111 Tasting Notes

So I tried Verdant’s Laoshan Black for the first time yesterday, and was curious what it would be like with chai spices. The answer? It’s AMAZING. I love the mix of spices they used here… There’s plenty of ginger, my favorite, and the sweetness from the berries is a great touch. Generally, I like to drink my chai plain (out of habit, because I drink most tea plain), and this tastes wonderful without anything added, which is a huge plus. The malty cocoa notes from the Laoshan base really elevate the whole blend. It’s savory and sweet, and the spicy aroma is mouthwatering.

Honestly, this might be my favorite chai ever. (Though I also purchased some Zhu Rong Chai… At the rate I’m going, it wouldn’t surprise me if I fell in love with that one too!) I love what Verdant Tea does with flavor in their blends. “Cozy” is the word that keeps coming to mind. With each cup, I just want to snuggle up in a blanket and savor the warmth. A perfect feeling for this time of year.

I need to stock up on this one for sure. (Despite the overcrowded state of my cupboard!)

ETA: So I just sniffed my empty mug, and guess what it smelled like? My grandmother’s homemade gingerbread cookie dough. Pretty much exactly. I’m so in love with this tea!

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My 5 for 5 sampler from Verdant Tea just arrived yesterday! This is the first of their teas that I tried. And wow… It’s delicious. This tea is cozy and creamy and smooth, with lots of flavor. I steeped it according to the directions on Verdant’s website, including the short steeping time (30 seconds). It has a wonderful aroma, green and savory— the “soybean” description on the site seems very accurate. And the taste is sweet and creamy. I’ve had greens that tasted buttery to me before, but they were more vegetal in a leafy way, with less of a sweet bean taste like this.

I usually think of green tea as more of a spring/summer kind of drink (at least compared to more oxidized teas). But this one is very autumnal. I had several steepings, and they were excellent. I didn’t notice a vanilla taste like the site described—but I think that’s because I was tasting more cream than vanilla. And I loved the cream note, so I’m not complaining!

I haven’t been drinking much green tea lately, partly because I haven’t found one that I would like to keep as a staple in my cupboard. Well, I think this tea has changed that. I’ll definitely be ordering more. Thank you to Verdant Tea for the sampler—and for the chance to try this delicious tea.

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drank Citrus Dream by Butiki Teas
111 tasting notes

This is a very soothing chamomile tea. (I’ve had it several times, and each time I feel so relaxed afterward that I completely forget to log it!) Like most chamomile blends, it steeps into a soft yellow color—a color which I think represents the flavor well. I can taste gentle notes of apple and citrus (lemon and orange, I think, but to me they kind of blend together into a general “citrus” note), along with a subtle creaminess that softens the fruit notes.

I like that all the flavors in this tea complement each other—nothing is too dominant, and I can still taste the chamomile, instead of it being covered up by other ingredients. This is a high-quality herbal tea. (Sadly, I’m almost out of it, because I keep reaching for it when I want to unwind!)

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This is my second time trying this tea, and I think I might have under-steeped this particular cup. It still tastes good, just a little on the light side… Like other Steepster users have said, this tea doesn’t have much smoke to it. I think I can detect some in the aftertaste, which is nice and spicy. But overall, this is pretty tame, at least as far as smoke goes.

Otherwise, it’s a strong black blend. I can taste something that reminds me of certain Ceylon teas I’ve tried (kind of bright, maybe a citrus note?), as well as the darker taste I’ve started to associate with Keemun blacks. I have no idea if that’s accurate, though! Mostly I just taste a strong black tea, nothing too out of the ordinary. It’s the kind of blend I could see myself enjoying as an everyday cup, especially in cooler weather.

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drank Sweet Apple Cider by DAVIDsTEA
111 tasting notes

Hmm, I have such mixed feelings about this tea… Generally, I like my apple teas to have some spice in them (especially in a cider-inspired tea like this one), and I tend to prefer an apple note that tastes “red” or “yellow”— mellow sweet, instead of sour-sweet like a green apple. But I knew going in that this tea would have no spice, and I could tell from my first sniff of the dry leaf that the apple was the candy green kind. So it’s not going to be my ideal apple cider tea, but I’m okay with that.

That said, I’m not quite sure what to think of the flavor. It’s very strong and sweet (and artificial, but I don’t necessarily mind that). The apple note is prominent, which is nice. There’s also some creamy vanilla here, which I find odd for a cider tea. But I’ll go with it! Overall, I’m finding this tea “okay.” It’s not bad, or undrinkable by any means. But it’s not my favorite kind of apple tea, so it’s hard to get excited about it.

That said, I tried a little experiment last night, and blended some of this with Teavana’s Spiced Apple Cider rooibos (which doesn’t have nearly enough apple and WAY too much cinnamon), and it was pretty awesome. Maybe even close to my ideal apple cider tea! So at least I’ve found a good use for the rest of this.

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I love spicy teas most of the time, but I’ll be honest… This one might have too much cinnamon even for me! I don’t taste much orange in this, but I do get a hint of the chili peppers. It’s a very sweet and warming blend, and I like that it has a green tea base (since black bases are pretty common with spice teas). I think this might be one of those DAVIDsTEA flavors that I’ll appreciate under the right conditions—like when I’m freezing cold and need something to warm up. As it is, this tea isn’t undrinkable for me, but it’s not the type of spice blend I usually crave. (We’ll see if my opinion changes when the weather gets colder, though!)


Pretty much exactly my feelings about this tea!

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Mmm, I love this tea! For the first steeping, I can detect strong notes of bread and honey, both in the scent and the taste. If I sip it nice and slow, I also taste a cocoa note near the end of the sip (and I even catch a little of the gardenia aftertaste that’s described on the WP website!). I took my time with this tea today, and savored all three of the recommended infusions for Western-style steeping. All three were excellent—though I will admit that the first one was my favorite.

This is a wonderful Yunnan black tea, smooth and complex, just like so many of the teas from Whispering Pines. I’m definitely considering restocking this one (and I’ve tried tons of excellent teas lately, so that’s saying something). I need to try it gongfu style soon!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

HIGHLY recommend this gongfu style! SOOOO much better! :D

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This is such an unusual tea. I knew I’d like it (even if I didn’t love it) because, well, ginger. But I’ve been finding the lighter teas from DAVIDsTEA can be kind of hit-or-miss for me, for some reason. (I think it might be because their lighter teas and herbals often have so much added flavor that I find it overwhelms the taste of the actual tea?) Sure enough, this one falls under the tons-of-added-flavor category, but I still enjoyed it.

It’s very sweet, with a strong artificial pear taste, and a sharp tingle of ginger underneath it. The overall effect reminds me of ginger ale— it even has a sparkling quality to it, somehow! I also tried a cup with some white honey, and that was delicious. I like the second steeping even better (probably because the pear mellows out and the ginger takes over). Overall, I like this one, and I’ll have fun experimenting with it. I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing it—but who knows, sometimes unusual teas like this have a way of growing on me!

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Wow, this tea. I’m not even sure how to do it justice… Fortunately, plenty of Steepster users have already described it so well! The first time I steeped it, I couldn’t believe how fruity the aroma was. I even waved my cup under my sister’s nose, and she thought it was some kind of berry-flavored tea. Nope, I told her. Just one of the most delicious black teas I’ve ever tried.

For me, Premium Taiwanese Assam tastes really fruity at first— with notes of plum and berries and maybe a hint of raisin—and then mid-sip, a mouth-watering chocolate note shows up and takes over. Even the empty cup smells amazing when I’m finished. If you like teas with fruity and/or chocolate notes, you’ll love this. It’s smooth and sweet and pretty much perfect. I’ll be ordering more very soon!

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drank Hua Ki by Lupicia
111 tasting notes

Shared a pot of this one with my sister today! (She’s a mango fan.) This is one of Lupicia’s more complex Hawaiian-inspired teas, with lots of different kinds of fruit. According to the ingredients, there’s mango, papaya, apple, cranberry, and pineapple in here. I can taste each one, I think, if I pay really close attention while I sip. But the overall effect is more of a general “tropical fruit” taste, sweet with just a touch of tartness. It’s well-balanced, and the tea base is on the lighter side (like many of Lupicia’s flavored black teas).

I’m glad to have this one in my cupboard! It’s a great tea to offer tropical fruit lovers. (Though my all-time favorite Lupicia Hawaiian tea is still Palekaiko… But that’s probably because I’m such a ginger fanatic.)

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I’m a writer who drinks tea to survive the creative process. A few years ago, I discovered the joys of loose leaf, and I’ve been hoarding all kinds of tea ever since!

My favorite teas change by the day. I usually drink them unsweetened, without milk. I like white and green teas, but I tend to prefer black and oolong these days. Rooibos can be hit-or-miss, same with herbals. (I mostly avoid blends with hibiscus, as I find it too tart, and I’m not a huge mint fan.) But I love when I find a good herbal that I can enjoy when I don’t want caffeine. I’m actively searching for tasty blends with chamomile in them.

I enjoy both flavored and straight teas. Some of my favorite flavors are vanilla, spice, apple, orange, chocolate, and peach. I’m obsessed with ginger. Seriously. I’ve been known to add extra ginger to teas that already have absurd amounts of spice in them. You’ve been warned. ;)





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