644 Tasting Notes

Although I like the Lumbini estate tea more, I do have to admit that this Kenilworth is good for when I need something uncomplicated in the mornings. I tend to drink this tea when I make omelets for breakfast, as the maltiness of the tea doesn’t clash with the savouriness of the food.

This morning’s omelet was with cheddar cheese and tomato. A good pairing, overall. Though this is one of the teas I hope to finish off in the coming months.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Last night I was feeling really muzzy-headed and blah – like my brain was both tired/bored and overstimulated at the same time. I ended up having a huge mug of this while sitting in bed and reading things on my phone, and having that alone time helped me feel better.

I really wish I had asked for more than 1 oz of this. I’m nearly done, and I like the orange spice a lot better than JO’s charming chai. Both of them are sweet and candy-like and very cinnamon-heavy, but the addition of the orange really helps meld the sweetness into something more rounded.


Hope you’re feeling better today! I totally know what you mean when your brain can feel simultaneously drained yet overstimulated. Or you just can’t shut your brain off despite feeling so exhausted.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


When I went to Ottawa a few months ago I got a ridiculous number of samples of this and other Four O’Clock teas foisted upon me at a Winterlude celebration. Goodness knows that I love flavoured tea, but this is tea for namby-pamby beginners – overly flavoured and sweetened, meant to be cute and candylike.

It honestly does smell like black forest cake when it’s brewing. But when it cools down, it smells and tastes very chemically, with a metallic sweetness on the back of my tongue and in my sinus cavities thats’ hard to avoid. I’m seriously considering tossing what I have left of this since the flavouring is so obtrusive.

Michelle Butler Hallett

I’ve seen the brand on corporate “nutrition break” trays.It’s generally bad.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

I had some this morning with breakfast – a muffin, a small apple, and a few slices of cheese.

This had a sort of wine note when I sniffed the dry leaf, but it became malty and sweet-potato-ish when brewed.

It was decent, but rather unremarkable. I feel bad, since I know a lot of others here like this tea. I’m finding that when it comes to back tea, I like things that are smoky or citric, but I’m not a huge fan of the sweet potato note.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Backlog from last night.

I chose this tea last night to have with dinner – a few slices of meat-lovers pizza with sausage, bacon, and pepperoni.

Good call! The saltiness and smokiness of the pepperoni and bacon really went well with the smokiness of the tea. And I love the fact that the base tea itself is slightly sweet.

I was seriously considering buying some dark chocolate after dinner to have with this tea since I had at least half the pot left, but the convenience store was closed. Too bad. I bet this tea would be GREAT when paired with dark chocolate squares.

Michelle Butler Hallett

I’ve done that — lapsang with dark chocolate. Serious bliss.


tiny bit of maple syrup

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Backlog from over the weekend.

A perfect tea for spring! I sipped this while sitting on the front porch last Saturday when it was around 20C outside. Beautiful! (It’s goddamned freezing out now, though. It’s been snowing a little bit the past few days!)

The leaves on this are very long and wiry, and because of that I underleafed this particular brew. I’ll have to be a little less stingy with the leaf the next time. Very nice green vegetal flavour like spinach or kale.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Secret of Love by Tealux
644 tasting notes

Backlog from yesterday morning, I think.

I have very little white tea, so I keep all of it in a basket along with my measuring spoons, sugar, and my paper filters from DT. This tea is nice, but it’s far too heavily scented to be practical for me to keep, since the smell leaches into my paper filters.

However, I have maybe about 1-2 servings left of this. It will be good to have one tea less in the cupboard!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


I’m nearing the end of this sample, and sad about it. It’s a lovely-smelling chai – very cinnamon-y and cardamom-y, without being too oppressively candy-like.

I really want to order the Masala Chai that Golden Moon offers since they switched to stocking organic blends, but I have no idea how similar it will taste. The reviews on Steepster so far are meh. (This makes me very sad)


ETA: I totally caved in and made the Golden Moon order once I realized that I had a coupon I could use. Will report on how similar the two blends (old Kashmiri Chai and new Masala Chai) will taste.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Stash carries a Kashmiri Chai made with green tea, spices, and some almond. Really good. And much better than their regular green chai.


I’ve found that I dislike green tea chais. Green tea generally has a sharp and vegetal profile that I think clashes with the sweet/savoury flavours of most chai spices.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


I finished this off last night. It’s got a strong sweet potato note when it first steeps, but if you let it oversteep it’s still pretty good. Gets a bit of a smoky note. However, it didn’t really knock my socks off.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Milk Oolong by Mandala Tea
644 tasting notes

Sunday sample sipdown!

This was a swap either from VariaTEA or Dex – I think VariaTEA. I’ve heard various hymns about Mandala, and about the high quality of this oolong in particular, so I thought I’d see what the fuss was about.

Man, this tea was wasted on me. I waited too long to sip it, so it probably absorbed the flavours of the other teas sitting nearby. In addition, I know myself well enough by now to know that green floral oolongs are not my favourite, and this was very floral. Third, I didn’t get much of a taste of cream or milk at all in this.

I tried brewing this gong-fu style with my gaiwan, but I got only about 3 or 4 steeps in before I decided that this tea just wasn’t working for me. I did a quick 10 second rinse, and my steeps ranged from 15-25 seconds. The leaves had started to unfurl quite nicely inside the gaiwan and the liquor was generally a pale golden colour, but the flavour still wasn’t compelling for me.

At least I have another data point to add to my observations about (my general dislike of) green oolongs.


I don’t think this was from me since I don’t usually keep oolongs around.


Hm, I guess it was Dex, then.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



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



Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer