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Well. You can’t get much more accurate than the title of this tea. That’s pretty much exactly what it is. And exactly how it tastes. Floral/in-your-face tropical. Too much for me, personally. This is also a tea I fed to my sick boyfriend, though I don’t think I added honey. He just wanted something hot. I had a re-steep, and it was so very floral…

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Got a jump start on this week’s cuppings for class; something cool about this week was that one of the sets of cuppings was a ‘blind tasting’ where we steeped a bagged and a loose leaf version of the same (or at least very similar) English breakfast for a person of our choosing and had them both review the tea, but also determine without knowing which is which what the ‘better’ was.

Because he’s really the only person I have easy access to, I used my roomie Tre as my guinea pig for this tasting. Just some background information for anyone who doesn’t know: Tre is not a tea drinker, and when he does drink tea it’s what I’ve picked out specifically for him and generally with a lot of added sugar. For the purposes of this tasting, he didn’t get any sugar or milk with the teas. Also, he’s a chef which you would think means he has a more refined palate but in all honestly I’ve never met someone with a weirder one. Anytime I have him blind taste/smell something he’s either simply off base or just not even in the right field to begin with.

So here are the highlights from this tasting:

When it came to the loose leaf version, he said that the colour of the ‘tea water’ (liquor) was obviously a lot lighter, which I somewhat agree with. While I don’t think the difference was drastic, it was noticeable. As far as the aroma he claimed he couldn’t smell anything but hot water. Which… I don’t even know how, but I digress.

When it came to describing the taste, he very accurately described the feeling of astringency without knowing the name for it – which I told him. He said this sensation was “mild” and when I further probed whether or not he liked the feeling he said he did. That it “felt like what tea should feel like”. But I could not for the life of me coax out any other flavour descriptors other than the astringency and the super not helpful “it tastes like tea”. No Tre! Break it down! However, saying that would’ve been like shouting at a wall so we moved on.

When it came to the bagged version there was the obvious flip regarding the liquor; “It’s darker than the other one. Almost black”. Well no, not black – just a nice rich red/copper kind of colour. As far as the aroma goes he claimed it ‘reminded him of Earl Grey’. I’m not entirely convinced he wasn’t just throwing out what tea terminology he does know. Seriously; what knowledge he retains about my blathering on about tea astounds me. The other day he correctly used the term ‘chawan’ while I was making matcha, but he thinks he tastes/smells bergamot with an English Breakfast? He has one weird palate.

But going further into what he tasted with this blend, he said the astringency (at this point he had been taught the right term) was “more powerful and long lasting” and he called the tea “slightly sweeter” but again I couldn’t coax any more out of him other than “it just reminds me of Earl Grey”. Doh!

I then had him guess which cup was which and he correctly did so, and finally I asked him which he preferred, to which he replied… The bagged tea.

What a tea pleb. But seriously; his logic behind the bagged tea was that it was better because it tasted stronger, and more like ‘what tea should taste like’. I guess taste is a subjective thing and I’ve got to understand that, but the way he processed each cup just seems so… Weird. I wish I could experience each of them the way he does. It would surely be an enlightening experience.

Since he didn’t feel like drinking both full cups I ended up taking a sip of each after he’d left. Now, to be fair I knew which was which but I thought the loose was definitely better. The astringency was pleasant, there wasn’t any bitterness and I could taste the nuances, like the malt and bread notes, better. The bagged, on the other hand, was really harsh and brassy and the amount of astringency kind of made me gag. How anyone could interpret that cup as tasting “sweet” has me seriously perplexed.

Also, again, Earl Grey!?


Loved this review. It so reminds me of trying to share tea with family. My favorite comment was from my mom who said of a beautiful dragonwell, “Well, I guess I can see how someone could get used to that.” Then she proceeded to pour up the decaf bagged Lipton. sigh.


That’s funny but that what majority people like. Many swear that Maxwell House is the best coffee in the world :p

Sami Kelsh

I feel your pain. I once had a line manager who referred to the loose-leaf teas I made myself at the office as “compost”. Thanks, bud. side-eyes the questionable faculty canteen pseudo-coffee he drank in abundance

My parents are good sports and will sometimes try things, and my husband likes cold-brewed fruit teas, but otherwise tends to respond with a yuck-face if I get him to try anything that isn’t PG Tips or the like – which he takes the bag out of as soon as the boiling water’s hit it. Even a totally basic loose-leaf Ceylon from Whittard was a bit off to him! I have given up.


Yeah, non-tea drinkers don’t understand why loose leaf is so much better, lol. My mom is very similar to your roomate- she drinks ONLY black tea with prob an inch of milk and a tablespoon or two of sugar (bleh). However, I do buy her loose leaf black tea for her birthday/mother’s day/Christmas (although I do bag it for her because I know she wouldn’t fiddle with it herself lol) and she says that she does notice it’s different and, although she cannot put her finger on it, she does like it better.

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drank Amaretto by Unknown
487 tasting notes

I have an unknown Amaretto tea also. My guess would be that it’s from Metropolitan tea company but I’m not sure exactly. I added some milk and sugar ‘cause on its own it wasn’t quite as nice as I thought it should be. Then it turned into a nice sweet treat. I know this would hold up well as a latte. I might try this one that way soon.

I’m attempting to drink all my teas once through. I have teas that I got and have yet to try. How sad eh? Well that’s about to change. Lots of new tea tastes coming my way!

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drank Unknown Green Tea by Unknown
775 tasting notes

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drank Bai Mei by Unknown
775 tasting notes

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drank Mint Green Tea by Unknown
1459 tasting notes

I went to a bridal shower two weeks ago and a small jar of this tea, loose, was one of the prizes. The lid is painted with slate so that you can write with chalk on it. They scrawled “mint green tea”. No indication of the company. I adore the periwinkle edging. I have mixed feelings about keeping tea in glass, but since my cupboard does have doors on it, should be ok right?
So the tea… Based on the rolled/semi balled leaves and metallic smell, and taste, I’d say the base is Gunpowder. Not my fave, but traditional for Moroccan Mint tea.
Today, I made a big mug iced with half a tsp of honey to cover up the metal note.
I quite like it this way. Not love but definite like. In fact, I may try and turn it into a mojito type beverage. Agave may work better. Need to pick some of that up as well. Throw in some soda water, vodka, mint leaves? Hmmm.
This will definitely hold me over til I find a mint green that tickles my fancy for summer :D. Thanks L for the tea!!!

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Warning – You will need a large enough teapot to house these amazing leaves!

They are big and long and look amazing! When I put them in water it went a beautiful bright light green.

Slightly nutty but grassy. Just the way I like it.

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drank russian caravan by Unknown
57 tasting notes

Just a nice kick-start to the day, along with meds to try and loosen up my spasmy shoulder. This one’s not overly smoky, and is fairly smooth. It was a gift from a friend, purchased at a local tea store.

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drank Thai Tea by Unknown
652 tasting notes

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drank Genmaicha by Unknown
68 tasting notes

I’ve fallen into a routine with my tea drinking. Every morning, while I’m blearily puttering around the kitchen, I fill up a 12 oz timolino with a cream earl grey and a 16 oz carry mug with genmaicha, and stash them both in my purse. I have no idea what company the genmaicha is from—I got a ridiculous amount from a Japanese restaurant eons ago and the packaging is long gone—but it’s exactly to my tastes, ie. dominant toasty popcorn/rice notes and no grassiness to speak of. I find it soothing in the afternoons, especially when I hit my 2:30 slump.


I do the same thing! Only I don’t fully trust my travel containers, so I get a lot of smirks walking into work double-fisted. :)


I figure I shouldn’t subject anyone to an undercaffeinated-me, so really, I’m only looking out for them! ;)

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drank Unknown Black Tea by Unknown
870 tasting notes

I’m almost positive this tea is from Handmade Teas but I can’t seem to find which one it might be. I put it in an airtight tin and never labeled it.. oops… anyways… It’s gone! I used up my two teaspoons and made a pot. It’s delicious. It has a rich malty-ness with dark chocolate undertones and a touch of sweet potato. There is a hint of caramel and a light fruitiness to it.

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drank Unknown Rou Gui by Unknown
775 tasting notes

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drank Mystery Oolong by Unknown
1774 tasting notes

Well, someone added this into the system, so I’m going to use it.

It’s a mystery oolong, and it’s great. I’m super sick right now so I’m barely drinking any tea at all, but for some reason the idea of this seemed really soothing. It’s a nice green oolong, with just a little bit of roastiness. I can barely swallow it down because I’m so pathetic, but it’s lasted me 2 hours and it’s still great cold.


Feel better soon!


aww, hope you feel better soon!


oh noes! :( hope you feel better soon!


i’m so glad you have mystery oolong to help you out – and i do hope you feel better.


Feel better soon! I recommend tea with LOTS of honey when sick. :)


Thanks guys! I gotta force myself to drink instead of being tired and cold and unwilling to move when I have tea a foot away from me. :P (so pathetic!)

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drank Matcha by Unknown
293 tasting notes

I typed in “matcha unknown” into the search box to see if it would get any hits—and what do you know, this is already there!

So anyway, I was walking by Minamoto Kitchoan (a Japanese confectionary shop) and saw that they were offering samples and matcha green tea. The tea was being prepared with a whisk in-store, and I think this is really the first time I’ve tried matcha with the traditional preparation. And it’s really good. It was served in a small cup, very dark green and frothy, and was deliciously creamy and smooth. Umami and sweet, rich…and somehow very different from the flavor of other teas or foods that have had matcha added to them. This was a whole other level, and I would love to get all the utensils and learn to prepare matcha at home now. But maybe that’s a project for another time :)

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drank mystery puerh by Unknown
1349 tasting notes

No idea what this is, as it’s all in Chinese characters except “Yunnan Tuocha Thé”. I’d expected a bunch of mini tuocha’s (which is what I’ve only come across so far) but instead it’s one mondo tuocha, and hard as a rock. Fellow lovely Steepsterites suggested cutting off a chunk with a dull knife, so this is what I did. Well, more like sawed it off, as it was ridiculously dry and hard.

I knew just before I took the first sip that I should have rinsed it first, because it was FISHY. Oh my goodness, like drinking straight fish sauce fishy. FISHY. I can still smell it hours later. Once it mellowed a bit though and cooled down, this was a really elegant, full-bodied, rich puer that I savoured. Nothing WOW about it, but really nice way to spend my afternoon, nursing this one and re-steeping it.

1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Sounds like an adventure!

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drank Jasmine by Unknown
652 tasting notes

Someone had this tea on Steepster so might as well use it.
My mom bought me some cheap Jasmine tea from the Asian market so I figured I’d use this tea for all my cold brews :) Good tea, but it does get bitter quickly from when I had it a couple weeks back hot.
But now it has been deemed my cold brew tea!

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Drank some more of this the other day. Still a pretty good raspberry black, but not my favourite.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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Got this tea as part of a teapot + 4 tea collection that I received for Christmas. The teapot is nice – a cast iron look-alike pot, though I don’t think I’ll use it overly often (I just don’t drink that much of one tea at a time. Ever.) Anyhow, brewed this tea up in a travel mug for today. Nice raspberry flavour, and when it cooled, the coconut was a bit more apparent, translating both as a creaminess and a coconutty flavour. Similar to DavidsTea’s Fantasy Island, but better because it was fruitier and less drying. Overall not too shabby. I am definitely curious as to the blender of these teas though.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Tie Guan Yin by Unknown
173 tasting notes

So, I got some loose leaf tea as a Christmas present from a student before Christmas. I reviewed it the first time I drank it, but since they are from China and bought it when they were there, I could not read the label.

So, I put a pic up on the Facebooks and got a few answers. It’s a Tie Guan Yin, but the brand is unknown.

But, it’s damn good. Like, one of the better I have had. It came in a small wooden box, with several wrpped, vacuum sealed bags inside.

Brewing two bags, (about 3 tablespoons total) in 32 ounces of water at 200 degrees in my Bodum Assam teapot, I get a nice dark golden, almost wet straw colored brew.

The smell is amazing. Rich, robust, with hints of roasted nuts, wet straw, and toffee.

The taste is equally impressive. Full of flavor, but still so well balanced and smooth.

It’s rare you can find a tea so full of flavor, so big and in your face, so bold and beautiful, but still so well balanced and drinkable. No bitter tea face here!

Flavors: Roasted nuts, Straw, Sweet, Toffee, Wet Earth

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 9 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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drank Jasmin Pearl by Unknown
12 tasting notes


Flavors: Jasmine

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drank Earl Grey by Unknown
471 tasting notes

Boyfriend has several coworkers and managers from the UK at his job, and one of them gave him these Earl Grey teabags from England. I wish I knew the brand—- they’re square and unmarked white filterbags, like the Celestial Seasonings teabags.

Holy God, is it amazing tea though. The base is nice and robust, with hints of cocoa and Assam-like astringency. The bergamot tastes both citrusy and spicy.

Oh yeah, this is the genuine article. He’s had the loose version of it, too, and says that it’s even better.

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drank Unknown Black Tea by Unknown
173 tasting notes
I do like that Unknown Black Tea is such a thing here. I would hate to taste such a great tea and not be able to write about it.

Long story short:

I play and teach music for a living, and often my students give me gifts around the holidays. I have one student in particular who is from China, and his family knows I love tea. Last year they gave me a great green tea.

This year they gave me a black tea. I didn’t ask them about it, and the label and container has only Chinese Characters on it. They did tell me it was a black tea, so I know that much for certain. I’ll find out more about it later, but I wanted to get some words down first.

This tea came in small freeze dried bags, each one containing just under 2 tablespoons of loose leaves. I used two of these bags, so probably 3-4 tablespoons in total, in my 32 ounce Bodum Assam teapot.

I followed the loose brewing guidelines for black tea, rinsing the leaves before adding water that had just reached nearly a full boil and letting the steep for 2:30.

The result was a liqueur with a dark golden, see through color More of an Oolong than a black. It smells and tastes like a Tung Ting, with my limited knowledge of tea.

The aroma is what gave it away. It has that bite, that sweetness that is familiar in teas harvested from higher elevations. I’ve had a couple of Tung Tings from Red Blossom Tea Company, and this was very similar. Sweet, full bodied, hints of sugar and caramel.

I hope to find out more about this tea, I really like it!


205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 9 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

If you open a discussion and post pictures of the packaging someone may be able to help you I’d it. As well sometimes the tea factories name is on the packaging in English which can help find a web page or if you’re really lucky there is a website listed. I’ve used all of these to help I’d types of teas and their makers before. Good luck. Often the gift teas are some sort of Lapsang Souchong ( the ones for the Chinese market are rarely that smokey and I have had one that tasted like a caramel chocolate oolong before. It was fabulous).

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drank Peach Ginger by Unknown
402 tasting notes

i received this from one of the guys who lives with me. its an ok tea. tastes like strong peach and ginger. i wonder what company made this

Flavors: Ginger, Peach

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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drank Chinese Oolong by Unknown
1459 tasting notes

I’m making Kombucha for the first time!
My jug isn’t nearly as big as it should be so we’ll see how things work out. I cut the recipe by two thirds so I’m a little worried that the the ratio may be off in some way. (do you need a minimum amount of anything to get the party started? I don’t know…)
Bah. I guess I have to wait and see. This is the not so fun part. I’ll have to rely on other teas to keep me entertained!

Bear With Me

Oolong kombucha ftw!!!!


Hehe I really hope it works out Bear With Me! :)

Bear With Me

It should! Oolong makes the BEST booch!

I need to find some nice big non metal jars and get mine going again..


oh have fun!


Bear With Me, I used an oolong that isn’t the best quality but is great for mixing and experiments, cooking etc. So hopefully I added enough! or I brewed it for long enough. Different recipes I saw called for various lengths of time… so many factors to look at! LOL


TeaBrat, thanks!! I can’t wait to see what happens :P

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