1181 Tasting Notes

As much as I like this straight I have to admit it’s even better with milk.

The variations of tea in this blend means it tends to come out tasting slightly different each turn. While predominantly malty, pointy, and consisting of a good brisk finish, when I get more golden tips in my strainer I notice the finish inclines to an awesome, yet very subtle, clove-like spice.

A lot of the black teas I’m learning to love lately are quite expensive and “fancy” but this one’s nice and casual; I don’t feel I need to get all dressed up for it or ration it out!

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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Thank you Cavocorax for sending me this! I’ve never had an oolong specifically labelled as a Tieguanyin. I’ve wanted to try this since learning about Avalokiteśvara in my Asian religions class and reading the back story on the tea name.

Before this I thought I knew what a floral oolong was. Then I tried these little balls of joy…and the oolong ball soared out of the park! floral tea with a home run! Yeah… Breathtaking.

Truly though, I was shocked by this oolong’s floral body. My roommate said this reminded her of a jasmine tea from Teaopia (interesting). I can’t believe it isn’t flavoured either. It just goes to show I’m still a newbie with tea and there’s still a lot out there to try.

The sweet vanilla notes and milky richness make for a heady experience that would prevent me from drinking this regularly. I can think of a few occasions where I would want to pretend I’m in a gigantic garden filled with heavy bodied flowers, however. Like right now. This is the perfect tea to take my mind off personal bloopers and failings.

A Feast For Crows and Once Upon a Time, on the other hand, are NOT particularly cheery, and are lacking the overzealous flowers I crave for. I clearly need to find more euphoric forms of escapism! (Rumpelstiltskin is entertaining to watch, Cersei is not)

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Yeeaaaah, Once Upon A Time definitely isn’t cheery! Still love it, though!


It’s addicting. I’m on season 2 episode 6 now. Almost caught up!


i enjoy that one too…one of the few shows i watch since it’s a good mindless fun fantasy show :)

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Dry Leaves- waffle cones, spices, and something fruity
Wet Leaves- musky roasted waffle fruit with burnt wood (very potent)

This tea has notes characteristic of a greener oolong in that it’s notably milky, but also possesses that savory roasted quality found in darker oolong. The unfurled wet leaves represent that dichotomy- long browny green strands.

To start, it has a honeyed body and a sweet tangy finish that very much embodies sharp red grapefruit. The aftertaste is citric and sweet- smooth and sharp.

I think I’m on my sixth or seventh steep in my gongfu pot and the tea has become noticeably honey rich, spiced near the end, and woody in a roasted way. I’m glad for this change in profile; even though I love grapefruit I can only handle so much of it. Interesting transition to say the least!

I’m still getting used to darker roasted oolongs. This is a good one for me as it definitely never allows for boredom, and contains notes from my favourite citrus fruit (sometimes I can’t believe these teas aren’t flavoured).

Also, sipdown!

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drank Bloemfontein by Mariage Frères
1181 tasting notes

Sample sipdown from ToiToi!

The smell of the blend and liquor took me by surprise; it’s a very intrusive sweet citrus perfume mixed with the berry-like qualities of rooibos. It reminds me both of Raspberry Nectar from David’s tea and SunnyD. Very sticky sweet.

The taste is a mixture of fruity floral qualities and ever present citrus. It has a smooth citrus sweet finish: top notch lemons, oranges, and even some grapefruit? The rooibos is distinguishable but I don’t feel it’s overly medicinal. Some sour puckering. I love the taste more than the smell; I’m enjoying it more than both Raspberry Nectar and SunnyD, thankfully.

Even though I stir up my tea and tisanes, I find when I drink rooibos it first tastes watery but after a few sips that wateriness becomes pleasantly creamy and thick. I don’t know why that happens but I always start to enjoy my rooibos after I’m mid-cup in. This blend is no exception.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Note: my oolong is greener and more balled up than the picture depicted on the website.

Disclosure: The fluoride treatment I always end up with at the dentist’s is orange creamsicle, the near identical flavour of this tea. It’s throwing me off a tad. I am clearly biased here so I will try to do a quick summary breakdown of the basic characteristics.

The leaves smell of the orange rinds found along with the oolong balls. The aroma of the liquor is buttery, milky oolong notes with a backdrop of candied orange. The broth feels oily and rich. The main notes are buttery, vegetal oolong followed by tangy orange peel which mellows out for the fruity and creamy sweet finish. Floral, buttery qualities make up the aftertaste texture, while citrus sourness linger on the back of the tongue.

When I had my first cup of this I was ready to drop this tea for reminding me of fluoride but today I can respect the solid floral green oolong and the milky orange. I’m actually enjoying this cup; it isn’t coming off as artificial and chemical-like as I first experienced. It’s very much the candy creamsicle tea, however.

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Aroma of dry leaves: sweet and creamy chocolate
Wet leaves: tangy cocoa, leather, coffee

Taste: very malty and woody; beer-like. Tangy/pointy orange peel, more beer, soft cocoa, hint of cream
Aftertaste: orange peel, cloves

Additional flavours in later steeps: cloves Version 2.0, pepper finish… so much pepper. This isn’t chai? Burnt wood

Awesomeness level: pretty awesome.

Can CrowKettle handle the manly power of this tea? Nope

Objective level of this note: going down with each additional word

Prevailing thought while sipping: where did the chocolate go??

205 °F / 96 °C

LOL awesome review :)


Great review. :)


Thanks! Both this note and the tea took me by surprise, and I’m still not quite sure how to handle either of them. XD


I miss this tea! :(


I wish I had more than this meager sample; I would have sent you a good portion of it! :(

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drank Mi Xian Black by Butiki Teas
1181 tasting notes

Another sipdown! This tea made me late for class the other day because I refused to go out the door until I had finished all of this scalding wonder.

This tea possesses the most delightful juicy sweetness, and I want to drink it every day. I will definitely be picking up a huge stock of this in spite of the crazy costs and the increase in shipping. When I started exploring teas I never thought a unflavoured black would be on my top favourite teas list of all time, yet here I am.


I recommend also trying Stacy’s premium Taiwanese Assam :)


I will be picking up some of that too when I get the chance! :)


I have a small sample of the upgraded premium that i’m planning on trying this weekend to do a comparision with the normal premium taiwanese assam. I’ll keep you posted :)


I’ll be looking out for that! Ashamedly, I still haven’t tried assam.


I’m a little swamped at the moment but i’m open to doing a swap in march if you still haven’t tried the assam by then heh


Thanks for the offer! If we do a swap I’ll remember to keep out green oolong. I want to finish up a huge portion of my cupboard before I acquire any more teas but I have this huge shopping list for Butiki that I want to act upon sooner than later! Hopefully my cupboards aren’t too sparse around March. :)

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Sipdown! This tastes way better when I’m more generous with the amount I put in the glass gongfu pot.

The first steep is extremely nutty, like raw almonds, with a bit of sweet grassiness. I ruined the second steep by forgetting about it for a minute, and the third one tastes like a creamy bright salve in comparison.

Fourth steep is unbelievably sweet- aftertaste of banana cream. I never achieved this the first go around (where it tasted more like sparkling apple juice and pastry). Prevailing nuttiness on the sides of the tongue and back.

Fifth steep has a finish of vanilla cream. It’s pretty tasty and I’ll bump up my arbitrary rating by a few. There is a pleasent tickling puckering astringency, but nothing bitter here.

eighth steep and up, is seeing a return to a refreshing zippy leafiness. It’s almost like it has come full circle!

Side Note: My silver sample packet of this was open and exposed to the elements for slightly over two weeks, if that has any bearing.

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Out of the handful of pumpkin teas I’ve tried this one tastes the most like pumpkin pie. It carries a mushy creaminess, a slightly pungent finish, that makes me think of pumpkin or black tea, and even the sensation of sweet rich whip cream. Are you sure this is vegan?

I don’t get creme brulee as much but it has already succeeded where many other teas have clunked out- creating a convincing pumpkin dessert, both in texture and in taste, without going overboard artificial, and still managing to be tea. Thank you BoxerMama for the sample, and Stacy for all the amazing teas!

Edit: This holds up decently to additional steeping, although the cinnamon is more dominant, and my empty cup has the amazing aroma of nutmeg, cinnamon, and creamy pumpkin.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Pie…pumpkin or otherwise..sounds wonderful right now!


You got me thinking about all the different kinds of pie out there: lemon meringue, key lime, apple, blueberry, bumbleberry, strawberry & rhubarb, cherry, blackberry, pecan, coconut, savory pies.. Now I want pie too.


Searching through wikipedia’s archive on different kinds of pie has made me realize there are many, many pies still out there that I have yet to try. I think it’s high time I grab lunch.


Sorry about that :) Lemon meringue is my absolute favorite.


I would love to try a true attempt at lemon meringue tea. Good pie to- I haven’t had any in a very long time.

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Backlog: ToiToi generously sent this to me, along with some amazing samples and candies, after the Christmas swap. I’m so grateful I got to try this!

To quickly sum it up, it tastes like a floral cream of earl grey. There are strands of rose notes and something that reminds me of lavender; the same floral minty flavour that I recognize from other lavender teas is present here but it may just be the combination of bergamot and other flowers. The dry leaves don’t smell of lavender at all; only sweet floral notes and bergamot. That citrus flavour is very present but not freakishly harsh. I think all the ingredients are balanced, and come together nicely.

I was expecting a green/black blend when I opened the packet but apparently it’s black leaves. The base is solid enough that this might go nicely with some milk. I find that this Sweet, floral, creamy, and pointy tea needs little addition, however. I don’t normally like Earl Grey bergamot teas but this one is decent.

Edit: After another day with this tea I’m pretty sure there’s no lavender. There are some very pleasant fruity floral notes that I can’t identify though. :)

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

My favourites are teas like Milk Oolong, Silver Needle,and Japanese Sencha/Gyokuro, or fruity and floral flavoured ones. However, I generally enjoy ALL the teas, including a good old cup of Earl Grey or Breakfast blend.


Vanilla, Maple, Caramel, Butterscotch, Cream, Toffee, Nougat, Marzipan, Butter

Blackberry, Raspberry, Currants, Blueberry, Elderberry, Banana, Melon, Pineapple, Persimmon, Rhubarb, Passionfruit..

Lime, Grapefruit, Lemon, Bergamot, Yuzu (orange is a hit or miss)

Ginger, Turmeric, Clove-forward chai

Musky, “Fresh,” and/or Woody Incense-like stuff: Sandalwood, Frankincense, Juniper, Eucalyptus, Mints

Lavender, Jasmine, Rose, Lilac, Violet, etc. ALL the flowers!

Spinach, Grass, Hay, Cucumber, Rice, Sweet Potato

Less Preferred Flavours/Ingredients:
Stevia, Apple, Cocoa Nib, Almond, Licorice, Cinnamon-forward blends, Chinese Sencha

Subjective Rating System:
I don’t give a lot of low ratings out, since a) I tend to grab tea I know will appeal to me, and b) I don’t have a lot of strong dislikes.

90-100: Favourites. The Desert Island Teas.
80-89: Loved teas. Possibly staple-worthy.
70-79: Good teas, but I’m less likely to repurchase. Minor quibbles.
60-69: Ok teas. Likely a few preference and/or quality issues.
50-59: Cup of meh. Will do in a pinch.
11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea.
1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This tea is the embodiment of the primordial swamp, an unholy abomination. It’s very gross and I’m almost positive it doesn’t exist.


BC, Canada

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