296 Tasting Notes

Happy 2016! This was the first tea I drank to celebrate the new year. I got this sample with my Black Friday order and I so wish I had packed it on my trip home to see the fam on Christmas. Taking a whiff of the dry leaf I get a hefty scent of festive tart red berries and a tiny hint of spice. Think a festive Christmas candle. I dusted off my 16oz teapot and scooped out 2 rounded teaspoons into the infuser. This is quite the colorful blend, with blue cornflowers, green pandan leaves, and red berry chunks and rosehips. Christmas confetti!

3-4 minutes later, I poured myself a nice steaming mug of festive Stollen. To be honest, I am not a fan of Stollen. The combination of marzipan, yeast bread, spices, and dried fruits is so not my jam. But I can understand the translation in this tea. There is a bright fruity-ness that blends with delicate cinnamon and cloves. I can sense a bit of a sweetness that imitates the traditional powdered sugar dusting. I did not get too much bergamot at all, which works out for me – the present flavor profiles were spot on without.

All in all, this blend was a very festive one, and I love pretty much anything that Victor at Ette does, but I love his other blends much more. It just doesn’t do it for me.
Thanks for the sample Victor!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Fruity, Powdered Sugar

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

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Getting Festive!

I got this tea from 52Teas Holiday presale kickstarter. I love houjicha, and this blend sounded just so seasonally appropriate I had to have it.

I don’t think I was disappointed. Cracking open the bag, I got a strong whiff of baking ginger, sweet molasses, and the smooth toasty houjicha. I brewed it up, and the whole room was hit with the smell of freshly baked gingerbread. The tea is quite naturally sweet, and the ginger hits the palate first. Then you get some roasted green tea that transitions smoothly into fresh baked goodness.

I am feeling more festive with every sip :)

note to self: don’t write reviews in the review box in my browser. You will lose your notes. Every. Time.


Sounds tasty. I was dubious how green tea would work with gingerbread, so I didn’t pick up any of this.

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drank Rosé Royal by Lupicia
296 tasting notes

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drank Tochiotome Green by Lupicia
296 tasting notes

Hooray for boring Sundays! Nothing like a day where I do not have to work or leave the house. I can just cook myself a hangover breakfast, do laundry, listen to podcasts, and make DIY Christmas presents for the fam. Oh, and drink cup after cup of tea until my bladder and/or liver gives out. I am so glad to have these two specific days again, I don’t think I have had true weekends since I was 14. Ahh.

One of the teas I rummaged for today is this lovely green. I love the art on Lupicia’s tins. I think that is the reason I bought the tea, heh. Not usually a fan of strawberry flavored greens, I do enjoy this one from time to time. The leaves themselves are wide, and a bit more broken up than I ’d like in a sencha blend. The resulting tea has a bit of a strong and bitter grassy note than I would prefer, but the sweet and fun strawberry tackles it into submission. There is also a rounding cream note that conjures up memories of what I used to fondly call, “Pink Milk.” Which is, as (hopefully) you all know, is strawberry milk. The only way to get me to go near a glass of milk was to pour in that artificially colored strawberry syrup at a ratio of 1:1.

When a tea conjures up fond childhood memories, it is usually a winner in my book. This tea is no exception. It’s shamelessy fun, fruity, and not serious. It’s going to taste so much better in the spring time, if it lasts that long.

Flavors: Cream, Grass, Strawberry

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drank Pandan Chiffon by ETTE TEA
296 tasting notes

Revisiting this tea today whilst curled up in front of the TV. I repurchased this tea from Ette’s Black Friday sale for my sister. i gave her a cup of it when i first recieved this tea as part of a group buy a while ago. i remeber being quite fond of it then.

While the flavor has not stood up well to the ziploc baggie it was inside of, I can still get a very decent cup out of it. It’s as sweet as I remember, creamy, desserty and has hints of graham crackers. The houjicha is stronger, with it’s nutty goodness. I am surprised that this blend has lasted the neglect I have given it.

Oh yeah, it also goes great with pumpkin pie.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

Hi The Last Dodo,

Thank you for taking part in our Black {Tea} Friday Sales! We are in the midst of preparing all orders and will be sending them out to all tea lovers (including you!) shortly.

We are very happy that you liked Pandan Chiffon Tea! Have lovely week.


Victor, ETTE TEA

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This was the November tea of the month for the Muse Monthly Box!

I have been sick all week, so I have been guzzling tea like it’s going out of style. I have been blowing through what little remains of my bagged stash and combing Verdant’s Elderberry Herbal with plenty of marshmallow root for my sore throat. My diet of this past week has mainly consisted of cough drops, Dayquil, marshmallows and tea.

I thought I’d give this tea a whirl while doing some reading, and I don’t think I could have spit it out fast enough.

Just no. No. No. NO.

This tea was far too similar to the chloraspetic cherry cough drops that I dread. I actually had nightmares about that medicinal cherry flavor. That is what this tea so closely mirrors. The muddy black tea base is only salt in the wound.

Sorry Muse Monthly, but your tea picks have been getting weaker and weaker. At least the books are good?

Flavors: Cherry, Dust, Medicinal


Chloraseptic cherry cough drops have been known to induce nightmares. ;)


Seeing how hibiscus and berry flavors are your least favorite and the fact that you are sick makes me think the tea just isn’t for you and not the tea. Hope you are feeling better.

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So there has been talk circulating around the idea of a smoky vanilla tea. So I tried my hand at making my own this morning using Tippy’s Lumberjack and Townsend Tea’s Mt. Hood Vanilla I think my ratio was 3 parts vanilla tea to 1 part smoky tea. I would have liked to have seen more vanilla flavor and less LS smokiness, but I think the blend was really quite good. It will have to do for now, I am keeping my eyes peeled for the real thing soon.

Don’t let me down, Steepster!

Flavors: Smoke, Vanilla

Liquid Proust

Sounds intriguing, who is doing smoked vanilla?


i was thinking about adding vanilla bean to the smokey black from verdant in light of those conversations as well. interesting to see your experiment!


@LP: Whispering Pines has been hounded by his fans to make one. I hope he does!

@Sil: I think the Verdant smoky tea would be a much better fit. I think the LS that Tippy uses is a bit heavy, kinda bacon-like. Huh. Bacon Vanilla tea…..

Maddy Barone

I just had the Melbourne Breakfast tea by T2 this morning. It was smoky and vanilla and honey. Really yummy, although the smoke was quite light. Maybe you’d like that one?

Liquid Proust

Was just curious. LPT is doing a vanilla smoked Dian Hong if the funding on GoFund me works. It’s a fun idea :)


@Maddy: AAAAAaaah! that does sound good!

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I dream in tea.

My name is Maddi. I like to take boiling hot showers and meditate in my closet. I think and talk about tea so much that it has become a punchline of sorts with my family and coworkers. Besides my unhealthy obsession with the drink that gives me life, I do yoga frequently, I make green smoothies out of any vegetables and fruit in the nearest vicinity, I am obsessed with Korean Dramas, I run as a form of moving meditation, and play video games with my easygoing and forgiving boyfriend. I used to cook for a living, and I almost always eat at least one waffle a day.

Favorite types of teas:
Aged Oolongs hold my heart. Sneaking their way in are Korean Greens. Roasted oolongs and I are not on speaking terms as of late. Black teas of all types, but especially Fujian and some Yunnan are nice indulgences more often than not. I know and love Japanese greens more than any kind, while Chinese greens bore me. Certain White teas thrill me, but most have me changing the channel. I love using my Yerba Mate gourd, we have become steadfast amigos. Puerh and I are still getting to know each other, and while sheng is playing hard to get, shou is there to hold my hand when no one is looking. I sometimes make my own functional herbal blends, and if there is a hell, it is filled with Rooibos. Above all else, direct – trade tea is my favorite.

LEAST Favorite Flavors/Flavorings
Herbs, if they are out of place (I’m talking to you, thyme)
Strong Bergamot
Chocolate (added flavorings)
Cloves/strong cinnamon

MOST Adored Flavor Profiles
Majority of chai
Stone fruit/melon

“Tea is naught but this:
First you heat the water.
Then you make the tea.
Then you drink it properly.
That is all you need to know.”
- Sen No Riyku


Denver sometimes, Las Vegas some other times



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