1199 Tasting Notes

drank Tangier Apricot by American Tea Room
1199 tasting notes

Thank you, Queen of Tarts!

So earlier I thought I’d check out a beer growler store actually in my city because they allow sampling. It wasn’t anything exciting except that I bought a fill of a beer called Golden Monkey. So of course as I’m telling the guy it’s a funny name, he interjects here, and I’m like well because it’s a type of black tea!

I was sad to find out that it has nothing to do with the tea. More that it is golden in color and that apparently after 2 bottles you understand the rest, that is what the company says on their website. It is SO strong so I haven’t had much of it.

So for some reason I found myself wanting something a little spicy but not up to the level of a chai. This was the first thing I found close by that fit the bill. It’s mostly fruity, thanks to the apricot, with spicy notes from the saffron. Given that saffron’s a pretty pricey spice (hahaha) it’s not too strong.

I’m also surprised that this black tea, being a Ceylon (or I would assume a ceylon, given it says Sri Lankan), held up so well to being steeped for four minutes.

I let it cool off and the apricot is more pronounced now. It’s one of the best fruity flavored black teas I’ve probably ever had. It’s also really pretty, speckled with red petals.

ATR’s flavored teas are so good, if I wasn’t trying to now save money because I need to do a summer semester again (so I can graduate next fall FINALLY) I would be so into this one, but it’ll have to wait until 2014. Cries.


Hahaha! the beer thing was funny :-) but if it turns anybody into a monkey after only two, then I’ll stick to the tea version, thank you ma’am!


I could have tried two more but I had to get that one. So now when I tell people I’ve had golden monkey, I could mean two separate things!

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drank Caramel Popcorn Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1199 tasting notes

A new froyo shop opened up in the shopping center near my apartment complex, and I’ve already been twice. It opened Friday, lol.

This time I decided to try more of the flavors, starting with Caramel Pretzel, which I ended up getting. So then I decided that wasn’t enough, and I needed more caramel…despite having chocolate turtles filled with caramel, and caramel sauce itself on this caramel flavored yogurt. Hahaha.

Okay really I’m just obsessed with the chawan.

And no. No I do not like this one. I can’t even drink it because of the way it smells. This is just not for me. I had so much hope for it but ughhhh I can’t.

Which makes it more like the kettle corn flavor at the froyo shop. There are some things that just don’t work for me.


Aweee thats too bad girl because this is one of my all time favorites!! :(


Azzrian, do you want it? There’s no way I am ever going to drink it. I put it in my swap post.


Eh, that’s the beauty of Steepster. Some stuff is just not someone’s cup of tea (see what I did there?). I personally loved this, but I wasn’t crazy about the other matcha flavors.


Oooh, ooh, pick me! I’d love to try this one :D


you can have it!


:D It was on my shortlist of matches to buy on my likely last/second-last order, but mocha won out.

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drank Champagne Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1199 tasting notes


My chawan came today and I’m using this to try it out. Seriously BEST thing I have bought lately (ok minus my nail polish). It makes it sooooo easy to whisk. Now I want to try every matcha I have hot! I can actually get it all smooth so easily!

I’m actually on my second cup of this because I was enjoying the whisking too much. Obviously being champagne, it’s more suited to being chilled. It is pretty sweet, probably right around that of a brut, which is the best obviously.

It’s enjoyable hot though! It’s a bit fruity, and it almost tastes kind of like bubblegum, but not as strongly as the bubblegum flavored matcha.

I will have to try it cold with some sparkling water next.

Oh this is my 700th note. Wow.


Congrats on 700 reviews!


When I was trying mine I noticed a fruity/sweet taste that I couldn’t quite identify. Now I know, definitely a bit bubblegum-y!


HAPPY 700 Champagne it is!


Congrats on 700! :)


Happy 700! Champagne is a good matcha flavor for this note then!


700! Only 300 to go to a BIG milestone! I have missed most of my “00” notes, but am rapidly moving towards 1000 as well :D

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drank Mi Lan Dancong Black by Verdant Tea
1199 tasting notes

Thanks Amazon for your really great servers!!! (It was an Amazon cloud server problem and not the usual Steepster bugs this time around, it took out Reddit and Foursquare too.)

So now I can finally write this note. I’ve had 5 steeps so far today in my gaiwan and I want more.

The first was the best though. If I could live off avocados, I would. This one tasted like honey and chocolate dipped avocado slices. I got the hints of pomegranate too. Amazing.

After that one, the avocado kind of faded and the chocolate notes got malty. I did start to pick up some jasmine notes too, and the honey definitely stayed through them all.

I should have been writing stuff down as I drank although I did have it pretty much all in my head, but then my mother had to insult me so I pretty much lost it.

The avocado though, ugh so good.

I don’t feel like sleeping so I have steeps 6-8 in a mug right now. There are mostly now honey flavors, with a bit of maltiness. It’s reminding me a lot more of oolong than black tea now. I guess this is a good dancong light for those of us who really aren’t sure about them :P


mm I am totally hunting out the avocado next time I have this! Tomorrow!


Me too!


Oh wow, I’m seeing so many reviews of Verdant’s blacks all of a sudden! I drank two today myself!


aha!! my website guru didn’t call me last night, probably bc of the server issues :s
(amazon is a major stakeholder)

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drank Organic Genmaicha by Fusion Teas
1199 tasting notes

Thanks, Azzrian!

So I didn’t wake up until 11:30 and now I am quite pleased that this Universal HD channel is playing James Bond movies all day long. Last night was kind of terrible so I am doing nothing today. Except later painting my nails with previously mentioned James Bond nail polishes.

I used a tablespoon of leaves for 12 oz of water so this is a bit stronger, but I agree with Azzrian that it seems like Genmaicha Light. It’s just really missing the good savoriness I was after with a cup of genmaicha.

It’s by no means terrible, though, it’s just not very savory. It’s sweet, maybe think kettle corn instead of popped rice.

I’ve already got plenty of genmaicha that I like so this one would not be something I want to have around after this sample is done, but it might be a good candidate for a cold brew.


Wow how long ago did I send you that? LOL Yeah its just alright – not nasty but no reason to order it really.


from the first time we swapped so I have no idea really, trying to get through things I haven’t tried yet


Maybe try pairing it with something, to pep it up? like a Chai?


I told my daughter about the Bond polishes from your post, but she had already seen them! She loves nail polish, too!

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drank Double Berry Burst by Della Terra Teas
1199 tasting notes

Ok, I didn’t look this tea up before making it and the water temperature called for is insanely lower than what I used.

But it actually tastes just fine. I thought as it cooled it might get bitter, but that hasn’t happened thankfully.

Berry burst is right! This is seriously bursting with berry flavors. I predominantly taste blueberry and raspberry, of course these are what are in the tea, but I swear when you mix these two together you can almost get a bit of a blackberry taste.

The flavor is just like ripe, juicy berries. This is probably more of a summer tea, but it’s so sweet and fruity that I’d drink it any time. In summer though I would definitely make this cold steeped. I believe this is just from a try me pack, one I won on Facebook too I think, so I definitely plan to buy more next year to do just that!

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drank French Breakfast by Octavia Tea
1199 tasting notes

I find it funny how many teas there are called French Breakfast, and they are all different.
And none of them remind me of the tea I drank in France!

I had this in my shopping list on here, and found it at Whole Foods Buckhead. They had a few others but none were other ones I wanted to try. They were even $1 less than online from Octavia, score!

I followed the directions on the tin: water off boiling, 3 1/2 minutes is a good average start. Kind of annoyed they don’t put anything exact, but it seems they just use the same one tin for all black teas they carry.

I’m not getting any caramel, just some vanilla. And like last night, this just isn’t that good of vanilla. Vanille des Îles is my benchmark vanilla, though it’s more of a bourbon vanilla taste, it still has all the nuances I expect from vanilla. And this is definitely missing that. It’s like comparing a homemade vanilla bean extract to imitation vanilla extract.

The tea is very astringent too, which surprises me for such a short steep. Granted, I have no idea what exactly the black tea in here is supposed to be so it makes it hard to figure out how long to steep it.

As it cools it just kind of loses any flavor whatsoever. It’s just a smooth cup of a boring, brisk black tea…with that hint of imitation vanilla. While it was hot there was a bit of a floral note from the rose petals.

I figured French breakfast goes well with watching a race here in Atlanta named for the infamous Le Mans! Except it nearly isn’t as fun to watch without the big teams…I don’t even feel upset about not being there now.

I’ll give it a try with a shorter steep…maybe I’ll even take a minute off instead of just 30 seconds, and see if that helps keep the black tea from taking over the cup.


I just mixed this with peppermint and chamomile. OMG its the tea I’ve been looking for my entire life.

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drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
1199 tasting notes

Wanting tea past midnight, I decided to open my sample of this. I’ve never had a decaf tea before, just obviously tisanes.

I don’t think I’ll be reaching for a decaf tea anytime again soon. Since I’ve heard so many good things about this tea on here, I thought I’d try it. I love vanilla, and I wish I could drink black tea all the time.

But this is just not doing it for me. The vanilla is nice but it’s just flat. I’m guessing that has to do with the base tea, which honestly doesn’t taste like much of anything beyond woodsy. Of course my vanilla bar is probably set really high but this seriously falls flat. It’s like a stale sugar cookie :(

Oh well, like I said earlier in a comment somewhere, if we all liked the same things, there’d be no point to this website.

The Purrfect Cup

Just think of the money you can now spend on another tea you do like. That’s how I look at it when I try something others have loved and I don’t. :)


Haha, it would have had to have been REALLY good for me to spend more than I did just for the sample packet. But it does make it much easier if I don’t enjoy it at all.

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First off let me say I really don’t like oatmeal raisin cookies AT ALL. But this tea had so many good reviews I decided to overlook this hatred.

It reminds me a lot of chai in the smell, it’s got the cinnamon scent that I am getting really tired of from a chai at work lol but this has the added bonus of also smelling like freshly baked cookies!

Raisins are really the reason I don’t like the cookies, but in here the flavor blends really well with both the cinnamon and the brown sugar flavors.

Della Terra makes some awesome dessert teas, and this might actually be my favorite…and that is seriously saying something when I wouldn’t even eat the original to begin with!


This sounds really tempting right now!
I think there are two oatmeal raisin cookie camps: those who love them, and then the people who go argh I thought these were chocolate chips, what kind of trickery is this?!


especially if you get a burnt raisin….

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I have been craving Dragonwell so much lately. I’m going to blame a work test (100% aw yissss) so I came home last night and made myself a pot. And of course when I wanted to write the note, Steepster was misbehaving with the kettle so I completely forgot until now (blame a nap followed by the creation of these https://www.etsy.com/listing/112616805/candy-corn-white-chocolate-bark-set-of-2)

I only steeped it for a minute and I really wish I had for longer :( but that is okay, it was still tasty. I hadn’t had this in so long that when I’m describing it as chestnut in writing I realized I really didn’t remember what that actually tasted like. Still came through even with the lighter steep. There are definitely mineral notes too.

I need to get through this one and then also try the Dragonwell I bought for cheap at the international supermarket. I have a feeling this one will win out though, just in color alone it’s superior. And given I’ve had this for months now, that’s saying something I think.


I’m having issues with this one. When I steep it past a minute it’s very astringent. I didn’t think it would be that bad..

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I always steep Dragon Well at 1 minute for the first infusion and add 20 seconds to each after that. They do seem to get astringent past 1 minute.

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