284 Tasting Notes

drank Tamarind Pop by Butiki Teas
284 tasting notes

Good bye Tamarind Pop!! I received this a while back from Dexter3657 and was happy. Initially she sent me a sample and when I enjoyed that she later sent the rest of the bag.

I made this tonight because I badly need a drink (of the adult kind). I blew off some steam by doing productive things (like grocery shopping and tidying) but when I returned from said chores and was thirsty I decided to make this. I wanted something only lightly flavoured, which I remembered this being, because I wanted a big jar of iced tea. (Damn, those people in House of Cards drink a lot of iced tea)

This tastes only faintly of tamarind but I am quite happy with the amount of flavour I get. Mostly tea, some tamarind. Oversteeping is not a great idea with this one.

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drank Ceylon Star by DAVIDsTEA
284 tasting notes

Tea from TheTeaFairy, Thank you!

I have been mildly curious about this one but the whole star anise in the dry leaf is not my thing. Interestingly enough, all I can taste is coconut . I can’t taste any licorice. I can totally smell it in the wet leaf but I don’t get any flavour. Not interested in resteeping to see if it will come out especially since I don’t like licorice. Maybe I’ve had the sample too long and didn’t properly care for it.

I’m glad this sample is a sipdown. I will finish the cup. maybe.

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drank Coffee Cake by DAVIDsTEA
284 tasting notes

I am on a black tea binge this afternoon. Why, you might ask?

I worked from 5 am to 3 pm today but due to a near electrical fire/power outage we had to halt production and after waiting around for two hours we were finally sent home. You might say “YAY!!” except… we were told to “hang by your phones folks, if you can come back at midnight to finish the job, please do.” This was said in a you-don’t-have-a-choice tone.

And of course since it will be like 1 am, you might as well just start that day’s job after finishing yesterday’s. I know I legally have a choice to refuse but I don’t have another job to go to if things go south.

and so… TEA!!

About this tea all you need to know is that it positively does NOT taste like coffee cake. It tastes like cake, sure, but coffee is not in here. I don’t know what coffee cake these people at DAVIDs have been eating. This smells like Della Terra’s Pineapple Upside Down cake and even tastes like it. Well, some generic cake tea because it also tastes and smells like Red Velvet Cake. So, yeah.

It’s also kinda weak. Can I put Red Bull in here? :)

Christina / BooksandTea

I don’t think that real coffee cake is supposed to take like coffee though. More like, “something sweet to eat alongside” coffee. Whenever I’ve had that kind of cake myself, I notice a lot of brown sugar crumble.


Aaah. Ok, that might explain a thing or too then :) thanks!

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They say it’s spring as of 12:07 EST today. I’m going by what outside says and it says cold. So I’m by the fireplace with a cup of this and it’s delicious. Many thanks to Dexter3657 for this one. I’ve avoided it because it’s rooibos and also because although I’ve been drinking a pot of tea each night, we’ve been drinking chocolate teas. My partner has gotten into the habit of nightly tea — a lovely habit, don’t you agree? — but she is not adventurous when it comes to her nightly tea. She wants comfort, not surprises, so I never ever make new-to-me tea at night. Kinda like when company is coming for dinner: you make your tried and and true recipes, you don’t subject your guests to something that you just came up with that might be, but most often isn’t, fabulous :)

But she’s not home right now and something about the white chocolate was calling my name. I love this tea. It is quite minty but with some raw sugar and vanilla creamer it is yumm-o! Rooibos only a little at the back and only if you’ve had rooibos before and you know what to look for. Maybe rooibos will come out more later on as it cools but I’m likely not going to see it for this ain’t gonna be cooling!

PS. You all will think i’m NUTS but I can feel the mint in my right ear. (probably from the throat… you know, ENT and all). Dude. I’m nuts

Boiling 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Spring is a prank this year…and yes, it is confirmed, you are nuts :-)


Yay, glad you like that one!!!!
MissB taught me a rooibos trick that may help you. Most companies say something like boiling for 5 minutes for flavored rooibos. If you use 90C for 3 minutes, you get less of the rooibos “taste” that so many of you dislike. If you have any rooibos kicking around that you are avoiding I would give it a try. :))
(Just a little nuts but we love you anyway….)


At least I didn’t say anyone’s aura is brown or some such thing. :)


Haha! Well, well I sure don’t wish a brown aura on anyone!!!
I actually envy you, I love mint so much, wish I could “feel” it in both ears ;-)

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I am getting really frustrated with myself when it comes to this puerh stuff. I have some of the best stuff out there thanks to a wonderful tea benefactor and I can’t seem to appreciate it. I’ve finally made it past the “no thank you” stage and I am at the “if I must” stage.

Some tea people I trust are encouraging and swear they felt the same at the beginning and now they love it but man, how long does it take? I’ve been trying on and off for MONTHS.

But since we are talking about THIS particular one here, I am on my third steep, 1 minute western style for each steeps, plus a rinse at the beginning. The first two steeps the cake remained quite packed, it only now broke apart into what I recognize as loose tea (as opposed to a block). It is still very very dark, I am quite curious as to how long this is going to last. I’m going to keep at it until I taste chocolate, or something other than musty barnyard clothes.

Previous note says the flavour came out in later steeps. I hope so because right now it just sort of tastes like I’m sucking on a snow-soaked wool mitten. I must say it does not taste fishy which is an improvement but it still smells so. Last night I jokingly “offered” my cup to the dog we’re dogsitting, holding in out for her to sniff. No word of a lie, she turned her head and curled her lip. And she usually reacts quite differently when offered things from out cups and plates. :)

PS. this does not pair well with avocado which I happened to have a small amount of since I’m chopping it. I’m sure this morsel of info will be helpful to so many :)


“snow-soaked wool mitten” Jeepers. You’re much more forgiving than I!


LMAO! How did you ever come up with snow-soaked wool mitten? The worst part is I do remember what they taste like!!!


Fairy… I loved snow as a kid. I would be out there for HOURS, my poor mom pleading me to go inside and when I did, my gloves would be soaked, all of me would be soaked. And yes, I’ve sucked on my mittens many, many times.

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BOOOO! I join the hordes of people who say “nay” to this one. How on earth can something called Bailey’s anything be so bad? I did read some of the reviews prior to fixing this pot the way I like (with raw sugar and creamer) and I am thankful I did so. A few tentative sips was all I could manage. Yes, it is bitter! and not much minty. Maybe Bailey’s is not really THE Bailey’s we are all thinking of but some play on words or something.

Anyway, thank you to Dexter3657 who was probably spared tasting this one since she hates mint. No worries, you didn’t miss a thing!

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A very long time ago I had a puerh tea that was flavoured like a cinammon bun. It was so good I didn’t even realize I was drinking a puerh. I also know that quite a few people say puerh has “bready” qualities. Well, tonight I was looking for something sweet and bready so I chose this out of the mountain of puerh I received in a care package. (Thank you!) Sadly I didn’t get any yummy doughy deliciousness out of this one.

I measured about a teaspoon or so in a 8 oz glass gaiwan, and poured off-boiling water over it. The brew darkened instantly. I waited a 10 second rinse and proceeded with the first steep. Aah, there it is, the now recognizable shou smell. Not too bad but definitely sea-weed. I only steeped 15 seconds each for the first two steeps. I saved some of the first steep in a separate cup so I can compare with the second steep side by side. Didn’t notice much difference between the first and second steeps. The third steep was about 20 seconds. Still pretty dark clay in colour, I have a feeling this one will keep going and going. I can’t take a longer steep at this stage, I can barely do 20 seconds! Tastes better as it cools a little but I just don’t get any sort of flavour! A touch of bitterness maybe. Not burned green tea bitter but chew on mild coffee bean bitter. Gosh, can I make any less sense?

It is not unpleasant (omg, I had some shou that made me gag when I lifted the cup to drink) but I can’t say it’s doing much for me. It’s an ok companion for job browsing activities but I wouldn’t take it upstairs with a book or anything.

PS. Don’t know about the fourth steep, I need a break. I need a palate cleanser. The jury is undecided on this one. :)

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drank Boston by Harney & Sons
284 tasting notes

Sample sipdown, woo! one more ziploc bag down, 60 or so to go. About a month ago I received this from TheTeaFairy and since it was a generous sample I am only now finishing it off.

The very first go at this, a month ago, gave me not a whole lot besides base. This time around I sniffed the dry leaf in the bag before deciding whether I was in the mood for this one or not. Surprisingly, I smelled a berry tartness that I did not detect before. Anticipating nice juiciness I brewed the entire sample, enough for a 16 oz mug.

It is a lot better than the first time I had it, I actually do get a faint berry flavour this time. Not sure about the almond. I still will not restock this tea but I am definitely thankful for the sample. This tea has such rave reviews on here that I would have bought a 4 oz tin without blinking. And I’m sure I would have found many people willing to take it off my hands (cough, Dexter3657 cough).

As it happens, I have Silk True Almond- Vanilla in the fridge and I added some since the tea supposedly has almond flavour somewhere in there. Makes for a way better cup.

Thanks TheTeaFairy ! You saved me from a purchase that would have been disappointing.


I like this one and have quite a bit of it. Happy that you were able to try before you ended up with a tin and not liking it. I like it cooler water longer steep, but it’s a bit fussy – you have to find your “sweet” spot. :))


dexter! where are your tea logs!


I’ve been going through some rough periods – I’m getting over it and spending more time here. I haven’t been drinking much that I haven’t written about previously.
Thank you for noticing…

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I found this to be a little bitter, compared to 2008 Menghai “SPRINGTIME WATERRAW. I shouldn’t even be comparing, they are different years, different companies. But I’m drinking Sheng now so I’ll be invevitably comparing them to one another.

There is only one tasting note on this and it says this tea has none of the “smokiness” that Xiaguans have. I have no idea what Xiaguan has in terms of smokiness but this one fainly smelled of … errr… (should I say this?) hot dog. I’ve started to recognize it as meaning something savoury and slighly smokey.

I overleafed so I ended up taking half the leaves out after the rinse and saving them for later tonight. Second steep still slightly bitter. I know my tongue is fine so I’m questioning whether there is still too much leaf. Guess I’ll never know. There’s almost the impression of something metallic present at the sides of my tongue.

Can’t say that I like this one all that much but thankful for the sample! I still have enough for several cups so I will give it a go once I rotate through the rest of my puerhs.


Yeah younger sheng has a much different profile to it. Xiaguans can be very smoky which I don’t like much either. The metallic may be some camphor from the leaf. Try this gongfu or in a yixing. The yixing can even out some stronger shengs.

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This will be a long review and only partly about tea. Skip along.

I went into the city today, got a bit of spring fever even though it’s still cold and nowhere near spring. But it’s no longer -20C and it was SUNNY for the first time in many days. Browsed bookstores, people watched, and then stopped at one of Toronto’s best ramen places. Had this: http://instagram.com/p/lTEyr3nqbi/

It was great while I was eating it and then quite shortly after i finished I got the “oh god, why did I do that?” feeling. You can perhaps understand why on the drive home I thought to myself “pu’erh”. I’m gonna have pu’erh. Which to have? I needed this and I needed to make sure I was going to drink it so I took it easy on myself.

Previously, my sheng have been white. So I was surprised this is dark in dry form. Shows you what I know, right? :)

Although the notes here advise on a 15s steep, to me that’s water. So I disregarded. Especially since the advice for steep time fails to mention water or amount of tea. I did 1 minute, I broke off a thin piece maybe the size of a thumb. My thumb, not shrek’s. 8 oz glass gaiwan came out to play.

The dry leaf smelled faintly smokey to me and then once I steeped it and took the lid off I could smell smokiness on the wet leaf. If I smell the wet leaf now, cold and having been steeped twice, the smoke is gone.

The second steep was also one minute, it gets a little stronger (shit, I forgot to rinse when I started) and it is getting a little stronger and a little, just A LITTLE astringent. Also getting a faint stone fruit in the after taste of the later sips, as the cup has cooled. you know, I’m talking out of my arse here, but I definitely get peach aftertaste.

Getting ready to steep for the third time. I am loving this one. Really. Really! Thank you :)

8 OZ / 236 ML

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I started drinking loose leaf tea in the spring of 2013 (why do we feel compelled to mark the date of tea drinking somewhat like addicts counting their sobriety days?)

Never been much into tea before. Growing up in Romania, tea was something mom made for you when you were sick. As an adult, my hot beverage of choice has been coffee, both flavoured and regular. I’ve recently stumbled upon Teavana and DAVIDs TEA and quickly got addicted to the latter. Then came steepster and all else followed.

Formerly a mathematician and insurance adjuster, I gave up the corporate world and am now a professional chef. I drink wine and sometimes cheat on it with tea.

I lean heavily towards flavoured black teas. I’ve started to crave the occasional straight oolong and green but so far unflavoured black teas leave me unimpressed.

I’m learning so I drink them all. Am even introducing myself to pu’erh. So far I can do fine with the sheng cause frankly, they don’t taste like pu’erh to me. The shou is another story.

Note*: The virtual cupboard does NOT contain any of the samples I hold since most of them are one-cup quantity.

Note**: My partner, our home improvements, gadgets, mortgage, travel, wine and food have budget priority over tea.


Toronto-ish, Canada

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