541 Tasting Notes

drank Cassis & Blueberry by Lupicia
541 tasting notes

Got this in teabag form as a sample the last time I was in the Lupicia store. I thought I was in the mood for this one this morning, as I usually like dark berry flavored teas. I may have pversteeped it, since I’m used to steeping parameters for loose leaf rather than teabags now. It got dark really fast. The dark berry flavor was very pronounced…good, but not as well rounded as i would like. Unfortunately, it turns out I really don’t like the Lupicia black tea base. Oh well, at least I know that now!

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Phew! Finished a crazy work day! Time to relax! I tried the rest of my little sample of this tea gong fu style, since brewing it western style was an epic fail. This was the first time I’ve tried gong fu style, so keep that in mind! I steeped the leaves in 6 oz. for each infusion.

10-second steep: it tastes really burnt and woody.
20-second steep: the same, except it’s a little sweeter, and a bit fruity.
30-second steep: I identified the fruitiness as citrus.
45-second steep: woody citrus.
1-minute steep: more citrus, less woody, and more smooth.
1 1/2-minute steep: same as previous infusion with a little spice in the aftertaste.

I’m bummed that I didn’t taste the same notes as everyone else. Where’s the caramel and hazelnut? Made me think that they gave me the wrong tea, or my palate is too unrefined. :( Overall, this tea didn’t meet my expectations, and since it also isn’t good western style, it won’t be on my shopping list.


Shoot, Were there a ton of leaves in the cup? For my gawain, which holds barely 4oz empty, I put in how much leaf I would need for between 12-16oz western style.


Ya, there was a lot of leaf. I figured their samples are about 2 large cups worth, and this was what I had left over from my previous try. It was at least half of the sample. Do you think I overdid it?


Oh no, If anything I worry about underleafing in the gaiwan. But I’m also pretty new to it. That’s too bad. I haven’t had that one so I have idea what it’s supposed to be like. On the bright side, not liking it saves you some money!


That’s true! Haha!


Next time, watching the videos is helpful.I learned from them myself. Also, the tasting notes are great…but I don’t always taste whats mentioned either.

Terri HarpLady

I ended up buying a scale, since I had no clue what 5 Grams of tea looked like.

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This is a delicious tea, especially with a little soy milk. I wish there was a little more pumpkin flavor though, because for me, the cinnamon dominated. Overall, though, very enjoyable.

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Swap from TastyBrew. Thanks, TastyBrew! This one smelled really good, and malty. It tasted like a really good black tea. Couldn’t really discern specific notes brewing it western style. I also added milk, so that could be the culprit, but I wanted milk this morning, so there! ;) I think I’ll try the rest of it gong fu style, since TastyBrew had such good luck with that!

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drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
541 tasting notes

This is yummy. That is all for now. ;)

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Have you ever made a cup of a tea you really liked, but this particular cup sucks? I just did. I made some of that dragonwell tea from some unknown tea plantation in China, and it tasted awful. Perhaps my steeper still had residual from my steeping of Aztec Spice, even though I washed it? Perhaps my mug had residual, even though I rinsed it? Maybe my honey is getting too old? Maybe my taste buds are off? OR, maybe I subconsciously didn’t want that tea at the moment? Anyway, it was gross. So sad.

In other news, I created a spreadsheet of my tea inventory! Yay! I was worried that I was starting to lose track of some teas, and I was right! I have A LOT of little amounts of different teas. So, it’s pretty cool because I can sort by company, by type of tea (black, oolong, etc), by amount, and by a rating. I created a new rating system for the spreadsheet: Favorite, Good, Okay, and Yuck! Lol! Favorite and Yuck pretty much speak for themselves. The difference between Good and Okay is whether I might buy it again. Now I just need to organize my physical cupboard better!


Awesome. I’m a spreadsheet junkie too. Was all I did in my previous life.


Ooh, i need to add a ratings column to mine. I’m just starting my spreadsheet, and it’s kinda scary. I missed adding a bunch of teas to steepster so my total is higher…

Rachel J

Haha… Tea nerds unite! I love spreadsheets.

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Holy sweet spice! As TastyBrew said in her note to me on this tea, it’s kinda strange! Thanks, TastyBrew for the surprise sample! I kind of like this strange tea! I didn’t realize it was a puerh until I looked it up. The first spice that hits you is the cinnamon, but this tea has a whole lot more going on. It’s definitely spicy, but kind of in a chai sort of way, with a little heat. I think the chocolate rounds it out. It is not a subtle tea. Best when you need a little punch!!

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drank Mi Xian Black by Butiki Teas
541 tasting notes

Stacy generously provided a sample of this tea in my last order. I was excited to try another Butiki black tea. Unfortunately, it was not the tea for me. It tasted kind of fruity and sweet. Fruity black teas are usually not winners for me unless they are more of a dark berry fruit flavor. The description describes a peachy note, and after I thought about it, I could discern it. The tea does have a nice creamy feel, but the fruitiness didn’t work for me. It was fun to try though!!


Ordinarily I totally agree with you. I’m not super into fruity blacks — though I’ll try them if I have them — but something about this one is just magical. xD I wish I agreed with you though, ‘cause it’s the most expensive tea I like. I bought some up since it’s on sale, but otherwise this’ll be a once in a blue moon purchase, ‘cause although I LOVE it, I couldn’t afford to drink it every day.

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Stacy gave me a sample of this tea in my last order. It seems to be the base for the caramel vanilla assam. It reminded me a lot of laoshan black from Verdant, but I think I like this one better. It has malty cocoa notes, and a little raisin sweetness. The second steep included more of a honey note, similar to laoshan black. I think I like this one better because it seemed to be more smooth, especially if you compare the first steeps of each tea. I’m a little surprised that such a bold malty flavor is the base for the caramel vanilla assam, because you’d think that the flavor would overpower the very natural-tasting flavor of the caramel and vanilla. I added a little sugar, but no milk. Really good morning cup!


Funny, I just made this one too! About to have my second steep.


Great minds think alike! Haha!!


Welcome to the Taiwanese Assam party :D Hope you loved it as much as I do. xD I know what you mean about the Laoshan Black, but it’s definitely smoother and less roasty. This is my favorite tea. :)

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This is the one tea I took a chance on and outright bought a package of it. I’ve had it a few times now, and didn’t log it, because I couldn’t decide what I thought of it. This morning’s cup was the best I’ve had it. Steeped it for the recommended 4 minutes, with soy milk and sugar. Delicious! I still think the raspberry flavor is too pointed, like not as rounded out with the vanilla as I was hoping. I don’t really get a cake quality from it, but it is supposed to be sponge cake, which is light and airy, instead of buttery and rich. I’m just really glad that I found a way to like it, especially since I have so much. It would have been a serious bummer if I didn’t!!

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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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