90 Tasting Notes


In the bag, you get a blueberry muffin at your service, or better yet, a blueberry granola bar. The cup takes this and mellows the aroma out even more, bringing in an undertone of raspberry and maybe apple as well, for an earthy kind of fruit tea.

Berry teas especially can be a flavor blast to the mouth, some verging on jam-ish sweetness. This one, however, does well in maintaining its distance. The currant in here serves to hold all the other berries in check, cooling off any tartness that could otherwise show up. You’d probably hit sour if it was oversteeped, of course, but who knows… Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/05/25/snooty-tea-review-teavivre/

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The dry tea smells veggie-green to the extreme. Kind of seaweedy, like sticking your nose in a warm salad bar. Steeped, however, this mellows out to a golden smell, so sunny that you want to take it to the beach now.

At first you want to go, “This is totally a green,” but the tea goes, “Haha, psych!” It’s just a plain fun tea, totally lighthearted. (Can a tea have a happy vibe? Lishan Spring says yes.) Usually there’s a certain solemnity to tea, but this one is a real get-up-and-go baller. It’s not from the caffeine or theanine content, just the flavor alone. “Spring” is a great name for this tea, as it’s like walking on a stretch of new grass with young, fragrant leaves sprouting up behind you with every step, like you’re some kind of epic sun goddess. So get out there and share your happy nature vibes with the world…

Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/05/11/snooty-tea-review-tealet-teas/

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In the bag it has a distinct woody smell, with bronze notes from the roasting. Not very pungent. Once steeped, the aroma is still not too strong, but it turns into this wonderful roasted pecan scent and doesn’t beat your face with it, either. It’s a comforting smell, one that says, “Here, sit down next to me by the fire.” Maybe you’ll get to hear a story.

Off the bat, though, it’s hard to tell what that story is under all its smokiness–those poor pecans nearly all got charred away. The first impression is Sanka, or some sort of instant decaf coffee. Let me tell you, though, although it gets its name from the goddess of kindness and compassion, this tea does not take kindly at all to oversteepage. It produces a metallic taste that serves as a slap on the wrist, going, “Shame on you!”…

Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/05/11/snooty-tea-review-tealet-teas/

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The trading card says “sweet roasted barley” and that comes through right in the bag. It’s similar to the Black Pearl smell, with a hint of veggie green. Interestingly, this morphs into a a great nutty-smokiness once steeped, some baked apple in there as well–and some dates, even. Already, this tea could go well with Middle Eastern cuisine (Shawarma, anyone?) or Mom’s homemade cooking.

When you start sipping, it’s really those roasted apples all the way. Surprisingly, not half as much nuttiness as the smell would have you think, so it ends up as just a comfort food kind of tea. The more it cools, the more the darker flavors come into play, and we come back to the dates, along with some raisins in there for extra oomf. But this isn’t that kind of date tea. It’s more of a, “Hey, being single is pretty cool,” kind of tea. Drink it and be merry, and just nod and smile when your friend tells you for the nine thousandth time that you need to settle down with a nice yoga instructor and make lots of babies…

Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/05/11/snooty-tea-review-tealet-teas/

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The bag’s got a warm, bright bakery smell, like sesame honey buns fresh out of the oven. This softens in the cup and becomes rather inviting.

The first sip is all malty barleyness up in here. It’s a party in your mouth–now you see why the smell had an invitation to it. That invitation got sent to the right people, as the guests are all salty, brassy folks, probably sitting on the couch swigging hard cider while ever-so-casually discussing the virtues of bacon maple ice cream, which makes the vegans uncomfortable and shuffle closer to their homemade organic, locally-grown kale chips. (They weren’t invited, they just came because they’re your new neighbors and wanted to make a show of goodwill.)…

Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/05/11/snooty-tea-review-tealet-teas/


Haha! Very clever review, loved it :-) Now I have a clear vision of what can make a vegan bunch feel really uncomfortable!

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Gardeners will love this one instantly, as the bag yields a pungent woody smell, like fresh mulch.

In the cup, we have another case of misleading name-age, though this time we may blame whichever unfortunate sap christened the plant in the first place. Honeybush is similar to rooibus, coming from a related herb of the same region in Africa. This tea, however, is neither honeyed nor bushy. Immediately you get a salty-woody smell, like sea salt caramel. When you dive in for a sip, it’s like diving into a pile of crunchy autumn leaves without fear of worms or other buggies that may be lurking within. Total comfort.

But autumn leaves, as we know, are dry. You won’t get a huge flavorblast to the mouth with this tea. Still, it makes for a resoundingly pleasant cup. The saltiness gives it an eggs n’ bacon vibe, something to pair with breakfast on a lazy, decaf day. Very savory. This isn’t the kind of tea you serve when you want to impress someone–this one is purely for your own enjoyment…

Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/04/20/snooty-tea-review-chateau-rouge/

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This proved to be a fruity black tea if there ever was one. There’s some really fun hints of peaches and apple, or better yet, grape juice. Reminded me almost of Maneschewitz or Kedem. Like the Sikkim Temi, the flavor deepens and develops nicely as it cools–you’ll even get a whiff of plum in there. Overall, a very low-key, friendly sort of black, one that doesn’t overwhelm the sipper’s palate with too many notes or perfumey distractions. Just straight, robust flavor.

This tea is ideal for someone who’s just getting into blacks. With its warm brassiness, it would also make Keemun lovers very happy, and could possibly persuade Yunnan fans as well. This could be a rather cosmopolitan tea; serve it at an international brunch and even other snooty tea people will be pleased…

Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/04/20/snooty-tea-review-chateau-rouge/

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There’s a forest smell in the bag, or perhaps like a tundra just coming into summer; damp ground starting to sleepily shake off the frost.

When steeped, summer comes into full bloom and pervades the cup with a true warmth. It has the aftertaste typical of South Asian black tea, slowing dropping back into the floral. But mind you, with blacks, “floral” means less like downing a bottle of Sabon cream, and more like rediscovering that old prom corsage you left to dry in the basement 5 years ago. Like that corsage, this tea is secure and nostalgic, but you’ve moved on already to the point where it’s not worth getting sentimental. It’s a “That’s now, now let’s get down to the business of the day” kind of tea. Not one you’ll be reminiscing about later, but an amiable way to start your morning.

Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/04/20/snooty-tea-review-chateau-rouge/

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This was not my cup of tea—pun intended.

The smell in the bag is like DAMN SON DAMN sticking your nose into a heart-shaped box of chocolates.

In the cup, this tea is really, really sweet. Like obscenely. No sugar needed, and it probably tastes like a desserty dream with any kind of milk. dairy, nondairy, whatever—just be careful of adding a flavored milk because with all the other action happening in the mug, your palate just might explode. This is a dessert tea to the core. The only reason you’d drink this is because you missed out on the actual heart-shaped box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day and now you’re making it up to yourself because you deserve it, dangit. If any tea will make you forget you’re drinking hot, steeped leaf matter, it’s this one. Very escapist. The artificial aftertaste really brings home the box of chocolates metaphor, as it gets you thinking of the Valentine’s gifts you’d find at your local drugstore, wrapped in red or pink cellophane with a plastic rose glued on top. Sugar addicts will fall in love with this tea, but the rest of us may find better satisfaction with an actual box of chocolate.

More reviews can be found on the Snooty Tea Blog at snooteablog.com.

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Tea blogger and pun-dit at the Snooty Tea Blog.

At the moment, I don’t have enough time to keep Steepster cup-dated with reviews, so if you’re looking for the latest leaves in my Snooty cup, hit up snooteablog.com. Most of the teas I review end up on there.

Some people drink tea because they think it has nine thousand-plus health benefits and saves the rainforest while eliminating world hunger and solving the energy crisis.

I just drink it because it’s good.


New York



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