583 Tasting Notes


1 “single steep” sachet for 300mL water @100C, steeped four minutes, drunk bare.

This is re-packaged as “Reflect Vanilla Black Tea” in a collection of single steep packets sold in Chapters/Indigo stores in Canada. I bought such a box this evening. So far, the Lemongrass Ginger is great; the “Revitalize Cherry Black Tea” is the equivalent of drinking melted cough drops; now it’s Reflect’s turn.

I can really smell the coconut, like in DavidsTea Buttered Rum. My study smells lovely, in fact; vanilla and coconut go well together. In a candle, say, or soap. They’re not going well with what tastes like low grade astringent Ceylon. The entire tea is soapy: taste and mouthfeel, probably from the coconut. Like the Revitalize Cherry before it, this is, for me, undrinkable.


oh no, sounds not good at all…except for your study smelling nice I guess!

Michelle Butler Hallett

Even that didn’t last.

A disappointing tea all round.

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1.5 tsp for 300mL water @ 90C, steeped 5 minutes, drunk bare.

Oops — steeped a little too long there. Getting lots of vegetal in this cup, and that lovely creme brûlée thing. Floral, too — orchids, I guess. Lots of down in the liquor, giving that velvety mouth-feel. Delicious. I’ve not had this for a long time, and I got about 138 grams for a Christmas present. Mmmmm.

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1.5 tsp for 300mL water @80C, steeped three minutes, drunk bare.

I tried a sample of this earlier today at a DavidsTea and quite liked it. Fresh China green tea with a slight fruitiness and a buttery mouthfeel. The pineapple in the ingredients had always turned me off, but here it works, quiet an subtle in the background. I adore walnuts, though you can barely taste them; it’s more of a mouthfeel, a slightly biter silkiness. I’ll go with a shorter steep next time; the pineapple is more pronounced here at home, and the liquor is quite cloudy.

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3 tsp for 500mL eater @100C, steeped 3 minutes, drunk bare.

Earthy and astringent Darjeeling, with lots of green leaf in with the black. Crisp, with lots of muscat. Feels and tastes like a lot of second flush is in here, which suits me fine. It does tend towards being bitter; I think next time I’ll use cooler water. (Teavana recommends 90C.) I got this as a gift; I haveno idea how much it costs; if it’s reasonable, I’d order it to keep on hand.

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1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped four minutes 30 seconds, drunk bare.

In a sample. A pale liquor for a black tea, a light bronze. Some honey and dark fruit notes that remind of me the Nepal black from the Jun Chiyabi estate. A slight astringency that’s like a very, very subtle bergamot. Light body. Lovely, but I’m not paying $45.00 for 50 grams of it.


that’s a little nuts

Michelle Butler Hallett

I’ve paid steep money for tea, but it’s been for much better tea. This is really good, just not worth the asking price.


That’s crazy! Nepali Tea Trader’s Himalayan Gold is really good and way less! ($8 or$9 an oz. I think)

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3 tsp for 500mL water @ 100C, steeped six minutes, drunk bare.

I’m surprised to read this is a blend of Assam and Ceylon; I thought it was Kenyan. It’s strong yet quite smooth. Fragrant. Not harsh. Took a long steep well. Lots of body, and a good caffeine lift. An excellent blend for cold mornings, too.

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1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped four minutes, drunk bare.

Simple and good. Toasty sweetness form Keemun, heft and creaminess and malt from Assam. Reliable. I’d keep this as a staple.


This one is on my bucket list.

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1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped six minutes 30 seconds, drunk bare.

Yep, lost track of time again. The tea did not get bitter. It did get POTENT. I am very awake right now. Holy snappin caffeine kick.

Excellent blend of black teas with lapsing souchong. Smoky, but not overpoweringly smoky. A big leap from India black tea. I can see this one becoming a favourite.

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1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped four minutes, drunk bare.

Keemun, and cocoa notes, and a very clean, mineral finish. Distant smoke, more a toastiness. Fruit notes, too. Quite good.

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1.5 tsp for 300mL @100C, steeped four minutes thirty seconds, drunk bare.

I love smoky black tea. I’m not crazy about tarry tea. There’s a big difference.

This one’s a blend of three teas plus lapsang souchong. I am trying to pick out the other three. I’m guessing a Keemun, a usual component in a Russian Caravan, and maybe a Ceylon? There’s a sunny brightness here that’s often missing from Chinese black tea. Sweet notes in the finish. A smooth feel. Smoky, but not suffocatingly so. I think I’m in love.


I like this a lot too. It’s nice on a cold morning!

Michelle Butler Hallett

I might just make this my first cup tomorrow.

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I prefer straight teas but will try almost anything … so long as it’s not tainted with hibiscus. I loathe hibiscus.

Floral oolong and complex black teas are my favourites.


St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

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