1528 Tasting Notes

75
drank Linden (Tilleul) by Kusmi Tea
1528 tasting notes

This is a single tea bag sample that I got with my Kusmi Tea order today. When I opened it, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this one is a muslin sachet (I was disappointed that the first sample I tried was not). It’s amazing to me to look at the craftsmanship of it – I mean, it’s most likely done by machine like most things are nowadays, but it is very cool nonetheless. The string is actually a length of a sort of looped/stitched thread and then the tag is actually stitched to it, which I find amazing. There are zero staples or glue in its construction. Smelling it, I catch a vague musty floral scent not that dissimilar to a chamomile. There is also a hint of herbal scent.

The brew has a light, musty floral scent, but at the forefront is a strong aroma of dill. Upon tasting it, I found that it tastes pretty similar to a chamomile tea, but it has a quite prominent dill note. I have never encountered this in a tea before, and I must say I quite enjoy it. I added a small amount of sugar, otherwise I feel this could have passed as a savory tea.

While this certainly isn’t my favorite tea, I find it very interesting and I really appreciate the chance to try such a unique taste. Thanks, Kusmi!

Flavors: Dill, Floral, Musty

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Li Shan Oolong Tea by Yezi Tea
1528 tasting notes

This is my second steep for these leaves. I lowered the time from 4 to 3 minutes and then added another 30 seconds since it’s the second steep. The brew smells very green and floral and still has a touch of peach fragrance. The tea has a mild to medium vegetal taste with a lot of floral flavor still. The peach is still there, but it has devolved into more of a vague sweet fruitiness that I wouldn’t have identified as peach if I hadn’t tried the first brew. The floral in this cup lingers on the back of the tongue for quite some time after a sip. There is also a faint bitterness at the end that is not entirely unpleasant. Overall, still a very tasty tea! :)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

Great description :-) I love high mountain oolongs with a passion!

Cameron B.

This is the only oolong experience I’ve had but it was definitely very tasty! :D

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85

Trying this tea next on a request/recommendation(?) from Boychik. This is the second I’ve tried out of my Kusmi Russian Blends pack. The dry leaves have an extremely strong bergamot scent, there might be a tiny bit of floral smell but it’s really hard for me to tell again the bergamot. I used the same brewing technique that was suggested to me for St. Petersburg, since it’s a very similar tea.

When I smell the brewed tea, I definitely get a distinct floral note in conjunction with the bergamot, which is considerably milder than in the dry leaf. I must say, I really love the taste of this tea! I can taste the black tea base, which seems mild and smooth, and I can definitely taste the bergamot, but it doesn’t overpower. There is a definite floral note, though I couldn’t say what type of floral (other reviewers have suggested lavender, but I don’t know its flavor well enough to say)). I also get a subtle note of citrus other than the bergamot – I looked up the ingredients and found this to be mandarin or orange. I also added a small amount of sugar to mine which really works to bring all the flavors together.

I was surprised to see that quite a few people hated this tea. I don’t know if maybe they’re not consistent in the formula or if they have changed it over time. Or maybe I’m crazy, woo! :D I can’t wait to try this with a splash of milk.

Flavors: Bergamot, Floral, Orange

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
boychik

you are not crazy, its just your taste buds. they also change all the time. Not my favorite, but im going to make it now to see maybe i changed my mind;)

Cameron B.

Maybe I have a higher tolerance for floral than most or something, I didn’t find the floral in this overpowering while some people described it as perfumey and terrible.

TeaBrat

I believe I was one of the haters… :-P

Cameron B.

HATERS GONNA HATE!

Arshness

I’m not trying to be rude, but your user icon freaks me out because at the tiny size it doesn’t look like a cute little puppy. It looks like some horrible skull alien monster creature with two big eyes on the sides, a scrunched and hollow nose, and a gaping black mouth opened wide in a horrifying readiness for devouring.

That sounds like a lovely tea by the way. ^^ I love bergamot. I don’t know what some people’s problem with him is.

boychik

i just had a cup. well, its not bad. its floral like lilacs, violets,etc. what bothers me some ashy note at the back. not smoke, i love smoke when its nicely done. And bergamot is only like a background
i see cute sad pug…

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85

I have never had a mint tea before now. Well, at least, not a straight mint tea – I’ve had mint in other blends but never as the star. I’m a bit particular about mint. I like it in some things, especially when there’s sweetness involved, and I don’t mind it in others. Opening the tin, the smell of the dry leaf is extremely strong and it is very similar to a sharp spearmint gum or mouthwash scent. The loose leaf looks like gunpowder green to me (I’ve never tried a gunpowder, but the look is pretty distinct). I brewed it for 3 minutes and added a small amount of sugar (probably about 1/2 tsp).

The brew itself smells very spearminty, although thankfully it’s not as extreme as the dry leaf. It now smells like a milder spearmint gum. I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of this tea. Unlike the scent, the spearmint taste does not overpower the tea. However, I think I would be happier with slightly less spearmint and slightly more tea. I can taste a light smokiness which I can only guess must be characteristic of gunpowder. The mint melds with the tea beautifully, and there is a slight but not unpleasant bitterness at the end of the sip. I think the steep time was perfect (I partially based it off of my results with Strawberry Green).

Overall, pretty tasty. I can see why this is a classic (although it likely won’t be a classic for me). This could be very relaxing in the evening or refreshing as a spring tea.

Flavors: Bitter, Smoke, Spearmint

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88
drank St. Petersburg by Kusmi Tea
1528 tasting notes

Trying this one again after getting advice from the lovely Boychik. The first time, I followed the instruction on Kusmi’s site and I felt like I didn’t get any flavor other than bergamot. She recommended that I raise the water temperature and slightly lower the steeping time, so this time I did 3 minutes at about 205 degrees.

Since I forgot the first time, the dry leaf smells overpoweringly of bergamot, maybe with a touch of sweetness from the caramel. My nose had to keep its distance unless it wanted its sinuses cleared.

The liquid smells like a combination of bergamot, sweetness, and a touch of fruitiness – I would categorize it as fresh cherry. However, when the brew is freshly made and hot, I can mostly just taste bergamot with some sweetness. Yet again, I took Boychik’s advice and let it cool so that the flavors would be more prominent. I took a sip every few minutes or so as it cooled to see how it compared. I could definitely taste it getting sweeter from the caramel (I also added a little sugar so this may have interfered with the caramel flavor). I think it may be a case of an underdeveloped tea-tasting palate, but even when I let it cool to just slightly warmer than room temperature, I was getting at most a hint of cherry or “red fruit” taste.

I still really enjoy this tea, and I liked it much better this time around, since the bergamot was less overpowering. Thanks again Boychik!

Flavors: Bergamot, Caramel, Red Fruits, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
ohfancythat

This was one of my very favorites starting out, a nice twist on a regular EG tea, I love bergamot though!

Cameron B.

I feel sad because in a lot of the other tasting notes I read on this, it seemed like the fruit flavor was obvious. I think I’m just too much of a newbie to fully appreciate this… :(

boychik

Sorry, i guess its combination of my friends, right desserts, music, the whole atmosphere makes this special for me. i dont drink this tea alone. Yunnan and Puerh are my alone teas.

Cameron B.

Boychik I think it’s just me, it seems a ton of other people taste fruit in this way more prominently than I do. :P

boychik

you know what, come back to it later. Give it sometime. You maybe pleasantly surprised or just confirmed that its not your cup of tea.

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drank Sweet Love by Kusmi Tea
1528 tasting notes

This tea is the first of the three free samples I got with my Kusmi Tea order (thanks for the freebies!). First, I must say that I am slightly disappointed that their sample tea bags are not the fancy linen bags that they generally package their bagged teas in. They’re that synthetic material that most pyramid tea bags are made of but they’re in a standard rectangular shape. This seems a little cheap to me, but hey, I guess that’s what you get for free. :P

Smelling the dry tea, I immediately knew that I most likely wouldn’t enjoy this blend. It smells very strongly of licorice root, of which I am not a fan. Being a good sport, I elected to try it anyway. I steeped it for 4 minutes and added a small amount of sugar.

The brew also smells strongly of licorice root, with a slightly milder scent of spice, similar to chai. I find that I barely even taste the black tea base – it’s overpowered by the licorice root immediately. There is also a fainter taste of chai spice. The two flavors do meld together well, and I’m sure that someone who enjoys licorice teas would love this one. I hardly think it fair to give this one a rating since I was bound to dislike it. :P

Flavors: Licorice, Spices

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

You like licorice? Then you must remember to try So Long, and Thanks for All the Licorice if you ever place an order with Butiki. It’s a must for all licorice lovers!

boychik

i did not like it, i sampled in a store.

Cameron B.

No, I do not like licorice. :D

boychik

i cant wait until you try Bouquet de Fleirs. I just want to know your opinion.

Cameron B.

Wow, I really appreciate that. I’m going to do my second try on the St. Petersburg next but I’ll definitely do Bouquet de Fleurs soon!

TheTeaFairy

Lol, sorry, for some reason I read «…I knew that I most likely would enjoy…» and thought immediately of mentioning Butiki… I get it, “not a fan” lol :-0

Cameron B.

Yeah, like I need more suggestions from Butiki! I already have so many from them that I want to try. Don’t think I don’t see what you’re doing, TheTeaFairy! ;)

TheTeaFairy

Haha! If it makes you feel any better, I’m running out of almost all my tea from Butiki and will inevitably HAVE to place a major oder very soon…and it will hurt…my budget will be off balanced for a while…but in will be sooooo worth it ;-)

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80

May I start by saying this tea has the most adorable tin of the bunch (especially since it’s mini!). It’s a bright, cheery red that makes me happy and excited to drink it. Opening the tin, the dry leaves have the most amazing strawberry fragrance. I would describe it as a mix of natural and artificial – it’s a nice, natural strawberry smell that’s been pumped up and given more juiciness by that touch of artificial. This is the best of both worlds in my opinion.

Once again, the tin did not list instructions because it’s a mini, so I looked it up and the website recommends a 3-4 minute steep at 175 degrees. I decided to try 3 minutes 30 seconds.

The brew itself has a lovely (but less punchy) strawberry aroma. I added a very small amount of sugar just to bring out the fruity flavor. I must say, I really enjoy this tea. I’ve never had Sencha green tea before but I suspect that I would like it because the green tea side of this brew is very tasty. The strawberry flavor is not overbearing but it is definitely there and it lingers on the back of the tongue long after you take a sip. My brew has just a little bit of bitterness but I’m sure this would not be the case if I just shortened the steep time a little bit. Very delicious, I will be sure to give it a rating once I try it with a slightly shorter steep time!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
ohfancythat

Sounds tasty!

Cameron B.

Let me know if you want a sample or anything, I’m actually surprised by how much tea is in 0.88 ounces. :D

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88
drank St. Petersburg by Kusmi Tea
1528 tasting notes

The first tea to try from my Kusmi order! The tin does not have instructions so I looked on their website. They recommend a 3-4 minute steep at 185 degrees. This seems like a low temperature for a black tea, no? I split the difference on the steep time and did 3 minutes 30 seconds. There was no recommendation for the amount of tea to use so I went with 1.5 tsp (seems like a standard).

While I do enjoy the brew, it mostly tastes like an Earl Grey to me – I’m not really picking up on the fruit flavor or much of vanilla or caramel. I think I’ll try this one later with maybe a 4 minute steep time and hotter water? Maybe more tea? Any suggestions would be welcome! :)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
boychik

I really like this tea. 205F 3min and try if you like it. As it cools more flavors will come out. i always keep a full size tin of this and Anastasia. its fool proof if you have guests. Amazing with pastries.

Cameron B.

Thanks so much! I got the Russian Blends mini tin set so I will be trying Anastasia sometime soon. Do you recommend the same parameters for it as well?

Cameron B.

Oh and is the 1.5 tsp an appropriate amount of tea to use for 8 oz of water? Thanks again. ^^

boychik

I always use 1 heaping tsp for 8oz. dont use too much or it may become bitter. for my Kusmi blacks its 205F.

Cameron B.

Great, thank you for your advice. I really appreciate your taking the time. :)

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80

I must say, I am very impressed with this tea. This is my third steeping and I can’t believe the jasmine flavor is still there! It has definitely become milder with each time, but I think I may actually like this brew the best. I can taste more of the green tea and it’s becoming a little less mellow, which is a good thing in my book. Starting to get more vegetal and hay notes too. Delicious with just a small amount of sugar! Big thanks to Yezi Tea for giving me the chance to try this tea for free. :)

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Paris by Harney & Sons
1528 tasting notes

I need my caffeine this morning! It took me a little while to fall asleep last night so I didn’t quite get as much as I would’ve liked. Taking it straight up with just a little bit of sugar. I really do love this tea, and it’s still really delicious after it’s cooled down a bit, which is a plus.

Good morning, everyone!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Profile

Bio

•2019 Sipdown Challenge!•
•15 full sipdowns and
•86 sample sipdowns

I am currently doing the #365DaysOfTea challenge via Instagram and Steepster! Please find my Instagram profile at the bottom of this bio!

Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m 29 years old and currently living in Austin, Texas with my boyfriend of 5 years. We’re both software engineers working in the Semiconductor manufacturing field. I am a staunch lover of pugs and other squishy-faced dogs, although sadly I do not currently have one.

I am also an avid yarn collector (errr, I mean knitter!) when the hot Austin weather allows for it… Find me on Ravelry under the name LorenWeiss!

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I will often sweeten iced tea. I brew Western style, and fluctuate between using mugs or teapots with small cups depending on the season. I have recently started to brew gongfu cha style!

I love swaps! If you see something in my cupboard that you’d like to try, just let me know via PM!

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms, including black, green, oolong, and white teas, as well as maté, rooibos, honeybush, and herbal tisanes. I am open to more exploration of puerh, but it’s not generally one of my favorites. I am not often a fan of fruit-based tisanes.

My very favorite straight teas tend to be from China, Japan, or Taiwan. I also enjoy matcha!

Fruit: All of them! My ‘go-to’s tend to be in the red fruits, stonefruit, or citrus spectra. I also really love apple, banana, berry, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially mango and pineapple.

Dessert: Again, all the things! I love creamy vanilla and marshmallow flavors, along with anything in the caramel family such as butterscotch, toffee, or maple. Chocolate is also a favorite, though I’m often disappointed by it in tea. And don’t forget anything buttery, cakey, or cookie-y!

Floral: I’m a little bit more particular in this category. I do very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura and chamomile. But I’m not crazy about rose and lavender flavors, and I prefer hibiscus in moderation only.

Spices: I don’t generally find myself drawn to masala chai, but I do enjoy spices combined with other flavors. My favorite spices are the warm ones, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cardamom. A bit of heat from black pepper or chili is okay too, as long as it’s not overwhelming! Ginger can be a lovely accent, but I find it difficult to drink as a main flavor.

Aromatics: I’m obsessed with Earl Grey! I also love cooling flavors such as mint (especially spearmint), pine, juniper, and eucalyptus. I am not a fan of strong rosemary or sage in tea. Smoke can be tasty when it’s not heavy-handed.

Favorite Purveyors:
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Lupicia
Taiwan Tea Crafts
TeaVivre
Yunnan Sourcing
Yunomi

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age.

My profile photo is by inkpug!

Location

Austin, Texas

Website

https://www.instagram.com/cam...

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