1221 Tasting Notes


MEGA BERGAMONT ALERT! Bergamontasaurus RAWRRRR! This is the strongest bergamont earl grey I’ve ever tried.

This earl grey is for the bergamont lovers with constant bergamont flavor throughout the sip. So much bergamont, the tea is refreshing end of sip. The black is really background here, but isn’t dry or bitter. I like bergamont heavy earl greys, so I liked this earl grey.

Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/earl-grey-premium-ocean-tea-oolong-owl-tea-review/


ooo… strong bergamot. Shopping list it goes.


This was a good one.

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drank Banana Split by Tiesta Tea
1221 tasting notes

Another tea from Here’s Hoping Tea box 3

First up, I was curious why there was purple flowers in this tea – that’s not banana split like, but they flowers were pretty. Steeped up, this really smells like ripe banana! Flavor wise, a little weak. The banana (artificially flavored like). A lot of rooibos in this blend, making the flavor a little watery. A little creamy while drinking with a bit of grassy mate. Not bad, but I was expecting a stronger flavor.

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drank Seed Harvest by Handmade Tea
1221 tasting notes

From the Here’s Hoping Teabox 3

Hmmm.. this tea reminds me of curry – it must be the cumin seed in it. Actually, I don’t mind this tea. The black base is flavorful, smokey with the spices making this tea kinda savory. I’m getting cumin first – I think luck of the teaspoon as I see more notes on people tasting the fennel/anise. The fennel and anise add a neat sweetness at the end.

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drank Rooibos Chai by Spicely Organics
1221 tasting notes

I got this chai from the World Tea Expo along with TEA INFUSED CHOCOLATES!

Anyways, this is a pretty good rooibos chai. This one does not skimp out on spices, so with a longer steep you’ll get more spice and less rooibos (a win for me). The key in this chai is the BIG chunks of vanilla bean which add a great creamyness to the chai.

Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl. Plus a tasting of tea infused chocolates! http://oolongowl.com/spicely-tea-infused-chocolates-chai-rooibos-oolong-owl-tea-review/

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drank Milk Oolong by Gong Fu Tea Shop
1221 tasting notes

From the Here’s Hoping Tea box3!

I am a huge fan of Mandala Tea’s milk oolong and was very curious how this oolong stacks up. Appearance wise, GFTS’ milk oolong is a darker, vibrant green, with smaller more chewed up leaf than Mandala’s milk oolong. I used the same steeping parameters that I use for my Mandala Tea milk oolong.

Taste wise, GFTS’ is more fruity – I was getting coconut and bit of fruityness, with lots of vegetal and buttery creamy. This one is quite good – but I’m still leaning on Mandala Tea’s milk oolong, which is more caramel butter edge to it with nicer leaf quality.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

I really like this milk oolong. It’s one of my favorites. I have not had the Mandala one yet.


Definitely give Mandala’s milk oolong a try, Cheri. It is awesome! American Tea Room has a great one too.


Cheri, you tried GFTS and Mandala:) I remember reading your tasting notes. Awkward Soul, I am going to have to go back and have a cup of each. The strong notes of each makes me curious again. For me the GFTS won due to the intense creamy flavor.


I did try the Mandala! I had that one confused in my head. Oops! I didn’t give it a rating because I wanted to try the GFTS and Teavivre ones. My bad!! (I thought I’d had it, and went back through my ratings because I can sort those so much better than my tea log aqnd couldn’t find it. I’m such an idiot.)

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From the Here’s Hoping Teabox 3.

Whole Lotta “nope nope nope” for this tea for my tastes. It’s chicory, stevia like sweet, dirt floor, medicinal herby, rooibos chippy blarrgg! Reminds me of those tiny glass bottle ginseng bottle concoctions my mom would make me drink before exams

However, I could see a coffee drinker liking this for that thick chicory flavor. Maybe. Something my dad would drink. On the good side, this is pretty flavor packed for a rooibos tea.

Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

Hmmm…I’d be OK without the stevia…


Oh I WISH I had thought to drink ginseng before exams… it definitely helps my brain but I guess I didn’t know that at the time.

Oolong Owl

I dunno if it had stevia in it, but it had that same sweetness that hits your tongue kinda weird.

Ha, I dunno if the ginseng worked for me, but the taste certainly had me perked up for a test!

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From Here’s Hoping Teabox 3

Woot, my first Dammann Freres tea! This has an amazing scent steeped – florally and fruity. Big black tea base that is slightly astringent. I’m getting apple, bit of tart with a bit of a licorice aftertaste. Not bad, but not fantastic either. I’d love to try more Dammann Freres tea and happy I was able to try one via a travelling tea box. (rest assured, there’s still more of this tea in the teabox!)

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drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
1221 tasting notes

From the Here’s Hoping Tea Box 3

This black is a straight blend of Keemun, Panyang, & Yunnan with golden tips. Whoa, this is good! Rich, almost cocoay and spice. Really smooth and lots of flavor with no bitterness or dryness. There’s a great sweetness to it, like honey. The tea has a nice fluffy texture. The keemun here adds so much depth. yum!

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Oh I’m totally trying a keemun mixed with a golden Yunnan soon. :D

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From The Here’s Hoping Teabox 3.

I was expecting not to like this, but in the end I slot this one as okay. I haven’t been enjoying Verdant’s yabao, but I thought the concept of this tea too interesting to pass up. I went light on the dry leaf here.

Pretty fun tasting – spruce, honey, ginger, light cinnamon. A very warm tea. Very wild, untamed forest kinda feels to it. It’s about as natural as you are gonna get to a snickerdoodle tea without adding any flavoring oils. But yeah, it’s not like actual snickerdoodle tea – it’s got that lightness of a snickerdoodle but not that tartness I associate with cream of tartar use in the cookie. Maybe if I made a snickerdoodle cookie while camping..
I’m still not digging the yabao, but glad to of tried this one. thanx HHTB!

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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drank Tea Star by Justea
1221 tasting notes

Love this tea! It so SUPER COOL! Check out the photos! It’s a handtied oolong, labelled as the world’s first bagless tea bag. It looks like a blooming tea on a string, a tea ornament. With that said, you got a tea bundled together for lots of space to expand and look gorgeous as it steeps, with little waste.

The flavor is really yummy. I went into a panic and bought 15 of them at the World Tea Expo – and from the constant crowd at Justea’s booth during the expo, they were quite popular. The tea star has a really thick creamy texture. Lightly woodsy and toffee sweet. Kind of reminds me of a light gold tipped yunnan black. I got multiple western style steeps out of this tea.

Full review with lots of pictures on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/tea-star-oolong-justea-oolong-owl-tea-review/ So many pictures, this tea is really attractive.

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 30 sec

SO cool! I want some!!!


When I saw this in your World Tea Expo post, I couldn’t wait for you to review it! So happy it is good and not just pretty, And boy is it pretty!


What a unique tea! Lovely review :]


looks like an underwater pine cone! :)


Oh cool! You got to go to the World Tea Expo AND Justea was there! Nice!

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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 and knitting designer at Awkward Soul Designs.

To contact me for reviews, check out details at OolongOwl.com/about or email me at [email protected]

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 573 Teas – August 2015.


Seattle, WA USA



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