141 Tasting Notes

drank Genmaicha by Zen Tea
141 tasting notes

I got a shipment from Zen today, I’m really excited to go through these, starting with this genmaicha. this is a really smooth tea, I’ve had a couple genmaichas in my time, and this one is by far the best yet. it’s got lovely vegetal and roasted notes, such as any genmaicha will have, but this one is really very smooth and creamy, which is lovely. the first steep was very creamy and rich, especially as it cooled, and the second was a bit more roasty and vegetal. The third steep was still pretty roasty, less vegetal, and kinda sweet, it actually seems a bit creamier than the second steep. Hmm.. it still smells like i might be able to get another steep. Are my reviews too wordy? lol I’ll update on the 4th steep

So the 4th steep was relatively bland, basically just roasted rice + popcorn notes, I guess the leaves lost all their flavour. it still tasted good though :)

Steep times:
75s, 90s, 105s, 120s

Flavors: Cream, Milk, Popcorn, Rice, Roasted, Vegetal

1 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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This is delicious, I personally don’t understand why all India seems to be known for is Darjeeling black tea. Teabox’s greens have been incredible. The dry leaves smell a bit like a gunpowder; you can definitely tell it’s smoky, but its not .. central to the tea like the site says. The leaves smell just as the tea tastes, which I quite like. It’s woody and a little earthy, it has a bit of a rocky taste even haha, its like I’m exploring the forest. It does have that smokiness, but like I said, it’s well balanced with the woodland notes. It has a moderate astringency and at least the cup i’m drinking right now is a bit bitter.. but it was the last one in my sample so there were some smaller leaf bits and i think that’s probably why. But then again, the bitterness isn’t bad.. it’s actually quite nice. It’s got that addictiveness that I looove in teas, where i just cant stop sipping it until its gone, and it’s really rich and smooth. If you have yet to try a good Indian green I’d definitely recommend this one :) a great price too, $11 USD for 100 grams

Flavors: Astringent, Dirt, Honey, Smoke, Vegetal, Wet Rocks, Wood

5 min, 30 sec

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drank Furyu: Mimasaka Bancha by Yunomi
141 tasting notes

I’m pretty sure this is the tea I have… mine says Furyu imasaka bancha from yunomi which is like 3 letters off what it says here so I have to assume, yeah?

I got this one because Yunomi had a whole section called “dark teas” and they were all rather expensive and so I got curious what this even was. Once I opened the sample I figured it was just some fancy shade-grown bancha since thats pretty well how the leaves look/smell. I got notes of hay and wood mostly, slightly minty and its somehow earthy but light, I guess kind of more similar to a hojicha than a bancha.

Anyhow, the package wanted me to steep…10g of leaves (my sample had 5g) for 10 mins in .. 1L-1.5L which were definitely the strangest steeping instructions I’ve ever seen. nonetheless, I did the 10 minutes, with maybe 2.5g in 16oz of water. the leaves came out pitch black and kind of reflect the light into the same sort of rainbow as gas which is striking, and the tea is a dark crimson, not unlike a black tea.

Heres where everything got strange. I smelled the tea itself and its almost indescribable, it sort of reminds me of a campfire.. I think.. like camping in general, a tad fishy even.

On the first sip, I want to say that it’s smoky but.. not in the conventional way of smoky teas I’ve had in the past.. like i’m thinking actual smoke. It’s retained that fishiness, but in a mild and pleasant way, and its thick and almost meat-like, with no astringency as far as I can tell.

As it’s cooling I’m starting to taste rice, and the vaguest hints of grass and vegetation, i’m getting a bit of astringency now, since presumably it’s stronger at the bottom.

What an interesting tea, I think it’s really helped me remember why I got so excited by tea in the beginning, my excitement’s been waning recently and it’s nice to have this bit of reminder :)

Flavors: Campfire, Earth, Fishy, Grass, Hay, Meat, Mint, Rice, Smoke, Vegetal, Wood

190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more 2 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I was so excited to finally try a straight pu’erh, the davidstea near me had been out of stock of both this and the sheng, so when i finally saw it i got some. I tried it this morning after reading some reviews on it commenting on the fish smell/taste which has lingered in my throat all day, it wasn’t honestly that bad when i was drinking it but with each sip i grew increasingly upset with it. I didn’t really taste much other than the fish and some i guess banana residue from the tea i had before. So yeah, banana fish, not a big fan

Flavors: Fishy

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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drank Toasted Walnut by DAVIDsTEA
141 tasting notes

I find this tea comes to me in waves of enjoyment. Some weeks i’ll drink it non-stop and some weeks it’s entirely unappealing. I’m just about to finish off the sample I got for Christmas; really loving this cup right now. For some reason, I don’t see myself ever getting it again just cause.. I actually think I’ve yet to find a tea that I’ll always have around. It is, however, my favourite nutty tea. At least so far.

Though I can’t say my experience with nutty teas is overly expansive, I definitely can appreciate this for its very true taste. Very prominently walnut/almond, tastes just like the nuts. I don’t think I can honestly say that I’ve had a fruit tea that tastes exactly like the fruits themselves; it’s always a more fictionalized version, the absence of which seems to be something of definite character for the world of nut teas.

Flavors: Almond, Nutty, Walnut

4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Caribbean Calypso Mate by Teavana
141 tasting notes

I grabbed a pretty big tin of this 75% off cause teavana just discontinued this and I figured why not. It smelled pretty decent, everything looked good except I’m not a lemongrass person.
But I knew what I was getting into.
Maybe it’s just because of my disdain for it, but the lemongrass feels overpowering for me. It’s not as fruity as I would’ve liked, I just taste a bit of coconut and pineapple. Maybe this is just me but I’m getting a bit of a metallic.. citrus alcohol aftertaste which.. isn’t working with my lemongrass here. Buut it is a mate and if I’m in need of some caffeine this is still better than coffee.

Flavors: Alcohol, Citrus, Coconut, Lemongrass, Metallic, Pineapple

5 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Oh Canada! by DAVIDsTEA
141 tasting notes

I boldly ordered 100g of this without so much as smelling it back when David’s Tea was doing free shipping for a weekend or something. I was so confident that it would be great and the reviews are all so good..
I don’t understand. I must be the worst Canadian; I taste/smell absolutely no maple, nothing sweet, no caramel. It’s just wheaty, or like hay and woody.. I do taste a bit of vanilla, I guess that’s something
It’s just been sitting on my shelf taunting me. I tried to make an extra strong cup of it today, partly to get rid of as much as I could, partly with a desperate hope to actually taste some maple. No luck.

But it doesn’t taste as bad as it smells

Flavors: Grain, Hay, Vanilla, Wheat, Wood

Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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My mom got me 2oz of this as a sort of going away again gift as I was just home for the weekend and I’ll be at university for the next two months ):

the tea itself has an incredible aroma; I think if I could get that smell in a candle I would make a fortune. It seems to need to be brewed pretty strongly and does get bitter when going over a couple minutes, which, as I believe others before me have noted, contrasts the fruitiness one would want to get out of the apple, grape, strawberry and papaya in this tea. I think they might have been able to get more success with an herbal. Whites are meant to be light but strawberry, for me, doesn’t tend to lend itself to lightness. There were a number of times where I brewed it strong enough to yield a nice, sweet strawberry, and it was definitely delicious. But at the same time, the amount of tea that I had to use for a single cup just to get that taste, and white tea at that (moderately expensive stuff) made me feel kind of bad with every sip I took. Still, really good tasting.

2 min, 0 sec

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drank Pom Springs by DAVIDsTEA
141 tasting notes

About half a year back I had one of my worst tea experiences; it was an organic pomegranate tea in my mom’s cupboard. I can’t remember where it was from. Back then I decided that I’d try to make a sort of tea slushie, freezing a cup of it and then blending it the next day. The results were.. not good. I think that day I swore off both organic teas and basically anything pomegranate.
However, I’ve since been gifted many delicious organic teas, along with which I got a small taste of this. I’m having my first cup of pomegranate tea since that traumatic time.

I made the tea far too hot, so I’ve had it sitting on my desk for about fifteen minutes, simply taking in the aroma. It first somewhat disgusted me, but it seemed to grow on me a bit. I always used to like the actual fruit.

First sip:
I’m struck first by the apple flavour, and a blueberry taste. Acai berry as well. Is there actually pomegranate in this? I think I ended up making it too strong; I added a bit of water to try to salvage it, to limited avail. I think it would have been hard to make a tea that actually tasted like pomegranate. It’s very sweet, which I’m sure would definitely appeal to lots of people.

Cup finished:
I think my past got in the way of there being any chance of truly enjoying this. Moreover, I think I’ve yet to find a fruity tea from Davidstea that I’ve thought that I could frequently own. They always seem to leave me with a sort of dry mouth and that… You know that feeling that cranberry juice leaves in your throat? That. I should probably be making them weaker but I’ve never been a weak tea sort of guy. Overall, I would drink again but not if I had to pay for it.

Flavors: Apple, Berry, Blueberry, Cranberry

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Royal Blend by Babington's
141 tasting notes

This tea always takes me back to my trip to Rome, where I got it. It’s a really sweet and smooth blend of black and oolong teas. The website recommended 2-3g/cup but I have no idea how to convert that to tsp so I’ve just been doing about 1.25 tsp/2cups. I’m really impressed with this tea; it tastes like there’s already milk and sweetener in it even though it seems just to be a mixture of leaves. My only complaint is that the tin in the picture is really hard to get open, and it’s kind of expensive. But this is the best tea I’ve ever had the pleasure of owning<3

Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Grass, Hay, Roasted Barley, Smooth, Sweet, Wheat

4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Hey :) welcome to my steeps!
I really only ever drink straight teas, every once and a while I might have something flavoured, but odds are I won’t ever write about any of those. All of my reviews are done using my 120ml gaiwan unless otherwise specified.

I’m mostly into Sheng, Red tea and Oolongs right now, but I also can enjoy greens and whites sometimes.

My cupboard is NOT up to date. I tried for a while, but it’s too much effort, and so many of the teas I have just aren’t on here and eh.

ig: @mackie_tealife —>

Rating System:

|| One of the best teas I’ve ever
|| had; I’m definitely planning to
|| restock
|| Very very good tea, I’ll restock if
|| I’m planning to make a purchase
|| from this company anyways, if
|| not I’m alright living without it
|| Very good tea, I’d be more than
|| happy to sip again, though it’s
|| not likely I’ll be repurchasing
|| Good tea, I drank it happily,
|| though I might not be reaching
|| for it again in my cupboard
|| for a long while
|| Okay tea, it was drinkable and
|| it’s probably going to be
|| gathering dust in my cupboard
|| for a while
|| I struggled through the tea,
|| but managed to finish the
|| session, will probably be giving
|| it away to a friend.
|| I cut the session short, but
|| I think it’s possible for one to
|| have enjoyed it, it’s just really
|| low quality
|| No one should enjoy drinking
|| this, and I would have no
|| problem throwing it out.

*This system is used on my first 100 reviews, I’ve decided not to rate teas anymore because I’m definitely not qualified to be objective about quality yet and it’s just pointlessly subjective numbers and that’s not really helping anyone


Victoria, Canada



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