1442 Tasting Notes

drank Buttercream by DAVIDsTEA
1442 tasting notes

Oh, wow! it’s been ages (read as: two months) since I’ve made anything of my meager existence here! Since this is my first post in a while I felt the occasion should be marked with an “antiquated” tea: Buttercream.

It’s been near exactly a year since this tea made it’s debut and I still have half a tin. That’s not to say I’ve been unable to finish it out of dislike- to the contrary! I’ve been hoarding it in wait of the returning winter and now the time has finally arrived to awaken it from it’s long slumb…ok, maybe that’s taking it to indulgent extremes.

To the point, Buttercream smells like sweetened mangoes, chamomile, and unicorns. The liquid is a charming light gold and has a distinct buttery (almost greasy) creaminess to it akin to the tea’s namesake. It feels strange to call Buttercream a tea when the chamomile and its’ fruit allies are stealing the show. Whatever kind of white tea is in this is vastly overshadowed, although some of the floral sweetness may be attributed to the leaves. The white tea is more apparent in some steeping than in others.

I have fond memories of drinking this outside, on the front steps, after I’d finished raking the leaves and being perplexed as to how the delicious drink that tastes like icing and cake filling doesn’t also look like icing. Very puzzling, very indulgent. I miss eating the thumb sized mango pieces in the blend.

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 30 sec

“Buttercream smells like sweetened mangoes, chamomile, and unicorns.” lol! unicorns! love it

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drank London Fog by Silk Road
1442 tasting notes

Well, here’s another Earl Grey, vamped up for olfactory purposes, from Silk Road. Instead of a crazy orange scent it’s crazy vanilla that comes wafting from the tin. It’s strong but I can still smell the underlying bergamot whereas I couldn’t with the Canton Orange tea (I’m still chocked and wanting some oranges). Anyways, I’d like to think I was more prepared for a plain old cup of Earl Grey this time.

Straight, this tastes like a typical astringent cup of Earl Grey, lightly flavoured with vanilla. The magic starts when the milk is added. It’s so very smooth and creamy with only a hint of bold citrus- reminding me of a squeeze of lemon accentuating a rich sauce. This tea really lives up to its name sake.

I can’t wait to have this as a latté and when it starts to get cooler. Now I know why the London Fog was never in stock when I went to go try it last winter.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Canton Orange by Silk Road
1442 tasting notes

Mmm… This smells so delicious! When my judgement was based solely on the aroma I thought this was going to be a fun, funky flavoured tea. It smells fiery and “orange-y”.. ok, that word looks a little awkward but there’s a lot of orange to it.

I was a little on guard when a fellow shopper volunteered that, in fact, this was an Earl Grey and the best one she claimed to have ever had. I was not expecting that whatsoever! And yes, the slogan for this tea reads “Absolutely Earl Grey”. Shocker. In my small experiences, Earl Grey teas are simple and generic and definitely not capable of giving me the impression these leaves did. After finding all of that out I was very curious to go home and “run some tests” with it. When steeped the damp leaves still retain their high citrus notes but that standard “Grey” smell kicks in. It also has that very same standard overall taste.

I’ll admit I’m a bit disappointed despite the “warning”- that awesome orange citrus smell was such an exciting build-up to the most amazing orange tea I would never have… but for an Earl Grey this is a very impressive specimen. It has enjoyable tart and smoky hints- keeping it simple but with a twist. When I finally get over the leaves I’ll be able to say that this is a fine cup of Earl Grey.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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drank Lapsang Souchong by Silk Road
1442 tasting notes

I’ve never had Lapsang Souchong before so I don’t know how well it holds up to other brands but I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised on how much I ended up liking it.

It smells like campfire and I initially bought it solely for cooking purposes (there are some good recipes out there that use this tea as a rub). My curiosity peaked and I finally made myself a cup last night. I was amazed by the complexity of the flavours. Yes, there is a dominating (almost nostalgic) smokiness to it but I also got buttery and spicy notes and, call my crazy, but there was almost something sweet beneath it all too. I’m impressed. I have yet to re-steep it and I can’t say I would want to drink it it all the time but I will be looking more into this kind of tea. It’s intriguing, comforting, and yummy.

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drank Peach Paradise by Silk Road
1442 tasting notes

A while back, on a trip to re-stock my Genmaicha I was given a sample of this tea at the door and ended up buying a small amount of it as well. I was amazed by how smooth it was and I liked the subtle peach flavour and the sweet notes from the calendula flowers. on a cold winter evening it really made me feel warm and fresh. When I steep it myself it’s usually not as fine as that first impression; while the black ceylon is nice it has a tendency to steal the show if not prepared with full attentiveness.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Coco Chai Rooibos by DAVIDsTEA
1442 tasting notes

This is one of my favourite rooibos blends, one of my first DT purchases, and a staple part of my collection.

For the longest time I was drinking this chai cold, over-steeped, and with no milk- Don’t ask me why. As a testament to its quality and in spite of my abuse I can still say it tasted “decent”- albeit as a cold, heavily spiced water mixture.

Somewhere along the line I decided to infuse it with steamed milk – and what a revelation that was! Now I look back on my old ways and shudder with embarrassment. I do some cringing too.

With the addition of milk the spiciness and creaminess come to a delicious balance – where neither of which is too weak. All of the spices are prevalent but the peppercorn, coconut, and cloves are the ones that draw me in.

Typically, I’m not a fan of rooibos blends but this one reminds me not to be close-minded. There are some good things out there and sometimes they need milk.

Boiling 6 min, 30 sec

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drank Yuzu Temple by Mariage Frères
1442 tasting notes

Yuzu is my catnip.. I’m not exaggerating. whenever I get a whiff of it on anything I go a tad crazy. Unsurprisingly, I was very ecstatic to hear of the existence of this tea and that a friend was able to bring me back some.

Taking off the lid, my expectations are fulfilled. Sour and sweet, abrasive, tart Yuzu. I would hold the leaves up under my nose all day except in fear that they would lose their powerful scent. Nevermind me looking insane.

Steeped, the tea tastes like.. yuzu (surprise)! It’s taken down a notch from the smell of the dry leaves but this isn’t a mystery tea- it has one agenda, much to my delight. It’s almost as tart as a grapefruit but it’s sweeter, and yes, there is a slight peppery note. Another great citrus flavoured green for me.

It will be a very sad day when I run out. Luckily, a small serving offers multiple steeps; I’m going to stretch this one out for all it’s worth.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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drank Golden Phoenix by Silk Road
1442 tasting notes

This one always smelled like sour cinnamon to me and I’ve never been able to make up my mind on how I feel about that. Separately, I am both a huge citrus and cinnamon enthusiast but putting them together is a hurdle I had to jump in order to appreciate this tea.

The basic tastes do some impressive acrobatics here: sour-sweet-spice, a hint of sweet-salt, potentially from the calendula flowers, and even a bit of bitter (or more of a bit if you don’t steep it properly)… Wow. Despite all the crazy shenanigans I feel the cinnamon dominates and draws the most attention. There’s a lot happening to distract the unsuspecting casual sipper but the oolong is there underneath it all.

The result of this crazy collaboration is a warm, invigorating tea with a lot of spirit. It just takes a couple sips to get into the rhythm.
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 45 sec

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drank Earl White by Silk Road
1442 tasting notes

Cleansing and refreshing are two words that often come to mind when I think of Silk Road tea and Earl White doesn’t disappoint. This one gives me that zesty clean feel and it’s no wonder why- it contains lemongrass, citrus peel, and bergamot, among OTHER citrus notes. Despite the slightly bitter and tart front instated by the bergamot there’s a smooth, almost sweet and creamy note (from the white tea leaves?) that comes in, especially as it cools down.

Those who aren’t fans of citrus flavours or of Earl Grey will likely not be impressed with this one. For those who ARE fans of those things and are appreciators of the light complexities of white tea, give this one a shot.

180 °F / 82 °C 7 min, 0 sec

I still need to check out this company! Thanks for the review.


Thank you for the comment! Their products and teas are very spa-oriented.

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This cherry tea is so smooth! The green tea and cherry are a good match and they subtly blend together to create a clean and tart, vegetative, tree fruit flavour. Someone told me this one reminded him of bubblegum but I’ve never really gotten that impression. It doesn’t have the artificial/mechanical taste that I’ve sometimes experienced with flavoured “candy” teas. The aroma is what attracted me to this tea and is a good indicator to the overall taste.

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

My favourites are teas like Milk Oolong, Silver Needle,and Japanese Sencha/Gyokuro, or fruity and floral flavoured ones. However, I generally enjoy ALL the teas, including a good old cup of Earl Grey or Breakfast blend.


Vanilla, Maple, Caramel, Butterscotch, Cream, Toffee, Nougat, Marzipan, Butter

Citrus Fruits, Passionfruit, Banana, Pineapple, Melons, Blackberry, Raspberry, Currants, Elderberry, Persimmon, Rhubarb..

Ginger, Turmeric, Clove-forward chai, Cardamom

Sandalwood, Frankincense, Juniper, Eucalyptus, Mints

Lavender, Jasmine, Rose, Lilac, Violet, etc.

Spinach, Grass, Hay, Cucumber, Rice, Sweet Potato

Less Preferred Flavours/Ingredients:
Stevia, Apple, Cocoa Nib, Almond, Licorice, Cinnamon-forward blends, Chinese Sencha

Subjective Rating System:
I don’t give a lot of low ratings out, since a) I tend to grab tea I know will appeal to me, and b) I don’t have a lot of strong dislikes.

90-100: Favourites. The Desert Island Teas.
80-89: Loved teas. Possibly staple-worthy.
70-79: Good teas, but I’m less likely to repurchase. Minor quibbles.
60-69: Ok teas. Likely a few preference and/or quality issues.
50-59: Cup of meh. Will do in a pinch.
11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea.
1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This tea is the embodiment of the primordial swamp, an unholy abomination. It’s very gross and I’m almost positive it doesn’t exist.


BC, Canada

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