729 Tasting Notes


Tea swap tasting note…this one is from OMGsrsly. I was so glad she had some Della Terra teas for me to try.

This is one that is very potent to smell, which is why she had to put the tea samples in zippered baggies, and then wrap in foil to prevent all the teas smelling like this or the Orange Brûlée.

Anyway, so yes, very strong smell in the bag. It does remind me a lot of Davids Pumpkin Chai, though not quite. It does taste pretty much how it smells. The only thing I regret about this tea, is that while it was very very tasty, it wasn’t the tea I wanted this morning after all. I was expecting it to be cold and gloomy, and it was, in fact, warmer and sunnier, so I think I would have been happier with a different tea today, to match my mood, and the weather. I’m also wearing a very spring feeling outfit….green pants and a blue two tone striped cardigan over a white camisole/tank….so I felt bright and colourful, and feel like maybe I should have had something a little fruitier and less dense of a tea. I don’t know if that makes sense. Maybe Berry Good or Love Tea #7 would have been better in that respect.

I think that if this had been a really truly gloomy and rainy day, I would have been more mentally into the team, but it just didn’t seem to match today. But I repeat, it is a very very tasty tea, sweet and pumpkiny, with nice spices. Not as chai like as Davids, though I did always find that Pumpkin Chai was less chai and more pumpkin. I do love the little pumpkin candies.

I definitely look forward to the right day to give this beauty a try. I’m not gonna dock this tea any rating simply because I was not actually in the right mood to have it, so I will rate it in terms of taste.

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Sipdown…I really like this one. Too bad it is my last leaf from my sample from OMGsrsly from our swap a few weeks ago. It is just nice and warming and smooth. There is orange here, but not punch in your face kind of orange, and a sweet creamy vanilla note. The oolong base is slightly floral, so it pairs well with the orange honey nectar tones in this tea. I think I can probably get one, maybe two more steeps from this. The leaves have opened up big now, but I think there’s enough flavour there still.

This is a nice tea for today, as it has enough body for a cool and overcast day, but the orange invokes spring, and we do have an array of blossoms out. The clouds are clearing too. Probably because I am drinking this tea. :P

If we ever do a group Della Terra order, this is one I would probably reorder.


When Della Terra has 30% off, a $40 order has shipping paid for, as well as a couple dollars of the tea itself. Just to tempt you. :) I’m hoping to do another order the next sale they have, so if you like I can snag a bag of this for you.


How often do they do sales? How do you know about them? I should probably make a Della Terra list too.


They post in the discussions forum. :) So sometimes if I’m bored and looking through the discussions, I notice them. This last one (Easter weekend), everything I wanted but this one was sold out, so I didn’t get anything.


Oh, and I’d say every couple months, but the ’s vary. Waiting for 30 off is a good idea.

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drank Coconut Cream Pie by 52teas
729 tasting notes

Seriously, still getting no coconut flavor at all with this tea. I wish I did. :(

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drank Butterscotch by Mariage Frères
729 tasting notes

Looks like I am the first to rate this. This is a sample from the recent swap and tea crawl, and I think I got this one from CrowKettle if I’m not mistaken.

This tea kinda smells powdery, and I am really not sure why. It also has a little of that to start. It does meld into a sweet finish though. I can pick up some sweet caramel and butterscotch notes at the back of my throat with the sips. I did add sugar and milk to try to give it a little kickstart on the sweetness and creaminess.

The infusion was a lovely mahogany red shade. I think the only thing that catches me off guard with this one is that powdery start. It’s so unusual. I don’t think the tea is off, because it was sealed in a foil pouch.

I’d say this is an ok tea, but it isn’t something I can’t live without. I’m glad I got to try it.


I would love to know the actual list of ingredients for the teas from Mariage Freres. This is the one was originally from ToiToi!


I agree.

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This one is from CrowKettle and am I ever glad I got a sample of this! It’s everything that I’d hoped it to be. I’m on my phone now, but will write a more in depth review from my computer later.

Ok, so it is later. I was working today, then got dinner and went to a friend’s house to watch the new episode of Doctor Who, so I just got home, and I am still thinking of this tea. Actually, I mentioned how good it smelled and tasted to my co-workers today and they were all like, “You must really like that tea because you’ve talked about it 4 times already” or something like that.

Anyhow, like many people have said thus far, the tea itself, with the flowers, is quite lovely, and if anything evokes spring, it is this tea. And wow, what a gorgeous day to initiate this tea, too. We have had a string of really nice days lately (I hope it stays!!). The first thing that you notice when you open the bag, is the sweet and fresh real cantaloupe smell. The eyes see the leaves and the nose gets hit with the lovely scent. I’ve always felt that cantaloupe is sweet and a little bit floral. A bit like nectar or honey…and white tea is the perfect tea to blend this with too, I think.

Brewed, you get a pale yellow infusion, and the scent just wafts up into your nose and intoxicates you to the core. Seriously. Cuz all I could think about was how good this smelled and tasted. I admit freely that I do have a sweet tooth, so I do usually add sugar to my teas, though I have been working on reducing the amount. I think though, that in this case, adding it only intensifies the nectar qualities, and makes the melon juiciness just pop and explode across the tongue. Now in terms of cream, I can’t really taste cream per se, but I can pick up just a general smooth feel to it. Part of me wonders how this would be with a touch of milk or even cream. I know milk is usually for darker teas, but ever since DAVIDsTEA suggested adding milk and sugar to Buttercream, I have not been afraid to add milk to white teas where I feel the taste and texture will enhance the tea. I bet that this tea would be even more amazing with just a touch of honey instead of the sugar…perhaps even an orange blossom honey. I get my honey locally, but I am out, so this reminds me I need more.

Anyway, I am so so so grateful I got to try this tea. I think that I am gonna need this for the summer. I might just have to put in an order with Butiki now that I have had something I like, and that far exceeds my expectations. Thanks again CrowKettle!!!!


It is a very tasty tea :D


It is, indeed.


I’m so glad you like this one! Butiki and Stacy are amazing; it’s probably my favourite tea company right now. :)


I definitely want to put an order in.


^^ Do a shared order, you guys!! :) So worth it. The four of us in Toronto are putting in a huge one imminently :D


I’m totally game for that.


Ooh. I’d also be game for a Butiki order… I have a huge list of wants from them, but would be willing to pare the list down a lot for an initial try.


OMG no paring down! shared order = you can do 1oz order and still only be picking up a small quantity to try when there’s overlap between you guys.

Uh…i highly recommend using google docs if you get into it LOL


Yeah, my list is basically everything without mint. :) So anyone could order anything to share and I’d be happy.


I can live without mint.

Google documents is super nifty for planning.


Ok, so should we start a different message thread of teas from Butiki and Red Leaf Teas that we are all interested, and then whoever is google docs talented can put it all together?


Good plan! :)


Also, I went through my whole list and found a few other local-ish people that didn’t do the swap with us, but I could include them. I could also just message them separately to see if there’s any interest from them on a co-op type order.

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drank Movie Night by DAVIDsTEA
729 tasting notes

Had to work downtown today. Picked this up on my way home (which I still am not at since DH took me to dinner at Bard and Banker). But anyway, I got really hot at work today and although I did cool off a bit once I got outside, I knew I wanted something light, but it wasn’t hot enough for iced tea, so I opted for a hot tea that was light and refreshing. I had not had this in a while, and since the caramel matcha yesterday, I’ve been in a sweet and caramel mood ever since. I even had some Big Apple this morning. Yeah. So between Movie Night and Gold Rush (both teas I haven’t had in a while) the Movie Night won out.

Man…I’d forgotten how good this is. And she even fudged the steeping because I had asked her to use the steeper rather than bag to reduce the risk of me leaving the bag in too long an she autopiloted the amount of tea to water for iced tea instead. We just reduced the steeping time and added a little more water for a second steep to add, and somehow it worked out. I tasted the first batch to decide how I wanted to fill my mug. Water would have diluted it too much, but the extra steeped liquid was just the ticket.

Anyhow, with this steeping, I was able to pick up on the green base, but also sweet apple. The popcorn was more in the back, but it was there. I think that I could smell it more than taste it, though. I do love seeing the popcorn in this tea also. And it smells soooo good. This was my first DAVIDs tea, btw, when the Hillside store had just opened up. It was recommended to me by the girl there, who I now know as Sue from the Johnson Street store, and my friend Amy who was living in Toronto at the time. Both said if I liked genmaicha (and I do) that I would like this. I think my initial issues with the tea were now getting enough green tea and not tasting the popcorn. That said, I do remember still liking the tea for how it tasted, rather than how I expected it to taste.

Given my bad luck with making green teas at home though, I might just let them make it for me, but I may just have to get more of this tea and try at home again. We’ll see.


Yay! I love movie night!.. Sometime you should try adding a pinch of salt and brown sugar. So so so good as an iced tea this way.
I may have to add this back into my iced tea rounds seeing as it was so warm and beautiful in Nanaimo today.


It was nice here too. I might try the pinch of salt and see how that works. I do always sweeten my teas, well, almost always.

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drank Bear Trap by DAVIDsTEA
729 tasting notes

So, finally getting a tea from the tea crawl and swap that I got from ShayneBear and I think, Bear Trap had to be the first to try. Also, as I’d had a very good and healthy dinner, I thought that a fruity tea might be a nice compliment, and as I’d had two cups of caffeinated tea today already, this seemed like a clear choice.

It’s very fruity and turns a beautiful shade of reddish pink. On its own, I found it a little too tart, despite not having hibiscus in it. I added a small amount of sugar and that brought the tartness in check. I can see how this will be an amazing tea to ice in the summer time…it’s just so juicy, and there is a bit of a calming feeling with it too.

I’m not generally much of a fruit tea/tisane drinker, usually because of the hibiscus that so many blends have, but I generally tolerate them better iced. There are a few I can handle hot though. I’m not sure where in my repertoire of teas this one fits into…I’d say it is maybe not my favourite as a hot tea…not that it is bad as a hot tea, because it isn’t, but I think I prefer less tart fruit teas/tisanes hot, like Forever Nuts. I could see having a pitcher of this in my fridge in the summer though, with maybe extra fruit in it too…like frozen berries in place of ice. I dunno. I like it, but I think it will fit in my tea life as an iced tea.

Bear With Me

I cold brew Bear Trap with a bit of straight Mate or Guayusa overnight when I’m at work so I have a really refreshing knock-your-pants-off wake up drink to peel myself out of bed for. ;)


Oh, nice! Not a huge fan of either, though I do the odd Mate.

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drank Caramel Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
729 tasting notes

SO…I have been wanting to try a Red Leaf Tea matcha for quite some time now(!), and I was fortunate enough to get some at our recent Victoria tea crawl and swap. So many, many, many thanks go out to CrowKettle for bringing some of this tea along for us to try. We all just about died from the smell of this through the foil packet. I added this to my packet of teas from OMGsrsly by accident, and when I came home to sort them and catalogue them, all I could smell from that baggie was this matcha in the foil packet. As we were all warned to be careful opening this, I was very meticulous (and slow!!) about opening the packet, and I had it on a plate in case it spilled or something else happened.

I set my plate, my mug, my mason jar half with milk (for latte), my mini measuring cup (2oz/60ml) and my frothing whisk on the stove. I did rinse and dry out my mug, though as I measured the matcha and put it in the mug, I did notice that I had not dried it out enough, and it had started moistening. I had my water boiling and poured it into the mini measuring cup, and as it cooled some, I screwed on the lid of the mason jar and shook vigourously for 30-45 seconds, took the lid(s) off, and microwaved for about 30 seconds as well. While the milk was in the microwave, I added the now cooled boiling water to my mug and stirred it to dissolve the matcha, and then began sort of an up down pumping motion with the frothing whisk. I tried sort of side by side but that didn’t really work, given the surface area of the mug. I did get a bit of foam…but not as much foam as I had expected, so maybe I did not froth/whisk long enough, or perhaps the problem was the mug not being wide enough. I’ll add that I don’t have a sifter, so that may have affected the whole thing, too.

Here are a few pics from this first matcha attempt…




Hopefully those worked.

In closing, here are my thoughts.

1) The Caramel Matcha is DELICIOUS!

2) My technique and ratios may need to be adjusted for the next time. I felt like it was a little weak overall, and that may be that the water plus milk diluted it some/too much.

3) Adding a touch of sugar brought out intense caramel.

4) The packet looked like about 2-3 servings, so I did not want to use it all at once, but I wish I had made more. This made half or less of a mug, and I wanted more…it was gone sooo fast.

5) I’m toying with adding this to some Big Apple from DAVIDs. I don’t know if I would just add a small pinch to the steeping tea (like the matcha genmaicha blends), or make the matcha with the tea instead. I really love the caramel apple taste of Big Apple, and think this would be an intense blend.

6) I reaalllly want to try this more. And more RLT matcha. Hoping to do a matcha event with ShayneBear sometime, and maybe to also do a co-op order with them too.

7) I might just get a matcha set if I find one I like, and at a good price. I see more matcha in my future, though I might just use a bowl and a wire whisk in the mean time.

Once again, a very big thanks to CrowKettle for the opportunity to try this!

Marcel Duchamp

I want to try this too. Sounds really good!

Bear With Me

We’ll totally have to have a tea party soon! I can collect a few of my favourites and we can take them out to share with Java ;)


Yay! Sounds like you guys had fun!


Yeah, I think that would be great!


If your whisk can work this way, try rolling it between your hands like you’re trying to set the tea on fire. :) That’s what I do with my tiny whisk, and it works quite well. The matcha is really good, isn’t it? I’d be willing to buy in (either share bags or a couple whole bags) if we can organize it!


This is what I used:


But I do have a wire whisk and a nylon whisk that I was thinking of trying.


Oh yeah, that handle doesn’t really work for turning, does it. I have this one from Silk Road. https://silkroadteastore.com/shop/matcha-whisk-scepter/dp/1194 I really like it, and I don’t feel guilty using it for hot chocolate, etc, like I would with a bamboo one.


I’m fascinated by that picture of the opened foil.. Also, I’d split an order for RLT matcha in a heartbeat!

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drank Caramel Pu Erh by Tea Desire
729 tasting notes

So I got this tea in our tea crawl and swap. I grabbed this one up when it was offered, and I am glad I did! I love the Coffee Pu Erh from DAVIDs, and this is similar, minus the coffee beans, so it is a bit less acidic in that respect.

What I love about this tea is seeing the bits of caramel. I’m a sucker for that, heh.

I love adding milk and sugar to pu erhs because they are so dark and rich, they really holdup well to it. This one is pretty sweet by itself, but not for me, so I did use sugar, but less than normal.

I’d rate this pretty good, pretty comparable, but it is so close to DT’s Coffee Pu Erh, and I can get that locally, that I probably wouldn’t purchase this unless it was local too.

Thanks to Morgan, who I don’t think is on Steepster, but came over from Vancouver with OMGsrsly.

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Smells amazing….my sample from OMGsrsly had about 2-ish teaspoons in it, so I figured I’d use a little less leaf than normal, and also because it is a lighter oolong base, my thought was that I could possibly resteep.

The picture is a pretty accurate portrayal of what was in my bag…dark green leaves with bits of orange peel. The leaves were big and long which is why I thought I’d possibly get more than one steeping, to get them to open up all the way.

The liquor brewed up pale and yellow, but as I didn’t steep too long, and I didn’t use as much water as I thought, so I poured more water in my steeper and then forgot about it for about 5 minutes, so when I added the extra bit, it darkened a bit.

The flavour is light and clean, with a sweet orange tone. I added a spoonful of sugar and that brought out the vanilla and caramel flavour a little more. I think this would make an amazing and refreshing iced tea also, but it is equally delicious hot. I’ll add that I am drinking this tea while having a buttery cheese scone, and it is a great match, though that is why I chose this tea. I thought it would go well.

Anyway, it’s a tasty tea, and my first from Della Terra. Thanks again to OMGsrsly for the sample. It’s quite lovely.

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I generally like a lot of tea. I do find I have a preference for flavored over unflavoured, but I do love a good straight tea as well.

Likes are too hard, since there are a lot. Dislikes are easier, so here they are…

Hibiscus. Blech. I can tolerate a little, depending on the brew, like Berry Good from Davids and Ruby Pie from Butiki…but in general, it’s too tart and too strong for me.

Licorice. Anything that remotely resembles licorice is out too, so that includes fennel and anise. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

Florals. I’m cool with petals in the tea to make them look pretty (except rose), and I’m cool with teas like oolongs having a floral note, but strong florals can give me migraines. Rose and jasmine are the biggest offenders. This is one where it can vary on the blend, as I can handle Teavivre’s Peach Jasmine Dragon Pearl tea because there is very little jasmine actually detectable in it.

Rooibos is hit or miss. I can do some, but not others. I handle green better than red, and honeybush better than rooibos.

My ratings don’t have a particular scale or method, and may on occasion contradict themselves, but I’m honestly not fussed about that. Sometimes I don’t even rate at all.

Um, I have an extensive wishlist. It is both a list of things I want to get again, and things I want to try. If you are sending me something, and you want to know which is which, I’ll tell you via PM.

Yes, I do trades…usually on request though. See something you want to try in my cupboard? Just shoot me a message and I’ll see what I can do!

Uh, guess that’s it.


Victoria, BC

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