1280 Tasting Notes


Thanks again Dexter! Sadly, this one has NOT ME written all over it. Rooibos and hibiscus? Hoo boy. But I’m always happy to try any tea! But hoo boy. It’s pretty much tart hibiscus and woodsy medicinal rooibos that somehow also tastes like ginger! Another one of my least favorites. And licorice? I think it might be here to try to tame the texture of the rooibos.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Tart stuff does NOT go with rooibos. We should put tea vendors on notice :)

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Thanks again, Simple Loose Leaf! I wanted to try this one with the same parameters I used yesterday on a Darjeeling. I think I’ll stick with it for most of my Darjeelings to try them out… unless a tea company knows what they’re talking about when it comes to parameters, like Butiki. The leaves of this Darj are similar to the Zen Darj I tried yesterday. This one tastes similar but it does have more of a lemon note somehow, rather than the stone fruits. I do love the stone fruits in my Darjeeling, but this one isn’t bad. It also has some nuttiness, especially on the stronger second steep. I think Darjeelings are still going over my head when it comes to picking out flavors though. I’m still an amateur!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsp // 20 min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // 10 min after boiling // 5 min // half a mug

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A word of warning: Darjeeling isn’t usually my favorite. I had to try Zen’s offering of Darjeeling though. I waited 20 minutes after I boiled the water to pour over 1 1/2 teaspoons of leaves, because I definitely know I don’t like my Darjeeling boiled. Steeped for close to three minutes. The flavor is okay (again, Darjeeling isn’t my thing!), not something I’d steep up all the time. It’s a bit tangy but also a bit sweet creamy somehow, hints of stone fruit but I like my Darj to have a TON of stone fruit. Not much muscatel. Oddly enough, if I drink a Darjeeling, I’d like it to have that explosion of Darjeeling flavor. This one certainly has more of that flavor than some that I’ve tried though.

The second steep was interesting and different, stronger in flavor, more stone fruits. I would have never guessed to steep it this way: half a mug, 15 minutes after boiling, for quite a few minutes (at least over five.)

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A sample from my order a while back. The ingredients sound AMAZING especially as there is no hibiscus or rosehips! I let two teaspoons of this sucker soak for 22 minutes! There isn’t hibiscus so there should be no oversteeping. The scent of the dry leaf is a fruit punch but the taste is pure sugar — it almost seems like it has splenda in it… maybe coating some of the fruit pieces? It’s very sweet sugary syrup. The cup is an off-white color, not red since there is no hibiscus. I wouldn’t necessarily call it strawberry though. It seems mostly apple and pineapple this cup around, but there is definitely plenty other ingredients in the blend. I’d keep this in stock this as a herbal!

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drank Smaug Tea by 52teas
1280 tasting notes

Thank you MissB for a sample of this one a while back! There seems to be quite a bit of thought to this one, as I can’t think of better ingredients for a DRAGON inspired tea… the only other thing I could think of is a Dragon Egg pu-erh for a base tea. But this is so inspired: dragonwell green for the base, a bit of lapsang souchong, cayenne pepper and cinnamon! The flavors are minimal, but if they weren’t, the base would be drowned out. I know there is definitely cayenne. My nose tingled while smelling the dry blend. But definitely not cayenne in the level of 52Teas Mayan Chocolate Chai. The cinnamon fits well but the dragonwell can’t really be boiled to get the full cinnamon kick. I don’t really notice a ton of smokiness, maybe a little to give the dragonwell depth. I love the combo in this blend but it just seems to need MORE of that combination.. maybe using more that one teaspoon would help. I can imagine a straight lapsang with cayenne and cinnamon, but I can also imagine I’d be the only one buying it. haha.

Cameron B.

I agree with you on the straight lapsang idea. I really hate it when fandom blends use ingredients only because of their name or color. If I’m going to drink a tea that’s based on a character, I want it to represent that character in its flavors. It seems like a lot of fandom creators choose the easy way out.

Sami Kelsh

What Cameron said. But then I’ve also been known to spend upwards of two months developing the flavour profile of a character, so…

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Thank you Dexter for this one a while back! I could tell by the dry leaf scent this one isn’t for me… it smells something like ginger, but I don’t see any ginger listed in the ingredients. It’s a smell that reminds me of allergies or something, dill or pollen. The green base is fine, from what I can taste, but it does seem like whatever that scent is takes over the green tea. Not really much mandarin either. Just not my thing! :D

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drank Direwolf Grey by Unknown
1280 tasting notes

Thank you Stephen Hockman for swapping! I’d say I’m a fan of the book, the first one anyway (so many books to read I haven’t read the others yet) and haven’t seen the show. Direwolf reminds me of Jon Snow, who is maybe my third or fourth favorite character in the first book, if only he’d just grow up a little bit. :D

This is a nice enough tea though – I see orange peel, lavender and lemongrass in the dry blend. The taste is a punch of fresh lavender so much so it kind of overpowers the blend. It’s nice lavender though. I’m not sure if there is actually bergamot in this one, can’t really taste it. The black tea is mild. I like it, enough to enjoy the couple of teaspoons I have anyway. For an EG it falls short, but if you forget it’s supposed to be an EG, it’s pretty nice. The second steep was just as good.

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Thanks so much Dinosara! The dry blend smells like a coffee cake —or some sort of spicy cake. The flavor is the same! This one is so good. I love the ripened pu-erh in this blend. Plenty of orange peels, but somehow the orange flavor isn’t there as much you’d think. This is almost like a chai with a pu-erh base but somehow the flavor is much sweeter. Maybe because pu-erh has less of a bite than black tea. I used two teaspoons with increasing temps on each steep. Even by the third cup the pu-erh in the basket barely looks unraveled so I went with a fourth… a hint of a bit less flavor but still tasty. This is your spicy cake pu-erh and it is glorious. If anyone doesn’t like theirs, I’d buy it.
Steep times: 2-3 min, 4 min, 8 min, 10 min

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One of my Butiki samples! I probably would have bought this one anyway before trying… it just seems like my kind of thing. I’d definitely go to Butiki for all my guayusa blends!

Steep #1 // 25 min after boiling // 3 min
I don’t like to use such a hot temp for the first steep of guayusa or yerba mate, so I’m not really following Butiki’s instructions on this one. I think oversteeping might be why most people don’t give those two bases a second chance. The first steep is really for the flavors, the second is the caffeine kick (and the flavors!) I wish the lime and the blackberry was stronger in this blend, but what flavor is there is good. Sweet dark blackberry with a tangy kick of lime.

Steep #2 // 10 min after boiling // 3-4 min
The flavor of the guayusa makes itself much more present,and I love that flavor. The blackberry and lime are still there. This blend is pretty unique and I’d certainly pick some up with my future order!


I really like this one. It’s one of my favorites.

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Another one from my order! Another lovely ripened pu-erh! I’d compare this to the other that I’ve already tried, but this one seems to have slightly less of a punch. Still a coffee like pu-erh, but lacks the depth of my favorite pu-erhs. Maybe I wasn’t paying enough to steep temps though. It was also all of the crumbs from when I broke the tuocha into pieces, so I imagine the flavor doesn’t get stronger than this. Three nice steeps though and the third had the same level of flavor as the first cup did… just not as much as I would normally like!

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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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