Featured & New Tasting Notes


A sample of this was given to me by a family member who likes tea…
I am not a big black tea fan, simply because I don’t want to get into something that has a lot of caffeine. I like both coffee and black tea, but I try not to drink it often for that reason.

But, I noticed this had a very slight initial astringency, followed by a slight and pleasant smokiness, and it ended with a very slightly sweet and ‘full bodied’ or ‘rounded’ flavor. Not sure exactly how to describe that last flavor that I tasted, but it was the main component of the tea and very pleasant.

So many black teas are named “_______ Breakfast Tea”… and this tea really felt like it belongs at breakfast time.

I wouldn’t buy this tea, but only because I’m not into black teas and don’t intend to get into them. But I will enjoy having a small sample of it, and would gladly drink a cup in the future if the opportunity arose.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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This is the last of my white peony, a friend had given me a sample. It is the only white tea I’ve had, so I can’t compare it to anything. I just threw the leaves into my travel mug, as that was my only option. (I really need something with a basket).

The leaves are darker green than I would expect based on the picture. When steeped, most of the leaves unfurled, although some stayed rolled up. It smells mostly of hay, and for the first while tasted like sweet hay (or at least, how I imagine hay tastes). The longer it steeps, the more bitter it is getting, but it’s not even close to being unbearable.

I used to think it was really creamy, which compared to my chinese green tea, it is. It’s quite thick, in a good way. I can’t really get much of a feel for the colour in my mug, but it seems quite dark, and amber. Again, it’s now been steeping about half an hour.

I will definitely get more white tea!

ETA: second steep. The water was not so hot this time around.
There is no longer any hay taste, and it is not bitter at all. The taste is very mild and “green” tasting (not green tea, just green). It is definitely thick, and maybe not so creamy as I remembered. This cup is much better than the first.

200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more

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Keep in mind that I have absolutely drowned this in a sea of steamed soy milk, because as I posted yesterday, my new hack is to get a cup of tea with steamed soy milk for a measly $1 at the campus coffee shop.

Anyway, I’m really digging on black tea lately, so I thought I’d try this one. I can’t say it held up that well to my milk-treatment, even with my leaving the tea bag in the cup and risking oversteeping. However, what I do taste of it is actually a rather mild, almost sweet cup of black tea. Not particularly astringent. I’d recommend this one to those who like black tea, but generally don’t like the mouth-feel of it / the bitterness. I’m actually enjoying it, but I’m not sure I’d consider it a breakfast black tea. More like a nice tea-time tea.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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My brother left a bag of this here at the house last week while visiting. He somehow ended up with it, and didn’t like it much, I guess.

This produces an amazingly black cup of tea. I actually broke down, broke my rule of thumb, and put some dairy in this just because it is so strong and has so much bite.

If you like really classic, strong black tea, this is the way to go.

While he was visiting, I boiled some of it in milk with chai spices and it makes AMAZING chai.

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The thing about rooibos is… it’s not tea.
Not in many peoples eyes, anyway. And I do see their point; it’s not a camilla.

I hated rooibos at first because my first rooibos tea was disgusting. A dear friend of mine had me try it, and I just couldn’t finish this little cup of rooibos. That’s very impolite in Greenland, and while she was out of the kitchen I threw the 80 % of the tea out in the zink and drank the rest of it with a smile when she came back.

Yes, I am 100% evil

Another friend of mine kind of forced me to drink rooibos. His was just better.
It wasn’t a clean rooibos either – but something with vanilla or almond.
I still can’t drink a clean rooibos just like I can’t drink a clean pu-erh without forcing myself.

This is one of my fave’s. Everyone I served this for says: “This smells like christmas!”
It does. And it soo easy! The teabag can be in the mug forever and it just taste better and better. Well… I do like malty teas, so maybe that’s just me.



Oooo Marzipan <3 One of my favorite flavors!

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This was included as part of a mixed box so thankfully I don’t have any more – otherwise I’d be pretty pissed if I just spent money on a whole box of this tea.

The tea has a faintly sweet vanilla smell, but I noticed that it also has this weird chemical odor to it. I wonder if that was left behind by the decaffeination process? The taste isn’t much an improvement. It’s a thin, weak brew (though admittedly I didn’t steep it as along as I could have) and what little flavour that is there is artificial and harsh-tasting. Next time I’ll pass on this one.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

Did you get a funky sort of rooibos-y note? I bought it to-go once and deeply regretted the choice. I thought it was the cardboard cup, but every time I see someone post about it they seem to have disliked it immensely, so I’m beginning to think it wasn’t the flavour-stealing cardboard at all…

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drank Taiwan Oolong by Hans & Grethe
1267 tasting notes

It’s hot as all get out here these days. Work was awful and my particular spot was, of course, the hottest place in the whole lab, and also, of course, the only place where we can’t have a fan going. (When you’re dealing with paraffine sections 2 µm thick, the last thing you want is air movement. All your work will fly away)

So yes. Hot and humid and sweaty and dreadful. And I swear this is relevant information.

I tried brewing this directly in my cup, since my boss is off on holiday and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to drink a whole pot myself in this heat. I was definitely right that we would get a better result if the leaves had more space, but hot tea wasn’t really something I wanted.

So I had this bottle of ICE cold water (Half an hour or so in the -80°C freezer. Just right) and I had this here cup with once-steeped leaves in it. Why not just try some kind of cold brew.

Okay, I admit the water was likely too cold, but I wasn’t really after something exquisitly tea-like. I just need something to drink to stay relatively cool and prevent dehydration and such like.

The result wasn’t half bad. It didn’t have much flavour, but then I didn’t let it sit for all that long before drinking either. It might also be that it was so cold that it just didn’t taste of anything anymore.

It was solely a source of fluids in the heat and as such it was really nice and I’m going to do it again tomorrow. If I had been looking for a flavour of tea however, I’d have been hugely disappointed. But it was definitely more interesting to drink than just plain cold water.

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Dry Leaf Scent: Pure Coconut – and it’s truly splendid
Post Infusion Scent: Coconut, Peony – Still a delight

Color is a yellowish with light brown hue

Taste: YUMMY Coconut taste and CREAMY CREAMY CREAMY! Some lovely floral notes thrown in.

This is wonderful. VERY flavorful and much different than other tropical-type teas I have tried!

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drank Da Hong Pao by Harney & Sons
161 tasting notes

Monday morning tea success!

And much needed too! My office Bigwig will soon be arriving. You know the type, right? The Bigwig lives in a totally different state and has no idea how to do your job, yet is in charge of “suggesting” and then implementing their ideas on how to do your job better. Of course their “suggestions” only add to the number of steps you already take to do the exact same thing…thus causing a major pain in your butt and making you wish you could transport them back to their office…or better yet, some awful frozen tundra of doom? Yeah, I thought so.

So, how about this tea? :)

My first whiff of the liquor resulted in mostly roasty toasty notes, but also a light fruit smell. I’m not quite sure what type of fruit it is, but it’s juicy smelling. That’s right…juicy smelling. That same juicy note comes over in the taste as well, albeit in the aftertaste. The taste progression goes a little something like this: roasty toasty, mineral-y, OOLONG, juicy. The juicy effect actually made my mouth water. Crazyness. I’ve never had a roasted oolong quite like this one. It’s quite delicious. I’m glad I ordered a large tin. Nom nom nom!

More H&S to come!

Lainie Petersen

Harney & Sons is my go-to for good American-style black tea blends, but I need to start trying their oolongs. This sounds delish.


Good luck with the Bigwig! Nummy tea can only help!


Eww, Boo on Bigwigs! :)))


LOL…this tea is today’s Steepster Select!


lol sounds like we work in the same office, wishing I had some of this tea to take with me today.

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drank Hojicha by Mitoku
108 tasting notes

Picked this up on a whim while I was out shopping this weekend. It tastes quite different from other green teas, so much so that I had to look it up to see what category it falls under. So far, the taste really reminds me of darker oolongs. I don’t think I used enough leaf, since the instructions said to use 2-3 tsp/cup, so maybe my opinion will change later today when I try again! I like it, but I’m not a huge fan.

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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This is my second time having this tea. I enjoyed the first cup, but wasn’t paying much attention to it. So I am giving it more attention today.

Upon opening the bag, it has a very refreshing smell (which it’s supposed to!). I can smell peppermint, ginger, and fennel most of all. After a few minutes, a second smell is predominated by licorice/fennel and cloves. I did not smell cinnamon. To be honest, I don’t know what holy basil smells like, but I don’t smell anything basil-ish.

After steeping, the tea is a very clear, pale yellow. It smells somewhat medicinal, I think because it reminds me of my Traditional Medicinals “Breathe Easy” tea… so it must be the licorice.

The taste is definitely spicy, but I wouldn’t say it is overly flavorful. The taste is predominately ginger and black pepper. It is a little bit watery-tasting, but I may have been a bit skimpy with my measurement.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Every once and a while I crave Jasmine tea and I’m on my second 32oz of this one this morning and I want more.
Yes… that is strange. So I’ve been trying to figure out how this tea is different from other jasmines.
The tea base seems a little more toasty sweet than I would expect from a jasmine tea and the base tea also has a very full mouth feel. Taking that into consideration it is probable this one isn’t bothering me after extended sippage because I would drink the base tea alone. I don’t think I can say that for the other jasmines that come to mind. So yea… nice base tea to start.
The jasmine flavor itself has no soapy or over scented qualities and none of the typical mistake markers. Ive even let it cool down to see if any bitter astringency come out and if there is any at all, after letting it sit out for an hour, it is no where near enough to bother me. I really don’t think there is any astringency at all though. ;P
So yea this is pretty solid. For my few and far between Jasmine cravings I need to remember that this is a good one so I don’t go off on more rants when I could have a perfectly pleasant time sipping this one.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

How did your guests like it?


They didn’t comment on it at all! I guess I should have just stuck with lipton!


Oooh is this really heavy on the rose taste or is it light? I’ll have yo get some if it’s a light rosey taste :-D


“The response was of course, lipton. I ignored them…” lol :D


Hmmm, heavy or light. Well I don’t mind floral teas, but I’d say it was moderate. The pu-erh stood out a lot more, but I could definitely taste the rose in there.

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drank Green Anji by Adagio Teas
951 tasting notes

Finished up the sample of this. Verdict is the same, possibly slightly improved though still within the range of the original rating.

It’s good. I am noticing a little sharp high note, and much more sweetness and butter than I did before, possibly because I’m having it following an English Breakfast. It’s the sort of thing I wouldn’t mind drinking at all, but probably wouldn’t buy again as I’ve had other greens I thought were tastier.

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This dry leaves smell sweet and slightly malty, and the liquor is a lemon yellow colour, smells nice and sweet. The flavour is floral and vegetal, and the aftertaste is only slightly dry. This is what I’m getting with my limited palate – need to try more oolongs so I can develop it better.

I’d say the temperature of the water was just right, any hotter and it would have gone bitter. The flavour might have developed a bit more with a longer steeping, I will try 4 mins next time.

Before I made this tea today I felt quite depressed, lazy and had no energy. After I had two cups, I suddenly sprung up and vacuumed the apartment thoroughly! I feel so much better now. Tea has once again proved its magical power.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I love oolong, and I love finery, especially in the tea world. So when the chance to try this tea came up…an oolong, mind you, that is supposed to be one of the finest available, and available only in limited quantities, I jumped at the opportunity.

The dry leaf holds light, vegetal notes that are, surprisingly, reminiscent of a few white teas that I have tried.

The steeped liquor is a brilliant gold, with excellent clarity (the benefits of utilizing a glass vessel for steeping). It also has a darker aroma, more akin to darjeeling. Ah, but the first sip was nothing like drinking darjeeling. Light and fruity (what specific fruit flavours – I cannot quite place), the liquor slipped over the tongue easily. Incredibly soft mouthfeel combined with a surprisingly bold, yet not overwhelming, aftertaste to provide a wonderfully pleasant drink.

Steeping the tea again, for a few minutes longer (five this time), led to a brew of much the same strength and character as the first. I was pleased at the resilience and quality of this tea. I most definitely enjoyed drinking this and would certainly keep this on my list of teas to keep in stock. I give it a 90/100 on my personal enjoyment scale.

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drank Darjeeling Tea by Twinings
429 tasting notes

Lazy this morning after my walk, so its bagged tea. Last time I had this tea I wasn’t very impressed. It was my fault since I forgot to set my timer. This time this tea was much better. This tea is not bitter or astringent and is floral to the smell. Although its morning, I consider this to be an afternoon tea as its very mild and smooth. I will have to up my rating a little.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Royal Palace Pu-erh by Samovar
132 tasting notes

Ahhhh now that’s more like it! I gave this pu-erh a quick rinse and then steeped for the full 5mins and it brewed up to a very dark brown/black color. The taste is like a sweet hay/mossy taste with a bit of astringency to it, but that’s ok! Honestly though I would prefer a stronger earthy/hay/mossy taste. But this is still really good! Nom, nom, nom!!! :-D

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Passionfruit by Adagio Teas
951 tasting notes

Another from the Flavors sampler set.

Passion fruit is one of those tropical fruits that I know I’ve had but I can’t conjure the taste of as I sit here. I probably wouldn’t even be able to identify it in a line up, unless maybe by process of elimination if the others in the line up were limited to things like “orange” and “lemon” and “banana.” I like the name, though.

In the tin the tea smells fruity, in an airy, tropical, almost berry sort of way. Maybe the berry is from the Ceylon base.

The aroma of the tea is interesting. Something about it doesn’t smell like fruit to me, it’s more like a vegetable, or even grassy/planty smell. Maybe you could say it’s a very green fruit smell.

The flavor is nice enough, but given my disclaimer above, I can’t really say whether it is true to the passion fruit name. It’s slightly sweet, slightly fruity, and slightly the flavor equivalent of the green in the aroma. Whether or not it is, I like it at least as well as the coconut, which I tried earlier, but not as much as the apricot. At least that one I know is true to its name.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Jasmine Green Tea by Ito En
16 tasting notes

I had this tea and was ready for it to taste great but I have to say it was beyond great. I’m beginning to think this might be my tea of choice for summer.
Teas’ Tea Green Jasmine smells like jasmine from the moment you open the bottle. I didn’t feel the need to add sweetener to the drink. If I had I’m sure the flavors would have popped just as it should. I did add it to ice but drank it quickly.
Note: The bottling is different than what is listed in the above picture.
This is what my bottle looked like. http://www.itoen.com/tea/index.cfm?sp=product&catID=1&id=105

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The description is right to the point.
Lilacs? Check. The aroma might not be strong and doesn’t drift up from a cup of tea but if you bring it to your nose and inhale – there they are – unmistakable lilacs.
Delicate, flowery liquor? Check. The flavor is very smooth, flowery and dry like white wine.
Sweet and refreshing taste? Check. Yes, indeed it is very refreshing and the light sweetness is there as well but hiding behind flower dryness and feels more like an aftertaste than a separate note.

The brew doesn’t have any oiliness or toasty qualities, it is pure, fresh and stands up to 3 infusions, the third still being tasty but lacking in aroma. And I like the name :) Definitely goes on my shopping list as soon as I run out of Adagio’s oolong #18. They have similar characteristics but this one is way better.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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I haven’t had this in over a week because last time it tasted “off.” I think I just overdid it as I was having this every morning for awhile.
I am really glad that I have this tea! It is very smooth and not overly perfume-like. The added lavender really makes the difference I believe. I’m enjoying it today with a bit of honey which seems to bring out the floral aspect of the lavender a bit more.

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drank Hadong by Puripan
74 tasting notes

Replacing a can of soda for a pot of tea, for my breakfast. Seems like in all ways a good idea. I’m not sure how long I’ve had this tea in my cupboard, but I’m pretty sure it was less than a year, and it wasn’t opened.

I’m pretty sure this green is Korean – which, if you’re curious, is mighty close to Chinese in flavor. I do, however, prefer the appearance of Korean leaves after unfurling. Not sure if there’s a specific reason, I just tend to like them, they look pretty.
If you want a description of the taste just look at the company’s description. This tea is… good, but it doesn’t excite me, so I don’t feel like getting into an all-out explanation of the complexities of the flavor and so on.

What I will say, is that I probably purchased this tea because of the name.
Ha, Dong

I’ve noticed I’ve become more sensitive to water quality. Perhaps I’m not enjoying this tea so much because I used unfiltered tap water, and not the pure water I get at the store. It’s interesting, though – I’m beginning to distinguish the flavor of the water within the tea, and then judge how it affects the tea.

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drank Earl Grey by Lupicia
121 tasting notes

My previous Earl Grey experience is limited to cheap tea bags, which I never enjoyed, so I always assumed I wouldn’t like this. But I’ve had a sample from Lupicia around for ages now, and I thought now was the time to try it.

Lots and lots of bergamot. I never thought of Earl Grey as a fruity tea before, but Lupicia’s blend is heavy on the citrus note. The tea is very smooth and refreshing, especially iced.


I find it funny you never considered it a fruity tea before. Bergamot is fruit lol. Those bags must have really been bad! :(


I guess I never think of lemon iced tea as a fruity tea either, even though lemon’s a fruit. It’s always an accent to the black tea, but not the main focus. Maybe it’s a citrus thing…

When I drank the Earl Gray bags (I want to say they were Bigelow or Celestial Seasonings) the bergamot was in practically non-existent.

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