535 Tasting Notes

drank Ali San by Harney & Sons
535 tasting notes

This is a pretty good oolong. Buttery and vegetal, with a thick creamy mouthfeel. It’s probably one of my favorites from the oolong samples I bought from Harney’s, but I think I prefer other oolongs more. It’s keeping me cozy on an unusual rainy day in June! Enjoyable, but probably not one I’d go out of my way for.

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drank Genmaicha by Unknown
535 tasting notes

I’ve decided my husband’s friends from back in high school are awesome!

After a lovely trip to the conservatory of flowers in SF, where we enjoyed tons of butterflies and orchids, we had dinner at my husband’s friend’s family’s restaurant. That was a mouthful! So the restaurant is a Japanese restaurant with sushi and teriyaki, and they give everyone a huge pot of free genmaicha to drink with your meal. I get the whole pot to myself because my husband doesn’t drink hot tea, which is fine with me! Haha! So, my husband’s friend just happened to be there and when I told him I enjoyed the tea, he grabbed me some loose leaf from their bulk supply! Nice!! This is the second friend of my husband who has given me free tea. So like I said, they are awesome!!

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Enjoyed a cup of this first thing this morning. I know it’s summer, but this is GOOD! And who says you can’t have pumpkin all year round? ;)


I feel the same way!

Lariel of Lórien

And I didn’t know chocolate went so well with pumpkin.

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Iced it. Prefer it hot. End of story.

I guess I should have cold-steeped it, since everyone’s good reviews were about cold-steeps, not iced. I need to work on my patience if I’m gonna do cold steeping!! I want it NOW! Not later! ;)

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This was my first cup today. Had a late start, but it was so nice to get some extra sleep! This tea is perfect as a breakfast tea. Went nicely with my toast topped with butter and blueberry jam! Yum yum!

I have to confess that later, I went out for a Starbucks frappuccino! Gasp! ;) I tried their new caramel ribbon crunch frapp, which was like the caramel one bumped up x10! I skipped whipped cream, but I’m sure the sugar was on overload. Talk about a sugar bomb! Utterly delicious though!!


Yes on the ribbon crunch. The cookie crumble they have, if you haven’t tried it, I was disappointed. Too much junk floating around. I like to drink my beverage, not eat it. As for this tea, I think I have to buy some, everyone has been drinking this lately.


I get my frappuccino’s made with half base, half syrup. I just can’t do that much sugar anymore, and it makes me feel old. They just need to add a little extra milky stuff so it blends. The liquids have been calculated exactly!


I hate the cookie crumble…but ribbon crunch….heeeeeellllllllssssss yes!


Lol! I’m glad I’m not the only tea lover who still likes frappuccinos!


I messed up and went for the cookie crumble last week. And hell yeah to this tea.


I like the cookie crumble better than the caramel ribbon. I find the caramel ribbon doesn’t even taste like caramel because it BURNS it’s so sweet. _ What I did though, was I got a crème based frappucino with no flavor syrup, got the dark caramel sauce, and the crunch sprinkles, no whip no caramel drizzle. Now that was really good :)

I also love the java chips in the frappucinos. xD I only drink maybe 2 frappucinos in a year (before I started working there, I essentially never had them. Some years I’d get one, most years I wouldn’t) but I pretty much always add chips. xD My favorite frappucino is vanilla bean with chips, no whip. Tastes like an oreo cookie :)

If you’re like me and don’t like them as thick, I recommend asking it for light ice (if they try to clarify say ‘one scoop down’) and then it’s actually drinkable without turning into unflavored slush.

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drank Formosa Oolong by Harney & Sons
535 tasting notes

I had two steeps of this tea yesterday too. It was an oolong day! This tea was definitely a dark oolong, with some roastiness, but ever so delicate. I was really surprised at how delicate it was, actually. I could taste a peachy note, but that was slight as well. I also felt like the leaves weren’t big enough. I like it when oolongs have big leaves! It makes it seem like better quality, although I’m not sure if that’s always the case!

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I enjoyed 3 steeps of this yesterday. It’s a little floral, but not as strongly floral as I was expecting, given the name. I got mostly a fresh, crisp, veggie taste for all three steeps. Much different than the buttery, creamy oolongs I’ve had. It brewed into a really pretty yellow color. Not bad, but probably not one I’d seek out. I think I prefer my oolongs to be buttery! ;)

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drank Cookie Dough by DAVIDsTEA
535 tasting notes

Somehow, icing this made it more palatable to me. I think it has something to do with me being more okay with non-black teas iced rather than hot. I do like cookie dough ice cream, so that could be it. Still not my favorite though. I think white teas are better flavored with fruit. They really should have made this a black tea!


Iced cookie dough sounds weird lol


It would have been much cheaper as a black tea as well!

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drank Toasted Walnut by DAVIDsTEA
535 tasting notes

In an effort to clear out my cupboard of teas that I wasn’t a fan of hot, I’m trying this one iced. Yuck, still not a fan. I think it has something to do with the walnut. SIPDOWN, though!! ;)

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drank Li Shan by Harney & Sons
535 tasting notes

Tried this one out today. I have a bunch of oolong samples I got from Harney’s that I’ve been saving for an afternoon at home. Gotta have my black teas in the morning, ya know!

This oolong is pretty good. I love the creamy, buttery texture. Very thick! I mostly get vegetal and floral notes, but can’t quite discern them. Very relaxing for the afternoon. I think it’s a little similar to other oolongs I’ve had and nothing in particular stands out. Because of that and because it’s pretty darn pricy, I probably won’t order more, but I will enjoy the remainder of my little sample bag. :)


The cheaper Ali Shan that they sell is really excellent IMO! Maybe give that one a try. It is on my next order list.


I got that in a sample size too! Tried it once, but wasn’t sure, so I will try it again and see what I think. I think I have more of an educated palate now that I’ve tried some other oolongs!

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I thought my profile needed a facelift, so here we go:

My obsession with tea really started around October 2012 when I discovered DavidsTea. Before that, I had the occasional cup and enjoyed going out to afternoon tea with my mom. I was really into An Afternoon to Remember’s creme brulee tea, since they had an afternoon tea place at that time, which has since closed…so sad and I haven’t found a good replacement.

So, I kinda went nuts when I discovered both DavidsTea and Lupicia in the SF mall, and I still frequent them, though my tastes have substantially changed over time from wanting to try all the teas to being a bit more particular.

Once I discovered steepster, literally by looking up reviews of a DavidsTea tea, I was hooked! So many tea companies I never heard of and everything sounding so delicious!

I found I still love dessert teas, like flavored black teas, but I also really enjoy oolong (both green and roasted). I occasionally enjoy flavored rooibos and white teas. I’ve had a rough time with puerh, and still think it tastes like leather. Recently, after having some really amazing teas from Teavivre, I can now say I love unflavored Chinese black teas and green teas.

Favorite tea companies right now include: Teavivre, Golden Moon, Butiki, Lupicia, and DavidsTea.

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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