1119 Tasting Notes


This is only slightly better than the “Green Tea with Lemon.” I say slightly because I do at least taste matcha in this one, which I did not from the lemon. But it still isn’t very good. Mostly, the orange and sugar tastes like Tang, with a slight matcha aftertaste.


Flavors: Grass, Orange, Sugar, Sweet

Iced 3 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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A few months ago I bought this lemon matcha and also the mikan (orange) matcha by this company, wanting to add those flavors to my morning breakfast smoothies.

Sadly, both flavors turned out to be awful as smoothie additions because they are so damn packed with sugar that they make the smoothies way too sweet. So I figured I’d try a water preparation, so I added a tablespoon of powder and 500ml ice cold water to my water bottle and shook it like I was beating the devil out of it.

It just tastes like instant powdered lemonade. It’s a nostalgic taste; growing up my parents used to buy the big tubs of CountryTime lemonade powder. But I just can’t taste the matcha at all. There is a slightly different mouthfeel than I’d get with instant lemonade, but that is all I can taste.

Meh. Definitely will not purchase more of this.

Flavors: Lemon, Sugar, Sweet

Iced 3 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
Cameron B.

Aww, that’s a shame. Mikan matcha sounds amazing…

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For the sipdown prompt, “a chocolate tea.”

The dry leaf for this tea smells absolutely incredible, with a strong cocoa and berries vibe which sends my brain to either chocolate-covered cherries or very dark, fruity-noted cocoa from South America.

Brewed, the scent of the pu-erh base comes forward, earth and spicy, but the cocoa and fruit notes are still present on the nose. The flavor is very smooth; I’m not a fan of pu-erh but do enjoy it as a base in blends if the blending is done right, and this one is really hitting the spot. The tea doesn’t really have that earthy dirt taste I dislike, but still has the thick, dark qualities of the base, and the flavor has notes of chocolate, vanilla, and a berry note that is sort of a cross of dark cherry and blueberry on my tongue.

Love this! Would easily pick this up again if I were to peruse Jasmine Pearl again.

Flavors: Berry, Blueberry, Cherry, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Earthy, Fruity, Smooth, Spices, Sweet, Thick, Vanilla

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

This sounds fantastic!

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Like the “Candy Floss” I tried recently, I love the smell of the dry leaf in the bag, which has a very appealing creamy cherry aroma. Brewed, the aroma doesn’t come across as sweet or as creamy as the dry leaf, with a sharper tart cherry tang on the nose, with a slight mineral quality.

The tea has that silky smooth mouthfeel from the oolong base, but I was expecting a sort of creamy and buttery flavor given the “mascarpone” in the title, but I’m not really getting that. It tastes nice, though. There is a cherry flavor, not particularly strong but also not obnoxiously medicinal either, and overall the tea is more on the sweet side than particularly tangy.

I made a coldbrew as well, but it tasted on the sour side… I’m thinking I overleafed and oversteeped it. I’ll probably add some sugar to my current batch and switch to drinking the rest of this tea warm, since this cup turned out quite pleasant.

Flavors: Cherry, Cream, Floral, Fruity, Mineral, Silky, Smooth

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

I was just thinking about this tea the other day and was considering reordering it. I remember the flavor was quite tart and unique!

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For the sipdown prompt, “a tea with a strong aroma.”

The dry leaf of this tea has such a spot on, amazing cotton candy aroma… the sweetness of the apple and sprinkles with a very subtle fruitiness just does a really good job of mimicking cotton candy.

However, the brewed tea is very underwhelming. I originally made a coldbrew batch, and it was pretty awful. Just really weak of any flavor and obnoxiously bitter. The only way I got through the liter in the fridge was by adding a teaspoon of liquid sugar syrup. Then it actually tasted a bit like cotton candy, but… I added sugar, so of course. I was expecting the tea to be quite naturally sweet with a name like “Candy Floss” and was just surprised that it just wasn’t.

Today I’ve prepared it warm, and it is definitely better hot than cold, but still a little weak in flavor. A lot of the white tea hay qualities are coming forward, which clashes with the natural sweetness I’m expecting. There is just a whisper of sweet fruitiness, which alternates between apple and red berry, but neither are defined or strong. It does get a little more cotton candy-esque in flavor as it cools, but I still feel that this flavor combo has been done much, much better elsewhere.

Perhaps I should just make sachets out of the remaining leaf, as I like how it smells a lot more than how it tastes…

Flavors: Apple, Berry, Fruity, Herbaceous, Hot Hay

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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Another purchase from my 2019 trip to Portland, for the sipdown prompt, “a chai.”

This is a chai on a gunpowder green tea base, and in addition to the cardamom, peppercorn, and clove spices, it has lavender flowers and some almondy flavoring. The unique combination intrigued me, which is why I picked it up. Also, I have a weakness for anything with lavender, and unlike Jasmine Pearl’s “French Breakfast,” I can actually smell the lavender in this blend, so hopefully it holds up in taste, as well.

The spices definitely jump out on the nose, with a peppery, tickly sort of sensation. The slight citrusy fragrance of the cardamom is especially appealing. There is a floral note on the nose as well, which creates a very unique aroma beneath the spices.

I normally am not a fan of gunpowder green tea, but I don’t really taste it here beneath the spices. Perhaps a whisper of a vegetal undertone, and perhaps the inherent smokiness is complimenting the spice. The cardamom and clove create a strong flavor, and the pepper lingers a little after the sip, but there is no burning or unpleasant spicy sensations. The lavender is actually flavorful in this blend, but it is soft and mellow, peeking out beneath the spice notes towards the end of the sip. I don’t taste anything like amaretto flavoring, though… perhaps it’s adding a sweetness that is just smoothing it all out.

I really like this! Been a while since I enjoyed a chai and the cardamom/clove double-punch with the sweeter lavender is really doing it for me this morning. I was so unimpressed with the “French Breakfast” blend by this company, but this blend is ticking all the boxes for me.

Flavors: Cardamom, Clove, Floral, Lavender, Pepper, Spices, Vegetal

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

I so love when companies try ‘non-traditional’ bases for their teas. I can’t say I’ve had anything with a Gunpowder base but I’m beyond curious.

One of my favorite blends was “Smoke and Juniper” by Winterwoods Tea Company. I’d never even HEARD of Lapsang blends. Definitely caught my attention to the broader options out there!

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For the sipdown prompt, “a breakfast tea.”

I purchased this on the last vacation I took, which was to Portland in 2019 (so long ago… sigh…) The tea smelled amazing in the shop, and as I really like lavender, I decided to take a bag of this home.

It’s quite disappointing, though. The base is really strong and I haven’t figured out a way to prepare it yet where it doesn’t turn unpleasantly astringent. And while I like the clementine oil used to flavor the tea, which creates a really sharp, tangy, and authentic orange taste, it completely dominates the cup. I don’t taste the vanilla or honey flavoring at all, nor the lavender.

I like it a little better as a coldbrew than the warm cup I had, since I find the strong clementine flavor on the brisk base makes a pretty good iced tea, and a subtle floral note pops out toward the end of the sip… but it still comes out a bit astringent-tasting. Next time, I’ll add a generous dollop of honey to the iced tea mason jar.

If the balance between all the elements were better, I’d probably be more impressed. As is, rather disappointing and not a tea I’ll miss once I work through the pouch.

Flavors: Astringent, Citrus, Floral, Malt, Orange, Orange Zest, Tangy

Iced 3 min, 0 sec 7 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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For the sipdown prompt, “a tropical tea.” Prepared coldbrew.

I really enjoy this one! It definitely has a muscatel note to it… grape without being overwhelming grape-candy-flavor, with an effervescant feel that does remind me of wine. Drinking slowly and picking apart the flavors, I get a tangy papaya note and a sweeter pineapple. Very refreshing and easy to quickly chug.

Flavors: Fruity, Grapes, Muscatel, Papaya, Pineapple, Red Wine, Sweet, Tangy, Tropical

Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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For the sipdown prompt, “a yerba mate.” It’s been a long time since the weather wasn’t so abhorrent that I had no interest in making a hot cup of tea in the morning, so I took advantage today.

Both the dried leaf and brewed tea have a strong and appealing lime aroma. There is an underlying earthiness on the nose beneath the lime, as well. That pretty much describes the flavor, too. A heavy, citrus-tangy lime with a slightly earthy undertone… I get more roasty notes than green notes. There is a hint of cream in the aftertaste.

Tasty. The bright citrus and soft roastiness make this a nice summer-to-autumn transitional tea.

Flavors: Citrus, Cream, Earthy, Lime, Roasty, Tangy, Vegetal

185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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For the sipdown prompt, “a hibiscus tea.” Prepared cold brew.

Well, I was expecting a pop/soda sort of flavor to this tea based on the name… like a Cherry Coke sort of profile, but I’m not getting any sort of “cola” vibes at all. This just tastes like one of those “mulled wine” hibiscus+spices sort of blends that pop up around the Christmas season…

The hibi is thick and syrupy, and I’m getting the strong citrusy tang of orange peel and a somewhat earthy/barky cinnamon note. Oddly enough, the combination of flavors gives me a sort of pine-like finish which I actually quite like. I enjoy the flavor, but I can’t shake the “Christmas” vibes I’m getting… More like a sharp and brisk cranberry flavor than anything I’d associate with cherry, and the cinnamon and orange takes me to mulled wine territory rather than anything resembling cola.

So, I like this, but it isn’t at all what I was expecting from the name. Kind of getting the same issue I had with the “Watermelon Sorbet” tea by T2 I had recently, which was tasty but wasn’t the taste I associated with the name in any way. If this was in B&B’s holiday line-up with a name like “Cranberry Cider” or something, I’d probably rate it higher.

Still an enjoyable profile for me, and I think the first time I’ve ever coldbrewed a “mulled wine”-esque hibiscus tea. Far more pleasant cold than I would’ve expected. I think I’ll save myself a teabag worth of leaf for a single hot cup, but brew the remember as a second coldbrew batch.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Citrus, Cranberry, Hibiscus, Orange Zest, Pine, Tangy

Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud genderqueer asexual (she/they) and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little condo!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Bergamot (in moderation)

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Hemp/CBD teas
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.


My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/xjt9ptx3 . I am open to tea trades (within the United States only!) at this time. Note that I will not trade teas that I currently have in a quantity less than 50g (samplers, 1oz packages, etc.) or any teas that are currently still sealed/unopened in my cupboard.

Contact Info:

Feel free to send me a Steepster PM, or alternatively, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.


Idaho, United States



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