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Edit tea info Last updated by bellmont
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195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 45 sec 6 g 11 oz / 331 ml

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779 Tasting Notes

98 tasting notes

Okay, since I don’t feel like making a custom tea for this blend that I’m working on just yet, I will put it under this ingenious tag.
I have been drawing out my supply of Vanilla Mint Mate since Teaopia closed down two years ago. This is an old tea for me, but a really classic wake-up tea that I genuinely miss in my cupboard. It’s great for those mornings that I really need a caffeine hit, but don’t want anything as strongly flavored as a black tea. I attempted to replace it with The Killers Vanilla, but that tea is just so chocolate-y to me (something about the addition of lavender), and I detest chocolate! The original tea had a definitive, but mild green mate flavor on the sip with a heavy dose of cooling on the swallow, but maintained a pleasant level of sweetness and creaminess from the vanilla all the way through. I have one cup left of the original, so I’m hoping to compare it with several options of my finished blend.
Fast forward to my first online order of tea from Upton last year. I got a giant bag of green mate and an even bigger bag of the most cooling peppermint I could find. Dinosara spoiled me with a bundle of Madagascar vanilla beans to complete my project. Well, I’ve finally gotten around to experimenting. I figured my tea log was the best place to record the endeavor for posterity. My goal today was to determine the ideal mint/mate ratio, into which I will toss a vanilla bean and let it age.
To make each sample comparable, I made sure the brewing was exactly the same (side note: who knew I had three tea balls floating around my house?!) for each mix. I will now review them separately:
1/2 mint/mate mix: I really can taste the earthy greenness of the mate, tempered just slightly by the mint. The cooling really shows up on/after the swallow. The cooling is just not quite what I want it to be, but it taste the most similar to the original.
1/1 mint/mate mix: The cooling is at the right amount now, but the flavor is much too peppermint. The mate is there, but the bad influence of the mint overpowers on the sip when I really want it confined to the swallow. This blend really loses the warm and fuzzy smokiness of the mate. It was a tough call, but I think this is too much mint.
2/1 mint/mate mix: This is basically like a pure mint tea. The sod-like under flavor of pure mint shines through the overpowering cooling of the tongue. Definitely not the winner.
For now, I will most likely proceed with variable amounts of vanilla bean in the blend with the most mate, but perhaps I will bump up the mint just slightly in that mix and try it first.

185 °F / 85 °C 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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523 tasting notes

Well, I found this amazing little café in one of the buildings on campus. It’s about 2/3 of the way between two of my classes on Friday, so I know where I’ll be going every week. Their tea is great, too (loose leaf? on my campus?!). Sadly, I have no idea what brand it is. The shop itself is an offshoot of Lavazza but their tea looks nothing like what I had. What a mystery! Maybe I’ll ask if I ever catch them at a slow time.

On to the tea: this jasmine green is really good in a subtle way. The jasmine flavor sneaks up on you. It’s a little bit fruity at first, then sweet, with a beautiful floral aftertaste. The green flavor is a steadying presence in the background but never overwhelms; the whole cup is subtle. Utterly delicious (and even better with a lemon bear claw)!


lemon bear claw… drool


Interesting. There are Lavazza’s in Europe (I just saw one last night in Belgium), and I noticed each one is a bit different. Maybe the suppliers change based on location?

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221 tasting notes

Houjicha of the Autumn Moon
Home-roasted houjicha from Obubu Tea Farms Sencha of the Autumn Moon

This is my second time turning some of my Obubu green tea into houjicha. This one was particularly tantalizing, as it smelled like pumpkins as I was roasting it. It smelled sweet, a bit like yams, and even more like the smell of a freshly carved jack-o-lantern when you’ve got a lit candle in it, perhaps a bit sweeter. I’ve always picked up a pumpkin note in this tea, and roasting it brought it out in the scent even more. It’s great. Definitely autumn, without belonging to the generic “pumpkin spice” persuasion.

The scent of the brewed tea is very caramely and sweet, with a hint of roasty char and cigar tobacco. The taste is mellow and mostly reminds me of cigar tobacco, mildly sweet. It’s really comforting. I tiny hint of the pumpkin taste comes through in the finish.

The second infusion tastes a little more green, with a pistachio like taste and a hint of cucumber, and it has a sweeter lingering aftertaste. I could swim in this cup. It’s so delicious.

The best two houjicha I’ve had now have been the ones I roasted at home from Obubu’s green tea. I may just end up doing that from now on. I’m not sure if houjicha is just better when freshly roasted, or if I’m just using teas that are more to my liking for this type of flavor. Either way, Obubu sells their teas at greatly reduced prices when they aren’t in season, so I’ll be picking up some of these to roast with my next order from their website. Order from them direct. So many people I know order Obubu’s tea from Yunomi, and pay the huge markup that comes with it. I’m not sure why.

Flavors: Cucumber, Nuts, Pumpkin, Roasted, Tobacco

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706 tasting notes

Today I drank a ripe puerh tuo cha purchased from Royal Tea Bay very cheap. I was really expecting something terrible. I didn’t even know if it was ripe or raw because they were not marked and I bought one of each. It was fairly sweet with notes of camphor, not at all bad. I thought as cheap as it was it would score below a fifty percent but this one gets a better rating.

I steeped this eight times in a 120ml gaiwan with 8g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec.

Flavors: Camphor, Earth

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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52 tasting notes

1 more steeping left of my no-name assam (I’m sure it had a name but I lost it) then I can replace it with a new assam. This one is rather flat only a little malt note in the front if I add condensed milk. I prefer a really strongly malty assam so next time I’ll be looking for the malt. This one does the trick of clearing the fog and waking me up. Steepster ate a lot of my notes lately, lets see if this rather inane one “sticks”

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278 tasting notes

Holy. Moly.

I pulled out a sample of 1980’s heicha that I got as a special surprise in my last order from O5 Tea. Somehow I missed this one when I was trying the other samples they sent a few months back. They don’t sell this online and it may not be for sale at all, but maaaaannn… it’s super.

The wet leaves smell like candy, almost a little violetish, but with some warmer caramely notes also. Really intriguing.

The dry leaf looks a bit like the fungus teas I love so much, but I did not see any golden flowers. The brewed tea smells like something I know, but can’t quite place. And the taste… really unique. I’m having a really hard time describing the flavors, so I’ll just go with: yum, noms, eeeeee! and happy of happiness. I wish I could get more of this one!

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 4 tsp 3 OZ / 88 ML

Mmmmmm, all the tea companies want to seduce you with their “private” reserve, that’s how charming you are ;-)


No way. Everyone knows that the fairy can charm anything out of anyone!


Is the ‘Holy. Moly’ your first impression or something that came later?


This tea was awesome from the start of the dry leaves, through the end of the sip. Holy Moly all the way!

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462 tasting notes

I mixed Zhena’s Chocolate Chai and Republic of Tea’s Good Hope Vanilla and drank it iced.

These are two high-quality rooibos teas that mix quite well together. It tasted like earthy- spicy dessert. I would do it again, except that I like the vanilla rooibos better by itself.

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707 tasting notes

This is quite possibly my first “Random Steepings” entry. Tada! The beau and I had Chinese food “in town” tonight and I was curious about the tea. The waitress said there was a loose leaf oolong and we asked for a pot of that. It came loose but was brewing up really dark so we investigated. Turned out, this is definitely shu puerh. She had no more info about it but we told her a bit about puerh and how she might like to brew it if she wants to try it again. It was actually really nice and held up to Western steeping really well. This encouraged me to try more of our pu Western style. Yay!

Also excuse the (many?) Typos. I’m on my phone and Steepster won’t let me see what I am typing so I am just hoping it turns out legible…now it’s letting me. Grr. That was pretty bad. I think I got most of them.


Isn’t that frustrating, that on the phone the text entry field doesn’t like to show everything?!

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972 tasting notes

Next Design a Tea sample is Blueberry Chestnut with a black base. The black leaves are very small, and there are pieces of some kind of dried fruit-like thing along with decorative flower petals. Dry scent is very sweet and nutty, I don’t get much blueberry but it still smells really good! Once I poured the water over the leaves, I got a nice whiff of blueberry aroma. Steeped for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.

Brewed aroma is still very sweet and rich with lots of nutty scent. I do get a bit of blueberry jam, but it’s in the background. Hmm… I get a lot of the black base (malty, generic) with some nuttiness mixed in. The blueberry mostly shows up at the end of the sip. Tried it with a bit of sugar added, and while it definitely helped to bring out the blueberry flavor, I think I’m just not a fan of white sugar in my tea anymore. It adds a weird aftertaste that reminds me of artificial sweeteners… Maybe next time I’ll try brown sugar. Overall, a decent tea, and I imagine it would be good with milk. Rating would be mid-70s.

Flavors: Astringent, Blueberry, Chestnut, Jam, Malt, Nutty, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

or honey? maple syrup?

Cameron B.

Usually I find honey adds too much flavor, but it depends on the tea. I haven’t tried maple syrup because I don’t have any, but I have heard it’s nice in smoky teas. :)


Depends on the honey and depends on the tea, but yeah it works better in some teas than others. Trying to taste nuance and for delicate teas it doesn’t work so well. I drink my tea with unprocessed cane sugar crystals and I haven’t had an artificial taste problem and I’m pretty sensitive to artificial sweeteners. YMMV.

Cameron B.

I’ll definitely pick up some raw sugar or German rock sugar to try next time I get a chance. :)

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719 tasting notes

This was in my surprise birthday package from The Cookie Lady. She told me she couldn’t remember what it was. And now that I’ve tasted it I think it’s a jasmine tea!
Least that’s what it tastes like to me. Not bad at all!
The leaves are rolled up into little pearls, which I really love! They’re so unique and pretty! Thank you for the generous sample, The Cookie Lady! You’re fantastic! (:


Flavors: Jasmine

Cameron B.

Definitely looks like jasmine pearls. :)


I agree!


They look like jasmine pearls to me, too!

The Cookie Lady

Did you like the ridiculously long note I wrote on the bag to explain how I didn’t know what it was?? :) I just figured there was no way I was going to be able to fit a piece of paper into that over-stuffed tin, so on the bag it all went!!


Haha it made me smile! Have you had that tea, The Cookie Lady? :P

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