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1086 Tasting Notes

drank Hong Jing Luo by thepuriTea
1086 tasting notes

I had to order a couple SAMPLES from thepuritea with their going out of business sale. So sad! This was a free sample with my order which I really wanted to try, but at that point they didn’t have the samples in the tins. It looks slightly like Zen’s Phoenix “Pearls” (snails). The leaves are slightly wound up with gold color.

Steep #1 // 3 min // around ten minutes after boiling
I only waited a few minutes after boiling because I was undecided about what to have. The cup was nice anyway. It’s kind of between chocolate and sweet potato… not really either… just a really nice black tea. Tough to describe! I wonder if black teas always tasted like chocolate and sweet potato to me, I just never noticed the flavors.

Steep #2 // 4 min // right after boiling
Slightly astringent this time around and much darker in color. A nice robust cup! Malty, lingering, much more chocolatey this time around. There is a leaf in the bottom of my mug somehow that actually DOES look like a snail. erm, ew. Other than the snail, this one is a winner! It will be missed but I will savor the remains of my sample.


Going out of business?? Awws

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I’m testing out the leaves from my order a while back. This is possibly my favorite tea! Sadly, I think the leaves may have changed from the sample I had a while back (possibly a new batch?)

Steep #1 // waited 14 minutes after the water boiled // 3 1/2 min steep
Two teaspoons of this one. I’m not sure if I did something wrong, but the NUANCE isn’t here anymore. The dark chocolate flavor is here, but not as deep as before. And now any of the hints of fruits (like apricot or plum) are missing…even the sweet potato and squash isn’t there. It’s still very good, but it lost what made it so special. Maybe if I steeped with one teaspoon of leaves the fruity flavors would reappear. If I oversteeped this time, there would be a deeper chocolate flavor. Kind of disappointing.. I want the lovely leaves from my sample back!!!

Steep #2 // waited 14 minutes after boiling // 4 min
This cup is exactly the same as the first cup. It just doesn’t have that SPECIAL anymore. It’s very good, but I feel like other teas like this are better now (like the Teavivre I had the other day). Note to self: I’ll try one teaspoon at some point and another try with two teaspoons after waiting for 20 minutes.

Lesson learned: If a tea is your favorite, order as soon as possible. Do not wait for another harvest/batch! (I’m guessin g that is what made the difference here.) There are so many factors, even before a tea gets to the drinker, that the leaves are bound to be different.


I hate it when that happens. I’ve made that mistake before a few times :(

Tea Sipper

Butiki – I see your like! Can you confirm if this WAS a different batch? I would have received my sample in the mail around June 2013 or a couple months earlier.

Butiki Teas

Hmmmm, it might have been from 2 different years depending on when you first purchased or sampled the tea. We usually purchase this tea once a year.

Tea Sipper

I had to look up through my e-mail… the sample was sent out 6/4/13 and my order was shipped out 11/4/13, if that helps.

Butiki Teas

The harvest date is in July, so yes you did receive tea from 2 different years.

Tea Sipper

Aw, the other harvest was my PERFECT tea. Like I said, I learned my lesson in getting a tea from THAT harvest if I especially like a tea that I’ve sampled. It’s nice to know anyway! thank you!

Butiki Teas

You’re welcome. Hopefully next year will be even better.

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drank Coconut Cream Pie by 52teas
1086 tasting notes

Additional notes: From the Bestsellers sampler. I think they changed the base of this one (I think my tin of this is older), or else I didn’t steep it perfectly.. but it isn’t as lovely as usual. It seems like the base on this one is a Ceylon that I don’t love for it’s sour type flavor (not astringent). At least it is the same type of coconut! I’ll have to keep trying it. Lowering the rating a few for now though.

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This lovely blend is thanks to Dexter3657! Wow do the leaves smell SO refreshing, bright and fruity. So many fruits in this blend! I knew I had to choose this tea while I was thirsty. And I’ve been sipping way too many black teas lately!

Steep #1 // 3 min // 45 min after the water has boiled
The flavor is as amazing as the fragrance. The white tea definitely is the first to the forefront. It’s nice that the fruit didn’t overpower the white tea. I’m not tasting any rhubarb but I can see where the other fruits make themselves mildly known. I’m getting hints of lemon, pear, cherry, and pineapple… hints but they are there like they combine to make a new fruit. The steep color is bright yellow.

Steep #2 // 3-4 min // half hour after boiling
Another gorgeous, tasty cup! I actually see a big chunk of cherry in the infuser! There are some definite fruity white blends lacking in my cupboard! I love this one. I’m honored I was able to try it!


My roommate bought me this for Hanukkah. It is so awesome.

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Additional notes: Had to buy some of this with my order. I was low on pu-erh and this will keep my stash of pu-erh going! I like this one. I think I’ve figured out I liked ripened pu-erh more than raw pu-erh. Correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t the ripened pu-erh darker in flavor (like a cup of coffee) and the raw pu-erh is lighter? I’m not sure. And I have no idea about sheng or shu yet, especially as I never see those in the descriptions of the teas. I love the little rose that floats at the top of the infuser for this one, though it doesn’t really contribute much flavor! Three nice steeps with this one.


My take – when you have this next to the ripened mini toucha you can see what the rose adds. It isn’t really the floral, it’s smoothness.

Tea Sipper

Ah, I didn’t think of it that way!


You can read the article to understand the difference between Raw Pu-erh Tea and Ripe Pu-erh Tea with the following link: http://www.teavivre.com/info/difference-between-raw-and-ripe-puerh-tea/. Hope this is useful.

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drank Earl Grey by Stash Tea Company
1086 tasting notes

Stash is usually not terrible. I don’t think I’ve ever had a tea bag from Stash that I didn’t like, and I’ve tried plenty! Dry, this one smells nice…kind of like lemon myrtle. The flavor isn’t bad, but it isn’t delicious. The black base is decent. But it’s almost like they mixed some actual bergamot with some of that fakey bergamot that I dare say reminds me of bug spray. I think I’ve had the worst of the bergamot teas before, so that one makes this one better.

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drank Pumkin Pie by The TeaCupany
1086 tasting notes

One from Dexter3657! Thanks so much! This one sounds interesting — the dry leaves certainly smell very sweet. It seems the black tea is actually infused with the flavor. I saw ONE clove in the infuser… that’s a bit odd. haha. I wouldn’t have minded more spices! After a three minute steep, this is nice but not something I’d call pumpkin pie. I agree with Dexter – kind of cakey. It’s like a banana coffee cake almost… or a cake that would have hints of spices in it. Almost like a carrot cake but with banana instead of carrot. Even the description says cake so I don’t know why it’s called pie. The black tea is medium bodied. Not bad but not pumpkin pie!

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Additional notes: different recipe! I had a pineapple greek yogurt and some canned pineapple slices in the fridge. (Pineapple is the only canned fruit I can stand.) So three pineapple slices, the pineapple greek yogurt, milk and a scoop of this took a spin in the magic bullet. I didn’t know how it would turn out but it is NICE. Nice and pineappley and just the right amount of sweetness. Not as good as the “banana cream pie” version though.


Thank you for this idea. Gods it sounds delish.

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drank Candy Corn Black Tea by 52teas
1086 tasting notes

Additional notes: I wanted to try this one without a piece of candy corn in the infuser, to see if there is actually a candy corn flavor. One teaspoon went for four minutes a few minutes after boiling. This may have been too long… since sometimes the base steeped too long will hide any flavoring. I should have tried a lower steep time. I’m not tasting much candy corn, but there is a sweetness there. I love this base anyway. It is the strongest base that 52Teas uses, that I’ve tried. So even if a piece of candy corn doesn’t happen to be in the infuser, I love the black tea here… But I’m going to lower the rating a bit though, since it doesn’t have much candy corn flavor without actual candy corn.


I love candy corn, but I’m not sure I wanna drink it…


Hahah, Tabby, I don’t like candy corn, and I’m SURE I don’t want to drink it, lol!

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drank Malted ChocoMaté by 52teas
1086 tasting notes

I had some of this from the Bestsellers sampler and some thanks to Dexter3657’s awesome package. Time to try it! I steeped this one a few minutes after boiling for four minutes. Tasty, but not special enough to me. The roasted yerba mate isn’t quite as barbequey as some yerba mates I’ve had, which is fine with me this time around. A nice chocolate flavor… the dry leaves smell a bit like alcohol though. A nice combination but it’s almost like it needs something more. Not malty enough to represent MALT. Not terrible but “bestseller” doesn’t mean the BEST of 52Teas lovely blends.


I had forgotten I had this in the cupboard, think I’ll have it with breakfast tomorrow, I don’t remember if I like it or not :-0


(I like it with a couple/5 chocolate chips tossed into the infuser, but that’s just me….)


Ah! Dexter The Master Tea Mixer ;-)


Chocolate chips!! :-D


I have to try the chocolate chip idea! Thanks!

Tea Sipper

Nice idea Dexter! And there are a billion chocolate chips around here for some reason so maybe I should add them to every tea. haha.

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Hi! I love tea and trying new ones – it adds a bit of variety to my day! Books, music, TV & movies are my thing… and tea, of course.

Some of my favorite teas:
52 Teas – zoomdweebies.com

Most of the teas listed in my cupboard are actually sample sizes. I don’t really have 2,000 ounces of tea around here! I was bored one day and found out that most of them have only one teaspoon left… maybe two. But I like keeping them in my cupboard list for reference to what I could be sipping. Usually, I write tasting notes once for each tea. I’m still drinking them, just not writing tasting notes each time!

My dislikes: hibiscus, ginger (unless in chai), charcoal type flavors

My ratings:
95-100 – Super awesome deliciousness favorites
80-95 – Also pretty delicious
65-80 – Pretty good
40-65 – Okay
1-40 – Probably won’t want to sip it again

I’m planning on being a Steepsterer as long as there IS a Steepster, so if you’re not hearing from me, that means something happened to my health… if you know what I mean. :D

Happy sipping!



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