630 Tasting Notes

drank The au Chocolat by Lupicia
630 tasting notes

Backlog from last night

Sil sent me this in a swap a loooong time ago. Don’t know why I’ve been hoarding the Lupicia teas so much. I have about half the sample left now.

I remember trying Harney & Son’s chocolate blend “Florence” a few weeks ago and enjoying that. This one was kind of similar, but the chocolate flavour was far more prominent in the scent here rather than the taste. Florence had more true-to-life chocolate flavour, and I liked the note of hazelnut there.

If I had to choose between the two, I’d go with Florence over this.

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Thanks to Dexter for sending me some of this. I’m getting over a cold so I didn’t savour this one too much, but it was malty and a bit spicy. Not sure if I’d restock this, but it wasn’t bad.

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drank Pure Green Tea by Twinings
630 tasting notes


We have some of this in the house and I drink it when I’m in a rush in the morning. Not horrible, but definitely nothing exciting either. Kinda cardboardy, actually.

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This tea makes me so happy, because I’ve finally found a yunnan gold tea with the same hints of sweetness, smoke, and leather that are in RiverTea’s Golden Yunnan! I’ve been so sad about the demise of RiverTea because it meant I couldn’t get any more of GY, and I’ve been trying lots of Yunnan teas since then to find something that compares.

So far – up until today’s tea! – I’ve been disappointed. I keep getting sweet-potato-ish Yunnans instead of the smoky, leathery goodness like this.

I am beyond the moon with happiness now that I’ve found a replacement! (By the way, KS, you should try this too!)

I also like the fact that this comes in the cone shapes. It’s perfect for a cup, and 2 cones would be perfect for a teapot. I’m seriously considering buying 100g of this – 50 cones in total.

Many, many many thanks to Dexter for sending me this in a swap. Hooray!

Flavors: Leather, Smoke, Sweet


Awesome! I knew someone had to have a similar tea. I love the sweet potato Yunnans too but man, I’m a sucker for smoky leather. I reviewed several Esgreen teas a few years ago. I recall them all being decent enough. I’ll have to give this one a try. Thanks for the heads up.


Awesome!!!! Be sure to sign up with an account and to the ESGreen newsletter – you get loyalty points that can be used for dollars off your first order….


KS, which ones did you review? I’m seriously considering an order and I’d love some recommendations on samples.


Looks like I reviewed 11 of them back in 2013. http://theeverdayteablog.blogspot.com/search/label/Esgreen

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drank Florence by Harney & Sons
630 tasting notes

Had this tea last night. Thanks to Dex for sending this in a swap!

The dry leaf smelled like rich dark chocolate with a hint of something deeper behind it. Almost like chocolate mousse. The liquor was also very chocolaty, but as it cooled, the hazelnut note came to the fore.

I was hoping for more of a rich nutella flavour from this, but I think I was a bit shy on the steep. I steeped it for 3.5 minutes in freshly boiled water, but I think I should have gone for 4 minutes. Luckily, I have more than enough left to try again.

Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Nuts

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drank Blooming tea by Grosche
630 tasting notes

Cold-brewed this today. It was kinda meh. The jasmine was a bit strong. Ah well. Sipdown.


Did it bloom using cold brewing?

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drank Creme Brulee by DAVIDsTEA
630 tasting notes

I thought I had added this tea to my cupboard, but I guess not. In any event, last night was a sipdown – but I’m robbed of the satisfaction of pressing the “remove from cupboard” button.

This was nice and tasty, but I don’t know if I’d want to restock.

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drank Cookie by Lupicia
630 tasting notes


I have two little samples of this – one from a swap from Sil last summer and one from a swap from VariaTEA late last year/early this year. So I finally dug in – I had this both yesterday and today, using up the little packet from Sil.

This really does smell like a chocolaty, oatmeal-y, raisin-y, sugary cookie. Yesterday I steeped it for too long and didn’t add any sugar, and it was weirdly burnt tasting and overly sweet. Tonight though, I steeped it only for about 4 minutes and remembered to add some agave nectar. The extra sugar really brings some body to the tea and rounds out the sweet taste.

I really wonder what’s in this stuff! There’s an incredible caramelized sweetness to this that honest to god does taste like baked goods. This is definitely a tea to save for special occasions.


it’s nice with milk added as well..something i don’t normally do with tea

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Backlog from yesterday.

Another tea from Dex! I wasn’t too sure about the steeping parameters, so I used 1 tsp per cup with 100C water for about 5 minutes. However, since the leaf was very fluffy, it’s possible I underleafed.

Speaking of that, the dry leaf here is lovely – consistently golden, curly little buds with a some down on top.

I was expecting the usual sweet potato profile for a yunnan on this, but what I got surprised me.

It tasted like pepper! Like freshly ground black pepper!

This wasn’t unpleasant once I got used to it, but it certainly threw me for a loop at first! The liquor itself was a nice medium gold colour, and there was no astringency that I could sense….but…pepper! I’ve never gotten such a taste sensation from a tea before that didn’t have chai spices in it.

Flavors: Peppercorn


Cool! I haven’t tried this one. It sounds neat.


sounds good!

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Backlog from last night!

I just got this tea as part of a huge swap/care package from Dexter. Thanks so much, Dex! I asked her if she could recommend some smoky/leathery black teas to replace my much-beloved (and now unavailable) Golden Yunnan from RiverTea. She sent me at least half a dozen different teas to try!

This is the only tea I’ve tried from the swap package so far. However, I didn’t get a lot of smoke. I sensed a teensy bit of smoke/leather at the back, but the biggest notes I remember were sweet potato, menthol, cocoa, and a bit of fruit. Definitely sweet potato, at least.

So much tea! I’ll never be able to finish it all!

Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

I could send you a couple dozen more black teas to try – I just thought those were the best candidates to what you were looking for. LOL but based on this review we taste things differently. Oh well – at least you can cross it off your list. :))

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Updated February 2014:

I’m a writer and editor who’s fallen for loose-leaf tea hard. Within a year of joining Steepster, I’ve spent at least $500 on tea, and gotten a whole bunch in swaps! At this point I’ve got a better handle on what I like and dislike, but I’m sure that there will always be more to discover.

Likes: Green tea, sobacha, fruit flavours, masala chais, jasmine, mint, citrus, ginger, Ceylons, Chinese blacks.

Dislikes (or at least generally disinclined towards): Hibiscus, rosehip, chamomile, licorice, lavender.

Things I’m on the fence about: Oolong, vanilla (I prefer it mixed with black teas or rooibos rather than green tea), white teas.

Still need to do my research on: pu’er teas.

I rarely score teas anymore, but if I do, here’s the system I follow:

100-85: A winner!
84-70: Pretty good. This is a nice, everyday kind of tea.
69-60: Decent, but not up to snuff.
59-50: Not great. Better treated as an experiment.
49-0: I didn’t like this, and I’m going to avoid it in the future. Blech.


Toronto, ON, Canada



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