123 Tasting Notes


Mhmmm. Sweet licorice deliciousness!

This tea is a yummy treat. It reminds me of Good N Plenty’s, only a bit more natural tasting. It’s sweet, but not cloyingly so. There is also a nice spice to the licorice that comes through beautifully in the back of the sip. I’m also getting a grain-like taste – NOT texture! The texture is smooth. The grain-like taste accompanies an almost milky aspect. I’m getting some nice cinnamon notes in the middle of the sip, and there is a nice mild floral aspect that lingers on the back of the tongue.

Overall, I really enjoy this one. It makes a great dessert tea for those licorice lovers out there. I know I’m enjoying it this morning with my cinnamon streusel muffins. Perfect!

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

I’ve been thinking about trying tea and after reading your review I’m definitely ordering it! :)

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Backlogging a few teas today. I’ve got all these notes and little time to write them up! First up is this fantastic green tea!

YUM! I love this tea.
It smells wonderful – sweet and refreshing. I could smell it all day!

The taste is amazing, too! Very crisp and fresh. My whole family enjoyed this one, which is rare. The beginning of the sip is buttery and smooth, with perfectly subtle hints of a grass-like nature. The rest of the sip brings a nice sweetness, something between sweet/snap peas and sweet corn. It’s just perfect, and works well with the buttery aspect I get from the brew. At the back of the sip and in the after taste is a hint of sweet nutty goodness. It really ends this tea experience on a high note! There is also no astringency to this cup whatsoever, and I LOVE that.

I think this has worked its way to the top of my favorite tea list. It’s so refreshing and soothing. It was also very yummy iced – perfect on a sunny summer’s day.

180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Hello! Long time no write. I’ve been so busy and so lazy when I’m not that I’ve kinda neglected my Steepster account. I’m going to try my best to write tasting notes more often, as I’ve been trying a lot of tea cold brewed and finding that I prefer some that way.

Now onto this tea. So I had some of this (hot brewed) in-store yesterday. It smelled slightly hay-ish when it came out, with a nice sweet note, and some notes of grass. The brew itself was a very pale brown/tan.
Taste wise, I was expecting a little more from this one. Sure, I got some nuttiness in the cup as the overview had described (though I don’t know if I’d call it chestnut. I think it was closer to walnut). I also got a slight floral taste, as well as some hay/grass notes. But to me the flavor seemed to fall a bit flat. There was nothing really “wow” about it, and nothing screamed “finest white tea” to me. I was expecting a crisp, clean flavor, but all I got was muted and flat. Don’t know if it was the leaf they used, the water, or the brew time, but it didn’t exactly come out as expected.

Oh well. I guess you win some and lose some. I was happy I tried it instead of just buying in bulk. Not horrible, but I think there are better Monkey Picked White’s out there.

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drank Blue Beauty by TeaSource
123 tasting notes

Had a few steeps of this last night, and I totally forgot how much I love this one. I was just trying to sipdown on some older tea I had to make room for a few bags I have yet to open, BUT as soon as I tasted this one again I decided that I’d need to order more. Smooth, sweet, and so yummy!

The dry leaves actually seem grayish-blue in color and are very tightly rolled – they almost look like pebbles! Once brewed they expand slowly. The smell of the brew isn’t much, I’ll admit. It’s all in the taste!
It’s a smooth green-ish oolong (it doesn’t have a huge vegetal presence), with hay notes and DELICIOUS licorice aspects at the end of the sip! Goodness, how I love the aftertaste of this one.

Glad to say this is still one of my favorites and hasn’t diminished over my months of tea tasting. Hooray!

On a personal note, I only have two finals left before I am graduated and free from college! Super excited, but super nervous about real grown-up life starting. Gotta find me a real job and say “Good-bye” to Ruby Tuesday. ;)

Good luck on finals for all those in school, and Congrats to all the graduating seniors out there!

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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drank Yunnan Beauty by Mandala Tea
123 tasting notes

Yum! Approaching a sipdown of this one soon. This oolong is so nice.

This time around I’m getting honey and apricot notes…it’s fruity sweet! So good. There are very subtle roasted notes in this cuppa, but it’s much different from the typical taste of roasted oolongs. It isn’t powerful, but soft and soothing – none of that irritating the back of the throat feel I get with some really roasty teas. I’m also getting the hay notes I had gotten before, which really help to ground the sweetness of this tea. I’m really loving this one this morning.

Off to make resteep! Finals are hitting me this week and next, so you most likely won’t be seeing a lot of me. I’m hoping to get back to my regular tasting/posting schedule soon. The past month or two have been crazy! Anyone else graduating this month?

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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This lovely tea comes from Shelley_Lorraine! Thanks again, Shelley!

Because of time restrictions, I couldn’t do my first tasting of this one the way I really wanted to: gongfu. So I put a few teaspoons in my pot and brewed it up western style. I will update this once I’m able to brew this gongfu, but for now here are my findings:

Smell: This one smells really nice. I’m getting a roast-y oolong smell, as well as really nice mineral notes. The mineral notes are both “earthy” and sweet. I’m also picking up a fruity note – I’m thinking cherry. There is a cream-like (not exactly cream, but that’s all I can call it) aspect, too. Finally, there is a nice underlying cinnamon note.

Taste: This one is very mineral-y, or “rocky” as I say. There is a nice sweetness accompanying this aspect. Toward the middle of the sip is a surprise caramel taste – not overly sweet, but definitely caramel in flavor. The roast-y flavor is present throughout the sip, but really pops in at the end, along with a citrus element. There is a subtle spicy/sweet note also- most like cinnamon. Finally is the slight fruity sweetness; while I said cherry was in the smell, in the taste I can’t exactly pinpoint it in the taste.

I’m really digging this oolong! I can’t wait to see how it holds up brewed gongfu style. Glad I tried this one! Reminds me of a really good hike – all the rocks, streams, trees and fresh air. AWESOME.

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

For some reason I haven’t tried this western yet. Now I’m gonna have to! Thanks!

Emily M

I just did because I was in the go, but it wasn’t too shabby! =)

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Drinking some of this again (finally) while working on the boat loads of work I have to get done for the end of the semester. As much as I’d really like to go into great detail with this amazing oolong, I can’t at the moment (again). So I’m going to keep this brief.

Smell: Honey notes, with some nice vegetal notes, and slight nutty aspect. I can’t exactly pinpoint the veggie in question, but it’s slightly sweet. Maybe spinach? Anyway, this smells heavenly. There are also some creamy notes in the cup.

Taste: Stronger vegetal notes (spinach?) than honey notes, but there is still a sweetness present. Nice and smooth cup, with some floral notes floating around. There is also a milky aspect in the taste, which is reminiscent of my favorite milk oolongs. Light, vegetal, and smooth – that’s what this one is.

Next time around I’m going to try this one in the gaiwan – I think that’ll be really good. I like this one a lot. It’s light and smooth, and perfect for this nice Spring nights. Enjoying this one a lot right now. More on it later.

EDIT – As I continue to sip on this one, another taste popped into my head. Stone or rock. I’m getting a mineral aspect here, which is refreshing and really nice, in my opinion. I’m glad it finally came to me, because I was sitting here trying to pinpoint exactly what it was I was tasting. Now I might be able to concentrate on my work (yeah, right…).

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Alright. Got a late start this morning, but here goes!

When people say these two teas (Premium Taiwanese Assam & Premium Taiwanese Assam Upgrade) are two separate and unique teas they are right! Even just from the smell I can tell they’re different. While they share some similar malty aspects, they have some differing profiles.

This tea smells very interesting. Malty, sweet, and slightly spicy – that’s my overall impression. Probably most noticeable are the chocolate notes: rich and milky. Following that are the spicy notes: cinnamon for sure, but also clove-like. I’m also getting some leafy/hay-ish notes in the scent.
YUM. I don’t even really like chocolate, but this tea smells amazing.

WOW. This is so different from black teas I’ve had before. I don’t know if I oversteeped it or not (I admittedly got distracted), so I may have to brew up another pot to double check, but I do like this regardless. This is what I’d call a breakfast tea, although it isn’t overly bitter/astringent like breakfast teas I’ve had and disliked. The spice notes are clear throughout, with the clove being a bit more pronounced than the cinnamon – it kinda sits on your tongue after the sip. Also in the aftertaste is a smooth, creamy chocolate. Interesting. The malty aspect is also prominent throughout the sip, giving this a bit of a heavy mouthfeel. I’m liking the sweetness in the cup – it isn’t overt, but it leaves an overall impression. It mixes very nicely with a very slight astringent bite and the spices. The leaf/hay notes I picked up in the smell do come across in the taste, mostly at the back of the sip. They provide a nice earthy aspect that really ties in nicely with all the other flavors going on in this tea.
What I’m finding most interesting right now is that the upgraded version of this tea was what I’d consider savory, while this one is…not. I don’t know that I’d exactly call it sweet, even though there is a definite sweetness in the sip. But it isn’t exactly savory either. I suppose it lies in the middle somewhere. If this doesn’t speak for these two teas being separate beings, I don’t know what does.

I’ve really enjoyed this tea. It’s bolder than I usually dare to go with blacks (I’m learning to be less hesitant), but it is so nicely balanced and flavorful and surprisingly UN-BITTER and smooth. I may just have to make this on my go to breakfast tea. So yummy and so unique!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Finally getting around to tasting this one. My exploration of black tea has so far been pretty positive. I didn’t know I could like it, but I’m so glad I’ve been trying them out. I’ve learned a lot about my likes, and I’ve grown to appreciate black tea – not all black tea is bitter tea, and not all astringency is bitterness! This one is another win in the black tea category.

The smell of this one reminds me of sweet potato or yam, with some honey notes, and a slight hint of cacao. This is definitely a savory smelling tea. Bake-y, earthy, and slightly sweet.

I’m definitely getting the bready/baked notes in the taste, as well as some of that sweet potato-y aspect. I’m picking up slight sweet fruit notes throughout- citrus fruits, like lemon. There is also a cacao taste, most present at the back of the sip. A malty taste runs throughout. In the middle somewhere is where the tobacco taste comes through. It’s fresh, earthy, and subtly sweet. Pretty smooth mouthfeel in this cuppa, too!

Other flavors I’m picking up in subtle amounts:
Brown sugar
Astringency (only very slight amounts – adds more of a spice than any bitterness)

I’m really enjoying this one. It’s different from any black tea I’ve had so far. I mean, tobacco notes? That’s pretty unique! I like the savory profile here. Can’t wait to try the regular Premium Taiwanese Assam and see how it compares/differs.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

the two really are two totally different and unique teas in my opinion. Looking forward to seeing how they stack up for you

Emily M

That’s what I’ve heard. =)
I’ll definitely be treating them as two seperate teas if they’re that unique – no point in comparing apples to oranges.


i like the regular version just a little more than the upgraded version, which is fine by me haha


They’re both wonderful. This one’s thicker and fuller I find, but the other one’s sweeter with cocoa and raisin notes. :)

Emily M

Yum! Raisin!

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Started brewing loose leaf tea about two years ago, so I’m still relatively new to the scene. Excited to share my experiences and learn more from everyone on here!

I’ve found I Prefer:

Oolong Teas
White Teas
Smooth Black Teas
Flavored White Teas
Flavored Black Teas (depending on the base tea)
Flavored Oolong Teas
Certain Herbals/Tisanes

I’ve found I Dislike:

Bitterness/Astringent Teas
Strong Floral Teas
Fruit Tisanes (at least hot)

Green Teas, Matcha, and Rooibos teas tend to be hit or miss with me. I guess it depends on the tea and my mood that day.

That being said, I’ll give anything a shot!

When I’m not brewing/sipping tea, I’m usually reading, listening to music, studying for classes, or in the summer, kayaking/camping/hiking! I also enjoy a good movie now and then. I’ve got quite the collection going. It almost rivals my tea collection! ;)

I’m currently searching for a nice, “non-grassy” tasting green tea that works well cold brewed. If you think you’ve found it, just send me the name/company and I’ll check it out.

Happy steeping!


Albany, NY

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