as well. Who knows!

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This tea smells quite strongly of clove and cinnamon, so I was surprised that even went steeped for just under 5 minutes it was really weak, even the black base. Disappointing.

Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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Time for a profile update. I’ve been on Steepster since early 2012, and my tastes have expanded since then.

I generally take my tea straight, although occasionally blacks may end up with a splash of milk if I’m after a certain comfort factor. Right now, I’m going through a black phase, although white and oolongs still remain my secret favourite children. Honeybush and Rooibos are still a case-by-case basis.

Likes: Coconut, Peach, Honeydew, Various Melons, Lychee, Nectarine, [Blood and normal] Orange, Tangerine, Berries in general, but specifically Strawberry and Raspberry, Chocolate, Pumpkin, Caramel, Pecan…

Dislikes: Licorice, Coffee, Grapefruit…

I (still) haven’t perfected a rating table as of yet, so here’s some bad tea jokes instead!

What is a baby teapots favorite game?

What does a teapot say to it’s lover?
O, dajarling!

How long does it take to ship tea from China by slow boat?
Oolong Time!

What does a tea bag do when it’s tired?
It seeps.

What do lady teapots like to wear?
String of Earls!

Why did the tea get away?
Because it was loose.


New Zealand

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