595 Tasting Notes

drank Orange and Spice by Bigelow
595 tasting notes

It’s time for Orange & Spice ‘cause I need something nice! I’m not sure why I’m rhyming so much tonight. All this caffeine free tea is just putting me in that kind of mood.

The dry leaf aroma smells sooo good! There’s a lot more spice in this than I anticipated. The brewed tea aroma is equally as enticing. Ohhhhh yeaaaahh!!! The taste isn’t quite as great as the flavor, but that’s a common characteristic with many teas. It’s still very delicious and really hitting the spot. Yum!

Thanks to my mother-in-law for buying this for me! I’ll have to tell her how much I like it next time we visit. :)

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Calm by Tazo
595 tasting notes

I’m finally making headway with all these teabag samples I’ve had since forever. So since I’m kind of on a chamomile roll…here’s my last chamomile tea!

Oh, P.U.! This is not going to be a good one. It is stinky! Yuck. Well, it surprisingly doesn’t taste NEARLY as bad as it smells. I still don’t really want to drink it though. Who wants to hold their nose when they drink a cup of tea? Not me.

Ah, at long last! My cupboard is finally chamomile free! :P

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Citrus Dream by Butiki Teas
595 tasting notes

Big thanks to Stacy from Butiki Teas for providing this sample with my last order! I accidently let this one sit in my cupboard for a while. Shame on me. But it’s night time and I’m sleepy. This sounds like the perfect tea for right now!

The dry leaf aroma is really surprising to me. I expected it to smell like chamomile, but instead it smells like fruit. The brewed tea aroma has more of a chamomile fragrance to it. Wow. So this is what chamomile tastes like. Hmm, it’s tasty but I’m not sure it’s the flavor for me. I enjoyed the chance to try it though!

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Sweet Dreams by Bigelow
595 tasting notes

I’m not sure if I like chamomile. So before I try the Citrus Dream sample from Butiki Teas, I’ll try this bagged tea first. This mostly smells like mint when dry. Once brewed, it has a slight chamomile aroma underneath the more obvious mint.

The flavor is a similar sensory experience. I can taste a lot of mint with a hint of chamomile underneath. Mmm, I don’t know if I’m sleep deprived or what. But this isn’t bad. This is a relaxing blend indeed. *content sigh

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
595 tasting notes

You know you haven’t drunk enough tea when you have goosebumps and it’s 72 degrees in your apartment. What’s wrong with me? Well, it’s time to make more tea! After trying the Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha sample from JustJames, I wanted to compare it to plain Laoshan black. And lucky for me, JustJames provided a sample of that too!! I feel so lucky. :)

Mmmm!! I like this much better than the aforementioned blend. This is malty and grainy and delicious! It’s also a tad woodsy, which explains why I was tasting so much of that flavor in the oolong/black blend. I am thoroughly enjoying this cup (and its second infusion). Thanks JustJames!!

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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Ooooh, I am super excited for this one! Big thanks to JustJames for sending me a sample!

The dry leaf aroma sure smells chocolaty, mmm! The brewed tea aroma is salty and toasty and completely different. I can really smell the Wuyi oolong in this. The first thing to hit my palate is a salty nuttiness from the oolong. Yet as I swallow, there’s a lovely honey sweetness that appears. That’s a surprise!

This is a yummy cup of tea! But I’m a bit confused with its name as I’m not getting much in the way of chocolate or genmaicha. I also think the oolong is a LOT stronger in this than the Laoshan black. I am getting something toasty, but it’s not the popped rice flavor I’m accustomed to in genmaicha. And when it comes to chocolate, I want IN YOUR FACE chocolate. This is like a quiet whisper of wind through the branches of a cacao tree.

As it cooled, all I could taste was the Wuyi oolong and I found it fairly bitter. Yuck. I didn’t want to give up on this tea just yet though, so I tried a second steep for 4 minutes. The resultant brew was much toastier but also less robust and rich. I think I actually prefer this second infusion. There’s still a nice, natural sweetness and it’s appearing more at the front end of the sip now. But what really makes this second cup a winner is that there’s definitely no bitterness!

I’m surprised that Verdant felt compelled to add oolong to this. I think it would have been just fine as an all Laoshan black base. I’ve never been much of a fan of these dark, rock oolongs. So although I enjoyed the sample, I don’t think I’ll stock this tea myself. I guess I’ll be the only one on here to not rave about this blend! Oh well. You never know till you try! Thanks again to JustJames for making this tasting experience possible.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

i got different flavours with every steep. and you’re right, it’s not an in your face chocolate— it’s an uber dark chocolate on the side with a main course of honey and oolong.

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drank Red Velvet Cake by DAVIDsTEA
595 tasting notes


Yay! I’m celebrating with a new tea! The dry leaf aroma smells really chocolaty. I don’t really get red velvet cake. Instead, it smells like gooey, sumptuous, chocolate cake! The brewed aroma has transformed yet maintains its cake likeness. It appears to be a bit scummy and oily on top, but that’s to be expected when there’s this many sprinkles in the blend.

Oh man! I don’t know if this tastes like red velvet cake per say, but IT IS YUMMY! I’m definitely tasting cake. A delicious cake! Some sips taste like chocolate cake; some sips taste like red velvet cake complete with cream cheese icing; and some sips taste like a slightly oily, sugary, cake batter-flavored tea. Oddly, all sips are equally tasty.

You definitely want to drink this while it’s hot. It’s kind of gross when it cools. But hot, it is super delicious! I sucked this cup down! I did add some sweetener and that really made this tea perfect. Second infusion for 6 minutes was pretty yummy too. Now I just have to keep repeating to myself…I cannot justify purchasing this. I cannot. I cannot.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Hesper June

Congrats on 400!!! Sounds like a tasty tea to celebrate:)


Congratulations on 400!


YAY!! congratulations on reaching 400 :)


Congratulations! Mine keeps coming out bitter. How many teaspoons did you use?


I probably used 2 tsp in 8 oz. of water. That’s my go-to style of brewing.

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drank Gingerbread Coffeecake by 52teas
595 tasting notes

Damn you, 52teas! Why do you have to keep making such intriguing blends?! We purchased airfare and accommodations for our European honeymoon this October, so our bank account is hurting. I should not be buying tea!!! But I just couldn’t resist this one!

…and the new Pink Lemonade Iced Tea…

…and some more Lime Jello Iced Tea…

…I guess I got a little carried away there. Shh, don’t tell the husband! :P

The dry leaf aroma is strongly ginger. Like ginger overload. Like sticking my nose in a spice container of ground ginger. The brewed tea aroma is still very gingery but also a bit weird. The tea taste is surprisingly light. Ginger is the main note followed by brown sugar and something cake-like.

I couldn’t tell you if this has a coffee flavor or not. I feel like maybe I can taste coffee, but then the taste could be imagined because I expect to taste it from the name. This is called Gingerbread Coffeecake on the Zoomdweebie website, but the package has “coffee” crossed out and “tea” written in. So, is it Gingerbread Coffeecake or Gingerbread Teacake? I don’t know, but either way it’s definitely yummy!

There’s not much of an aftertaste at first, but it builds the more I sip it. I decided to add a tiny bit of sweetener halfway through the cup. Mmm, now the spice really pops and the cake is even more apparent! This is delicious! It is heavily ginger and heavily tasty. ;)

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Southern Boy Teas

It’s supposed to be a gingerbread coffeecake blend. I just despise coffee and don’t know why they have to call it coffeecake and not teacake.


lol, agreed!


Coffeecake is just a cake to be eaten with coffee. There’s generally no coffee in it, in my experience. :) If I make one, I tend to call it teacake.


Really? The one time I had coffeecake, it had swirls of coffee-flavored cake in it.

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drank Apple Cider Black Tea by 52teas
595 tasting notes

Do you ever walk around the house collecting dishes, start the dishwasher, and then find another cup that could have gone in? Agh, I hate when that happens. Oh well, a cup of tea will help me feel better!

I was all out of my Tazo concentrated chai tea mix this morning, so I decided to make this tea instead. According to my previous tasting note, I last drank it about 2 years ago. O_o

I really need to drink down all these old teas. Wow, you know what? I can actually taste apple in this! Usually all I get is spices. I think the lower temperature and steep time really helped coax out the apple. Age hasn’t hurt this one at all. Mmm! What a wonderful way to start the morning! Raising the rating from 68 to 75.

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec

Oh yeah, hate when that happens with the dishwasher!

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I received this complementary teabag while in an office waiting room. It was fairly bitter and very grassy. Not something I’d ever want to have again. It’s even worse than Lipton hot tea. Blech.

Does my inability to enjoy cheap, grocery store brand, bagged teas make me a tea snob? If so, I’m totally okay with that. :P


I’m totally ok with that too. :P

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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).


Maryland, USA

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