805 Tasting Notes


Cold matcha latte to celebrate the end of three 12 hour shifts. And daylight until 8 PM – it makes me feel like summer is coming.

This is my new favorite dessert. I love how it tastes like straight caramel – and the milk of course adds the creaminess to bring out the flavors that much more. Time to go peruse matcha reviews to add some to my wish list!

Flavors: Butter, Caramel

Iced 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

Sounds delicious, especially iced!

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I am loving the idea of some vegetal greens since the January Steepster select box. I’ve also officially decided that I really like Japanese greens more than Chinese ones. Obubu has a tea club and I have to say that I’m really considering it because fresh Japanese tea every two months? Yes please.

I got this particular sencha because it was described as being the most savory of the sencha offerings. It certainly smells amazing – spinach and seaweed at the same time. I’m definitely going to have to follow the suggestion of putting the leaves in some white sushi rice with soy sauce because once steeped the leaves look like fresh steamed veggies. The fact this is both food and beverage makes me love it that much more.

There is some discernible bitterness here but that changes as it cools. Its got the brothy loveliness that all really good senchas have, and what can best be described as umami since I feel like it alternates between sweet and savory within the same cup.

This was a good choice – sweet and savory, brothy and buttery. Complex and simplicity all rolled in one. I am going to have no trouble putting this away, and I think I’ll join the Obubu club if for no other reason than to see how the flavors of sencha change throughout a year.

Flavors: Butter, Grass

5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

Yay for Japanese greens!

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I like this for lunch at work since its one of the few tea options the cafeteria downstairs have. It annoys me that we can’t get flavored blacks though – since I don’t really like white or green teas with any sweetener or anything.

Guess this means I should think ahead and steep my own ahead of time. Still, the sweet lemon flavor goes well with a black base…. I just know it would be better and fresher if I prepared it myself. Not to mention cheaper!

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Yay! I found my tin of pumpkin pie matcha when I was reconfiguring my cupboard!

Since I like these as a cold latte I had it as a dessert last night. I don’t really think I got much more than pumpkin pie spice and green tea flavor but that was more than enough for me.

Once I clear out my matchas I will definitely be placing a bulk Red Leaf order – these matcha lattes are going to be PERFEECT for desserts in the summer.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg

2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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The smelled so malty and raisiny. More than anything it was raisiny, though – I’ve never smelled that much of a fruity note in a black tea before, unless it was flavored.

My note for this mentioned how astringent it got even after 3:30, so I reduced the steep time to 3 minutes even and…its still pretty rough around the edges. That beautiful raisined and fruity note is nowhere to be found, and without a good helping of creamer this would be impossible for me to drink. It’s a breakfast tea and so that’s fine, but I wish I could have the option of having it plain, you know?

Oh well, it is still brisk enough to get me moving this morning. And I can always reduce the steep time even more to see if that makes for a less astringent tea. I’ll go for 2:30 next time and see what happens.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Tea of the morning. Still one of my favorites from 52Teas. It always captures pancake + maple syrup so well, and even better when there’s some creamer added.

Sigh. Schoolwork for a bit, then more tea…

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank SoHo Blend by Harney & Sons
805 tasting notes

The dry leaf smell in this has mellowed out to be a lot more pleasant than I remember. It is mostly coconut and vanilla with a lot less of the chocolate (which I believe was the part I didn’t like).

Steeped at below parameters with creamer added. Taste wise it is mostly toasted coconut with chocolate on the swallow. Perfectly palatable with additives, though not so much plain, and the fact that its bagged is always nice for convenience.

Flavors: Chocolate, Coconut, Vanilla

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Sipdown #2 of the day.

I decided to try this cold brewed just to see how I’d like it. I liked it quite a bit hot, but I either had enough for 1 hot cup with about 1/2 tsp. to throw out (gasp!) or I could just try it cold and use all the leaf. I don’t like wasting leaf, guys.

So I did this about…whew, 20 hours now in the fridge in my little canning jar. It smells so creamy! Cold creamy vanilla. I don’t get any lemon, though. I do get a large amount of bitterness but I steeped it way too long and I’m chugging it with lunch anyway (see: I don’t like to waste leaf).

So, good blend, but why name it winter? A lemony white tea screams spring to me. Not sure if this is seasonal or not but as its probably one of my favorite white teas I would consider buying some if its still available.

Flavors: Lemon Zest, Vanilla

Iced 8 min or more 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

if you’re ever dying for a taste, i can always send you a bit more as long as it’s in my cupboard heh

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Well. A sipdown is a good way to start off the morning, even if its a blend you really liked.

I have been doing a massive spring cleaning of my cupboard and am in the process of getting some very old blends out. Down to 64 today! Hmm. I guess I should start placing some orders soon… :)

Today’s final cup was made extra strong and with a splash of creamer. It is tasty as ever, sweet vanilla custard being the dominant flavor, as usual. I love vanilla blacks. I suppose its time to face the music and start searching for another one, as this was a limited edition blend.

Schoolwork first, then time to peruse some tea websites I think..

Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Vanilla

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Oooh. Tea website perusing is one of life’s little luxuries.


I really miss this one.

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My last to try from the Steepster select box. Green oolongs are usually not something I prefer due to their florality, so I’m not really expecting to be bowled over by this. But, after reading the story of the tea itself and the farm it comes from I am curious to give it a try.

Steeped gong fu method per the Eco-Cha website instructions.

First steep, 1:10.
Smells of butter, tastes strongly floral. Reminds me strongly of a Ti Kwan Yin (though without that thick, oily mouthfeel), down to the tightly rolled balls that constitute the appearance of the dry leaf. Perhaps I am imagining it but as the tea cools I do think there’s an indistinct fruitiness that is trying to assert itself. Those flowers are pretty tough to contend with, though. A pretty yellow liquor and zero bitterness.

Seconds steep, 1:30.
Now that some of the leaves have unfurled I am seeing a lot of branches still attached. Interesting. I wonder how they were concealed? Did those tight little leaf balls really contain that? Mm.. the dry leaf now holds a very sweet pear note. I hope the liquor does as well. It has, sort of. The floral note is still the strongest but fruit (apples or pear) has become more obvious too. Much more juicy and sweet to taste. Definitely like this steeping better.

Third steep, 1:50.
In the smell of the dry leaf – flowers again, a darker, spiced fruit. Cinnamon, strangely enough. This steeping has considerably less floral and is becoming a bit astringent. A mix of astringence and fruit, but the flavor is waning in general.

Fourth steep, 2:20.
This will be my last steeping, as it’s really really light on flavor now…almost tasteless. Flowers are back, fruit is gone. It’s come full circle, if you will.

I will say this was an enjoyable experience. It solidified what I already knew about my tastes and greener oolongs. Still, it was the first time I’d ever gotten to do a gaiwan steeping of a green oolong and there is a lot to being able to smell and examine the leaf between steepings. It was quite relaxing and a great exercise in mindfulness, and that’s never a bad thing.


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I have come to the point (as of October 2014) where quality in tea is more important than quantity. Especially because I’m a seasonal tea drinker where hot tea is concerned, and a SLOW one to boot. I generally don’t resteep only because I’d be here all day if I did, though I do break out a gaiwan from time to time.

I adore French teas in practically every iteration, Japanese Sencha (specifically from the Uji region, as they offer the most seaweed flavor), and Dan Cong oolongs. I am trying to focus on plain teas and so companies like Verdant, Upton, and Butiki are on my favorites list.

When it comes to tea, I feel like the 10th Doctor says it best:

“Tea! That’s all I needed! Good cup of tea! Super-heated infusion of free-radicals and tannin, just the thing for healing the synapses. "


Atlanta, GA

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