286 Tasting Notes

The tasting note from KS reminded me that this is almost a sipdown…so I decided to brew up a giant mug of it. Ahhh, bliss.

I didn’t appreciate this tea enough while I had 50 g’s of it, and was kind of looking forward to it being gone. Now that I have enough for only 1 more cup, I feel a little bit panicky. Perhaps a Teavivre order is looming sooner than I anticipated.

I don’t think I have had this. I need to put it on my next order.


It is a good one.


Ditto – it’s a good one. :))


When I first tried it, I was in love. Then somewhere along the line, I became sort of ‘meh’ about it. But now that it’s almost done, my appreciation and love has been renewed.


Nom, nom, nom.


Oui…tres delish (on mobile…no accent)…


Hehe! You’re doing great, c’est parfait :-)


Merci belle dame (no accent: pretty lady, correct translation?) :) please advise is grammar wrong…


Oh! Merci :-) A+ on translation!!


Merci…again…you are far too kind re poor en francais/en englais…I see why you are so adored…very patient/understanding/loving


Awww…now I blush…please, YOU are way too kind scribbles!! <3


Nooo!!! No blushing!!! :)
You kind and thoughtful. You bring out good qualities in people. I am grateful for people like you…very rare.

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LooseTman generously provided a sample of this in our swap – thank you!

I had the first cup of this earlier this morning, but didn’t write down any notes, but I remember thinking it was smooth, creamy and tasted golden (if that makes any sense). And to be honest, I don’t remember very much of the second steep. I also realized that I had been using too much water per the instructions provided, so decided to try again with fresh leaves a couple of hours after.

Third cup, with fresh leaves and less water produced a stronger, maltier cup, but I also detected some bitterness at the end of the sip as the cup cooled. I tried a second time with the same parameters, but still found a little bitterness, so I added a tad more water. Back to the creamy maltiness that I enjoyed this morning.

This is also a sample sipdown.

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It is really chilly here in TO, perfect for taking beastie down to the ravine for a nice long hike. It’s so peaceful and beautiful there. I guess it was too cold for other dog walkers, since we had the park and ravine to ourselves.

I made steep 4 of this tea when I got back. I’ve had this tea before, and from my notes it looks like I didn’t like it very much the last time. This time around I’m enjoying this a lot more. Roast and charcoal are predominant, goes well on a cool summer day that feels more like autumn. Steep two had very strong mineral notes. Steep 3 and 4 less intense charcoal, but very satisfying and warming roasted flavour.

I guess age mellowed the really intense charcoal that I recall from the last time I had this tea. Thanks to Dexter for the sample!

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I decided to kick start my day with a cup of this malty caramelly deliciousness. I haven’t been wanting assams very much lately, and I have quite a few of them to get through. I think once I finish up the last of my assam I’ll leave them out of cupboard for a while. I find sometimes they are a little too much for me.

This morning, however, this one hit the spot. I can’t believe how much caramel is present. If I added sugar, it would probably come across as a little syrupy. I found some floral, but more in the aroma than in taste, and it went away after a while. Or maybe I just got used to the aroma.

The first steep I let go for 5 minutes. I thought it would be too long, but it turned into a quite a flavourful cup. After such a long first steep I wondered if I would get a second steep out of it, but it was just as delicious. I kinda forgot about it, and steeped longer than 5 minutes. I noticed some bitterness in the second steep as the cup cooled, but I kind of expected that.

Gratitude and thanks to looseTman for providing the sample.


Hi Scribbles, You’re welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed this Assam. I see you steeped for 5 min. What were the other parameters: tsp. (g) / oz. / temp.? Thanks!


I used teavana perfect tsp levelled in 8 oz of near boiled H20. First steep 5 min. 2nd steep 5+.


Mmm sounds delicious! I need to find more good Assam!


This is the first one where I’ve noticed such a STRONG caramel flavour…so yumminess! :)


I love caramel flavor in anything! I’ll have to check out this tea!

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A sample of this was provided to me by looseTman – much appreciated, since I was pretty curios about these tea’s.

Dry leaf form is long, twisted, with rose petals, and chunks of vanilla bean, papaya and orange peel. The aroma is slightly floral. I don’t generally enjoy floral tea’s, but one never knows unless they try.

After steeping for 4 minutes at about 90 produced a chardonnay coloured brew (no surprises there). The aroma was quite vanilla, but one of the vanilla chunks was quite large.

If I were to try this tea blind-folded I would say it’s all vanilla. I didn’t pick up any of the other spices or fruit flavours that other’s have. I like vanilla, so that is not a problem for me. As a vanilla tea – it’s quite good. But this doesn’t say chardonnay to me.

I have enough of the sample provided to have a couple of more tries to see if I can pull out other flavours.

Cameron B.

I wish they offered a sampler of these teas, I want to try them all! But not for $17+ a piece… :P


I agree! If not for the swap, I probably would never have gotten to try them.

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Another tea from Dexter – thank you! So many tea’s from swaps, it seems like I don’t have my own tea.

I really enjoy these types of oolong’s. Charcoal with roasted notes to be found in the background. In this one I got some mineral notes as well. I appreciate that the charcoal notes in this tea aren’t so powerful that they don’t let the other flavours through. The brew is a beautiful colour – almost purple in the cup that I’m using.

The second steep didn’t work out too well – too bitter. But most likely due to my bad…water temp was too high, I think.

This is the type of tea that would be perfect on those crisp but sunny autumn days. I have enough for one more cup, and I’m gonna save it for that perfect autumn day.


Ah good call, does sound autumn-y


Congrats on your 200th tasting note!


Stephanie – yes, something about the charcoal and roastiness reminds me of fall :)

LooseTman – thank you for noticing!


You’re welcome!

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When I opened the packet I couldn’t tell if this was an oolong or black tea. there was nothing on the packet to indicate which it was. the leaves were huge, twisted and dark chocolate in colour.

The steep was brewed for 2 minutes, below boiling. The colour was deep amber.

Took my first sip…aaargh – too hot! Burned tongue :(

Lesson learned. Waited a minute or two before taking another sip. Hmmm. This seems to be a little too fruity for my liking (burned tongue did not factor in my opinion). But, I kept sipping. As the cup cooled…WOW! Rich, thick honey flavour came through. I was convinced I wouldn’t like this, but it is so much better a little cooler.

Second steep was at 4 minutes. Let the cup cool a bit, and same sweet cup of honey.

Thanks for the sample, Dexter! It didn’t start too well for me, but ended up being really good!

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I just finished steep two of this tea, after 2.5 hours of vacuuming in this disgusting heat and humidity (I love the beast, but man, can he shed!). I debated whether I actually wanted hot tea after vacuuming and sweating (and, yes – some cursing), but decided to go for it anyway.

The dry leaf is interesting. LooseTman already said it…short dark twisted leaves, and some tiny dark pebble-like leaves. I’ve never heard of manuka, and since looseTman already provided links in his post, I now know what it is, and I guess that’s what those green leaves in the blend were.

The manuka provided a light aromatic essence of pine in dry leaf form, which I don’t recall getting in my brewed cup in the first steep. But I added a bit of creamer to the first cup, so that was probably why I didn’t get the pine essence. I don’t usually add creamer, but I think my time contraints this morning made me add it, so that I could sip it quickly and do my chores and errands.

I found the pine notes were more prominent in steep 2 – no creamer additives this time. The second steep was malty delicousness. The manuka leaves added an interesting note, with what I might otherwise find to be just another malty assam.

I appreciate the sample looseTman…this was different in a good way! I have enough leaves for a few more cups, and will be very sad when this is gone. Tasty indeed.


“Tasty indeed.” +1 I’m glad you enjoyed it!


The addition of manuka leaves added a different and welcome dimension.

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drank Keemun Finest by Zen Tea
286 tasting notes

The first time I had this tea, the smokiness that I usually associate with keemuns eluded me. I couldn’t find it. What I do recall from the first cup was the fruitiness that came through.

Today’s cup is different. I took my time and paid attention. The fruit note was still predominant, but I found those subtle tobacco and smoke notes. They came through at the end of the sip and sat on the tongue for a bit before disappearing. Interesting.

I have a couple of keemuns in my cupboard that I need to taste to see how this compares. I haven’t had keemun in a while. When I finally found the tobacco notes I enjoyed that, although I wish there was a touch more smoke.

My thanks to looseTman for providing me with a sample!

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My tea journey started in 2012, when a friend gifted me some loose leaf. I guess she thought I was drinking too much coffee. Blown away by the amazing flavours I immediately embraced the loose leaf tea. I still drink coffee, but my main choice of beverage is now tea.

My tea preferences are blacks, pu’erhs, oolongs and greens.



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