50 Tasting Notes

drank Organic Peach White by Honest Tea
50 tasting notes

This is not as sweet as other bottled teas, but still sweeter than I would like. I like it because it tastes like tea. The powdery, light white tea flavor is there, and the peach is there, and neither one is overpowering the other. The sugar does overtake everything. There is a sweet aftertaste (from the tea, I think, after the sugar sweetness is gone).

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I tried three 8 oz steepings with 1 teaspoon of these leaves, 2 min at about 175F each time.

The dry leaves smell like dry hay and, unexpectedly, chocolate.

The leaves partially unfurled. The liquor has a powerful nutty aroma that I can smell with my face feet away from the cup as I pour it. Putting my nose down in the cup gives the nutty aroma plus a weaker aroma of something like something with sauteed onions. The appearance is a very light yellow green liquor, crystal clear.

The taste is light and smooth, with a slightly creamy feel and a body that is surprising for something so faint in color that only steeped 2 minutes.

This has a strong nutty flavor and a pleasant amount of light bitterness. There is little sweet and less than gum-tingling astringency. Swishing around my mouth turns the nutty flavor to something more like coconut. There is a sweet and bitter aftertaste, with a faint bitter coming in first and then a stronger sweet remaining.

This cup of tea went fast.

There are several nice sized dots of tea oil floating on the surface of this cup. The liquor is greener and darker in color. There is significantly less nutty aroma. The creaminess is gone, leaving the nutty flavor and some bitterness. Astringency is more present.

There is a slight vegetal, green flavor moving in reminding me of, edamame?! The nutty flavor gets some mint character.

The aftertaste makes me think “Wow.” It is an almost tangible sweet with some floral notes.

The nuttiness is stronger and harsher. I make my rating based on this more complex and interesting cup.

My stomach feels full and sloshy, and I’m not sure where this tea is going (will it get meaner?), but I forge ahead. . .

The color is lighter and much more brown than green. There is an aroma of steamed edamame over the cup, but the aroma is light overall.

This taste gets an “ooohh” from me; it tastes like the water used to steam a batch of edamame but with a sweet kick, and not sugar sweet, but tea sweet. The edamame is the only real flavor note. Bitterness is gone, and a bit of creaminess has come back.

The “ka-pow” aftertaste is gone, replaced by just a respectable sweet aftertaste.

My fears were unfounded. The 2nd steep gave up all the leaves’ fierceness. This cup is mellow and friendly. The volume of the flavor is on the order of something like the first steep of Tazo China Green Tips.

I appreciate that this adventure in a cup has been made available in an affordable sampler. I think I could be happy enjoying just the first and second steeps here.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Very interesting! I always think that these leaves smell chocolatey, but I was never sure if they really did smell that way, or if my mind were playing tricks on me. Have you tried the Laoshan Black yet? The chocolate is in that tea in full force. I usually make this pouring between two glasses, but whenever I make it in a larger pot, I also get a hint of something minty. Again, I always wondered if this was just something in my head or in my pot, so it’s nice to know it’s really there.
I’m surprised you could steep the leaves as you did three times! I usually give up on them after one larger pot, and only resteep when I’m doing gongfu style. I will have to try it your way and see what happens.


I’m also glad to have some confirmation about the mint flavors and chocolate aroma. I did try the Laoshan black and was surprised by it, too.

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I used more tea this time, about two even teaspoons for 12 ounces.

1st steep, 165F, 3 min
The flavors are like I remember from the last time I tasted this, but stronger (as expected). They made such an impression the last time I tasted this that the aroma and taste are like meeting up with an old friend. There is a new piquancy that bites the side of my tongue and back of the throat that I don’t remember from before. This steep has great floral notes that are strong and still larger than the green and savory oolong flavor. The floral notes are complex and clear. I still can’t decide what flower the floral notes remind me of, but there are a lot of them together.

2nd steep, 165F, 4 min
This is a darker liquor with a strong, savory oolong aroma. The floral aroma is secondary now.
The taste profile is different from the first steep. There is a definite fruity sweetness up front and a more moderate floral flavor. The savory flavor is stronger. The tastes are smooth with just a slight hint of an edge. There is a vegetal flavor that I don’t remember before. The floral notes come in late in the sip. I love the slight bite. I love the faint fruity ester aftertaste.

I think it’s better with more (enough?) tea. I love how many things there are to taste here. What a pleasure. Enjoying these two very nice cups of tea put my day in a sense-making frame.

165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Wow! Again, I’m really impressed this tea changed and grew so much for you in a big pot. I basically never do this tea in a pot because I get so much out of it in the gaiwan. I really encourage you to try this in a smaller vessel (gong-fu style in a small pot or a gaiwan) because I think you will like it even more than you do now.


Someday, I will.

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drank Coconut Cabana by The Tea Spot
50 tasting notes

The dry leaves are forest green and darker. The coconut shreds are tinted a bright shade of green in my sample. The aroma of the dry leaves is a sweet, chewy, buttery coconut; if you smelled the tea with your eyes closed, you could convince yourself you had opened a tin of coconut butter cookies. I’m excited to taste what this tea will be like.

The aroma over the steeped leaves is like steamed spinach and some coconut.

The liquor is slightly cloudy and a light green-yellow. It has a tangible and savory coconut aroma and has plenty of tea oil floating on top.

The taste is as expected from the smell. There is a buttery coconut flavor, a very (very) light astringency and a light sweetness that comes in moments later. There is a bitterness I notice at the very end or after a sip, and this is very faint. Where is the tea? Violent swishing around my mouth brings out a vegetal flavor and some oolong flavor — aha — there it is! This also brings a delicate, piney aftertaste.

A second steeping at 205F for 4 minutes gives a greener liquor with less tea oil. The coconut flavor is still produced at the same strength, and the vegetal tea flavor is stronger. The aftertaste is sweet with coconut.

I would call this very smooth and delicate, but not as complex as other oolongs I’ve tried. Overall the flavors are light. I may need to try this first steep again with a longer steep or with more tea to get the full flavor I expect from an oolong.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Red Vanilla by American Tea Room
50 tasting notes

I can see two big chunks of vanilla bean in my heaping teaspoon of rooibos blend steeped in 12 oz of 200 F water.

There is a strong honey aroma over the cup and another sharp aroma I can’t place. The liquor is clear and has a nice, deep red-brown color.

The taste gives me a warm honey flavor, then a sharp vanilla flavor, then the soft, earthy rooibos taste. The sip is not earthy overall, likely due to the strong, almost pungent vanilla taste. I think it balances the honey and earthy rooibos flavors well. A vanilla aftertaste remains.

I like this one enough to consider ordering more than this sample and trying it with milk.

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
50 tasting notes

This is the bagged tea I get when I ask for a cup of complimentary hot tea on a Southwest Airlines flight. I don’t know what temperature the water is or how long the bag has been steeping by the time it gets to me. Despite this, the cup of tea is remarkably consistent flight after flight. This tastes like black tea. The tastes of “tea,” sweet, bitter, and astringency are all mild and in balance. It is hard to pull any other flavors out. It is better than having no cup of tea on the airplane.


I had the exact same experience! :)

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A 5 min steep at 205F produced an opaque cup with a beautiful red-brown color, with a fair bit of tea oil on the surface. The aroma above the cup was a bright rose aroma with a faint hint of wet bark.

Each sip gives a very strong bitter flavor, a bright, side of the tongue bitter, and also a powdery bitter in back, and not much else. There is a faint sweet aftertaste that is overpowered by bitter aftertaste. Astringency is there, but hard to notice because the bitter is so strong.

I like bitter, but in balance. This seems very out of balance for my taste. One dimensional.

A splash of milk knocks down the bitter to a more pleasant level, and allows some faint floral and evergreen notes to squeak out, but only squeak.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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drank China Green Tips by Tazo
50 tasting notes

Dry bag smells like dry grass clippings, a hint of mint; familiar and comforting.

Aroma over cup has a hearty nuttiness with a distinct cut grass smell.

Cup is yellow with some faint green.

First sips have a powdery green tea flavor with some very faint bitterness and some seaweed flavor, with some faint mint notes coming in the aftertaste after the dried grass clippings. There is a nuttiness that is less prominent that I expected from the smell of the dry tea. Soft and smooth. Astringency is nearly non-existent.

Sips midway through the cup have some bright flavor along the sides of my tongue that I can’t quite place, bittersweet? This dominates the bitter and other notes, which are still quite subdued. Astringency is starting to tap lightly in the back of my mouth at the end of a sip. Green tea flavor and nuttiness are still quite faint.

I will finish the box, but I’m sure I can find another bagged chinese green that has more pizazz. If you like a smooth, smooth, smooth green tea in a bag, try this.

170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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This has a bitterness and astringency that were surprising for an iced tea in a dispenser on a cafeteria line next to a soda fountain. I was surprised when I took my first sip. It tastes like it is steeped in water that is too hot, but not hot enough to get seaweed flavors. There is a nice melon/fruity flavor underneath the strong bitter taste and then other green tea flavors. Pomegranate? I can’t taste it.

I’m not sure I would have thought to pair melon and green tea, but I like the idea. I think they complement each other well. Melon sometimes has a bitter taste when you get too close to the rind, and those bites are just as “melon” as the ones that are all melon sweetness.

This was great to have with lunch on a 95 degree August day. It’s also great to get iced tea at a deli that tastes like tea and is unsweetened.

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The tea bags have a smell fruity, but not specifically like peaches.

The color in the cup is a light yellow orange. The aroma is light. It is peach and, interestingly, the aroma from habanero peppers (not the heat, but the particular aroma they have). There is no hint of citrus (mentioned on the ingredients).

The white tea taste is delicate, as expected, but firm, too, up front. There is a delicate bitter flavor in back. The peach flavor comes to me last. A little citrus comes out in the end of some sips.

Moderate astringency, faint sweet aftertaste.

The tea flavor is nicely uncomplicated. I think the peach is impressively balanced with the tea here. This cup makes me feel relaxed at my desk.

165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I need coffee; I love tea.

I have been learning about tea since I was a teenager, but joining Steepster has accelerated my education.

I gave up soda (completely) this Spring and have re-discovered tea to fill the afternoon void.

I like strong, well balanced tastes. I ferment my own mead, cider, and sauerkraut.

I like green tea, oolong, black tea, flavored black tea, pu-erh, and some tisanes! Oh, and Mate, too!

Lately, I have been most enjoying nutty green teas and oolong teas.

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