528 Tasting Notes

93
drank Caramel Apple Oolong by 52teas
528 tasting notes

Caramel Apple Oolong, how have I not tried you yet?? After forgetting about this tea in my cupboard for 7 months, it’s calling my name today. The dry leaf aroma was at first bittersweet chocolate, but that dissipated and now all I smell is caramel. Odd. Maybe it was my imagination (or maybe it’s because I stored it next to a chocolate tea) because the brewed tea aroma is just apples and caramel.

First sip! Well, I am not disappointed. This does indeed taste like a caramel apple, or as close to it as tea can get. The oolong base is very nice here. It adds a butteriness that makes the caramel richer. The apple is equally present and lends a certain acidity to the tea that confirms “this is apple” without being overwhelming. Mmmm, this is sooo good! I guess age hasn’t harmed this one since it was still sealed.

I love this tea. I love how teas like this exist. The world became such a more magical place since I’ve discovered the broad range of teas out there. I think my blood must be English because I do enjoy my tea time thoroughly. Teas are also a lot like books. They can transport you somewhere else. They can be comforting, enticing, stimulating, or calming. Tea is an adventure! I love tea!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Fjellrev

Yay for tea!

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60

I got a sample sachet of this from my apartment complex. It was fully exposed to the air for about two weeks. Whoops. Well from the aroma of the dry leaf, it doesn’t seem to have affected it. I infused this for three minutes, which was probably longer than I should have. The liquor is very dark red. The brewed tea aroma is recognizably pumpkin spice and red rooibos.

Now I don’t really like red rooibos. So take my opinion on this tea with a grain of salt. This is ok. The aftertaste is strongly medicinal. The spice comes across well as does the pumpkin flavor. I think most people would probably enjoy this a lot. It definitely strikes me as a well-blended pumpkin spice tea. I just can’t get past the rooibos base to want more of this.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Tealizzy

This one does best with a 2-minute steep with some brown sugar and a splash of milk! I haven’t picked up any this year yet, but if I make it over to TJ’s, I will. :)

CHAroma

I still found it drinkable, which is saying a lot for me and rooibos. And I’m surprised that it held up so well despite being exposed to air for so long.

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89

The dry leaf aroma is scrumptious! I’ve let this one sit in my cupboard for a long time. It’s way past due that I try it. The verdict? Mmm, this is really delicious! It’s a soft green tea with light blueberry and cream flavors. If I try really hard, I can imagine a baked pastry flavor too. But mostly that’s my imagination as this is a soft, creamy, blueberry tea at best.

It goes along with my snack of roasted squash seeds very nicely too. This tea is honestly exactly what I wanted right now: something creamy with a green base. I can’t believe how tasty this is. The blueberry adds a subtle sweetness, which made me wonder. So I added a tiny amount of Truvia out of curiosity. I think it’s probably better without, at least for the first infusion.

I am definitely enjoying the green version of this more than the black. Frank was on to something when he made this. The flavors play off each other nicely. This is a time when I’m really glad that I have two ounces. I’ve already given away a few samples of this in swaps, and I think I’ll greedily keep the rest for myself. ;)

Flavors: Blueberry, Creamy

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82
drank Pumpkin Chai by 52teas
528 tasting notes

I made this again today. First steep for 4 minutes, second steep for 6 minutes. I added Truvia and skim milk to both infusions. Honestly, this was really enjoyable today! It’s smooth and creamy and uber delicious. It still doesn’t really strike me as a chai, but it’s great for what it is. Go for a longer infusion with this one because that definitely makes it tastier. I will thoroughly enjoy the rest. Raising the rating from 78 to 82.

Flavors: Creamy

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82
drank Pumpkin Chai by 52teas
528 tasting notes

52teas has officially changed their business model! They now offer all their teas in 0.5 oz. non-resealable packages. I think it kind of sucks that these pouches don’t have zippers, but I do like that I can now buy smaller quantities of tea. As Frank said when he released the news, we all have cupboards that are overflowing with too much tea! He’s also charging for shipping now. Each half ounce of tea costs $3.99 plus $2.00 shipping. So in total, we’re getting much less tea at a higher cost. That part bites. I used to pay $9 for 1-2 ounces of tea (usually 2). Now I’m paying $6 for 0.5 ounce of tea. Boo! Well, that’s the price of convenience I guess. Okay, enough about that.

ON TO THE TEA!

First note! Woot! The dry leaf aroma is very aromatic and spicy. The brewed tea aroma is still spicy but less so. Hmm, I don’t think I steeped this long enough. While it’s still steaming hot, it’s pretty tasteless. I added some Truvia and once the cup cooled, I got a slightly creamy slightly spicy taste. The flavors are very soft and not what I’d expect from a chai tea at all.

I decided to re-steep the leaves for 5.5 minutes. This cup is similar but maybe a little more flavorful. I added Truvia again, and I am enjoying this cup. It’s good, not amazing. I’m definitely glad I don’t have two ounces of it. Is that too harsh to admit? It’s not incredibly pumpkin-y or spicy for that matter. I think I prefer other vendors’ Pumpkin Chai teas. This is pretty calm in comparison but drinkable. And now my baby is kicking up a storm! Settle down, little one!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
LiberTEAS

I like that if you buy 3 pouches you get the fourth free.

Kittenna

Eeee, so excited to read that you are preggers! Also, glad I didn’t pick up this tea (although perhaps it will show up in the 12 Teas of Christmas).

Tea Sipper

Yeah, I was trying not to do the math with the new prices. :/ Also, no zippe pouches? The pouches they used before were perfect!

Kittenna

Wait. Non-re sealable? That’s horrible.

52teas

I am working on sourcing some re-sealable pouches. We will have some.

Kittenna

Glad to hear. I much prefer resealable pouches.

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81

The dry leaf aroma is heavenly pumpkin spice. Mmm! I hope it tastes as great as it smells! Well, I lucked out. The flavor is a great representation of the aroma. The spice here is really nice and mellow. It’s not super peppery or gingery. The pumpkin adds a creaminess that balances everything out. Smooth. That’s the word I was searching for. This is a smooth tea. There’s no bitterness or astringency. I’m drinking this straight, but I think it would pair well with milk and sweetener. Mmm, now this is one I really enjoy!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
TeaBrat

good to know, I’ve been wondering about this one

CHAroma

Yeah, it’s really not bad. Not the best pumpkin tea I’ve had but definitely enjoyable, especially for a bagged tea.

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62

This is okay. The aroma is very nice but the flavor leaves something to be desired. It’s not bad by any means. It’s just not inspiring. The plum flavorings adds a tartness that pinches the back of my mouth. The cinnamon is very calm and easily overlooked. The base isn’t fresh so it’s neither grassy nor vegetal. It’s that sort of generic, green, bagged tea base that doesn’t contribute a lot of flavor one way or another.

I guess I’m not mad that my husband has already drank more than half of the tin. I asked him what he thought of it and his opinion was aligned with mine. It’s nothing special but it’s drinkable. I think he just likes the ease of dropping a teabag into a cup of microwaved hot water. He’s not one for boiling water on the stove and the somewhat long but relaxing routine of brewing tea. He’s more for instant gratification. I think I may leave the rest of this one to him.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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24
drank Breakfast Special by Timothy's
528 tasting notes

I took a sip and immediately said, “Bleh bleh!” This is not good. It’s not horrendous. I’ve definitely had way worse. But I would need to add milk and sweetener to make this drinkable. The base is not something I’d like to drink straight and reminds me of why I stopped drinking low quality bagged teas years ago. I suppose if I didn’t know what I was missing in high quality loose leaf teas, I’d probably think this is just fine. But I do know what I’m missing!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Damn that high quality loose leaf making these kinds of teas sub-par haha.

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33
drank Peppermint Ginger by Timothy's
528 tasting notes

This is a light peppermint tea. I’m not getting any ginger. It’s much less minty than a straight peppermint tea, but the base is sort of invisible (read tasteless/unidentifiable). It’s an ok bagged tea. Definitely drinkable but nothing I’d write home about or re-stock.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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55
drank Holiday Blend by Timothy's
528 tasting notes

The brewed tea aroma is Ceylon with a hint of spice. The first flavor to hit my tongue is almond followed quickly by vanilla. This actually isn’t bad at all for an old bagged tea. I’m not getting much in the way of spice or apple; it just tastes like vanilla and almond to me. Since I like those two things, this is a pleasant surprise! It’s not an amazing tea but I definitely think it’s share-worthy.

Flavors: Almond, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Bio

Entering the sweet blissful world of tea aromas!

Having discovered this website at the end of July 2011, I’m so excited to share my tea adventures with all of you! I grew up with my grandmother serving Twining’s English Breakfast with cream and sugar.

But on a trip to Seattle in 2010, I stumbled into a Chinese teashop and tried my first oolong tea. I was forever changed! I embarked on a startling new love for green and white teas.

With a world of teas to discover, I was inspired to keep a tea journal to record my thoughts and new favorites. Let’s get brewing!


My ratings are completely subjective and 100% my opinion. All ratings are given in relation to each other (ie. teas are rated in the order of my enjoyment of them). Therefore, my ratings will constantly change as I try more teas.


I love swapping!!! If you see something in my cupboard you’d like to try, just send me a message. If you’d like to trade, anything on my shopping list will do or feel free to send something else entirely. I’m willing to try almost anything (although I’m not really a fan of honeybush, red rooibos, pu’erh, Lapsang Souchong, & banana-flavored teas).

Location

Maryland, USA

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