34 Tasting Notes

drank Grapefruit Guava by Zen Tea
34 tasting notes

Aw yeah, it’s a tea-drinking kind of night. My Friday today, so I can be as hopped up on caffeine as I like. You know, in theory. I’ll regret it when I try and turn in later. Anyway, this tea is kind of a curious beast. Predominantly grapefruit with something almost nutty and grain-like beneath it. Possibly the fault of the green tea itself? I say fault, but it’s an oddly nice pairing. Vaguely comforting and warm as it settles in my stomach. It’s very breakfast-y for whatever reason, and I say this as a person who doesn’t usually indulge in the most important meal of the day. There’s a definite astringency to it as well, which I imagine is due in part to the grapefruit. I don’t know if I would buy this again, but I won’t have any issues finishing what’s left.

Flavors: Astringent, Grain, Grapefruit, Guava, Nutty

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drank Pandan Chiffon by ETTE TEA
34 tasting notes

I’ve had this tea for a while, and I’ll admit upfront that it did not endear itself to me immediately. I think I was expecting a black tea instead of a green based on the look of the leaves and the color of the liquor, and my taste buds were feeling put out as a result. However, after months spent languishing in an unlabeled little baggie in the cupboard, I discovered it again and tried it anew, cold-brew style. Once I figured out what on earth it was, I realized I quite enjoyed it, and would commit to a tin of it in the future. I really love osmanthus in my oolongs, and it happens to compliment the cinnamon in this cup really well. It isn’t as toasty as one would expect from the leaf color, which is just as well, because I’m not a huge fan of overly roasted greens. Instead a light, breezy sweetness is coupled with cinnamon spice, to the point where I can practically feel it rolling across my tongue. It’s something like an apple pie reduction, minus the apple – if that even makes any sense, ugh. Word failure. There’s something distinctly pastry-like about it, but I’ve never had the titular dessert before, so maybe that’s why I’m grasping at straws here. Anyway, I’m really glad that I gave it a second try, even if it was mostly inadvertent on my part.

Flavors: Caramel, Cinnamon, Pastries, Sweet


Hi Beorhthraefn,

Good day & greetings from Singapore! Pandan Chiffon tea is indeed modelled after Pandan Chiffon, a popular dessert cake in South East Asia.

We are really glad that you like it & thank you for giving it a second try. Now onwards to the third and more!

Have a lovely week ahead!


Victor, ETTE TEA

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Got a teeny tin of this from Marzipan ‘s sale. I don’t know why I do these things to myself. It’s like I can’t get past the denial stage of Butiki’s passing. Unsurprisingly, this is a tasty little tea. Woe is me. The addition of chocolate chips is slightly strange, given that the tea base itself seems to have cocoa overtones. The chips themselves are particularly apparent in the aftertaste, followed by citrus and a light trace of something resembling marshmallow cream fluff. I almost want to declare the chocolate in this blend redundant, but I do kind of like the way it pops up, says hello, and then skips off elsewhere to let you enjoy the cup as a whole. I’m going to coil around what little remains of my tin and weep softly into my mug, so please look away now.

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Marshmallow, Orange

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drank Gold Rush by DAVIDsTEA
34 tasting notes

Reviewing from my tablet, so apologies in advance for any egregious typo-ing. I bought this in the vague hope that it might replace my ever-dwindling supply of Rivertea’s Mulberry White, which is delicious, refreshing fruit in a cup. Given my reaction to pretty much everything I’ve tried from DavidsTea, I have no idea what I was expecting. First of all, there is very little actual “tea” in this blend. No wonder the white needle is listed as the third ingredient. My cup was predominantly mulberries and coconut meat, with a few sad, stray needles. That wouldn’t have been an issue, except the smell of whatever vanilla flavoring the fruits were infused with was overwhelming. Skeptical, but willing to be proven wrong, I brewed it up. I’m not sure who listed alcohol as one of the flavor profiles, but that is exactly what I’m getting. It’s like cheap vodka with subpar vanilla flavoring to try and offset the burn. The oily film it leaves in my mouth is also reminiscent of the regret I experience right before a hangover. I couldn’t even taste the coconut past it. Who in their right mind took something as delightful as mulberries and thought: “You know what this needs? Artificial flavoring.” I am baffled and irrationally angry over what could have been a superior blend, if not for DavidsTea’s penchant for drowning out a tea’s natural elements. I choked down half of a big mug, the rest went down the sink. But my boundless optimism had me wondering if maybe a second steep would have washed most of the flavoring away. To test, I picked a mulberry out of the wet leaf and took a tentative bite, only to spit it out immediately. Credit where credit is due – that awful flavoring is really in there. Disappointing all around.

Flavors: Alcohol, Cream, Sugar, Vanilla

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drank Pear Oolong by Tealeaves
34 tasting notes

From the amazing Nicole. I hesitated to review this one, even after drinking it a couple of times. All those sips and I’m still finding it hard to describe in a succinct manner. There’s definite notes of pear in here, and it’s floral in a way I didn’t expect. I’m leaning toward dubbing it honeysuckle, but there’s an almost-vanilla finish lingering in the aftertaste. Anything that’s flower-verging-on-perfume is usually a huge turn off for me, and I’ve tossed teas aside for less. Yet I keep coming back to this one, possibly because of the base. There’s also an inherent bitterness beneath it all that mellows out with repeat steepings, but that might just be me oversteeping again. It’s definitely a unique oolong to my mind, and I think I’ll keep playing with it to see if my feelings toward it solidify further.

Flavors: Floral, Honey, Honeysuckle, Pear, Vanilla

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Another from the package Nicole sent me. This comes in your standard silver packet with a nice label on the front. I was excited to try it, but knew that I was in trouble when the scent from the dry leaf hit me. It had a serious artificial fruit aroma to it, overlaid with something perfume-floral, which may have been the osmanthus. Full disclosure, I love osmanthus in oolongs, and I love apricot in general. I did not love this. Despite my reservations, I decided to give this a go anyway. When it first hit my tongue, I thought I was going to be okay. Then the aftertaste kicked in – bitter black with an artificial fruit tang that coated my mouth in a weird film. No desirable mouthfeel to this whatsoever. I was disappointed, since there were chunks of what looked like real apricot/mango in the blend, but it was definitely overpowered by whatever flavorings the company used. I tried another sip to be sure before I dumped the whole thing down the sink and frantically grabbed up one of my oolongs instead.

Flavors: Artificial, Bitter, Floral, Mango, Osmanthus


That’s too bad. I haven’t tried any of their blends. They gave me this one as a little thank you for the tea festival. It didn’t sound like it was going to be my thing. Sad to hear it did not find a home, but kudos to you for trying despite your misgivings. :)


I’ll have to pass it along next time I do a swap or some such and see if it tickles anyone’s fancy. Could very easily just be me. Regardless, thank you for sending it my way.

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A generous sample from Nicole had me singing a very familiar mantra when it comes to Butiki Teas these days. Nooo, no no no. Please no. Why is this so damn good? Why can’t I order it again? This tea is amazing, and the choice few people I allowed to sniff it (and maybe try a sip if they were lucky) totally agreed. This is pure lemon sugar cookie goodness in a tea. A hint of butter, a touch of something vaguely floral, and a smooth lemon flavor that has a champagne-bubbly note when it hits your tongue. This is the cookie you get that is lemon cake with a lemon glaze. It’s delicious and well-rounded and I am in pain, because I can’t acquire it in bulk. Better to have loved and lost than never loved at all, I suppose, but this loss is felt quite keenly. I would recommend the hell out of this, but it would feel like a cruel jest in light of the circumstances. Just know that those of you out there with this in their cupboard had best treasure it, as is befitting its ephemeral beauty.

Flavors: Butter, Cookie, Floral, Frosting, Lemon

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This tea is confusing the hell out of me. To the point where I had to re-read the ingredients just to make sure I maybe hadn’t overlooked something vital. But no, this tea definitely aims to taste like strawberry. What flavor am I getting? Banana. Yup, that’s right, and it’s strong enough to prompt a little Gwen Stefani-style humming under my breath as I keep sipping. Honestly, the strawberry is detectable beneath that, but it’s the same story you’d get if you had a strawberry-banana smoothie – banana steals the show. It isn’t quite an artificial banana, either, though there is a noticeable sweetness to it that might tip the nostalgia scales for some people. I have no idea if I screwed up steeping it or if the green base warped the flavor somehow. The dry leaf itself presents as very strawberry-oriented to my nose. So what exactly am I tasting? It’s by no means a bad tea, not particularly astringent or harsh on the senses, but it’s not what I expected in the least. I’ve never had a straight Mao Feng before, so it’s possible that the nuances of the flavor are lost on me. I’ll have to give this another shot to see if I can’t coax a little more strawberry out of the mix.

Flavors: banana, Sweet

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drank Milk Oolong by Mandala Tea
34 tasting notes

So after a few disappointments with my more recent tea hauls, I finally brewed this bad boy up. And wow, what a good little milk oolong this is. Creamy, buttery, with a confusing but lovely burnt caramel/fresh gardenia finish that shouldn’t work half so well together. It reminds me a little of creme brule. I’m a little baffled that it isn’t flavored, to be honest, given the sheer depth of flavor and how well it holds up under repeat steepings. It does seem to evolve into a more floral brew over time, but nothing overpowering.

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Butter, Creamy, Gardenias

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drank Chestnut by Lupicia
34 tasting notes

I bought this when I was stocking up on White Christmas, mostly based on the reviews. When I opened the bag, I was immediately surprised by how sweet it smelled. I suppose I expected a nuttier profile based on what I read and the ingredients in the tea itself. My assumption was that the saccharine scent would wear off once it was brewed up. Not so much. This tastes like sugar to me with a warm, grain-like undertone. I tried a second steep with pretty much the same result, and puzzled over what it was this tea reminded me of. After a few more sips, it occurred to me: Lucky Charms, the breakfast cereal I occasionally indulged in as a kid. It’s like a spoonful of the marshmallows with that weird, cardboard-ish oat grain that’s been soaked in 2% milk. It isn’t bad, per se, but after that HIMYM-style glass shattering revelation, I can’t really bring myself to drink it. Fortunately, my sib really seems to enjoy it, so I’ll just pawn it off on her.

Flavors: Grain, Marshmallow, Oats, Sugar


Aargh, just ordered some of this, hope it agrees with me more.
HIMYM-style” :):):)


Aw, well, remember that my sib digs it. So it might just be my taste buds, honestly. Wish you luck with it~ And that episode was a defining moment for me. It gave all past and future epiphanies a certain, audible characteristic.


I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m actually kind of hoping I’ll get Lucky Charms out of this when I try it.

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Figured I’ve been around this website long enough that I should put something here. So, I live in California, but not the sunnier bits, and nowhere near the ocean. Mountains on all sides is fairly calming, though. I’m in that murky area between being an adult and being in denial about being an adult. It’s rough, but I’ll probably make it. I love to read, write, and I have a crippling online shopping addiction that recently has been devoted in large part to tea. Big shock, right?

In terms of tea, I tend to gravitate toward vegetal and creamy oolongs, lightly mineral greens, and honeysuckle whites. I do occasionally enjoy a good flavored tea, however.

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