430 Tasting Notes


This tea tastes exactly like pfeffernusse cookies. Exactly. Especially the ones dipped in chocolate. Good thing, because I happen to have some chocolate handy.



yumm… gingerbread.


I admit to looking up the particular cookie you mentioned as I wasn’t familiar with the name. Saw the picture and was like “oh”.

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Yeah, I don’t know. I got berry and occasional tart sips on a nice smooth base. The coconut was missing for me altogether, but perhaps the slightest bit of it mellowed things out on the second steep.

Gotta say that this grows on you. I’ve been drinking this throughout the day: four cups in all. Still barely there coconut for me. Even still, delicious.

Flavors: Berries, Smooth, Tart

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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This is a remarkable rooibos. I had a bit of this wedged into a tight tea jar in its original packet. All lovely maple buffered with vanilla supported by the rooibos. A really nicely balanced blend.

Flavors: Maple, Vanilla

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Stumbled on a packet of this as I shuffled things from one place to another. Today must be Sil day.

This was a very delicious cup. I’d be delighted if DTs could regularly live up to cups like this one.

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Oh how I love this tea! So grounded— so very very grounding when on the edge of overwhelm with things.

Thank you, Sil, for sharing this one with me.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Dark Chocolate

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

The edge of overwhelm! I know that place well. Glad this tea helps.


Glad you’re enjoying this one

Daylon R Thomas

I was so tempted to get some when it was on sale.

Evol Ving Ness

Wish that it were still available. It may be more robust than the black teas you prefer though who knows. The flavourings make this one a bit of a wild card.

Daylon R Thomas

I figure, which was why I hesitated a while black. Isn’t Assam the base?

Daylon R Thomas

I just looked and was correct. The idea of the flavor appeals to me at least. The description gave me an image of an old but updated bookshop lit by amber hues while enjoying a decent book with a cup of tea. I’ve been terribly inconsistent with my reading-been bouncing from Chaucer, Plato, Machiavelli, Zin, and now Vladimir Bartol. I’ve greatly enjoyed Alamut though because it reads a little more like a fantasy than a historical fiction/philosophy work. I also need to finish the works of the authors I’ve mentioned along with getting into Tolstoy.

Evol Ving Ness

In my last cup of this, the chocolate dominated with the base and the rest of the ingredients lending a dark bread groundedness.

I am tending towards JKZ and Pema Chodron these days in addition to various Buddhist anthologies that I dip and out of.

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After a long stint of drinking flavoured teas, I found myself craving something else and reached for this favourite. I don’t drink it all that often.

Maybe that is rooted in crazy fear of wearing out that loveliness or discovering that, in fact, I don’t appreciate the nuances as much as I thought I did. Or maybe I hate the idea of treating this tea as ordinary when, to me, it is not that at all.

Today, this first cup is a rich savoury earthy broth with bready notes and malt and sweet potato and hints of chocolate and the gentle huskiness of smoke.

What is your approach with and rationale towards your extraordinary teas?

Flavors: Baked Bread, Broth, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes

Daylon R Thomas

There are those I savor, and those I’m addicted to, but you know that.

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Ha! Another meditation retreat in the city and by chance, this was one of the teas I took with me. Just noticing that coincidence now.

This tea somewhat bewilders me. One day, it is all raspberry. Another day, the heat picks up and the front of the sip is somewhat searing followed up by berry sweetness. To my tastes, so far, none of my cups have been really really spicy, as in unbearably so. In all cases, the black base is present and lovely and apt to carry the flavours that emerge.

When I open the packet, it makes me happy to see such a generous sprinkling of raspberries in the leaf.

The flavours are all good. The cups, however, are somewhat inconsistent. I am actually perfectly fine with the surprise aspect of inconsistency; one day you get more this, and another day, you get more that. I wouldn’t want the flavours to be more regulated to ensure the same tastes in every cup. In that sense, it reminds me of the Smokey Peach one that I had mentioned the sips were like a strobe light of flavours though in this one, the whole cup is consistent throughout, but each cup varies in what flavours it gives. I like the quirky nature of surprise in hand blends.

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Note to self—-you do not actually need any more tea.

My real tea obsession began in February 2015.

Not, sadly, when I had been living and working in China, though I very much enjoyed sampling a variety of teas during my travels there as well. No, no, that would have been far too sensible.

I am a reformed coffee drinker. I still enjoy a long double espresso with a good quantity or milk or cream from time to time, but for now, tea is my thing. All day.

*note—this is way out of date, so if we are doing a swap and you are checking to see what I like and dislike, mostly never mind what you find below. One of these days, I will update this. In the meantime, check what I’ve been drinking and use your own judgement. I like all the teas. Well, I am open to trying all the teas.

I tend to drink black, green, or oolong tea in the morning to early afternoon. Rooibos or
Honeybush or herbal in the evening. And perhaps some sort of sleepy-type tea in the wee hours.

This year, I’ve been discovering flavoured teas, so it may look like that is all I drink although that would provide a false impression.

Not a big fan of chocolate or mint in teas, but I will try them and, from time to time, have been pleasantly surprised. Also, usually I dislike a prominent cinnamon flavour, if untempered with other things, in teas. Again, I say usually, because there are exceptions.

Also, please note that haven’t quite gotten into the habit of updating my tea cupboard on Steepster, and it is unlikely that I will do this on any kind of regular basis.

I drink my tea black and unsweetened. If there comes a rare moment that I add something to it, I will mention it.

Finally, while I thank large and successful tea companies for tantalizing and beckoning me to the world of tea, I prefer to support independent ventures with real people, real enthusiasm and commitment, and real dreams.

Currently, I am researching monthly tea subscriptions. Perhaps it will keep me out of tea shops.

And here is Shae’s rating scale— which I am using with permission, of course— which more or less describes the way I have been rating teas. I am going to make more of an effort to stay very close to these parameters now.

Rating Scale

1-20: By far, one of the worst teas I’ve tasted. I most certainly will not finish my cup and will likely “gift” the rest to my sweet husband who almost always enjoys the teas I dislike (and vice versa).

21-40: This tea is not good but if I mix it with another tea or find another steeping method I might be able to finish it.

41-60: This one is just okay. I might drink it again if someone were to give it to me, but I probably won’t be buying more for myself.

61-75: This is a consistently good tea. It’s reliable but not necessarily special.

76-90: This one is a notch above the rest and I would gladly enjoy a cup of it any day of the week. I’ll likely be keeping this in my cupboard, but it isn’t one of my all-time favorites.

91-95: One small change and this tea would be perfect. I’ll definitely have a stash of this in my kitchen if you come over for tea.

96-100: No words can describe this tea. It’s an experience, an aha moment. Closed eyes, wide smile, encompassing warmth. Absolutely incredible. Perfect.


Mostly, but not always, Toronto, Canada.

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