428 Tasting Notes


It turns out that the other intern who is working with me this semester and I have a lot in common, including being total tea nuts. Yayyyyy! Now we have stuff to talk about during those excruciating periods of down time in the mornings. Plus, it’s tea. Which I love.

Anyway, this tea has really grown on me. I’m really digging the smoky black teas lately. Mate, lapsang souchong, black-and-mate blends… I love ’em.

Something about the winter makes me crave them. Maybe it’s because they remind me of fireplaces. The smokiness makes me think of warmth, which is what I want in the winter. It makes sense, right?

I like the taste this tea leaves in my mouth. It’s like an old-man tea, but whatever. I’m old in my soul.

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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This tea has the weirdest ingredient list ever… But it tastes amazing! The spearmint and the fruit in this blend round out into a beautifully smooth, sweet bouquet. I love the warmth in the flavor, but the most striking thing about it how seamlessly it’s balanced. It also has surprising depth, considering that it’s a bagged tisane.

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drank Huang Shan Mao Feng by Dobra Tea
428 tasting notes

Have 3 oz of this and need to use it up because it is very very old! I made a pot of it yesterday and chilled it overnight.

Upon first sip, it almost tastes like pickle brine! Uh-oh. There is also something soapy about it that I really don’t remember while drinking it hot. I thought maybe it was the container I was storing it in, so I tried a sip from a different container, and nope! Still soapy.

The aftertaste is yummy- floral and light.

This makes me sad. I know that this is high-quality tea, but I can’t seem to get this right.

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drank With Open Eyes by Butiki Teas
428 tasting notes

Tried this one again, and got it right! I used the perfect amount of leaves and a cooler water temp, and tried a different method of infusing them. It worked! I could definitely taste the ginger and the buttery-tasting dragonwell, which both gracefully joined together to form a toffee note. I got just a hint of sweet strawberry, too.

During the second steep, the strawberry took even more of a backseat- I could mostly taste ginger and the a vegetal, almost marine quality of the tea that I didn’t pick up on during the first steep. It was nice, because having the second cup kind of stretched the range of notes and flavors that this tea has.


150 °F / 65 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

i get a meringue type quality to this blend as well. i love this one.


It’s easily one of my favorites from Butiki! It seems simple at first, but it’s really a different story every time.

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My first Sencha! It also contains Lung Ching and Pai Mu Tan white teas, which I have also never tried. However, I can tell that these are really high-quality tea leaves that the Tiesta guys use. And they definitely don’t rip you off- this 4 oz tin is literally full to the brim. For $9, this is a really great buy!

I like the image that Tiesta presents as a company- they’re a small group of laid-back young men who are creative and also want to make loose tea accessible to the average shopper. Their teas are very cost-effective, high-quality, and delicious. They also provide a lot of good information on their packaging, such as caffeine content, the purpose of the tea (this one is to support weight loss, so they’ve categorized it as a Slenderizer. I have another blend by them called Fireberry, which is an Immunity blend. They also have Energizer, Relaxer, and Eternity blends) how many cups you should get out of the tin, and which temperatures and amounts to use. Plus, the tins themselves are very attractive.

The dry leaves smell fantastic- green, earthy, and lightly fruity.

Easy to steep- (although somehow my tea ball came unlatched in the water and spilled all the leaves into the mug, forcing me to get a big strainer and dirty another mug… Grrrrr…) The leaves opened up really big.

Sipping… I don’t taste much fruit. When I scooped it, I didn’t get many fruit pieces though, so perhaps they’ve sunk toward the bottom of the tin. In any event, this is a wonderful green-white blend. Very smooth and rich.

I hope my next few steeps go a little more smoothly in terms of operator errors, but even though I goofed up a little, I still enjoyed this cup! The sign of a truly fantastic tea!

Flavors: Fruit Tree Flowers

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank White Asian Plum by Salada
428 tasting notes

Tried making this with a lower water temp to avoid cooking the leaves.

It worked quite well! A lot more of the sweetness in this blend came through. It is very fruity. The plum is almost enough to knock you over. I personally don’t mind a lot of fruityness (as long as the base isn’t rooibos) but I would caution anyone who prefers more subtle fruit notes to try something else first.

Flavors: Plums

170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Organic Ceylon by Butiki Teas
428 tasting notes

Mmmm. A very nice, basic black tea. Good for an afternoon pick-me-up, which is what I’m using it for. The leaves opened up awesomely while I infused it, releasing a lot more flavor.

Very good to keep handy as a staple tea!

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Despite some of the other reviews on here, I think this is one of the best, most delicious, delicately flavored herbal teas I’ve ever had.

Once brewed, it gives off a smoky scent, almost like tobacco.

Sipping… The rose is strong, definitely, and it lingers on the tongue lightly. The tulsi base gives it a richness and earthiness that works wonderfully. There is the perfect amount of stevia in it to make it a little sweet, and the chamomile adds some thickness to the mouthfeel. I can taste the lemon myrtle a bit after I swallow my sip.

A beautiful, delicate, relaxing blend. The perfect drink to unwind the day with.

Flavors: Earth, Flowers, Lemon Zest, Tobacco

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I swear by echinacea! This is my favorite herbal blend with it. It’s amazing with a little organic honey.

It tastes earthy and mildly minty. Lots of umami. It’s a bit like Tulsi; flavor-wise, it isn’t the most thrilling thing ever, but in terms of how it makes me feel while I’m drinking it and afterward, it’s spectacular! I really only make it during the winter or during seasonal transitions. Basically, the times when getting sick is really likely.

In this case today, I’m also trying to finish the box to make room in my tea chest.

Flavors: Earth, Nuts

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Ugh, I hate calling up my bosses and asking for letters of reference, especially on short notice. I wish finding a job was an easier process, especially for shy people.

Backlogging from months and months ago… I always kept forgetting to log this one. Perhaps that’s indicative of my experience with it. I was distinctly underwhelmed by it. It was my first and last honeybush. Usually, with chai, you have to worry about the flavors and spices being too strong, but that was decidedly not the case here.

The base was bland as all getout, and there was no helping it with sweeteners or milk. It was basically like drinking hot water with a bit of cinnamon thrown in.

Not exactly thrilling. There are far better herbal chais out there.


Good luck with the job search!


Cheers :)

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Hello! I’m a recent college graduate, trying to find my way in the world. I love literature, politics, and tea. I work in the Information Technology field.

Favorites: black, oolong, rooibos, and white teas, pu- erh, mate, and chamomile. Blends that are vanilla, chocolate, nutty, or dessert-like are especially appealing to me.

I like green teas as long as they are blended with fruit and/ or spices, and I LOVE them when they’re floral.

I have a love-hate relationship with kombucha, and I’m very picky about my chai- It has to have a high-quality black tea base and be heavy on the cinnamon and light on the nutmeg.

Dislikes: Plain green teas, honeybush, fruity herbals, hibiscus in high quantities, plain peppermint. (Although I am not opposed to trying blends that cross into these neighborhoods if they come from reputable companies.)

I’m not a swapper, but I hope we can still be friends :)

90-100: Perfection and heaven and magic, all in one cup.

70-89: Good.

50-69: Meh.

49 and below: Blerg.


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