398 Tasting Notes


This tea smells like apple juice. Dry, the tea has quite a bit of dry apple and gun powder green tea. The first steep tastes of fresh apple juice with the tea base not extremely present except to provide a feeling of alertness and provide some sweetness. The second steep is the best, the tea base becomes creamy, providing a sweet, vegetal flavour, almost like fresh greenbeans, overlayed with apple. A very refreshing, unpretentious tea, that delivers what it promises.

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Overall, this was a nice subtly flavoured, heavier green, with no smokiness, that takes well to resteeping.

Dry leaves- sage green to olive green mediumly tightly rolled small
pieces of lemon rind, scent of lemon and almost a lemon thyme coming off dry leaves.

1st steep- 45 seconds- tea straw like colour, underlying tea has flavour of clover and a hint of alfalfa, sweet with a bit of bitterness. It leaves a tingling on my tongue. The flavour is subtle, leaving a bit of astrigency over a smooth base. I’m pretty sure this is due to the lemon because I have found Bastek’s other gunpowder teas pretty creamy through at least the first two infusions. Lemon flavour tastes of lemon juice it is not heavy, sweetened or artificial.

2nd steep- 50 seconds- tea saffron colour, more alfalfa, less fresh clover, a little bit of bitterness. Same soft lemon and astrigency. Flavouring is subtle, as though one put just a small drop of lemon in the tea, not a slice.

3rd steep- 55 seconds- base oddly sweeter, less vegetal and more fruity, less robust mouth feel. Lemon flavour still present and a touch of bitterness from the rinds. astrigency has not changed.

4th steep- 90seconds- base is loosing sweetness but still delivering a tingling clean fresh feel in the mouth, faint hint of bitter green vegetables, lemon only slightly present. Tea still has a good deal of body but I will stop here.

Spent leaves fairly large and mostly entire when unwound. Easy to drink. Simple.

180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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drank Hepburn by Nina's Paris
398 tasting notes

I tasted this tea with comparison to Della Terra’s Chocolate Orange Slice. In summary Hepburn had more of an orange flavour while Della Terra’s had a stronger chocolate flavour. Hepburn may be preferable to those who prefer milk chocolate while the Orange Slice tea references dark chocolate. The tea base flavour was more prominent in Hepburn, while the base was smoother but more bitter in Della Terra’s option, and did not have as much depth of flavour or a very strong presence. Both were pretty enjoyable teas, but I think I may prefer Nina’s I loved the rich dark chocolate flavour in Della Terra’s Tea, but Nina’s tea had more layers of flavour and left me with such a pleasant feeling afterwords, whereas Chocolate Orange Slice left me feeling a little heady.

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The dry tea smells like a slightly sugary dark chocolate truffle. The tea smells very sweet, and of cocobutter mixed with orange flower water.

The first taste is suprisingly bitter compared to the smell but in a good way like biting into good dark chocolate, there is a faint hint of vanilla. The orange flavour is not strong in my first sips. It is more like a faint hint of a memory in aftertaste, leaving a faint taste at the top and front of the mouth you get when drinking an orange liquor after the burn of alcohol has receeded. The orange flavour is very soft again almost floral. It doesnt taste of alcohol.

The tea base is very smooth, but does not have a strong presence. The flavour blends with other flavours and may be adding the hint of bitterness. The tea remains sweet while drinking. It has gone to my head a liitle bit like a sugar rush. In the 2nd steep the orange is more present, and is closer to a fruity, fresh orange flavour than floral orange. The chocolate is still present. Nice dessert tea.

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drank Hepburn by Nina's Paris
398 tasting notes

This was my third Sample from Nina’s. Thanks again!

The dry tea smells like Terry’s orange flavoured milk chocolate oranges it has tea with pieces of orange rind in it. The brewed tea smells of dry oranges with a hint of chocolate, combined with fall leaves. It also smells a little bit like a mid to dark roast orange oolong. It brews fairly light.

Taking a sip, the top notes are of a sweet orange
chocolate. The orange flavour is dominant followed by the taste of a
fairly sweet milk choolate.

The tea is a little astringent leaving a drying sensation on the tongue, be careful with brewing temperature and time.

The tea underneath is sweet, fruity, and has a hint of sweet potato. It also has a flavour that reminds me of fall with faint spice and bitterness combined.

The orange flavour is a combination of dried/stewed fruit flavour. The sweetness was dominant when first sipped but dissapates when drinking, the chocolate scent remains through out thecup, whereas the orange dissipates, ironically the oposite is true of the flavour. There is no oily film which you sometimes get with chocolate teas. The orange rind lends a little tang and bitterness to the tea. The orange is still dominant in the second steep and there is less chocolate and more cream.

After drinking the tea I am left with a sense of alert wellbeing.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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drank Lemon Meringue Rooibos by Tealish
398 tasting notes

Pleasant, but not my favourite rooibos. However they do do a good job at capturing their intended flavour the meringue comes out in the aftertaste especially as the tea cools. The lemon tastes like those store bought pie mixes followed by a bitter tang from lemon peel. It kind of has a retro diner/tv dinners feel.

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drank Creamy Pumpkin Spice by iHeartTeas
398 tasting notes

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drank Teardrop of Peony by Zen Tea
398 tasting notes

Teardrop of Peony, is a complex flavoured white with a mao feng base that brews to dark gold and whoose scent and flavour reminds me of late fall or early spring in the forest or countryside.

It smells of smoke, lemon, nuts (walnut) , pine, and peony. It taste rich. The tea has a creamy, nutty base, which leaves a tingling sensation in the mouth at each sip. The lychee/ citrus flavour reminds me of some earl greys, and may make a replacement for those moving away from black teas. It taste a bit of pine and smoke.

The tea generally leaves me feeling really alert whether this is due to lychee, or whether the tea simply has a higher level of caffeine than other whites that I have tried I don’t know.

There is an aftertaste of floral spice from the peony, and nut. The tea tastes more citrusy than sweet. The dry leaf is very beautiful with twisted ropes of light grey (almost white), dark grey and yellow/green leaves interspersed with large dried red peoney flower petals.

The tea rebrews really well with flavour lasting into the fifth infusion. The nuttiness disperses after the second or third. A fairly unique tea and a nice step away from the either the soft and silky or fruity unadulterated whites, or the very soft and flowery, or fruity flavoured whites I’ve had.

I really like this tea and would like to keep it in my cupboard.

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drank English Breakfast by CJay Tea
398 tasting notes

This is a nice very affordable everyday tea.

The dry tea is mix of grey black and reddish brown leaves with raisony, biscuity odour. Tea brews to a nice reddish brown with an aroma of citrus and spice.

It has a smooth and pleasant taste and clean mouth feel. with a shorter steep, it has fruity, sightly spicy top notes, with base notes referencing artichoke and a little bit of malt. The aroma of tea is deeper than flavour though this may be the result of what I ate before hand. With a longer steep, the flavour intensifies, with the base notes becoming more present and the top notes remaining light and fruity. Makes a nice bright breakfast tea drunk without any additions. This is a type of tea i’d be more inclined to add lemon to than milk. Resteeps well, though it becomes more astringent.

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