4847 Tasting Notes


I love Alishan. Of the many types of Oolong teas available, Alishan is probably my favorite. I can’t think of another Oolong type that I enjoy more than Alishan. But, I didn’t know how the charcoal roasting would affect the delightfully floral, sweet, crisp flavor of the Alishan that I know and love.

I am glad that I can taste those notes of the Alishan, as well as a foreground of toasty, charcoal-y, earthiness. Sweet, roasted nut flavor melds so beautifully with the floral notes, giving this Alishan a more rugged flavor, more masculine in a way, but still keeping in touch with its light and flowery side too.

Truly a delight … deliciously different.

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As I mentioned in my previous note, I visited Steven Smith Teamaker in Portland today … my husband was surprisingly affable earlier this week when I asked him if he would take me to Portland to visit not one but TWO tea shops. He usually grumbles (loudly) when I make such a request, and these grumbles are usually followed by comments such as “you have enough tea” or “you don’t need more tea” or “you’re going to spend more money on tea?” … something like that. Basically stating that he isn’t going to take me shopping for more tea.

But, this week, I think he may have had some residual guilt over spending a lot of money on his Christmas gift (an early gift) – a new PS3 because his old one went kaput – so, he was, as I said, surprisingly agreeable to taking me where ever I wanted to go. And I wanted to go to Steven Smith because they had a new holiday blend – this blend – that I had to try!

First of all, this is a bagged (or should I say sacheted?) tea. It wasn’t made available in loose leaf, and if I had any complaint about the blend at all that would be it. But even as a sacheted tea, it’s amazing. I like that it’s a silky sachet and not a paper bag, because … well, I don’t taste the paper bag in the finished product.

This is incredibly yummy. The black tea blend is rich and smooth … even a tad creamy tasting. Nutty, malty, sweet, and comforting. Some astringency, yes. And then you have the touch of Douglas Fir needles … and this adds a hint of refreshing, exhilarating, pine and mint taste. It’s so crisp and wintery, and yes, very Christmas-y.

I love this and am so glad that my hubby took me to get it. He’s a keeper.


wow I love the sound of this tea, and the packaging, and your mention of Douglas Fir :) can’t wait to visit this tea shop!


@CupofTree – this tea is a very limited edition – one batch made, that’s all, and I was told by the nice gentleman at the register yesterday that when it’s gone, it’s gone. As is the case with the occasional tea from this company. However, they do have plenty of
“regulars” that will keep me coming back, I will say. It is definitely a must visit kind of place for a tea drinker who visits Portland. :)

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OMG! I am completely in love with this tea! Yes … yes … yes! (Imagine Meg Ryan in probably her most popular scene ever there)

As I am sitting here slurping on this tea, I tried to think of an Assam tea that I might have enjoyed as much as I’m enjoying this … and only one comes to mind. (And that would be No. 49 from Steven Smith … and I just left that store about two hours ago without some of my beloved Assam, what was I thinking? I was too excited over the other, new teas that I had not yet tried that I had forgotten to restock No. 49 and No. 55)

Anyway… this is amazing. It is a strong Assam… rich, malty and flavorful. It will assuredly kick your butt right out of “sleep” mode and into get-up-and-get-em mode. It starts out smooth and caramel-y, and there is a fair amount of astringency to this that slowly dries the palate after the sip. But, I don’t find the astringency to be out of bounds or too much. It is the perfect finishing touch to this really robust Assam.

Everything about this Tiger is amazing. What else should I have expected from Andrews & Dunham. They rock.

Terri HarpLady

I haven’t tried any of their teas, but I’ll have to add that one to my ‘list’.


@Terri: You really should try their teas. I also loved the Double Knit blend … that would be a really good breakfast blend, I think. This one is a good “kick in the butt” tea whenever you need one of those.


I will also say that this tea disappeared astonishingly fast from my teacup.

Terri HarpLady

I’ve looked at their page before, just haven’t ordered any…yet!
Have you tried the Caravan or the Hot Tea on the High Seas?


I’ve tried the Caravan long ago, when it was part of the 3rd limited edition series. I am not sure how the Caravan Resurrected compares to that, but when I did try it, I was still very anti-smoky teas, so I wasn’t too fond of it. I have the Caravan Resurrected (as it was part of the group of three that were available on Cyber Monday), and I’m hoping I will have a new found appreciation of it.

The Hot Tea on the High Seas is limited edition series 5 (I think!) and I did try both of those teas. They are amazing. I especially love the Oolong as it is a Magnolia Oolong – it’s fantastic. Captain Assam is an exceptionally smooth Assam, if I remember correctly, and perhaps a bit less harsh than some other Assam teas that I’ve tried. It’s not quite as “kick you in the butt” as this Tiger Assam is. Both are stellar, in my opinion.


I’d LOVE to try this one!


This seems overpriced – do you think it is worth $20 for a 4 oz. tin?


@Amy oh: Yes I do. I also think that with this company, you’re not just paying for the tea but also the overall experience. The tins are beautiful, solid, and airtight. You get a bonus button with this particular tea … not a huge deal, but, I think it’s part of the fun.

However, given that this is one of the very best Assam teas I’ve ever tried, I’d say it’s worth the investment. That doesn’t mean that I don’t wait until they have a promotion, because I generally do. I purchased this as part of their Cyber Monday deal that they had going on, which was a 20% discount, and covered the cost of my shipping on the three tins of tea.


What is you current King of organic Assam teas? Thank you!


looseTman: I guess I’d have to go with this one: http://steepster.com/teas/arbor-teas/14049-organic-rembeng-assam-black-tea

Arbor Teas is a fantastic source of organic and fair trade teas.


Agreed, Arbor Teas is great! However, Remberg Assam is not currently offereed. Their current black tea choices are found here: http://www.arborteas.com/categories/organic-tea/organic-black-tea/. What’s your next favorite organic assam? Thanks!


I guess I’d go with Malty Assam from Tao of Tea: http://steepster.com/teas/the-tao-of-tea/12030-malty-assam


Thanks! I read your review of the Malty Assam from Tao of Tea. I can see why you rated Assams from A&D, SST, ZTL & Arbor Teas higher than it. Since Arbor Teas no longer offers Rembeng Assam, how does their Organic Greenfield Estate Ceylon Black Tea compare to it as well as the SST & ZTL Assams? Thank you.


Since I don’t have any more of the Greenfield Estate tea, and it’s been a while since I’ve had it, it would be difficult for me to offer a proper analysis for it now. However I will say that Greenfield Estate is an EXCEPTIONAL Ceylon, and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys black teas. However, how it would compare to an Assam … since they are two different teas … and given the time that has lapsed since my last tasting of the tea … it would be difficult for me to offer a fair comparison.


I understand. Thanks!

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Oh goodness, this is good.

Rich and slightly smoky, malty, smooth, slightly astringent, and really just good. Yeah, this is just what I needed to kick start my day.

I was going to take a moment or two to write a full-length review, but I think I shall do that on another day. For now, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy this before I need to get busy with running errands and such.

Hesper June

Ooo! this sounds delightful!
As a knitter, I love the name too.
Sounds like a good tea to be a companion to a knitting project:)


You got it already!!! WOWZA! Squee!


Yes, one thing I LOVE about Damn Fine Tea is that they are FAST with shipping. I always get my order from them within three or four days, max. Shipping time isn’t always important to me, but when it comes to teas from Damn Fine Tea, I always want to get the teas ASAP … because I love their packaging. The tins are awesome, and they almost always have some sort of funny, weird “extra” to go with it. Like with this tea they had a nerd comb, the kind that every nerd and geek had in their front pocket back in high school. LOL


HAHA! that cracks me up! :) Nerd Comb!

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Up until recently, peanut butter flavored teas scared me. I’m not sure exactly why they weirded me out so much, but they did. And I’m not sure I can adequately explain how I got over it, but I’ll try. Some time ago, in one of my Foodzie boxes, I received some Salty Peanut flavored Salt Water Taffy. It was amazing. Seriously, the best taffy I ever tasted. It tasted like peanut butter but a little saltier. And it was SO good.

So, I somehow deduced that if this taffy could taste THAT good, that maybe, just maybe peanut butter flavored teas would taste good too. I don’t know how I connected taffy and tea together in this way. My mind is a strange and mysterious thing, the way it works.

It’s not that I dislike peanut butter. I actually like peanut butter. But, somehow a peanut butter tea just didn’t seem right. I don’t know why. Again … my mind and the way it works is a strange and mysterious thing.

Anyway … on to this tisane. It’s actually quite yummy. I taste the peanut butter, the chocolate and the cheesecake. The cheesecake flavor really pops in this. As it cools, I notice a hint of buttery-pastry flavor … just a little bit though.

I also taste the honeybush, and basically what tasting the honeybush does for me is make me glad that Frank did not choose to use rooibos in this because I prefer the taste of honeybush over rooibos… and I like the sweet, nutty flavor of the honeybush in this cup. I don’t think I’d like this quite as much if it were a rooibos blend.

Really yummy. Not the best thing I ever tasted or anything, but, I’m really glad that I tasted it.


This is one I’ve wanted to try, to be fair I don’t think I have even ever had a honeybush tea. I’m also nervous of peanut butter tea.


The idea of peanut butter tea weirds me out, too. Although I must admit that you’ve made me curious! If anyone could pull it off a good peanut butter tea it would be Frank.


I’m with you on the weird! I love peanut butter…but the thought of “drinking” it seems really strange

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drank S'mores by Della Terra Teas
4847 tasting notes

Finishing off the last of the sample package of this… it’s so good!

I’ve so much to get done today … got to get these journals finished. My Japanese screw punch is malfunctioning, which makes my work even more difficult with these. sigh And I thought that of the few different ideas I had for my 12 Days of Christmas art exchange that this would be the quickest, most economical gift that I could put together… it’s turned out to be a huge project… much more than I thought it would be. Will be glad when I’m finished … don’t get me wrong, I’m having fun with it, but, like every year, I ended up biting off more than I’m able to efficiently chew.

Anyways… at least I’ve tea to keep me company while I toll away!


Terri HarpLady

When it comes to creative projects, & lets face it, my whole life is a creative project, I always bite off more than I can chew! Hang in there!


For many months now, I’ve been sort of obsessed with “Smash Books” – and I don’t know why. They’re like a commercial altered book, and I think that’s why they appeal to me so much. But, I won’t break down and buy one, because, I kept saying to myself, I can make that! I’ve got all the tools in my studio to make that thing. So, that’s what I’m making this year for my 12 Days of Christmas art gift exchange… I’m about at the halfway point now, so with a few hours of work, I should be finished tonight, or at the latest, tomorrow night… and I’ll still be able to get SOME of them off tomorrow, at least.

I thought these would be super easy and fast to make… but, then my screw punch gets all temperamental and it’s made that a lot more difficult than it needs to be.

So, I’m having fun with it, but, it’s just not going as quickly or as smoothly as I had hoped it would.

Terri HarpLady

Seems like things never do, eh?


Sounds like a great project for using up all kinds of scrappy stuff. (I have loads of it that I can’t bear to pitch after finishing greeting card projects…call it paper hash.)


true enough!


I’ve made hand-made books before. I don’t know if that’s the exact same thing, but man are they tough. People don’t realize how much work goes into just making PAPER.

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Thank you to Azzrian for sending me a bit of this Matcha! Yummy!

I prepared this as a latte, using mostly water to prepare it and then adding just a splash of half & half (since that’s all I had in the fridge) to make it a latte. It turned out fantastic.

I believe that Azzrian chose the Robust flavoring level with the classic grade of Matcha for this, and it really is good. The English Toffee flavor is very abundant, and I think that had I ordered it I probably would have gone for the distinctive rather than the robust, because I think I would like a little more of the Matcha to come through, but I’m really loving it just the way it is too.

Sweet, delicious toffee! Like a liquified heath bar in my Matcha bowl. Buttery, nutty with hints of chocolate, and a bit of Matcha in there too. Totally yum!

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drank Flaming Chocolate Mate by 52teas
4847 tasting notes

It’s chilly today so while rummaging through some of my tea I found this and decided it was just what I needed today. I need help shaking the sleepy feeling and I need something that’s going to warm me up. This will do both.

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drank Eggnog by Trail Lodge Tea
4847 tasting notes

This smells so festive … very much like eggnog! It’s making me want to start trimming the Christmas Tree (I’ve not had time for that yet, I’ve been busily working on some things I needed to get done first, but, I think that I’ll finally be able to work on the tree and decorations this coming week!)

Seriously, this is my kind of eggnog. I like eggnog, but, I don’t drink it much. My husband often indulges in a few glasses every year, but, I find that I can’t even finish one glass because it’s just too sweet and creamy for me. And I thought I was the one with the sweet tooth in the house. But, eggnog is just TOO MUCH for me.

But, the green tea and white tea give this cup a lightness and a freshness that I wouldn’t experience in a glass of real eggnog, but I still taste some creaminess and sweetness from vanilla and a custard-y like taste … and a lovely hint of nutmeg. So, this has the elements of eggnog that I like, but without being too creamy and cloying.

I’m loving this tea!

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drank Phoenix Pearl by Zen Tea
4847 tasting notes

I re-infused the leaves and it is still AMAZING. Still chocolate-y (maybe slightly less so than the first), still caramel-y, I note hints of honey now, and even some floral tones in the way-off distance. This cup is slightly more earthy, notes of leather and wood.

This cup isn’t quite as “thick and creamy” as the first, but, it is still so very yummy. Definitely worthwhile to re-infuse this tea.

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I am obsessed with tea!

I am a co-founder of the SororiTEA Sisters:

I no longer write for the SororiTea Sisters but I am still the admin for the blog.


The reason I’m no longer writing for SororiTea Sisters is because I am now the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas:


I’ll still be posting occasional reviews on teas here on Steepster, mostly backlogged reviews because I’m way behind on getting reviews posted. That’s why I’m keeping two accounts active at the current time – so that I can get those backlogged reviews posted.


My favorite teas are Yellow Teas with most Oolong teas at a close second. As far as “flavored” teas go, I love Earl Grey, Chocolate and Jasmine teas.

I also am intrigued by flavored teas with an unusual or unique flavor combination, which is why I was very excited to be the Mad Tea Artist of 52Teas!


Vancouver, WA



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