436 Tasting Notes

drank St. Petersburg by Kusmi Tea
436 tasting notes

Kusmi’s St Petersburg reminds me on some sips of a monks blend with its mix of vanilla, from the caramel, and red fruit, but as I drink further on you get a more dominant tang and a hint of floral from the bergamot.

The caramel is buttery and creamy with a hint of vanilla and I can see why people love Kusmi’s Caramel tea. Later on in the cup, I smell the red fruit more than I taste it. There are hints of cherry and currant and blackberry.

The base is quiet and unassuming, it is quite smoooth and sweet but it doesn’t seem to have a great deal of complexity. There is a touch of bitterness that adds a bit of depth to the tea but otherwise is fairly thin. The flavour of this tea is fairly subtle it is not strongly sweet or creamy.

The second and third steeps are more bergamot and red fruit, with the caramel fading and the bergamot leaving a tingling on the tongue and it tastes at times slightly metallic.

The kusmi tins are certainly useful and fairly beautiful and the tea comes wrapped in folded plastic inside with a nice presentation.

This is a pleasant tea that makes a nice afternoon tea especially for those who may appreciate a lighter bergamot earl grey with deeper fruit tones. I think I still prefer a tea that has a stronger more flavourful base underneath it.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Vanilla Sunrise by LuxBerry Tea
436 tasting notes

This tea in a some ways reminds me of starburst orange candies and orange milkshakes and a little bit of childhood. It makes a nice creamy orange rooibos honeybush blend for someone who wants one that is neither tart, overly sweet, or that is not a chai.

The tea brews up to a beautiful peachy deep orange tone. With an orange, vanilla and peach scent over a slightly powdery sweet tone from the base.

The flavour is a nice blend of fruit and vanilla. Orange is the top note followed by peach settled in vanilla. The base is pretty well hidden by the flavouring. The vanilla makes the tea taste fairly creamy and the peach acts to sweeten the tea and temper any tartness and bitterness from the orange. The vanilla is nice, it is not syrupy nor is it a cool vanilla. There is a faint powdery aftertaste from base, but it is not medicinal and is partially hidden by the tang of orange peel. The aftertaste is of creamy orange. The tea re-steeps pretty well. It looses most of the vanilla but the fruity tones remain strong. This tea would probably be really nice with cream or milk and might make nice popsicles in the summer as it tastes pretty nice when cooler. When cooler the peach comes out a little more.

Altogether this was a nice introduction to LuxBerry Teas for me. It is much more a fruit tea than you would expect from its name.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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I really don’t have much information on this tea the Company name I gave above is the only thing written in English on the packaging. I don’t know where the provenance of this tea is, so I don’t know if it was produced in traditional regions known for biluochun or whether it was grown in Yunnan and made in the style of this type of tea.

The dry leaf is fairly tightly coiled with about 25% of the leaf showing the creamy yellowish hairy bud and the rest being a sage to spruce green colour. The dry leaf smells of wood smoke, and a spicy fruity green scent.

This tea is quite resilient and can easily brew up 6 or more times starting at 40s and going up by 5 second intervals if one is careful with water temperature. I was told to use a slightly cooler water temperature than I normally use for greens in order to bring focus to the fruity tones of this tea.

This tea brews up to a pale golden yellow and smells of grilled peach with a hint of pineapple mixed with smoke, salt, and a nutty tone blended with a sweet floral note.

It tastes of grilled peaches and smoke, creamed chestnut, the sweet tone of artichoke blended with the robustness of spinach, salt, and a slightly sweet at times lemony floral note. There is a light astringency at the front of the mouth though the tea tastes creamy with a medium to thick body.

The tea remains quite consistent in flavour throughout the steeping though the smoke looses it’s dominance and the tea does become a little lighter, brighter and lemony in later steeps.

This is a pleasant rather full bodied green tea that I will enjoy drinking.

170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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I was excited to get the chance to try this Earl Grey because Assams, or an Assam rich blend are my favourite bases for this type of tea, mainly because of the chocolate, or biscuity tones that they often have that nicely support the citrus notes and secondly because they usually have a thicker body to them that I feel better supports the Strong Bergamot Earl Greys which are most often my favourites.

In Silky Earl Grey, Teajo comes close to creating my ideal earl grey. It has a really lovely Assam Base, paired with a heavier sweeter bergamot. I would like just a bit more of a spicier bergamot to create my ideal Earl grey.

Dry Smell
- fairly strong , spicy and sweet bergamot, hint of lemon rind and cocoa.

Brew Colour
– nice, clear, classic amber colour.

- Tastes quite smooth at first, finishing with a drying effect at the front of the mouth. The tea has a medium bodied mouth feel.

Flavour – A nice balance between a sweet bergamot baked goods taste, sweet red fruit in the tea base, and chocolate undertones. The base tea has enough depth to support the strong flavouring. The re-steep contains a flavour consistent to the first steep, with just a little bit more malty, chocolate tones shining through the lemon pound cake with custard smell and taste. The third steep was sweeter with less citrus notes but still a rich flavour.

Aftertaste – lemon(the taste you get when you drink lemon in hot water), lavender, with bitter sweet chocolate notes and a hint of malt.

This is a really nice strong and fruity Earl Grey with a great deal of flavour and a natural sweetness.

Thanks Piccolo for the chance to try your tea! It has a really lovely base and I look forward to trying some more once I make some room in my cupboard.

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drank Morning Kick by Bluebird Tea Co.
436 tasting notes

I don’t know why I don’t drink more mate, I like the kind of mellow alertness it tends to leave me with, different than the buzz I tend to get from coffee or strong tea. I suppose It has to do with a bad experience I had with a jarring tasting lemon mate I had once, where it tasted harsh and unpleasant. However my other experiences were positive. My first experience with mate was at the debriefing after a contract I had in Ecuador. One of the other people I was with had been in Rosario, Argentina and she shared a pleasant sweet tasting mate with us while sharing stories of riots in the streets after the bank collapse there. In Ecuador I had very little tea but I did have some great coffee, even the chain coffee was great. Anyways that first experience was pleasant and mate is a really nice tea to share among friends.

Anyways, I think this tea has helped to cure me of my mate aversion. It is really quite a pleasant and balanced tea. Once brewed the tea has a scent of green tones from the lemongrass and the mate, and hints of ginger, lemon, and of something floral from the calendula. It brews to a nice light amber yellow.

Flavour wise it has top notes of lemongrass and lemon (creating a toned down baked lemon flavour), and ginger. There is a sweetness provided by the mate and calendula. These notes are all over a sweet and savoury vegetal note. Everything is done to a nice balance, neither the ginger, nor the lemon or the mate over power each other. Ginger provides a light bit of warmth but not too much heat and the lemon and mate help to create a sense of alertness and clarity. I am quite enjoying this cup and it would probably be nice cold as well.

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drank Monkey Chops by Bluebird Tea Co.
436 tasting notes

This is a really nice banana flavoured black tea that avoids the traps of
tasting artificial or overly sweet. Throughout the cup it tasted of green fresh bananas, a banana smoothy and a good quality banana muffin. It’s really tasty, but still lets the qualities of it’s base shine through. Thoroughly enjoyable.

A more thorough discussion of this tea is below.

The dry leaf is black and wiry with pieces of fruit and some pieces of calendula petals. It smells lightly fruity, but not of distinct banana, and has an almost chocolate like smell.

I steeped this tea for around 3 minutes.

Brewed tea is a copper colour.

There is a scent of chocolate, a slightly savoury spice like rosemary from the calendula, and dried banana.

At first sip there is a taste close to slightly green fresh bananas, or the flavour of a banana smoothy, or good quality fresh banana chips. It is not artificial tasting and not overly sweet. The tea base is smooth, sweet, with a faintly vegetal undertone melding into a taste of a semi-sweet chocolate. The calendula lends a brightness and a spicy taste to the tea and makes it taste like fresh banana. The tea has just enough tannin to give it some body. It leaves a slightly drying feeling in the mouth but is not overly astringent. The flavour compliments and blends well with the tea but does not overpower it. There is a hint of raisin and biscuit in the base. It tastes a little bit like really nice banana muffins towards the end of the cup.

The re-steep has an indistinct sweet baked good flavour with a hint of floral, and chocolate. Pleasant but not really banana. The base looses its astringency.


205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Red Sour Cherry by Malwa
436 tasting notes

The cherry taste is there in this tea but I think I had too much hibiscus in my scoop, as this cup tastes too sour even with sugar. I can smell cherry, and a sweet berry scent, part of the smell references cream soda and cherry popsicles, but the taste is hidden by the sour aspects of this tea (ie hibiscus, rosehips, red currants). The sweet fruit accents become more apparent in the tea as it cools as a slightly candyish cherry taste ( similar to the notes found in cherry scented green tea), leaving a bright fruit note. However this taste is still buried underneath the sour notes. I will try this tea again after removing some of the hibiscus and try it cold brewed to try to bring out the cherry notes and reduce the sour notes. It is supposed to be a sour cherry tea but as it is this brewing was so sour that this over shadowed all of the other flavours.

Boiling 8 min or more

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
436 tasting notes

I decided to do a comparison between two supermarket earl greys.

Twinings and Ahmad Special Blend.

Cost Twinings between 5.49-6.99 CAD for 100g tin.
Ahmad 6.99 454g box

Dry Leaf
Twinings The bergamot smells more of baked lemon with soft powder floral accent, bop leafs are larger and coarser than Ahmads with a light baked goods smell to leaf.

Ahmad The bergamot is slightly lighter and smells of fresh lemon rind with a floral accent(lavender and rose), and ginger, dry leaf bop ceylon blended with other black teas.

The teas both brew to the colour of maple wood.

Scent of brewed tea

Twinings bergamot(lemon foral) over slightly woody, slightly orange scented black tea smell including rind with a hint of ginger and a cinnamon like scent.

Ahmad strong scent, of malty lemony tea with deeper lemon scent with a hint of ginger, and floral notes.

Taste Twinings Tea is slightly vegetal, with slightly malty tone underneath a citrusy top note. Hint of lavender present, mixed with lemon rind taste, It brews lighter than I remember with less of a rich tea taste. This tin tastes like it is using the same base as Lady Grey.
It is thin bodied with a spicier bergamot. I like the spiciness but I wish there was more citrus. It is a light tea. Relatively smooth and relatively insensitive to steep time. It leaves a spicy floral with hint of citrus aftertaste.

Ahmad This tea has a malty undertone, with hints of red fruit mixed with orange (almost a shirley temple cocktail note), not quite as spicy on the tongue as twinings, with a hint of cooked lemon mixed with orange and rind, rose, and lavender. This tea is more tannic. The tea has more depth than twinings. I would like more spice. It benefits from a shorter steep time as it risks getting bitter and astringent. It leaves a citrus aftertaste.

Both of these teas lack either the rich sweetness of the tea base in the cjay earl grey http://steepster.com/teas/cjay-tea/36148-earl-grey or the bright citrus of the big active tea http://steepster.com/teas/big-active/35256-essence-earl-grey-superior-with-rose-petals.


Wish I could find Ahmad at a local supermarket!


Its kind of funny because the store where I bought this one is near the store where I usually go in to by Indian goods, but I had never been in it. I was planning to buy some Kenyan CTC but unfortunately they only had 1KG bags in stock a lot of tea to buy for someting I’m not sure if I will like anyways.

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drank Jasmine Black by Ahmad Tea
436 tasting notes

This tea had small entire leaves lightly scented with a fruity smelling jasmine. The brewed tea requires slightly more leaves than I normally brew with (about 1.5 my normal), and a lower brewing temp or the tea brews very dark and bitter. If you use too little the tea base contributes nothing. The tea smells of a light fruity jasmine and a
fruity black tea with hints of berry and cherry, and a heavier undertone like burnt sugar, and is lightly floral beyond the jasmine.

The taste develops its strongest flavour when lukewarm or cool. It might make a decent ice tea. This tea is not for someone who requires
their tea to be hot. On first sip the tea tastes weak, but develops into an interesting mix of bitter, earthy, malty undertone like charred bread toped by a cool floral, followed, by a sweet, dark red berry flavour with a hint of burnt sugar.

The tea is tannic and when brewed at higher temperatures astringent. I might try brewing it for a little longer at lower temperatures again. I find that if I doubled the leaf at boiling the bitter tones intensify and the mouth feel is almost like drinking coffee. The jasmine is quite light it bends into the flavour of the tea and while its smell is quite fruity it tastes more of a cool floral. It does not taste powdery though.

This tea while offering value for the money is not as flavourful as the bagged jasmine black I recently bought. I think I prefer a slightly sweeter, stronger flavoured base underneath the flavouring and I prefer a sweeter fruitier jasmine. The hunt continues for my preferred jasmine black, I’ll keep looking although this is not my favourite
flavour in tea I find it quite sophoric and the other jasmine black I own actually can put me to sleep.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Snow Fairy by Della Terra Teas
436 tasting notes

Tastes of hints of popcorn and butter, canned pastuerized pineapple juice, and a cool vanilla that is pleasant but in someways acts to take away the crispness that pineapple can have. The apple acts to add to the sweetness and tartness to the tea. I don’t notice the pepper but then I have eaten Traditional hot homemade curry in Rajhastan and have a high tolerance for hot spice. The white tea does provide a creaminess to the tea and both the green tea and white tea provide a thicker body to the beverage. The base teas also provide a sweetness and a nuttiness. The first 2 steepings atually reminded me a bit of popcorn covered with a fruity buttery coating. Later steepings are more creamy fruit tasting. Nice for when you want something fruity that is not overly tart or sweet.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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