1235 Tasting Notes

drank Strawberry Oolong by Butiki Teas
1235 tasting notes

I brought this tea with me to the rehearsal dinner – and man, I needed it.

Finding out wedding disasters (the fruit platter just vanished) and opinionated people nagging about non traditional wedding things happening plus self centered types driving me crazy. It’s impossible to have food to please everyone and their fad diets. I almost feel like I wanna do a wedding speech similar to Sookie Stackhouse (from True Blood TV series)’s speech at the funeral.

I steeped this one a couple times in a travel mug (Libre) and Strawberry Oolong held up and tasted amazing both times. Third time it got oolongy / weak – but I was also using a regular kettle and leaving the leaves in my glass. This tea kept me nice and calm too. The pink buds looked adorable in my tea glass and got lots of compliments on the appearance and smell of this tea.


Ugh, sorry about the impossible people. You can just never win, it seems.

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Just came back from a huge brazilian bbq dinner with family that is visiting for the wedding. I really want an oolong tea right now, feeling that would make my stomach feel less explody but I don’t want to be up late tonight.

I finished off the sample tea, as I’m really really low on non caffeine teas that are not in my “Haven’t tried” pile. I shared a cup with my dad.
I added some light agave syrup, which really brightened the berry and vanilla. Very smooth tea. I don’t think I’d buy more of this, but was good while it lasted.

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
1235 tasting notes

ARgggggg! I just finish making 4 pies (pumpkin, strawberry lattice top, apple and apple crumble) as well as 2 dozen butter tarts and a batch of nanamio bars for the wedding. Before that happened, I discovered the pipe under the sink broke, so I had to wait until the FIL could fix it before I could start baking.
So, about 6 hours of baking today. After that I needed tea.

Red Leaf Matcha Strawberry + Cheesecake = very tasty. However, I slammed it back so fast I didn’t notice it too much. Pretty much sat there at the dinner table, covered in steaming pies, chugging matcha. Think I need another round of tea.

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hmm, I gave this tea a 70 before, but for this morning I steeped it for 3 minutes instead of 2.5 minutes and used a bit more leaf. The flavor is much stronger candied strawberry up front, with melty chocolate taste after and bold black tea. The tea isn’t bitter.
Way better cup that my first cup!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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I purchased this tea as a “rooibos sneaking into my cart”. I had this iced previously and it was AMAZING.

DRY: Smells like creamy lemon drops.. maybe even lemon icing.

STEEPED: Dark reddy rooibos. Creamy smell.

TASTE: Sweet lemon flavor with a delicious creamy taste at the end of sip. Not very funky rooibos taste, but the lemon and creamy works with it making the tea smooth and icing like. I don’t find LC tart, more of the tart essence of lemon, without the pucker.

Sweetened, this tea gets more creamy and mellow lemon. Takes like lemon cake! The rooibos / honeybush here tastes almost caramelly with the tea sweetened.

WHO SHOULD GIVE THIS A SHOT: lemon tea lovers – even if you aren’t into roobios, this is pretty non – rooibosy.

COMMENTS: Wow, this is still amazing hot! Though, iced the lemon and creamy is more pronounced. I’d say this is the best rooibos tea I’ve had, and thats coming from someone who isn’t a huge rooibos fan. So my tea peeps, next Della Tea order, totally sneak this into your Try Me pack!

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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I chose to drink this tea tonight simply on name. I went out for sushi for dinner at Sushi Studio in Long Beach. They have a Caribbean Roll which is Asparagus tempura topped with salmon with lots of mayo and tobiko ontop! Yum! Though, I think the garlic edamame stole the show. I believe this sample comes from Kittena, ty!

STEEPED: pale brown/orange tea, smells fruity.

TASTE: Brisk green rooibos taste upfront with fruityness – some sips I get a zip of mango, other sips.. blast of soapy papaya (but for some reason papaya tastes soapy to me sometimes). The fruityness is pretty gentle, and lingers as an aftertaste as mango and papaya. Tea is on the light side. Not getting the orange or passionfruit. Not sure if I taste any floral. CP is not tart tasting.

COMMENTS: I should really get more green rooibos – the rooibos here is pretty good and not funky like red rooibos is. I love how the fruit waves in and out of this tea. However, I’d like the fruityness to be stronger. Though, this would make a very good ice or cold steeping to bring out the fruit flavor.

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

Ha, I don’t think I’ve even tried this one yet! I feel like I had a reason for sending it to you, but I can’t think of why… oh well! Glad it wasn’t too bad :)

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drank Orange praline by ESP Emporium
1235 tasting notes

I believe this sample is from Rachel Sincere, ty!

DRY: Interesting little cubes in this tea, mixed with leaves and orange peel bits. Checking ESP, these cubes are caramel pieces.
STEEPED: Orangey smell mixed with a distinctive caramel smell. Pale yellow tea.

TASTE: sweet orange (a more artificial / candy taste) with a base of green tea – the tea is nice and mellow. Bit of a caramel smooth taste.

COMMENTS: I really enjoyed the green tea taste as it’s a perfect mellow and tasty. However, the orange was kinda weird tasting being artificial. I think this would be better as an iced tea

165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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A selling point for teas for me is having white chocolate in it. I find white chocolate adds a nice sweetness and creamyness to teas. However, most often it doesn’t ring much in the chocolate department. Super pumped to see Red Leaf Tea came out with a white chocolate matcha! Let’s see how their chocolate flavoring works out

Specs on the matcha I’m drinking today:

White Chocolate Matcha
Matcha Quality: Classic (Basic Grade)
Flavor: Distinctive

When I opened the bag, swirls of sweet chocolate smells came forth! I’m trying to remember if white chocolate smells differently than milk chocolate, but this matcha just smells simply “milk chocolate”.

Prepared as a traditional cup of matcha (1/4tsp plus 175f water, whisked), I get a nice creamy cup of matcha. The green tea taste come first – earthy and sweet with no bitterness, then a creamy mouth smoothness coats my mouth and lingers for a few seconds after my sip. I don’t get much chocolate taste, but the creamyness is nice. This matcha is great prepared traditionally, a new twist to the regular matcha with the flavoring being more a creamy sensation.

As an iced latte (getting so tired of this warm weather here in California) this matcha tastes green tea flavor equal to the added flavoring. I made this iced latte with fat free soy milk, but it tastes so creamy that I could be mistaken for full fat soy milk. I’m getting a white chocolate taste on some sips, other sips it simply tastes super creamy.

Overall, I prefer this matcha made traditionally, the only one out of all the Red Leaf Matchas I’ve tried, which I all liked as lattes. Maybe others would get more luck with stronger chocolate flavor with the Robust setting, but as Distinctive it’s not that chocolatey and tastes like the usual creamyness in teas with white chocolate.
I’m thinking this white chocolate matcha would be great mixed in with other flavors. I’m thinking White chocolate strawberry – for a creamy berry taste!

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I love strawberries (though I love blueberries more) – the strawberries back home in Canada were petite and full flavor – all the strawberries packaged from California were kinda large and bland. Now that I live in California, the strawberries are GIANTIC and full of flavor! I procrastinated on getting this matcha.. just strawberry? I like wild matchas like Eggnog and Pistachio! But really, strawberry matcha seems like a mandatory flavor to try (and add to my cheesecake matcha).

Specs on the matcha I’m drinking:

Strawberry Matcha
Matcha Quality: Classic Basic Grade
Flavor: Distinctive

Out of the gold foil package, the matcha smells like juicy strawberry, like smelling strawberry fruit leather or a strawberry flavored candy.

Prepared as a traditional cup of hot matcha, 1/4tsp of sifted strawberry matcha whisked in some 175f filtered hot water, the green tea comes out as deliciously earthy with no bitterness. The strawberry is bright and present, adding a hint of sweetness. The taste combined almost reminds me on when I eat strawberries too fast and I accidentally eat the stem or a leaf, which happens often haha!

Now my favorite part, making this matcha into an iced strawberry soy latte! I did about ¾ or 2/3 cup of light soy milk (ran out of milk), bit of sweetener, 1/4tsp of matcha and whisked it. The result: very tasty strawberry balanced with the taste of matcha. Even better than strawberry soy milk as it tastes just like strawberry candy. An amazing treat for under 90 calories!

Overall, very delicious if you are into the strawberry candy flavor. As a traditional cup it is pretty good, but even better as a latte. I suggest not to pass this one up.

EDIT: tried this straight iced, a tumbler of water with 1/4tsp of this matcha = really good! The strawberry is bright and barely sweet.

Now that I’ve tried a couple Delicate, Distinctive and Robust matchas – delicate is like the flavoring is really like a hint of flavor. Distinctive the flavoring seems 50/50 60/40. Robust is pretty strong flavoring, and depending on what you are getting (IE: eggnog, pumpkin pie) the matcha is barely there. I’m guessing fruity matchas are best at Distinctive or lower – my raspberry matcha at Robust seemed pretty over the top strong.

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drank Bossa Nova by Zen Tea
1235 tasting notes

Arggg, I got a long day today with a crazy jitz class and making lots of filipino egg rolls (lumpias) for my wedding. UGGG.

Thanks to Zen Tea for a sample of this tea!

STEEPED: Light brown tea, coffee like smell.
TASTE: Light oolong taste, smokey roasted nutty flavor. I didn’t get much of the vanilla / creamy taste.
Sweetened, the nuttyness comes out more. I even get that nut skin taste. I think I prefer the unsweetened tea more as it seems more sophisticated in taste.

COMMENTS: This is a great alternative to someone who doesn’t want a black tea, but wants a bold nutty taste. Overall really good for hazelnut lovers. However, this wasn’t creamy for me and I felt this needed another dimension for me. Maybe a longer steep would bring out more of the oolong?

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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I’m a tea blogger – The Oolong Owl
www.OolongOwl.com – I do tea reviews, obsessively photograph teas with mischievous crocheted Owls and get tea drunk. I am also a crochet and knitting designer at Awkward Soul Designs.

To contact me for reviews, check out details at OolongOwl.com/about or email me at [email protected]

I was raised on floral oolongs and green teas, mostly “beauty” teas. Early on as a kid, I can guzzle an entire pot of tea (or two) at a Chinese or Japanese restaurant.
These days I like adventurous and interesting tea blends. I’m fearless in trying new teas! I’m into oolong, pu’erh, white, green, black, guayusa, mate and herbals. I’m not into red rooibos but I keep buying it anyway.

The tea brand that got me started into loose leaf teas was DAVIDsTea. I used to live in Vancouver Canada and had access to their shop, however that is now limited since I moved to southern California.

However, the perks of living in the US is ultra cheap, fast shipping! Since then, my tea stash insanely expanded.

Other stuff I’m into that sneaks into my tea notes: Brazilian jiu-jitsu, metal music, drawing, painting, cooking, photography and nail polish.

BTW, my Steepster cupboard is not even close to accurate and I track my teas on a spreadsheet. Last update 573 Teas – August 2015.


Seattle, WA USA



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