New Tasting Notes

drank Mango Diablo by DAVIDsTEA
121 tasting notes

Backlog. I tried this on the weekend and I really wanted to like it. But sadly it was just too spicy for my liking. The mango flavour was good, but the spicy heat at the back of my throat with each sip was just horrible. Then after it was finally done, the after taste stuck around as well. Just not good.

Flavors: Mango, Spicy

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank 1998 White Tuo Ripe by White 2 Tea
282 tasting notes

I pulled a wee sample of this tea out of the Puerh TTB when it stopped at my house. I was mostly skipping on the shou from the box, but I had heard enough about this tuo that it piqued my interest. My chunk was a rather compressed piece – it didn’t want to open up at all. I let it steam in the gaiwan a bit, but that didn’t help a great deal. Anyways, the dry leaf had a slightly moist and earthy smell. After a rinse, it smelled similar, but a little bit stronger.

This one was quite different from any other shou I’ve tried. It didn’t have any fermentation flavor, but there was some moistness to the tea, probably from storage. It tasted like a moist basement early on – very earthy. I could also pick up slightly woody notes along with some wet autumn leaf. Toward the end of the session, I started to pick out a very slight chocolatey note, but it was not present for the majority.

This tea was pretty decent, and unique in my shou experience. I’m not particularly sad that it’s no longer available. Liquid Basement!

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Wet Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

I have a small sample from TTB, and I’m afraid to deal with it :))


Haha it’s a bit of a hassle, but the tea is interesting, so it’s worth it. You could try to break it up just a bit with a pu pick…but at the same time, that may yield you a lot of extra dust :P

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drank Genmaicha by DAVIDsTEA
2 tasting notes

Nice, smooth green tea. Lacks the bitterness that I usually dislike in green tea. Pleasantly surprised by this one. Would buy to have on hand.

Flavors: Popcorn, Salty, Smooth

1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Day 7 of the 2016 advent calendar! I actually still have some of my Bubbie’s Baklava left, so I compared the smell between these two and they are basically identical as far as I can tell. It has a nice, warm kind of spiced fruit smell to it.

Steeped, the tea definitely smells a lot more well, ‘nutty’. The taste lives up the name pretty appropriately too, it’s very nutty with holiday spices highlighting it. With milk and sugar this actually might be my favourite of the winter collection this year (not the holiday collection though). I think this would be very good to have on a cold afternoon.

Overall, I enjoy this tea a whole lot and if it goes on sale after the holidays I will be sure to pick up some of this.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Something about rooibos and dessert flavors together don’t add up to a dessert experience for me. Something is missing. The peppermint and chocolate flavors remind me of a candy-scented toy from the 1980s or 1990s, or flavored lip balm.

Others might not have that association, so I don’t feel fair rating it.

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Interesting fact – if you drink this right after eating a Nutrigrain soft breakfast bar, it will taste like a Nutrigrain bar.

That’s kind of true for anything, BUT – these two products really have a lot in common – the baked-bread scent augmented by the almond really smells a lot like a sweet packaged filled cookie. Once I got past that, it’s a comforting flavored tea. I even got two good steeps out of it, brewed Western-style.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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I’ve been drinking this as I’ve been working for the last few weeks, and its proven to be doing a great job as a work tea. Its bagged, its easy, its pleasant without being beloved, and I’ve been burning through it.
Which brings me to this last sachet.
Its a nostalgic tea for me, one of two tins of Republic of Tea blends that I got when I was newly moved into my current home. Its flavor always reminds me of that time, living in boxes, organizing my furniture, and dreaming. New houses are dreamy sort of places.
But, though it has a lot of nostalgia, I’ve outgrown this flavor (which was never my very favorite to begin with), and I bid this tin a fond, but probably permanent, farewell.
I’d never turn down a cup, but I won’t be bringing this back. Let it stay in those memories.

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drank Alishan by Oollo Tea
50 tasting notes

This has been my transition tea the last 2 weeks between the morning and late afternoon and I’ve really enjoyed it, like all of the other Oollo teas I’ve tried. It’s namesake is Alishan Mountain in Taiwan. This high mountain tea has a lovely crisp grassy flavour and elegant flowery aromas. I’m reminded of spring buds blossoming with each sip, a nice image on this chilly day here.

Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Grass

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 355 ML

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I keep forgetting about this gem in the back of my tea cabinet. It was a gift from a friend a while back. Time to give it a good try.

The directions say to use 2 teaspoons for each 8 ounces of water. My Bodum Assam holds 32 ounces, so I did the math and used the appropriate amount of tea. Seemed like a lot, but it’s the right amount.

The ingredients list looks like a short list of things that would go great with a Rooibos base, so this should be pretty good. Even for a guy like me who is not a huge fan of blends or fruit teas. I am looking forward to this. Maybe it will change my mind about fruit blend teas? We’ll see. Maybe I just haven’t tried enough really good, high quality samples.

OK, I’ve waiting long enough for it to cool a bit. Here we go:

The aroma is a whole lot of tropical fruit. Not overwhelming, just damn tasty. The Rooibos base is still there, present and accounted for.

The taste is just a fruity, mostly tropical with some citrus. The Rose Hips are a nice touch, they add an extra element making this overall a really interesting, well balanced tea.

There is a bit of an aftertaste, I can’t quite place it. Just a touch of tartness that sits at the back of my tongue for a few seconds. Not bad, It actually rounds out the overall flavor really well.

Overall, I like it. Looks like those really good,high quality fruit blend teas are actually pretty good. I guess I went too many years drinking the cheap ones in boxes from the grocery store.

This one is damn good. Well balanced, all flavors accounted for, nothing extra for no reason. Even with the tartness of the aftertaste, which I actually kind of like, this is a damn good tea.

Flavors: Fruit Punch, Fruity, Tart, Tropical

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 20 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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drank Nutty and Spice by DAVIDsTEA
310 tasting notes

Day 7/24 of the DAVID’s Tea advent calendar.

This one is supposed to just be Bubbie’s Baklava re-branded, which is absolutely what is it. Super happy about this because Bubbie’s Baklava was always one of my favourites (particularly as a latte, which is how I had it today). I do get more of a cooked apple vibe than I remember, but I don’t know if that’s an actual change in the tea or if this particular sample just had more apple or if I’m just not remembering properly. Whatever it is, it doesn’t take away from the tea. I’ll probably pick up a substantial quantity of this before it disappears (not that I need more tea right now…).

I do find it funny that this was the third tea from the winter collection in a row from the advent calendar. Last year they were more spread out.


The only thing different about this one is that they added pink peppercorns, and cranberry I think.

Evol Ving Ness

I didn’t detect the rose/walnut component from Bubbie’s Baklawa in this one. Or am I dreaming this up?


Michelle, that makes sense. I was looking at the peppercorns and wondering if they had been in Bubbie’s Baklava.

Evol Ving Ness, I definitely got a lot of walnut in this (though admittedly my small sample had two HUGE walnuts in it). Not so sure about the rose, though I feel all the milk for the latte would drown it out anyway.

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This tea is so damn old right now, but it’s still really great. Had some Thai red curry and a pot of this for breakfast. What a good start to my day.


heeeey! welcome back :)

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This is the second Assam I am sampling from the Upton sampler set. This tea has a really strong malt base which I appreciate. The aftertaste is a bit astringent. A full, rich, bold, intriguing tea, one I could return to indefinitely for its assertive nature. Even though it has a round, unassumingly smooth base, it’s nevertheless an unapologetic attention-seeker. Good with a little cream and sugar. This is what I think of when I think assam.

Flavors: Biting, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Malt, Smoke, Tart

2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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I like this one. Such tiny looking curled up leaves are cute. Exactly what I’m wanting this morning. Warm, smooth, relaxing to sip on after a 2 hour commute to work this morning. Flavor stays good even after its had a chance to cool down (this office is way too cold).

And, of course, its out of stock. Otherwise I’d get more for myself for Christmas.

Ohh, but the Imperial Gold Buds are in stock again. My poor bank account,

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Masala Chai by Zhi Tea
726 tasting notes

I have been drinking obscene amounts of this tea lately! It has such a warming feeling, which I think is the cinnamon and ginger. I don’t get a ton of cardamon, it’s there but is hiding in the background. No cloves in this one and it isn’t very spicy (I do love a spicy chai), but makes up for it in how flavorful and well rounded it is. I have been drinking it with a bit of honey and creamer which makes it so delicious and steeping it like I would any other tea. Might try it chai style on the stovetop at some point, but it’s hard to imagine an improvement on how it is now.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Turtle Dove by A Quarter to Tea
1778 tasting notes

This was included as a sample in my latest Quarter to Tea order, which was very sweet!
I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate teas, but as chocolate teas go, this is a pretty good one. Its creamy and sweet, with a lot of the hazelnut flavors peeking out. The chocolate does not dominate.
As its not exactly my type of tea, I’ll hold off on rating it, but I will say Sipdown!

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This tea has a lovely festive aroma in the tin! Definitely smells like a gingerbread cookie with the cinnamon, ginger, currants, maple and chocolate accents. The flavour of the tea surprisingly wasn’t too sweet even with the mate, sugar and white chocolate ingredients. It’s a bit of an underwhelming flavour actually. I’ve been in no hurry to finish it since buying it in the boxing day sale last year. It’s a decent tea, but nothing too special.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cookie, Ginger, Maple, Molasses, Sugar, Sweet

185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 30 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 355 ML

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drank 2006 Mahe Yiwu by T Shop
191 tasting notes

I’m finding that I can tolerate these older shengs, but this is the first one that I actually enjoy.

I would have to agree with Liquid Proust on this tea in that it is quite smoky and smooth. There is a bit of astringency on the back of the palate, but just a tiny bit. There’s just a hint of woodsiness, like cedar?

Leaves my palate all tingly after I swallow!!

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

one of us, one of us


Hooked for sure.

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This tea is a bit more complex than what I’ve experienced before. I don’t much care for the floral scents of regular high mountain oolongs, but I love the mouthfeel and other subtleties. This tea has those qualities without the perfumed flavor. The initial steep has a delicious charcoal note without any smokiness. This gives way to a creamy, roasted nut, rice, and milk taste with a muted floral note. As the leaves unfurl there is a stronger flavor of rice that comes out with a slight astringency.

Flavors: Astringent, Butter, Floral, Milk, Rice, Roast nuts, Smooth

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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This tea is a dark oolong that is amber in color with a fruity mineral aroma. It is light and fruity with flavors of oranges, kiwi, and strawberry. It also has a that mineral flavor you get with Wuyi rock tea. This would be a great tea to have with breakfast.

Flavors: Mineral, Orange, Strawberry

205 °F / 96 °C 4 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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4 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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drank 2005 Rocket Yiwu by White 2 Tea
140 tasting notes

It’s very interesting when you’re not getting a scent off of dry leaves. You really can go into a session having no idea what to expect, or ending up with something unexpected.

As soon as I poured water over these leaves to wash, I was hit with the smell of something like wet vegetation or musty, damp room. So THIS is what humid storage smells like. Pretty much knew from that moment rhinkle wouldn’t like it.

There was a good bit of dust in this sample, so I rinsed out as much as I could and did the first steep as quick as possible. Liquor is a deep amber and it tastes woody and mossy and kind of ash-y.

Second steep is better, probably thanks to finally getting more of the dust out. if I ever get the chance to drink this again, I’ll know to rinse twice. A bit of a cooling sensation in this steep, and rhinkle enjoys this one better more, as well.

The storage taste gives way to other flavors over subsequent steeps. taste really starts to even out over the next few steeps and more rich notes start to shine through. The texture gradually starts to smooth out and thicken up. I get a hint of sweetness and there is some drying effect, as well, but it doesn’t seem overwhelming to me.

This carries me throughout the rest of the afternoon, and I may revisit the leaves tomorrow. Overall, I’ve enjoyed it. Bit sad knowing that I won’t probably get the chance to drink it again!

Flavors: Camphor, Moss, Smooth, Thick, Wet Wood, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank 2011 Bu Lang by Teanami
102 tasting notes

This guy arrived courtesy of Mrmopar. The dried leaves were mostly broken up with some tea dust. The tea soup, while started out a cloudy orange due to tea dust, was quite clear with an attractive golden hue after the 4th steep. This made it initially challenging to assess the tea’s qualities, as it made steeps 1 to 4 quite intense.

I’m in the market for intense teas and this was powerful and bitter, in a rough-and-tumble but refreshing sort of way. The huigan is good here and lasts for quite some time. Body is light to medium. After steep 4, I found the rest of the tea quite balanced—comforting sweet wood notes with hints of honey accompanied by that bitter Bulang base.

This one goes for many steeps. I found steeps 5 through 7 the most enjoyable. This one is like a complex IPA with Bulang steroids. Perhaps my favorite aspect of the tea is how clear-headed and awake I was for many hours after the session was over. I’m forced to drink teas with heavy somatic affects, such as Mangfei or Yong De’s Da Xue Shan, less often than I would like, but this one isn’t the case. It could easily be incorporated into my weekday morning routine. I did, however, find this one quite citric, perhaps a little too much for my tastes.


It has a little kick to it.


Remind me in 2 years to send you some more. I want to see how the storage is coming along.


The clarity of the tea soup and the sweet wood are really nice. If only the tea dust hadn’t brought out the unpleasant astringency. I can see how another year in your storage could increase sweetness in later steeps.

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Its time to give this another shot!
Its really not a peppermint black tea. Its mint, and a rather medicinal and strong mint at that.
Theres nothing wrong with this blend, but I’m not very impressed, I must say. Its a bit forgettable. I find that medicinal mint is not playing entirely well with the black tea base. The two are conspiring to make it a bit bitter.
Hmm. I have enough for a final cup, and I will rate it then.

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