1994 Tasting Notes


Sipdown, 139. Thanks to Sil for this sample. Another assam, haha. I tried this straight first, did a quick nope, and added milk and sugar. I have come to the realization that I was correct in my assessment that assams are, in general, not for me. Too “brisk”, too “robust”. Taiwanese assams often are the exception to that rule, but I am generally not much for teas from the Indian subcontinent in general. Ah well.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

at least you know now…well have a better idea :)


Yes, I’m very glad to have gotten all these samples from you… Always gotta try it out!

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drank Pumpkin Spice Brulee by Teavana
1994 tasting notes

I was out near a Teavana and remembered that I wanted to get a to-go cup of this one to try it out. It sounded promising for a Teavana blend, and every once in a while they come out with a blend that I love.

This was pretty tasty but a little boring. It was mostly “pumpkin pie spice” with a hint of sweetness from the caramel (I got the tea unsweetened), but no real pumpkin to speak of. Also not so much oolong flavor, although perhaps that is not surprising given how far down on the ingredients list it is. This one wasn’t a winner for me but it was still a decent cup for the evening.

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Sipdown, 140. I overleafed this one a tad, but it still turned out pretty well. If anything the bergamot was a bit overly strong (and if I’m saying that, you know it must be way strong), but it mellowed as it cooled. Not too sad because I ordered more of this through the crowd funding campaign. A nice, well balanced Earl.

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Argh, Steepster ate my note! Well shoot. Thanks to Sil for this tea. Long story short: I found this to be a nice tea. The fruit flavoring was authentic, the caramel light but smooth, the green tea base inoffensive. I’m not in love, but I do enjoy the cup. I’m not much on flavored greens these days except in some circumstances, but I found this one to be very nice.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I will admit to writing all my tasting notes in a gmail draft; that’s how lazy I am. No rewrites, ever.


Smart idea Anna…it’s the WORST when you write an awesome note and Steepster eats it!


My laziness extends the other direction… I can’t be bothered to write it somewhere else and transfer it, haha. Sometimes when Steepster is being fussy I will copy the text before I hit submit, but when it’s generally behaving I never remember to do so.


Oh, well, then I guess it’s just my inflated ego. ‘I wrote this. This is ART. It must not be lost to the world!’


Maybe you just value your time more than I value mine, haha. :D


Considering the extreme wordiness of my tasting notes, I would say that’s highly doubtful…

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drank Kitsuki First Flush by Creha Tea
1994 tasting notes

Sipdown, 141. Thanks to Yunomi.us for this free sample of a Japanese black tea.

As with my other sample from Yunomi, this sample was composed largely of tiny tea pieces and a lot of dust. I filtered out a lot of the dust before brewing. I also was cautious with my steeping parameters out of fear of it going bitter on me.

Steeped, it smells remarkably like the Taiwanese black tea I had recently. Very fruity, sweet, with a honeyed mead-like note. It smells pretty good considering I am not usually one for fruity black teas. However, I took a sip and you should have seen the horrific face I made. This is perhaps the most bitter tea I have ever had the displeasure of putting in my mouth. The extreme of bitter. It may be the most bitter thing I have ever tried. The bitterness is still lingering in the recesses of my mouth, coating my tongue. As it’s fading it kind of reminds me of grapefruit rind, but worse. I will not be taking another sip. I do think this may be more to do with the low quality of the sample rather than the tea itself, but I will never know.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

eww, bummer


Yeah I think it was exacerbated by the huge difference in smell versus taste. I feel like I can often “smell” bitterness in a tea, but not in this one!


I bought a 1.41 oz tin of this same tea and found the same flavors, but no bitterness. It wasn’t that flavorful to me. I liked it well enough, but won’t order again. I think you’re right that the sample was the issue.

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Soooo yeah, this tea. I had it earlier today but I wasn’t really taken with it. This is a super earthy Yunnan, and I can see how puerh lovers would enjoy it. There was a light sweetness here, a bit of hay-ishness, and a decent helping of earth. I have enough for one more cup of this so I will try to write a more thorough review with that one. Thanks, Sil, for sending it along!

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Qing Pin by Yezi Tea
1994 tasting notes

Finally getting around to trying one of the samples that I ordered from Yezi Tea! Of course whenever people start raving about a Chinese black tea on Steepster, I know I need to try it, especially when its a type that I’ve never tried before.

This one definitely smells tasty. It actually smells a bit like the Laoshan Black Genmaicha, like toasted rice/grains, chocolate, and a hint of molasses. When it was still pretty hot it was a tasty but not too exciting cup of black tea, but as it cools it definitely becomes sweeter and more chocolatey. This one definitely reminds me of LB with more toasted grains in the flavor. I think this is one of those Chinese black teas that does well with a fair lot of leaf when brewed western style, so I may reduce the amount of water for the remainder of my sample. Or maybe just steep it really long… I have a feeling it will just get rich and lovely. Definitely a very tasty tea!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Sipdown, 142. Yes, my number went up substantially after that Teavivre package. Well, nothing to do but keep sipping down. Thanks to Sil for a sample of this one.

So keep trying with puers but I haven’t been able to get into them. This makes up Mandala’s phatty cake that everyone raves about, so once again this is a tea that am trying as a semi-last ditch effort to try a type of tea I tend not to care for.

I will say, this is the sweetest shu I’ve ever tried, at least on the first couple of steeps. But otherwise all I get is wood. Sweet wood, haha. I’m afraid I still don’t get shu. Oh well.


Have you had the Special Dark? Mmmmm


Not yet, although I am curious about it after hearing so much about it!

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Thanks so so much to Teavivre for continuing to be awesome, for providing me with this tea to sample, and for sending a completely surprise free (!!!) gaiwan with my last pack of samples. I am, of course, using it to try out this tea now!

I used one pack, gave it a quick rinse, and did a few steeps to start before the gaiwan got so hot I couldn’t hold it anymore. After the first couple of steeps the tea leaves exploded and were bursting out of the gaiwan. It smells initially like a nice, green TGY, that is buttery and floral and a bit sugary, but this tea caught me a little off guard. What I wasn’t expecting was the intense juicy, fruity flavor in the tea. Unlike other TGYs I’ve had, for sure!

This does have the expected elements: it’s very floral, it’s very buttery, it’s a bit sweet like spun sugar. But this kind of bright almost citrusy note to it is so cool. Really interesting tea, and I look forward to trying it with various brewing methods. Thanks again, Teavivre!

Tea Sipper

Teavivre keeps getting more and more and amazing! Wow!


That’s insanely awesome!


it’s hard to control Gaiwan when you first use and easy to Scald your finger. When you use it several times and have experience, then it’s easy to control.

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Funny that I just had a flavored dragonwell and I chose this dragonwell-style laoshan green for lunch. Totally unintentional.

This is so so good. Buttery, sweet, nutty, lovely. It somehow totally lacks the generic green tea vegetal-ness. That’s not to say that there aren’t notes of vegetables, but they are things like peppery arugula and sauteed fiddlehead ferns in butter. Yum.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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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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