2802 Tasting Notes

drank Lemon French Macaron by Butiki Teas
2802 tasting notes

I’ve had this for a few weeks now but haven’t gotten around to reviewing it until now. I believe this is one of Stacy’s newer blends and it smells incredible in the package.

I steeped this according to package directions and the lemon flavor is quite strong in this blend. I thought I’d add some organic cane sugar to really make this more dessert like. It’s hard to believe there is no actual lemon zest in this tea. I wouldn’t say I feel it is “cake” like exactly, but it’s a good lemony white tea that I’m enjoying this afternoon.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Houjicha Ichiban by Steepster
2802 tasting notes

Good afternoon Steepster.
It’s been a very busy weekend for me and my Sweetie, sometimes he is a dynamo of energy. We went to 3 festivals yesterday and today we went for a hike. Much to my chagrin, I discovered that my arm hurts when walking sometimes, I wonder if I will ever be back to normal with this stupid arm injury.

Anyway it seems like a nice relaxing afternoon for tea. This came in one of the Steepster select boxes, and I ended up tossing the first steep because I thought it seemed kind of soapy, like I didn’t rinse my teapot out enough. I decided to dump the first pot out and start all over again with the 2nd sample after rinsing the teapot very thoroughly.

After checking out the second sample, I still thought this tea looked slightly “foamy” after brewing which seems kind of odd. I’ve had several houijchas that I’ve really liked but this doesn’t seem to be one of them somehow. I definitely get the roasted cacao quality but it isn’t flavorful enough for me and the finish seems slightly bitter somehow. I don’t know why but I just wasn’t a big fan of this and don’t want to drink the cup that is now sitting in front of me. Sorry Steepster. :(

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Foamy? Maybe the tea is rabid ;)


sure seemed that way, lol

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drank English Toffee by Simpson & Vail
2802 tasting notes

Good morning Steepster
This is kind of a strange choice for breakfast but I chose it anyway because I’m not drinking a lot of teas in the afternoon these days due to concerns about caffeine.

However, my insomnia seems to be getting MUCH better. My arm is healing enough so that I’m not being woken up 5 times a night due to pain. I’ve slept pretty well in the last week, of course some of that is due to not having to be at my stressful job.

I still have too much of this tea left. I’ve discovered that the flavor is improved by adding sugar but I just don’t want it in my tea cabinet anymore. If I got rid of every tea I feel is mediocre I would purge 1/2 my collection in one day, lmao. As it is, I usually just get rid of the ones that are so horrible I would never drink them. Which makes me wonder, why do I keep buying teas I don’t like when there are so many I do like? I guess I always want to be trying new things but perhaps it’s better to stick to the tried and true….

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Almond Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
2802 tasting notes

Good afternoon Steepster…
We were having a nice, warm sunny day but the fog rolled in and took care of that (typical for San Francisco).

I got this matcha in my last Red Leaf order. I wasn’t a big fan of the Belgian chocolate, but this is a lot better. I made a hot latte with it this afternoon and I made a cold matcha drink with soymilk in it the other day. Each drink was equally as good. It does have a slightly sweeter, marzipany quality about it, but I liked that. In my opinion this is pretty yummy and somehow less grassy than the Belgian chocolate, though I did order the standard matcha flavor on this as well. I prepared this by nuking my soymilk in the microwave and then mixing it up with a milk frother.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I bet it is gorgeous down on the peninsula! I’ll be there in a week and can’t wait to go tea shopping. Eeeee!


Nice! Where do you plan to go?


I moved to Cali mid-December and I have been dying to go see what SF has to offer in terms of loose leaf.


Oh man, everywhere! Lupicia, David’s, there are several shops I have book marked that sell Kusmi or Mariage Freres both in SF and Oakland.


Dustin, you may also want to check out Red Blossom in Chinatown if you like Chinese teas!


Hey Dustin, where can you get Mariage Freres teas in SF? I haven’t come across them yet.


Last time I was in town I checked out several tea shops in Chinatown. Red Blossom was interesting, but packed with tourists tasting, so it was really hard to get any help and I just ended up leaving.


From what I have read, a lot of the William Sonomas in the bay area have a few tins. Bi-Rite markets have mini Kusmi tins. Dandelion has MF… I thought I had a few more bookmarked for SF.
In the East Bay The Pasta Shop has MF in tins and bulk, Market Hall Foods and Maison d’Erte are supposed to have them too. Pasta Shop is the only one I have been too, the others I have just seen online mentions of having gotten MF there in the past.




There is a French bakery in Hayes Valley called Chantal Guillon, aside from macarons they sell MF teas, or at least they did the last time I was there which was 2 years ago or something

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drank Sencha "Chiran" by Lupicia
2802 tasting notes

Tea of the morning here! My Boyfriend is trying to transition off of coffee to green tea because of stress issues so I thought we would try this one to start with. As far as senchas are concerned it is slightly sweeter than some I have tried but it definitely has a seaweed-y type of flavor. I liked it and so did he. I sent him home with some sencha teabags. I might make this a green tea day myself.

In other news, I went to the doctor yesterday and he has signed me off of work for an additional two months…. :-/

170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Two more months is a long time, but obviously you need it. :( I’m glad the tea went over well with the BF.


Thank, my most immediate concern is just money. I need to put myself on a budget! Luckily I have enough tea to last for at least 6 months I would guess. ;-)

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drank Florence by Harney & Sons
2802 tasting notes

I decided to keep in line with the chocolate theme this morning and have a pot of Florence tea with my breakfast. When I first got this I loved it but my enthusiasm seemed to wane rather quickly after I bought 7 oz. of it. So I have probably had a tin of this for over 3 years and I am rarely in the mood for it somehow. I think the key to greater success with this one is a 5+ minute steeping time as well as a generous amount of sugar. At least I can say the aging process doesn’t seem to have hurt it at all. ;-)

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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This was the free Matcha sample this month from Red Leaf tea. I was really looking forward to trying this but I guess I am a little “meh” about this one. I mixed it in with some soymilk this morning to have a matcha latte. There is definitely a chocolate flavor but it seems totally obscured by the matcha flavor. It’s like drinking liquid grass with a chocolate flavor. I’ve had several of Red Leaf’s other flavored matchas and I liked them a lot better. I don’t think I would buy this one, but if I did I would definitely get the mild matcha option at the checkout.

Flavors: Chocolate, Grass

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Good to know!


well, other people seemed to like it more!

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I decided to cold brew this last night for today’s lunch (veggie sushi) and am glad I did. It makes a delicious iced tea with a light currant/grape flavor. this is one of those teas that sits in my cupboard that I seem to forget about for some reason. Maybe I’ll be drinking more of it soon now that I know it’s good for the warm weather.

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Here’s another green tea from my Min River sampler pack. I don’t think I’ve ever had a Jade Eyebrow tea before. The leaves of this tea are fairly small and curly. After taking a whiff of the steeped leaves, my immediate associations are that of green beans.

The tea liquor brews up to be a vivid greenish-yellow. The flavor of this tea is very bold and vivid. I’ve been sipping on it a bit and get vegetal tones, brothiness and some citrus flavors in the finish. Something about this seems very nourishing, almost like soup.

When it comes to Chinese green teas, I tend to like the bolder ones and this would definitely qualify. So far I have been very impressed with all of my Min River samples and I would definitely consider buying a full size of this someday. Their teas seem very clean and pure.

Flavors: Green Beans

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

What an interesting tea name!


Glad you enjoyed it! The farmer told us it was a unique tea of their own creation – it’s a bit of a mix of traditional Sichuanese green tea processing techniques and they chose the name themselves. In Chinese it’s Qing Mei (青眉) which literally translates to “Green/Jade Eyebrow”.

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drank Two Tigers by The Devotea
2802 tasting notes

Good morning Steepster…
I was having a heck of a time sleeping last night which is odd, because the night before I slept like a rock! Anyway when I got up this morning I wanted something hefty and this certainly fits the bill. Dark, with malty, spicy and winey notes, it takes sugar and soymilk really well. Don’t know if this will wake me up but it certainly makes for a delicious morning cuppa.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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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


San Frandisco



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