2185 Tasting Notes

drank Pistachio Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
2185 tasting notes

I had this one cold at the gym tonight. At first I was unsure of how nutty matcha would be cold, but holy moly, it was delicious.

Again, 1/2tsp for a liter of water. I actually usually put it in my water bottle with a little water in the morning, then fill it the rest of the way up with cold water at the gym. Not sure, but I sometimes feel like giving the matcha time to stew in the cool water all day boosts the flavor. This one was nutty (natch), very pistachio-y, and even a hint sweet (no sugar involved!). Yum. I think I prefer this one cold, even.

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I am revisiting this tea for the first time in a while. I would like to bust through some of my older Dammann Frères teas so that I can possibly make an order from them… there are so many of their teas I want to try.

This one I have the least left of all of them. It really does remind me of Harney’s Florence, though I would have to taste them back to back to really remind myself of that because I haven’t had Florence in a long time. It’s lightly chocolatey and very nutty, with the barest hint of orange to it. When it was warmer it was a touch sweet in the aftertaste, though this seems to have faded and it is more astringent when cooled. Really quite a tasty tea, though not quite as spectacular as my other favorite DF teas.

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Terri HarpLady

I have yet to try any of Dammann Freres teas, although I’ve drooled over their website a bit ;)


I am tempted when the tea boxes are over to see if a bunch of people would like to place a single order with them. So many I want, and the ones you can get in Sur La Table are not them.


DF are one if my favorite tea companies, and I was just thinking how I would like to split an order because they only sell tea in 100g or more, and that’s a bit too much for me at one time.

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drank Caramel Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
2185 tasting notes

The last few times I went to exercise, I switched my usual water with some cold matcha. I read that matcha can boost calorie burning during a workout, and also that it can provide more energy during the workout (which is kind of a well duh since it has pretty energizing properties anyway). I figured, why not? Just a half a teaspoon in my one liter of water is flavorful and really tasty. I’ve done it with my Sea Buckthorn Matcha, Black Currant Matcha, and today with this Caramel Matcha.

The first time I didn’t think it really made any difference in my energy level, but then again that class was with an instructor that I don’t really like anyway. Yesterday was my second time with it at spin class and I didn’t really think it made a ton of difference at the time, but today my regular instructor (who I love) came up to me before class and asked “Did you drink a Red Bull before class yesterday? You were going so fast!”

So I guess it must be doing something! Haha. Also, for what it’s worth, I have tried to exercise to lose weight before, and though I often come out feeling stronger it never seems like I lose pounds or inches. There is probably a lot of stuff at work this time, but I actually do see quite a difference during this latest exercise kick, and this time I have been drinking matcha in the morning during the entire time. Yay matcha.


Congrats on your working out! I myself am trying to get back into it after being out for over a year! Yoga kicked my butt today.

Oolong Owl

I too found matcha before working out helps out a lot – and it’s low calorie so you aren’t wasting the workout!


good idea! I’ll try this once I get my caramel matcha (in the mail!)


I’ll have to give this a try. I usually stick to good ol’ water, too.


Interesting idea!


I love the amount of energy it gives me, when I go a day or two without Matcha I can really feel the difference, I can feel my energy levels droop. But if I get on a routine where I’m drinking at least a bowl of Matcha a day, after about a week, I can really tell the difference in my energy levels. It’s great stuff.


Liberteas – Do you normally drink straight matcha or flavored matcha on a daily basis?


I love reading stuff like this even though I ended up taking a deep nap when I drank a nice matcha latte. I bet if I had it regularly I would notice a difference in energy levels though. My body has a processing time to any new thing it comes across.

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drank Raspberry Oolong by A C Perch's
2185 tasting notes

Sorry I haven’t been posting lately; I have finally reached that stage in my tea life where I am drinking tea but don’t have much of a desire to write about it. Mostly it’s not new tea, for one. Actually I have been missing my usual “tea times” for no good reason except that I am preoccupied and stressed. Tea would make it better, of course!

The first time I had this tea, I was underwhelmed. The second time, I was pleasantly suprised. This time I am not surprised, but it is pleasant. The raspberry is so juicy and natural tasting, and the oolong is a nice background. It’s not really easy to pinpoint as a green oolong or dark oolong, but rather has subtle characters of each. A slight touch of roastiness here, the hint of a floral background there. It’s really quite a nice blend.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Well don’t write much if you don’t care to, but for the companionship and friendship…this is a great destress point. We do care! No soap opera’s but good people. Glad to OO see you!


Glad to see you Dinosara! Sorry life has been stressful as of late. :( I sometimes feel like just lurking in the background – the last week has been a week full of get other things done so I find I have to keep myself away from here in order to do that. Its understood and you should do what feels right to you!


Thanks guys. I of course have been checking Steepster nonstop and reading everyone else’s notes and the discussions… not even that can keep me away! :)


Raspberry is my darling fruit …and a reason why I am always reticent to have a tea with this flavor fearing some disappointment. Welcome back on the writing side of steepster :)


Hope you feel less stressed soon. Tea does help somehow, it is really quite magic.

And funny, I also had this one yesterday! No tasting note, because i really had nothing new to add. The last little tiny bits of the sample Angrboda so kindly sent me. Raspberry is indeed a special fruit.

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Trying another gongfu session this afternoon. This is 6g (exact measurement) of tea for my 6oz pot. This tea was a sample provided by Fong Mong for review (that I’ve been bad about getting around to tasting), so thanks!

Perhaps it is just the power of suggestion from the name but the dry leaf on this tea does smell fruity to me. This time I steeped this oolong at slightly under the boil, for 45 seconds as recommended by Fong Mong, after a rinse. The tea smells very floral and a bit fruity, with a bit of vegetables underneath, but not leafy vegetables like I often get with oolongs. More cooked zucchini or something. The flavor is mild at first sip but it quickly blossoms in the mouth, sweet and candy-ish. Still with a bit of those vegetables, as if it was candied zucchini (which I saw some chefs do on Chopped recently, so maybe that’s where I’m getting the idea from). I like it, it’s pretty different from most other oolongs I’ve tried.

Second steep is, once again for me, kind of lackluster. I steeped it an additional 15 seconds as instructed by Fong Mong, but it has now lost much of the sweetness and more of those leafy vegetal notes are coming out. I don’t blame the tea because, as I’ve said, this is a problem that has plagued me for a while. I tried to do an extra long steep, almost western style, but it’s always as if I steep out all the good flavors early on.

I am rating this one based on the first steep, which was very tasty and unique.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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Ugh, my computer froze and I lost my note on this one. I have had it before so it’s not too big of a deal, but still annoying.

Mainly I am trying to figure out some of my gongfu brewing issues. No matter what I can’t seem to have a good gongfu session. Maximally I get one good first steep, a decent second steep, and after that it’s all meh, regardless of the tea. I thought maybe I wasn’t using enough leaf so I went crazy with this one. It’s actually less good than the last time I went gongfu on this one and used half the leaf. Still don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve obviously enjoyed the gongfu sessions I had at tastings that other people ran, and I have even successfully gongfu’d tea myself before (a jasmine green), so I don’t know what my problem is here. I think I cannot seem to figure out the optimal leaf amount for my pot. Maybe someday.

Invader Zim

I’m wondering if it’s the water you’re using.


I always do my bigger posts in a word program and transfer it here for that reason.
Frustrating when that happens.


Invader ZIm— I kind of doubt it for a couple of reasons: 1) I use the same water for all of my teas and I don’t run into other problems with them; 2) I did a taste test with bottle water vs. my water and they were almost identical; and 3) I really doubt the Beijing tap water that I used in my hotel, and one of the few places I had some success gongfu-ing, was of better quality than my current water!

That said, I might try gongfu-ing with different water just to see if it makes a difference.

Invader Zim

That was the only thing that the problem seemed like it could’ve been. I hope you are able to figure it out and enjoy past your second brew.

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After this cup, I will be down to one more serving of this tea, just as I am down to one more serving of Teavivre’s Black Dragon Pearls. Wish I could say it meant and order from Teavivre in the near future, but I really have to get my stash down before I move in a couple of months, so I doubt I’ll be making any tea orders besides matcha.

Well, I will enjoy it while it lasts, because it is delicious! Can’t wait to be able to order some more.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Tamarind Pop by Butiki Teas
2185 tasting notes

This tea comes to me from my swap with Rachel Sincere. Thanks!

I love tamarind, in pretty much any form. Sweet, sour, earthy… it’s one of my favorite flavors. I always wanted to try this tea when it became available because of that fact, so I jumped on the chance to get some in a swap. I’ve read through the tasting notes and see that most people recommend it with a little sugar, but I don’t have any so I won’t be using it. I’ve never had Guranse black tea before, so I am interested to try it as well.

From the dry leaf I get an aroma that reminds me of the spicy tamarind candies you can find in foreign grocers sometimes. Basically thick tamarind paste, covered in coarse sugar, often mixed with a bit of cayenne for spice. Those also tend to have an earthy smell to them, which I pick up here a lot. I get the sour fruitiness, and what reminds me of a little spice.

Steeped, the tea smells black and fruity in a tart way. I am really enjoying this tea. It is blended in such a way that it really accentuates the black tea, which happens to work very well with the sweet-sour tamarind flavor. There isn’t a true sourness here, but perhaps the idea of it? Whatever it is, it works. I definitely pick up the smoky tabacco notes in the base tea, and again they somehow really fit with the tamarind. Normally I wouldn’t be really into a tea with smoky notes, but this one is working for me. It’s definitely subtle flavoring, and I’m sure it is brought out by sugar, but I’m not sure that it needs it. I like it that way.

This just reminds me that I really need to put in an order to Butiki one of these days.

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I LOVE this tea!

Rachel Sincere

That is so funny. I got NONE of that from that tea. It wasn’t bad or anything. I was just underwhelmed. Glad it found a great home! :-)

Rebecca Lynn

I was pretty underwhelmed too. I’m glad it’s popular for others though!


I have yet to meet a butiki tea that I don’t enjoy.

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This tea came up in the comments on another tea by The Tea Spot, which of course made me crave it this morning. I was glancing through the tasting notes on this tea and someone mentioned a chocolate rose tea, and suddenly I wanted my fabulous chocolatey tea to be rosey as well. I had already portioned out my leaf but hadn’t poured my water, so I was considering just removing a small amount of the leaf and replacing it with a little rose black tea from my rapidly dwindling stash of that sort of tea, but I didn’t want to taint the high quality base on this with a lesser black tea. Then I remembered my rose buds from China… a package of potent, magenta buds I picked up at a tea shop in Beijing, and used to add rose flavor to oolongs and such while I was there. I dropped in a generous helping of buds and steeped as usual.

The steeped tea smells deliciously chocolatey as usual, with a hint of rose. That’s how the flavor plays out as well; I could have used some more rose, but I think the buds were a little overwhelmed by a black tea. What’s there is lovely, though… it is rose in an earthy, rough, whole-plant way, not a frilly perfumy way, and it works really well with the chocolate.

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This sounds amazing!


I liked chocolate ‘O’ too.


What a great combination!


Ohhhh…this sounds sooo goood…

Terri HarpLady

In consolation for feeling crappy, I’ve been lurking at the tea spot’s website this morning, piecing together an order that includes chocolate o, more bolder breakfast, & a bunch of samples.

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I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: Mind-blowingly good, just right for my palate, and teas that just take me to a happy place.
89-86: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
85-80: Pretty tasty teas that I enjoy well enough, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but only if there were no preferrable options.
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.
Unrated: Usually I feel unqualified to rate these teas because they are types of teas that I tend to not like in general. Sometimes user error or tea brewed under poor conditions.


Ohio, US

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