30 Tasting Notes

drank Cardamon Tea by Ahmad Tea
30 tasting notes

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Bought from Ebay store ‘Pot in Pot’ run by seller badtzmaru1216 item number 300358197995. Paid $6.99 for 100g {that’s 3.5oz} on Sept. 15, 2012 and it arrived Oct 12 {they actually shipped on Sep 18} total of 25 days transit time directly from China. Probably be a long time before I actually taste this, as it’s going into my stash to age a bit.

I encourage anyone wanting the puerhs and other ‘exotic’ chinese teas to buy directly from China. It’s more about patience than price. If you have the time, you can get great tea for a fraction of what some uber-upscale tea vendor in the US will charge. Although, the US vendor will change the name slightly, and put the tea in awesome packaging, you WILL DEFINITLY pay more per ounce, and not know where it came from or much about it. Besides, buying it directly, and having a parcel show up from a foreign country will impress the post man and you’ll develope a reputation as a tea snob ever so much faster LOL! :D


For a while we were getting so many packages from foriegn countries that the carrier was beginning to act a little nervous. My wife finally decided to tell her what was in the boxes.

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You can get this on Amazon too. I got my two bags of the blue and red label loose leaf 8.8 oz bags for $8.99 each and yours is $7.99 if you need another resource.

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Ordered off ebay directly from China, from a new-ish seller, cctvsystem11. {item 170862017232} Paid 9/29 and received 10/12/12 {13 days}.

This is a delicate green, I don’t own a lot of greens because I tend to overcook them. I followed Cindy’s instructions to " brew the green tea with 80℃ / 175F water and a short infuse time" So I used the gaiwan, which is also something I don’t do often, but hey, that’s what having a ton of tea and a ton of tea implements is for, right? turn of a new season and I want a new flavor and method. That’s reason enough. And it tastes like I got it right this time. I only steeped about a minute and a half, and got a lovely dark brew which I then strained into a cup and further diluted with the hot water. Ha. Maybe I have this ‘guywan thing’ figured out? This worked out so easy this time.

I get the usual vegetable taste from greens, but this one is very light. I could dilute it further, but no need, without the astringency, I can enjoy this ‘thicker’ and it’s apropriate to this evening in so many ways. Everything outside is wet, like it hasn’t been in months. We got our first rain after a parched summer, and it was a gentle warm rain, that smells so good. Good tea, Good technique, Good Rain, Husband is off the next few days so I also get Good company. It’s a lovely evening.

I let husband, the coffee drinker, try this and he gave a snort of approval and inquired politely about it. I’m working on him… he likes this one.

Second steep more mellow than the first but still the beautiful golden color. Like Maple leaves. Third steep and I didn’t even leave it for a minute, it gave the nice golden color so quickly, much smoother less vegetable flavor now, the best cup yet. Boy this is looking like a VERY economical tea.

One other note, I cannot recommend this seller. I ordered 50g of this tea, and 50g of ginseng oolong, but received 100g of this tea. Contacted cctvsystem2011 {Cindy} and made a deal to pay an additional $5 for the missing tea and she volunteered to include a puerh sample to make up for it. I finally received the ginseng oolong 32 days later without any puerh included. So I got what I paid for, after a hassle, but not what she promised.

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The Japanese put green tea powder in their deserts, so naturally, an american company had the bright idea to put dessert into the green tea. I bought this after seeing the rating so high, and I have tried to like it. I’ve had it hot. I’ve tried it sweetened. I’ve made faux-lattes out of it, and then I had the brilliant idea to mix it with vanilla ice cream.

The idea was to try the idea out before I ruined half a gallon of ice cream, and maybe I could even get the husband to help me eat it. Ergo, I started with a small bowl first.

Mixing it with the ice cream created a substance which visually brought to mind a single word… “scours”… Those of you from Indiana, or perhapse Idaho will probably know what I’m referring to, the rest of you are probably better off not knowing. I mixed it, I ate it, I admit it was almost tasty. Unfortunately after my small sample batch of green caramel/vanilla ice cream, I proceeded to belch the “caramel” flavoring for hours afterward.

That was my last idea. Wasn’t so brilliant after all. I really tried, and I’m sorry if you don’t like my opinion, but I come by it legitimately. It is what it is, and I’m not changing it again, I’m gonna let it stand. This stuff is hardly tea. It’s some stuff that’s rumored to have antioxidants in it, and then adulterated past the point of recognition. ICK


My husband loves loves this stuff in lattes! Would you be interested in trading or selling your remaining amount, or is it mostly gone?


I think our differences in opinion is what makes Steepster great!


How funny! Not funny for you though! But the idea of such a green mess and eating it and belching does sound so Laverne and Shirley (you probably don’t know who they were), anyway…I liked your story.


HA, yes I know who Laverne & Shirley are! If I had to pick, I’m gonna say that I’m Laverne!


it’s a pity you don’t like it especially after having waiting ages to receive the order :)

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Bought from Dragon Tea House ebay store, Sept 17, 2012 and it arrived on Oct 5, 2012 (18 days). {ebay item 270977374375} The 18 compressed puerh mini tuos (ok, one is square) are in a sealed dark plastic pouch. It takes scissors to open it.

That was nice, I had expected something much more casual, like just a baggie with hand-picked sampler inside. Considering how this is packaged, it would make an excellent stocking stuffer, and it would keep well in a vacation home or RV. The fragrance of puerh upon opening the sealed pouch is just lovely, even my DH liked it, and he’s not a puerh fan. The scent of the tea is not compromised by the selection of various herbal additives.

There is no ‘color coded flavor guide’ or anything like that, I’ll have to refer back to the product photo to know which tuo I’m using. I think if you were going to go ‘stocking stuffer’ route, then printing that out for the recipient might be a nice idea, otherwise what’s the point in tasting different flavors? Once again, wishing I knew a bit of Chinese, and quickly dismissing that idea due to the level of technical difficulty ! LOL

Since this is a multi-flavor item, I’ll have to post a few flavor reviews as I consume them. I have been told that mini tuos are sort of the remnants and leftovers of the tea processing, the way sausage is to meat packing, or teabags compared to whole leaf or….. you get the idea. So one should probably not expect heart-rending-splendour from a mini tuo. I’ve also picked up that westerners are somewhat enamored of them due to price and ease. I could agree with that. That’s why I like them :)

1. So, first up, I’m trying Coffee flavor. I’ll brew in my zisha pot for shou/ripe tea. I am using a finum filter to control the amount of steep time. About 12 oz of boiling water to 1 tuo. I carefully checked the color of the wrapper and the tiny characters on it, I’m 98% certain I have the right one :) Pre-steep, dry tuo does not smell of coffee. But the liquid is interesting, it has the smell of cooked pu-erh and just a touch of coffee, but it lacks in the weight on my tongue, and the after-flavor. It’s like the second half of the sip is missing. It’s kinda like maybe instead of pouring boiling water to make the tea, I poured re-heated and very diluted coffee to make the tea. Sorta. It does not have overwhelming coffee flavor, and I don’t need to buy a whole order of these. But I don’t hate it—just MEH
2. Lavender ooh, now, I like this one. I grow lavender, and I’ve had straight lavender tisane, so this flavored tuo is pretty mild, still tastes unmistakably like puerh, with just a top note of lavender. This one is interesting, and I kinda wish I’d poured less water to make a bit thicker tea, I thought my zisha pot was 12 oz, then I measured, it’s 14. I think maybe for a thick cup I should have done 10 oz to 1 tuo. Bummer. Wish there was another lavender in this group, I’ll have to settle for a re-steep.
3. Jasmine Black – pleased to see white little pieces of what is presumably jasmine flower. Using a finum filter and half liter of water. I am also using my polish pottery daily teapot, because this is my first pot of tea for the day, and I don’t feel like fiddling around. Must also confess, I don’t like cloying perfumy floral tea. Not at all sure why jasmine was my first pick of the day. Simply could not explain that one! So, a sip. Pleasant surprise! My eyebrows are at their most elevated state. This is Jasmine in black tea, and it seems that jasmine is most often blended with green, which would give me something else to dislike, as I am not fond of the astringency of green. And that’s how you know it MUST be good for you, right? If that’s the one you don’t prefer? LOL. Back to this little tuo, I have to say, I am liking it, and I’m impressed that the jasmine is unmistakable, when the tuo broke apart, the little bits are visually evident. But it’s GOOD. I proudly and amazingly proclaim that I LIKE IT! And my eyebrows are once again, just about off the top of my face, it’s a STRONG jasmine taste, but I would actually BUY some of this. !?!?!!! Wow
4. Jasmine Raw Well, I figured, since I’m awake now, that I may as well do these back to back. I did rinse the pot with hot water. This also has the bits of flora and the jasmine fragrance, but there is that green astringency in it too. Not bad, as far as that goes. This does not taste like cheap grocery store green with cloying fake jasmine—we all know THAT tea, don’t we? This is a sheng, which is essentially aged green, and thus the muted astringency is there, but does not make your tongue curl up and become brittle. This is very pleasing, even considering my previously stated prejudice against green teas. This is the jasmine you WISH the chinese take-out would serve. The color is beautiful too. This cup is golden like apple cider. A very enjoyable cup. I would drink this again, without hesitation.
5. Special Brick – aka ‘the square one’… I just plopped it in the finum basket and poured boiling water over it like I would any other black tea, boy, it brews up a beautiful color. Amber-brown like cognac. I’m drinking it out of my russian crystal tea glass, no particular reason except it was on the countertop… and I like it. This has a good aged puerh taste, mellow and the smell is mustier than the flavor, it’s in the flavor, but gently. Nice. I would order a whole package of just these square bricks. This is a definite YUM *just found item 270977325224 on ebay, and it’s on my list. Notice the wrapper is actually wrapped then sealed with a round sticker!

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 15 sec

Love how you listed the Ebay Item number! Thank you! I have seen these and considered trying them … this review helps!


A nearby shop of mine sells tons of puerh flavors. Maybe I’ll give them a try.

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You know if there’s something weird, I’m gonna want to try it. And this is definitly weird. Yak butter tea does contain black tea, and it also contains butter, but this product is a powder in foil pouches. It stirs up easily, the powder smells good, like butter, like a good milk oolong. Once reconstituded, it doesn’t taste as much like tea as like butter. However, it does not have an oily sheen to it, I wonder how they did that? It has the color of mocha. I can taste the salt too. The smell is not off-putting, I kinda like the smell. The flavor is like salty butter, but not as thick as you would hope for with such a rich fragrance, and I’m left with the idea that it would be great as an ingredient, maybe mixed with Chai.

As I stirred, I briefly hoped it would be like hot buttered rum batter, and indeed, with the addition of cinnamon and clove, it might actually work for that. Another sip, and I am reminded of macaroni and cheese, just fleetingly… or is it more like buttered noodles?

It is a high calorie drink. I can’t imagine making this again as a tea, but I could see using this as an emergency high calorie ration, or for someone who has had the flu and hasn’t eaten much in a while. Or, as I said, maybe with the addition of other ingredients, to make a hearty holiday type drink. Like anyone needs more calories at the holidays…. hmmmm.yeah.or maybe not.

Well, it is better than I thought it would be, more butter than tea, not totally repugnant by any means. I keep comming back to spices, I seem to want to add spices. oh well. If you like drinking butter, then you’ll probably love it. I definitly don’t hate it. And now I can say I’ve tried it.

ADDED: OK, drink it while hot, because it’s kinda yucky once it cools off. Also, just for reference, I ordered this from Dragon Tea House (ebay) paid 9/7/2012 and received from China 22 days later 9/29/2012.


Roughage (in the U.K. who is an expert on all things ancient) sent me a recipe for this and a chunk of the puerh that is used for this tea. I can’t imagine oolong. It’s made with a nice and rough pu with the bitter yak butter and milk and salt. I made it with regular sea salt and whole milk and liked it quite a bit with puerh. It was more like a meat broth in some ways.


Neat to know this is order-able … I wrote some kids’ curriculum about Nepal and included a reference to this sort of tea as a fun fact. I can just see the faces of my fifth graders taking their first taste!

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drank Spicy Chocolate by Kusmi Tea
30 tasting notes

Well, this one is a surprise to me. Intellectually, I’d say it isn’t very good tea, but the empty tin on my countertop would say otherwise. This flavor is the 3rd regular (4.4 oz) tin of Kusmi that I’ve consumed in entirety. The first was Petrushka, which I’ve since replaced with the jumbo (8.8 oz) tin. That blend comes in as near perfection to my taste buds. The second was — shockinly — Violet. Yeah, wow, who’da thunk it? I ordered the 4.4 oz just because the smallest quanitity of what I figured was a novelty flavor. I am now awaiting the Fedex man to bring my second 4.4 oz tin of Violet.

Which brings me to the subject at hand, the Spicy Chocolate. I mention all the above to establish the fact that I am a Kusmi fan, I have been won over and it is my current reigning favorite brand. I like their subtlty. I like that it’s “tea first — added flavoring second”.

So why am I surprised that I evidentally like the Spicy Chocolate? I think, it may have to do with the naming of the tea. I think maybe it’s a bit unfortunate to call it “spicy”. I don’t think it is particularly spicy. I also think it’s a bit … perhapse…. misleading to call it “chocolate”. But it does contain chocolate, so it’s not a falsehood, but I think it does the tea a disservice because it sets a person up to expect something like hot cocoa. Which it doesn’t resemble in the least. So, if that’s what the name led you to believe, then you’ll be disappointed. But taken for what it IS, Camellia leaves with cocoa nibs and some spices, then it is good tea. That’s just it…. it’s very tasty drinkable TEA.


oh ! we don’t have this Petrushka blend in France ! how is this possible…Kusmi is a French brand … I’m going to complain to Kusmi :D
await so to read your review about this blend as well

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Essence of bubble gum, not to mention that whittard’s customer service is really lacking. So, this tea is not worth the trouble of ordering, the taste is not worth the bother. I am half way through it, and it’s about to be tossed out. I already threw out the ‘summer pudding’ tea, that was so horrible it didn’t deserve cupboard space.

After two orders to whittard, I am happy to move on to other, more deserving tea companies. I mean, really, what does it say about Whittard, that the only thing I enjoy from them is the porcelain logo mug ? Both times I placed an order, I had to contact customer service. The first order took 7 days to process, and I finally emailed them to just cancel it, when “lo and behold!” they email me back saying it was too late to cancel, it had just shipped that day. The second time I placed an order, a tin of cocoa exploded inside the box during shipping, I took photos and emailed them, then waited two days for a response from their customer service before beginning a claim with Paypal. Within two hours of filing with Paypal, their customer service finally responded to me.

It might be worth it, if their tea was any good. Which it isn’t. Check out their overall ratings, you’ll see that I’m not the only person who thinks they are mediocre. There is a whole world of tea out there, and I don’t have to put up with bad tea and bad customer service. Sorry England, maybe I’m just a spoiled Yank, but I do expect better, and from where I sit, ‘better’ is not hard to get.

{edited to add}… egads, I threw it out, and the plastic tupperware container I’d had the rolled paper bag in (the way whittard comes packaged) now stinks like artificial apple. That is surely one way to test the authenticity of tea flavoring, is to see how much of their chemically added flavor can be absorbed into a plastic container! Do I really want to drink such a thing? as previously determined— A resounding NO

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I take my tea plain, no sugar, no milk. I don’t think I should have to wheedle nudge or cadjole the flavor to reconcile it to the name on the label. If it’s good, it should stand up by itself.

Excellent Video on how to prepare matcha http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NRB93In-rE

Favourites—Chinese tea. European blends. Black, puerh, oolong, spiced and Guayusa. Kusmi, Butiki
Meh to Ick—White tea, Indian tea then green is pretty far down on my list.
Dislikes—Rooibos. Matcha. Anything with hibiscus. Lipton. Celestial Seasonings. Bigelow. Red Rose. Red Leaf Tea.

I just love my camelia. Even if I hate a certain kind of tea, I still find it’s provenance interesting. The cultural aspects are every bit as fascinating as the flavor aspects, or maybe more so. Empires have been built and bankrupted over the humble tea leaf.

Becomming cynical about tea companies that are too hyped. Certain tea companies that use candy in their blend, certain tea companies that give away free tea for reviews posted all over the internet with links back to their store. Once someone has posted that kind of review, I tend to discredit their objectivity. I’m no longer interested in reading their reviews. sorry.

FYI—female—married— to a coffee drinker (but he is willing to try my exotic teas, bless him)


oregon, but forget what you’re thinking, this is the dry side

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