401 Tasting Notes


The idea of this tea is appealing to me. And the composition is very clever. Mint and licorice. I’m a fan of both. Dexter3657 is definitely not, so she was happy to send me the rest of it in its original pouch, lol.

So I get the concept, locorice for the anise flavours found in Absinthe, mint for its fresh and green colour. There’s a whole science surrounding the original mystic powers of Absinthe (also referred to as “The Green Fairy”). It was even banned at one point in history. But we don’t live in the 1800’s anymore, so I wont digress.

So yes, the idea is fun. The problem: white tea.

I think white tea might have been chosen in order to stay true to the concept and keep the liquor on the greenish side? Other base would have made it too dark I’m assuming. And I don’t think green tea would have worked taste wise.

The thing is, if white tea is being used, it can only go two ways:
a) completely mute its delicate taste with stronger flavours.
b) try to keep the added flavours to a minimum in order to preserve it.

B is the answer for this blend. All the components are there to make it a very interesting, but it falls flat. If you choose Absinthe as a star, go BIG, this is not the time to play subtle. I can barely taste the licorice in there. But its not bad tasting, it’s just a refreshing generic white flavoured tea.

But I’m glad I got to try it, there’s absolutely nothing I hate in this, I just find it a little boring and my expectations were high due to its name. Thank you so much for the opportunity Dexter3657 :-)


It’s funny when you think about how Absinthe was banned. Especially since it was no more hallucinogenic than alcohol. I still want to try some one of these days.


Ze_Teamaker, I know! It was referred to as the elixir of creativity, many artists were “using” in Europe. But in reality, they were just a bunch of drunks, lol.
But I’ve always loved the mysterious vibe surrounding it, and would really love to try it someday. Apparently, the Absinthe concentration is close to none in the bottles found on the market today.

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drank L'Automne by Fauchon
401 tasting notes

Super Sil sent this beautiful red tea my way.

Sigh, I really wanted to love it…I though, hey maybe the French people do it best, here’s my chance to actually like a red rooibos!

First, the smell gave me the utmost favourable anticipation. This smells like freshly squeezed orange peel, pure citrus essential oil. I’m thinking the tannin and medicine taste will be tamed by this wonderful aroma. The fact that it’s supposed to be cream and orange will work for sure.

Bla, bla, bla, keep trying to convince yourself, foolish fairy. Really, who was I kidding? I have a red rooibos detector, I just can’t stand it. I can appreciate the complexity of this blend, for me, it would have worked its magic if the base had been green rooibos instead.

Kamyria, you know what I mean, right?

We were just wondering earlier today how little green rooibos blends there are out there…too bad, I can totally dig green rooibos, but sorry, can’t handle the red stuff.

Sil, I am grateful I got the opportunity to try it. I thank you, just the smell of it made me happy :-)

(Not gonna rate, wouln’t be fair)


haha sorry it didn’t work out for you. Make some potpourri out of what’s left? haha it DOES smell AMAAAZING


Don’t be sorry, I kept smelling the pouch thinking, can I bathe in this?? lol!


I love the aroma of this one…


(MissB taught me that if you steep low temp approx 85C for short times 3-4 minutes – you don’t get as much of the woody/medicinal rooibos tastes – not promising you’ll love it or there won’t be any, but it cuts that flavr way back…)


Thanks for the tip Dexter, will sure give it a shot with what I have left :-)


Ooo, I will try those parameters and see if I like rooibos a little better. I have a nice new one that was given to me and I haven’t tried it yet.

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Yesterday was such a lazy day that I feel just a tad guilty this morning… It’s VERY tempting to do the same today…hmmm, will have to debate on that.

This morning I woke up early and went to the grocery store to pick up some dragon fruits (pitaya). A friend mentioned them in a conversation and I’ve had a huge craving since then.

It’s the most spectacular fruit I know, the fushia skin aroud the snowy white flesh and black dots is just fascinating, isn’t it?


Anyways, I wanted malty and fruity black morning tea to go along. I chose this assam cause I have only one serving left and I know more is on the way, so no need to be all sad about it!

This is a golden tip second flush with a long bud. This tea is one if my favourite assam. It’s very good quality and thanks to Zen Tea, very affordable! It’s on sale right now at 30% that’s why I took the opportunity to replenish.

Because it is second flush, it’s very creamy and malty, with fruity and chocolaty notes.

There’s an earthy/tobacco undertone that makes this tea feel organic.

It’s on the strong side, full bodied but no bitterness, just a little astringent. Very smooth considering it produces such a strong cup. Like pretty much all western brewed assams, the second steep is of no interest to me, I steep the first cup long enough that I extract all the good stuff I need from it, the second steep being just a pale version of the first, I choose not to have it. I do cold steep the used leaves occasionally though. Makes a decent ice tea the next morning.

This tea made my permanent stash a long time ago, and it’s not going anywhere!!

(See previous note)

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

mmm dragonfruit! So good!! It is making me crave my favorite exotic fruit (soursop) since they usually show up at the same time.


Oh, they look very fleshy and refreshing! Just looked them up, unfortunately, we don’t seem to have those around here, but I’ll keep my eyes open the next time I go to the fruit department!


pitayas are gorgeous! they have to be one of nature’s most astounding fruits..such a work of art. i never actually tasted one tho, although i bought it…twice! lol

maybe the third time’s the charm ;) also really want to try guanabana!


Ok, stop you guys, I’m gonna have to go back to the store and buy all exotic fruits I can lay eyes on!!!
Pyarkaallo, how could you have bought them twice and not having tasted them yet? Do they have a life of their own and escape you fridge at night???

Sami Kelsh

Oh man, that is a gorgeous fruit. Never had one myself though, is it awesome?

I’ve just found a greengrocer in the city that stocks cherimoya, though, and I’m over the moon. One of my favourites! Now, if only I could find durian…


Yeah, pitayas are so good and refreshing, like a cross between watermelon and kiwi but a lot less sweet. The flesh is very “crunchy”.
I tell you, this thread is really making me hungry for exotic fruits!!!

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Reading my book and sipping on this for the last two hours.

I made it the way I really like it when I have all the time in the world for it. I fill the gaiwan with leaves, really, I fill it almost to the top. This tea is light in weight, so for me, that’s the best way to extract all the goodness I know is in there. It might seems like a lot of tea to waist, but it’s no waist when you can brew it for several hours. And the steeps remain rich and flavourful. A good night companion…

This is another one from Butiki I’m hoping will never disappear!

(See previous notes)


Interesting method!


Yes, I find I’m not achieving the results I,m seeking with short steeps if I use less. I know this tea is good no matter what, but this method elevates it to the tenth power for me!

Terri HarpLady

I still haven’t tried that with this tea…yet!


I have no doubt time will come, Terri!


Reading anything good?


Well Teabrat, I just finished Rebecca from Daphne Du Maurier and I’m now contemplating either Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth’s sequel World Without End or Camilla Läckberg ‘s Ice Princess. Hard to choose sometimes isn’t it?

Butiki Teas

Interesting! I will have to try that. I usually fill the gaiwan about half way full.


Stacy, I know, that’s what I do too with regular teas (meaning other than pu’erh and oolongs, those I weigh instead) but I wanted a bolder flavour and that’s what works best for me, very short steeps, lots of leaves. (Which I’ll be running out of real soon!!)
I would’t recommend it to someone not like a strong brew, but I know you do!

Butiki Teas

Are doing a 10 second steep on that? I’d like to try it how you recommend. :)


OMG i would never dream of recommending ANYTHING to you on this tea, madam!!!

But 10seconds is probably what I do, I never really count, I “estimate” to give people and idea. So yes, I would estimate 10sec for the first 3 steeps and increase by 10 also for the subsequents. And as I often do, I read while brewing, so I forget it and it becomes almost syrupy…But call me crazy, I still like it!!!

I haven’t tried this with your Wild mountain yet, but i will.

Butiki Teas

Well, I would love to try your method. I will give it a try tonight. For this tea and the TWMB, I normally just do a 1/2 gaiwan filled steep for 30ish seconds. I like the first steep to come out a bit strong. It will be interesting to try it this way. :)

Butiki Teas

Whoa, the 10 second steep with a full gaiwan is delicious! Excellent recommendation. Very malty but still sweet.


Phew! thanks for letting me know, lol, i was a little nervous that you might think I’m just a fool!!! So happy you liked it this way. Is it possible to ever mess up this tea i ask you???

Butiki Teas

It was absolutely delicious! Very different than what I normally do but I love how different it is. It reminded me of coffee a little bit in flavor though only what I would imagine coffee would taste like since I’ve only tasted like maybe twice in my life.


Yay! You’re right Stacy, it does bring more of coffee almost mocha feel to it!

Terri HarpLady

Guess I’ll have to give this a try…

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drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
401 tasting notes

OMG is this ever good!

The lovely Sil sent me this pu’erh. I won’t give you an elaborated review of it, cause really, two main notes are the superstars here: chocolate and raisin (oh, chocolate covered raisins???) It’s so obvious, I find it almost hard to believe there’s no added flavouring to it.
I also get some buckwheat feel in the background.

I did a strong brew, cause the smell told me it could handle it. Yes, don’t laugh, the tea does talk to me sometimes, haha! (yeah, I do see a shrink for that, thanks for asking!)

So it’s a little astringent, and I like that, it acts as a flavour booster.

I know not many people appreciate astringency in a tea, I feel a little like an outsider :-(

Hello? anyone else out there who’s a fan?

Anyways, this feels round in the mouth, super rich and decadent. And I have some on the way, so it will be in my cup again really soon!

Sil, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to try this beautiful tea…


i’m so glad you loved this! I like this brewed both western and gaiwan!


I used my yixing pot, but yes, I can imagine it working basket brew as well. It’s the kind of tea that’s very forgiving I think. Will give you a good cup no matter what :-)


I like well balanced astringency in a tea too… and yes, I do feel like an outsider sometimes as well. lol


Aw! Kamyria, so happy to have found a partner in this :-) That,s why I really like Darjeeling teas also.
But the key resides in what you said: balanced. I don’t like a squeaky mouth, lol!

Sami Kelsh

I like a good dry tea sometimes, but it really depends on the type of tea. I didn’t think that was unusual.


This one is actually very smooth, it’s my over steep that made it a little astringent.
From the notes I read, it just seems that not many people appreciate that.

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Thanks to Dexter3657, I now have a VAST collection of chai to choose from!!

Hey, I know a good morning in a cup when I see one. This screams «good morning, you can’t ignore me so wake up sleepy head!!»

Although there are no chocolate in this blend, it sure feels like a chocolate chai to me. The base must be spectacular on its own.
I really like the depth that peppercorn adds in this tea, in makes all the other flavours pop and tingle like Pop Rock candies!

Once you swallow, you get a warming heat feeling from the ginger. I like that it is not overly spicy, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, they don’t fight with one another, it’s pure harmony in Yu Lu Yan Wonderland :-)

I could definitely see myself ordering this…but I wont, cause it would mean I have to place an order with Verdant, and if I’d place an order with them, it would also mean increasing my stash significantly which I’m suppose to bring down instead!!

Thanks you Dexter for another hit! Love!!


Glad you liked it. :)) (just for the record – I only sent you 6 chai – that’s hardly a “vast” – when you get through these I can send you more…LOL)


Well, I think I had only two, now I have eight total…from rags to riches, haha!!

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drank Milk Oolong by Mandala Tea
401 tasting notes

Backlog from yesterday…

Ahhh…Gongfu love in the afternoon…yes, being off work allows me to have tea sessions in the middle of the day if I choose to!

Dexter3657 sent me this generous sample. Me and milk oolong have a history. I have tried several, I like both the scented and the non scented version so I always keep a provision of both from two different companies. I thought I had find my favourite non scented milk oolong and have been sticking to it. Then came along Mandala, and all of a sudden we are caught in a love triangle. Yes this tea just blurred my focus, and made me question my current relationship.

First, the smell of the dry nuggets is quite interesting. It’s a mix of sweet and creamy, almost candy like. No sign of the strong dairy smell you get from a scented version.

As soon I took my first sip, I noted cotton candy on my pad. The sweetness I found in the first two steeps just evoked that. I get some nuttiness and creaminess, but not so much buttery notes. The milk oolong I’m used to is more floral than this one. This is fruitier.

At the 3rd steep, I got less sweets and a slight bitterness.

The 4th infusion brought the sweets back, some more present buttery notes and I got a very distinct fresh and clean mouthfeel, light camphor note, reminiscent of Ginseng oolong.

The subsequent steeps all brought their share of deliciousness and happiness. It eventually evolved in a more fruity and floral taste. I cold steeped the used leaves and 12 hours later, I’m having a delicious fruity and refreshing beverage. In conclusion, this tea is more complex than your average milk oolong. It transforms along the way, giving a lot of unexpected notes. Yet, the usual creaminess of such a tea stays present.

Thank you so much Dexter for this wonderful tea…I am grateful…but my budget might not be!

(Now, I have to hurt some other tea’s feeling by dumping it. Sorry, but a more exciting fellow milk oolong just came into my life and can’t be ignored!)


Love this. I know all teas are special in their own way, yadda, yadda, yadda, but if I want to confuse and intrigue a non-tea lover, this is where I start.


Can you love them both? Is there room in your heart, budget. cupboard for both?


I totally agree, Flowery!

Hmmm, Dexter, I could always keep them both, but it wouldn’t work out, I’m a one love kind of gal :-)
( says the girl with 300+ teas in the cupboard…)
Thanks for recommending them, I foresee a long and lasting relashionship with Mandala…Garrett, please to meat meet you, watch it, here I come :-)


Here I am, TeaFairy! A pleasure to make your acquaintance! I dig your review style.




One of the best is Garret! He has some fine teas over there.

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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 :-)

I love taking tea pics, here’s my Instagram:



The Laurentians, Canada

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