Featured & New Tasting Notes


Among tea snobs, Assam teas often get a bad rap and are largely relegated to the category of mass-market teas, due to the fact that there are more than 3,000 tea estates in the Assam Region, many of which produce lower-quality teas that wind up in tea bags. By comparison, there are less than 100 Darjeeling tea gardens, enabling the Darjeeling growers to better protect their “brand.” That said, however, good Assam teas from the better estates are great teas and Rembeng is definitely in that category. This organic tea is everything a good Assam is supposed to be, malty, balanced and rich enough to hold up to milk, but smooth enough to drink straight. A four- or five-minute steep seems about right. One of the best teas for making iced teas, too. Available at Itoen and a slew of other online tea purveyors.

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Rob, what source did you get this tea from. It doesn’t say. SpecialTeas has it as Rembeng TGFOP Organic which is pretty close to what this one is called.

East Side Rob

I got mine from Ito En in New York — from the actual store, not the website. That said, Rembeng was the estate that grew and processed the tea. So the Rembeng that SpecialTeas has is going to be the same stuff.


I understand what you’re saying about the same estate. However I wonder if some supply buyers don’t get higher grades than others from the same estate per a given harvest by paying a different price. Hence I like to know the consumer source so I know where to order if from if I want to experience what others who bought from the same consumer source have found.

East Side Rob

To my chagrin, Ito En doesn’t list the Pekoe grade on the Rembeng they sell, which is particularly annoying since Indian teas always come with a pekoe grade. That said, however, Ito En is selling their Rembeng for about $3 an once. And the TGFOP grade you refer to that SpecialTeas sells is a fairly high grade.

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drank Blooming Tiger by Teavana
7 tasting notes

This is my first blooming tea. Nice light floral scent/taste. It does get a little bitter after a while, which is somewhat problematic since I’m steeping it in the Teavana Rhapsody tumbler – I can’t really get the bloom out until I’m done!

It’s an enjoyable experience, though, and I’ll definitely drink it again.

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drank Ancient Emerald Lily by Rishi Tea
181 tasting notes

Mmm, this is great after dinner too. I’m already dreading the day that I run out.

Also, we rolled out a few minor bugfixes and updates to Steepster this evening. The most noticeable thing is that the “recent activity” items that used to be on the side in your dashboard are now rolled into the main column. Let us know what you think!


I actually sort of liked having the Recent Activity stuff such as comments and ‘likes’ seperate on the side bar.

I do however like being able to see when a tea is logged even if there were no comments posted by the drinker.

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drank Pu-erh Vanilla Mint by Rishi Tea
84 tasting notes


I cannot imagine anyone disliking a single thing about this tea. Even me… usually I’m not a mint person. But I cannot drink enough of this. It’s incredible. A very new blend from Rishi, and it’s sure to get rave reviews once people start trying it.

Also… I was incredibly impressed to see the reference to Yak butter tea that is a rumoured delicacy from Tibet. I’ve heard of Yak butter tea on numerous occasions now due to the personal interest I take in that part of the world, and have yet to come across anything that would compare to it.

Rishi’s reference to this rarity is what sold me, but the tea’s taste is what I’ve found to be beyond impressive, and is sure to please.


Whoa, Yak butter tea is a new one for me. This sounds SUPER interesting.

Oh Cha!

Wikipedia will give you a lovely overview of Butter Tea if you’d like to know more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butter_tea
I believe I saw either Andrew Zimmern or Anthony Bourdain from the Travel Channel try butter tea also! I’ll have to see if I can find the clip online.

But yes, the accounts I’ve heard of many Americans who have tried Butter tea say that it is not to their liking – however they usually credit their “American palate” as the reasoning for their distaste for it.
Nonetheless, I am curious to try it for myself!

On a related note; Rishi recommends that you try brewing the delectable Pu-erh Vanilla Mint like you would a chai – half water, half milk, and slightly sweetened… I haven’t had the opportunity yet, because I need more! But as soon as my order arrives that is the first thing I am going to do :) I’m really looking forward to it!

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drank Black Dragon Pearls by Adagio Teas
23 tasting notes

Finally drank this last night – got in my Steepster Select Adiago Fall tea set a few weeks ago! I have never seen a pearl tea before so I was really excited to try this out! I enjoyed the tea. It was light and subtle. But, I think something up went wrong in prep, either not enough pearls or water wasn’t hot enough. Still enjoyable and will certainly try again.


try 10 pearls per 16oz at 212 degrees F for 5 min.


@cofftea: Wow, really? I think I used 3 pearls for about 12oz at around boiling for 5 mins. Maybe I’ll try more tea next time. But I have been trying to use less because I feel I usually pile on too much.


Thanks for the advice, Cofftea. I will add more pearls next time and let you know how it turns out! Jason, made the same mistake, only used 4 for about 12 oz! Could be why it was so light!

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drank Green Tea Heaven by Teavana
6770 tasting notes

Had 2 cups earlier today and am having one again now. The Rhubarb and sencha tastes are really coming thru more than usual today. It’s very nice…paired with the strawberry and raspberry.

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drank Momo Oolong Super Grade by Lupicia
53 tasting notes

Received this as a gift. I have been spoiled! Smells heavenly, and the taste is just right. I made it strong (1.5 tsp) and it’s wonderful. With the light sweetness of the peach it’s a liquid dessert.

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drank Masala Chai by Samovar
28 tasting notes

Cooking this up now. Makes the house smell amazing! I’ll be sure to edit this after I’ve tried tasting it. I predict it’s going to taste just as wonderful, if not better, than it smells.

Jared A. May

Follow-up. This is excellent. Namaste you’ve got competition.


Theirs is easily the best Masala Chai I’ve ever had. Love, love, lovelovelove.

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It’s a “be brave” day. I’m trying pu-erh again. This time it’s the cute looking little tuo cha nests. I have followed the directions rigorously. I’ve boiled my water to 212 degrees. I rinsed it in boiling water then steeped it for six minutes.

The pu-erh tea is thick and black. It smells of leather and grass with a slight sweetness. I added creamer to it as I do to all of my black teas. It isn’t too bad, which is not to say that it is all that good either. Still, it doesn’t smell or taste like dung, which is my previous pu-erh benchmark. There is a slight saltiness and the leather smell carries through to the taste. It still turns my stomach over, though.

I think this is a pretty definitive test. I am a failure at pu-erh appreciation. Does anyone want the rest of the pu-erh sample?


It took me some time to get used to pu-erh, but now I quite like it. You might want to try something that’s got some other flavor to it – I’m a big fan of Samovar’s Blood Orange Pu-erh, myself.


boiling water is only 212 degrees.

Tea for Me Please - Nicole Martin

Puerh definately takes getting used to. Try skipping the creamer next time though. What did you brew it in? I prefer making my puerh in a gaiwan so that the steep times are much shorter.

Oh Cha!

Sometimes the problem with a pu-erh is that is has not aged long enough. Throw it on your shelf and come back to it in 5 years.
No, I’m not kidding!

Oh Cha!

P.S. Good pu-erh will not take getting used to. :)

Ones I’ve tried and would recommend include Rishi’s Green Pu-erh Tuo Cha, Pu- erh Ginger, and their new Pu-erh Vanilla Mint.


Pu erh I have found is def. hit or miss, and once you find one, savor it all you can, you may not be able to find it again!


Thank you all so much for your advice. This latest pu-erh tasted ok, but I had the same problem I do with almost every pu-erh: I drink it and then I throw up. The only one that worked out ok was a pu-erh combined with black tea, cocoa, and spices. My guess is that the quantity of pu-erh was small enough that I didn’t react that way.

If I am to throw the remaining pu-erh on a shelf and come back to it in five years, how should I store it? Does it want to breathe or be sealed up tight?


Thanks for the advice Oh Cha. I may try the Pu-erh Ginger since I currently use ginger tea to settle my stomach. So maybe the combination will work well together.

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drank Baroness Grey by Hina's Tea
106 tasting notes

Smells lemony and fresh. MMMM soothing, warming with a hint of bitter. All the things I love about earl grey with a hint of tang.

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This is my first favorite black tea and I’m going to miss it terribly. It’s got a nice marzipan flavor with sweet rose undertones. I love it. So long, Rose Marzipan Delight! You will be missed.

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drank Ryokucha by Samovar
260 tasting notes

I spent yesterday in a hazy, yawn-y, groggy, unproductive fog. It was one of those days when you know you’ve got shit to do but you feel like you’re moving through molasses, and then you realize you’re in the middle of things you shouldn’t be doing…two hours later. One of those days when it feels like it should be rainy and depressing outside, but isn’t, so it frustrates you further.

I woke up this morning, was thinking of starting off the day with a white tea, and then thought, “NO! NOT AGAIN!” and decided today needed something a bit more hardcore. Ryokucha, I love you. And you look gorgeous in my new mug, if I do say so myself.

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