1129 Tasting Notes


I’m amazingly tired out. I had all these plans with a couple cold-steep teas to review and savor this morning, but instead I had an early start to take my rabbit to the vet. So instead, on the drive to the vet I inhaled all that cold-steeped tea without thought or noticing taste, booo!

So drinking black tea, now later in this morning. I would prefer mate but I got an order from The Persimmon Tree yesterday and another package from another place coming today so I need to try these out!

On that note, shout out to the Persimmon Tree for great customer service. There was a mix up on my order and they emailed me back right away and were fast in fixing it. Plus upped my Coconut Cacao to 6oz in apology. /love love love. All I need now is to get my post lady to stop brutalizing my tea packages – not sure theres some post challenge to see if they can cram packages through a mail slot, ripping the package open and spilling tea samplers out. GRRR!

Onto: French Vanilla Bean (FVB)

DRY: Sweet vanilla smell, kinda nutty. Lots of big mystery chunks… almonds? But isn’t listed on their website – Just tea + vanilla beans.

STEEPED: Sweet again and slightly vanillay. Steeps up a dark brown.

TASTE: Creamy smooth taste right up front with a delicious black tea in the background. Starting to get bitter – I should of steeped it to 3 minutes, not 4.
I added rock sugar and soymilk halfway through which upped the ante making FVB very smooth and ultra creamy.

WHO’D LIKE THIS TEA: Black tea drinkers and vanilla lovers. Especially someone who likes adding cream and sugar to tea.

COMMENTS: My first sip I was brought to that similar creamy reminder of their other creamy teas but this one is for the black tea drinker. Very nicely balanced creamyness. FVB is the bomb with milk and sugar added.

I was hoping I would get vanilla punched to the face, but instead got an amazing sweet creamy tea. FVB would make a killer vanilla latte. A nice tea to show off to fellow black tea drinkers. I personally like more crazyness in my teas, but this is delicious, best straight up vanilla tea I’ve had in awhile.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Is bunny okay?

Awkward Soul / Oolong Owl

He’s getting neutered today, so hoping it goes well.

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I bought this tea along with 52 Tea’s Butterbeer. “Sun and Cloud Mist” (S&CM) I think should have the kitty wearing a hollowed out lemon helmet on its head. I dunno, I’m weird. But hey, that’s cool, you can’t please everyone right? Regardless, I do like lemony teas, so I wanted to try this tea out.

OBSERVATIONS: I am wondering why Frank doesn’t post steeping times. For this and butterbeer I went onto Steepster to figure out what others did for their tea – and it looks like “S&CM” has some tinkering to avoid bitterness. I feel bad for the peeps that overcook their tea, and it is limited edition type tea.

DRY: Lemony drop smell – sweet and lemony! I wanna chomp down on these tea leaves because it smells so delicious!

STEEPED: Pure yellow colour. Smells slightly sweet with lemon.

TASTE: Sharp and lemony with a hit of grassyness, starting to creep into bitterness. There’s a mysterious hit of fluffy creamyness at the end. Aftertaste is back to grassy lemon. Refreshing tea!
As it cools, the mystery creamyness comes out more and less bitterness.

WHO’D LIKE THIS TEA: Lemon tea drinkers. Or people like me who love lemon bars! oooooooh!

COMMENTS: Hrmmmm. I’m totally the tart bitter tea police as I think I’m sensitive to those flavors. I think with this tea I need to mess with steeping times more, maybe 165F or drop to 2 minutes to drop that hint of bitterness. That or cold steeping would be interesting to try on this tea.

However, S&CM is addictive as I chugged it down so fast. The mystery fluff flavor is interesting. MMMM fluff!!! Now my cup is empty and I’m going to get a cold steep started on this and hopefully not destroy it like my last cold steep.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

I am so in love with this tea, every time a note on it pops up I want to drink more but I’m trying to save it. If you can, try it cold brewed and/or iced, it’s very good cold!

Awkward Soul / Oolong Owl

I got a cold-steep starting now. Now to wait 4 hours /wail


I usually do cold brews overnight so I don’t have to wait around checking the fridge every hour to see if it’s done! I always want to drink it right away.


I would love to try this tea, based on the descriptions! And that kitty…so cute! Awkward Soul, I like your description, especially of the idea of the kitty wearing a lemon helmet. I think that would be cool. I hope that 52 Teas carries this one for a very long while, because I won’t be able to get it anytime soon. My next tea purchase is going to be a sampler set from Davids Teas, and then I’ve got to (try) and resist buying tea for a few months.

Awkward Soul / Oolong Owl

I totally know it Lynxiegrl, I’m on a no buy right now, it’s slightly painful. Right now the new mates/guayusa at DavidsTea are taunting me.

hahah, Ze_Teamaker, thats totally what I was picturing. this http://www.cybersalt.org/images/funnypictures/cats/catmelonhead.jpg but lemon

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My first attempt at cold steeping using the last of this tea I own.

After about 4 hours it tasted very refreshing, grapefruity and tasty, however it was just a couple sips because I needed to be out the door for jiu-jitsu. I come back and tackle this tea 3 hours later and it was very strong flavors. Okay but not great.
I should of finished it then, but I put it back in the fridge and tried it the next morning…
OMG Pink Flamingo was so strong it was horrible, like drinking straight up citrus rind of death!

However, this method very much so reduced the tart-o-meter on Pink Flamingo and was more enjoyable before I butchered it by over steeping.

With that said, I learned a lot from the experience.

Iced 8 min or more

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I got this tea at a Farmer’s Market – I thought the ginseng root in it might provide an interesting taste and effect.

DRY: Roasty mate + fruity. Weird hunks of stuff in this tea. Upon closer inspection, they are mango chunks that are crusted with mate and rooibos. Mmmm mate crust.

STEEPED: Very roasted and rooibos smell with fruity notes. Dark amber colour.

TASTE: The roasted mate and rooibos come through. A mysterious tangy earthy spice (ginseng if you ever drank those tiny ginseng shots) with a background of fruity.

WHO’D LIKE THIS TEA: Someone very tired in the morning and doesn’t mind a ginseng taste. Mate and rooibos drinkers (caffeine-free rooibos drinkers – come to the dark side and energetic side of mate)

COMMENTS: The market didn’t give me brewing instructions so I assumed a 180F for like 5-7 minutes. I checked the site and I was practically right! “180F for 5 minutes” off nmteaco.com. Can tell I drink mate a lot.

Okay, Mango Mate Energizer – I wish it was more fruity. The main taste is the mate and rooibos. However, that ginseng taste I do like and would love to try more teas with it. The pairing of it with the roasted mate is very good. I used to drink those ginseng shots in those teeny bottles. They taste horrible and sometimes they come with cute little straws for you to slowly suck down the horribleness. Rest assured, this tea isn’t that horribly strong, but that earthy zingy spice is present in this tea.

This is ultra energy tea – I’m feeling pretty zippy right now!

185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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Shout out to Ze_Teamaker for a sample of this tea!

I’ve been back at brazilian jiu-jitsu (after being out with a broken finger) and this morning I feel like I was tossed around all last night – despite I was the one who was doing the tossing! Hoping some chocolately tea will do the trick.

DRY: very chunky looking with lumps of oolong, big wide coconut flakes. Again the mystery nutty shells are in this tea like My Morning Mate. Carob maybe? I’ve only seen it in a powder (back in my vegan days). Smells light, chocolatey. No rose petals in my tea as is pictured in the Teavana picture, could be a miss as that kinda thing likes to float to the top.

STEEPED: Bit more chocolately and oolong smell. Steeps up a gold colour.

TASTE: Light tasting – nutty, chocolately with oolong in the background. After taste of creamyness and coconut. No taste of licorice that I can tell.

WHO’D LIKE THIS TEA: Light tea drinkers – maybe a white tea person wanting to try oolongs? Also someone who likes coconut and chocolate.

COMMENTS: This tea did perk me up this morning – there is mate in this supposedly, but I didn’t taste it. I love chocolate teas as well as coconut. Slimful Chocolate is very much a light yummy tea if that is what you are craving for.

However, I think I am spoiled by “The Persimmon Tree” who does coconut flavoring better. I kept thinking the coconut could be done better to be more creamy. More depth would be an added bonus too. Overall, not bad, maybe I’ll try more dry leaf to see how that goes.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I agree. I tried some of the coconut creme’, and it is like drinking a colada minus the fat and calories.

The Persimmon Tree

jiu-jitsu and tea.. perfect mix. Thanks for mentioning us :)

Awkward Soul / Oolong Owl

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and tea totally go together – especially mate teas! I think I’m in the minority though, most jiu-jitsu people I know are into those expensive coconut waters.

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Shout out to Emilie for a sample of this tea!

Butiki Teas – we meet at last! I’m thinking I wanna do an order with them, but I’ve been procrastinating. I was emailing my husband at work about trying this tea and said “I’d order from them, but right now I got enough tea” and he was like “WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DID YOU DO WITH MY WIFE????” Oh boy, maybe he’ll pay for the next tea order, hahahahahah!

And I just realized that I don’t think I’ve had guayusa before. I’ve probably had it mixed in blends, but not the main tea. This will be interesting!

DRY: DROOOL! Amazing creamsicle smell. I’m imagining a yummy orange creamsicle ice cream all melty and delicious.

STEEPED: Transformed into a grassy smell and with a hint of that yummy orange creamsicle smell. It’s like my drippy ice cream fell onto a freshy mowed lawn. Rest assured, it still smells delicious! Steeps up a brown-green.

TASTE: Tangy (almost spicy) citrus with a delicious hit of cream at the end. Earthy, dry, vegetal aftertaste. As it cools, the creamyness is stronger and less grassy taste. No tartness.

Sounds gross when I make tea burp comments, but this one is a burp of strong orange creamsicle taste!

WHO’D LIKE THIS TEA: A tea drinker that wants something a little different. Citrus lovers.

COMMENTS: It sounds gross that I think this tastes like I ate my ice cream off my lawn, but it is really good. I was worried this would be tart but Butiki did a great job in flavoring this tea.

Oddly, I feel full after drinking this tea – I’m not sure why, maybe all the creamsicle burping. With that said, I want to try more guayusa teas so I can compare with this. Overall, very tasty and different than other teas I’ve tried.

After feeling full for 2 hours and satisfied after drinking this tea, I gave in and made an order with Butiki teas. TAKE MY MONEY! RAWWWRR!

190 °F / 87 °C 6 min, 0 sec

You won’t be disappointed! What other teas of theirs did you order?

Awkward Soul / Oolong Owl

I got tamarind pop, dragon feelers and the 4 sampler pack with pistachio ice cream, apricot guayusa, that cantaloupe one and mango lassi.

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Shout out to Ze_Teamaker for a sample of this tea.

I was a little concerned with the water temperature, I had it down as 205F… but from what I understand, mates should be around 180-185F? Something about high temperatures make mates taste off or kill off the caffeine? I’m guessing the temperature is mostly for the black and rooibos.

DRY: Chocolately coffee smell. Lots of interesting chunks of peppercorns and what I saw to be a chunk of nut shell. I chewed on it and it’s totally a nut shell, very wacky.

STEEPED: Robustly coffee smell. Steeps up a dark brown.

TASTE: Slight wateryness at the start of the sip. Nutty black tea tea with some mellowness of slight chocolate flavor and hazelnuts. Barely any bitterness.

WHO’D LIKE THIS TEA: Nutty tea drinkers, and by that I mean ones who like nuts in their tea. Another good tea for kicking the coffee habit!

My Morning Mate – stacks up to be the most nutty tasting of them all.
JavaVana Mate (Teavana) – more on the mocha side (I prefer it over My Morning)
Good Morning Mate (Fusion) – King of robusty taste with lots of spice.

Okay, I’ve drank quite a few mate almost coffee teas now.
My Morning Mate isn’t too bad, the nuttyness is nice. However I’m thinking it’s lacking something, like more spice or kick.

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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Found it! The tea I grew up on. It comes in loose and tea bag packages, with the loose tea tasting better.

OBSERVATIONS: I have no idea what most of these ingredients are. It is a “diet” tea and I find this one not to have a laxative effect (ewww!), whereas most chinese diet teas do.

STEEPED: Amber colour. Smells kinda woodsy medicinal – like walking by an dried herbal chinese shop.

TASTE: Mysteriously tastes like oolong to me, with a bit of black tea in there. Bit of a sweet aftertaste. No bitterness or tart or mystery herbs.

COMMENTS: I don’t drink this for weight loss but more for taste and nostalgia. I think it is supposed to make you full, but I never was into drinking teas that have that effect. However, if you are into asian diet teas, this one has the best taste out there with no grassy, bitter, sour, medicinal taste.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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Many thanks sent out to tigress_al for this tea!

I was bummed out that right after I moved, this tea was up for tea of the month at DAVIDsTea – if I had waited a few days to move I would of been able to buy a sample. Then when I went to do a DAVIDsTea order months later and opted to get Earl of Lemon instead (since they were both expensive teas). So Buddha’s Blend has been on my wishlist for awhile to try as I’m a sucker for jasmine/floral teas.

DRY: Ultra tangy peach smell! WOW Something about jasmine + flowers that makes that peachy smell.

STEEPED: Slight peachy smell. Steeps up some crazy huge leaves and flowers that are like 3-4" long!

TASTE: Strong peachy taste. A bit of unusual bitterness that I’m guessing is SUPER FLORAL BOUQUET OVERLOAD. A slight hint of sweetness and with a jasmine aftertaste.

WHO`D LOVE THIS TEA: Someone who loves floral teas.

COMMENTS: This is the most floral tea I’ve tasted so far.
I actually tried this tea in my travel tea glass first and actually got to it an hour later with the leaves still in and it was CRAZY bitter and flowery that I couldn`t finish it.
With that said, for this tea you need to take the time and correctly steep it – I did a quick 3 minute steep with a slightly lower temperature just to be safe (79c) and it was loads better, but still a bitterness present. Maybe it might be worth going as low as 73C/165F?

I find this tea slightly similar to “Three Wishes” but Three Wishes is much more bitter (and finicky) since it has black tea. One of my favorite teas, Lovers Cup by Silverleaf is similar to Buddha’s blend, but not as strong floral or bitter.

But overall, that peachy taste is very good and the floral is nice. However it does step into “Too much floral” zone for me (that I didn’t know existed). This be a great tea to serve at a tea party and decorate with lots of flowers.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I also thought it was really similar to Three Wishes! Glad I’m not crazy!


I love the format you review your teas! By the way, did you know there’s going to be a davidstea location in San Francisco? I really thought the mystery store was going to be way more north.

Awkward Soul / Oolong Owl

Yeah, I found out a few weeks back – I wish there was one in SoCal, but if I ever make it up to San Fran I will be checking it out.


this a 45 second steep and then icing it. heaven.

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I just made this tea double strength with a couple rock sugar chunks and poured over a glass of ice. YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!


Very good – sweet and peachy!

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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I’m a tea blogger – The Oolong Owl
www.OolongOwl.com – I do tea reviews, obsessively photograph teas with mischievous crocheted Owls and get tea drunk. I am also a crochet / knitting designer at Awkward Soul Designs.

I was raised on floral oolongs and green teas, mostly “beauty” teas. Early on as a kid, I can guzzle an entire pot of tea (or two) at a Chinese or Japanese restaurant.
These days I like adventurous and interesting tea blends. I’m fearless in trying new teas! I’m into oolong, pu’erh, white, green, black, guayusa, mate and herbals. I’m not into red rooibos but I keep buying it anyway.

The tea brand that got me started into loose leaf teas was DAVIDsTea. I used to live in Vancouver Canada and had access to their shop, however that is now limited since I moved to southern California.

However, the perks of living in the US is ultra cheap, fast shipping! Since then, my tea stash insanely expanded.

Other stuff I’m into that sneaks into my tea notes: Brazilian jiu-jitsu, metal music, drawing, painting, cooking, photography and nail polish.

BTW, my Steepster cupboard is not even close to accurate and I track my teas on a spreadsheet. Last update 512 Teas May 2015.

To contact me for reviews, check out my blog and email me at [email protected]


Long Beach, CA



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