704 Tasting Notes

drank Lao Cang Mini Tuo by Mandala Tea
704 tasting notes

Okay, so once again I’m trying to match wrappers of the mini tuochas from the variety pack with those online and…there are some similar to this, listed as 2011, but the wrappers I have include the same markings, but are different in color and have a 2007 date on them. Hmmm. So, I made a new tea page for it. Anyway, this is a solid ripe mini tuo. Nice and earthy and smooth. Nothing too remarkable, but easy to drink. :)


I had to do that with the Japanese tea samples I got. They all came with only Japanese writing on the package so I had to match it to the Ebay auction picture. Kinda fun!

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drank Carol by Lupicia
704 tasting notes

Got this as a sample with the latest newsletter and figured I should try it before I make my Lupicia run for the holiday teas. ;) I dont really get why this is a holiday tea as strawberry and vanilla don’t scream Christmas to me, but it turns out this is quite cozy. The vanilla makes it very creamy. The strawberry is very mild. I liked it! So, I guess I better add it to the ever growing list! I think I’ll get the decaf version, as I’m enjoying having tea in the evenings since the weather has gotten colder.


Mmm, this sounds like a great year-round blend!


Yum Yum! One of my Must-Have’s for a seasonal purchase from Lupicia! I didn’t get my newsletter yet with the sample. :(

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There are a few of these in the variety pack and I enjoyed my first today as an afternoon session. The little tuo is tightly compressed and more acorn-shaped, which I think caused the first steep to be too light in flavor. In the second steep, however, the leaf broke up and produced a dark liquor. This one might benefit from some time to open up between the rinse and the first steep.

The taste was very earthy, with some leather, some whole grain toast and in later steeps, some wood notes. The aroma was amazing, sweet, and caramel-like. The only thing I didn’t like was that the tea left this sediment quality sticking to my tongue. I wish it had been smoother. Overall though, I’ll be enjoying the rest of these. :)


Happy to see a review on these ones too! They are next on my list I think for the mini tuo sampler :)


glad you guys are reviewing these haha lets me know what i’d be getting in to if i order the variety pack!


You’re welcome! I like to do reviews, so I’ve been matching the wrappers to the ones in the pictures on Mandala’s site.

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drank Zhen Qu by Butiki Teas
704 tasting notes

This morning this tea had a nice chocolate covered nut flavor. I always seem to get that more at home, whereas it’s less nutty at the office. Kinda cool actually, like two teas in one! Still love it, and I’m glad to have restocked!

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We had a tea party today! I always have small ones with just a few people and we keep it casual. Everyone enjoys trying stuff out of my cupboard. Haha! I decided to introduce them to puerh today and steeped up special dark by Mandala. Everyone liked it and it was actually everyone’s favorite of the day! We drank lots of different teas. I personally drank snow view by Lupicia, special dark, TeaVivre’s white tea cake, and caramel & rum by Lupicia. It was a great chance to rediscover teas I had forgotten about. We had quite a spread too. My caramel apple scones were a hit, and we had goat cheese, shallot, and habanero sauce tea sandwiches, caprese kabobs, strawberry and goat cheese on crackers, and a lemon curd macadamia nut crust tart. Here’s a pic: https://www.flickr.com/photos/97273956@N03/15621636997/in/photostream/

So fun! :)


Incredible looking tea party!


That looks great! And sounds very tasty!


Oh wow! That looks awesome! I could eat that whole picture right now. Sounds like an awesome tea party!


Looks delicious!


I am in awe of anybody who can make food look that pretty…especially that many kinds simultaneously! Two dishes at once just about kill me :)


gmathis- I can’t take the credit…my friends all chip in, so it’s not so hard. I usually make the scones, provide the tea and host it, while others bring sandwiches, sweets, etc. Works really well! :)

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drank Masala Chai by Rishi Tea
704 tasting notes

This morning was a chai morning. I wanted something spicy to get me going and this did the trick! This is a great spicy chai. I don’t make it that often though because I follow the recommended brewing procedure and make it on the stovetop. I’ve never made it the usual black tea way. I could really use another chai in my cupboard, one that steeps up well the usual way, like Verdant’s laoshan village chai, but I’ve been trying not to buy tea lately. The only other “chai” I have right now is pumpkin chai, and that doesn’t qualify as a chai to me. Hmmm, maybe I’ll get some birthday money that I can use for tea!

Today I’m hosting a small tea party with a few coworkers. So excited! I better get going and make those caramel apple scones! Fingers crossed that they come out good! I don’t know what we’re going to drink this time. I was thinking to share some puerh…maybe I’ll just take everything out and let them decide what they’d like to try. :)

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Garret included this as a free sample in my last order. Thank you! I enjoyed a nice long session with them. Notes I could detect included leather, earth, and bread. This is truely an everlasting gobstopper tea. The nuggets still looked held-together even though I was tired of steeping them! That is, assuming they’re supposed to come apart…not sure as this was my first nugget tea. Very cool.


i dont actually fall apart for me. i usually double the amount because its so tight.

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Mmmm, this tea was so sweet today! Yummy stone fruit sweet. Now I’m starving! Haha! Good thing we have leftover pizza! :)

hippiechick 42

Sounds wonderful. :)


It’s a great tea! Plenty of infusions from those leaves.

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Woke up with a headache this morning, so thought a tea with a bit of a kick might be good. In this case, the kick I was thinking of was the hint of smoke and that came through nicely. This has a smooth fruitiness too and notes of chocolate. Definitely yummy. Didn’t quite get rid of the headache, but that’s what Advil is for, right?

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Still one of my favorite teas ever. I started two of my mornings last week with this fabulous tea and now there’s maybe 1 small cup left! Uh oh! Time to restock! Definitely on the list for my next order. I really like these golden tips and noticed that YS also has a lot of golden black teas…hmmm, maybe I should take the plunge and order my first teas from there too! Man, I really need a tea budget!

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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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