704 Tasting Notes


Well, wow! I am not very experienced in oolongs, so please comment with any tips or advice to really get the most out of them. I found that this had strong cocoa notes, and a bean-like aspect. I noted that it reminds me of Golden Snail, and in general seemed similar to a number of high quality black teas that I’ve enjoyed. Done in my gaiwan and wee little double walled teacups. Excess tea used to “season” my tea feet (also from Verdant, love them!)

Steep 1 – Water cooled for 2 minutes after boiling, 30 second steep. Rich and robust, lightly sweet without any bitterness. I got chocolate in the aftertaste. Very enjoyable.

Steep 2 – Water cooled for 2 minutes after boiling, 45 second steep. Leaves are still very closed, liquor is light amber. This steep has less cocoa and is less complex. Still beany, very nice. The beau says it is “earthy green.”

Steep 3 – Boiling water, 1 minute steep. Leaves still tightly rolled, the aroma and flavour are slightly weaker yet again. This is nearly astringent, with a slightly dry mouthfeel. Cocoa flavour is back with a vengeance, the beau says this is his favourite steep.

Steep 4 – Boiling water, 1.5 minute steep. I found this still enjoyable but weaker than I’d like. This will be the last for now.

Very enjoyable experience, a wonderful tea to help break my way into oolongs. Thank you Verdant for including this as a generous sample in my order!

aisling of tea

I got my wife the tea toad from Verdant, she loves him! Heck, I think it’s pretty safe to say we’re big Verdant Tea fangirls over here. Lots of love for their amazing teas.


Agreed! I feel very indulgent when I drink their teas, I don’t think I have any other teas comparable in quality (which actually makes me quite sad). It’s been a wonderful tea journey with them so far!

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Re-visiting this in an attempt to clean out my stash. Still 1 or 2 cups left from my sample, but getting closer! This 2 or 3 minute steep yielded a flavour more like what I expected. Sweet fruit, goji kick. No tea taste, but the fruit dominates for once. Enjoying this right now, glad to have had a stronger cup! Raising the rating a few points.

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Just a quick note as I only had a few sips from the beau’s cup last night – This is a pleasant lemon tea, not too bitter or sharp but distinctly lemon-esque. The beau opted to add local honey to soothe his throat, but I found it too strong for the lemon mytrle, and it overpowered it. I really liked this (I’m a fan of lemon teas, but selective) and would like to keep some on hand constantly to drink on it’s own and also to add to teas that need a bit more lemon kick! Very nice, especially in winter with cold season.

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drank Wild Black Yunnan by DAVIDsTEA
704 tasting notes

Got myself 50 grams of this last night to try (finally!) brewed a cup this morning to go with my peanut butter toast. honestly, the toast dominated the tea but I got some lovely dark notes, almost cocoa-ish. I might have found a suitable replacement for the eternally out of stock (and wildly inaccesible nonetheless) Harney Golden Snail. Will do an in depth review at another time, but for now am impressed at the deep flavour, but with no bitterness. Definitely feels different from a “standard” black tea, an enjoyable treat in the morning.

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Accidentally made this quite delicious today. Nearly 2 teaspoons to my Perfect Tea Mug (12 ounces? 14?) and an accidental 4 minute steep. The white tea is lost under the flavours, but the chai aspect is really shining. I get cinnamon and something sharper on the back of the sip. Apple is generally lost, as is vanilla but if I think of this as a mild chai it is a success. About halfway through my pouch, which is nice. I need to finish a few teas already!!


I love serendipitous accidents!

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drank Apple Cinnamon by Tim Hortons
704 tasting notes

So this isn’t actually so bad. The beau and I have been looking for a good apple tea (that is more cider-esque than anything else) for a while. We’ve had a few contendors, but they always seem to be get discontinued. We tried this bagged tea last evening, and I was relatively impressed by it. Might get some to have on hand for when we want something easy and appley. Also, stay away from Tim Hortons Chai Lattes, as I’m pretty certain that espresso or coffee or something else in that terribly bitter neighbourhood was added to mine, though I don’t know why. : (

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Had a wonderful re-visit with this tea yesterday while visiting the in-laws. Steeped to perfection, I had wonderful juicy blueberry taste, a thick mouthfeel and a hint of the cream cheese aspect (while hot – I find the cheesecake/cream cheese flavours to appear only when hot). The black tea was there underneath it all supporting the delicious flavours, which was nice. The beau claimed he over-steeped his, but mine was WONDERFUL!

Sad to be on my last pack of this, it is one thing that always makes me sad when I truly love a 52Teas tea. This is one of only 2 or 3 that I liked enough to want continuously, but it’s saddening to know that when it’s gone, it’s gone.

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drank Caramel Vanilla Chai by 52teas
704 tasting notes

This one comes from my 12 Teas of Christmas sampler – when I opened it, I thought it was the Extra Bold Masala Chai, and was surprised to read it was Caramel Vanilla. The aroma pre and post steeping is just that of the bold chai (which I have had bad experiences with, it can get very very bitter). I did this cup with boiling water and a brief steep, maybe two minutes. After letting it cool I could get a hint of caramel aroma, but the taste was pure chai. Very similar to the Extra Bold Masala Chai. I get a hint of caramel at the end of the sip, but it is more an echo than a taste. As it cools it becomes more bitter, so I added a bit of milk which enhances the illusion of caramel and vanilla. Certainly not a favourite, but I haven’t had a chai in a while so that’s nice.

Update: That black tea is SO BITTER. Might do the rest of the sample as stovetop with milk, but I definitely shouldn’t use boiling water. Might go add some sugar as well as the milk (neither of which I usually add. I happen to think it’s a poor tea that requires milk or sugar, but I know that isn’t a popular opinion). Hoping that with alternate preparations I can really get the most out of this sample. Sugar and milk helped cut down the bitterness, but I’m still making a pinched up face while I drink!


I agree with you—teas that require milk and sugar are lacking. Let the stoning begin for our heathen opinions! :)

aisling of tea

I enjoy teas occasionally with milk and sugar, but I agree, if a tea requires it to be drinkable, then it’s a poor tea indeed.


REQUIRES is totally the word I needed. I’m going to edit that in there. i have no problem with a tea being enhanced by additions, but requiring it is just upsetting.Good to know I’m not alone. : )


I definitely agree with you… I only rate a tea based on it’s taste straight without additions. If the taste is no good without milk and sugar it’s not going to get a good rating from me!

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drank French Vanilla Assam by 52teas
704 tasting notes

Well. Once upon a time, I had a pouch of this tea. I found it too boldly vanilla, almost coconutty – My pouch moved along to a proper vanilla loving person and I moved on with my day. But, then came Christmas and the 12 Teas from Frank. Yesterday was the dreaded Coconut Cheesecake Honeybush (I loathe coconut) so I took the day off, looking forward to today. Imagine my unease when I smelled today’s blend. Luckily, I’m liking this. I learned from past mistakes and went light on the steep time, and I have a nice smooth vanilla, with no traces of coconut. Of course, the re-blend is likely a bit different from the original, but I am glad to enjoy this cuppa. I am moving the rating up a bit based on today’s success, but don’t regret my passing along of the original pouch. Merry Christmas, all!


2nd steep took some extra time – Still impressed with the marginally toned down flavour and smooth consistency. Steep #2 really pushing it but worth the shot.

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Wow. I am finally in the same residence as may 12 Teas of Christmas (and my family, yay!) so I am giving this a shot. I’ve got to say, I’m impressed. I don’t like green tea as a general rule, and the idea of marshmallow green tea never appealed. However, this is quite tasty. While my conditions are far from perfect (microwaved water, eek) it yields a tasty sweet cp of tea. I’m not getting much green (which I don’t mind) but there really is a marshmallow and rice krispy taste going on here. I am pleasantly surprised! I’ll give it another steep later on and see how that goes, for now I am saving the other half of my sample for my beau, when he arrives on Friday.


Second steep went well enough, but much weaker. Not going to push it to three.


Oh crap, is microwaving water a bad idea?! I’m getting into all sorts of trouble here on Steepster for my bad brewing habits.

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Well, this needed refreshing. I have been drinking loose leaf for many years, and have fairly well nailed down my tastes. I love Chinese blacks and some other unflavoured teas. I occasionally drink flavoured teas, or herbals, but the bulk of my tea is unflavoured with no additives. I stock regularly from Teavivre with the occasional Verdant purchase and the odd re-stock at Davids. I love mint, am learning about the wide world of puerh, and prefer ripe to raw, so far. I don’t like green or green oolongs very much, white is okay and roasted oolongs are pretty good. Coconut and chamomile are awful, and I wish they weren’t in so many blends!

At home, I live with my husband and cat in a house built by my grandfather, which we love. We share many interests – books, tea, video games, board games, tv/movies. On top of that, I love crosswords and recently took up knitting again, so I’m having a hard time balancing all my passions at the moment. I’m a big fan of Doctor Who, as is my entire immediate family. I love spreading the Who love!

We also spend a lot of time with family, when we can. I’ve got a gaggle of younger brothers, and we like to spend time with them. The wonders of the internet allow us to spend time together even though some of them live a few hours away.

As for ratings, I try to only log teas once or twice because I drink a lot of the same ones repeatedly. My rating is based on my perception of the tea at first tasting and is adjusted if anything notable occurs in subsequent cups. I may also factor in the price and customer service but try to note that when I can.

81 – 100: These are great teas, I love them, regularly stock them or savour them as unique treats.
71 – 80: These are solid. I drink them, I like them, I may or may not keep them on hand regularly. This is still good stuff.
61 – 70: Just okay. I can drink it, but it doesn’t stand out to me. Might be lower quality, not to my taste, or outside my comfort zone.
41 – 60: Not likely to keep drinking…hoping hubby will enjoy!
0 – 40: No thank you, please. Take it away and don’t make me finish the cup.



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