86 Tasting Notes


I blind purchased this because I absolutely love coconut. My first 3 cups at longer steeping times (+3 mins) were all disappointments. Very bitter, no coconut – just floral and sickeningly sweet. Blerg!

But, when steeped for 3 minutes or less, I get coconut reminiscent of coconut ice, and a slight chocolate hit. Very sweet. When milk is added, the creaminess of the coconut comes out a titch more but not much. When cooled, it becomes very floral. A nice medium-light dessert tea.

I’m on the hunt for a great coconut, and while this isn’t bad, I don’t think this is it. So may not replenish this one once I’m out. We’ll see what future cups bring.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Full disclosure, I’m not normally one for Breakfast teas.

Wow, wow, wow, wow! SO strong. Smooth. and STRONG. Is this Assam? Seems like it might be Assam… DAMN IT’S STRONG. People really steep this for 5 minutes?

OKAY, LET’S ADD SOME MILK! BETTER! Less strong! More creamy!
Milk was a good choice.

Edit: This review is the result of 7 different cups of black tea on an empty stomach. I’m going to leave it as is to warn about the dangers of writing reviews while highly caffeinated. Oh, the shame.

Stay in school, don’t do drugs, moderation in all things – even tea.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

That was great!


This was one I almost picked up on the most recent tea spree. I decided I had enough “breakfast blends”. I put myself on that particular shop’s list for when they get another shipment of Birthday tea in; now I think I’ll go ahead & grab this when they call me that Birthday is in.

Miss Starfish

Let me know how you find the Birthday tea ClassieLassie. Harney NZ will be importing it soon and I’ve been eying it curiously.

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I always have a small box of this handy. My guy likes to over eat a lot, so this comes in handy when the moans start. It’s always seemed like a great quality peppermint tea, is easily available in most supermarkets here, and is reasonably cheap. Winner winner, [following] chicken dinner! ;)

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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This is a nice mild green tea. I get more of a sweet orange or tangerine, than normal orange, which is quite nice. The tea itself is more of a light-medium green base. Nothing is overpowering. Overall I can see why it’s suggested by Harney as an introductionary green tea

Nice to have in a tagalong for when I’m in the mood, but I wouldn’t go through enough for it to be a staple. For me, this is a lovely once-in-a-while tea.

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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drank Green Peach by t Leaf T
86 tasting notes

I bought a large bag of this a couple months ago from my local tea shop and have been enjoying it off and on. The leaves have quite large chucks of dried peaches mixed in and smells delicious. The green roiboos base is a good match and isn’t dominant at all. There’s a great peach flavour, but I wouldn’t call it “juicy” or overpowering. My steep times are generally 5-7 minutes, although it can go for ages without becoming bitter.

I generally make a cup of this, thanks to it’s forgiving nature, if I’m feeling especially absent minded and am afraid I’ll forget about the tea, haha!

Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

I want to try this

Miss Starfish

I think the company ships overseas, or I’d be open to swapping some (since the smallest size available is a 100g bag) with you once things quiet down here. :)

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I’ll admit, I was a little afraid to steep this for 6 minutes, having only ever steeped Oolongs for much much shorter times, but it came out absolutely lovely. Sweet, soft, beautiful. Mmmmm.

The second steep was much less sweet with more of the oolong leaf flavor coming through, but very nice with a light floral fragrance and taste.

Having never had an Oriental Beauty before, I was quite interested to hear how it was made. Here’s a blog post (To which I am not affiliated) on some basic history – http://teamasters.blogspot.co.nz/2007/02/study-of-oriental-beauty.html.

185 °F / 85 °C 6 min, 30 sec
Vida pour Tea

Thanks for this rating Miss Starfish! Always looking for a great oolong!

Miss Starfish

You’re most welcome! It’s quickly becoming one of my favourite Oolongs.

Kasumi no Chajin

sounds lovely!

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I’m actually wondering if the tea I have received is off or old. I smelled the dry leaves and…nothing. No scent. My nose is extremely sensitive too. I’ve never had a tea that hasn’t smelled like something before. I ground a few of the curls up and there was a little scent, but barely.

I steeped this tea for just under 5 minutes. It tasted a bit odd. Slightly malty, but mostly just something I couldn’t put my finger on and it wasn’t very pleasant. Surprisingly weak for such a long steep.

Overall, I think I may have got a bad batch – at least, I hope so! Very disappointing. Not leaving a rating.

Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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This tea was a result of a nationwide contest to create a popular breakfast blend. While only supposed to be produced for a limited time, it proved so popular that Twinings introduced it to their normal lineup.

I’m so glad they did.

Twinings heartily suggests adding milk and sugar, which is what I’m drinking right now. MmMm. Yum.

Previously, I have had this tea straight (at 3 minutes) and loved it. The key word I want to impress on this review is “smooth”. This tea is so very very smooth. Not a trace of bitterness (or astringency), even when over steeped (oops! second cup was 7 minutes). The scent of Manuka Honey is very fitting for a NZ Breakfast. There’s a bit of smoke, which reminds me of school camps in the bush and the teacher’s brewing their tea on the fire.

Lovely on it’s own, or with milk and sugar.

Edit: Wow, this has turned into a staple for me. I never would have guessed. It’s SO good. When I start swapping I’m going to make all of you try this, seriously. I know some look down on Twinings, but HOT DAMN this is excellent!

Boiling 5 min, 15 sec
Kasumi no Chajin

does it come in loose leaf?

Miss Starfish

I just called to check and yes it does! They must have been out when I picked this up. Good news regardless.

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I picked this up on sale during the last supermarket run as an impulse purchase and wow! Colour me surprised at the outcome. It’s really really delicious! Whenever hibiscus or rosehips are in a tea, I usually find they overpower everything, but I’m not tasting them very much in this tea at all. Mainly getting Tangerine, Orange, and berry. As with a lot of fruit teas, it smells absolutely amazing. The taste matches the smell too, which have never found when it comes to tisanes. I love that it’s caffeine free as well, as I’ve been missing something to drink before bed.

It says on the box that it’s made using imported ingredients from Germany. I’m wondering if it’s the large German tea manufacturer that a lot of brands (David’s Tea, Adagio, Zen etc) use for a lot of their teas. I’m hoping so, as it would be nice to have something that’s decent quality for less than the usual $16 per small bag here.

I’ll definitely be keeping this in my cupboard and be trialing other flavours!

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

I was unaware that DT sourced their teas elsewhere? I was pretty sure that they developed them themselves, though I could be incorrect.

Miss Starfish

To be fair, I also could be incorrect as I do not have first hand knowledge of where DT gets their stock. I am under the impression though that at least some (if not all, I honestly have no idea and am not privy to any of the inner workings there) of DT’s products are sourced from the German company, as that is what I have heard from tea industry insiders. I’m not saying they don’t reblend, make additions, etc. Should probably mention that I was not meaning to paint them in a negative light by including them above.


Haha, fair enough! There are definitely some similarities between teas from different companies that make me wonder. I wish companies would just be straightforward about it.

Miss Starfish

So do I, but they do sell more tea that way. I found the name of the company and pulled up their catalog, should you wish to browse and see what you think for yourself :) I found it interesting either way. http://www.wollenhaupt.com/fileadmin/media/pdf/Katalog%202012_englisch.pdf


Lots of online companies do source that way but I’m 99% sure DavidsTea isn’t one of them


(the reason I say that is from a chat with customer service – they have relationships with various suppliers and tea estates which uphold fair ethical standards/fair trade certified, etc)


(blends of course they blend themselves!)

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drank Juicy Blueberry by Zen Tea
86 tasting notes

Great blend by Zen Tea – Thank you for giving me the opportunity to try it.

Suggested steeping time was 4-5 minutes. I’ve found that Zen’s steeping times are always spot on in every tea I’ve tried from them. I steeped some batches a bit longer, at 8 and 16 minutes respectively.

At 4-5 minutes; You’ve got a beautiful tisane. Really lovely.

8 minutes; Very strong tisane.

16 minutes; Extremely juice-like. My man likes super strong flavours, so I was making this batch for him as an iced drink.

Flavours overall didn’t go through much of a transformation, which I think is good because they were already so well balanced to begin with. On the whole, I tasted currants and hibiscus the most. There were definitely blueberries in the berry mix, but it became a little hard to pick individual notes out. I didn’t find a yogurt note anywhere, nor did my man.

I liked this tea, but didn’t love it – which comes down to personal taste preferences really. It seemed like a wonderfully balanced blend and good quality however, so I’m pretty keen to try it in another flavor (Strawberry Cream, I’m looking at you!) at some point.

Boiling 8 min or more

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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. I’m enjoying expanding my tea palate, and am so far favoring whites and greens the most, although oolongs and blacks aren’t that far behind. Still deciding on rooibos, and have yet to try honeybush.

Likes: Coconut (addict), 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 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.


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