1123 Tasting Notes


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 another steepster that got their paws on Butterbeer when it was re-blended. I eyed it when it first came out, but hesitated, then it sold out and I was angry at myself. Minutes from Frank’s tweet saying Butterbeer was back I was buying it. MIINNEEE!

Harry Potter fan? Yes but my dad is a bigger fan though. He announces all the spells when he watches the movies (no joke). I’m totally a Syltherin, my husband is probably Ravenclaw and my dad is a Syltherin lackey.

DRY: Rootbeery (with no bubbles going up my nose), creamy and sweet.

STEEPED: Very strong rooty buttery smell. Steeps up very dark brown red.

TASTE: Quick blip of black tea with a bite of bitterness (maybe I steeped it for too long?) then a pronounced root beer taste. With a couple lumps of rock sugar the bitterness reduced and theres butteryness at the initial sip. As the tea cools the rootbeer and butteryness comes out more.

WHO’D “ACCIO BUTTERBEER!” THIS: Black tea lovers and adventurous types.

COMMENTS: I know I messed up this steeping. Either too long or too hot as I’m sure the bitterness is not supposed to be there, so I need to try again.
Overall pretty unique and tasty.

I probably have to share this with my dad, darn!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Thanks to LefTea for a sample of this brain brew!

BRAAAAINNNSSS is the first thing I thought of when I saw this tea. Mmmmmm! You’d think theres walnuts in it, it kinda looks like brains?

DRY: subtly sweet and nutty. Appears to be mostly mate leaves with a scattered twigs of rooibos.

STEEPED: light brown. robust smell and mate.

TASTE: Bright green mate with a little bitterness coming out, slightly nutty and roasted taste. No chocolate flavor.

WHO’D LIKE THIS: straight up mate drinkers.

COMMENTS: Hmmm. I’m thinking this is more of a yerba mate tea than a flavored one. I find the potentially delicious extras (chocolate, vanilla, hazelnuts, apples) aren’t really present, I see the odd apple and chocolate piece in the dry leaves.

Overall, okay tasting mate, but no fun magic present. Or brains.
(apparently the brain thing is the brand, checking the website it’s a whole line of brain tea quoting health benefits of mate).

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Hesper June

So, you are saying this tea would be a disappointment to Zombies then? ;)

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I received this tea in a trade with Ze_Teamaker Thank you!

I admit I’m a hot food fanatic. I can drink Tabasco sauce, when I eat a burrito I always splash hot sauce on it before each bite. Spicy tea I haven’t found the right one yet, but I’m not sure what I’m looking for.

DRY: Surprisingly with the name (and not looking at ingredients), I thought it be a chicory robust chili tea. However, smells like strawberries, sweet and chocolate. Very chunky with pieces of apple and strawberries – oh yeah the strawberries look good! Looks like delicious fruity trail mix without the nuts! I used 2t for a cup of tea.

STEEPED: Cloudy light brown. Smells like like dark chocolate and fruity.

TASTE: Slightly smokey chocolate and fruityness, strawberries coming out. Some sweetness from the apple and mystery mellowness. A little watery. No tartness.

COMMENTS: Wheres the fire? I’ve had a few teas that are much hotter than this! /checks ingredients “Chili” that’s it? Should have some peppercorns or more chili threads. Those 4 dried chilies in the Teavana picture online taunt me. Maybe I didn’t get enough “chili” in my steeping or my hot threshold is crazy so mild spice I don’t pick up anymore.
I’d say Azteca Fire doesn’t live up to its name, I expected more than a tiny bit of smokeyness. This tea is closer to a watery hot chocolate with a hit of fruit. When thought of that way, it’s not bad of a replacement to actual hot chocolate. Steep it strong with some rock sugar and milk and it be interesting.

WHO’D LIKE THIS TEA? well… I think without the heat, you disappoint spicy peeps. With the name Azteca Fire, you scare off the “omg spicy food wahhh!” people.

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 30 sec

If you like very spicy teas, 52tea’s Flaming Chocolate Mate is the spiciest I’ve found. It packs a real punch!


And if you don’t have a sample of it and want one, I’m more than willing to pass some along in your package!

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Love sent out to Emilie for sending me this tea for a tea trade!

OBSERVATIONS: Why is there pictures of cantaloupe in the background of this tea on Teavana’s page? Theres no cantaloupe in this. At least I think it’s cantaloupe (or maybe over exposed watermelon?), seems too light for papaya and it would be easy to identify with papaya + seeds.

DRY: Fruity. I’m trying so hard to smell out some candy papaya but not smelling it. Darn. Very tight and chunky tea. The oolong is in rolled ball form and lots of chunks of fruit and rosebuds.

STEEPED: Light cinnamony and sweet smelling. This tea would be impressive to steep into a glass travel mug with all the colourful chunks, leaves opening and rose bits. Steeps up to a pale yellow. I was crazy and dug into the steeped leftovers and ate chunks of apple and pineapple, yum!

TASTE: There’s a lot going on here. Warm cinnamon (not spicy), bit of citrus, floral, slight bitterness from the oolong, slight papaya essence, sweetness. Kinda tropical. Burpy pineapple aftertaste.

WHO’D LIKE THIS TEA: Oolong drinkers or peeps who like complex flavors.

COMMENTS: Too much going on in this tea! I do like lots of fun flavors going on but I think there’s something throwing it off. I blame the cinnamon or maybe the floral. Take one of those out and this might be pretty nice tea.

That or maybe this cup just had way too much cinnamon. Teavana says “subtle and sweet cinnamon”. This was not subtle cinnamon. I was hoping for a more stronger fruit taste.

Overall, okay. Maybe I’ll have better cups from this batch – sometimes I find big chunky tea gives you various results. I probably won’t buy any myself once I polish this tea off.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I had to go look at the page myself after seeing this! I’m thinking it’s under-ripe papaya with no seeds. Or maybe Teavana just wanted to mess with everyone, who knows :P

When I tried this, I didn’t get much oolong flavor, everything else drowned it out. If you’re looking for more fruit, I think I iced this one and had more fruit flavor come out. I would say cold brew it, but that could make the cinnamon super strong.


I had to look too, hahaha. I’d say papaya too, but nobody presents papaya like that, at least from what I’ve seen! Ah well.

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Oh how I missed drinking mate! I’ve been chugging through my The Persimmon Tree stuff that I haven’t been drinking mate. This is the last Fusion tea sample that I haven’t tried yet.

I ordered this tea because pistachio tea just sounds crazy! I do like pistachios and spumoni ice cream. Is there a spumoni tea? /checks steepster. No? /checks google. No. OMG SOMEONE GET ON THAT!

DRY: Very weird smell. Weird as in it took me awhile to figure out what I was smelling. Lime and lemongrass. All other smells I have no idea.
As I was scooping out my tea, I got a huge 1" long by 0.5" wide lime slice. I removed it and put it back in the bag, I figured I’ll save that huge lime for another steeping.

STEEPED: Mysterious roasted or nutty smell mixed with other smells I can’t ID.

TASTE: An unusual strong, mellow and smooth nutty taste with a background of lime and lemongrass. Green mate comes through strong. Crisp lime aftertaste. No tart or bitterness. There is supposed to be coconut in this tea but I do not notice it.

WHO’D LIKE THIS TEA: Adventurous tea drinkers and green mate lovers.

COMMENTS: WHOA, this tea is WEIRD! I’ve never drank anything like this and it’s so wild and I can’t figure out whats going on!

Um, yeah. I’m not able to number rate this tea at this time because I just can’t tell you if I like it or not or compare it to other things I’ve drank. Yeah, I’ve drank green mate plenty of times, but this adds a weird addition with mystery nut taste (that I can’t ID as pistachio. Unless this is what pistachio is supposed to taste like steeped?). The lime is quite good in this, not tart or bitter like I said earlier.

Back to the spumoni tea.. SOMEONE BLEND THIS! Chocolate pieces, pistachio, vanilla bean. I dunno what kinda tea to stuff in it, stuff something in it, but make it taste spumoni. Of course, slide me some of this tea for free.. ya know, for coming up with it.

185 °F / 85 °C 7 min, 0 sec
Awkward Soul / Oolong Owl

I’m now going crazy and tweeted 52 teas and Davidstea to make me spumoni tea. Must have it! MIIINEEEEEEEEEEEEE!


I have never heard of spumoni. But that sounds delicious!

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I decided to do something different this morning and try making Tea Oatmeal! ya! So not my typical tea review.

I used this tea as I had just enough to make the oatmeal with a cup for myself. The cup of tea I got out of it I found fell flat. Not much of a chocolate taste and only a little bit of spice to it. I can taste a little bit of ginger and thats it. Looking at the ingredients they only added “chocolate flavoring” booo! Add some real chocolate to it!
I love my chais to be STRONG, this one is not despite doing a strong steeping. With that said, I’m glad I don’t have any of this tea left.

To make the oatmeal, I steeped enough tea to replace the water and boiled the oatmeal in it. As oatmeal it also fell flat too and just tasted slightly bitter. I had to add some cocoa powder and a dash of cinnamon to help it out. I’m not sure if it was the tea that wasn’t good enough or the method. But I guess like cooking with wine, you should cook with a wine you like to drink!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

You actually tried it! :D

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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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