2487 Tasting Notes

drank Sweet Potato Pie by Lupicia
2487 tasting notes

For me this seems to have been the dud of my recent Lupicia purchases although some other people seemed to like it more than I did.

It’s got a sweet potato pie aroma, for sure but I found the flavor to be a bit too strong as well as artificial and it left a bit of a funny aftertaste. It does have kind of a whisky flavor as Auggy mentioned. It also gets pretty sweet. Adding soymilk definitely seemed to help me to finish it off.

I don’t know if I can finish this bag myself so let me know if anyone would like to try it…

Steeped for 4 minutes in boiling water. Might try for less time next go around.


I’d love to try some of this.. even though I just swapped with you! It just sounds so good.. If you’d like to try any more of my tea, let me know. I’d be happy to send you something in return!

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This came about as a recent swap with Amanda. Even though she gave it less than stellar reviews I wanted to try it anyway, plus I am always looking for some more caffeine free things.

I don’t love roobois much so I was thinking I might hate this but I did have a strawberry rhubarb tea once from Lupicia that I really liked.

Steeped for 5 minutes with boiling water in my $4 Daiso teapot.

Yeah the smell of this is pretty funky. It’s like a yogurt that went bad. I don’t think it quite smells like butt but maybe… feet? The flavor isn’t quite as bad though thankfully. I don’t quite know if I taste any rhubarb in here. I think it needs something. It was definitely better with some soymilk. And maybe it needs a pinch of sugar. Well I will find some way to make it more drinkable but I won’t be buying any…. :)

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

I’m glad I’ve never had a tea that smells like butt …….or feet. Also, I’ve had a slow tea drinking day due to football. Yeah….Baltimore lost…but why did the 49ERS have to lose?


next time anything involves “panna cotta” I think I am going to ask how it smells brewed instead of just smelling the tea in a canister. Never again hahaha.


@ Scott – I was too busy drinking tea to watch the game
@Amanda – I really had to try it to see if it was as weird as you described – yep!

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we are finishing off the last of this sample today. It’s a rainy and blustery day here which seems perfect for shu. A very musty and woodsy one here… see my previous tasting notes

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Since this tea is a Sikkim and not a Darjeeling I updated the listing – I hope nobody minds!

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drank Purple Tip by Bana Tea Company
2487 tasting notes

I’m coming near to the end of my sheng samples from Bana Tea Company. I would have tried them all before now but sheng is something you need to sit down and pay attention to.

I steeped this in boiling water for one minute after a quick rinse of the leaves. I am getting something like a slight apple cider sourness along with a bit of malt. Can a tea be “tangy”? Well this one seems to be, sort of.

For the second steep I decided to go for 30 seconds only. This seems to have been a good decision since the tea is mellowing out a bit. I am still getting apples with a bit of burnt toast and now some sweetness. It seems very fresh and aromatic.

Third steep, I used water that was less hot. More sweetness and mushroomy-ness, it’s very mild and pleasant. This seems like one that would only improve with age although it is quite ready to drink now.

If you want to go on a sheng adventure you certainly can’t go wrong with this sampler pack from Bana, I’d highly recommend it. Not a bad one in the bunch so far…

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Wow, I knew I was in for a treat when I smelled the dry leaf in the bag and it is already smelling kind of pineapple-ish. I steeped this at 3.5 minutes at around 195 F. I wish I knew where my thermometer was. My water was not quite boiling so I assume it was around 195.

I wonder, is this technically a darjeeling if it’s from Sikkim? The second flush Sikkim from Rare Tea Republic was beyond amazing in my opinion, and this one is excellent also. It’s very light bodied with a slight floral nose. The tea itself is very fruity, pineapplish and actually on the sweeter side with a bit of sandalwood/earth. I’m so used to these darjeeling type tea being very astringent with lots of tannins but this is exceptionally smooth and mellow. It’s easy to drink plain on it’s own. I’m with LiberTeas, I thought it was superb. Mmmm, I think I’m going to go make another cup right now!

I will definitely be going back to Rare Tea Republic as a customer.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

WOAHHH! WHAT?!? Amy…….did you just give a Darjeeling a perfect score! Well, technically Temi Sikkim is a region just outside of Darjeeling, but their qualities are very similar. Pay no attention….er…maybe there is no man behind the curtain. :)) LMAO…….Hehehehe.


I liked it because it wasn’t so astringent but very flavorful!


I do remember Sikkims to be fruity, and less astringent than Darjeelings. I’ve had a couple with minty qualities, and my last one from Upton’s had cherry nuances. You may find that these teas are your “Darjeeling” of choice. :))

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This sample was provided courtesy of Teavivre for review.

I decided to use two of the sample packets in my Gaiwan because I wasn’t sure one would have given me enough leaf.

My first steep was with around 180 F water for one minute. It is buttery, very rich and fresh. I got a tiny bit of sharpness towards the end so I think I may have steeped it too long that time.

The second steep was for around 30 seconds. The leaves have expanded so much that they have almost filled my entire gaiwan so I’m not sure using all that leaf was such a great idea. hee hee… but now I am picking up a bit on that lychee flavor and it’s still very nice and buttery.

Third steep: a little less butter and a little more fruit. It’s really a nice relaxing cup of yum-ness. I do happen to like Dong Ding oolongs quite a lot.

Fourth and Fifth Steep: still going strong in terms of flavor and richness.

Overall I give this good points on flavor but I’ve been drinking sooo many Taiwanese green oolongs lately that I’m not sure it really stands head and shoulders above the crowd. It is very enjoyable though! I would have liked to seen this roasted a bit.

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

Maybe just one sample pack…


Maybe! It was fun though!

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Another sample from Upton which I am just trying today. This tea has not done very well in the ratings so far but I try not to let other people’s opinions influence me too much.

I first gave it a short steep in the gaiwan for 30 seconds at the recommend temp (175 F). It is light with a refreshing clover and almost cucumber like refreshment.

The second and third steeps are much the same as the first. I let them go on or 2 or so minutes. I am still getting cucumbers and light sweetness. It is very pleasant, but I can also see how you might be hoping it would give out more flavor. It is kind of expensive so I can’t see myself buying more in the future but I have definitely enjoyed trying it.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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I’m holding off on rating this for now. I steeped some up this morning in the gaiwan and I just don’t get the appeal of it particularly with all the extended verbiage everyone else has used to describe it. It’s okay, but??? Am I missing something? Any helpful advice?


Hmm. Dancong oolongs can be finicky about brewing. In fact, these oolongs have a reputation for being the most finicky as far as brewing goes. What kind of method were you using in your gaiwan? Water temp, leaf-to-water ratio, time and freshness of water can all make a difference. For these I usually make sure to use freshly boiled, filtered water. I have a small 3oz gaiwan, and fill that up to about 1/3-1/2 it’s capacity with Dancong leaf (or 2/3 capacity if I’m feeling bold). I then use boiling water for a quick rinse of the leaves, and follow with initial infusion for 10-15 seconds, poring off into serving pitcher for drinking. I follow that with another 6 or so infusions at 10-15 seconds each, and start adding +15 seconds time with each infusion after #7. Every 3 or so infusions, if drinking them back to back, I reheat the water somewhat to make sure it doesn’t get tepid. Just a general guideline, as I don’t think it really needs to be super exacting. I get good results with this.

And one thing I will note is that I’ve found freshly boiled water to be very important with this tea. Water that had been previously boiled, allowed to cool all the way down, and then re-boiled, produced dramatically diminished results the second time I tried this. It was an accidental discovery, and only got noticed by the contrast of drinking it again with freshly boiled water the same evening.

Hope this is helpful in some way, Amy. Give it a couple more tries if you can. If it’s still not working for you, maybe the flavor and other qualities of this particular Dancong just aren’t that appealing to your taste, which would be perfectly okay. Dancongs happen to be a particular favorite for me, but they’re not the preferred favorite for everybody.


Thanks, that is helpful. It sounds like I was not using enough leaf for one thing!

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drank Cassis & Blueberry by Lupicia
2487 tasting notes

After reading the other reviews here I was wondering if I made a mistake in purchasing this. I have been shying away from flavored teas lately but I still like the fruity ones.

This I steeped up with boiling water in an infuser mug for 3 minutes. It’s a black tea and the fragrance is very strong, it smells a bit like black currents and cherries to me. As it cools off I am getting more blueberry flavor. It’s true that the flavor of the tea is not as strong as the smell but I don’t really mind that. If the flavor was stronger I might find it sickening, to be honest. I don’t really drink a lot of black teas without soymilk but this one is just kind of pleasant to sip on plain. Drinking it with soymilk is making it more of a dessert-type flavor.

Overall, I am pleased with this purchase. Will definitely have to try it as an iced tea also.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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My profile pic is of a pink dahlia at Golden Gate Park.

Hobbies include: tea, making art, animals, vegan things, buddhism, nature, creativity, books, writing, cooking, meditation, yoga.

I am a fan of many different teas but my favorites are blacks and oolongs, chai, also like darjeeling and pu-erh. I’n always learning and expanding my horizons!

Dislikes include: bergamot, jasmine, highly tannic or bitter teas, overly judgmental and bitter people. :)

Live in San Francisco, I’m a SINK (single income, no kids) and love the urban life, but traveling out to the middle of nowhere is always fun too.

I tend to not drink things I know I will hate so a lot of my tea ratings are on the higher side. Here’s my rating system, sorta

95-100 I love this tea and would like to keep it around

94-90 An excellent tea which I may or may not repurchase

89-80 Pretty good, above average

79-70 Acceptable

69-60 Mundane – Will probably drink it if I have it

59-50 Ick

49 and below Nasty


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