615 Tasting Notes


Sometimes stone fruits can taste really artificial and gummy candy like, but this is quite good. It’s sweet and jammy, without crossing the line, basically.

I’m picking up peach and plum with a bit of apricot for sure. Then definitely the bergamot, which isn’t overpowering, but probably enough to turn off those who don’t care for it.

What I’ve like most about the flavored H&S blends I’ve tried is that all of them allow the tea flavor to come through and be a part of the cup. This is no exception. It’s well-flavored but subdued. Really well done, especially for a bagged tea.

Thanks TranquiliTea

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

Sounds super tasty!

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This is a great fall/winter cup. It’s warming and spiced and sweet. I can see why it was part of the best sellers group.

It’s just not really for me.

I really think the honeybush base for this was brilliant. It’s a bit spicy in itself and it comes together with the cinnamon and creates a wonderful spiced note, that really does suggest strawberry pie in a way.

It’s the strawberry flavor that is kind of meh, for me. It’s not plasticy or insanely artifical like I’ve had before, but it tastes a bit like freeze dried strawberry (y’know those little strawberry bits in cereal? Like that). It’s not bad, but it’s definitely just a bit off. I know sweet natural tasting strawberry can be done in tea — I’ve had it before — so this is a little bit of a let down.

There’s really no suggestion of a crust, no butter, sugar or pastry flavors, so this is all about the filling, and when that missed the mark a bit it kind of brought the whole cup down for me.

Definitely good, but not as great as I might have been expecting.

Thanks AlexaK!

I made a second cup of this as a latte, and definitely preferred it that way. The freeze dried quality of the strawberries becomes less pronounced and more desserty.

200 °F / 93 °C 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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First impression: There’s a lot of rose petals and big chunks of vanilla bean pod amongst the rooibos.

I’m actually really excited about the amount of vanilla pod in here — there’s probably 3 pieces totalling just over an inch of vanilla bean in the teaspoon of a half of leaf that went in my steeper. As a result, this is easily the creamiest cup of rooibos I’ve ever had.

Despite the amount of rose in the blend, there wasn’t an overwhelming amount of rose flavor. It was balanced and just about right. It adds a floral sweetness to the cup and seems to temper the rooibos some.

Even so there’s definitely a rooibos flavor present, as well, but I’m not finding it strong enough to be offensive, in spite of not caring for rooibos.

I feel weird recommending a rooibos, but this is what I want from a vanilla tea.

Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Yay! You found a rooibos you like enough to recommend and that makes me happy for you :)

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drank Tiger Monk by Temple Road
615 tasting notes

Admittedly, I usually lean more towards unroasted oolongs, because I find the flavor profiles cleaner and more identifiably complex, but this might be the roasted oolong to start changing my mind.

As a person who doesn’t necessarily like smoke (and I know there are more of me out there!), smoke or BBQ notes never entered the picture.

In the first steep, there were elements of floral notes, as well as deep vegetal notes — slightly spinach-y, but almost a little darker tasting — all wrapped up in a lovely creamy mouthfeel. The roasted notes came out in the tail of the sip as a nutty, earthy note and that lingered for a while after the sip ended.

In the second steep, the vegetal notes started merging with a rich earthy cocoa note that pretty much dominated the sip. There’s still a lovely creaminess to the cup, but not as much as before. The aftertaste becomes more woodsy and earthy this round, but still has a nice lingering quality.

The third steep is dominantly earthy and woodsy, carrying over the notes from the aftertaste of the second steep and becoming the overall flavor of this one. There are still wonderful cocoa notes underlying this steep as well.

Overall, this was a very tasty and satisfying oolong. Thank you so, so much Geoff and Max from Temple Road for sending this my way.

195 °F / 90 °C 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Temple Road Tea

Hi moraiwe, Max here. Thanks for taking the time to review the Tiger Monk. You made many excellent observations, great! As a token of our appreciation we’d like to send a little treat your way (think you’ll enjoy that one too!). Look for an email from us in the next 24 to 48 hours. Cheers!


Wow! Thank you guys so much!

Temple Road Tea

Sorry, we’re experiencing some delays. Rest assured you’ll hear from us soon! Meanwhile, if you could help us by sending us an email to [email protected] linking your Steepster ID to your Temple Road subscribing member email, that would be a big help, thanks!

Temple Road Tea

A New Tea Is Out! You’ll receive a free 10g sample of the Crane Monk Light Oolong Premium Tea for previously reviewing the Tiger Monk. We’ve already received your confirmation email, your tea is on its way. Also, feel free to take advantage of our 50% discount offer, go to www.templeroadtea.com. Thank you!

Terri HarpLady

Heading over to check out the temple road website… :)

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This looked like a really fluffy delicate golden yunnan, and I’m thrilled that that is exactly what it was! It’s malty with sweet notes of caramel and cocoa that build on your tongue. But it manages to stay delicate and refreshing, with a really clean and crisp finish.

This is pretty much everything I like in a black tea, only lightened and more vibrant. This is something I could see settling into a permanent spot in my cabinet once things get under control.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

that sounds tasty!

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drank Lychee Rose by Market Spice
615 tasting notes

Rose and lychee are two things that play together better than I could have imagined.

I typically like lychee when it’s a perfectly balanced fruity floral flavor, but the rose here really emphasises the floral qualities of the lychee, while not being super potent (but certainly present) itself. The result is a delicately perfumed but not overwhelming cup that I enjoyed quite a bit and could see filling a lychee or a floral tea fix. Everything is in balance and even the base is present in the cup, which is sometimes a miss is floral teas.

Thanks for the sample Eva!

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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drank Tokyo by Harney & Sons
615 tasting notes

I’m going to jump on the bandwagon and say I love it the sesame seeds present in the dry leaf too. It looks like a pile of green leaves and then! Surprise!

I enjoyed this one a lot more once my cup cooled down. While still hot, I found the bancha a little marine-esque and while I was getting nuttiness from the sesame, I wasn’t getting any of the caramel that was supposed to be there.

Once it cooled, I ended up with something sweet, with the depth of caramel and the toastiness of sesame on a less-marine and more vegatative base.

I wasn’t feeling this one until it hit room temp, but now that I know I can get behind this just fine.

Thanks TranquiliTea!

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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When I nail the steeping parameters, I really really like this tea. It’s all sweet, jammy raspberries smothered in vanilla cream. There’s a suggestion of rich butter cake in the aftertaste even, with a rich and buttery flavor that lingers.

The freshness captured in the raspberries totally makes me think of warmer weather.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Oh man oh man oh man. I am so glad to be home. With my cold and everything (luckily – or not so much so with my asthma – it seems to be a chest cold, so I can still taste things).

I love my mom’s dogs, but I don’t know if I could ever do three of them in my future. Between the one that sometime eats so fast she throws up, and the one that hurt herself in the snow and the one that has an insanely sensitive stomach and as a result taught me how to steam vac a carpet. Yeah, I don’t think I could do it.

Tea related, though. I’d thought I’d reviewed this before. I know I’ve drank it, as I’m nearing the bottom of the tin. But whatever.

The stars of white tea add some fun visual interest in my steeper, though really they add little to nothing flavor-wise. The real star is the creamy, and slightly sweet vanilla flavor. It tames the slight bitterness of the Assam, and overall makes a rich cup with a thick mouthfeel.

I’m not blown away by this as a vanilla tea, and I’m not sure if I’d reorder , but it’s far from the worst I’ve had.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I’d say those dogs are very lucky to have your mom. And hey – steam vac? Always a handy skill to have.


Everyone who knows her (and the dogs) says the same. :) She loves them like her children, and they know it.

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drank Mayan Chocolate Chai by 52teas
615 tasting notes

Sipdown (78)

This is the most deceptive dry leaf ever — it smells a litte sweet and cocoa-y with just a touch of spice. And then you drink it and it slams you right in the back of the throat. This is one that absolutely needs milk and sugar, but once it’s there it’s probably one of my favorite chai blends ever.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Name: Lauren
Location: Wisconsin (previously a Chicago girl)
Occupation: Student by day and super hero by night
Super Hero? Yep!
Which One? I can’t tell you that! Secret identities and such. Just know I’m not the hero they want, but the hero they need.
Sidekicks: Fiance and two budgies, Skitter and Gandalf


Reading, writing, cooking, video games, computers, drawing, crafting, papercraft. Oh and tea.

A brief history:

I grew up in a family where the only working coffee maker was in my dad’s office. So the name of the game for my mother and I quickly became (bagged) tea. In 2004/2005, I discovered Adagio Teas. I don’t remember how it happened, or why I decided to pursue a purchase but here we are. I haven’t looked back.

My tea tastes have changed over time and I’ve moved from liking solely flavored teas (mostly black and white) to enjoying Darjeelings primarily, though malty unflavored blacks, fresh tasting greens, and lightly oxidized oolongs come in pretty high on my list, too. Of course, I still enjoy a good cup of flavored tea. I prefer caffeinated teas, as I have a horrible caffeine addiction that I don’t plan on kicking any time soon.

Red rooibos and lapsang souchong (or other strongly smoky teas) are my arch nemeses and I will see them defeated and removed by force from my cupboard. Like all thing, there are exceptions, but I assume they’re guilty until proven innocent.

I really don’t like negatively rating things, because I feel like if you don’t have something nice to say, you probably shouldn’t say it. But in the interest of non-biased tea reviews I’m going to give it a shot. I view every tea as a potential adventure so I’ll try most things at least once.

I love trading and swaps are always welcome! Please note, though, what it in my cupboard includes amounts ranging from a couple cups to 4 ounces or more, so please PM me to find out if what you’re seeking is available in that trade amount.

According to my spreadsheet, I also have about 100 other 1-4 cup samples that are not in my cupboard.. Feel free to message if you’re interested in see the spreadsheet for possible swap options as well.

Tea Ratings:

100-95 Nectar of the teagods that has been bestowed upon my unworthy tongue. I will never let this tin run empty.

86-94 These are the teas I would like to keep regularly stocked, but sometimes life gets in the way. Lovely teas, but not quite god tier. I still get cravings for these.

74-85 Good teas, but not amazing. I enjoy these, but may or may not restock once they run out. I would still recommend these to others.

60-73 Not bad. I’ll gladly keep drinking my cup, and wouldn’t say no if someone offered me this tea. I probably won’t rebuy these as there is likely something else that is comparable and better.

47-59 Certainly drinkable and might even have some characteristics that I enjoy, but I won’t pick it up again

30-46 I’ll probably finish my cup, but this tea isn’t to my taste OR it’s just overwhemingly mediocre. Life’s too short for bad tea.

11-29 This cup is in the sink now and I will never willingly consume this again. If you see a tea rated this way, I probably followed it with mouthwash.

0-10 Please say a prayer for the cup I destroyed in the process of disposing of this tea in the quickest manner possible. I may need tea therapy before I drink a similar tea again.


Wisconsin, US



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