1101 Tasting Notes


So I really wanted white tea this morning, and White tiger is up there on my fav white teas. However, I wanted something more.

Brewing up white tiger as normal, I sneak in a little DavidsTea “Blueberry Jam”. The result was very yummy! I used: 1.5t White Tiger and 0.5t of Blueberry Jam.

First off, this blend steeps up to a weird smokey quartz colour. Very cool.

Taste? Very very blueberry! The white tea comes out adding lightness, with white tigers own blueberry taste – however the Blueberry jam adds even more blueberry flavor, sweetness and a bit of black tea depth.

I’m going to do this again (also stretches my stash of both teas, lol)

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Great idea, blueberries are so good!

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So, I was planning to try a new mate, but I slept in this morning and just felt too tired. I was sniffing my “to review new teas” pile and found this tea, a sample by Will Work For Tea (yay thanks again!). By smell, this had to be the tea this morning.

DRY: Coffee, kinda pungent. Whoa, lumps of whole coffee beans in this tea! Oh hells yes thats what I need this morning. Tiny pieces of white chocolate? I was guessing that black tea is in this. I looked up the tea online and it’s oolong and green! Crazy!

STEEPED: I was smelling a bitter black tea until I knew what teas are in “Brewed Awakening”. Now I can totally ID the green tea smell. Also smells like coffee. Brews up to a dark, slightly cloudy tea.. looks like black tea.

TASTE: Hit of slight bitterness and a punch of coffee. Tiny bit of creamyness and nuttyness at the end. Totally tastes like black tea and easy to end the judging there! But now that I know it’s green tea – I taste it, with it’s roasted and almost over-cooked green teaness. I can detect the oolong at the end of the sip, which adds body and nuttyness. Or it’s all in my head and I’m trying to detect green and oolong. ARG.

WHO’D LIKE THIS TEA: Coffee Drinkers (you are running out of excuses to not switch to tea), black tea drinkers who don’t want to drink black tea. Tea drinkers who want to be schooled on creative use of green tea.

COMMENTS: This tea is crazy – it was fun that I didn’t know the ingredients until I was half-way into the cup. I totally thought it was blacktea/coffee beans/white chocolate/something roasted tasting like mate or barley or nuts.
I’m impressed green and oolong was used here to create a coffee effect. Very smart Art of Tea, very smart.

Compared to all the recent coffee-tea blends I’ve drank recently, “Brewed Awakening” is the more simple blend and one that would appeal most to tea drinkers who like a creative blend. This would be the tea to serve if you have tea drinkers and coffee drinkers at the same table. You’d might satisfy both parties.
This tea is more milder than my recent coffee-teas. TeaVanas Javavana mate is stronger and more chocolately. Fusion’s “Good Morning Mate” is more roasty, spice and robust.

Overall, pretty funky tea. I was schooled! Now I need to check out Art of Teas line up to see if they can school me again. I don’t think I’d order this one, but happy to of tried this tea.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Many thanks to Will Work For Tea for this sample! Super pumped to try my first Teavana tea!

More mate! Every morning for the last while I’ve been loading up on mate tea. So far I haven’t been hanging off the ceiling or running laps with my rabbit. However, it does keep me awake – this morning I’m looking forward to this cup as I had a crappy sleep. I have a broken finger from brazilian jiu-jitsu that got aggravated yesterday.

DRY: Coffee.. yep, coffee. Like already brewed wonderful coffee, not that pungent bean coffee. Hints of chocolate, oh yeah!

STEEPED: Mocha smell. Brews up to a dark brown.

TASTE: I can taste the black tea and a slight bitterness (very slight), then a light coffee blend with a hint of chocolate filling my mouth. Theres some smoothness at the end, maybe the vanilla? The mate is there, but more in the background. Very mocha-like, without ultra strong/bitter coffee punch, but still close to coffee.

WHO’D GUZZLE THIS TEA LIKE ITS GOING OUT OF STYLE: coffee drinkers (thats right, kick that coffee habit) and mocha lovers. Black tea drinkers wanting to ease into mate.

I’m thinking OMG ICED TEA MOCHAS! This tea would be killer for that! A bit of rock sugar in the steeping, some milk/milk alternative and ice, all I need is a cute glass to put it in! No wait, kick it up with some ya know, whipped cream, chocolate drizzle. Blah, not healthy anymore!

So, I recently had a similar mate, Fusion Teas “Good Morning Mate” which I judged to be pretty decent coffee-like tea without tasting bitter liquid death. Good Morning Mate is more on the robusty woody roasted-tasting spiced side. JavaVana Mate is very different on the more chocolate side with extra dimension with the black tea.

JavaVana Mate is pretty good and I think I’ll buy some to gift for my Dad and father-in-law after skimming some off for myself.

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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This is a really pretty travel glass. Beautiful gold accents on the lid! My co-worker had one and I felt I needed to get one too. These clear travel glasses are great for showing off pretty teas with lots of colours and flower bits.

It came with an extra rubbery washer, which was nice. Lightweight too.
Keeps tea decently hot, but not as great as a stainless steel mug or a 100% double glass mug would. The mesh is pretty fine and kept even rooibos chips away.

Unfortunately my Libre leaks. If I get tea on the top past the strainer area it will leak. And once I tried the alternative steeping method (put tea in the lid and invert the glass) and it leaked and burnt my fingers in the process. My coworker went through 2 of these travel glasses and hasn’t had a problem with leaks, so maybe I got a dud.

I’m considering getting another one as there is a larger size. More tea capacity!!!!


I was shuffling through my teas in person and on Steepster and realized I never added this one to the cupboard or reviewed it. I swore I added it to the database in Steepster long ago.. oh whatever.

Lover’s Cup – there’s a story to this. This was around when I was starting to drink more tea, mostly bagged stuff. I was with my now-husband (then almost boyfriend) visiting him in LA. We were at the Farmers Market (“T” Tea Shoppe) and at a store that sells Silver Leaf tea. I buy a few packets (brain not understanding non-metric so I didn’t get much tea) with the last $10 cash I had left for my trip.
I discover that the tea “Lovers Cup” was flipping amazing when I got back home to Canada. I drank it all and was all sad it was all gone. Every time I visited I demanded to go to the shop and I’d buy more. My guy, being the sweet-heart he is (but he dislikes tea and is completely clueless about tea) buys a POUND of it and takes it with him as a gift when he visited me… also getting in crap with Canadian customs as apparently you really need to claim tea and it was a little nutty he had a pound of it.

The problem became now I had a pound of tea that I used to use sparingly because it was hard to come by. Very good tea, but having a cup or two a day wasn’t denting it. My coworkers were tea drinkers too, so I started giving lots of it away and one LOVED this tea and swapped me for some yummy teas from Victoria, another giving me a good tin of fruity tea. FYI, the husband doesn’t know I often trade this tea or give small samples to friends/family, he thinks I drank through a pound of tea.

Annoyingly, the store didn’t give me steeping times for this tea, so I wing it. Overall, don’t oversteep or go for boiling so the black doesn’t nuke the tea.

DRY: Floral. Rosey, jasmine. The mix smells interestingly sweet and peachy.

STEEPED: Light brown, very floral smell.

TASTE: Perfumey floral. A bouquet of rose and jasmine. Flavors of jasmine green come out with hints of black tea.

WHO’d LIKE THIS TEA: Floral tea lovers, you know who you are. Also people who are into green teas.

COMMENTS: I’m not sure why jasmine + rose teas = peachy smell.
I find this tea pretty simple but a great pairing. I love floral teas, and mixing different types of tea is awesome too. On a side note, I tried this tea iced and it didn’t work so well.

A similar tea is DavidsTea “Three Wishes” which smells more fruity (mysteriously) but with much stronger black tea (and more fidgety with temperature to combat bitter black tea) compared to Lovers Cup, which I think has more green tea in it.

This tea is a regular of mine and high rated more out of memories – I continue to purchase more of it too. It’s my go-to when I was tea and have no idea what to have, despite having so many other teas.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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4th Fusion tea I purchased (just how many teas did I buy? You’ll find out once I stop reviewing them lol).

OBSERVATIONS: Looking at the ingredients list – this has the same ingredients as “Roasted Cocoa Mate” but with the addition to spearmint. Doh! I might of passed on this tea or “Roasted Cocoa Mate” if I noticed this at ordering.

DRY: Spearminty with a hint of roasted goodness. Lots of big slices of almond.

STEEPED: Dark, cloudy brew. Smell of robust roastedness with spearmint piercing through.

TASTE: Refreshing mintyness, with a background mix of chocolate flavors and some light roasted/toasty flavors from the mate/nuts/barley/rice. The mint flavor stays in the mouth after each sip. I do not notice any mocha/coffee flavors.

WHO’D DIG THIS TEA: Mate lovers, herbal mint tea folk who want a kick-in-the-face mate wakeup in the morning.

COMMENTS: I’d say the spearmint was a smart choice over peppermint because it added a different kind of mint than most mint-tea blends. The spearmint is pretty strong too and does a piercing hit of mint without adding any sludgyness oversteeped peppermint can do.

Comparing it to “Roasted Cocoa Mate” (from Fusion) – the addition of peppermint added a new dimension that the regular Cocoa mate was missing. However, I kind of wish the Cocoa mate had more chocolate flavor to set it apart more, or added more mocha to the Roasted Mocha Mint. However, Roasted Mocha Mint I can totally taste the same “roasted cocoa mate” base in the background once I got past the mint.

Comparing it to a similar tea I have, DavidsTea “Read my Lips” (black/peppermint/chocolate/sugarlips) Roasted Mocha Mint mate has no sweetness but the spearmint lingers in the mouth longer + a roasted flavor. “Read My lips” is more chocolatey and the black tea comes out.

I wish this had MOAR CHOCOLATE or some more mocha elements like it’s name says, but overall pretty decent. Fusion has delicious mate and I wish I could drink more of it a day but I limit myself to 1 cup of mate a day so I’m not climbing the walls.

Probably won’t buy more of this, but will enjoy each cup.

185 °F / 85 °C 7 min, 30 sec

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3rd of the Fusion Teas I ordered. Oddly, this is the only non-mate tea I got.
But wow.. Peach crunchies in this tea? Can I have a fruit snack bag of that? Me and my rabbit Benson can sit together and fight over it, like what we do with Trader Joe’s freeze dried strawberries and bananas.

DRY: OOOOOOOOH IT SMELLS LIKE PEACHY FRUIT PUNCH JUICE CONCENTRATE! (yes, it needed to be written in all caps). Looks like black tea with vibrant red and orange chunks.

STEEPED: Very fruity. This is one of the most fruitiest teas I’ve smelled. Steeps into a nice dark brown/red hue tea.

TASTE: Peaches and strawberry with nice light black tea in the background. Not tart or bitter. Peach flavour slightly comes out more than the strawberry. Peach after taste. Refreshing despite drinking this tea hot and unsweetened.

WHO’D LIKE THIS TEA: Fruity tea people. All of them. I know some who dislike black tea – try this tea and you’ll like it as the black tea is very light. Iced tea lovers would also love this tea.

OBSERVATIONS: The tea package says 3-4 minutes, however confusingly online it says 4-5 minutes. I followed the package and went with 3 and a half minutes. I think the short steep time turns up the tea magic so the black tea wasn’t overpowering the fruit.

COMMENTS: I found myself freaking guzzling this tea piping hot without taking my time to enjoy my first cup of it so I can review it. It could be the combination of having my first cup of tea of the day really late (2pm) or it being amazing, but leaning on the latter. I love that it just tastes light and fruity – strong fruity without being sweet.
I have a similar tea I love: DavidsTea “Southern Belle” (black/peach/yogurt) but this one blows it out of the water for stronger peach flavor and lighter black tea taste. Red Vineyard is very straight up peach tea without adding other stuff (ie hibiscus or rosehips) that would take away from the peachyness or make it tart.

This would make a killer ice tea – I’d drink this cold unsweetened over that crystal light crap I drink. I will buy more once I’ve finished this tea – and hopefully me and my rabbit won’t go trying to pick out those peach crunchies.

Great job Fusion Teas! Red Vineyard will become a staple in my tea collection.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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Second tea for me to review from Fusion Teas – Roasted Cocoa mate. For this tea I tried a longer steep at 7 minutes.

DRY: Looking good, chocolate chips, hunks of almonds, marigold flowers. Smells like roasted mate and chocolate.

STEEPED: Brown, cloudy from the melted chocolate I’m guessing. Smells like something roasted and chocolate lol.

TASTE: The roasted mate comes out – with roasted and nutty bits really coming out (probably from the toasted rice/etc). A spike of chocolatey liquor flavor at the end.

WHO’D DIG THIS TEA: Coffee drinkers converting to tea. Mate drinkers. Nuts in tea people.

COMMENTS: Comparing to Fusion Tea’s “Good Morning Mate” this one isn’t as coffee like, but keeps that roasted elements making it a small bridge to coffee drinkers. I’d say it is not as robust and well rounded as “Good Morning Mate” – more simple of a tea with a hit of chocolate. Roasted Chocolate doesn’t have that woodsyness “Good Morning” has – Roasted Chocolate is lighter.
For me, it’s a little too nutty for my tastes. I’d also say theres not enough chocolate but YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MUCH CHOCOLATE (but will probably never get to that level of tea tasting like hot chocolate). I feel its missing something, but maybe it’s my “I love complex crazy tea blends” side saying that.

Interestingly, I think this tea would be perfect for my dad. He likes those simple flavored coffee things and lighter roasts. For tea, he likes earl grey (all thanks to Captain Picard).

I probably won’t get more of this tea and gift to my dad or trades. This tea might also mix well with other tea (heh, mate spike my chocolate black teas for a kick). It’s not bad – Fusion has a great quality mate that’s for sure.

185 °F / 85 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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I recently did an order with Fusion Teas and this was the free sample they gave me. BTW, great mate tea selection for fusion teas – I just realized I miss some other mates I should of ordered after looking at the site again. The free sample was awesome and they chose well with a mate (I’m on a mate kick). I decided to try and review this tea first as I figure it was the one I would like the least (ugg rooibos) and would go well with my cinnamon oatmeal breakfast.

DRY: Woodsy, roastedy… coffee? When I scooped it into my steeper, I saw the rooibos and got worried – I’m not a big rooibos fan. But hey, free tea!

STEEPED: Brown. Smells more woodsy, like camping or a lumber yard (lol). Reminds me like coffee again, but not that bitter sludgyness smell from coffee. I did a 5 minute steep and couldn’t go any longer because I don’t have the patience for it.

TASTE: Roasted mate that is very earthy with hints of cinnamon – almost caramelly (from the coconut maybe but no coconut taste). Little bit of cocoa flavour, but fairly subtle. The rooibos hits me at the end adding a coffee-like woodsyness. No bitterness.

WHO WOULD LIKE THIS TEA: Coffee drinkers (switch to tea now). Mate drinkers and black tea drinkers wanting to venture into mate territory (don’t be scared!). Peeps who love a robust cup of tea.

COMMENTS: Robust – thats the best word to describe this tea. With the 5 minute steep I probably didn’t get it as strong as I could to bring out more flavors, but it was still full of flavor and light enough to be enjoyed by a tea drinker.
I’m not a coffee drinker – I drink it rarely and only for a pick me up when I’m out and the tea selection is crappy bagged crap. I gotta say this is the BEST “tea for coffee drinkers” tea I’ve tried. I’ve only sampled these teas in store and never bought them because it would taste too oversteepy bitter and strong elements of tea, with a coffeeness to it making me wish I was dead or could water it down with soymilk and sugar. Good Morning Mate still keeps a good tea flavor but has elements of coffee.

Overall surprised how good this was. Unless this tea grows on me, I don’t think I’d order more – however I would recommend this tea to others and will use it to try and convert my coffee drinking friends and family.

Thanx fusion teas for the sample! I can’t wait to try more.

185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Oh, was there rooibos in this?? Interesting. I didn’t pick it out (probably a good thing!) Although why would they dilute a caffeinated morning tea with something that’s not caffeinated…. interesting…

Awkward Soul / Oolong Owl

haha totally! I’ve noticed a couple of fusion’s roasted mates have rooibos, kinda weird.

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I’m a crafty knitter and crocheter that loves to work on a project and drink tea. I worked as a counsellor and I chain-drink tea to keep me calm and grounded.

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 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.
My recommended tea shops:
Mandala Tea
Steep City Teas
Butiki Teas
Della Terra Teas
Verdant Tea
Yunnan Sourcing
52 Teas / Zoomdweebies
Red Leaf Tea
New Mexico Tea Co
Bluebird Tea Co
The Persimmon Tree

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

I have a husband and a bunny who both hate tea. More for me!!!! MUUAHAHAHAHAAA


Long Beach, CA



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