1038 Tasting Notes


A huge thank you to Angel at Teavivre for this free sample! I received them earlier this week and am diving into this one tonight. Yes it is a bit late for pu’erh, but it’s shu, which is warming, cozy and sometimes very relaxing for me. So we will give it a go this late! :D

The dry leaves smell oh so good, musty, damp wood, a log in the forest. I love that smell, and immediately said to my bf’s brother “I will like this tea, it smells like a damp, musty log!” LOL, you know you like tea too much when…anyways, I was a bit unsure of parameters for brewing this one, so I did 2 short 15s rinses and then a first steep of 30s. I am using about 1.25 tsp in approx 9-12oz water (not sure on the cup’s capacity, it’s one of my smaller mugs though). The steeped scent was heady and rich in the rinses, and has now given way to an actual sweet aroma! Sweet, with hints of must and chocolate. Interesting, haven’t had a noticeably sweet aroma in many shu puerhs yet!

As for the flavor, mmmm this is mellow, lightly earthy and a bit sweet in flavor. Yum, it is like my beloved Noble Mark, but with a bit less mushroom flavor and more sweetness. There is a noticeable sweet aftertaste. It is rich and full bodied, but not harsh and not overly strong either. Just yummy! I am feeling a tiny bit of cha-qi from this, a slight alertness, but hoping this fades into that pu’erh calm that I enjoy immensely.

Overall, this is a rich, satisfying brew. Notes of caramel, earth, mushrooms and a bit of chocolate prevail. Tasty, with a slight tea buzz coming on, but nothing crazy yet. Happy to have tried this, and as I taste this tea more, it might be a contender for my top shu. It has a lot of notes that I am enjoying! Thanks again to the lovely Angel for sending me this tea to try!

ETA – the energizing cha-qi did drop off and lead into a more relaxed feeling, I am very happy about that as I will be able to sleep good tonight! :D

Flavors: Caramel, Earth, Mushrooms, Wood

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drank Cherry Blossom by DAVIDsTEA
1038 tasting notes

I got this a a tea-to-go at my local DAVIDsTEA today, as I decided back at the start of the year that I am not allowed to impulse-buy the new teas that come out there unless I try a to-go cup first and can see myself drinking more than 1 cup haha. I have had far too many 25g bags of teas I bought just because they were new, and had a cup and didn’t drink the rest of the bag haha. Not going to happen this year I hope!

So yes, I have been wanting to try this since FOREVER, I missed out last year as it sold out so quickly, so I picked a cup up today. Oh, and btw, I COULD NOT for the life of me find this tea in the database! It didn’t come up searching cherry blossom..not sure what’s up with that. I tried to add it to the database eventually and it finally said there is already a tea called that, and had a link to the page. Weird!

So this tea, I steeped it roughly 3 minutes, not sure what the water temp. was, but the tea was decent so it must have been low enough. The smell was nicely fruity and aromatic. As for the flavor, this is quite tasty! It has very strong fruit notes, some tart floral notes from the cherry and roses, and there is also a creaminess that I was not expecting. It is light and tasty. It also reminds me of strawberry rhubarb parfait by DT a bit, haha not sure as there is no overlap in ingredients, maybe the tart cherry flavor is reminding me of rhubarb?

Overall, this is quite a tasty tea, and it was exactly what I wanted today at the mall. Unrelated note, I found a beautiful dress that has cherry-blossom like flowers on it that I want to buy, but am having trouble justifying. It matched this tea well enough! Maybe I’ll pick up 25g of this tomorrow, with that dress :P it is tasty enough that I could see myself restocking a bit of this for a light, happy spring tea.


I had the same trouble with the search bar earlier this week! After it happened a couple of times I started looking through the tea companies to be sure my tea wasn’t already there. Hopefully it’s just a temporary glitch.


Yeah I saw it has been mentioned in the bug thread, so hoping they get it sorted out soon! :)

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drank Ginger Pear (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
1038 tasting notes

I haven’t reviewed this yet and I’ve had it since the summer haha. I recall having 1 cup and not being impressed so I’m trying one tonight to see if my tastes are different in the winter. The dry smell is weird… it reminds me of grandma-like perfume unfortunately. The spice and floral pear do not smell good to me, especially the cinnamon, as I’m not a fan of cinnamon in tea.

The flavor luckily is much milder. I honestly have not found my pear tea yet, and this isn’t it either. A bit too floral and perfumed as I’ve found another pear tea I tried ages ago to be. It’s not the worst, it is juicy, but I would love more ginger and a different pear flavor in here.

Overall, not a favorite, but it isn’t too bad. I am going to work through my bag and hopefully finish it off. It feels light on the caffeine which I’m pleased about. Not bad, but I had ridiculously high expectations for a ginger pear tea, and this fell a bit flat for me. But still very drinkable!

ETA – the juiciness is growing on me, and I am enjoying this tea more. Maybe I will grow to love it?! :)

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drank Sichuan Caravan by Verdant Tea
1038 tasting notes

Uh oh…I am at a sipdown for this one! I finally made it through my 2 oz bag and it was great while it lasted! I should pick up more of this at some point, as it is an excellent go-to tea for when sick, when allergies are bad, or just for darn good flavor. Today, allergies are acting up, so I steeped this up for the morning and added some honey..sadly, for some reason it tastes quite off today. Not sure if it’s my work mug is contaminated with a weird flavor/didn’t fully wash the soap out, or if the honey is adding a weird note, or if it is bottom-of-the-bag syndrome. Whatever it is, I am a bit disappointed with it today. Weird! Might just be the remaining bits steeped up weird. Ah well, at least I got an unexpected sipdown in today! See previous notes on this awesome tea :)


they changed it a little…from the very first blending..


I can’t remember if my first sample was the first blending or second, I know this last bag was second and I still thought it was decent :) it’s not in stock right now so I have to wait anyways haha

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Ah another Super Ginger morning…my stomach has been quite upset the past few days, my body is probably still trying to prevent the flu from attacking me, as the bf and his brother were both extremely sick on Friday and I looked after both of them lol. And have somehow still not caught it…even though it appear to be trying hard. So out comes another stomach soothing tea (+lots of good things in ginger to keep my immunity at its finest). This tea is also a favorite of mine as most people on here know already lol. TG for Super Ginger! Oh and happy Monday! See previous notes on this tea :)

Cameron B.

I’ve been having weird stomach issues, too! I wonder if it’s for the same reason, I know a lot of my boyfriend’s coworkers have been sick. :(


I know mine is partially from drinking a lot of black tea lately, the tannins and caffeine are not nice on my tummy :( but this weekend was particularly bad, so I think it’s also my immune system working in high gear to keep the germs out! I hope you feel better soon!


I do like this blend…


Such a good blend :D I suggest having a cup if you have one TeaBrat just because it is delicious :)


okay, I’ll have one today :)


You should try some homemade ginger tea! Just peel a big knuckle of ginger, blend it with some water, then boil it in more water on the stove until it reduces by half. It will be pretty strong and spicey, so just check it and when the flavour is good for you take it off. You can also add in some cinnamon bark, cloves, cardamon, fennel seeds… lemon.. anything really.. and boil it all together.

Definitely helps with chest colds (not that you have one) and ginger is a natural anti-nauseant :)
(it also tastes super delicious)


Ooh that sounds good! I have made a different version of homemade ginger before, just chopped some up and steeped in boiling water with fresh lemon slices and honey, but boiling it would definitely make it very potent! I will keep that in mind for the next time I am feeling under the weather, or want an even more potent ginger hit than this tea :) thanks @Lynne-tea!


Weird, I’ve been experiencing the exact same symptoms over the past few days, and just happened to fly over to E-town last week so perhaps we have the same thing. Hope you feel better soon!


No problemo! :) Hope you feel better soon ladies

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Thanks to Brenden at Whispering Pines for this free sample!! I have had this sample for a while, but it hasn’t felt like the day to have it yet. Today, though, feels like the day! Time for the Jabberwocky!

I read the poem, which I actually didn’t know before having this tea, right before making it. I love it! (forgive me for not having read it sooner!) It made me even more excited to try this tea :)

The dry smell is super chocolatey and malty, strong, usually the dry leaf of black teas doesn’t have much scent to me, but this one definitely has a good one! I followed Brenden’s steeping suggestions of 3 mins with 205 degree water. The steeped smell is grainy, malty, a hint of dark chocolate.

As for the flavor, wow, this is a great black tea. The inital flavor is very bready and grainy, some malt, then the honey notes hit!! Wow they are strong and delicious! There is also some fruitiness that I found in Second Breakfast, probably from the Ailaoshan black tea that is in both of them. As it cools, this fruitiness leads into the aftertaste, and it’s definitely cherries. I love cherries! There are also some deep dark chocolate notes at the start of the taste before the honey notes hit. I am not getting too much eucalyptus yet, but there is a faint cooling sensation when I breathe in after the sip, so I think that is it. Wow this is delicious, so comforting. And I definitely feel the caffeine in this lol! Edit – I feel the caffeine alertness, but also an immense sense of relaxation and happy feelings. :D oh and I didn’t mention this tea is smooth smooth smooth. Soft and caressing. So freaking good.

Overall, this is a superb tea. It’s so good. Man, if I could drink black teas more regularly I would order this forever. Oh and also if I wasn’t on a self-imposed tea buying ban. Ugh I just tried to reason with myself and the boyfriend to allow me to order this…no dice. :(. I will be ordering this in the future though. Like, 99% sure. Brenden, please re-blend this after the last bag is purchased. I need it in a month or so! Also, thank you again to Brenden for this free sample! I have found the magic in this tea too!

Flavors: Cherry, Dark Chocolate, Grain, Honey, Malt


Sounds Awesome!


It is so delicious!

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drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
1038 tasting notes

I am on my final cup of this tea and still have not logged a tasting note! Sad sad :( well now I will! Haha. This tea served me well, I had it quite often while painting, so that speaks to it’s relaxing, mood enhancing abilities quite a lot! I didn’t take detailed notes on this tea unfortunately, but I will log what I have noticed about it in this final cup.

I usually prepare my western steeped pu’erhs in a similar manner, 1 or two short rinses then a short first steep. This one I did two rinses, 25s and 20s, and then a steep of around 30s. This isn’t a pu’erh that necessarily needs a rinse, as it’s super smooth and not fishy at all, but the rinses make it a bit smoother and silkier for me! The cup smells faintly woody with a hint of chocolate.

The flavor is pretty good! This one is very much milk chocolate. It is difficult to even tell it is a pu’erh. I will admit, as tasty as milk chocolate/fine cacao is in a tea, it is not my favorite note. I like earthy, woody notes, and this one is very mellow in that department. There is a faint mushroom flavor to me, which I am enjoying :) It is very good, but in all honesty, my Noble Mark still holds my heart for favorite shu. This one is tasty, and I might re-order someday, but for now I will enjoy the ones I have in my cupboard.

Overall, super milk chocolatey, light cacao, silky smooth, and calming. Delicious, but my heart is still won over by Noble Mark for a favorite :) but will probably will meet again, Special Dark! Highly recommend if you want a pu’erh that is not very pu’erhy in taste (no fish, not much earthiness, if any, and not overly strong at all). Great for starters, and also, I could see that since this will be out of my cupboard, I will probably end up craving it haha. That tends to happen with teas like this :D very happy I ordered this!

Flavors: Cacao, Chocolate, Mushrooms, Smooth


That is a great tasting note. Personally I really like the chocolate notes in it, but I do agree that it’s not very Pu’erh ish. I do love it though. Yes Noble Mark is amazing and is also one of my favorite shou pu’erhs…. Mmmmmmm Mandala pu’erh – I don’t drink enough of it.
I’m going to take inspiration from this and drink some Noble Mark tomorrow. Thank you. :))


Haha no prob! Enjoy that noble mark I am hoarding mine since I’m on a no-buy for a while! Yeah I am not a huge chocolate fan overall..hence why I also don’t have any laoshan black in my cupboard..I enjoy them every once in a while as a nice treat though! :)

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I can’t believe I haven’t tried this tea sooner! I have had it in my cupboard for quite a while, but the large ingredients list was daunting and a bit worrisome, just so many interesting sounding things haha. But I had read a note on here a while ago that this tea was helpful with stress and anxiety, and with how work has been going since the start of the new year (read:BUSY like crazy), I could use something to calm me in my life. I have been having Mother’s Little Helper nightly this week, but decided to just try this tea and enjoy it!

Haha, so I was trying to recall if I have had a tea with lemon balm in it, and yes, as a matter of fact, one of the first teas I drank all the time was full of lemon balm: Cleanse by Tetley. I almost exclusively drank that tea for a year, the year I cut caffeine. It was a good year too! Lol, back in the day before I knew about loose leaf. Anyways, I was less daunted when I realized this tea has lemon balm in it.

The dry smell is vanilla-y and minty. It smells good. I did the first steep for about 5 mins with boiling water. The steeped liquor is light yellow, and smells mainly of vanilla, mint, and a hint of apricot fruitiness.

As for the flavor, this is a pretty decent herbal! This cup is quite minty, maybe I had an influx of it, but there is a creamy vanilla sweet note to keep it from being too minty, and some mild fruitiness. I might shake up the bag to see if I can get even more fruit next time. It definitely is calming, and while I’m not overly sleepy yet, I am a lot calmer, relaxed, and warm (although any tea would have helped with warming me lol).

Overall, this is a very nice herbal. It’s mild and minty, and I love mint! It reminds me a little bit of Cocomint cream with the apple and mint, but no coconut. I also enjoy that it’s a herbal without chamomile to clog up my steeper. The only thing that I would love to be in this blend as well is some nettle for allergies :D although the mint is helping to clear my sinuses already. I might have to restock this, especially if it does make me less anxious. Happy to have finally tried!

Flavors: Apple, Mint, Vanilla

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I broke my (over 2 month I think?) tea buying hiatus today for a very special tea that I have yearned to try and could not resist any longer. I snagged the last cake of the 2012 Huron pu’erh from WP :D it’s an early birthday present to me. I have promised to not drink it until my birthday next month, and it is the only tea I decided to break my tea resolution for (resolution = to be under 100 teas before I am allowed to buy any more). This is mostly because it was the LAST CAKE, and I know it says there are more coming, but the first ones have such epic reviews, I wanted it. I required it. So I can’t wait until Feb to be able to try it!!

In other news, I am currently drinking this tea, my staple herbal. It is ginger pow as usual, and I added honey to the first cup. So tasty, helps me focus, no caffeine (overdid that again yesterday haha) and helps ward off the bugs going around the office. Oh and it helps with my lungs. This tea will forever be in my cupboard I hope! See previous notes :)


I just love super ginger..but like you I need to use up a lot more of my stash before I purchase more. My goal is to be around 10-15 teas or even less


…I’m currently at 19 teas :)


Nice! I wish I was at 19 teas lol, Super Ginger is one I vow to always have in stock though it’s such a staple! I hope DavidsTea never discontinues it :)


I just finished the last of my Super Ginger, and am also waiting until I’ve finished some of my other teas to get more. It’s so tempting, though!


Super ginger is one of my staples as well, usually. Right now I have a similar one in stock so I’ve vowed I have to use up that one before getting super ginger ;). I find that’s the best way for me to control myself when it comes to buying more tea: “I don’t need that tea, I have X which is so similar to Y!”

Also, I’m now down to 18 teas as of this morning ;)


That’s a good way to help with controlling the number of teas you have, Kristal, I should try that..but I like comparing similar ones too :P

@ M, it is so tough holding off purchasing a favorite until you have cupboard room! You can do it! :)

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Ahh I’m having a delicious Sunday session with this tea. I decided I was craving a fruiter sheng after my vegetal matcha this morning and this one is great! I did a quick rinse and have been doing short about 6 second steepings with 200 degree water. Ahh the wet leaves smell heavenly, lots of honey and some floral notes.

The flavor is smooth, mellow, a bit woody, a fresh green wood at that. A bit of a green smoky smell from the liquor. And then some sweetness in the flavor, and yes, in the aftertaste, a definite apricot flavor!!! I was so excited to find it :D it’s exactly what I want today!

Overall, this is a sweeter, mellower sheng than I usually drink. But I am really enjoying it!! I’ll continue drinking this on this warm winter day while watching football with the bf.


ha, I was watching football with my bf too ;)

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Hello all, I am an electrical engineer (read:NERD :D), who is a bit obsessed with tea! I discovered loose tea in 2011, DAVIDsTEA in 2012 and it took off from there. I really started drinking/enjoying tea because it was excellent to take to class in the morning and because I can’t handle coffee! (unless it’s a really good cappuccino or latte, or decent decaf haha)

I enjoy a variety of teas – current favorites being ripe and raw pu’erhs, chinese black teas and herbal/green rooibos blends. I also enjoy white, green, and oolong teas, although I tend to drink them more in the warmer months. I have also tried matcha and guayusa, but I don’t drink them too often as I am a bit sensitive to caffeine. As a result I don’t drink black teas as often as I used to, but in moderation I can still enjoy a wide variety of teas.

Oh, and I have a severe peanut allergy and try to avoid most other nuts, just to be safe. Limits my tea choices a bit, but that’s ok. However I have tried almonds and found out I can eat them, so I have been trying a few teas with them in them.

MissLena’s rating system
(as of 04/19/13)

95+: Absolute favorite, will try to always have it in stock, and when I don’t I pine over it!
90-94: Awesome teas, will probably purchase again a few times
80-89: Very good tea, may restock at some point
70-79: happy to have tried and will gladly finish, but not restock
60-69: not horrible, but not the best, will finish if I have some though
50-59: not a favorite, probably will have a tough time finishing the bag
-50: yuck. I don’t want to have it ever again.



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