541 Tasting Notes

This morning, this tea tastes totally different than the last time I had it. Before, the flavors weren’t really peeking out, but it was smooth. Today, it’s like the best of both chocolate-y black teas and sweet potato black teas came together and made a baby! Yum! Quite fabulous! If I rated teas numerically, this would be raised quite a bit. :)

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Angel generously sent me a sample of this tea for review. I jumped at the chance to try some raw puerh, as I’ve never had any. I was a little afraid of it, as the ripe puerhs have been hard for me to really enjoy, but I noticed from reviews that raw puerhs were quite different. So, I made this in my pseudo gaiwan setup. Really need a gaiwan.

The aroma of the dry leaf was quite zippy! It had a tang to it. I put half the packet in my little teacup aka gaiwan and rinsed it twice for 10 seconds each. I really don’t know what I’m doing as far as gong fu style steeping of a raw puerh, but I was copying others and also kind of winging it.

My first steeping was 15 seconds. The aroma of the wet leaf had a strong tobacco note that made me cough! The taste however, was surpringly pleasant! I got notes of tobacco smoke, mint….maybe that’s that camphor quality people talk about. Honestly it was like a smokey green tea. Much more accessible than ripe to me! Yay! I’m really surprised because I didn’t think I’d like it.

Second steep (25 sec) had more tang, was more astringent, and I think I got a little wood note. The smoke note is sweet, maybe like pipe smoke?

The third steep (~40 sec) was similar to the second, but the fourth steep (1min) was softer, less astringent, and kind of toasty.

With the fifth steep (1min30sec), there was a dominant floral note! It was also sweeter Wow! Really good!

I finished with a sixth steep at 2 minutes which was similar to the fifth.

Overall, I’m really impressed, and extremely surprised I liked it. Yay! I like puerh! :D


Awesome! Raw puerh is so special :)


I know! I’m so glad to join the raw puerh club! ;)

Terri HarpLady

Yay, another convert! :D


@Terri: haha! :)

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I ordered a sample of this tea in my last order, as I thought it would be fun to try another version of the yunnan Dian hong. I love the golden tips one so much! This version is darker, more malty, but still has some sweet potato goodness. I think I prefer the golden tips, but I wouldn’t pass this up if it was offered to me!


Sweet potato…yum!

Lariel of Lórien

This and the golden tips make good breakfast teas.


I totally agree, Lariel!

Terri HarpLady

Any tea that tastes like sweet potato is awesome in my book :)

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drank Zhen Qu by Butiki Teas
541 tasting notes

Mmmm, made a big cup of this in my new DT multicolor leaves mug. Tastes like chocolate covered nuts today! Yum!

I miss steepster working properly. There’s something to be said about the ability to comment on a post and see notices for other comments that promote discussion. I’ve been following the tasting notes link in explore to see the latest notes, which actually has caused me to want to follow other people that I wasn’t following before, so I guess that’s a positive to all this, but I definitely have noticed less people posting lately….probably avoiding the site until it’s fixed. Crossing my fingers that it works soon! I’ve also noticed some nasty spammers that look like legit accounts, which I hope at some point we’ll be able to flag to admin about.


Yeah, Steepster is being a real jerk :/

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My second puerh from the sampler. This one I found to be similar to Noble Mark in that I tasted a cedar wood note, but not as prominent, and some unsweetened cocoa notes. Overall, it was pleasant, and I liked the first steep best, even though I think this could be resteeped forever!

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drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
541 tasting notes

Pumpkin chai is back! Woohoo! Looking at past notes is really funny, because I didn’t like this one at first, and then I was sad it was gone, but it’s back, and I bought a whole tin of it! A whole 3.5-ounce collector’s tin, and it’s adorable!!! Yay!

I steeped this up this morning, the regular way, and added a splash of almond milk and a teaspoon of brown sugar. SO GOOD!!! This time it had a lot of creamy custard-y flavor. I think maybe it was the almond milk that did it. Almond milk is so yummy! Because of that, it reminded me a lot of Butiki’s pumpkin creme brulee tea. Interesting!

Yay for fall! Yay for pumpkin chai!!!

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drank Maple Sugar by DAVIDsTEA
541 tasting notes

I was excited for this tea because it sounded so fall-like, but alas, it was a disappointment. I detected maple syrup flavor, and sweetness, though I did add sugar. The black tea base is wimpy. Also, something is conflicting with the cinnamon in a way that makes this chemical tasting. Could it be the monk fruit? I have no idea what monk fruit tastes like. Overall, I’m not really a fan. I was hoping it would taste like maple fudge. Bummer.

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drank Snickerdoodle by DAVIDsTEA
541 tasting notes

Sometimes I think I’m such a DT fan girl! The funny thing is I’m only in love with a couple of their teas. I think it’s the fact that they release things seasonally, so there’s always something new to try, and I love their teaware!

So, of course I ran out to check out the fall line on Wednesday during my lunch break. I was good, and stuck to my plan. I picked up only a half ounce of this tea and maple sugar, a tin of pumpkin chai, and the multicolor leaves Nordic mug. I had a hard time deciding on the mug, because the raccoon one was really cute, but I’m really happy with the leaves one…very classy and pretty. Plus, there are leaves printed on the inside!

I smelled the dry leaf of this tea from the samples they put out. My coworker immediately said it smelled oddly of cheese, and I agreed with her, but chocked it up to a weird sample and still bought some to try. I’m glad I did, because this is really nice. You really can’t taste any rooibos. It’s pretty much a cinnamon tea, but more of a warm pastry cinnamon than a hot cinnamon. I think I was able to convince myself that it tasted a bit buttery, which melds with the name, but I might just be easily persuaded! It is a bit on the thin side though, unfortunately. Overall, it doesn’t knock my socks off, but I wouldn’t mind more of this one.

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drank Hong Yun Black by Butiki Teas
541 tasting notes

Note to self: drink only at home…work brewing equipment does not do it justice. Plus, I’m too busy working to enjoy the subtleness of this tea. It’s too special to waste on me while I’m working!

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Yes, I still have a bunch of this tea, and I rediscovered it after reorganizing my cupboard. It turned out thinner than I remember, but was definitely tastier as it cooled. I think I need to steep it longer, maybe 8-10 minutes. I forgot and only did 5 min. Oops! Still a good nighttime tea.

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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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