949 Tasting Notes


This was part of my “three tea mystery grab bag” purchase. I’m grateful that Alistair included this one because my past “less than stellar” experiences with other Four Seasons harvests has made me reluctant to seek it out again. I had one that was kind of doughy in profile and it was meh.

However, this one is my jam. Like, it has fruity jam notes, which is one of my favourite things about some green oolong selections. It also has buttery cream notes (another favourite thing) and I am now pretending I’m eating a delicious scone. Life is good.

The aroma of the steeped cup is similar to that of the dry leaf: a floral bouquet of lilacs, lilacs, lilacs. A dab of Hyacinth. It dominates the room. I went into this first steep expecting an overpowering floral smackdown, like some Tieguanyin oolongs, and I was so kind of wrong (still a floral-heavy tasting profile).

Depending on how this session goes, and if following sessions yield consistently, I may just order more. I’ve denied myself the simple flowers for too long. Also, Four Seasons is always cheaper than the average oolong. Always a plus.

Steep Count: 3

(spring 2020 harvest)

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Floral, Honeysuckle, Jam, Mineral, Stonefruits, Sweet, Vanilla

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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My baby is now restocked! yesss… I literally just finished off the last of the old batch yesterday so the delivery gods will be lavished with praise today. Also doubles as a nice reward for submitting a paper today. So many happy coincidences.

Everything is more vibrant than my 2018 batch; the aroma, the colour, the starchy taste… I’m looking forward to getting to know the the 2020 version of this tea better.

Steep Count: 2 + ongoing

(spring 2020 harvest)

Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate, Malt, Milk, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes


That’s great news! It’s always nice when you can get more of a tea you like. I’m looking forward to getting some 2020 tea, hopefully sooner rather than later.


Yes, it’s always exciting to try the incoming harvests! I was going to hold off and then realized all of my dwindling teas are from 2018 or earlier. It was time :)


Sounds wonderful!

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I think I now like this one more than my remaining Lime Jello Salad.

Flavors: Candy, Earth, Lime, Marshmallow, Roasted

175 °F / 79 °C 8 min or more

No way, better than Lime Jello Salad? Ralph Wiggum would say that that’s unpossible!


To be fair, my Lime Jello Salad has aged and now the lime leaves/citrusy ingredients are coming across as kind of.. pissy? And mate has more caffeine, or at least I like to think it has more caffeine. I need to believe in that right now.


Mate is so invigorating (that is, caffeinated)! I remember last year when I was testing it again – after a couple of years of even having any – & it was like a Matcha high on steroids! I was buzzing – but not in a bad way at all. Just – I can’t drink it very late because it will keep me up for another few hours.

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April 2020 Blend

Ok, I finished this one off last week and I think I need more time with it to form an opinion or give it a rating (ie – I still need to drink more). Rooibos and I have a mercurial relationship.

I always love the idea of green rooibos more than the actual thing but this one is not bad. I do get more unripe (Green) mango salad than sherbet half the time but that’s not a terrible thing either!

Flavors: Lemon, Lemongrass, Mango, Tangy

190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more

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drank Malted ChocoMaté by 52teas
949 tasting notes

This is the most delicious of elixirs for late night caffeine consumption (necessary evil for doing battle with the essay readings).

I wish this one was a 52teas staple. Flavoured Mate is hard to come by and I have yet to find a worthy substitute for the earthy chocolate malt ball goodness. Also, it resteeps well once or twice (+8 minutes).

Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Malt

175 °F / 79 °C 8 min or more

Yes, this is a good one.

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drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
949 tasting notes

Everyone in the family opted in for the self-care Pumpkin Chai Latte, with frothy milk. Sometimes there is nothing left to do but have a sugary hot milk beverage!

I have my complaints about David’s Tea but I must begrudgingly admit that many of their teas make excellent dessert lattes, especially now that they love to add so much sugar and stevia directly to the blends (boo, hiss). Pumpkin Chai, Cardamom French Toast, Santa’s Secret, Read My Lips, etc. All great candy lattes.

Flavors: Caramel, Cloves, Nutmeg, Spices

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drank With Open Eyes by Butiki Teas
949 tasting notes

Every year or so, I exhume the desecrated husk of my sole remaining Butiki tea and mourn anew. It’s a grizzly and macabre affair. It involves a lot of pining.

The ginger is now very bright, somewhat eclipsing the strawberry, which in turn has mostly drowned out the withered remains of the green tea base (why did I hoard a green tea? I should have gone with a black tea or something. I have so many regrets).

There is still beauty in the residue. Stacy made the best blends.

Flavors: Ginger, Nuts, Strawberry

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

Butiki forever!


I still have so many Butiki teas I’m hoarding


@Nattie, I don’t blame you! I’d be hoarding if I had your stash too. Some of the flavouring is as tough as nails.

I’m a tad over-dramatic in my note about the tea decay. Wven though this dragonwell is tired (oxidized brown), the original flavouring of strawberry and ginger is still pretty strong, if not stronger! Sometimes, I add a bit of fresh dragonwell when available and that brings back that missing dimension :)


Hey that’s a great tip! Yeah a couple of my Butikis are at a point where I probably should call it and get rid of them, but I would say around 90% are still doing great! They’re fighters (: and it’s just as well too, with the amount I have left!

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Golden Orchid is a vanilla scented black tea blend as per its ingredients list. In practice it’s more of a fudge tea. I stand by my old tea note of six years ago. I don’t know which year this batch came from (no younger than 2018) but I do think it’s not quite as fudge-like as previous batches but the aftertaste is undoubtedly fudge-like. Weirdly enough, a bit of the sour tang of stonefruit and cleansing note of eucalyptus is creeping in too, as well as a burst of cloying date sweetness every once in a while. Neat.

I may be at the point where I slightly prefer Ambrosia to this but it’s still very much a comfort tea. Glad to see I still have some in my stash (I am totally rediscovering my previously neglected tea cupboard. It’s the coursework and procrastination).

Flavors: Apricot, Chocolate, Dates, Eucalyptus, Honey, Malt, Stonefruits, Vanilla

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I wish this blend and more peanut butter consistently but, omg, the banana is once again delicious. Also does stellar as the “cup forgotten the night before and consumed first thing in the morning” tea.

Flavors: banana, Butter, Nuts


I love those ‘last night’ cups – they are great to have ready in the morning when I’m already craving tea tea tea. Therefore, I always have at least one cup going whenever I’m awake. :D


Had this the other night, it’s very good. Their banana anything are my favorites hehe. I would’ve loved more peanut butter taste too.


I was not impressed with this one when I first tried it but the time I’d finished off the sample (5/6 cups later) I’d warmed up to it greatly. 52Bananas forever.

@tea-sipper, you and I are kindred souls. ‘Last night’ cups are often an essential part of the waking up process :)


Yep, Crowkettle, the ‘last night’ cups make getting out of bed easier.

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Oh man, I feel bad I never made a proper note of this one while I had it. We will all just have to make due with this belated note.

This tea was consumed enthusiastically and without care by the tea drinker. It was wispy and sprite-like in nature, both in its fleeting non-committing flavour profile and brief but flighty sojourn in and out of my cup. Sometimes it tasted like nothing at all. Other times, like the sweetest of sugar crystals and smooth sensual grass. Gone before you know it – with memory altering effects that are sure signs that this tea might just be another moniker for the Springs of Elysium. Like, I don’t even remember the year I bought and consumed most of this tea.

You think this tea note is fluff but it was the tea that was fluff! And I want more despite not having the foggiest clue why. Thanks for all the confusing feels tea.

Flavors: Grass, Smooth, Sugarcane, Sweet, Vegetal

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp
Daylon R Thomas

The black version was sneaky too. I tried Gong Fuing it, but ended up grandpa and it was still too light. I westerned the second time with at least five grams, and it was better. It was still very light and a little bit confusing too, but it was smooth and sweet like a Taiwanese black


Ha! That makes me feel less crazy and also a little envious I didn’t pick up the black tea version. I’ve had (Big Island) Hawaiian (white) tea before this and also recall it being extremely delicate and sweet but I pegged it at the time as being the result of the flavourful water there and the type of tea!

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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.

Ingredients/flavours I tend to dislike or stay away from: apple, cocoa nibs, marine, peach, stevia, dairy products

Subjective Rating System 2.0:

90-100: My absolute favourite tea. Will impulsively buy and hoard like a dragon.

85-89: A favourite tea. May have quality flaws that I choose to ignore.

76-84: A lovely tea, maybe of high quality or masterful blending, but not one I’m likely to order again.

70-75: Enjoyable, but I may have few minor problems with quality, consistency, ingredient chemistry and/or personal preferences.

50-69: Quality, consistency, blending, or personal preference problems are apparent, but I wouldn’t pass up a cup.

11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea. I don’t give a lot of these ratings out, since I tend to grab teas I know will appeal to me.

1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This is last year’s low-grade bancha mixed with rancid coconut, stale cocoa nibs, over-enthusiastic hibiscus, and stevia sweetener. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t exist.


BC, Lower Mainland

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