2815 Tasting Notes

drank Kyobancha by Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
2815 tasting notes

Reading the tasting notes lately from Lion has made me remember the remaining teas I need to try from my Obubu sampler. The package this tea came in says: Kyou Bancha but I’m assuming this is the same tea as Kyobancha, even though the spelling is different.

Leaves in the package are very brown and roasty-smelling. Bancha are older, late harvest tea leaves and this is the roasted form of them, I guess? Good to know this tea has almost no caffeine because I probably don’t need any more today.

I’m not sure how long this was steaming for exactly (it was at least 4 minutes), but I don’t think you can really oversteep this kind of tea too easily. My cup is a dark orange and the flavor is very mild, with slight roasted, woodsy notes. I’m not getting a lot of flavor out of this one. It’s similar to a hojicha but a lot more boring, lol. I will finish the pot of tea i made but I can’t see any reason to buy this. I think I’d just rather have hojicha.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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drank Russian Country by Harney & Sons
2815 tasting notes

mmm, I haven’t had this in a while, it’s like “lapsang lite”, very strong with definite smoky & malty notes. This is a great cold weather tea so I’ll probably drink it more in the winter time.

I am running quite low on most of my Harney teas, it’s good to be sipping down some things but something tells me I’ll be placing a MASSIVE H&S order if and when I ever start working again… I discovered recently that the Berkeley Bowl carries quite a few of their loose leaf tins, I don’t think this is one of them however.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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Looks like my cold is finally abating somewhat, thank goodness. Still sick but not overwhelmingly so. I actually slept until 10 am which is good, because I really need the sleep.

Decided to brew this one up this morning, it’s definitely one of my favorite teas. Very comforting, malty, sweet potato-y. Good for breakfast, afternoon or anytime really. :)

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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drank Vanilla Rooibos by Tazo
2815 tasting notes

Tea picked up from Starbucks this afternoon — I guess Starbucks is still carrying Tazo tea despite their recent acquisition of Teavana. There was supposed to be a guest speaker beofre our class today but I just found out that the speaker called in sick, which is annoying because I’M STILL SICK and made it to class an hour early for nothing.

So about this rooibos, it’s not bad. I mean, you either like rooibos or you don’t. But as far as rooibos blends are concerned, it’s a bit un-inspired. I definitely get the vanilla but not so much the other ingredients. I’m accustomed to drinking my rooibos teas with soymilk and I thought this was a lot better with two coffeemate creamers and a sugar packet added. I definitely think this would be nice as a latte.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Masala Chai by Peet's Coffee & Tea
2815 tasting notes

Not my favorite chai but I still have several ounces of the tin left. I really miss the chai blends I got from Cardamom and Curry in Livermore last year at the Green Fair.

In comparison this seems kind of weak in flavor, even though I made it really strong especially so I could add a lot of soymilk to it for a creamy afternoon drink. I should try making this using the traditional stovetop method, it’s really much better that way.

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drank Da Hong Pao by The Tao of Tea
2815 tasting notes

This is one of those teas I’ve had forever but haven’t been drinking much of, maybe that will change now that winter is upon us. At any rate, I don’t think these roasted oolongs really go “bad” very quickly, I have one that is supposedly good for 15 years.

I didn’t like the first steep so I chucked that one out, 2nd steep has lovely notes of peach and honey with that delicious roasted fruit flavor. Steeped gong fu method in a yixing teapot… it’s good for at least 5 steeps from what I recall.

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

delicious. i need to restock it.


Their Golden Phoenix is pretty good too.

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Song Tea is a new-ish tea shop in San Francisco, in fact it’s right in my neighborhood which is pretty dangerous. They aren’t really set up for e-commerce yet as there’s no pictures or shopping cart on their website. If you want, you can check out the price list though: http://www.songtea.com/songtea_pricelist.pdf

I went in recently to sample some red teas, I believe I tried Eighteen, Twenty One and this Golden Needle. I ended up getting the Golden Needle. This is actually the least expensive tea in the whole shop. I really can’t justify spending $70 for 2 ounces of tea, especially not in my current financial predicament. I think their most expensive is a Long Jing which is $88 for 2 ounces. Wow.

Anyway on to this tea. It’s called Golden Needle and it has small, spike like needles which are more black in color than gold. The flavor is truly lovely, dates and brown sugar are prominent. If you steep this for around 3 minutes it becomes a bit hefty and notes of cocoa emerge. A very smooth tea, devoid of astringency. Absolutely delicious. I haven’t tried this using the gong fu method, but I definitely will soon.

1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

That sounds great!


Holy crap, that’s expensive! Must be really amazing!


I don’t know, I should try it and find out… it could be marketing u know. :)

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drank Alpine Punch by DAVIDsTEA
2815 tasting notes

Tea of the evening here…
It’s difficult to believe there was a time I didn’t care for rooibos, because now I really like it!

This is a somewhat neglected blend in my stash, I drank the Coco Chai Rooibos down before I made a dent in this packet. I like it though, it’s a bit chai like and a bit fruity, especially with some nice apple notes. Not my favorite but still quite drinkable. Might need to try this iced someday, I bet it would be tasty. ;)


Rooibos used to be a favorite of mine until I discovered loose teas and realized how diverse camellia leaf flavors can be. I need to revisit my rooibos roots. It’s some of the first stuff I came to really regularly love and enjoy as a tea drinker. I lived half a year in South Africa and that is the tea they will drink regularly there. It was really nice seeing it served as a refreshment at most events and gatherings. I was always apt to get a cup. I tried it straight and with a handful of other types of flavor. I think I’ll find some more rooibos soon. I’ve never even tried it loose.


I used to love this, but the last batch I got was really cardamom heavy and it makes my throat prickle. I thought it was the rooibos, but it’s the cardamom.


Lion – I drink rooibos mostly at night when I don’t want the caffeine from regular tea. I think I’ve ONLY had it in loose leaf form, lol. It’s cool that you were able to see how people drank it in South Africa. :)
Amariel – I like cardamom so that wouldn’t bother me!

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Tea of the early afternoon here. I am still sick, and have spent most of the day so far sneezing and blowing my nose, to the chagrin of my boyfriend who left early this afternoon.

As far as pumpkin rooibos blends go, I actually prefer this over the David’s Tea version which seems a bit spicy for me. I wouldn’t say this exactly tastes like pumpkin either, but it’s closer than some others I’ve had. It’s definitely got some nice cinnnamon-y notes as well as clove and nutmeg. At least the price is right, I think the tin costs $4.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

Just saw the WALL of pumpkin products at Trader Joe’s this week. Maybe I’ll give this one a try!


It isn’t bad! And yeah it seems like Trader Joe’s went a bit crazy on the pumpkin products this year, no?


OMG TJ’s pumpkin! I wasn’t a huge fan of this one personally. Their pumpkin chai mix tastes god awful and soapy. They have mini ginger pumpkin ice cream sandwiches that are really good. The cream cheese tastes like frosting while the yogurt has a hint of nail polish remover. The muffins with frosting on top are amazing and really good frozen. Corn bread mix is really tasty, as are the macaroons. They FINALLY came out with pumpkin flavored joejoe’s which I’m liking. I have tried nearly every pumpkin item TJ’s has. I’m one of those girls that people make fun of for pumpkin obsession this time of year.


Ha, I don’t think I have tried anything pumpkin this year aside from tea :)

Hesper June

Feel better soon!


ugh, thanks, I am still sneezing today… :-/

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drank Cheericup Ceylon by Mark T. Wendell
2815 tasting notes

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My profile pic is of a pink dahlia at Golden Gate Park.

Hobbies include: tea, making art, animals, vegan things, buddhism, nature, creativity, books, writing, cooking, meditation, yoga.

I am a fan of many different teas but my favorites are blacks and oolongs, chai, also like darjeeling and pu-erh. I’n always learning and expanding my horizons!

Dislikes include: bergamot, jasmine, highly tannic or bitter teas, overly judgmental and bitter people. :)

Live in San Francisco, I’m a SINK (single income, no kids) and love the urban life, but traveling out to the middle of nowhere is always fun too.

I tend to not drink things I know I will hate so a lot of my tea ratings are on the higher side. Here’s my rating system, sorta

95-100 I love this tea and would like to keep it around

94-90 An excellent tea which I may or may not repurchase

89-80 Pretty good, above average

79-70 Acceptable

69-60 Mundane – Will probably drink it if I have it

59-50 Ick

49 and below Nasty


San Frandisco



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