200 Tasting Notes


I really like this! The taste is nothing like red rooibos. It’s a little bit grassy – even hay-like, but in a good way. There are some nutty/toasty notes and some sweetness, too – I’m getting hints of maple syrup, or maybe honey whole-wheat pretzels. I’m even getting a faintly oolong-esque aftertaste. I’ve only had this hot so far, but I bet it would be good iced.

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Pleasant, but nothing special. I didn’t think it tasted much like eggnog at all – more like a mild, creamy vanilla. The rooibos is prominent but not too terribly tabacco-y.

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This tasted like olives to me. Canned black olives. Not what I was hoping for.

I was expecting this to be kind of like Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Tempest black tea, which kind of has a Red Hots quality to it but which I really enjoyed. Dry, it smelled VERY cinnamony – a little bit on the artificial side, and perhaps lacking in the vibrant citrus notes that pulled Cinnamon Tempest together, but cinnamony. But once it started brewing… olives. I mean, I could sort of taste the rooibos (which is not, to be honest, my favorite base under the best of circumstances) and I could sort of taste the cinnamon. But the dominant note was olives, and that killed it for me. Maybe I just have weird taste buds – it seems like most people have had very different experiences with this tea – but it’s definitely not for me.

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This was another sample from my swap with ToiToi. Really seaweed-y, slightly toasty. The flavor’s very rich, very deep. There’s something almost creamy about it. This one really grew on me as I drank it, and I ended up liking it a lot.

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drank English Blend by Lupicia
200 tasting notes

I got a sample of this in a swap package from ToiToi. It’s a nice basic English Breakfast-style tea. It’s very smooth and quite sweet, with fairly strong honey notes. I wouldn’t buy it – I found it comparable to Twinings EB, which is much less expensive – but it’s a nice, straightforward morning choice.

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drank Nepal Black by DAVIDsTEA
200 tasting notes

This is pretty good. It’s a little bit sweet – I’m definitely getting honey – and a little bit malty. Very smooth, not particularly robust. Not much astringency and no bitterness. As far as unflavored black teas go, I usually stick to Darjeelings and while this tea is somewhat reminiscent of those I don’t like it quite as much. I prefer the floral undertones I get from Darjeelings to the honey ones here. This tea is nothing special and I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it again, but I am enjoying it.

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drank Earl Grey by Tea Forte
200 tasting notes

Possibly the worst tea I’ve ever had. It tastes like (cheap, gross) cologne, or maybe wood polish. Or a mix of the two. All I got was that gross faux-citrus; I couldn’t even really taste the base. I love Earl Greys and I’m usually all for strong bergamot flavor, but here it was so heavy and artificial, almost musky. There’s no way I would’ve even recognized this tea as an Earl Grey by taste if I hadn’t know what it was.

I found this tea bag lying around a relative’s house and have no idea how old it might be, so there is that. Still, I see other mentions of cologne-like flavor, so I don’t think it’s just that the tea has gone off.

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I didn’t care for this one (Almond Indulgence, not Almond Cookie). The tea base is very weak, and I don’t taste a strong almond flavor either – this tea tastes a bit like I imagine hot water mixed with a bit of almond extract would. I’m not really tasting cinnamon either.

I tried using more leaf, since I like my tea pretty strong – this has made a big difference with some other Butiki blends, but no luck here. The tea was still weak, and there was this sweet flavor I couldn’t quite identify but really didn’t enjoy. Soy milk didn’t help either – it only enhanced the mystery sweet flavor.

This was my first almond-flavored tea, and I think almond teas are probably not for me – I generally go for fruit flavors or chais when I drink flavored teas, so this was a bit of a departure. That said, I have enjoyed Butiki’s Maple Pecan Oolong.

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I was really excited to try this one. It was my second pumpkin tea, the first being Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Rooibos. That was pleasant enough, but it didn’t actually taste like pumpkin. Pumpkin pie spice, yes. Plain pumpkin puree, no. I was hoping for more with this one, but at the same time I couldn’t quite imagine how one would (successfully) combine actual pumpkin flavor with tea. Pumpkin seemed simultaneously too faint and too… vegetal, I guess? But I’m always intrigued by unexpected flavor combinations.

The first time I brewed this, I was disappointed. I followed the instructions on the package and couldn’t taste much beyond the (very smooth, very pleasant) black tea base. Since then I’ve experimented with using more leaf, and it’s made a big difference. I can’t say exactly how much – I’ve been drinking this at work, and my measurements there are haphazard at best – but probably closer to two teaspoons than one. I like my tea pretty strong, though. But back to the flavor… when I brew the tea this way, I really do taste pumpkin! It’s not dominant, but it is present. I still mainly taste the base – along with some caramel notes – but there are definitely snatches of fresh-out-of-the-oven roasted squash flavor! The spice is delicate, which is a nice change from most pumpkin-flavored foods and drinks. I wouldn’t particularly describe this tea as creamy, although it is very smooth.

I still think pumpkin and tea are kind of a weird combination, but this tea is pretty good. I don’t know that I’d buy it again – just because I don’t think pumpkin tea is really my thing. It’s well-blended, and I am enjoying it. I I’ve only had it plain so far, but I bet it would be nice with some soymilk.

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Likes: greens, dark oolongs, genmaicha, fruity greens and oolongs, chai, matcha, jasmine, Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling

Dislikes: spearmint, chamomile, stevia, marshmallows, unflavored white teas, green oolongs

I’m always open to swaps; let me know if you’re interested!


New York, NY

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