523 Tasting Notes

drank Blueberry Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
523 tasting notes

So, does anyone else have baby fever?

I have serious baby fever. My biological clock started ticking the second I turned 26. I’ve since been trying to feel out my new husband and see where his feelings on the matter are. Perhaps I can convince him to start trying in 6 months…perhaps. ;)

It’s going to suck being pregnant and not getting to enjoy my sizable tea stash for 9+ months. Can you drink caffeine when you’re nursing? I still have a lot of research to do before becoming a mother. In this age of information overload, it can be hard to sift through all the myths and misconceptions to get to the truth. I just want to do what’s best for my child, so if that means no tea, then I’d better start drinking this stash down!

In order to further this goal, here’s another SIPDOWN! This swap sample came from Indigobloom. I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to get to this one. I was on a matcha craze a while ago. I couldn’t get enough!

Wow, this one is SUPER frothy!! Hmm, the taste is surprisingly floral. Like really floral. It definitely tastes like blueberry, but it also tastes like flowers. If God made a blueberry flower, that’s what this matcha would taste like I imagine.

I gave some to my budding tea drinker husband and he agreed it was very perfume-y. Neither one of us liked it very much. Could it be age? It was stored in an air-tight container and was still very green. Hmm, I’ve really liked some of the other fruit flavored matchas, but this one just tastes too much like flowery perfume for me to find it drinkable. Oh well. Thanks to Indigobloom for sharing!

175 °F / 79 °C

Good tea review! Good luck with pregnancy and trying to get pregnant! :) I am currently pregnant and my husband and I had the baby fever a year ago! I am 28 now. I still drink tea, but limit myself to 1 black tea and 1 green tea per day at most. I know I can only have about a cup of coffee per day or 150mg of caffeine per day at most according to my OB. Unfortunately, a lot of herbs and additives, such as cornflower that are found in tea blends, I can’t have. I am not sure about nursing though. That would be good to know! Hopefully someone else has some insight. :)


I found it super flowery as well, and it was a bit fresher then! I got more of the same from a few other RL matchas as well. Strange!


Caffeine is generally considered a no-no but SO MANY things are unnecessarily demonized for pregnant women. Talk to your doctor (when the time comes) and do what you feel comfortable with. I actually don’t ever want to be pregnant but I do want children and have had baby fever for a few months now. It is tough to correlate those two…On top of that, I get married in a few weeks and people are constantly asking when we will have kids. Can’t I just get a little person without the pregnancy? If only adoption were a move feasible option.


@Uniquity, I know what you mean! I think we were engaged all of 10 minutes when one of the grandparents asked us when we were going to start having kids. During our marriage ceremony, the Pastor mentioned something about “if it’s God’s will to give them children…” and then multiple people made speeches about us bringing more good people into the world at the rehearsal dinner AND the reception, etc etc. My dad came up to me during the reception and said, “What’s all this talk about children?” I said, “Well, we do want kids eventually.” LOL! There’s definitely a lot of pressure.

Also, if you want to adopt, then DO IT!!! I think that adoption is the most selfless thing you can do with your life. I’ve always wanted to adopt, but my husband doesn’t share my views and really just wants children of his own making. Maybe I’ll be able to change his mind one day. I’m a huge advocate of adoption. If you want it, I hope and pray it works out for you.


i think adopting is amazing!


It is a weird thing to say but I would never qualify for adoption by my finances or my living situation – but of course if I had my own ‘naturally’ no-one could say I would be un-fit. I have wanted to adopt ever since I was a child myself. I’ve never been too interested in the pregnancy business.


I would encourage you to keep trying. You’d make a great mommy! :)


I have massive baby fever… but I’m not at all in a position where having kids would be a good thing! I intend to be married and employed first, so gotta put things off at least a few more years! Sigh.


I hear you. I’m finally married and employed, but it still feels like there’s so much to do! Pay off debt, get a safer car, organize the house and throw out stuff, the list goes on and on.

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I tried this as a free sample during my most recent visit to the DAVIDsTEA in NYC on Bleecker Street. I can’t say enough good things about that location. I’ve been there twice in the last 10 months, and it’s been the highlight of my trips to New York.

But on to the tea, this was SUPER spicy! The strongest flavor is definitely ginger, followed by strong spiciness, followed by green rooibos. My new husband really liked it a lot. :) He’s very fond of spicy things. For me, this was just okay. It’s definitely fun to try but not to drink on a regular basis.

However, if you’re like my husband and love spicy things, then you’d probably love this tea. Just look at the average rating! It’s one of the highest rated DAVIDsTEA teas! So, I say check it out and maybe you’ll fall in love. ;)

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This is one of my oldest swap samples. I received this tea from Mercuryhime in December 2011 and first tried it in March 2012.

I did a concentrated steep of the remaining leaves and it’s surprisingly fragrant! The aroma is floral and coconut-y. The taste is slightly quieter than the aroma, but not by much. This is still yummy! I’m quite enjoying this. :) Thanks again to Mercuryhime!!

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I got a weird craving today for a peanut butter tea. Wouldn’t that be delicious? Well, the closest thing I can find in my cupboard is this nutty, smooth, almond tea. Yum yum! This is one of my favorites, and it’s definitely hitting the spot today. Somehow the second steep was even better than the first!

I really want to make an almond cake with this tea. Our wedding cake was two layers of almond cake and one layer of white cake with raspberry ganache. The only bite of almond cake I got was when we cut the cake and my new husband fed it to me. I’ve been craving almond cake ever since ‘cause I seriously missed out. I told the caterers to pack up any leftover cake but somehow it ended up at the in-laws’ house and they apparently ate it all already. *sigh.

Hmm, looks like I’m running low though. I’m going to need more of this one soon! How else will I make delicious almond cake and have some tea left over to drink with it? ;)

EDIT: I did end up buying more of this and making an almond tea cake with it. It was super delicious! It came out kind of like pound cake and was heavily almond flavored. The buttercream icing cut the heaviness of the cake nicely. Yum! To see some photos, go here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/96132028@N08/sets/72157633585210978/

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I would totally buy a peanut butter tea…

Butiki Teas

Awesome, that almond tea cake looks delicious! :)


Mighty scrumptious-lookin’ cake there! I’d personally like a peanut butter filled pretzel tea. One can only dream.


It looks like 52teas has done several peanut butter + other stuff teas. Red Leaf appears to have the only pure peanut butter tea, but I don’t see matcha and peanut butter as being a very likable combo for my palate. Someone needs to make a peanut butter black tea pronto!

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drank Black Night by Red Leaf Tea
523 tasting notes

Boy is my kitty glad to be back home with me. This is the first time I’ve ever had to board him in 8 years. He hated it! They said he wouldn’t let anyone near him and would just growl. Poor baby probably thought I had abandoned him! But now he’s finally home, and he’s a happy kitty, following me around, purring, and sleeping on my lap. :) Here he is being cute and stretching at the top of the stairs (one of his favorite spots): http://instagram.com/p/YtH7Z_F-rJ/

Many thanks to Indigobloom for this sample! I tried it once before but hadn’t made my mind up about it. I used less leaf this time around, probably about 1.5 tsp. I also did a shorter steep at 2 minutes and added a splash of skim milk immediately after brewing. No sweetener though.

Hmm, this is interesting. It’s much quieter than I remember and definitely no longer heavy. A soft, whispering tea on a cloudy day. I feel like I could take a nap after drinking it, LOL! The bergamot and citrus have faded away probably due to age. It’s also worth noting that again, this tea has oddly no aftertaste whatsoever. The flavor is only apparent while it’s still in my mouth. So strange.

I added the rest of the sample to the second infusion hoping to get more life out of the leaves. That just made this note a SIPDOWN! ;) This steep had probably about 2.5-3 tsp infusing for 2.5 minutes. I added milk again and waited impatiently for it to cool enough to drink. Hmm, it’s still pretty lackluster in the flavor department.

This isn’t the most exciting tea, but it is good. My rating reflects its appeal to my tastes and the leaves’ ability to hold flavor over time. Thanks again to Indigobloom!!!

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adorable kittie!! :P




Thanks! :)

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I’M BAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!!!!!! As a married woman!!!!!! :D

The wedding day was absolutely perfect! It was a whirlwind of a day, and already I can feel the details slipping. All I remember is marrying my best friend and soul mate, supported by our closest friends and relatives. It was a beautiful sunny day filled with unbelievable food, great live music, and the most beautiful floral arrangements I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe it’s actually over! So much buildup and now it’s in the past. I CAN’T WAIT to get back the video and photos. I’ll be sure to post some in case anyone is interested. For now, all I have is our engagement photos, which you can see here: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/finally-our-engagement-photos-yay-pic-heavy

We took a mini-moon the week after the wedding. We spent 2 nights at a local B&B in Newport, RI and then 3 days/2 nights in New York City. It was a blast! We saw The Phantom of the Opera, which was the hubby’s first Broadway show. :) We had lunch at the best restaurant in the whole city, Bouley, and then went shopping on Fifth Avenue. I, of course, stopped by DAVIDsTEA on Bleecker Street and picked up some more samples. I also found a delightful surprise in Bergdorf Goodman: Mariage Freres!!! WHAAAAT??! Yep, I bought my first ever Mariage Freres tea, Marco Polo. I also discovered a new-to-me tea company called Bellocq Tea Atelier. So, I grabbed a sampler of 8 of their blends too. Like I needed any more tea, right?

Well, my dear husband has decided that he wants to start drinking tea on a more regular basis!!! I’M SO EXCITED! Now I get to teach him all I know about tea!!!! Okay, well I suppose I shouldn’t come on too strong or he’ll just hate it, LOL! He bought a black Perfect Tea Mug with infuser and lid from DAVIDsTEA. Quite the minimalist, but now his tea journey can officially begin! Hehehe!

I’m going to try and spend most of today drinking down some old swap samples. I have some that date back to 2011! With all these new teas being added to the cupboard, I’ve got to make some room. Here come the tasting notes!!!


I received this tea just before Halloween last year from Indigobloom. That makes this swap sample only about 6 months old. :P Hey, I’ve been busy! LOL! I’m finally brewing this one up, and I’m excited about it. All the reviews to-date have been glowing.

Oops, accidently sloshed a bunch of tea on myself in my haste to raise the cup to my lips. :( What a pain. Well, after running upstairs to change, I can now sit down and enjoy this tea. :) Mmmmm! This is great! It’s not very green or grassy like the other Chinese Dragonwell teas I’ve tried. Instead, it’s very softly green. Not in-your-face chlorophyll.

Bigger sips bring in more of the vegetal grassiness. Smaller sips bring in the roast-y toast-y elements. There are also caramel notes here, and am I detecting a nuttiness? Something akin to pistachio I think, though it’s very light. Yum! I’m not getting any spun sugar sadly, but that could be attributed to age. This is unlike any other unflavored green I’ve tried, and I’m really enjoying it! Big thanks to Indigobloom for the sample!

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WOOT! congrats! Love teh engagement photos too :) sounsd like you and hubby had a great time on your mini honeymoon


What lovely photos! So happy for you!


Thanks, Sil & Mercuryhime! It was a blast! I’ve been decompressing all day, drinking tea and writing notes. It was super fun but super exhausting too. :)


congratulations for wedding and beautiful engagement pics :)
Vive les Mariés !


awww yay!! Congrats!
Sadly, I’ve found that age has broken down my spun sugar in this one. I guess it needs to be fresh! I even had it in a tin :(


Eee, congrats, and lovely photos! Definitely post when you get the wedding pics back :D

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Today was a very exciting and productive day! I’m now only 6 days away from my wedding day!!!! Eeeeeeeeeeeehhhh!!!

I picked up my wedding dress, put together the table numbers, made our initials out of moss to hang on the front doors of the reception venue, made a long list of all the things we need to remember to pack, and picked up Tiffany necklaces (and one bracelet) for my bridesmaids! :D I am SOO excited!!! I’ve been waiting for this day my ENTIRE life, and now it’s finally almost here!

I decided to celebrate my productiveness with a hard earned cup of green tea. My skin is rebelling and a couple large pimples have cropped up over the last couple days. Agh! Here’s to hoping the green tea works some sort of magic and speeds up their healing. If anyone has any other suggestions, I’m all ears!! (I popped them, cleaned them out with hydrogen peroxide, and then put a dab of Neosporin on them).

But I digress. ON TO THE TEA!

The dry leaf aroma is just that. Dry. It smells like a dry generic green tea. The leaves themselves are dark green, almost black, with white tips. The brewed tea aroma is a lot more artichoke-y then I would have expected from the dry leaf aroma.

The taste is very nice! It’s sweet and green, but much less artichoke-y than the aroma. My kitty seemed interested for a couple seconds but didn’t lick it, thank goodness. I don’t need his kitty germs. :P Back to the flavor, it sits slightly heavy on the tongue. It doesn’t have that clean, refreshing quality that I’ve come across in other Chinese and Taiwanese green teas. It also doesn’t seem to have any smokey elements to it, which I’ve definitely tasted before in the Bi Luo Chun variety.

Overall, it’s good. But it’s not my favorite. I’ll still drink another infusion though. ;) Oh, and thanks to Nuvola Tea for the free sample!

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Just want to wish you an awesome wedding day!! I hope it ends up beings loads of fun, and I expect details via tasting notes in the future! :)


:) Thanks, Kittenna! It was a PERFECT day!! I’ll definitely be doing some posts about it in the future. Can’t WAIT to get back the video and photos. :D

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Big thanks to Momo for this glorious sample of Classic Apple Pie from Della Terra Teas!!! This sample came at the perfect time. I am so stressed out from wedding stuff!!!! I went to try on my wedding dress today. It was supposed to be 100% done, no more alterations, pack it up and let’s go get married! Instead, I put it on and it’s soooo tight on my back. Uncomfortably tight. Like my back is squishing out over the dress in a very non-pretty way. And it’s looser in the waist…wtf happened?!

I went for lunch for 2 hours while they did some more alterations: letting out the back and taking in the waist. I mean, does anyone else find that weird? How could my back get bigger while my waist gets smaller? I’ve been working out like a fiend, so the only thing I can think of is that my back muscles must be larger. I mean, they really don’t look larger and I still can’t do a single pull up despite all my efforts. I don’t know. I called my mom freaking out and she just laughed because apparently she had the exact same thing happen to her a week before she married my dad. They had to let out the top of her dress and take it in at the waist. So, I guess like mother like daughter. It’s still bizarre though.

Anyway, I tried on the dress two hours later and it’s definitely better. I was so stressed though that I don’t think I really looked at myself. I just feel like there’s still so many things I would change about the dress, but we’re out of time. Honestly, I probably won’t feel good about it until it’s my wedding day and the dress fits and I’m married and it’s all over.

Okay, that was a really long rant. ON TO THE TEA!!!

This was exactly what I needed right now. Apple pie is total comfort food. It’s one of my favorite foods and I wait for it every year (we usually have it at either Thanksgiving or Christmas, both if I get lucky). I added Truvia and a splash of unsweetened almond milk. YUM! This tea is amazing! The black base is fairly quiet and non-descript. It’s the perfect backdrop for the other flavors I think. The spices are low key and not in-your-face or overdone. There’s a sweetness like cinnamon filling drizzled with caramel sauce. And then there’s the apple of course. Juicy, naturally sweet apple. Mmmm! This is delicious! Oh man, I’m going to go make another cup right away. There’s no way one cup is enough. Thank goodness for this tea and thank goodness for Momo!!! You’re a lifesaver!

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Josie Jade

Oh, I feel for you. I was a wedding planner for 4+ years and I’m sure all the wedding craziness is setting in right about now. Try to relax and just enjoy the day! As long as you end up married the wedding will be a success. :)


You’re so welcome! I’m sorry it took so long, I was losing my mind last week, but it definitely sounds like they got there at the perfect time!

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drank Organic Mao Jian by Butiki Teas
523 tasting notes

I brewed another cup of this tonight because I enjoyed it so much two days ago. My fiancé came in the room complaining of a headache, so I suggested he have some tea. You know men, when they don’t feel well they act like they’re dying.

He did the whole sick voice thing, “Maybe I’ll have some tea.”

“Okay, what kind of tea do you want?” I asked.

“Green tea.”

Lucky for him, I had just brewed this up. So, I handed him the steaming cup.

“It’s done already?!” he asked surprised.

LOL! Oh, men. I may not be enjoying this tea tonight, but at least someone is. :)

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

LOL poor boy. hope he feels better soon!


Haha it’s MAGIC.

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I have awaited this day with a quiet reverence. Part of me thought it would never come. But part of me knew to stay faithful. The first re-blended batch sold out in less than 12 hours. But luckily for me, Frank re-blended a second batch. :)

Opening the packet is like opening the first present on Christmas day. Excitement and joy bubble up within me until they overflow with the eager anticipation of this moment. The dry leaves smell amazing! Like blueberry and cream and sugar and heaven. Sweet and fruity and motherwateringly delicious! I set my kettle to boil and measured the leaves into the strainer. Ah, how I love this morning tea ritual.

About three minutes later, I lifted the brewing basket from the cup and inhaled deeply. AAAHH! Oh no!!!! This smells bad. :( It smells like a specific variety of Assam that I really don’t like. Noooooooo! Why did you do it, Frank? I tried a sample of this tea about 9 months ago (generously provided by the lovely Ninavampi), and it definitely didn’t have this base. Ugh, my heart is broken. My perfect Blueberry Cream Cheese Danish tea has been desecrated. :(

Once the cup cooled, I ventured a taste. That awful Assam hits me first. But then up creep the blueberry and the flaky Danish pastry and the creaminess. Maybe this will be okay? Most everyone could enjoy this tea straight, but the Assam is hitting me like a battering ram right between the eyes. So, I went ahead and added a splash of skim milk.

Unfortunately, all that did was tone down the blueberry and make the base even more pronounced. Then I added a tiny bit of Truvia, and now it’s just a cup of sweetened Assam tea. Blech. What total fail. Why do my taste buds have to hate this base? WHY?! I’m going to leave the rating unchanged because that sample was heaven. This cup would probably be rated something more along the lines of a 40. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go ball my eyes out.

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Aww, I’m so sorry you’re not enjoying this batch. :(


I’m with you on this one….I can’t believe how awful it is…


Glad someone else agrees with me on the new base. Sorry it got to you as well :(


I wonder if both batches taste the same. I also wonder which one I have if it would make a different. I ordered on March 20th, and personally love it, and the old one I had from last year too. Hmm.


This explains why I was so let down by this one – the reviews were awesome, but I just didn’t get it. But knowing they were for a different base… it makes so much more sense.

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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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