New Tasting Notes


I just ordered a rainbow tin of this. I like my caffeine in the mornings and early afternoon so I figured this would be a good choice today. I had tried it a long time ago (one of my first loose leaf teas I’ve ever tried) and I remembered enjoying it a lot. Its like a warm spicy hug in a glass. It’s tastes like French toast with cinnamon and cardamom. I even like the hint of lemon as a lingering flavor. I drank it with a little bit of milk and sugar (I usually drink my black teas this way). Loved the creaminess the splash of milk gave it.

Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Coriander, Lemon

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I’m not sure if I got this from a TTB or from an exchange, but I was glad to sip this down because I can’t keep buying tea until I make room.

I used ~5g (2 tbs) which was all of the sample that was left.

The brew smells floral but not like orchid. It smells a bit sweet and fruity also.

As for taste, this is very fruity, like raisins and dried fruits. Prune, plum, dark and sweet with some tannic undertones. No floral or grain notes. I really enjoy how strong the raisin flavor is, I’ve never had this much dried fruit without Earthy or toasted grain flavours present.

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Fig, Fruity, Raisins, Sweet, Tannic

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 25 OZ / 750 ML

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Another from Teavivre’s sample sale. This one doesn’t seem to get much love. The leaves are probably the longest leaves I’ve ever seen, in mostly black with hints of gold. That feat alone should gain the tea some points. It does for me. Sipping the cup, I’m not finding any negative qualities or flavors that would give this a lower rating. If anything, there isn’t anything distinct about it, but it’s still tasty enough. The second steep resulted in a bit of an astringent cup, but that is my fault. I should have realized that the leaves were so big and the amount of leaves I used would make the flavor a bit bitey. But I like a stronger cup of tea anyway. The second cup was very dark and had a bready quality to it. It’s actually surprising that the tea became slightly astringent since this is the opposite of a tiny leafed tea. The only thing I could think of for the lower rating is the high expectations for Teavivre teas and that possibly this one isn’t as special as the other black teas they offer. Less detailed and distinct flavors maybe. But the tea is entirely acceptable to me. It probably would be better than most teas that another tea shop might sell, but that is just proving the great quality that Teavivre delivers.
Steep #1 // 2/3 sample pouch for a full mug// 16 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 minute steep
Harvest: 2018

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This tea tastes bitter to me…possibly the ginseng to blame there. I can taste the honey a bit which is a nice touch but overall this isn’t my cup of tea.

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1 bag for 250mL water 100C, steeped 4 minutes 15 seconds, drunk bare.

Dry tea bag aroma: coppery Ceylon and faintest pepper.

Liquor: copper. not much fragrance beyond wet earth.

Oh. Oh oh oh, this is good, gorgeously balanced: Assam giving malt, heft, and body, Ceylon being all coppery bright, Darjeeling making that even brighter, with just the finestest peppery bite of Yunnan. Despite not being aromatic, this is a delicous blend.

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drank Forever Nuts by DAVIDsTEA
41 tasting notes

Warm and comforting, very flavorful. 5/5

Flavors: Almond, Apple, Nuts, Walnut

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drank Grapefruit Squeeze by DAVIDsTEA
41 tasting notes

Fantastic and very bright, has a nice citrus bite too. 5/5

Flavors: Grapefruit

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drank Apple Chai by Shanti Tea
41 tasting notes

Faintly apple, doesn’t taste like chai. 2/5

Flavors: Apple

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drank Candied Pear by 52teas
4440 tasting notes

I did not put this away yesterday. That means when I turned on my kettle this morning, this tea was staring me in the face. Since I am trying to get through older teas, this falls into that category and I figured might as well have another cup today and the last serving tomorrow, thus working my way through the packet.

Today it is not quite as good as it was yesterday. It is less pear and more melon and cucumber and the sugar, while present, seems separate from those notes as opposed to candying them. Also, I am getting more base. Weird the difference a day makes.

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drank Capri by Harney & Sons
2767 tasting notes

And sipdown!
I always enjoy this earthy, figgy blend. It has proven a valuable member of the winter cupboard!

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1 bag for 250mL water 100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.

Dry tea bag aroma: faintly spicy from the Darjeeling and coppery from the Ceylon.

Liquor: beautiful reddish brown, perhaps from the Keemun in the blend.

Some malt and heft from Assam. Bright notes from the Ceylon and Darjeeling, with a slightly bitter, slightly smoky finish. Strong taste but only a medium body. A little too bitter: that might be improved with milk or sugar, but I prefer my tea bare. (Added: the bitterness settles as the tea cools.)

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I feel like I say this all the time: “Finally getting around to trying (insert name of tea here)” but here we are.

This brews up quite light in color and flavor, as I find many of Whispering Pines teas do. Not a complaint at all, just an observation. I am not getting much in the way of malty, cocoa richness. There is a pleasant citrusy note that I find refreshing. Also a bit of earthiness. A very nice tea, but Golden Orchid remains my favorite. I do not recommend having this with milk, as it’s a bit too delicate for it and the flavors get lost. Going to try the spent leaves as a cold brew next, so we’ll see how that goes.

Flavors: Citrus, Earth

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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There’s that perfect moment when the tea cools to just the right temperature to allow the buttery fried dense pastry dough with burnt brown sugar with a bare hint of cinnamon melding beautifully with the toasty fried dough bits and the base to emerge all in the exactly right proportion. Another masterpiece.

And it’s a sipdown!

Sipdown 64


I have a sealed package of this I keep looking over. Perhaps I need to start drinking it.


I desperately want to try this tea


This is one that was made possible with a very special base that I don’t usually keep in stock – and really, I haven’t purchased any for quite a while so I don’t know when/if I will reblend it.

Evol Ving Ness

Well, VariaTEA, should you decide that it doesn’t work for you, I’d be happy to take it off your hands. :)


V – would love to try if need help haha


Duly noted Sil and Evol Ving Ness

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Daily work tea. Got about two teaspoons of this left, then it’s on to other things. My curiosity has been satisfied. Also, I somehow managed to oversweeten this? Even though I used the same amount of sweetener I always use? Maybe it’s time to cut back. Hmm.

EDIT: Oh god, it’s because I didn’t stir it. What is wrong with me this morning?

EDIT 2: Also, I meant to mention that it’s a New Year’s goal of mine to have one Sipdown per week to keep the stash under control. So far, it’s Wednesday and I have been unsuccessful.

Sipdowns in 2019: 2

Mastress Alita

Feel free to join us on the 2019 Sipdown thread in the forums to track your progress and share encouragement, we are having a sipdown extravaganza this year! <3


Oh, that sounds cool! I will certainly join. :D

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1.5 tsp for 300mL water 100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.

Dry leaf: mostly brown, some dark green.
Aroma: smoky toast, some nuttiness.

Wet leaf: mahogany, brown, and amber with some bright green.
Aroma: subtle smoke, earth.

Liquor: reddish brown, light body. Smoky but not tarry. Some surprising crispness and florals— a Nepal or Darjeeling tea in the blend? Some mineral notes as the tea cools.

I wish the body was just a little heavier. Otherwise a very fine Russian Caravan, distinctive and smoky yet also balanced.

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Disclaimer – I dislike jasmine but adore crème brulée, so it’ll be interesting to see how I feel about this one.

I’ve sipped a quarter of this and I’m not quite getting the dessert notes I was hoping for. I’m picking up on a lot of vanilla, a bit of apple and some mild caramelized notes…nothing too strong on the jasmine, but also not what I think of when I fantasize longingly about crème brulée.

It’s a solid tea – smells amazing, tastes good – but it’s just not what I hoped for based on the name, so I doubt I’ll drink the sample down.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Western style, 3 grams in strainer, 4 minutes in boiling water.

Dry tea smells very nice, lots of “tea smell”, bit of malt.
When brewed, bit of fruit tones appear, mostly I think it is orange and tangerine aromas, later more malty.

In flavour it is mostly malt tea with slight of oranges.

In colour it´s mostly brown-orange, clear and nice.

Smooth and nice malt black tea, I can suggest it to everyone. I didn´t notice jam notes.

Flavors: Malt, Orange, Tea

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 11 OZ / 330 ML

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drank Pink Mermaid by Par Avion
105 tasting notes

Container has rainbow, iridescent scales decorating the outside. Advertises that the tea steeps pink. I think it’s more of a pink/brown, maybe cranberry color. Smells lightly floral and sweet. Tastes like apple and hibiscus. I can maybe taste the cornflower (?) but I’m still learning what that flavor is. Tasted 01.2019

Flavors: Apple, Floral, Hibiscus, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 9 OZ / 266 ML

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According to Mandala, this is organically grown in pure soil and fresh air and picked/processed in April of 2012.

This Gong Ting (Imperial Court) had a very dark dense liquor color, similar to strong coffee. The small (young) dark wet leaves smelled of strong leather and earth, rich forest soil. The flavor of the liquor had leather notes, but rather gentle, mild… Surprisingly not overwhelming considering the strong aroma. It also had the classic earthy notes. No fishy or dirt notes. In later steeps, I got some fruit notes of prunes or figs which gave it a slight sweetness but throughout the entire process, it mainly consisted of leather, earth, topsoil notes. I’m pretty sure my inexperienced ability is at fault here as far as being able to detect other notes but I still enjoyed all steeps regardless hehe. It’s full-bodied, rich, smooth, and a delicate soft mouth-feel, creamy, with a rich aftertaste of fresh damp earth.

212˚F, 110ml, 14 steeps:rinse, 5s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 25s, 30s, 35s, 40s, 45s, 50s, 55s, 60s, 65s, 75s (3:17 am… I think it outlasted me. Stopping now lol)

Flavors: Dates, Earth, Leather, Sweet

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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It didn’t taste like pu erh nor citrus to me : the only thing I felt and smelled was a very smoky, almost burnt ‘aroma’.

I ordered and tried only one, and maybe I got ‘an old one’ or ‘the wrong batch’, but bottom line, it was as little enjoyable as a random tea bag : not good enough for the price.

I tried with and without the skin, 30 seconds as well as 3 minutes… It’s possible I didn’t prepare it right, but I really tried – and won’t try again.
Not this brand anyways.

Flavors: Burnt, Smoked

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 6 g 200 OZ / 5914 ML

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Another tea I misplaced, and found again. My first cup of this, I had to look up recommended steeping instructions as I am not yet skilled enough yet in tea identification to eyeball this stuff. So 2:30 at 180F it was. The aroma is very lovely. Fruity and sweet. The flavor, however, eh- not so much. I taste a faint sweetness to it, but not enough for my diabetic mouth. I’m definitely getting some vegetal notes from the green tea and a SLIGHT fruitiness. The flavor overall is very mild. I just don’t think it is for me. I almost want to add sweetener to this to see if it will bring out the peachy fruity notes. Really not my cup of tea. I will likely finish the free sample but probably not till there is nothing else to drink again. I mean, it’s better than Grocery Store, but not by much I feel.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Peach, Vegetal

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Small gaiwan, lots of leaves, boiling water.

Dry leaves: sweet, cookie like.

Wet leaves: wood, chestnuts, slight sweetness. Gaiwan lid is really sweet. Leaves are mid sized, tender but slightly thick, dark leather colour, really nice quality. Barely any sings of breaking.

Liquor colour: dark amber

Liquor scent: very sweet, honey,

Taste: Smooth, warming black tea. Sweet, light in aromas, with hints of tannin, dry wooden notes at the back, giving some character to the tea. Nothing unpleasant.

Second steep bring out more character. A slight hint of pleasant bitterness rounds the tea. More wood, darker flavours. Not sweet, but juicy. Drying on the throat. Heavy on the tongue.

Third steep is smoother in texture, less intense. But more wood. Thick bark.

Fourth steep is still very generous in flavours. Even more balanced I’d say. Tannin leaves space to more sweetness coming back through.

Fifth steep start to show signs of dying, but still pleasant.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Tulsi Tranquility by DAVIDsTEA
561 tasting notes

Oh man! This one smells so good and fruity! Tastes fruity and delicious too! I will be buying or redeeming some points towards this one!

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