775 Tasting Notes

I’ve been steeping this on and off over the day while at work. The third steep is kind of tart!

This is generally nice and malty, but not knock-your-socks-off amazing. I’ve got about 1 more serving’s worth of leaf left.

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drank Jubilee by Tea Leaf Co
775 tasting notes


I made the rest of this tea in my iced tea pitcher and added some lemon-flavoured honey. I deliberately overleafed to get a strong flavour, and this way I could really taste the rooibos. I can smell the rose and mango, but couldn’t taste it that much. Ah well, I may restock this next summer.

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drank Pumpkin Chai by David's Tea
775 tasting notes

I got a cup of this with some agave nectar added to go this evening. The flavour was milder than I expected. I tasted mostly nutmeg and cream, with a hint of cinnamon as I progressed through the cup. It was nice, but I know that when I buy teas from David’s Tea that I can never make them taste as good at home as they do in the store.


they use more leaves in a store


I know – I think they’re also a lot more generous with the sweetener than I am.

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I’ll probably resteep this once or twice today. I like the smell of this, but I’ve got so much tea to deal with that I’ll just bid this one a fond farewell for now.

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I used up the whole sample of this tea that Ubacat sent me – about 2 tablespoons.

And boy, was it a great idea! I love the way this tea smells. It’s got a deeper scent than other buckwheat I’ve tried. This one smells like cocoa and honey, actually – like a Crunch chocolate bar, the kind of chocolate that has rice crisps inside it.

This extends to the brewed tea. A lovely golden liquor with notes of honey, puffed rice, and roasted seame seeds. This is pretty awesome! I’ll see if I can get a second steep out of it.


Heh, it was your note from the other day that spurred me to try this! The second steep is a bit nuttier. But both buckwheat teas are super good.


I keep hoping to find one locally, but there’s just corn (not brave enough to try yet!) and barley (which I can’t have). One day I will find some! :)


Such interesting notes. Never would have expected them buckwheat tea.

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drank Aged Dahongpao by White2Tea
775 tasting notes

The Aged DHP was a lot smoother overall than the fresh. The dry leaves were long, dark, and spindly, and they smelled like wood, cigarettes, and roastedness. I also smelled a hint of something salty at the back of my nose, like soy sauce.

After a 5-second rinse with 90°C water, the smell of the leaves deepened into cigars and charred wood, but I didn’t get the burnt sugar/burnt pie crust sensation that I got from the Fresh DHP.

The first steep resulted in tea that was an ochre colour — much redder than the Fresh DHP. The fragrance was light, but sharper and woodier than the fresh stuff. Again, I couldn’t sense any burnt notes. This tea was definitely smoother, but there was a more alkaline aftertaste, especially on the backs and sides of my tongue.


What I find interesting is that White2Tea described this tea as “mineral.” I can see that, though I think what they consider “mineral” was what I was describing as flowers/sandalwood.

Full review at http://booksandtea.ca/2015/08/white2tea-august-2015-subscription-box-clover-patch-oolong-and-2-da-hong-paos/

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drank Fresh Dahongpao by White2Tea
775 tasting notes

The Fresh DHP is made of black, gnarled nuggets of tea leaf. Dry, they smell of paper; there’s also a skunky sort of smell that reminds me of weed, unfortunately. I took about 3.8 grams of dry leaf and put them in a gaiwan. After rinsing them in 90°C water for 5 seconds, the smell deepened and the whole thing smelled fresh and wet with notes of graham cracker, blackened sugar, and burnt pie crust. The first steep was 10 seconds; the second, third, fourth, and fifth were 15, 20, 25, and 50 seconds respectively.

This didn’t taste as harsh as I was expecting. There was an orchid note there along with the note I’m learning to associate with roasted oolongs: green, wet, and sticky, like someone’s just cut into the heart of a plant and the wound is now welling with sap. There was a surprisingly soft aftertaste here like grass and orchids, along with that burnt sugar/pie crust note.

Full review at http://booksandtea.ca/2015/08/white2tea-august-2015-subscription-box-clover-patch-oolong-and-2-da-hong-paos/

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drank Clover Patch by White2Tea
775 tasting notes

Man, this tea is weird. It looks like your typical dark roasted oolong — long, spindly twists of black leaf — and it even kind of smells like it too, with a sweet, strong smell of buckwheat and burnt sugar.

The first taste was of something extremely alkaline on my tongue, like I splashed some sort of industrial chemical on it. On the back and sides of my tongue the taste became more floral, like honeysuckle or lilies, with an aftertaste like rose or osmanthus. The colour of the tea was amber like beer.

Over subsequent steeps I felt that the texture and taste on my tongue was like that of fabric: cotton, denim, linen, thickness covering my tongue. The floral honeysuckle/lily flavour was also there — there was none of the juicy, grassy sweetness that the smell of this tea promised.

Then it hit me. Industrial chemicals? Flowers? Fabric?

It tasted like the tea embodiment of a dryer sheet.

You know, those little wisps of perfumed, polymerized fabric you put into the dryer with freshly washed clothes to make them soft and non-static-cling-y.

What the fuck? I’m mystified, but also kind of horribly fascinated.

Full review at: http://booksandtea.ca/2015/08/white2tea-august-2015-subscription-box-clover-patch-oolong-and-2-da-hong-paos/


“the tea embodiment of a dryer sheet” lol


I love this review.


Dude, this tea was weeeeeeird. The spent leaves smelled quite orchid-like, but I think I prefer my oolongs to be more sweet/molasses-ish.


Wow, did we ever have different reviews of this tea!

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drank Guava Cadabra by DAVIDsTEA
775 tasting notes

Backlog from last night.

This was much tarter than I remembered – I probably could have added some more water and sugar to this to tone it down. However, my husband liked it, so that’s good.

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drank Coffee Cake by DAVIDsTEA
775 tasting notes

Backlog from last night. I got this from the GCTTB4 a few months ago.

Drank this while finishing off “And When She Was Good” by Laura Lippman. The chance to just read and sip and read and sip…. I haven’t had that a lot lately, and it was very restorative.

This tea smells great! I didn’t get a lot of the pineapple notes that others have mentioned here. Instead, I got butter, brown sugar, caramel, maple – all the flavours that are perfect for when you’re starting to get hints of fall on the air.

It didn’t taste as good when it cooled, though. I think that I probably have enough left for only 2 more cups, so I’ll add sugar to those and see what that’s like.

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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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