418 Tasting Notes

drank Cream Caramel Rooibos by Zen Tea
418 tasting notes

I think this is one you have to be very careful with when measuring out the leaf. You have to make sure you get enough caramel pieces and I think it does better with a little bit more leaf than less. The first time I had it I underleafed it and it tasted of slightly sweet watery rooibos. This time I used 2tsp for about 11oz of water. It came out smelling like nutty skillet toffee. The rooibos is still there contributing a little dryness and a nutty woody note, but the flavour is of vanilla cream caramels. Pretty nice tonight.

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This tea is rich and thick and oddly reminds me of coffee. Not the particularly great stuff but the instant aircraft stuff that is slightly stale and requires cream. I know not a raving endorsement, but I actually did enjoy this tea. Maybe it comes from fond memories of drinking way to much of that stuff.

I appreciated the richness of this tea with its mix of smoke, cocoa, tobacco/nicotiana, dates and honey tones. It had a nice robust flavour and a creamy texture. Thanks for sharing this Dexter3657, I wouldn’t mind keeping some of this in my cupboard but only in small amounts.

I used 4 balls in 200ml of water.

1 min
Scent. Smoke, cocoa,honey, leathery tone, spice hint of nicotiana

Taste. Spicy leathery tones over smoky cocoa with dried fruit almost date like note. Smoky coffeeish tone. Pretty smooth and robust.

80s. Spice, cocoa, smoke,, coffee note, leather, honey.
Smoky coffee tone, cocoa, leather, slight tobacco note, date.

110s. Spice,leather,cocoa,fading smoke tone,light tobacco note.

Nice balance of above flavours, creamy mouth feel.

130s fading fragrance and taste but much the same in scent and flavour.

160s. Leathery tabacco notes some cocoa with a sweetness underneath.


Sorry that this isn’t a hit with you – I really like it, but then I really like all black pearl teas…. instant aircraft coffee :(( LOL


I did actually like it, but not enough to get a ton of it. Thanks for letting me try it though. It saved me purchasing a lot of it. I guess I prefer Yunnan’s with less tabaccoish notes. I liked the smokey element to it though.

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drank Thé de Lune by Mariage Frères
418 tasting notes

Thank you very much JustJames for sharing this fabulous tea with me. It’s scent brings a lot of distinct memories forward while I sip it, ranging from hiking in the bush in the Carolinian forests of Southern Ontario, my friends mother’s cherry torte, and a cream I loved and can no longer get. I love it’s mix of cream, cherries and spice.

The dry leaf contains pieces of what appear to be cinnamon, fruit and cornflowers. After
3.5 min I was left with a fragrant maple blended with copper coloured brew.

The tea smells of vanilla cream, cherries, and white cake. It is a light cherry cream scent, not sharp, closer to maraschino with cinnamon underneath, with a scent that reminds me a little bit of sassafras or spice bush.

The flavour reminds me a little bit of cream soda. Cream tinted with spice bush, cinnamon and cherry almond note. An undertone in the taste, leaves a feeling like cola at the back of the throat. There is a hint of a light almond flavoured fluffy biscuit, almost like ladies fingers.

The aftertaste is of cinnamon, a cherry like fruit note and cream soda/ cola note that lingers.

The base is pretty smooth and rich, mostly hidden by the flavouring but It seems to be contributing a sweet and faintly tart note and enough tannins to give this tea some body.

Thanks again James! I can see why you love it.


Tea of the Moon! I don’t thing I want the tea you’re describing, but I want a tea with it’s name.


Aww, cherries…love this review and the memories :-)


Sounds lovely!


so glad you enjoyed it! i love tea that brings me special places… =0)

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drank Earl Grey by CJay Tea
418 tasting notes

Revisiting this tea and increasing the rating as bit, as it has become a staple in my house. I like both the base and the flavouring in this tea. The bergamot is a at about the same flavour intensity as twinings and it is a good compromise between spicy and citrusy and the base adds a good dose of sweetness which is fruity and almost syrupy contrasted with a good dose of both the upper and lower tones of malt. It blends well with other teas as well. At the moment this is my favourite mild-medium level bergamot Earl Grey.

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drank Bailin Gongfu Black Tea by Teavivre
420 tasting notes

I maybe use slightly above the reccommended water temperature but I still ended up with a very enjoyable series of cups. This one has more of a toffee/caramel note than my other Bailin http://steepster.com/teas/trust-to-trade-ltd/40377-bailin-kungfu , but it has less of the fruity spice notes that one has so it is a bit of a trade off. This one is more resilient though and I resteeped it 5 times. Altogether a very enjoyable and well balanced tea with a nice mix and complexity of flavours. Thanks Dexter3657 for this sample.
Malt fruit, cherry note,spice, faintly floral.

40s. Longan malt, upper and deeper grainy tones, bright shasrp fruit on top. Bitter cocoa cherry note, spice, bright notes at first and dissipate to deeper maslty cocoa tones. Tea tastes quite light at first and deepens to a dense thick flavour note. Cherry note not as prominent as my other Balin but really nice. Spice and fruit is there with similar notes and a hint of caramel under the malt. caramel is almost more toffee to me it has that slightly darker taste that it gets as the sugar mixture moves to a hard candy stage. After taste has a spicy cherry tone.

40s. Caramel,spice cherry notes,malt underneath.

Much sweeter than first steep and smoother. Caramel, cherry floral more, cocoa bitter malt tones.long an note milder blended into cherry spice note. Sweet note at back of throat astringency felt at roof of mouth. Sweet aftertaste.

60s longan, spice, malt

Sweet tone, longan, malt, cocoa underneath, caramel like aftertaste.

90s malt, longan, cocoa, sweet aftertaste.

4min. Sweet cocoa and malt.

1 tsp 8 OZ / 225 ML

Sounds delicious.


What a wonderful description!


wow…all these flavor notes are my cup of tea! i remember being intrigued initially by Bailin Gongfu, but your description makes it sound even better. surely i must try this! yum yum yum.

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I brewed this tea at a slightly higher temperature and away from the other one and it was really nice today. The higher temperature ( @85) produced a thinner brew but it had this lovely caramel/honey sweet spice note found in the black tea from this region. This tea had more melon in it today, but chestnut was still present in the background as well as a crisp sweet green bean note. Suited me perfectly this evening.


Mmmmm…this sounds lovely.


wow, really nice! love all the notes…

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
418 tasting notes

More lavender experiments

1 TSP lavender
Few slices of ginger
Cinnamon (@1.5 inches crushed)
1/8th TSP licorice shredded licorice root.

@ 16Oz mug

Cinnamon and lavender dominate scent.

The flavour is a little thin for the amount of water I used. Next time I might add more ginger and slightly increase the cinnamon and lavender. The licorice root is perfect. However, the flavour does intensify while you drink it.

Warm slightly spicy tea, with a touch of sweetness, and a bit of brightness from the ginger and lavender. Not overly floral, the lavender and cinnamon kind of blend into each other, with the lavender only slightly dominant.


I’m trying to imagine cinnamon and lavender together and totally failing in the attempt.


cinnamon and lavender…how’s that working out? a creative pairing, no doubt. i imagine this to be a clash of titans. did u enjoy this one?


Its kind of interesting, the lavender I have is quite a spicy one. In some sips they kind of create their own unique entity, while in others the cinnamon is kind of woody cinnamon hearts and the lavender comes off slightly powdery compared to some of my other lavender experiments. Mostly its a sweet spicy mix with a touch of brightness.


I’m actually enjoying it. I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but for some reason it was in my mind to try it.


Haha! I like reading about your little alchemy blend testings :-)


Oooh, interesting. I can see lavender and ginger being nice together… the cinnamon makes it a little scary, haha.


I’m not sure if I like it as much as the lemongrass, lavender, ginger but it did taste pleasant to me, I think I want something to deepen the base a bit, but I really liked the last half cup. I might add it to the coconut experiment sometime maybe I can get lemon pound cake with lavender ( I have had that before).

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This is a really nice Fujian tea that had a great mix of bright fruit and sweet cocoa notes. It is very similar in flavour to a tea I love and may not be able to replace, so I am grateful to Dexter3657 for this sample as I’ve been curious about it for some time.

Below are my observations. I steeped it 5 times.

This tea brewed into a medium amber brown.

Scent longan, cocoa, honey, malt. Both bright and rich smelling.

1.5 TSP/200 ml/95°C/1 min

Nice balance of bright citrusy longan, honey,with cocoa in the finish. Slight hint of dark bread crust, cherry and spice.
1 min scent similar to above but stronger sweet cocoa note.
Long an, stronger cocoa with honey underrneath

1:30. Longan honey, cocoa in back again but still quite present.
2:10 longan dominant other flavours present underneath. Becomes sweeter as it cools

4 min slightly tart sweet potato with cocoa honey note

Altogether this is really a nice tea that I will purchase in the future. Thanks!


I changed the picture and description of this tea as this is the only King Pin on their website and it is described as a staple at the tea shop.


Beautiful notes in there!


Thanks! I meant jing pin;)


Glad you liked it. This is my favorite black tea, and I share it quite often – I don’t think others love it as much as I do – but it’s nice to read other’s reviews. :))


Sounds very nice!


Love this one!


oooh, longan! I love zhenghes and have enjoyed everything I’ve tried from TTL, so onto the list it goes!


ifjuly did I not send you any of this? I can if you would like to try it. :))


you did, and I’m a total doof! I went to add it to my wishlist and saw it was already in my cupboard! hahaha my bad.


(more shameful “your stash is out of control” symptoms…)


i bought this one after dexter shared it with me..love it as well!

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drank Pear Green by Design a Tea
418 tasting notes

Brewed this tea smells much stronger than the dry leaf in this sample that Dexter3657 so thoughtfully provided me. It smells sweet heading towards bosc pear and a little bit spicy. There is something in it that reminds me of juicy fruit gum. The only other pear green I’ve had is Earth Teaze’ which cleverly uses the interaction between the base tea and fennel to create the flavour but unfortunately uses a rather bitter base. The base is present and is sweet and a little grassy but is pleasant and light. The flavouring is a light slightly spicy pear. Like Dexter3657 suggested it would be nice if the flavouring was slightly more present, but this is a nice slightly sweet and spicy tea. Thanks!


Yay pear!


Wow, sounds awesome!



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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
418 tasting notes

Large Pinch of dried lemongrass
4-5 slices fresh ginger
Dried coconut
It smells wonderful, a bit like lemon pound cake.
It tastes quite tart. I was going to add some licorice root, but I misplaced it. I suppose I could add sugar but its drinkable as it is. The coconut and ginger create a blend of cream and warmth under the lemony note. The lemongrass is both the first and last note when drinking this tisane but the ginger lingers.

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