380 Tasting Notes


I was afraid I was going to brew this tea and my poor palette would be unable to tell it from Caravan. They certainly smell quite similar. But lapsang smells VERY different once brewed. You can definitely tell that it was smoked over pine. The pine is there. Mmm, campfire. Mostly because pine’s often what we end up throwing on it. I can’t stop sniffing it. It’s very nice.

The taste is definitely weaker than caravan. But I can’t remember—maybe I steeped that one longer. Taste’s quite different. Sweeter. The pine, maybe. Still savoury. When I purchased this, the lady gave me an odd look and asked if I had ever had it before. I suppose I should have seen it coming—people either love or hate this tea. I explained that I had been meaning to try it (she let me sniff it, and it smelt as expected). Mm, I like it. I think I like Russian Caravan more, but maybe I should have just steeped this one longer. It’s got a… deeper flavour though, I think. Tasty.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank 1001 Nights by Tealicious Tea Company
380 tasting notes

I wasn’t sure how to steep this. It’s my first green-black blend (and you can most certainly SMELL it—the green and the black tea, I mean). So I went 180 degrees, at around three (ish?) minutes, just to be safe. The colour came out quite light for a black tea (as expected, I guess).

Here goes! I was kind of nervous about this one. I’ve never purchased a tea I had ABSOLUTELY no idea about. But I am a risk taker! And where better to try a tea I’d been meaning to try, than with a company I had ALSO been meaning to try!

It tastes like black tea and green tea, but I can’t really taste any of the fruity spiceness that was also mixed in there. Although I can smell it in the dry leaves, wet leaves and (to a lesser extent) in the tea. Oh, wait—I can taste the jasmine, mildly I believe. It was a good idea that I tried jasmine green tea before hand, so I can actually pick that taste out. I would steep this for longer to see what I get, but the green is JUST strong enough for me.

I get a sweetness when I sip and then breathe out. No marshmallows, but it sort of REMINDS me of marshmallows. In a weird way. I’m sure it’s just my underdeveloped palette that’s keeping me from tasting things, but somehow… this is very nice. Maybe it’s the rose that I’m tasting a bit when I breathe out. That sweetness. Ah yes, it’s a bit stronger now. Definitely there. Mm, it’s quite nice. I’m starting to become rather fond of this tea. I think I’ll try a second steep and bring that to work with me.

I think I like this one! I’ll probably keep drinking it to see what I can get out of it. It smells so pleasant and sweet, and the taste is there, I’m just not the best person to give a very accurate description of it.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Assam Pure by Murchie's Tea & Coffee
380 tasting notes

I decided to try steeping this for two minutes first (I mean, I can always just put the teaball back IN), because I remember a few steepsters saying that assam teas can be very picky, and will turn bitter much faster than others. It was in for two, maybe two and a half minutes, and it already is fairly strong, surprisingly. A bit astringent, but not right out bitter. There’s a somewhat tangy, berry taste at the very back of the mouth when I sip it and let it sit for a moment.

I’m sure this could hold milk very well. I think I found my new morning tea! Except that I only got an ounce of this (just to try), so I’ll have to go back for more.

I can still taste it. Aftertaste. Very nice. Yeah, this really doesn’t need any more than two minutes.

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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drank Place Saint Marc by THE O DOR
380 tasting notes

This smells scrumptious. I got it while at the Urban Tea Merchant, and ended up leaving the teabag in there the whole time while I was drinking it. Which was for over an hour. And it didn’t once taste oversteeped. Magic!

It’s vanilla and “berries” (I didn’t know which fruits specifically until I returned home and checked their website), and you can definitely smell the fruit. The vanilla I couldn’t smell right away, but it’s sort of… hidden in there. A subtle sweetness. I couldn’t taste either at first, but the fruity taste started to come out after a while—a sort of aftertaste on the tip of the tongue, really. Very faint. Maybe this one just isn’t for me; I guess I’d need something stronger.

I actually kept the teabag and resteeped it once I got home, and the berry taste it just slightly more evident. Still no real vanilla flavour, though. Just a sort of touch of sweetness, really. I wonder how this would do in latte form; the Urban Tea Merchant offers those too, I just didn’t want to get a latte for my first time there, because I wanted to see how the teas would taste on their own first. I’m definitely going back there and trying teas until I find “Mine” and THEN I’ll spend thirty bucks on a tin. Maybe more.


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drank Vanilla Tea by Murchie's Tea & Coffee
380 tasting notes

The lady had actually run out of the bagged stuff, so she sent another employee off to fill one of those t-bags with the loose-leaf stuff. She said it was no trouble, although I said I could just have an Earl Grey instead.

It smelt pleasantly of vanilla (evident, but by no means strong; the smell of the actual black tea was much stronger), however I couldn’t taste it at all. At times I thought I did—just barely, at the tip of my tongue or something. But there was definitely a sort of vanillay mouth-feel. That somewhat creamy sensation I guess. Perhaps it should have been steeped at a lower temperature for longer. That may bring it out a bit more. But I’ll never know! Unless I buy some and play around with temperatures and steeping times.

I let it steep for around five and a half minutes, but I don’t really know how hot the water was when she poured it. The tea as a black was nice, but the lack of a vanilla taste was a bit disappointing.

5 min, 30 sec

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drank English Breakfast by Twinings
380 tasting notes

I find when I sniff this tea, it makes me think of honey. I don’t think it REALLY smells like honey (maybe faintly), so I assume it’s just my mind going “this needs honey”.

That’s not to say that it actually NEEDS it. I’m still drinking it without, and I like it. It’s a basic morning breakfast tea. Wakes me up. Gently! And doesn’t require any additives; it’s only slightly sharp-tasting. It’s basic; I don’t love or hate it, and it goes good with morning foods. I’m drinking it bagged sadly, as no places in my area sell it loose leaf, that I know of.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

Bagged version isn’t half bad! :-) I like this tea also; I prefer Irish Breakfast but I have that with a splash of milk. But this, I feel like it’s pretty good either straight or with milk. Or, honey, like you said. Very basic and versatile tea!
I can’t find it loose leaf from my local grocery store either, so when I want loose leaf I order online from the twinings usa website. It’s only $4.49 for a 100g (4oz) tin http://www.twiningsusashop.com/black-tea.html ; the only issue is that shipping isn’t all that cheap, so I do bulk orders… or you could buy them at amazon.com too, except that I think they sell only 6 packs. Bleh.


Bah, the shipping is probably even worse for Canada. Plus, it’s got a minimum of $14 orders… Hmm. Sadly, I do everything by paypal and so I can’t use Amazon.


…Huh. Okay, don’t surround words with dashes, it causes it to cross them out.

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I am under the impression that the image on the front of the tin is Jupiter with lips to replace it’s great red spot.

Oh, this has a wonderful smell, and a very dark, rich colour brewed. I can smell the black tea a bit more in this than in Hazo’s, which I like. Hmm, five minutes (I followed the label) might have been oversteeping it. It’s okay with a bit of honey though. I think I might like Hazo’s better, still, but it’s good. I nice earl grey. Nice tea flavour, with a bit of bergamot citrus smell/after taste.

Edit: Hmm, the second cup (but of the same pot!) is much better, somehow. Doesn’t taste oversteeped, and didn’t require any honey. Mmm.

However, on that note, this tea is fairly broken up, and my mesh tea ball is no match for it. I think I’d need something finer. Because I went to pour the rest of the pot, and a thick layer of tea-grit settled onto the bottom of my cup. More than usual.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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The smell is VERY salty and smoky. Like campfire (or bacon). I allowed a few members of my family to take a smell, but non were very impressed (in fact, most were a little weirded out). I had to give up on my explanation that it’s meant to smell smokey because of how it’s made, and no it was NOT a Bacon Flavoured Tea (although I do plan on ordering that from 52 teas one day).

Once brewed, the smoky smell is lessoned, and slightly more tea-scented (slightly!). The colour is nice and dark, reddish.

TASTES smoky. A little too hot to tell, but the smoke does trail off into the aftertaste. It’s like drinking campfire. I think this is a Camping Tea. The sort of thing I would drink around the fire after a day of hiking, to replace hot chocolate. I thought this would be something that I would find too strong and would require milk with, but it’s not. I think milk would ruin the savoury flavour.

Continued: The second steep (6 minutes, no-longer-boiling water) was about as flavourful as the first. I’m sure I could have gotten one or two more steeps out of this, but I have to go to work, sadly.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I’ve never been very fond of green tea, but I got the Series 3 set because I love Earl Grey, I love smoky, bold teas, and I wanted a nice green tea for the days I’m in the mood for one (plus, that Damn Fine Teas patch is pretty rad).

The jasmine smell was very strong, but I don’t use jasmine-scented products, so my mind didn’t immediately jump to ‘jasmine soap’ or anything similar.

The jasmine carried over into the smell of the brewed tea, but not in the taste at all. Three minutes turned out perfectly, so the tea was very lightly vegetable tasting and almost sweet; quite mild (in the past I’ve made green tea too strong and I can’t stand that kind of taste). The colour was a pale green, although the drips coming off of the teaball as I removed it were a nice goldy yellow.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Uva Ceylon by Murchie's Tea & Coffee
380 tasting notes

This morning, this is my Wake Up AJ, Wake Up And Finish Your Geomorphology Report. And sadly, it is not doing its job as well as I had hoped. I need an assam. Something stronger and biting. All I have is Irish Breakfast, however this was three bags in a large pot, and I only HAD… three bags of Irish Breakfast left, and I didn’t want to use them all up just like that.

I can hear the helicopters circling for the torch passing by my house today. I should pop out and see how close they’re heading by my house; I missed them the other day when they ran past my campus.

I hope this doesn’t effect me getting to class on time.


I imagin people must be going nuts in Vancouver – heck I’m going nuts over here waiting for the 16th (I got tickets!!!!).


I’m not in the heart of Vancouver very often, so I’ve managed to avoid a lot of the insanity I assume is occurring. Although I did see some of the nice displays they had set up in the streets, and was momentarily swarmed that day when the Mascots made an entrance and everyone started rushing past me to get to them.

I’ve also managed to miss all three possible chances I had of seeing the torch. Bah! I’m just unlucky and too busy, I suppose. No tickets for me though—but I have been wearing Canada shirts continuously.

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I change icons often, apologies. On that note, they are usually Doctor Who related (so no, that is not me pictured in the icon, it is most likely one of the Doctors).

A tea-drinking transgendered Canadian, currently in the third year of university, majoring in geology (yes, “rocks and things”). I take most of my tea made straight into a mug, although occasionally if I’m not in a hurry (this isn’t often), I’ll have time to sit down with a pot. It’s the highlight of a good day if I have time for a pot.

My notes and reviews will often sound dis-jointed, repetitive and confused, as usually I don’t work on them as a whole, but rather add notes as I sip without rereading what I’ve already typed.

On most occasions I won’t take my tea with anything (I reserve milk for chai). Occasionally agave nectar if I want to test to see if it’ll smooth it out. Chais I will make with either the nectar or honey. Although on occasion I will sweeten unflavoured blacks the Russian way—with jam or jelly. Occasionally I will take it instead with a slice of a citrus fruit. Normally orange, occasionally lemon if I have any on hand.

I prefer Earl Greys.

Lastly, I keep a teatra.de blog for reviewing and rambling about tea books/publications.

Also, I am a Doctor Who fanatic. As one may have noticed by my icons. For the record, my favourite Doctor is number three, Jon Pertwee.

“But you should never turn down tea, when it’s offered. It’s impolite, and impoliteness is how wars start.” ~Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann


BC, Canada



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