251 Tasting Notes


This is a pleasant chai, if not an outstanding one. The tulsi adds a nice touch; it’s present but not too strong. I do wish the rest of the flavors were more pronounced, but I always tend to go for stronger flavors so this could well be just right for someone who prefers a milder chai. I can hardly notice the tea base at all, but still, this makes for a pleasant cup. I do think I prefer Organic India’s rooibos chai, though—if I can’t taste the black tea and don’t get the caffeine kick, what’s the point?

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This is a sample I got from Rie last year. I wasn’t expecting much, as in the time since that swap I’ve realized I really don’t care for green oolongs. But I’m pleased to report that this is probably the nicest green oolong I’ve tasted yet. The unlovely flavors I’ve come to know as orchid and honeysuckle are present, but they’re so much more delicate here than in other green oolongs I’ve had. This still isn’t something I’d keep in stock (and it’s a good thing, since I wouldn’t be able to get my hands on any more even if I wanted to), but I’m surprised to find that I’m genuinely enjoying my cup.

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This is a sample I received from Rie a very long time ago but just got around to trying this weekend. It’s quite smoky; that’s the dominant note I get out of it. There is some background fruitiness, to be sure, but as I’ve never tasted longan (or anything longan-flavored) before I can’t say if that note is accurate. It doesn’t strike me as too drastically different from a standard bergamot-infused Earl with a smoky base, to be honest—in fact it reminds me an awful lot of Lupicia’s standard Earl Grey (though I admit it’s been a few months since I’ve had that one, so my memories may be leading me astray). That’s a favorite of mine, so of course I’m enjoying this quite a bit as well. I suppose I was expecting some sort of in-your-face exotic fruit flavor, and I’m a little bit disappointed not to be getting that, but I really can’t complain.

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This is a wonderful oolong! The honey notes are very strong, and there’s a fruity undertone and aftertaste—while I wasn’t able to identify it myself, I see the official description mentions lychee. That seems about right. There’s a little bit of astringency, which is a plus as far as I’m concerned. It’s not super roasty, but it doesn’t have that leafy green oolong flavor I dislike either. This is something I’d definitely be interested in picking up more of at some point. Thanks for sharing, CharlotteZero!

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Although I usually love dark oolongs, I find that some have a certain flavor—I’ve never been able to pinpoint just what it is, frustratingly—that I don’t really care for. This, unfortunately, is one of them. I can tell it’s a quality oolong, and it’s delightfully roasty and sweet, but it’s just not the one for me. I’m glad to have had the chance to try it, though. Thanks for the sample, CharlotteZero!

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This is another sample from CharlotteZero. Like the other oolongs she sent, I’m finding this one really pleasant. It’s on the darker side, with lots of sweet notes and hints of caramel. I’ve enjoyed the chance to try some teas from Red Blossom, and this one’s no exception.

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drank Anji Bai Cha by Butiki Teas
251 tasting notes

This is an interesting tea. Steeped according to the instructions on the package, I got very little flavor out of the leaves—I should probably note that I’m not a very sensitive taster and often find myself needing or wanting to add either leaf or time to official instructions. Steeped for significantly longer, though—I haven’t been timing myself, but probably a good five minutes or so—the tea really comes into its own.

It’s sweet and fruity and smooth, and only lightly vegetal. I’m not getting cherry (although I am, oddly enough, reminded of Den’s Sakura Sencha, which also did not taste even a little bit like cherry to me), but I am picking up on the corn notes. I haven’t gotten corn from a green tea before, and it’s a pleasant, if unexpected, flavor to find layered in with the usual suspects. I don’t think this is something I’d buy again—I’m a pretty committed Dragonwell fan, as far as Chinese greens go—but I’m very glad to have had the chance to try it.


I get cherry notes from this one actually… so interesting that you compared it to the sakura! :)


Yeah, I definitely picked up on it having a flavor that I know other people perceive as cherry. But said flavor is just so not cherry to me! I find it fascinating how people taste so differently.

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This is pretty good, but it just tastes like regular (but high-quality) sencha to me. It’s very vegetal—even the dry leaf smells like cooked spinach, and once steeped the flavor is more of the same. I think it might be little more finicky than good non-first flush senchas I’ve tried; it seems to go bitter pretty easily. I’m glad to have tried this, since I was curious what all the fuss was about, but I don’t think I’m a sensitive enough taster to appreciate its nuances.


It is quite finicky

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I’ve been drinking quite a bit of this one lately, and it’s growing on me. It’s totally seaweed snack tea, and that’s a much better thing than I’d initially thought it would be. I’m raising my rating from 82 to 86.

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This is a very old sample, I think from Fuzzy_Peachkin. Japon was getting a lot of attention on here pretty recently, so I (belatedly) dug my stash out of my sample box last weekend. The aroma of the dry leaf was very strong on the caramel, and, once steeped, so was the flavor. There was also quite a bit of sweetness. It was neither as roasty not as seaweedy as I would’ve liked—I do wonder if it might have worked better for me with a pure green base, but anyway. I can see why people are so enthused about this tea, but I think I’m just too much of a genmaicha purist (and not enough of a dessert tea connoisseur) to get into it. It is a very smooth and pleasant tea, though, and I can see how it would be a nice option for those who find straight genmaicha too intense or vegetal. I’m kind of relieved not to have been crazy about this one, to be honest, since my shopping list is ridiculously long as it is.

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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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