150 Tasting Notes


Was looking forward to trying this, in my quest for upping the “maté factor” in my tea rotation. It’s good, tastes pretty much like you’d expect from the ingredients: maté with carob/chicory/roasted barley… It tastes, in other words, like one of those coffee substitutes with a nice addition of maté. I appreciate the ethics of the company and it’s always great to try a new maté blend rendition, but I much prefer the flavor of Guayakí’s vanilla or mocha maté’s. Those also have maca and ramón nut, so more functional benefits IMO.

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drank Reishi tea by Buddha Teas
150 tasting notes

This tastes like weak mushroom soup, no surprise, since it is comprised entirely of mushrooms. I wouldn’t rate it a 75 by normal tea standards, because I would not seek this out as a tea to drink for its flavor, but instead as a nutritional tea/immune booster. Even steeping at the upper limit of the suggested brew time (6min) the flavor wasn’t as deep as I would’ve liked. Will try using two bags next time because there may not be enough in each bag to make a satisfying cup. I also think this would be a good base to put other immuno-boosters in, since I usually just put them in plain boiling water when I get sick. I received it as a free sample from the company.

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drank Da Yu Ling Oolong Tea by Yezi Tea
150 tasting notes

The inhalation of the steam off this tea is transportive to me. Gives new meaning to “high tea” … Has me wondering if the nose can actually taste, because it seems that way with this … pure, natural sweetness of meadow and orchid. I intend to try it before meditation some time soon.

The first steep was far too long due to a distraction yet still produced a delicious cup. Sweet, soft floral, just perfect. This is one of very few teas that I would move into a weekly rotation. Going to keep an eye on Yezi to see if they announce a sale. Meanwhile, if anyone is up for a trade, pm me ;)

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Nice almondy dark oolong with some smoke. Not smoked almonds, though(!), a woodsy smoke. Good, round flavor without being perfumey. About a 4 on the smoke meter… not dominating but still a smokey nose on the post-sip exhale :) A frank, lingering astringency has me rating this a couple of points lower than the flavor deserves.

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Enjoying this, received in a swap a while ago. Good complementarily of flavors with the ginger having the perfect level of just-beyond-mild intensity to give flavor and warmth without much bite. Such a well-blended tea.

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drank Oriental Beauty by Sanne Tea
150 tasting notes

Very nice, particularly the first cup. Silky smooooth and clean mouthfeel. The flavor is all softness, predominantly lychee. Also some ripe stone fruit and (hate to name it this but who knows what else to call this flavor?:) Juicy Fruit Gum.

Tastes elegant, flavorful and balanced, good to serve company.
Thank you for the sample, Lulu!

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drank Milk Oolong by The Republic of Tea
150 tasting notes

Creamy, fresh spring grass, lychee and orchid. Smooth and sweet, easy drinking, nice body.

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Brew it and sit back and enjoy. Appealing, natural tasting coconut flavor at a level that isn’t overplayed. It smells so coconutty that I was expecting it might be overpowering on the palate and be relegated to the stash of teas I use to flavor less favored sip downs, but not so. It’s buttery and not too sweet, balanced by woodsiness and a bare whiff of smoke at the end.

Second steep: coconut fades to mild but butteriness is more pronounced and something vegetal, approximating spinach, appears.

Full flavored, bit of a complex profile, keeps your interest while also being a comfort tea. Great bonus that it’s organic.

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drank Reishi Mushroom Tea by Buddha Teas
150 tasting notes

Reishi is good for your immune system and fighting cancer, among other things, and this is organic so all the better, health-wise, making me happy to try this sample that was offered by Buddha Teas.

Never had mushroom tea before, but it’s not too far off from mushroom broth. Which makes sense since it has an ingredient list of one: organic reishi mushrooms! It has a fairly mild flavor even after a long steeping, so for folks who dislike mushrooms but want an immune boost it would likely not be too unpleasant. With a cold, you wouldn’t taste it anyway.

I make soup with Asian mushrooms for an immune boost but for a quick hit or when there are no mushrooms on hand for soup this is a great tea to have on call. I like the concept.

Flavors: Mushrooms

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drank Hawaii-Grown Oolong by Samovar
150 tasting notes

Another tea that I enjoyed and then put aside for future savoring. Quite good with understated floral and fruity notes. Darkly juicy (not at all bright), round and silky. Second/longer steep was more symphonic.

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Strong preference for exploring teas au naturel, and unflavored (except for unprocessed ingredients, e.g., cocoa shells/nibs, vanilla beans, flowers, fruits…). Favorites lean in the direction of rich caramelly, malty blacks, any puerh, fresh floral oolongs and whites that have some dimension.

I am always up for swaps.

Beyond the experience of tea, I’m interested in exploring its medicinal aspects. Other interests … yoga, creative veggie cooking, environmental issues, animal welfare, music/guitar, lefty politics, preventive health/nutrition, biking, swimming, foosball, photography.

Here’s how I rate ’em:

95+: euphoria-inducing, le petite mort
91-94: extraordinary, exhilarating
85-90: delicious
81-84: definitely enjoyable
75-80: good, solid stuff
65-74: I’ll drink it, but without enthusiasm
45-64: something redeeming about it, but not much
31-44: just barely drinkable
< 30: tidy stream into the spit bucket


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