603 Tasting Notes


I’m not a chai person, but I will have one on occasion. It either needs to be really milky or very light on the spices for me to enjoy it. I found that Zhena’s gypsy chai teas with the red base + a short steep time are best for my tastebuds in the chai world.

The scent is very sweet and deep, with lots of layers. I smell the chocolate first, followed by the rooibos and a hint of cinnamon and cloves. It really does smell like a fancy, spicy hot chocolate.

Sipping… hm, this is nice. I taste a watery sort of chocolate (not really all that dark-tasting.. I’m getting more of a milk chocolate note) with a heavy mouthfeel. The spices come out at the end of the sip and they’re actually not too bad. They’re on the sweeter side and aren’t all that spicy. I also think that the sweet spices bring out some of the chocolate as well. The rooibos sort of hides behind everything and is most strong when the spices fade away.

Overall, I am actually quite pleased with this chai. I think it might be even more delicious with the addition of milk.

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
603 tasting notes

Good tea has really been the only thing keeping me going while I study. Funny that studying can be done when there is the promise of a tasty tea! I’ve sort of been neglecting this one — not on purpose, but because I’ve been distracted by other teas lately. I find that if I don’t devote some time to taste this tea that it really is just tastes “roasty” to me and not at all like the deep chocolate that makes it so delicious! Sometimes I feel like I have to add a bunch of leaf to get that flavor as well. Tonight’s cups weren’t the greatest (a bit flat, roasty, not a whole lot of chocolate), but I do know what this tea is capable of so I’ll try again with this tomorrow.

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drank Je t'Aime by Nina's Paris
603 tasting notes

The dry leaf of this tea smelled brilliant – creamy, sweet caramel!

Sipping… I am a little bit surprised that the caramel and vanilla are more toned down. I think I was expecting a stronger cup. It is still yummy, though. The black tea adds a bit of astringency even with a short steep time, so I would watch it closely. For me, I would like to have a stronger vanilla and caramel note, but I can see this being a nice cup for someone who wants a more subtle flavor. Thank you, Laurent, for a sample of this tea!

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drank Coconut Cream Pie by 52teas
603 tasting notes

The last time I tried this tea was three years ago.. so I’d like to see what I think it tastes like now (not using the same leaf from years ago)! I’ve added a splash of milk to this cup to help make it a little more creamy.

Sipping… I’m glad that I did add milk because it does make it a bit softer and it works well with the coconut. For me, this is a coconut black tea.. not a coconut cream pie tea. I don’t taste any crust or cream.. but I am enjoying the milk and coconut combination. I just wish that the other flavors could come through so that it could truly be what it claims to be without adding anything extra.

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The scent is very earthy, sweet and reminds me of baked bread. It’s been a while since I’ve had this tea, so I’m excited to see if anything’s changed with my tastebuds.

Sipping… It’s mostly earthy, a bit floral and a tiny bit astringent for me. I also detect some bread, honey and tree bark. It’s not as tasty as I remember it. I think I might be picking up on more of the earthy dirt notes instead of the honey. I wish it had a little bit more body or richness. Not sure if I would purchase more of this one, but happy to have tried it again!

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drank Taurus by Nina's Paris
603 tasting notes

I went ahead and ordered a little tin of this tea because I realized how much I love having a creamy strawberry rooibos on hand. This blend in particular has a strong rooibos note, but what I love is the bright strawberry that comes out every once and a while. There could be more cream flavor, but I’m enjoying the strawberry and rooibos pairing. I have to stress, once again, that those who aren’t fond of rooibos stay away from this one.

Cameron B.

I’ve never had a strawberry rooibos, but it sounds amazing. :D


Cameron B., if you like rooibos and strawberry, it is really a nice combination! :) I recommend it!

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This tasting note is number 500 for me. Hooray! So excited to have reached this landmark. I had to pick a special tea to review, so Hand Picked Spring Tieguanyin from 2013 it is. The scent of the tea is very floral, green and a little bit sweet. I’m really looking forward to some of the flavors that I might find in this tea.

First Infusion: Oh, this is such a nice tea. I am always afraid of the floral hit of some oolongs, but this one is floral + such a light sweetness. I can definitely see the comparison of this to cotton candy as the sweetness is light and fluffy. Swirling around the sweetness and flowers is a bit of leafy, mineral, earthy note. I think this keeps it from getting too much like perfume, thankfully! The finish is very lightly buttered, asking you to come back for more.

Second Infusion: the floral scent is a bit stronger with this cup. It’s actually on the verge of being a little bit like stinky flowers.. jasmine often becomes stinky for me if it’s too strong. It’s interesting how much this cup changed from the first. It seems a lot heavier to me. Not a bad thing, but definitely noticeable. A sharp floral note dominates the sip, bit it ends with a nice cantaloupe flavor.

I’d like to keep steeping this one, but it’s time for dinner and I want to brew a few other teas before the night ends. This was a very delicious oolong with plenty of variety for those who want floral, fruit and sweetness over the course of different infusions. Yum!


woohoo 500!

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I added milk to this morning’s cup and I think it’s a good thing I did. The milk adds a bit of creaminess and fullness to the cup. Without it, it could get a little bit thin and almost coppery? The start of the sip is mostly vanilla and rum for me and it slowly turns into a thick and sweet butterscotch flavor. This flavor works really well with the tea base which comes as a surprise since I thought the two would clash. The tea leaf and the flavor are balanced quite well!

This was a nice and sweet cup of tea to start my day. I don’t think I would buy more simply because there are other flavors that I enjoy more, but it’s certainly a must-try for those who like butterscotch! Thank you ToiToi for a sample of this.


I need this!


Tabby, definitely a must-try if you like butterscotch and mariage freres’ tea base.

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I’m finishing up the last of this leaf in hopes of figuring out why so many love this tea. My first cup of this was disappointing, but this time I’ve added milk to see if I can bring out more of the pudding flavor.

Sipping… well, I seem to be picking up on a stronger banana note than last time. There is a rather ugly coconut flavor that finishes up the sip. It’s rather sour and spicy. Yeah.. not very much pudding here. To me, this is more of a banana and coconut tea.. but I am looking for something creamy and much more like pudding. Oh well, at least I tried it again.


I usually have to add cream and a ridiculous amount of sugar to get it to taste like pudding. I don’t think it’s very good as a straight tea. :\


Correction: not that it’s not very good, it’s that it doesn’t work as well as a “pudding” tea. More of a fruit tea than a dessert tea.


I think if it’s going to be called a pudding tea then it shouldn’t be necessary to add milk/sugar to get that flavor.. you know? I definitely see it being a good banana and coconut tea, but like you, not a pudding tea.

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This was one of the first Mariage Freres teas that I tried and I remember not enjoying the cup all that much. Tastes do change over time, though, so I’m giving it another go. The scent of this tea reminds me very much of strawberry shortcake. I can smell the tart strawberry, the cream and the cake!

Sipping… ooh, this is so tasty! I have to wonder what my tastebuds were doing the last time I drank this. I did add milk to this cup, but no sugar and I do remember adding both to my cup last time. I’ve realized that I can’t really tolerate sugar in tea, but milk can make all the difference. I love that I can detect the tangy sweetness of the berries and enjoy the creaminess at the same time. The black tea doesn’t disappear either, which is nice. It adds a nice sort of maltiness to the cup. Mmm. I can see myself buying more of this in the future. How yummy!

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Tea (& Coffee) lover. Bookworm.

Favorite teas: Milk Oolong, Flavored blends, Dessert teas, Creamy Teas, Rooibos, Oolong, Black, Green
Dislikes: Spices, Peppery flavors, Cloves, Cardamom, Licorice, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Mate, Puerh, Chai, Ginger

My Rather Picky Ratings
90+ – Reserved for the very best! Always in the cupboard!
80-89 – Quite good! A very pleasing cup.
70-79 – Room for improvement, but not bad.
60-69 – Mediocre.
50-59 – Bad. Will not purchase.
49 & below – Depending on the more specific rating: Undrinkable. Yuck. Will not purchase.

Note: Teas in my cupboard are all of the teas that I’ve logged, regardless of their current presence in my actual cupboard. For an updated list on what teas I have available for swap, check out the swap thread and not my cupboard! Thanks!

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