920 Tasting Notes


French Friday! Pulled this from the sampler bag from Dustin this morning, thank you!

…I had very little time to prepare tea this morning, so instead of coming to Steepster to look up the tea first, I just ran straight over to the kettle to start preparations. And for whatever reason, in my uncaffeinated state, the leaf looked like black leaf to me, so that’s how I prepared it… only to come back to Steepster, look up the tea for logging, and see this is a green tea. So basically, I’ve just scorched the hell out of these leaves (at least the second cup for the thermos will be the right temperature…)

Dry leaf had a strong grape aroma to me… a bit like grape, black current, and cranberry? It was pleasant. The steeped cup smells pretty much the same, with an emphasis on the grape note. It doesn’t taste too bad for dunking green tea leaves in 205F water, though there is a sharpness/brassiness coming out. It’s pretty subtle under the flavoring, which is strongly berry; purple grape candy, black current, blueberry… without any of those flavors being particularly distinct, but a fusion of each other. A bit of astringency on the end of the sip, it is more of a sharpness at the back of the tongue than bitter persay, with some mild drying. Hard to tell if that is a result of my brewing, or the tea itself. I’m attempting to carefully sip from the work thermos which was brewed at the proper 175F, and I’m uncertain if I can tell much difference. At least not enough that I see no reason to combine my cuppas in the thermos before leaving for work. Despite the harsh brew, I’m not in sink territory yet.

This one feels slightly more waxy on my tongue… I remember having that issue with Marco Polo too, and wonder if I’m more sensitive to the kind of scentings Mariage Freres uses compared to THEODOR. The flavor is very pleasant, I’m just not as much a fan of the mouthfeel compared to some of the other French teas I’ve tried thus far.

Flavors: Astringent, Berries, Black Currant, Blueberry, Candy, Drying, Grapes, Grass, Thick

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML
Cameron B.

I haven’t tried much Mariage Frères due to the price and so many things only being available in fancy tins.

Mastress Alita

Well, I am only now getting to dip my feet into French tea at all. Maybe it is the particular strength/way that Mariage Freres scents that doesn’t sit with me, but it could be the flavorings themselves; it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had sensitivities/reactions to certain flavorings. I think I’ve only tried two Mariage Freres now and both have left this sort of heavy, waxy feeling from their flavoring on my tongue that I don’t like. But I have never gotten that with the handful of THEODOR I’ve sampled thus far.

Cameron B.

I’ve only tried a couple of their teas as well, but I don’t remember noticing that? I’ll have to pull one of them out to have next.

Mastress Alita

It could very well be a “Sara’s weird tongue” (the same tongue that likes straight, unfettered hibiscus, mind) thing. I know I’ve had some flavorings (from other companies) in the past where I got weird metallic notes that pretty much no other tasting note noticed or had any issues with. (Even more mind-boggling is it often is only certain flavorings and not all flavorings by a single company when I do get weird reactions). Since the chemical makeup of flavors is not disclosed (they are just “natural” or “artificial” with no real idea what is in them) I don’t really have a way to pinpoint what it could be my body seems to react to.

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drank Sakura Vert by Lupicia
920 tasting notes

Happy National Fragrance Day!

I have been really into sakura flavor lately, and its aroma is one of its biggest appeals to me. I love that combination of floral/fruity/candy/umami notes that dinstinctly define “sakura”.

These sakura teas from Lupicia are quite old now (I just finished off the Rooibos one as warm lattes in the evening!) and I still need to finish off the others. Lupicia Hawaii doesn’t carry them anymore, but my palate has gotten to the point where I’m not quite as pleased with the salinity in the cup caused from the salted preservation of the leaves than my past reviews seem to indicate, so I don’t feel so bad saying goodbye (and at least I still have Chasandai’s sugar-preserved sakura tea, which is phenominal). I do however like “salty teas” used in cooking, so I thought I’d try this tea as a base for sakura rice.

I used an ample amount of leaf since it steeps quickly in the boiling water and needs a strong infusion before adding the rice to the tea water in order to get the flavor to carry through. I loved the sakura rice I made using preserved Obubu sakura leaves, but wasn’t sure how well just using a sakura flavored tea would work, but the results were much better than I’d expected! The rice really did have quite a lovely sakura aroma, and had stained a slightly goldenrod color from the tea. And I got a nice flavor of subtle and sweet cherry, as well as the saltiness.

Nice! This will probably be how I finish off this tea, as I like the saltiness of the leaf in rice, but find it a bit of a turn off in a teacup.

Flavors: Cherry, Cherry Blossom, Floral, Sakura, Salty, Sweet, Sweet, Warm Grass, Umami

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French Friday! This is the tea I pulled from the sampler grabbag from Dustin for today! Thank you, Dustin!

The dry aroma of this tea is reminding me spot-on of the Voulez-Vous? tea I had last Friday — a lemon-lime cream soda, or a very sweet and vanilla/creamy citrus dessert. Brewed 3g of leaf in 350ml 185F water for 3 minutes. (Or at least, that was the plan… I did that thing again where I set the time on the timer but forgot to hit the start button, then when I went to check out much time was left, noticed and just strained at that point, so it could be less or more… oops! Second cup going straight into the “will be too hot to drink for a bit” work thermos will be timed properly, though…)

I am still smelling that lemon cream aroma from the steeped cup, but it is also more floral than the dry leaf. Tasting the tea, the citrus is very obviously bergamot; bergamot is one of those things that can wax differently for me depending on the berg, and this one is leaning closer to that “limon” taste I sometimes get (as opposed to grapefruit or heavily floral). It’s almost an Earl Grey Cream sort of tea, at least in flavor, except the base is far lighter/silkier than the really dark blacks those sorts of teas are usually built on, and there is an underlying florality to the flavor. In fact, the mix of the bergamot and light floral note is reminding me more of the Minnesota N’Ice tea that did very well during my March Mad(Hatter)ness rounds this month (just minus the strong orange component), and looking at the scenting notes on this tea, now I see why; the floral is apparently jasmine. It’s definitely a gentle sort and not the heavy, perfumy, grandma-perfume-in-your-face sort.

It’s a pleasant tea, I imagine it being the sort of profile that would appeal to Earl Grey fans looking for more of an “afternoon” tea or just a lighter/more delicate take than the sort of astrigent/in-your-face black tea/bergamot combos of many Earl Greys. And it held up very well to inconsistent steeping!

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Citrus Zest, Cream, Floral, Lemon, Lime, Vanilla

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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drank Gold Blend by Barry's Tea
920 tasting notes

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! The Sipdown Challenge for today is to drink either an Irish Breakfast tea or a green tea!

I won these bags of Barry’s Gold Blend from Blue Monkey Tea’s “virtual” vendor booth during the Virtual International Tea Festival last year (along with some Yorkshire Gold and Glengettie). Since this was the Irish brand out of the three UK teas I won, I decided this would be a good morning for it!

Tea smells nicely bready. I’m getting a malty, baked bread flavor, with a subtle hint of raisin and molasses.

A satisfying breakfast tea! Leaves perhaps a very slight astringency after the sip, and if I brewed my blacks stronger, this could easily be hearty enough to be a milk-and-sugar tea, but it’s smooth enough I am having no issues drinking it straight-up.

Hopefully I can sneak in a cup of the Gyokuro Karigane from my March Madness brackets this afternoon as my green tea, as I’m still working on sipping it down, though I did start the morning with a lovely lime-and-rose flavored mango matcha smoothie. Yum!

It’s my birthday today in the long line of Pisces Steepsterites. Happy birthday Tiffany, Ashmanra, Roswell, Variatea, Derk, and those folks I inevitably missed!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt, Molasses, Raisins, Smooth

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

Happy birthday!

Martin Bednář

Happy birthday!


Sounds like this one falls dead center of my happy zone! Better yet, I know where to find it locally.


Happy birthday, Mastress Alita! May this year be joyful for you!


Happy Birthday!


What a smoothie! Happy birthday – a few hour yet. Hope your day went well.


Eyyyy Happy Birthday, Mastress Alita!

Tiffany :)

Thank you Mastress Alita, happy birthday to you as well. Thank goodness for my rediscovery of Steepster this year, I love reading everyone’s notes and yours included! Here is to another year around the sun sipping/exploring tea! :)


Belated happy birthday Mastress Akita!

Mastress Alita

Thanks, everyone!

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March Mad(Hatter)ness Round 3

I decided I’d take the remainder of this weekend when I have more “tea time” available to punch out the remainder of my March Mad(Hatter)ness rounds! Then I could spend the rest of the month working on sipping down as many of the entrants as possible (already have three down!) I have to say, these final pairings were really tough!

Uji-Houjicha: Yamashiro-no-Sato by Fukujuen VS. Ya Shi Xiang “King of Duck Shit Aroma” Dan Cong Oolong by Yunnan Sourcing

When I saw this match-up, I knew it was going to be tough given the similar roasted/nutty flavor profile of both teas! That’s why I knew I needed the extra time to sit down and carefully drink each tea side-by-side.

The houjicha has a strong oats aroma this morning, and I’m also getting a sort of caramel note on the nose as well. Pleasantly woody with a deep roasted nuts and oats vibe, plus a hint of a honeyed/cinnamon sort of sweetness at the end of the sip. I actually don’t remember my previous cups being this sweet, but it is a welcome flavor and accompanies the darker/toastier notes well.

The Ya Shi Xiang Dan Cong is smelling a little more floral/mineral this morning, though it still has that strong, nutty profile. It isn’t has roasted in flavor as the houjicha. Rather, it’s more a silky/buttery note. There is a stronger “earthy/mineral” taste late in the sip that lingers to the aftertaste, that is leaning more towards a “raw nut” sort of flavor than a “roasted nut” sort of flavor. The minerality is a much more prominent note today, and I have a strong vegetal aftertaste as well, that tastes mildly of green beans and peas. This particular cup is leaning much differently than the last few I brewed, where sweeter notes presented, leading to more of a “nutty dessert” vibe. Honestly, I preferred the nutty dessert to what I’m tasting at this moment (not to say that it is bad, not at all! Still a very pleasant cuppa!)

Both are solid teas, but tasting them together makes it a bit easier to see that my taste preferences are for the Uji-Houjicha! (Or perhaps the Ya Shi Xiang Dan Cong just performed poorly today… but that’s how it goes with tea battles, I suppose!)

Uji-Houjicha: Yamashiro-no-Sato moves on!

White Rose by T2 VS. Minnesota N’Ice by TeaSource

There isn’t much more to say regarding the flavor of White Rose — it is rose. Strong rose. The sort of perfumy rose that is hard to recommend to anyone, but I love. I’ve actually had a lot of this tea over the last week, but mainly I’ve been enjoying it as a mixer in other things: I’ve made some amazing fruit smoothie concoctions with a nice rosy note added! And while I enjoy this tea as a warm, straight cup, much like the Lavender Sunset tea earlier, it isn’t the sort of flavor I’d see myself grabbing very often, I have to be in the mood for that sort of really strong floral. Otherwise, I’m far more likely to use it as “flavoring” than as a tea.

Minnesota N’Ice is a flavor profile that is somewhat familiar and comforting; reminescent of Earl Grey, while being its own thing. This tea is also floral, but not the sort of florality present in White Rose; its a gentle, sweet, underlying note that even those that dislike floral teas would probably find inoffensive. The citrus is a bright, tasty orange, which is a flavor I often find abrasively artificial in tea. It’s more of a sharp orange peel flavor, but that layered with the sweet/minty floral undertones is just so pleasant. It’s a more “textured” tea than White Rose.

Minnesota N’Ice moves on!

March Mad(Hatter)ness Round 4

The final battle!

Uji-Houjicha: Yamashiro-no-Sato by Fukujuen VS. Minnesota N’Ice by TeaSource

This match-up is tough, these teas are so different, and so enjoyable in their own right! I’ve been working my way through both cups, trying to make a decision, and I feel because I really enjoy the flavor of both, I’m having to reach to other qualities; in this case, the texture of the tea, which honestly isn’t something I think about very often. Something about the flavorings used in Minnesota N’Ice can leave a very subtle “oily” feeling on the tongue after the sip, which, on some sips, can present as a bit drying. I suppose some people might find the flavor “perfumy” the way French tea flavorings have that sort of subtle quality. The houjicha is smooth with no drying qualities at all, and while it leads with roastier/woodier notes, it leaves the end of the sip with a bit of sweetness. It has a more satisfying feel sip after sip, drinking both cups side-by-side.

Uji-Houjicha: Yamashiro-no-Sato by Fukujuen wins!


Yay! I enjoyed reading about all your rounds (:


GJ, uchi-houjicha! Your description of the flavor is lovely; I’ll have to try it myself some time. Great contenders though!

Mastress Alita

Considering that was one of the tins you brought me back from the “super secret” Japan trip, you might have a hard time finding some! I didn’t even see it listed on Fukujuen’s website anymore (or a picture of the tin anywhere online, for that matter) and had to photograph it myself.

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Happy National Coconut Torte Day! Finally getting around to drinking my coconut tea! This is the oldest coconut tea in my stash (from 2018) so crossing fingers and toes that it is still okay! (At least the package was still sealed…)

The dry leaf has a lovely lemon aroma, but since the citrus is so strong, I can’t really tell from the sniff-test the state of the coconut. Guess I’ll have to steep and see!

Brewed 5g to 450ml 205F water, teabag left in grandpa-style. Getting a satisfying lemon cream sort of aroma from the steeping tea. On a tentative first sip… well, the coconut doesn’t taste particularly fresh, I am getting a little of the acrid coconut taste, but it is fairly tolerable, since mostly I’m tasting lemon, and it’s a very nice lemon, bright and citrusy and not that artificial-furniture-polish flavor that lemon can so easily veer in tea. There is a light tanginess but mostly the tea is sweetened up by the coconut, which is a more subtle note to the lemon, but easily noticable. I really like the flavor combination of the lemon with the coconut as well. The base is a combination of green and red rooibos, and I think I’d like this a little more if it was entirely on a green rooibos base, but it is pleasant, very sweet, maybe a hint of nuttiness and herbaceous citrus.

I’m liking this! I’d probably like it even more if I could finally get to the point where I am drinking my teas while they are in their prime, but I’ll enjoy my few cups of this as I work on sipping it down before the coconut gets any older.

Flavors: Citrus, Coconut, Herbaceous, Lemon, Lemongrass, Nutty, Sweet, Tangy

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 5 g 15 OZ / 450 ML

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March Mad(Hatter)ness Round 2

Since I have no interest in leaving multiple notes for the same teas over and over, especially in a short period of time, but want to relay my subsequent March Mad(Hatter)ness rounds, I’ll be doing them under Random Steepings. These are the results for Round 2!

Peach Cobbler by Bird & Blend Tea Co. VS. Uji-Houjicha: Yamashiro-no-Sato by Fukujuen

My one issue with Peach Cobbler, initially, was some astrigent/drying qualities at the end of the sip, but I found that when the tea cooled a bit, that went away completely, leaving a super smooth, bread-slathered-in-honey, vanilla-sweet, juicy-peach tea. This is certainly one of the nicest peach teas I’ve had; despite being very simple in composition, it is deeply satisfying.

Uji-Houjicha continues to be an outstanding quality houjicha; roasted, nutty, woody, oaty, tasty. Very warm and satisfying.

This is a tough match-up! I am really enjoying both of these teas, and I feel it’s hard to judge a flavored tea that does a great job at recreating its intended flavor against a stand-up example of a straight tea. I think, if I get down to the nitty-gritty, the base leaf in Peach Cobbler could be nicer — a bit more malty/bready to really sell the cobbler pastry (that is, I think an Assam base would aid it better than the Ceylon it currently uses), and perhaps just the lightest addition of some spice, since I think every memory I have of peach cobbler at least includes cinnamon. While this houjicha just makes a satisfying cup with rich flavor notes without tending towards dustiness, barkiness, or bitterness every time.

Uji-Houjicha moves on!

Ya Shi Xiang “King of Duck Shit Aroma” Dan Cong Oolong by Yunnan Sourcing VS. Apple Barley Tea by Lupicia

I tweeked my leaf amount for the Ya Shi Xiang Dan Cong and now I’m not getting that slight drying sensation. It’s very smooth, still strong in toasty nuttiness, a little honey and floral sweetness, and a lingering minerality.

Up against the apple-flavored mugicha… I do really enjoy the mugicha, and it is the sort of thing I find myself in the mood for often. And, I think, if my plain Hida Mugicha had ended up in the bracket, it might have won this round?! But my feelings are pretty much the same for these flavored mugicha, which is that the flavoring feels like more of a novelty than a “cohesive part” of the blend. It’s fun, but doesn’t particularly add much to that extremely strong, coffee-esque flavor of the roasted barley.

Since I feel the flavors of the Ya Shi Xiang create a more “cohesive” taste (a nutty dessert), the Ya Shi Xiang “King of Duck Shit Aroma” Dan Cong Oolong moves on!

(And honestly, it’s going to be a tough match-up between it and the Uji-Houjicha! They have such similar flavor profiles…)

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pu’erh by Teas Etc. (Snake River Tea) VS. White Rose by T2

For someone who doesn’t really like pu’erh, Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pu’erh is one that I do enjoy each time I make it; that said, the rich cocoa and subtle sweet fruit notes are still on a (much more dominant) earthy/dirty pu’erh base, which just isn’t a flavor that is ever going to be one of my favorites.

White Rose is, by all accounts, an obnoxious example of a rose tea and the sort of floral tea that would be a perfume/bath product abomination to most; but I’ve found that I rarely seem to fit in with “most” when it comes to my tastes and tea, and I really enjoy that super strong rose flavor. So it would be easy enough to award this round to White Rose on taste alone. But I think, more than that, is when I think of the functions of each tea; I really only like Chocolate Covered Strawberry one way, which is as a hot tea, and I do appreciate how warming, energizing, and settling it is. But I enjoy White Rose warm, iced, with milk, added to smoothies, brewed in lemonade… it is just more versatile for me. Which makes it a clear winner in this match-up.

White Rose moves on!

Minnesota N’Ice by TeaSource VS. Sakura Rooibos by Lupicia

Drinking Sakura Rooibos again, I almost feel I may have judged it too quickly, and kinda regret moving it on. I’m far less impressed now than the night I first drank it. Mostly, it’s just a difficult tea to brew. I usually “grandpa” rooibos blends by leaving the bag in, but because of the salt on the sakura leaves, the tea becomes way too salinic to do that. And I’m just having a hard time finding a steep time before discarding the leaves that produces a good, rich flavor, but doesn’t soak them so long that the tea becomes overly salty. I also find that while it wasn’t medicinal for me on my initial tasting, when I was typing up my notes with a steaming cup in front of me, that I am getting some medicinal notes coming out when the cup cools down. I’m hoping that brewing latte-style might fix some of these misgivings since I have a lot of leaf to get through.

In comparison, Minnesota N’Ice may be a more “classic” flavor profile, black tea with citrus, but despite not being a rather-hard-to-find flavor that I really enjoy like sakura, it really does do this concept well. The base is smooth, any addition of the jasmine green to the base, rather than distracting, adds a mellow floral/minty undertone to the whole tea, and the really crisp and bright orange layers over it well. It’s a very “Earl Grey”-esque sort of tea, but it’s also really good. This was probably the easiest match-up for me thus far!

Minnesota N’Ice moves on!


I might copy you and do my further rounds the same in Random Steepings. :D

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Happy National Coconut Torte Day! My selection today is an herbal blend, so I won’t be reviewing it until this evening. So I’m using this morning to instead finish off the last two teas of my initial sixteen for March Mad(Hatter)ness!

Fourteenth tea for March Mad(Hatter)ness! This is for the mixed tea/misc. round, going against TeaSource’s Minnesota N’Ice.

I have previously reviewed this tea here: https://steepster.com/mastressalita/posts/390883 . This is an opened packet, bought in 2018, from B&B’s Bluebird days. I have always really enjoyed the dry leaf aroma of this one, it is such a nice chocolately smell! Brewed 3.5g leaf in 450ml 205F water for 3 minutes.

The steeped tea smells like cocoa, and I’m getting a bit of a dark bittersweet aroma that smells like a cross between dark chocolate and coffee. I’m also getting a strong coconut aroma despite there not being any in the blend (perhaps a vanilla or cream flavoring present?) I see that I originally got the coconut as well, so at least my nose is being consistent! Also getting a bit of a burnt toffee vibe.

The flavor is nice. I’m definitely tasting more of a dark chocolate/bittersweet cocoa note than a sweet and creamy milk chocolate, and considering I am quite fond of that flavor, I’m not particularly fussed by it. There is a sweetness there, sort of a mix of coconut and caramel notes, and I’m also getting a roasty vibe from the genmaicha, though paired with the darker bittersweet flavors, that roastiness is actually leaning more towards coffee/chicory to me. The tea isn’t astringent, it’s actually a very smooth cup, but I have to wonder why there is even green tea in this? One can easily add genmai to a blend without adding genmaicha and I wonder if the fact I brewed this as a black means the green leaf has added to some of the sharper/bitter notes in the chocolate. Unless that was the intent, but I doubt it… Easter Egg Nests seem more of a milk chocolate treat to me?

I do really like the flavor of this tea, but I always taste either a Mounds candy bar (not a bad thing!) or a coconut-milk mocha (also not a bad thing!) rather than Easter Egg Nests when I drink it. So while I enjoy the flavor, since it seems to somewhat miss the mark on its concept for me, Minnesota N’Ice moves on!

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Candy, Caramel, Cocoa, Coconut, Coffee, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Nutty, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet, Toffee

145 °F / 62 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 15 OZ / 450 ML

I was going to say that B&B sometimes means houjicha in a blend rather than green tea but looking at that picture, NOPE it definitely looks like green tea.

Mastress Alita

It is possible to get just the genmai (toasted rice) separately, so if they wanted that to be in the blend, it isn’t necessary to also add green tea leaf. Just seemed an odd choice!


Yeah, though I swear in my blend it looks like houjicha… I’m going to look.


The green tea in my blend looks darker than the green tea in the photo, but also not houjicha. And it doesn’t look like a ton of green tea is there. I’m surprised I don’t notice it more in the flavor though.

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Happy National Coconut Torte Day! My selection today is an herbal blend, so I won’t be reviewing it until this evening. So I’m using this morning to instead finish off the last two teas of my initial sixteen for March Mad(Hatter)ness!

Thirteenth tea for March Mad(Hatter)ness! This is for the mixed tea/misc. round, going against Bird & Blend’s Easter Egg Nests.

This is another tea I purchased back in 2018 and am only cutting open for the first time now. The dry leaf has a lovely citrus aroma; a very bright yet pithy orange and that sort of grapefruity-citrus note I’m used to from bergamot (bergamot isn’t listed in the ingredients though… I wonder if it’s one of the “flavorings”?) This is a blend of black tea and jasmine green tea with some flavorings and flower petals which is recommended as an iced tea, but since I’m doing all my initial pairings as hot cuppa with no adornments, that is how I brewed this: 3g to 450ml 205F water steeped for 3 minutes.

The brewed aroma smells much the same, like juicy orange and pithy orange peel, as well as bergamot. Maybe the citrus with the jasmine in the cup is reading to my brain as berg, because on my first sip, I certainly don’t taste that distinctive bergamot flavor. The citrus is a bright orange, which blends smoothly against the base. I’m not tasting wafting perfumy jasmine flowers, but there is a sort of soft floral undertone to the tea; paired with the strong orange notes, its making me think of orange blossoms. There is also a slightly minty taste that comes out late in the sip. The tea itself is a dark and somewhat malty cuppa but extremely smooth.

I’m really digging this; it’s reminding me a bit of a Lady Grey, considering the strong orange flavor and more subtle bergamot impressions, and I am quite a fan of those teas. I don’t have any doubt this would be a nice iced tea, and do plan to try that in the future.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Floral, Malt, Mint, Orange, Orange Zest, Smooth

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 15 OZ / 450 ML

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920 tasting notes

French Friday! Today from the sampler bag from Dustin (thank you!) comes this tea. The dry leaf smells really nice… it is reminding me if a lemon lime soda (!?) but with a sort of creamier, vanilla aspect. Brewed 2.6g in 350ml 175F water for 3 minutes.

I’m still getting a strong citrus cream aroma from the brewed cup, and something a little floral/berry? Like an aroma somewhere between strawberry and the floral/cherry aroma of sakura. Has a very fresh, grassy undertone; the flavor is strongly that lemon/lime sort of taste I was getting on the nose, but there is a sweetness there that lingers on my tongue, a mix of a cream/vanilla/coconut note. I only get a very subtle red berry sort of flavor close to the end of the sip and lingering into the aftertaste; it isn’t reading as the rhubarb listed in the flavorings at all, though, more of a subtle strawberry mixed with a more tangy cherry.

I really like this one! Of the more citrusy green blends I’ve tried so far, this is by far my favorite. I think only the Oh La La…! (which tasted like cola to me) tops this of the teas I’ve sampled thus far.

Flavors: Berries, Cherry, Cherry Blossom, Citrus, Citrus Zest, Coconut, Cream, Lemon, Lime, Strawberry, Sweet, Warm Grass, Vanilla

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML
Martin Bednář

Interesting how you got completely different experience!

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Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud asexual and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little condo!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Bergamot (in moderation)

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.


My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AvGT1XwgJUTErt3zhjpHbXf6HNS3k_Ym85zoHJPmhX4/edit?usp=sharing . A downloadable spreadsheet version with more detailed information can be acquired here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JjlpjQ94UyoryaDRMIeqnPHObgvCtmRp/view?usp=sharing . I am currently strictly limiting tea trading/ordering to get my collection under control! My participation in any tea boxes, tea exchanges, or group orders, and acceptance of any tea gifts is very limited at this point in time. If there is something on my spreadsheet that I have in large quantity (50g or higher) that you would like to sample, feel free to contact me about it, as I am open to limited outbound gifting (USA only!)

Contact Info:

Feel free to send me a Steepster PM, or alternatively, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.


Idaho, United States



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