722 Tasting Notes

drank Black Beauty by Mandala Tea
722 tasting notes

I got a tea tray for Christmas! My first! And it’s beautiful! I put it on my wishlist, and my secret Santa (my grandma) got it for me! I was worried too, because when I looked at the site recently, it said it was sold out! My grandma’s got great taste! :D Of course the amazing Garret included a hand-written note and two tea samples, one of which was this beauty!

This tea is so fruity! It reminds me of TeaVivre’s nonpareil yunnan dian hong ancient wild tree. It’s also nicely malty with some honey notes. So good, and so pretty! Here are some pics of my session:


that is a gorgeous tray!


Thanks, Nicole! I just saw that Dragon Tea House also has it if anyone’s interested.


It’s beautiful. Your grandma’s got really great taste!




Gorgeous tea tray! I agree that she has great taste.

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My mom got a bunch of holiday teas from Teavana for Christmas, and she shared some of this one with me and my little bro last night. I am wary of teavana blends because I think they focus too much on the flavoring, rather than the quality of the base tea. This tea confirmed that, but the flavoring was nicely balanced. A little creamy, a little peppermint and not too much of either, but the tea was a bit watery, probably due to not enough Rooibos to back it up. I still like Lupicia rooibos the best. I felt a bit bad to have taken the cup of this last night because my mom decided not to make another for herself, and I didn’t love it. She does have the whole rest of the bag to enjoy though. It seemed like my bro liked it. :)

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I haven’t yet reviewed this, though I’ve had it a couple of times. It is a really great tea. For a tea only flavored with vanilla beans, it tastes remarkably like cherry, almond, vanilla and cocoa. I like it without any additions, as it is quite rich. Reminds me of a European pastry! Yesterday, I shared a pot with my mom and little bro. They both liked it, as expected, and my bro said he liked it because it was subtle-ly flavored! Quite the palate on that one!

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Happy Christmas Eve all! It’s the first day of 6 days off work in a row! Woot! I’ve got tea and warm kitties and I’m looking forward to relaxing and visiting with family. Might go see the movie Wild later too!

I thought I would gong fu this tea today. I’m really enjoying steeping good quality black teas that way now. This one has a really odd color in the first steep. Kinda grey-brown, but the flavor is sweet and yammy. It doesn’t have the longevity of the other golden black teas I got from YS, but it’s not bad. Just don’t expect a long session with this one.


Merry Christmas eve and happy vacation from work!

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Okay, funny thing about this tea is it tastes different gong fu’d versus western! I guess when I had this western style, I got a lot of cocoa notes. I had this one mixed up with the jinggu (sp?) one and forgot this was the cocoa-y one. Anyhoo, gong fu’d, I get a lot of potato and some fruity notes! Delicious! Pretty cool…it’s like two teas in one! Btw, I love brewing really quality black teas this way now. I need more gaiwans!


Update: later steepings brought out the cocoa notes. So cool!

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I enjoyed my very last disc ever. I was thinking of keeping it, but decided I wanted to enjoy it now. So sad I won’t be able to get anymore, as these were roasty toasty delicious. :(

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drank White Christmas by Harney & Sons
722 tasting notes

My mom gave me a sample of this tea from her BF order. I’ve been curious about it for awhile, but I’m not the biggest H&S fan, so I haven’t yet tried it. The aroma and flavor are nice and cozy. It’s a good winter tea. I taste vanilla, mint, and a pastry element, which could be the almond. There’s not supposed to be mint, so that might just be me misinterpreting the cardamom. It’s not super strong though. There’s also an herbal element to it that I’m not fond of, but overall, it’s a nice afternoon or evening tea.

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drank GABA Black by Mandala Tea
722 tasting notes

I had absolutely no idea what GABA was when I tried this sample this morning. I had a very long gong fu session with it and it was really enjoyable. It was malty, roasty, a bit fruity honey, and a bit of a tang. I really liked it! So now that I know what GABA is, I can actually say that this tea did have a calming effect on me. Feeling very zen and caught up on work right now. :) Love it! This is going on my wishlist for sure!


I liked that tea, bought 4 ounces of it.


@AllanK- nice! Definitely a good one.

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My first Naka tea! Woot! I’m loving this Jalam Teas subscription. Such variety and the teas are of great quality. I feel like all the teas I get from them are so fresh, especially the raw puerhs.

This tea is so JUICY SWEET! I immediately thought of this: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=84zZPUYimWU
It’s sweet off the bat and just gets sweeter and sweeter. I’ve also got this great feeling of well-being. Not sure if that’s what Naka Teas are supposed to impart, but I don’t mind it! I’m very very happy. Oh wait, getting a surge of energy now that’s making me have the munchies. Time for a muffin!

Flavors: Stonefruits


Yay! It finally posted. Been trying to do that all day! I guess steepster doesn’t like the emoticons on my iPad. Will keep that in mind. :/

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drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
722 tasting notes

Had a nice cup of this one this morning. Getting low!

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Another profile facelift! My tastes have changed a lot from when I first discovered loose leaf tea.

I can trace my tea journey back to October 2012, when I discovered DavidsTea. Before that, I had the occasional cup and enjoyed high tea at An Afternoon to Remember, which has since closed.

I went through a period of wanting to try all the teas, and was really into flavored teas, especially dessert blacks, but my tastes have substantially changed over time.

I still enjoy the occasional flavored black or rooibos, but I’m more into unflavored black teas right now and recently, puerh. Chinese black teas are amazing…with their notes of chocolate or sweet potato, who needs a flavored tea? I had a much steeper learning curve when it came to puerh. I used to dump out cups of puerh for tasting like leather. Now, I am really enjoying them. I think it took finding good quality puerh and steeping them gong fu style to really enjoy them.

I also, on occasion, enjoy a good oolong, white, or green tea.

Favorite tea companies right now include: Mandala, Teavivre, Butiki, Golden Moon, Lupicia, and DavidsTea (for teaware mostly).

Just a note: I don’t rate my teas numerically because my iPad doesn’t like the scroll bar. Maybe someday that will change…hint hint, steepster! ;)

P.S. My profile picture is of one of my 2 cats, Holly, who is a little princess but very photogenic, and she loves boxes, including those that bring me tea! :)


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