1041 Tasting Notes


YUM! This tea reminds me of those fruit and nut Cadbury chocolate bars without the nuts. The pairing of chocolate and fruityness is tasty!

This tea is quite creamy and milk chocolately throughout most of the sip. Steep City put a generous amount of chocolate chips in this blend! End of sip you get some honey like berry flavors. With sweetener, I can pick up the berry flavor has raspberry in it.

Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2013/09/16/choco-honeyberry-tea-steep-city-teas-oolong-owl-tea-review/

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Tea Sipper

I’ve been waiting for a review of this one. Looks like it’s good!

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drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
1041 tasting notes

Round 2! I resteeped the leaves from last night’s go at Special Dark.
This time I added some honey and a splash of soymilk.

SOO CREAMY! Rich, chocolately with a interesting caramel note along with some woodsy nuttyness thickness.

I think I prefer short steeps of Special Dark, though adding milk and sweetner was pretty yummy – I could see myself doing it again.

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

That’s it…I’m gonna have to make a Mandala order as soon as I have the cash! :P


I’m thinking the same thing!


So great! This is the tea we’ve been brewing up at the sampling bar all day!! Yum! So happy you’re diggin’ it!! I just secured 20 more pounds of it from the producer, but that’s it. All gone after that unless a miracle transpires and he finds more in his tea factory!

Awkward Soul

Uh oh. Limited supply always gets me, I know I’m ordering more with my next order!

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drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
1041 tasting notes

I saw Terri Harplady steeped Special Dark for like 7 minutes and I totally needed to try it! I tasted it at 5 minutes and WHOA THAT IS FREAKING DARK! Rich, burnt chocolate with almost a nutty finish – it’s comparable to coffee like in intensity. It’s so strong, flavorful and addictive, I have to sip it very slowly. I made my cup while I was finishing up making dinner (Pioneer woman’s pork roast with apple and caramelized onions and some risotto on the side) and I’m still working on it after I’ve finished eating dinner!

My roommate, the one I’ve converted to tea for sludgy coffee, would dig this tea. I might have him try it – he’d love it sooo much!

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Good stuff! This is how I make puerh lattes…really strong!


oh man..i can’t believe it’s never occurred to me to make a puerh latte…


The 7 minute steep is my favorite way to drink Special Dark. It’s a kick in the face but so yummy. I shall have to try it in latte form. I never thought of trying that before.

Terri HarpLady

Even though I sometimes like to do short steepings, I really love doing a long strong one too. I don’t usually go 7 minutes. I think I got that idea from Grace :)


Sweetening puerh or adding milk can increase the caramel notes…You begin to know which ones are going to be best for lattes after awhile. A real Fall and Winter treat!


Not latte’s! CHA-tte’s! That’s what we call here at Mandala Tea :) So tasty!!!!!! And if you are adding something other than whole milk and using thinner products like almond or rice milk, I like blending in some really nice coconut milk to thicken up the mouthfeel a bit. I just use a stick blender. Awesomeness, children!

Terri HarpLady

On the rare occasion that I make a Chatte (I’ll use that from now on Garret, thank you), I use canned coconut milk, but for some some reason I never though of whipping it up with my immersion blender! Now I want to make a chatte!


YES – to coconut milk!! I use that in my post-workout smoothies! So delishus. And the coconut oil/fat is so beneficial to the body. And incredible oil that I use for darned near everything – cooking, skin care, tea. I could drink coconut milk til the cows come home!

Terri HarpLady

Yup, me too Garret! I also make Keifir from it :)


That is an excellent idea! I used to make so much kefir when I had access to raw, grass-fed milk… Do you use kefir “grains” or some other culturing method?

Terri HarpLady

I use Kefir grains. They have to go into real milk every couple of days, but my sons can drink the milk kefir, so it works out ok. I’ll have extra Kefir grains soon, so if you want some, let me know!


I used to do coffee tastings and recommendations for specialty grade coffees (can I say coffee here? :) ), and although I drank my coffee black, there were some origins that benefited from a bit of sugar or cream.For example, a bit of sugar would bring out the complex fruitiness of Ethiopians and Kenyans, and just a dash of cream would bring up the chocolate notes in a great Kona or Guatemalan.
I have a sample of this that Garret sent along with an order and I need to try it asap. As a almost former coffee drinker, I will probably do 2 rinses and then a 5 minute steep. From what I read, it sounds like I’m in for a treat.

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Thank you takeya iced tea maker – it is really helping me sip down fruity teas. I just make a huge pitcher full of iced tea and drink it throughout the day.
This tea is much better iced, so I should be able to drink all this in one more giant pitcher worth. Still meh on flavor, wish the fruityness was stronger with better white tea base.


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Sipdown! I really wanted a black tea instead, but I wanted to sip down something. 209 teas.. well, that’s probably lying. I’m sure theres a box of teas somewhere I haven’t logged into Steepster.

This sipdown came out pretty grassy, grassier than I remember this tea being. However, lots of the leaf was pretty smashed, however still a really good unflavored green! yum!

175 °F / 79 °C
Terri HarpLady

LOL, about the tea count, I resemble that remark!

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Sip down! A tasty one at that!

Banana Dulce (aka Banana Coconut) poured over ice, milk and honey. I steeped this one for like 10 minutes – I find the longer steep really helps the flavors come out. Very creamy, bananay with a hint of caramel.


I do like my green rooibos blends and found the chamomile used decently here. I might have to get more of this as this tea makes a great end of day latte.

(see previous review http://oolongowl.com/2013/02/13/banana-coconut-from-the-persimmon-tree-tea-review/ )

Boiling 8 min or more

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Excuse me while I roll around on the carpet hooting how good this tea is.

YUM! Giant Leaves! Super creamy! Sweet caramel! Delicious black tea base! Tasty creamy resteep!


Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2013/09/11/caramel-vanilla-assam-from-butiki-teas-tea-review/
Sorry, no fancy pictures today. I’m tired out from canning pears. Delicious tea and rum infused pears.

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I hope you know I get drooly every time you describe your home canning adventures! :) Delicious!

Awkward Soul

If the tea infused pears turns out well I’ll post the recipe on my blog. I’m going to give it a week to marinate in the jars.

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Arggahahahaagggfffppphh! So I spent all day standing at the social security office. Blasted place needs more chairs, heck more people working the place.
Worse, I hurt my shoulder bad at jiujitsu last night – it got cranked one too many times so now I can’t lift my arm without eye watering pain. Joy.

I made a huge iced tea pitcher of this yesterday – thankfully! I need tea NOW! Candy raspberry with a little floral white. Pretty good iced, especially with some lemon slices. I’m gonna sit back, guzzle iced tea listening to Ziltoid radio with an ice pack on my arm.


Our SS office is the same way. I go in with my rollator and oxygen tank and no one ever offers to get up and let me have a seat. Most of them are half my age and look plenty healthy but whatever. I would get up for them because my mom loved me enough to teach me to treat others better than that.

Awkward Soul

oh totally. There was so many people standing that shouldn’t be. But also, I’m unsure why when people go to the SS office they need to bring their entire family with them, taking all the seats and not moving.

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Sweet Fragrance Pu’er is an easy to drink pu’er. It’s a ripe 1992, however has a light to moderate flavor intensity. Plenty of woody amber sap sweetness in early and final steepings, with earthy wet wood, charcoal and steamed leaf flavor notes. There is a silky texture which remains throughout all the infusions, which was pretty nice.

Overall, I loved how easy to drink and sweet this tea was. However, I wished for a bit more complexity since the flavor of this tea stays pretty consistent between each infusion. Either way, this is a great beginner pu’er that has no fermentation notes that would appeal to tea drinkers that like roasted oolongs vs deep dark thick blacks pu’er drinkers.

Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2013/09/09/sweet-fragrance-puer-from-tea-setter-tea-review/
Featuring sad pu’er pick Owl.


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drank Muscat by Lupicia
1041 tasting notes

This came as my free monthly lupicia sample/newsletter thing recently. Man I love the newsletter, I think I’ll need to do another order soon so I can keep up with it. Though lately, I’ve just been stuffing the samples into my bagged tea jar and not drink them.

Anyways, I wanted a new tea, but not up for a full tea review as I need to save my camera battery charge for tomorrow: Disneyland and Club 33! I’m currently also busy stressing out what to wear that follows the dresscode, but also comfortable and not overly hot 93F weather. Sigh.

The smell and taste of this tea is straight up muscat grape artificial candy. If you’ve had any kind of asian muscat candy you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s not that traditional “purple” flavor. The black tea base is smooth, pairing nicely with the muscat. I love muscat candies, and this is a great calorie saver for it!
I am tempted to buy this, however in limiting my tea stash, I’ll stick to Lupicia’s Champagne Rose.

hmm.. I wonder how the muscat oolong is?


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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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