339 Tasting Notes


Ahhh! Why am I drinking this stuff? I dislike both fruity teas and rooibos teas. Yet, here I am… drinking a fruity rooibos.

Before I begin my discourse about its merits, let me just say this: I really, REALLY like these pyramid teabags. It’s as close to loose-leaf infusing as bagged tea is going to get. Easy to use, easy to dispose of. LOVE it!

Somehow, this blend works for me, despite the odds stacked against it. Maybe it’s the strawberry. (I do like berry-flavored teas). I think the strawberry gives the rooibos more flavor. Normally, I think rooibos is bland and weirdly flavored, but this one seems to be pretty all right. It could also be the little bit of black tea that Lipton apparently couldn’t resist adding.

Also, I don’t really taste passionfruit, which makes me like it more. I feel like it would be sicky-sweet if the passionfruit were strong.

It’s a good snacktime tea, a good take-it-or-leave it tea. Not many surprises in this cup. Plus, it only has 10 mg of caffeine, which to tiny, twitchy individuals like myself, is always a plus.

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I’ve gotten into a strange sleeping pattern (which is to say, I’ve been sleeping like crap lately), so I needed a little something stronger than my usual green or black morning cuppa to get me going this morning.

This yerba mate has been my go-to drink for extra energy ever since I quit coffee. It gives me just the right amount of caffeine to wake me up and get me focused, without making me jittery. I used hot water from my housemate’s Keurig because boiling water makes it bitter, and I let it steep for half of my 8 am class, which translates to about 45 or 50 minutes.

Sounds like a disaster, right? But it wasn’t. It peaked in strength after the first ten minutes, and then the bag just kinda sat there in the water, not doing much. It was perfect. The flavor was smoky and earthy, and it helped me feel more full after my on-the-go breakfast (a Nutri-Grain bar).

Definitely going to keep a box of these teabags around for lousy Monday mornings like this one. It helped bring me back to life without being too demanding to prepare, and it tasted good, too.

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Mmmm… Woke up late this morning, and I have a lot of work to do today, but I’m stealing a few more minutes of free time with a mug of this tea.

It’s a perfect fall day, and the fall makes me crave black tea. Usually with blackberry blends, the blackberry is all I can taste, and it’s also usually very bitter. Not so with this blend. The blackberry is there, but it complements the black tea so well that I don’t mind at all. In fact, I’m enjoying it immensely.

Some days it’s best to just go with your instincts when it comes to choosing a tea. Today, I got it perfect. Today was made for drinking blackberry sage.

Okay, I’ve stalled long enough now. TTFN, Steepster.

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drank Zen by Tazo
339 tasting notes

This tea is a pretty good bagged green tea. I like the pleasant balance of spearmint and lemongrass. A dash of honey makes it. Steep it as long as you like. It’s a low-maintenance blend, good for those mornings where you wake up in a fog and don’t have the patience to deal with measuring and timing.

Its description is a only a slight bit overblown, but what do you expect from a company owned by Starbuck’s? (eyeroll) Pretension is practically encoded in their DNA.

Just prepare this tea like you would any old bagged blend, put some honey in it, and enjoy. It’s a simple -pleasure tea, even though Tazo’s marketers would like you to think otherwise.

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drank Huang Shan Mao Feng by Dobra Tea
339 tasting notes

Oversteeped and overleafed. It tastes sweet and almost wheatlike.

Ughhh what a fail. Oh well. I’ve drunk this tea enough times to know that it’s a good tea, even if I totally messed this up this morning.


doh! i hate that!


Me, too. Plus, I’ve had it for a while, so it’s not as fresh as it should be… Blechhhh.

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I added a full teaspoon of sugar this time, and I was more generous with the leaves. I was also not afraid to let it steep for a little longer than usual. This tea just gets better and better every time!

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drank Amandine Rose by Teavana
339 tasting notes

Mmmmmm. Used up the last of my leaves on this one today, so it came out a little stronger than usual. Still delicious, fragrant, and perfectly energizing.

I always have better luck with the second steep than the first with this tea. I’m unsure why. Perhaps the flavors need to sit in a little bit of dampness so they can mingle chemically before they’re ready to be steeped properly. Kind of inconvenient. In that case, I can see why Teavana decided to discontinue it.

Anyway, I’m on my second cup today, and I’m loving it. The almond, cinnamon, rose, and violet have all blended gracefully into a lovely spicy-floral flavor. The black tea base is almost undetectable. Perfect tea to do Shakespeare homework with. Lucky me!

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drank Blackberry Mojito by Teavana
339 tasting notes

Sipdown! I made a pot of this and refrigerated it because it’s starting to lose its freshness and so I need to use it up quickly.

I really don’t know why I didn’t do this earlier! You’re supposed to drink mojitos cold anyway, so no wonder this tasted better chilled. I also added sugar to it, which took some of the edge off of the bitter blackberry notes.

I may have overleafed the pot in my anxiety to use the tea up before it loses its flavor. As such, the first few sips were quite bitter and the blackberry almost knocked me over. But I kept drinking it, and it did mellow out (or perhaps my tastebuds just got used to it?) into a nice cold green tea with notes of mint and raspberry.

I always find that adding sugar to a blend with mint in it will bring that mint out, and I think in the case of this tea, the mint needs all the help it can get. Blackberry can be quite a dominating flavor, and this tea is a prime instance of that. Punching up the mint with sugar really helps balance that tartness.

Bottom Line: Drink it fresh, drink it cold, and for the love of God, put some sugar in it!

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I drank this one again this morning, and this time I added the merest suggestion of pure cane sugar to it. That seemed to help bring out the ice cream notes a little more, and it complemented the pistachio nicely, too. As usual, the tea has a nice, creamy feeling to it without needing any milk or creamer of any kind.

The base of this one is a lot stronger than the other two samples from Butiki that I’ve tried. It still tastes wonderful, and I thoroughly enjoyed this cup, but I definitely have an easier time detecting the “tea” part of this brew.

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Yup, it’s official. One minute thirty seconds, and this is perfect.

I’ve officially found my favorite afternoon tea!


I’ve always been fond of Lady Grey. I’m glad you found a steep time that works for you.


Me, too :D

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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.

Favorites: black, oolong, and white teas (anything with chocolate, vanilla, nutty, or spice notes!); pu- erh, yerba mate, chamomile, tulsi.

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 for me to really enjoy it.

Dislikes: Plain green teas, rooibos, 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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