439 Tasting Notes


This is one of many samples I received from Angel at Teavivre.

I love pretty much anything oolong…green, aged, roasted, you name it, so it will come as no surprise that I liked this tea.

It produces a bright yellow liquor.

Yum. A nice floral green oolong, with notes of peachy goodness. The aftertaste is buttery and slightly peppery, like a good quality olive oil.

The leaves are fully opened at second steep and that’s when this tea is the most flavourful to me.

It’s a beautiful day today, summer is in the air…this tea tastes like nature’s awakening…

I am so grateful I got to sample this wonderful tea, thank you Angel!


Interesting – I’ve been scared to try “osmanthus” – thinking it would be floral – you are suggesting “peachy”. Maybe I need to open my mind a little. Happy you found another oolong to love. :))


Osmanthus always taste like peach to my. Gui Hua Osmanthus from Tealux is even more peachy than Teavivre, but doesn’t have that olive oil quality I found in Teavivre. Both will be in your next box, so you can decide for yourself :-)


LOL you know that exploring more green oolongs is not going to be good for my cupboard… thank you – you don’t have to send both, but one to try would be awesome. :))


If I send only one, you’ll have nothing to compare it to!

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The amazing Dexter3657 sent me a large sample of this. Thank you! I was such in the mood for a good Darjeeling!

This one was not in the data base, so I’m the first to review here.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a hand rolled Darjeeling before. It is so well crafted, a beautiful tea.

As a blind taste, I would not have guessed it was a second flush, it’s missing some boldness. I think this is the Darjeeling that could convert the non Darjeeling lovers. (Dexter, you should have given it a shot before sending me so generously the full sample!)

It’s very close to a white tea, so delicate and it’s got that juicy feel quality to it. It’s very sweet and gently floral. It’s fruity but without the heavier muscatel normally found in SF. I don’t even find any of the usual brisk astringency, no bitterness factor whatsoever.

An unusual Darjeeling, but so spring like, refreshing and refined, like any good Darjeeling should be.

No wonder Darjeeling is referred to as “le Champagne des thés!”

I could totally have a cocktail of this mixed with champaign. I think I would call it a Champeling!

Thanks again Dexter3657!


Just read through the tea information…the “thunder” part intrigues me. Maybe I just missed it, but wonder where that part of the name came from :)


Gmathis, I think it refers to the fact that the town of Darjeeling is also called “The Land of Thunder”…


I love a good Darjeeling and this sounds brilliant. I think I should pop round to yours too so that I can sample a Champeling. I can bring cakes … :)


Cake sounds delightful, you’re invited :-)
Overseas tea/champaign party in my neck of the woods, anyone else interested?

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Well, this might be the best lychee tea I’v had since Butiki’s Lychee Oolong.

In life generally, I am drawn to the unusual. I like when things don’t fit the mould. So I love that this came into the form of Dragon Pearls. I’ve never seen a lychee pearl tea before. Though lychee is a flavour I adore, I never found a black lychee tea I actually liked, always way too perfumy. Until this.


It’s sweet, refreshing, super juicy, just like a luscious and plump lychee. The novelty here, is the chocolaty taste of the pearls in the background. It gives a certain bite and a roundness to a familiar taste, making it totally different than all other lychee teas out there. It gives me a glimpse at what lychee flavoured dark chocolate would taste like.

Well based on this tea, I can tell you it would taste delicious!


emmm, sounds intriguing…you should be a professional tea reviewer, so enticing, LOL. As for me, i always ask what’s in it…is it real lychee or flavoring processed from lychee? or do you care?


Lol, thank you but I’m afraid it would have to be French reviews cause my English is far from being good enough to ever become a professional reviewer!
It’s a good question you are asking. For instance, there’s a big difference between a scented Jasmine tea, where the leaves are actually exposed to the jasmine flowers, as opposed to essence being added. I much prefer scented jasmine tea and yes I do care. For lychee, I don’t know if there are actually a process other than the addition of essence. But I can tell you there are different essence quality and the one used in this tea is exceptionally close to the actual fruit.


Sounds awesome


Hey Cheryl! So nice to see you :-)


Omg. I just bought one of these balls. Or two. You and I were thinking Tealux at the same time?!? Cause… You’re drinking it and sending it and I’m buying it. Xo


Hi Fairy, nice articulation, merci:-) just curious why you prefer scented over essence added?
I just went to their website, don’t see a lychee or dragon lychee pearls:(


@ligongsf, the reason why I prefer scented is because that process usually produce a much more natural taste. Essence, can be too strong. Again, I am referring mostly to Jasmine cause to me, that,s the best example to illustrate that. Some jasmine tea almost taste like soap!

Here’s the link for Dragon Lychee Pearls. Tealux is having a 20% sale on all teas right now, use code MOMDAY if you’re interested ;-) I highly recommend their oolongs, especially Wenshan Baozhong and Da Yu Ling! Also, Red Jade, a black tea.


hippiechick 42

Just placed an order for these and some other lovely things. Thanks for the review!


Hope you like them hippiechick :-)

I’m a big fan of tealux, but mostly for their straight teas.

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I’ve been so busy drinking samples and exploring, I realize I have neglected my beloved Butiki teas. Stacy please forgive me, I miss reviewing them so here I am!

I have reviewed this one before, but it deserves more love.

Lazy oolong afternoon…Oh, this oolong…I’m so surprised it doesn’t get more ratings, only a few have written notes.

It’s a decadent oolong, yet so elegant. So sweet and rich, creamy and buttery, almost pudding like in the mouth, with a flowery aftertaste of lilac and orchid, followed by a minty fresh coating. Awwww! Just SPECTACULAR.

This tea is from the highest plantations in the world and it shows. When something tastes heavenly, we say in French “ça goûte le ciel!”…It taste like the sky.

I’m using my little glass Gongfu pot. Of all the pots I own (beleve me when I say I own a lot!!) this is becoming one of my favourite. Easier to use than a Gaiwan, and you still get to steep short infusions with the ability to admire the beautiful leaves unfurling.

This tea is heaven. Just buy it and try it for yourself.


“ça goûte le ciel!”…It taste like the sky.

That’s so beautiful :)


Thanks KittyLT, I think it’s the best way to describe it :-)


Goes on my wish list. And glass gongfu pot is the best. I have one in 100ml, 1 – 150ml, 3 – 200ml. I adore them. The only thing that can compete with them is easy gaiwan.


That is beautiful. :) Thanks for that description!


Thanks Cavo :-)


Boychik, I would share this tea with the whole Steepster community if I could afford it (it’s kind of expensive!!) i don’t own an easy gaiwan yet, but I foresee one in a near future, lol!


This note makes me want to taste that tea so badly! This was a great note.


ça goûte le ciel…sounds typically French Canadian – this is so lovely ! Unfortunately we don’t say that in France we’re much on C’est divinement bon…your expression is better !


Thank you MzPriss!

Ysaurella, “c’est divinement bon” works for us here also :-) But maybe you can start a new trend in France by using this new overseas expression, lol!

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drank Masala Chai by Zen Tea
439 tasting notes

My dessert tonight consists of this chai blend brewed in 2 full cups of sunflower seed milk, 2 teaspoon of raw cocoa powder, a cinnamon stick and a few drops of maple syrup.

Can you feel how good this is?

Out.of.this.world. Traditional chai with a twist.

This blend is good in itself, excellent balance between cardamom, clove and ginger. I like that the clove isn’t overwhelming.

But with the added ingredients slowly simmered on the stove top, it gets elevated to the 10th power!

Yum, yum, yum…


Veronica, seriously, next time I have people over, I’ll prepare a gigantic cauldron of this and serve it after dinner instead of boring coffee!


Sunflower seed milk? really? Didn’t know that was available. Interesting. Your add ins sound really good.


Dexter, they sell it at a whole food store I go to. It’s nutty and really good. Since I don’t drink real milk, I alternate with all the vegetal milks I can find!


I don’t have whole foods here, and I’ve never seen it – but then again look what happened with the frozen cherries – will have to keep my eyes open.

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«This is my #1 favourite black tea» Dexter3657 wrote on this sample she so generously shared with me.

I won’t let this influence my note, but it’s always nice to know you’re drinking someone’s favourite tea :-)

Oh…it’s a nom-nom-nom tea. Sweet and malty, it’s what I call a comfortable tea. I’m sure it’s the type that does’t require much care in the brewing method and always comes out delish, no matter how bad you’ve treated it. I’m having it in the glass Gongfu pot. I forgot how long my first brew was, and it did not affect the taste. No astringency whatsoever.

It’s a Fujian and it wears that beautiful golden robe.

Yes, it’s fruity and nutty, with hints of baked potatoes. But it also has a saltiness and spiciness to it, almost brothy and savoury.

I like it cause it’s different and brings a different dimension to some other similar teas I have tried.

Thank you so much Dexter3657 for sharing one of your favourite with me :-)

Non tea related content:

It’s bird season, and as you know, I’m a fan, I feed them all over the yard. Since this morning, I have identified 17 different spicies. In a few weeks, I’ll have over 40 different species coming and going in the many feeders I fill with love every week…

I thought I’d mention them cause they are beautiful and really gave me joy today.
As I’m writing this, I’m watching a male Rose Breasted Grosbeak, just stunning!


That’s great about birds, thank you for sharing! Would you recommend any book for identifying birds?


You are welcome Kat_Maria!
I hardly use any books now, I converted to the iPad app iBird Pro, the best tool ever. You get so much more info, and you can hear the sound they make, that’s a big helper with species that are very similar to one another like Sparrows.

The book I would recommend is the one I used for years, North American Guide by Donald & Lillian Stokes. Very complete guide an easy to use with real illustrations of males, females and immatures. They sell it on Amazon:


Happy sighting :-)


The book looks really interesting! Thank you! I am more interested in a simple, physical book rather than an app or a website because the place where I see most unique birds is where I don’t get Internet access. This app sounds great, though!


Lol, yes, the fact that I live by the forest makes it easier for me. You can’t go wrong with the book. I still carry my book when I go on vacation or on lakes and rivers.

(but just so you know, the app doest require an internet connexion, it’s like an encyclopedia download, once it’s done it’s always available on your device, just the updates require a connexion, thought I should mention it :-))

Happy that you enjoyed this!!! Happy bird watching too – tea in the back yard watching the birds sounds like a really nice way to spend an afternoon to me.


This sounds great. I’m always a fan of teas that gracefully take abuse! (Would love to enjoy watching your feeders, too.)


Thanks Dexter, it was a lovely rainy day :-)

Gmathis, I abuse my tea constantly!

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drank Black Beauty by Mandala Tea
439 tasting notes

There is no information available on the origine of this tea…at least I didn’t find any.

Is it a Taiwanese black? I’m a big fan of Oriental Beauty oolongs, and this somehow reminds me a lot of that. Maybe that’s the reason it’s called Black Beauty? The strong honeysuckle sweetness makes me wonder if it’s a leaf hopper bitten tea, just like Oriental Beauty. Garret, if you read this, please enlighten me, I’m the curious type :-)

Regardless of where it’s from, it’s mighty delicious. It’s got dark chocolate notes, and it’s a little boozy and bready. There’s that common note I find in Oriental Beauty that I always have a hard time putting my finger on, like citrusy and spicy at the same time. Once, Terri Harplady commented on one of my OB review that the note I was referring to tasted like coriander to her. I don’t think I would have been able to identify that myself, but because she has mentioned it, I’d say I agree with her, it’s close enough.

This is a tea worth having in the cupboard, thank you so much Dexter3657 for this opportunity, it’s right up my alley. I might be sipping down the last of your sample, but I’m so glad I made it part of my last Mandala order!


I love Oriental Beauty teas…and it’s because of you ! I tried my first after one of your review (about the OB one friend of you offered you)


Chère Ysaurella, I am honoured to have inspired you to try some OB, it,s also one of my favourite tea and yes, it was a friend who introduced me to it, and I am so grateful :-)


This is one of my favorite teas. Usually on weekday mornings I steep a HUGE much of Special Dark with a couple of BIG pinches of Black Beauty in it. I know. But its sooooo good!


mug not *much. (bless my heart)


seems really a great tea


Hi!! This is a tea that I found during my 2012 April trip to China. I fell in love with it instantly while at the wholesale tea market in Kunming – Yunnan, China. The minute I got the first shipment once arriving back, I marked the keemun black I had way down and got rid of it. This one blows keemun out of the water (in my opinion) and the customers who I turned onto it, really thought the same.

It is not bug bitten, but oxidized in a similar way to the oriental beauty with shaking and fermenting, etc. and brews up so very nicely at a pretty wide range of temps. Some folks are brewing it up at 195, others 205, 208. They’ve been brewing it up western style and gongfu alike, each way producing great results.

As long as this producer is making this tea, I will have it available. The spring crop will arrive in the next few weeks!!


I do both and I like it both western and gongfu. Its just that on weekday mornings I don’t have the time to really appreciate the gongfu. This must ALWAYS be gettable.


This is what I LOVE about Steepster. Love how we all have different opinions of the same tea. I adore Mandala tea, but this isn’t my favorite. I wrote something like – it reminded me of the sensation of astringent white wine in your nose – TeaFairy said “boozy”. LOL I didn’t like that sensation, she did. It’s so interesting. I should love this, but there is just something about it that confuses me and it’s really finicky. It makes me happy that you guys love it. :))


MzPrizz, i love a creative mind, now I will have to try your special blend, mmmmm special dark, so good!

Garret, thanks for the info, this is great! (Now I can’t help thinking of poor Keemun being blown out of the water, lol)

Dexter, it’s funny to see our different but similar comparisons ;-)

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drank Melon Oolong by Lupicia
439 tasting notes

Try to say melon-oolong more than once. Melong-noolon, menon-oonong, nelon-moonong …hope you can do better than this. But really, how many times can you get it right???

Despite the fact that this tea makes me sound like I’m speech impaired, I have nothing but love for it.

Think about that smell when you cut through a ripe juicy cantaloup or honeydew melon. The smell is so sweet and sunny.

I always say melon is a summer trap, and cutting it open is like setting summer free.

The nice creamy slightly floral oolong base is the perfect companion to this “hard to get right” flavour. Cucumber notes cut through the sweetness of this tea. If you are not a fan of melon things, stay away. If like me, you think things are never “melony” enough, than indulge in this juicy marvel of a tea.

Can’t wait to try it cold brewed!

This is part on my first Lupicia order, and so far, I am impressed. And believe me, it takes a lot to impress me with flavoured teas.

(Too bad shipping to Canada is so expensive!!!)


Yay – you did pretty good with liking the flavored ones you chose. According to Canada Post my order is in customs. According USPS it hasn’t shipped yet – go figure….


Yes, I’m a happy camper so far:-)
That’s one confused tracking you have there, lol. Really wonder why it’s taking so long for you to get your order…


Sounds lovely!


They don’t love me as much as you…. :))


Marzipan, I highly recommend :-)

Haha! Dexter, it must be that darn email…


you should tell me how it is cold ! I had too much melon and not enough Oolong for me in the hot beverage and wonder how it could be cold.


This sounds spectacular. I’ll have to check it out.

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drank Mocha Mint by Mate Factor
439 tasting notes

Psst…chocolate & mint lovers…look at what I have here.

Sweet roasted carob and roasted maté, blended to perfection with super fresh peppermint.

This beats all the chocolate mint tea I’ve had so far.

Just thought I’d share the news.

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It’s a beautiful sunny Easter Sunday in my neck of the woods… Not as warm as it should be, but at this point, we’ll take anything mother nature is willing to give.

I’m admiring the birds chanting their melody of happiness in the feeders. My cats are also watching, but in a very different way. Their watering mouths slightly open , they wish they could feast on one of them…sorry kitties, not going to happen!

I’ve decided to cold brew some spent leaves of this tea last night cause I had only a few Gongfu sessions and they still had a lot more to give. So today, I can drink it iced for the first time.

I am so impressed with this tea. It is stunning to look at, and it tastes like no other tea I own. I mentioned in my previous notes that its natural sweetness reminds me of maple water, still does. Cold steeped, the conifer piney note emerges more than when it’s hot, but it’s still just a hint.

In fact, every note in this tea is subtle, but as a whole, it’s bursting with flavour. I could buy this by the pound, that’s how good it is…I’m almost out, but still have a serving or two left, thankfully :-)

(See previous notes)


Do your kitties do a little chatter with their mouths when they’re watching birds? Mine do and I think it is so funny looking.


Haha! Morgana, that’s exactly it, just didn’t know which word to use in English to describe that “behaviour”. In French, we say “tremblement”. So chatter , like they are chatting, easy to remember :-) Aren’t they funny when they do that? It looks like some uncontrollable mouth spasms, lol.


Tremblement is an excellent word for it! Yeah, it’s like their little jaws are trembling uncontrollably!


I think I am harboring a murderer at my house. He meowed that he was innocent yesterday when he came inside, but there was a suspicious little feather hanging off the tip of one whisker…


Oh nooo! Suspicious indeed, poor little birdie :-(
I think kitty should take a “meow-detector”, you need to know the truth…

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Time to update this profile of mine…it’s 2015!!

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

My relationship with tea in a nutshell:

I’m married to straight Black. I have torrid love affairs with Oolong and Puerh. I party with Green and White occasionally. Flavored are not my BFF, I usually stay away from them.

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 they are and expect the same in return.

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

Music is also something I can’t live without… From Bach to Nirvana, my ears know no boundaries…

Animal and nature lover, amateur photographer.

I’ve been drinking tea for as long as I can remember.

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

Not a big «swapper», but will occasionally. Not because I don’t want to share but because I’m trying not to hoard so much.

Also, I have narrowed down the teas I really like over the years, and I don’t feel the need to try and buy everything the way I used to. (Maybe I have become a tea snob? Sigh…)

My ratings: because I pretty much drink only teas that I judge exceptional, my ratings are usually high. Don’t be shocked to see lots of 90’s and a few 100’s. That’s because I’ve had my share of crapy teas and I’m done with that ;-)

You can find me on Instagram here, I post about my tea sessions mostly, but also about the beautiful nature that surrounds me, and my fury companions :-)



The Laurentians, Canada

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