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172 Tasting Notes


Thank you Angel from Teavivre for sending so many samples, you truly are an angel!

I like things that are unusual. I could not wait to get my hands on this tea, and I see I’m the first one to log it, so I’ll try to do a good job at it…

It came in one of those little sample pouches Teavivre uses. I’m having the full sample, I really want to get lots of flavour. There are several large pieces of orange peel mixed with the pu’erh leaf, it’s really pretty to look at.

It is recommended to brew 6 to 8 minutes! That scares me a little but I go for it.

The liquor is coffee dark. Surprisingly, that much leaf and such a long seep time did not produce an overly strong infusion, it is just perfect!

The flavouring process is quite unique, this is some info collected from Teavivre’s website :

«Meet this creative pu-erh tea: it is made of ripened pu-erh tea leaves with Chenpi. Dig out the pulp in the orange, then fill in the empty space with aged ripened pu-erh tea leaves. After drying and shaping, the Chenpi tea was made in the appearance of tangerine, with unique taste».

Honestly, I’m not tasting much of the orange, it’s there but very distant. It does have a unique taste though, very unusual. It’s not “fishy” at all, very smooth and chocolaty. There’s a molasses feel to it. It’s bready, in a rye bread kind of way.

I think this would please a lot of coffee lovers, it is such a rich flavourful cup it could easily become a favourite of the morning.

As it cools down, I can now taste a lot more of the orange, a light and fresh astringency is emerging, nothing unpleasant, on the contrary.

The leaves have a lot more to give and I will sip on this tea for the rest of the evening…

I’m so grateful I got to try this very special tea, thanks again Angel!

Terri HarpLady

I’ll have to give that one a try next time I order from Teavivre :)


Yep, another one on the shopping list for me too ;-)

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drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
172 tasting notes

This morning, I’ve been sipping on Special Dark. It’s my second review of it.

You know a tea is good when at the end of your cup, just to make sure you’re not leaving one tiny drop behind, you make a slurping sound that could totally compete with your vacuum cleaner.

I was in the mood for a decadent cocoa mouthfeel and that’s what I got. I like to steep it longer than suggested, not that there’s anything wrong with the predetermined parameters, but just because I can achieve a more bittersweet dark chocolate taste that way.

I still get raisiny notes as well, dried fruits.

I broke 3, yes, 3 Yixing clay pots in a short while. (Expensive habit).

Now that I have replaced them all, I’m very carefully preparing for the seasoning. One will be dedicated to oolong, one for Sheng and one for Shou. This being my favourite shou pu’erh of the moment, it’s been elected to serve as my seasoning tea. It brakes my heart to sacrifice it, but it’s an investment that will pay back I’m sure :-)

(Have to remember to order more than one once next time!)

Sami Kelsh

MAN, that’s a lot of clay pots :(

I’ve had the same horrible £5 value range plastic kettle from Morrisons since last May. Also this tea sounds magnificent.


Hey Sami, next time I break 3 pots in a row, I’m switching to £5 plastic kettle, no questions, lol!
I’m just as much of teaware junkie as I am for tea, very bad habit…

Sami Kelsh

I expect I would be if I had, like, an income! I miss having more than 4 mugs :p

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drank Juicy Peach by Teajo Teas
172 tasting notes

I’m not from the south, but I am a such a peach lover. In Quebec, we get our luscious peaches from Ontario in the summer, I buy them in gigantic quantities and I can eat enourmous quantities without ever been sick of them, so yummy!

Peach teas however are not always a hit. I’ve tried several but not many have made “the list”.

This one is definitely qualified. You want peach when you drink peach tea, right? Well this is “the one”. Holly molly it’s so juicy peach sweet, I just can’t get enough of it!

So natural, and the base is superb, Teajo’s uses whole leaf black tea and it’s one of the best base I’ve tried in flavoured tea.

In the summer, I ice and infuse it with real peaches, a stick of rosemary and maple syrup. If that doesn’t make you wish it was summer, nothing will. Sooo goood!!! But why wait for summer? Think I’m gonna make some now!

Amanda Wilson

Always nice to find a peach tea that actually tastes like peaches and not fake!


Fake peach is a terrible thing.. I agree! This sounds like a good one!


Yes Ladies, this is a keeper!

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I love music. All kind of music. I can start the day with The Black Keys and end it with Nina Simone. But my universe on Sunday morning usually gravitates torwards classical music. This morning, I chose Erik Satie. I love the odd atmosphere found in his pieces, Gnossienne no. 1, one of my favourite piano number ever. This slow movement version is the best in my opinion:


This tea has put a spell on me, I’ve been enamoured with it since I’ve tasted it for the first time. Sadly, I’m almost done with the year 2009 pouch I’ve ordered. But Garret also sent a generous sample of year 2013 to try so it will be interesting to compare the two.

I know I’ve reviewed it only 9 days ago, but it’s so special, I feel compelled to review it again.

This morning, what’s in my cup still reminds me of spring maple water and it’s even more appropriate with the bright sunny day we’re having so far. This beautiful tea helps me believe that spring might be on its way after all…As I look through the window, even the birds and the squirrels look happier today!

First sip and my mouth is invaded with sweetness and roundness that feel almost like pudding! But I’m immediately getting a faint woodsy earthiness, which reminds me I’m actually drinking pu’erh. Floral notes emerged today, more than I’ve tasted before, reminiscent of a light fragrant rose water. It’s very subtle though, I would never qualify this tea as being “floral”.

I like how this is complex but yet so accessible. I think any tea lover would enjoy this cup, whether they are white and pu’erh tea lovers or not.

Thank you Mandala for such a wonderful experience, it delivers time after time. I will have no choice but to restock on this :-)


Wonderful :-)


What a lovely review.


Great choice of music!


Thanks gals :-)


ah another tea to restock …:) how many do you have by now (I mean not sample teas) ?


Yay for classical music. :)


I like Satie pieces. Peaceful.


how lovely! the song is hauntingly beautiful. it sounds sweetly tragic yet contemplative. mysterious and delicate.

the tea sounds stunning too!


Lol, Ysaurella, I probably have around 70 samples in the cupboard, so that would put me in the range of 240 regular teas…I know, I know, it’s ridiculous!!! But thank god only a small % is restock material, it’s just that I’ve been having lots of great teas lately!!

Fjellrev & Gmatis, glad we agree on classical music. We must never forget that Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, etc… they were the fist real rockstars of all time!

Pyarkaalo, I think you described this piece to perfection, you really get it!
Satie’s music was also used as a sountrack for the movie The Painted Viel with Edward Norton and Naomie Watts. The movie was equally hauntingly beautiful, tragic yet contemplative. So kudos to you for such an accurate description :-)

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Yay! Today I got my super giant mason jar mug from DAVIDsTEA!! I’ve been eying it for a while and finally decided to buy one.

I love it, I love it, I love it!!! There’s something so rustic and comforting about drinking from this big old fashion recipient.

It retains heat pretty well, the tea was still warm at the end of the 24oz I just finished!

To inaugurate it, I chose this generous sample from lovely Sil.

I like vanilla tea as long as it’s not “sickening vanilla”. When it’s done right, it can be really good.

This tea is interesting, it’s actually a very decent caramel tea. No mistake here, I said caramel cause that’s what it tastes like, yes very toffee like and burnt caramel. a good base tea, probably Assam I’m guessing, but can’t call it a vanilla tea at all. It’s somewhat creamy, but not in a vanilla kind of way. Anyways, that’s my impression.

Nonetheless, I still enjoyed it a lot and I’m glad I got the chance to try it in my super mug, thank you Sil!!!


it’s “different” for sure…


I really want one of those jars! Wow, still warm 24 ounces later!


Mason jars are my favorite kitchen and decorative container ever.


Yay you love your new mason jar mug!!!!

Abby Noelle

Ahh..I’ve been wanting the mason jar too!!!


I admit. I’ll likely be getting a mason jar too, once the weather warms a bit. I want to use it for cold steeps.


I so want to get a mason jar and a timolino…i just wish DT wasn’t so bloody expensive.


Me too, Sil! The mason jar is so neat, but I can’t do it. Not when I can get a mason jar for $1.99 at Canadian Tire. :)


Does anyone know why David’s says not to put the mason jar in the dishwasher? Is it because of the heat? (It says it’s not safe over 208 degrees or something like that.) But it’s glass, so that’s just weird to me. I put glass stuff in the dishwasher all the time and I’ve also used boiling water in glass. Maybe it’s other parts that are the concern and not the glass part?


Lol, the Mason jar mug seems to generates a lot of passion around here :-)
I hear you guys, I mean, I have lots of mason jars already in the house, for free, why pay over $30 box after taxes and shipping, it sounds silly! I resisted for couple of months and…caved in like I often do with DT teaware, I,m kind of addicted I guess!

Morgana, me either, I don’t understand the heat tolerance level, says it could break. With extreme variation, from cold to hot, I guessed I’d understand, but mason jars are good to boil , so that’s over 212 F. Weird.

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Once upon a time, we used to cherish a month called March. After a long and cold winter, we’d get all excited to see March arrive and bring along the promise that spring was well on its way.

Yes, spring, remember that? Used to be one of our four seasons…but nowadays, winter seems to be the only season left…On March 4th today, it’s freakin MINUS 20 CELSIUS!!!

Thank god I have this tea to remind me what spring season is like.

Mmmm, Darjeeling, with its fresh citrusy notes. A beautiful first flush this tea. Sweet but slightly astringent and very juicy. It’s what I call a sunny tea :-)

Thank you so much for sharing this “sunshine in a cup” with me Sil. Such a good pick me up on this cold winter day!


Haha it’s definitely coming in like a lion, I guess. It’s been raining constantly here, and on the cold(er) side. At least not -20!


I seriously don’t believe it will ever get warm.


LOL it’s colder there than here today. Hope it warms up for you soon.


I know what you mean… On the other hand I saw a Robin today, good thing my neighbourhood has lots of bird feeders!


Fjellrev, I’ll take rain, hell, I’m not that difficult, I’ll take anything over this freezing arctic weather! The thing is I love winter, but enough already!

Kat_Maria, I sure hope you’re wrong, lol!

Dexter, the forecast was WRONG today, they actually predicted a “comfortable” winter day. Yes, comfortable for polar bears…mmmaybe???

yyz, really? But what if Mrs. Robin just leaves and goes back south thinking she’s got her calendar all wrong?


Poor thing! She just might. The front yard is looking a little like!e an intro to glaciology, formation of icepacks project!

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Not always the biggest fan of white teas, but I do have my favourite Bai Mu Dan and Silver Needle. Never had a white pu’erh until I’ve tried Mandala’s teas.

Another first is the look of this tea. Very unusual cute little white buds, they are just perfect. The look like mini pinecones.

Since it’s my first experience with this type of tea, I diligently followed Mandala’s instructions (If you know me, you know I’m usually not so good at following “the rules”!)

The brewed liquor is really pale, almost colourless.

This is sweet and fresh at the same time, it reminds me of the purest maple water. It’s almost candy sweet and It’s got that soft mineral alkalinity, it’s round and velvety in the mouth. It’s similar to some yellow tea I really love. It’s subtle, but there’s still a nice distinct pu’erh earthiness to it.

Awww…I’ve fallen in love with so many teas lately! Thought I was all set with my usuals, and now I keep adding to my staple list. That’s your fault Garret! (And Dexter3657’s, and Sil’s, lol!) But that’s what I call a good problem, is it not?

It was pretty spectacular, it provided a beautiful relaxation moment… This was a blind buy and I’m so happy I went for it. It reminded me of happy times when I was just a little girl.

My grand father was everything to me, he was a mentor and his influence made me who I am today. He was a hard working farmer, and a maple syrup producer. He was a master at transforming quenching maple water into the most amazing treat ever. I’d spend hours at the sugar shack watching him perform his art. He’d let me drink the maple water directly from the bucket that had collected the precious nectar from maple trees. If you ever tasted maple sap, you know it’s unlike any other beverage. Here, we now find maple water at the grocery store, just like coconut water. Not quite as good and fresh as having it directly from the tree but close enough!

This tea was a good reminder of those happy memories…


Beautiful memory. :-)


Thanks Morgana! This tea is just AMAZING!


Nice note!


Wow, that’s an amazing story. :)


Thanks JC and Fjellrev, tea inspiration :-)


That’s so neat! Maple is awesome. :)


Maple water definitively didn’t reach yet my part of the world !I need to try this. Grand parents are often a big part of what we are, I miss mines


I would love to try maple water. Sounds amazing!


Ysaurella & Stephanie, I really hope that maple water sold in stores reaches your part of the world eventually :-) It is something new even here, about time someone thought about the fact that there’s a market for it.


I got some of this on the way! Maple water sounds great TeaFairy! We do molasses in my neck of the woods.


Well its only my interpretation of it, maybe you’ll find molasses in yours mrmopar :-)
I just hope you enjoy its purity and unusualness as much as I did…let me know!


We have birch tree water in Russia. We used to joke that its just water with sugar added. is maple water clear or have some color?


Boychik, that’s interresting, I never heard of birch tree water before, do you make syrup out of it like we do with maple? Yes, maple water is clear.

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drank Earl Grey Cream by Zen Tea
172 tasting notes

This morning I made fresh peanut butter to have with my toasts. It was warm and so creamy, I ate a big spoonful before spreading it!

Not all teas make the peanut butter list. (K S already know that) I usually have my regular straight Assam, Yunnan and Keemun to pair with it. Don’t like any flavoured tea with it.
You have to understand that I’m picky cause peanut butter is considered heaven food in my household.

K S mentioned in a recent post that earl grey came highly recommended on his PBJ tea list so I made a mental note of that (I personally am more of a purist, I prefer classic unaltered PB on my toasts, I ditched the J a long time ago).

So, I chose this favourite Earl of mine. I usually prefer this version cause the creamy part mellows the bergamot I sometimes find offensive in blends. The reason I like it so much is that unlike other EGC, this one doesn’t scream vanilla. I don’t mind vanilla when it’s done right, but it can be heavy and a little sickening to me. Here, it just rounds the edges of Miss Bergamot. It’s a perfect cup! And yes, it complimented wonderfully my PB toasts this morning.

So K S, thank you, earl grey officially makes THE PB list!!!


Wow, making fresh peanut butter! That’s ambition.

Mmm, this one is wonderful.


Lol, no merits here, it’s actually super easy when you have the tools. I have a high power blender (vitamix). I just buy a jar of roasted peanuts, and in 30 seconds I have fresh warm peanut butter! I make a one week provision every week end, it’s not really cheaper but it tastes so good, once you start you can’t stop!!


Nice! I read those vitamix blenders are very powerful. Maybe if I ever get a blender I’ll get that one. :)


Lol, I think I should just work for them, I’ve been such an ambassador since I got mine, I’ve convinced many people to buy one. It’s just a life changer, it makes hot soup within 10 minutes, it actually cooks by friction! So yes, hope you get to have one someday, much more than just a blender…


Wow, they’re expensive! Just looked it up. I had no idea they cook by friction. I was wondering why the peanut butter was warm haha.


When I have PB I like it on a Ritz. I do this often as PB is definitely heaven food. I often toast PBJ sandwiches in a skillet. Yumm. This is making me hungry. lol I have never made PB. The ‘natural’ ones I have bought seem to separate really bad. Maybe they have been on the shelf too long?


Oh, and if PB is heaven food (and it is), then EG is heaven drink. Sorry Sil, deal with it. ha


Heaven food: buttermilk donuts, lemon meringue pie, meat loaf (well, that’s soul food).


Fjellrev, yes it’s quite an investment and I first thought you had to be nuts to pay that kind of money for a blender, lol! Turns out it is worth every penny, as it replaces so many appliances…

K S, agreed that earl grey is also heaven drink, just like jasmine tea, it’s been part of my life since childhood…
I am so going to try a grilled PB sandwich now! Think it works without the jam??
Yes, can’t stand store bought natural peanut butter, they’re so hard to mix with all that oil on top. But when you do it yourself, you don’t have that problem, it doesn’t separate cause you put it in the fridge right away. So good!


Lol, gmathis, thank god it’s dinner time, so hungry!!!


You “ditched the j a long time ago” ? You ditched the j ?!!!? Why did you ditch the j ? Poor j ….. It’s ok j I still love you. I’ll take the j – you can have the icky bergamot stuff ;))


Hahaha! Oh Dexter, aren’t you the funny one…yeah, thanks for taking care of poor J.
(Bergamott hater!!!)


I probably need to retry with Fresh PB because olala this food is kind of mystery …why does my daughter love that…(skippy brand)


Haha, Ysaurella, just saw your comment, we also have the infamous Skippy here, that stuff is so sweet, I call it peanut jam! I can’t stand it and don’t like the natural PB found in stores, nothing like making your own with fresh roasted arachides, I highly recommend but don’t take Skippy away from your daughter, she will hate me :-)

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I am French Canadian, so please forgive me if my English is not always perfect!

My relationship with tea in a nut shell:

I’m married to straight Blacks. I have torrid love affairs with Oolongs. My BFF are Greens. I socialize more and more with Pu’erhs. I have distant White acquaintances that I visit once in a while. I party with Flavored!

Love Steepster, a place for tea lovers, where you learn and share with others…

About me:

I am a free spirit, I let people be who and what they want to be and expect the same in return.

Books! I love French and classic literature, but also modern and pretty much anything that captures my attention.

As tea and books, music is something I can’t live without! From Bach to Nirvana, my ears know no boundaries…

Art is food for the soul…I consume lots of it.

Animal and nature lover, I will never let a fury friend in needs.

I’ve been drinking tea for as long as I can remember. But since I’v joined Steepster, my tea knowledge has emancipated exponentially.

Drinking tea is a sensorial experience. The name in itself “Camellia Sinensis” lingers the promess of an adventure for the senses…

As for my rating system, well it’s pretty much inexistent…Since I don’t write many reviews, I try to focus on the good stuff and will usually review teas that left a big impression on me.

Not a big «swapper» but if we do get to swap together, you’ll remember me, I live up to my Fairy reputation :-)


near montreal

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