94 Tasting Notes

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it!
I’m not sure white teas really say Christmas but the holidays are full of indulging in things that make us happy, right? Or I could reeeeeeaaalllyy stretch it and say a white Christmas needs a white tea? But a fair bit of our snow melted yesterday so it’s not really that white out…

Anyway…glass gongfu bottle, glass cha hai, double-walled glass teacup. Near boiling water, about 130-ish ml for the 7g ball of tea, steeps starting at 20-ish seconds.

The dry tea smells like some kind of jam or baked fruity desserty thing. Pie filling but not so much the pie crust. The brewed tea doesn’t smell as fruity to me. Or at least not the same kind of fruity. Smells a bit like a pu-erh or maybe a black tea with sugar. Tastes smooth and sweet. Hot I mostly taste something that reminds me of fancy sugar…really good molassesy dark brown sugar or one of those gourmet raw sugars. Like make one of those crystal rock candy stick things out of the really good sugar and swirl it around in hot water for a while. As the tea cools I get more flavors that remind me of a darker tea. Something almost woody. Not the damp bark type wood you can get from ripe pu-eras, more like things that have been barrel-aged and have a little bit of a wood taste but the wood also gives a little bit of vanilla-ish flavor too?. The ball came apart more quickly and the leaves are more broken up than a lot of the White2Tea dragon balls I’ve had. Around the fourth steep I thought I could smell some of that pie filling type scent I could smell in the dry leaf, and maaaayyyybee get a little of it in the aftertaste of the tea. Or it could have just been my imagination as I was dreaming of cherry pie. Or peach pie. Any pie! 1:30am pie cravings are the worst. Everything is closed (in my corner of the middle of nowhere, anyway, especially on Christmas) and you’ll wake the whole house if you decide to go crashing around the kitchen to bake something. This tea is not really what I was expecting but it’s not bad. It’s kind of like taking all the sweetness of a white tea and sticking that in a mild black tea. It feels like a kind of mellow and soothing flavor. Sweet and easy to drink, not bombarding you with all kinds of crazy flavors. It does really make me want fresh from the oven baked goods, though. I think this is one where I might pick up a few more minis if I can fit them into a future order but I’m not sure I need a whole cake of it. I’m curious how the Patti and Judy white teas released at the same time will compare.


Merry Christmas :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

I wasn’t sure if I’d like this one but after trying a couple of the other Bonne Maman teas I decided I’d get a box of Contentment too. I’m not usually a fan of sweet and spicy together (spices are fine, spicy not so much) and didn’t really know what a Brazil pepper tastes like so I wasn’t sure if I’d like the tea.

The dry tea smells strongly of anise. Really strongly. The teabags are individually wrapped in the box and I could smell anise before I even opened the box. I still smell anise in the brewed tea but I can smell the other stuff lurking in the background. The tea is…kind of sweet, kind of sour (the black currant?)…with a little bit of a warming tingle that I wouldn’t really call spiciness. It’s okay. Not something I’d crave but I can probably drink through my box of it without feeling like I’m being tortured. So far all of the Bonne Maman teas have had annoyingly short strings on the teabags. I like to be able to wrap the string and tag around the handle of my mug so they don’t dive into my cup when I pour in the water but with these that leaves the teabag hanging awkwardly at the top edge of the cup. It’s not a huge deal but I wish they’d make the strings a little longer or just go stringless/tagless.

I looked up Brazil peppers while I was sipping my cup. Apparently Brazil peppers are in the cashew family and are sometimes sold as pink peppercorns. They’ve been used as folk remedies for just about everything and I guess there have been some studies on its use as a potential treatment for MRSA.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Man, it’s been way too long since I’ve had a good matcha latte! I used to regularly grab a coffee shop matcha latte while out shopping but I’ve been going fewer places since the pandemic started and just don’t want to deal with the on and off of masks to get a snack or drink while I’m out. I have lots of matcha but I never seem to manage to make myself a latte at home.

I think calling this a latte mix is kind of weird because it’s just matcha and sugar. There’s no powdered milk or anything else latte about it until you add your own. I dumped what seemed like a good amount of the powder into my fancypants Capresso milk frother pitcher thingie along with some half & half cream (I didn’t have any milk, I like my creamy drinks creamy anyway) on the hotter of the two warm froth settings. It ended up a good temperature for sipping (too hot for gulping), not so hot that the tea or cream burned. I THINK the maximum amount my frother can hold is 8oz and once it was all warm and frothy it just barely fit in my 12oz glass mug. Green creamy deliciousness. My complaint about coffee shop matcha lattes is that they often don’t have enough matcha in them. My DIY latte was finally matcha-y enough for me. It was definitely sweet from the sugar in the mix but not as sweet as something like the TeaDrops Matcha or a coffee shop matcha latte if I forget to tell them to go easy on the syrup and skip the honey (my local coffee shops like to use at least a coffee latte’s worth of vanilla syrup plus a large squirt of honey and not very much matcha…I don’t think they like the taste of matcha very much and don’t think anyone else does either). I don’t think this is a matcha I’d want to drink made traditionally with just a small amount of water but it’s not really meant to be drunk that way. I have added a little of this mix to other cheap low-grade matchas I thought were too bitter, though. It helps some if you’re really determined to drink the cheap stuff without making it into a latte but it won’t magically transform it into GOOD matcha. I’m not sure if I’d buy the latte mix again. Jade Leaf is one of the few matcha brands I can find locally so maybe if I was all out of matcha and desperate for some immediately…but I could probably find something better and cheaper online and sweeten it myself if I thought it needed sweetening.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

I loved last year’s Tiltshift so much that I immediately ordered the 2021 when I saw it pop up on White2Tea’s site around Black Friday. I fired up the kettle and tossed a Tiltshift mini into my gongfu bottle as soon as the package arrived this afternoon.

Glass gongfu bottle, double-walled glass cup. I like brewing in glass…no weird flavors from the teaware and it’s fun to watch the leaves swirl around. Water just under boiling. 130-ish ml of water (bottle about 2/3 full) for 7g ball of tea. Steeps starting at about 30 seconds.

The dry tea smells sweet, kind of like melon slices and strawberry candy. Wet leaf smells more citrusy and sour, way stronger scent than when dry. It tastes delicious. There are a bunch of fruit flavors, some vanilla and candy-like sweetness. It reminds me of what happens when I decide to make a smoothie. No recipe, just grab whatever’s available that sounds good and hope the flavors work well together. Melon chunks, pineapple, apricots, strawberries, some white grape juice, a squeeze of lemon, a good splash of vanilla…a handful of sweet-tart fruity candies? Sometimes you end up with something absolutely amazing (and of course those are the times you can’t remember what you did to try to replicate it), sometimes not so much. This is like one of the really good crazy concoctions. Not too sweet, not too tart. It has the same sort of smooth, light powdery mouthfeel as last year’s Tiltshift did when it was new. My 2020 is now starting to move more toward that malty black tea tongue coating feel and I imagine this one will too with time. After three steeps the leaves had loosened some but were still mostly a ball. I had to take a snack break here and come back to the tea a while later. It went quite a few more steeps after my snack, lasting me all evening. The tea left me happy and drowsy in a state of “tea stoned” derpiness…but I’m the weirdo who tends to get sleepy with caffeine instead of waking up.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

This is the second of my three Bonne Maman teas. I mostly smell chamomile. Maybe lemony chamomile? It tastes like lemony chamomile. There’s a slight citrusy tartness…not sure if that’s just the lemongrass and lemon balm or if the cranberry is contributing. I don’t taste cranberry flavor so I don’t think there’s much in it. I’m not really sure what yarrow tastes like or if it’s adding anything here. I think I like the Serenity better than the Dream tea. I usually enjoy chamomile teas. So does my cat. But kitty doesn’t like citrus so maybe the lemony stuff in this one will keep her from shoving her fat head into my cup and knocking it over. Anyway…would maybe repurchase this one. It would depend on whether I had any other lemony chamomiles at the time.

Flavors: Chamomile, Lemongrass


I didn’t know Bonne Maman had teas!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Dream by Bonne Maman
94 tasting notes

I didn’t know Bonne Maman made herbal teas until I was wandering through the tea aisle of the grocery store the other day. I grabbed three of the five I saw (skipped the apple one and one that had peppers in it). My store only had the teabags but apparently the Bonne Maman teas are available as loose tea as well.

The lavender is the most prominent flavor for me in Dream. I’m not a huge lavender fan but I like a little bit occasionally. The other ingredients keep the lavender from being overpowering and unpleasant but I have a hard time picking out the rose at all and I’m not really sure what linden tastes like on its own to know if I taste it or not. The tea has a cooling feeling like peppermint but there isn’t any mint in this one. I’m not sure it’s something I’ll want to drink regularly but it’s a nice addition to my tea stash for when I feel like something floral and non-caffeinated.

Flavors: Lavender


Login or sign up to leave a comment.

I don’t really care for red rooibos but I’ve seen some people mentioning they have a strong preference for either red or green so I thought I’d give this a try when I found a tin at the grocery store. I think it’s quite a bit tastier than red rooibos but I’m not in love with it. It’s just a big cup of meh. There are other caffeine-free options I enjoy a lot more. Maybe it would be better for me in a blend instead of straight rooibos? Or maybe I’m just not a rooibos person.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Revisiting this one to see if it was as good as I remembered since I just ordered the 2021 Tiltshift over Black Friday Weekend (yay free shipping!). I never managed to pick up another cake or more minis of the 2020 so I’ve been trying to save it instead of gulping it all down like I’d like to because I’m curious what it’ll be like in a couple years. I still haven’t cracked into my cake. Maybe next time I’ll try to do some of the cake and one of the last dragon balls at the same time just to compare how the different sizes are aging.

Used the glass gongfu bottle, glass cha hai, rainbowy silver lined cup. Water was at or close to boiling but I’m sure it cooled quickly with the cold house and being poured into the water side of the bottle first, so it wasn’t quite that hot by the time it actually hit the tea. 7g tea ball. Water quantity…well, I think the larger “water side” of my bottle is supposed to be 200ml and I wasn’t filling it all the way but I wasn’t measuring precisely either…maybe 150-175ml? About 30sec steeps to start with, adding time after the first few. Probably could have done a little less water and a little shorter steep time but oh well.

I love it. It’s sweet, it’s fruity, it’s got that tongue-coating thing you get from a good malty black tea. Between steeps a super sweet aftertaste would pop up that was like I’d just eaten a spoonful of sugar or something. There’s something there that reminds me of one of those sort of generically fruity KoolAid type drinks, which I know sounds like it should be kinda gross, but it’s more of a pleasantly nostalgic thing. There’s other fruitiness that seems more like actual fruit but I can’t quite figure out what kind. It’s not quite melon or grape or apricot or anything else I can definitely identify but it’s delicious. It’s like drinking a smoothie with like 14 kinds of fruit in it and you can’t pick out the individual flavors very well but they all work well together. If the 2021 is anything like the 2020 my tastebuds are going to be happy. It was a tough decision whether to order an extra cake of the 2021 Tiltshift or a cake of the 2021 Moon Waffles, though (Tiltshift won in this order. The Moon Waffles is at the top of my list for my next order).

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

I was grumpy about White2Tea’s Halloween minis pack selling out before I convinced myself to order it again this year so I consoled myself with a tea club membership. This tea was in my first box (November) along with a 2018 Sun Fu heicha. I’d normally stuff a pu-erh this young down into the bottom of my tea box and try to forget about it for a while but the included information sheet suggested tasting it now. This is probably the freshest/youngest pu-erh I’ve ever had a chance to try so it seemed like a good learning experience.

Teeny baby gaiwan, 2-3g leaves (my scale decided to turn off in the middle of weighing out the leaves, it was awesome), water just boiled, house freezing (okay, about 63°F), quick rinse and steeps starting at around 10sec.

I didn’t think this would be a favorite right now and it isn’t. To me it has more smell dry than the wet leaf or brewed tea does. Dry it has a nice zingy sheng smell. The most interesting steep for me wasn’t even one of the real steeps but the rinse. The rinse had a little more flavor to it than the following steeps. After that, it was just kind of a light bitterness and not much else. I could be out of practice with my gongfu. I also don’t really have any experience with old arbor raws so I’m not sure what to expect compared to other raw pu-erhs . And I tend to prefer raws that are a few years old. It’s possible I’ll absolutely love this tea after letting it age a bit but at the moment it’s pretty meh for me. I’m glad I tried it now but it’s not something I want to keep drinking in its current state. It didn’t kill my stomach so at least there’s that. I wish the growing region had been mentioned in the description for this tea…White2Tea doesn’t seem to include that information for most of their teas. I try to compare information for teas I like (or dislike) to help me choose new teas instead of just randomly picking things so I’m always a fan of more info in descriptions.


Hi, I tried this same tea recently and I found it really rich and delicious. What’s your gaiwan size? Have you tried using more leaves?


@Tea_Ass – I was using a little 50ml porcelain gaiwan. I may have underleafed…I tend to be a bit cautious with new shengs and then with my scale causing problems I might’ve ended up with even less. The dry wintery air here has been making my sinuses grouchy and could be affecting my senses of smell and taste a bit too. I haven’t tried the tea again yet. It’ll be interesting to see if I feel different about it next time.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



I may have a mild to moderate tea addiction. Black, white, green, pu-erh, it doesn’t matter. I’m a little on the fence about oolongs but I’m starting to think I’m just particular about how they’re brewed. I haven’t tried any yellows yet but they’re on my wishlist so I can have a complete rainbow of tea. My tea problem is bad enough that I don’t necessarily even need tea in my tea, most herbals are welcome in my house too.

Favorites: jasmine, moonlight white, shou mei, chenpi/tangerine peel, violet, rose, Mengku sheng (especially autumn), anji bai cha, taiping houkui, blooming tea balls, tulsi/holy basil, chamomile

Dislikes: red rooibos, eucalyptus, allspice, flavorings of unknown origin, pumpkin, apple, banana, annoying flower petals that don’t add any flavor but are thrown in to look pretty (they tend to float and get in my way if I brew tea grandpa style)


Montana, USA

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer