1705 Tasting Notes

drank Silver Snail (Yin Luo) by 3 Leaf Tea
1705 tasting notes

This is kind of a unique tea. I find it hard to define. It is listed as a white tea. The dry leaf resembles jasmine pearls with a lot of silver buds and without the jasmine. The steeped leaf has a lot of leaf in addition to the buds. The liquor is bright golden yellow after a two minute steep. The aroma is nutmeg and floral. Tasting it has a strong bite of the good kind of bitter. In this regard it reminds me of Chinese green tea. There is a fair amount of the nutmeg and floral in the taste. These notes, though no where near as intense, remind me of a green high mountain oolong. Under everything runs an earthy woods flavor. This is the note that most seems like a white tea. The flavor is strong but has good depth.

S.G. Sanders

Nutmeg for a White tea seems unusual, but peaks my curiosity.


Ah, this sounds like a must try!

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drank Mint Sencha by Pique Tea
1705 tasting notes

I used my last packet of crystals in a bottle of cold water. Nice refreshing and minty green tea without all the sugar RTD generally contains.

These packets were originally only available through a subscription plan. Now you can also buy individual boxes without the plan. For those who might be interested, Pique Tea made a promo code to save 15% off your first order, especially for my blog.

Pique Tea Promo Code

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drank Wellness Tonic by Lov Teas
1705 tasting notes

My wife always asks when I receive a box of samples for review, if there is anything in it she can drink. She cannot tolerate caffeine. Today is her lucky day. This tisane comes from Amsterdam. It is loose leaf. There are a lot of ingredients in the blend. Normally that scares me, especially in something called wellness tonic. This sounds like one of those horribly medicinal cheap teabag teas hiding on the bottom shelf at a grocer near you.

Fortunately, these people take their herbal very serious. This is 100% organic and loose leaf. The aroma of the leaf smells like my wife’s herb garden in the summer, except she cannot get chamomile to grow. I could make out rosemary, thyme, and sage. My wife said she smells turmeric. I checked. It’s in there.

The taste is interestingly complex. Usually a lot of ingredients means a muddy mess. Here the flavors blend really well together and you can pull out individual notes. The taste is savory, not too floral, and sweet enough. It feels nicely cooling and airy. I’m guessing that is the sage. Nicely relaxing as well. An interesting tisane.

Ingredient list (because using Steepster’s ingredient box frustrates me):
Lemon Balm*, Chamomile*, Nettle*, Rosehip*, Echinacea*, Ribwort*, Ladies Mantle*, Turmeric*, Elecampane Root*, Sage Leaves*, Blue Mallow Petals*, Rosemary*, Thyme*
*100% Organically Grown

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drank Cherry Blossom Frappuccino by Starbucks
1705 tasting notes

Many of you may recall my complaints about Starbucks people not understanding tea. That does not change the fact that I love the green tea frap. So when my wife mentioned the limited time Cherry Blossom Frap, I had to try it. Let me start by saying it was delicious. Next let say my mind is boggled. Why is this called cherry blossom? There is no, zero, zilch, nada, cherry or cherry flavoring in this thing. Instead it is strawberry and cream with white chocolate and matcha sprinkled over the top. It, like most stuff, is overpriced but if you get the chance, give it a try before it is gone. It could be a new favorite for me if it stayed on the menu. It does need a name change.

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
1705 tasting notes

My son wanted to download a game on his computer and I have been wanting to try out a rather large mod for my Kerbal Space Adventure game. We both have metered connections so, yeah, Starbucks it is.

I asked for an Earl Grey iced with a shot of vanilla syrup. She rang it up as a London Fog and charged 4 something for it (seriously $4 for iced tea in a disposable plastic cup? but I digress). Sat down with it at the table and my wife looks at it and says, “That’s not what you ordered”.

“I know. That’s just the price you pay for ordering tea in a coffee place.”

Apparently a London fog has milk in it making it a pricey latte. I didn’t order a latte and probably should have said something, however, it was actually pretty tasty. So much so that I will make this my own self for about one tenth the price at home and I get to use a fancy non-disposable tupperware tumbler. Nothing but the best for me and uncle Si. That’s a fact Jack.

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drank Organic Mint Bliss by Free The Tea
1705 tasting notes

Part of the Revitalize Teaser Box from Free The Tea. Includes 4 samples – each about 5-7 servings and an infuser (tea ball with handles).

This is aimed at new to loose leaf users.

It is listed as containing premium organic green tea is blended with organic peppermint and dashed with organic spearmint leaves.

3 minute steep in 175F water produced a honey colored cup with a healthy mint presence. By the ingredient list, I expected a peppermint tea with notes of spearmint. Instead I get just the opposite. I’m not a spearmint fan. Here is works OK because the peppermint tempers it and the green tea melds with it nicely.

Couple not exactly complaints but I do wish I were able to separate the green tea taste out more. I think this is just the nature of mint tea. The other may just be my sample but much of the leaf pieces are very small. There are a few bigger pieces and the small ones are big enough to work in a tea ball. I think here I have just become accustomed to big whole leaf. On the whole as good or better than most entry level teas.

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drank Earl Grey by Nina's Paris
1705 tasting notes

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down. Not really cause I love a rainy night and besides I’m no longer workin’ 9 to 5. Actually even though I am no longer working, DST ‘spring ahead’ still kicks my butt. I’m running on caffeine trying to adjust. I would never make a world traveler. Jet lag would kill me in a matter of days.

I need to be digging into my back log of to be reviewed teas. I have no brain for that today. So I reached for my comfort Earl, then put down the green tin and grabbed the red one instead. This is a very fragrant but not soapy bergamot tea that I find quite smooth for a Ceylon base. Ashmanra found the pre-Ceylon base (that’s Ceylon, not to be confused with Cylon) to be much smoother to her liking. My usual tea has a great deal of bite so this in comparison is much more refined.

This is probably a brand Picard would want in his replicator – stern but refined. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.


So glad you still enjoy this one! Keemun base for me , please!


Wow. Such a lot of music and tv references in one review. Well done :)


I think you’ve set a record for best/most use of musical puns in a single review!


So many shiny objects, so little time.

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drank Masala Chai Latte by Petit Tea
1705 tasting notes

Another of the infuser teas from Petit. These are single serve aluminum sticks. They come 12 in a box and each contains 2.5 g of leaf.

This smells so good to me. This from someone who normally just tolerates chai. It has all the typical spices but it just comes off different to me. The cinnamon is warm and sweet, reminding me of some gooey treat. The clove and cardamon blend in well without dominating or overwhelming.

Without additions this tasted lighter than expected. To me, it had almost a light rose note along with the gentle spices. Next I added some sweetener. This brings out a pepper note that wasn’t fully developed before. Finally, I added a splash of milk. Yes, definitely add the sweetener and the milk. So smooth and good that my cup was empty before I realized it. That never happens with me and chai.

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drank English Breakfast by Pique Tea
1705 tasting notes

This was yesterday’s tea. I’ve enjoyed these crystallized packets. Not just because they are convenient to the extreme. They also taste pretty good. They don’t have all the nuances of brewing some fine leaves yourself, but are better than bagged or any RTD that I have tried.

This one surprised me. All of the others have had a fairly sharp edge – almost tart. I like that but not everyone does. This blend is Assam and Ceylon. I expect a brisk bite. Instead this is smooth malt. They call it earthy. My mind interpreted it as woods and leafy. Fruity. Maybe a little floral. The color was dark orange leaning heavily towards ruby. At the end just before the aftertaste it develops a nice edge that breaks the smooth mold.

I next tried it cold by adding a packet to a 12 oz bottle of icy water. What is interesting to me is it had more edge iced. This works perfect for me. I like my hot breakfast tea to bring me evenly into the day rather than with a jolt. I want my iced tea to be more grrrr. This does both and pretty well.

These Pique teas are not pre-sweetened. They don’t need sweetened, but they take it well if you so desire.


I’m intrigued by these.


I have 3 left – they’re yours.


I’ve been following all your Pique tea reviews and think these might be excellent for the hot, humid weather here this spring and summer. While I often have the best intentions to do a cold brew at night, often by the time my work day ends (anywhere between 9 and 11 at night), I just want to relax, goof off and not be anywhere near the kitchen, stove or refrigerator.


:) Well, that just makes my day!

(Whiteantlers…I’m with you: my brain deteriorates to nothing but flatline after work these days!)

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drank Unsmoked Lapsang Souchong by 3 Leaf Tea
1705 tasting notes

I really had no idea what to expect. It kind of boggled my mind trying to picture LS without the heavy smoke. Would it be more like a Jin Jun Mei or Bohea? It is pretty much neither. When I first sniffed the open bag, I got a light note that seemed kind of grapey like a Nepalese tea. This quickly passed and was replaced with a hefty roasted aroma along with subtle cocoa notes.

3 minute steep in 195 F water produced a deep orange cup with ruby undertones. While the mug had the roasted aroma the taste was more woods and deep forest leaves. The roastiness is much less hardcore than the aroma. No bitterness and only a mild briskness. Hearty and rich came to mind.

Halfway through the mug I added a tiny amount of sweetener. It took it really well. Burnt sugar and cocoa notes are more obvious now. I did not try but would imagine it would handle milk well.

Contemplating trying this again as an iced tea.

S.G. Sanders

Would you say that it acts more like a pu-erh then?


No, nothing like a puerh. Definitely a black tea. The scent is more like a heavy roasted oolong. The taste maybe between the two but definitely black tea, just without the heavy smoke.


Interesting—strength without smoke! Sounds great.

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Having a passion for tea and living in rural America is a tough combination. The nearest tea vendor is 65 miles away. Joining Steepster has completely changed the direction of my tea journey.

My Rating System

90-100 Love it enough to keep around
80-90 Like a lot, would drink often
70-80 Above average
50-70 Average – take it or leave it
0-50 I don’t like it and don’t want to like it


Indiana, USA



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