314 Tasting Notes

drank Almond Cookie by SpecialTeas
314 tasting notes

Ahh, Almond Cookie! It’s been awhile since I’ve savored your toasty, marzipan deliciousness!

For me, boiling hot water brings out the best in this tea—which only serves to enhance its baked, cinnamon-y flavor. I don’t detect any bitterness—just yummy toastiness.

It tastes like those crumbly Chinese almond cookies in the pink box with the red dragons on it. I love this tea!

Boiling 5 min, 45 sec
RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

This sounds amazingly delicious :-)


RE: “It tastes like those crumbly Chinese almond cookies in the pink box with the red dragons on it.”… HAHA! The 1st thing I thought when I read that was the episode of The Nanny where Fran goes to get something from a Chinese herbalist to help her get pregnant and the guy’s wife gives her almond aphrodisiac cookies. =D


Almond aphrodisiac cookies? lol!

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Wow, my last log was almost a month ago! I feel kind of guilty for neglecting my notes. I’ve definitely been drinking tea all this time but it’s been a crazy, stressful summer where even jotting down tasting notes seems like a chore. But, despite that feeling, I have to get back to my Steepster habit! I have to remember that evaluating teas is fun!

Anyways, on this note:
I’m getting a nice, yeasty, honeyed bread-like flavor from this tea today. Very mild and almost “wheaty”. No pepper. No bitterness. And it’s been steeping forever in my travel mug. It’s a comforting, uncomplicated tea. :)

190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more

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I love the scent of this!! It’s so much like one of my favorite Filipino desserts called “Buko Pandan” (sweet young coconut with pandan-flavored gelatin, condensed milk and crispy rice topping). It smells deliciously like sweet toasted rice and pandan leaves.

The taste is like toasted, slighty earthy green tea with sweet sticky (aka “glutinous”) rice. So it’s just as described—yum! :)

I really like this tea and I’m glad I chose this as my free sample. This is unique to my tea collection so I will definitely order more. Thanks Chicago Tea Garden!

ETA: I steeped this pretty heavily and did not rinse it like a regular puerh. But it was still pretty tasty. Although, on cooldown, I could detect some astringency and bitterness. So, it’s best to drink it quickly and not let it linger in the cup. I still love it, though!

Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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drank Pu-erh Chai by Golden Moon Tea
314 tasting notes

Soil-y, plant-y spices!
Potent cardamom aroma. Heavy (almost minty?) cinnamon aftertaste.
I can definitely taste the earthy pu-erh. Tastes like (how I imagine) rain-soaked granite and slate to be. Just to wax poetic: Like ancient stones set in a verdant fog-covered meadow. :P
Upon cooldown, there’s an almost sandalwood-like flavor. Reminiscent of an antique sandalwood filigree fan. Like wisps of a sweet oriental perfume.
A happy little green cardamom pod bobs in the liquid. Cute! :)

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Ryokucha by Samovar
314 tasting notes

I’ve had this forever and just opened it this morning. Just had to share it with my co-workers who love genmaicha.

I was able to get 4 infusions from my 12oz mug.

This is basically Genmaicha “to the Max!!” (lol, that’s such an 80’s reference isn’t it?). It’s super toasty, super green, mostly savory but with a little sweetness…and a bit of seaweed?

I enjoyed this because I love genmaicha. But it didn’t knock my socks off. So, while this was good, I’m not sure I’ll re-order once this tin is empty.

But it’s a good tea to share.

(hmm…I wonder exactly why I don’t love this? Since I find it good but not amazing, maybe the Samovar love spell has passed me over? ;) )

190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Interesting. I have only found one Samovar tea that just makes me weak in the knees, and this is it. Otherwise, I’m fairly “meh” on their stuff, which is great on my pocketbook considering their price.


Royal Garland (which I am sadly out of) has been my ‘omg I need this tea’ Samovar tea…but Ryokucha is pretty great. The other genmaicha teas I’ve tried have come close, but not been quite as creamy/savory, so this one still wins in my book (I’ll grant you that I haven’t tried buckets of them, though).

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drank Ripe Mango Oolong by Lupicia
314 tasting notes

In one word, delicious delicious delicious!

I don’t have much time to type, so in short, this reminds me of a mango version of Golden Moon’s Coconut Pouchong. I love it!

Got this free teabag yesterday in the mail along with Lupicia’s newsletter. What a great, summery choice. On to my shopping list this goes!!

190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Ooh, I just got mine yesterday – I need to give it a try now!


To me, this has a very green, steamed banana leaf flavor and I love that. I bet the loose version is even better!

Meghann M

Yum! reminds me that I really WANT (NEED) to place an order with them!

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Quick impressions:

Ginger and Soil. Planty, peaty, earthy ginger. Warmed in a terracota pot in the summertime. Unsweet ginger.

I like ginger so I like this just fine.

190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more

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drank Assam Harmony by Adagio Teas
314 tasting notes

Not bad. Not bad at all. :)

Lightly bready. Malty flavor. Pleasantly soft. Bread-like aroma too.

I like this tea. I like assams for their bread-likeness. This is a good smooth example so I’m pretty happy with it.

Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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drank Neapolitan Honeybush by 52teas
314 tasting notes

My packet arrived today—so quickly too! Yay!!! :)

Even though I have countless teas to try, I just had to rip this open as soon as possible. I needed my honeybush fix! :P

I’m sipping this piping hot. I’m getting the sweet honeybush flavor very strongly. Then there’s the definite ice cream vibe—I’m not sure how I’m getting that since the liquid is hot, but somehow I perceive “ice cream”. Must be the vanilla with its sense of creaminess. The chocolate is bittersweet. The strawberry has cherry notes.

The scent screams Neopolitan Ice Cream! The classic boxed variety (just like in the picture). Makes me want to run out and buy a box right now. ;)

I like this very much and will reach for it often. As usual, 52teas doesn’t disappoint!

Boiling 8 min or more

Honeybush done well! Not my favorite honeybush, but it’s pretty darn good.


Lately whenever I see the word honeybush I start thinking: “honeybush, won’t you be my baby now, honeybush be my own.” Ugh.

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Unfortunately (and surprisingly), my sample tasted bitter, smoky, stale and very peaty.

It was smoky not in a good way. :(

Other than this, I love Keemun teas—my favorite so far was A&D’s Jackee Muntz!—and this did not compare. So, based on my sample, I have to give this a “meh” face. :/

It was drinkable with milk…maybe I should’ve added sugar too?

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

I never could see Keemun and milk as a good combination; in my mind, it’s a little too acidy to blend well.


I first drank this plain and didn’t like it—so I tried to doctor it up with milk which made it a little better (but still meh).


that’s awful. i expect more from H&S.

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Virgo Sun, Pisces Moon, Aries Rising

My ratings are purely subjective and each note varies according to my perception and mood at the moment. So, with that said, my rating scale can be deciphered as follows:
90-100: I am in love! A must have at all times! :D
80-89: This is good. It is full-tin worthy! :))
79-70: This is okay. Glad I tried it. Might get more. :)
69-60: Meh. I’m indifferent. Neither here nor there, this is Tea Purgatory. :/
59-under: Mediocre and Sad. Really not good enough to try again. A disappointment. :(

My Misc. Personal Favorites List (because I love making lists!):
Books = The Mind Parasites by Colin Wilson, The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, Beauty by Sherri S. Tepper, The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher, Personal Darkness by Tanith Lee.
Movies = E.T., The Princess Bride, Babette’s Feast, Enchanted April, The Age of Innocence, Death Becomes Her, GATTACA, Fight Club, The Matrix, The Others, Pride and Prejudice (2005 version), Nacho Libre :).
TV Shows = The Twilight Zone (a classic!), Star Trek TNG, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I miss this!), Mad Men, Sherlock, Being Human.
Music? = I find myself perennially stuck in an 80’s-90’s New Wave & Alternative time warp. ;)
Quote of the Day: “There really isn’t anything; only the story appearing now—and not even that.”


San Francisco, CA

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