630 Tasting Notes


Sipdown #53

I always start my morning off with chai. Why not Laoshan Village Chai? :)
I decided to use the whole 7g sample in one cup. I may come to regret that, but it’s too late now! The dry leaf aroma is an aromatic blend of spices. The brewed tea aroma is spicy with a woodsy element from the Laoshan Black.

First sip…mmmm! What a beautiful tea! The chai spices are very nicely blended, and the Laoshan Black comes through strong with its chocolaty malty goodness. Ohhhh yeaaahhhh!!! This is a fantastic tea! I’m very pleased with it and find it much more enjoyable than plain Laoshan Black. If I didn’t already have so much tea, I would definitely take advantage of the current 25% sale on all Verdant tea blends.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

I’ve always bought laoshan black tea not only to drink on it’s own but to add to other blends such as the chai base or winter ginger blend that had no tea in it. I make blends myself too. A little goes a long way and adds so much flavor and body.


I get in the habit of drinking teas the way they are and always forget that I can blend them myself. What’s your favorite Laoshan Black combo?

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I’m not exactly sure which year this tea was harvested. The sample package just said “autumn.” But since it’s fairly late into 2013, I figured this must be from 2012. The dry leaf aroma is floral green oolong at its finest! The brewed tea aroma is more subdued since I did a quick one minute infusion.

The first sip was like an explosion of flavor in my mouth! At first, it was super sweet and creamy. Then it morphed into a floral, silky, green oolong. Finally, the aftertaste had a metallic tang to it. This is mouthwateringly good! Mmmm! I can tell that I am going to thoroughly enjoy this sample.

The leaves completely unfurled during the second infusion for two minutes. The flavor has changed slightly, but it’s difficult to describe how. I suppose it’s a little less metallic and a little more floral. In any event, it is still super yummy! I did a third infusion for three minutes and a fourth for five. Mmm mm! I could drink this every day!

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Man, and I thought the other SBT iced teas were amazingly delicious. How could tea ever be improved upon again? Well, Frank did it. This is perfection! Frank has made THE BEST iced tea IN THE UNIVERSE! I can’t even describe what it tastes like. It tastes like Heaven. It’s naturally sweet without being sugary (unless you add sugar, of course). It’s slightly lemon-y…and a whole lot of delicious! Ahh, sooo good! :D

Iced 3 min, 0 sec

This is the ONE new one I wanted to try. I take it by your note that it’s pretty good hahaha.


Frank seriously needs to blend some more ASAP. My in-laws came to visit this weekend and drank all my iced tea! :(

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drank Cotton Candy White Tea by 52teas
630 tasting notes

Guys…I think I may have a problem.

See, it all started with this tea. Frank just HAD to blend another cotton candy tea. Don’t you know I’m broke, Frank? But I allowed myself this one little bag because I know it’s going to be awesome. Well, that’s how it starts right? Next thing I know, I’m buying two more packages of this one, three of the SBT iced teas, Turtle Cheesecake Black Tea, and the S’mores Chai re-blend. What have I done??! Oh jeez. I just can’t help myself!! Do they have a Teaophile Anonymous? ‘Cause I think I need to go.

Why did this tea have to be so good??? My initial reaction upon sniffing the dry leaf was, “Hmm, this is a weird chicken.” The dry leaf aroma is weird. The brewed tea aroma is weird. The taste? A little weird. LOL! The aftertaste is sweet, melt-in-your-mouth, spun sugar! But while the tea is on the tongue, it’s mostly white tea with some added component I can’t quite describe. The aftertaste is perfect cotton candy though.

The second steep for 3 minutes was really tasty too. The cornflower is more apparent, while the cotton candy flavor is softer. And the white base is simply beautiful! This is heaven in a cup. No bitterness or astringency at all! I probably do like the black base better, but not by much. Let’s face it, Frank could add cotton candy to just about anything and I’d drink it.

I also find that I can drink this tea like water. It goes down super smooth, and I can imagine this being divine iced. I’m really sad each pouch has only an ounce. It seems like very little tea. (Thus, the spontaneous shopping spree on the 52teas website to buy a couple more bags). Y’all better hurry up and purchase this before there’s none left! And at the rate I’m shopping…that’s very little time indeed.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

haha i was really tempted by the turtle cheesecake and the smores chai….must. resist.


It’s ok. One does not simply resist buying a few of Franks teas; it really is hard to just get one flavor.

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drank Big Apple by DAVIDsTEA
630 tasting notes

A friend of mine broke her foot, so I sent her a care package of teas. I also received a swap package from Sil last week. So, what does that mean for my cupboard? Well, the exchange would have evened out…until I decided to buy the DAVIDsTEA fall collection sampler, 52teas’ new Cotton Candy White Tea, and then found a couple undocumented samples in my cupboard. *Sigh

I’m going to pick up where I left off with my sipdown number because I think I’ll probably sipdown quite a few teas without writing notes about them. Sometimes, you just don’t have anything new to say about a tea, and I’d rather not have my sipdown extravaganza be the sole reason for logging a tea.


This is a sample I’ve had since our mini-moon trip to NYC. Sadly, I think I used too hot water on it. I mean, it said to use really really hot water. But it’s a green and white tea blend. I should have followed my instincts. Oh well, I have plenty left to experiment with.

I added a bit of sweetener to combat the bitterness. I like it a lot better this way. It’s definitely an apple tea. It’s nice to see that fruit come across strongly as it often doesn’t, even in blends where that’s supposed to be the primary flavor.

This tea is slightly sweet, slightly bitter, slightly floral, and mostly fruity. It’s not a bad combination, just different from what I was expecting. The second infusion for 4.5 minutes has no bitterness at all and is still quite tasty.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Is this showing up on the Big Apple tea page to anyone else?

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drank Copabanana by DAVIDsTEA
630 tasting notes

Sipdown #54

I’m researching the London part of our upcoming honeymoon. There are so many options for day trips from London! It’s really hard to choose. We have it narrowed down to include at least Bath and Stonehenge. Now we have to decide between adding Windsor (with Lacock optional), Salisbury, or a mystery UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I’m leaning toward the mystery. I normally don’t like not knowing when it’s about something as important as a trip abroad. But the company who offers that tour is rated very highly, and everyone says you’ll definitely enjoy the mystery site. So, I don’t think I’m really taking a risk. I really want to see Windsor, but I also want to give it the amount of time it deserves. Most people agree you can spend half a day to an entire day there. So, I think I’ll save that one for our next trip to England.


This was a free sample with my online DAVIDsTEA purchase from a while back. I really dislike banana-flavored things. So, I’m confident that this will not be a winner for me. The dry leaf aroma was nice and fruity with coconut and banana being the most recognizable scents. The brewed tea aroma was, again, mostly coconut. The tea was very oily and scummy. It looked a lot like chicken broth.

Hmm, the banana is fairly light in this. Mostly, I can taste almond, apple, coconut, and then a hint of banana. Phew! I don’t know how I managed to avoid banana in a banana-flavored tea, but I did! I suppose that should be a negative thing since this tea is called Copa_banana_ and people buying it are likely looking for a prominent banana taste. But for me, this worked out nicely in my favor.

I should note that the more I drink it, the more I get that scratchy feeling at the back of my throat that I sometimes get with DAVIDsTEA blends containing Stevia or artificial flavoring. Nevertheless, I quite like this cup, especially after the abominable Coffee Chai. Who knew this would be drinkable?!

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Sipdown #55

Yeaaaaah, I don’t know about this combo. Coffee and chai? Well, the husband will probably drink it if I don’t. He’s a coffee fanatic! The dry leaf aroma is about as weird as it gets. I took a sip and immediately said, “Oof, that is gross!” So yeah, this is not my cup of tea.

At first, it has a weird coffee flavor. The spices don’t help this taste more like tea. It’s just strange. Once the coffee flavor ebbs, the aftertaste is all chai spices. That’s the only redeeming quality of this tea. I am afraid coffee beans do not belong in my tea. This is just gross.

Not surprisingly, the husband does enjoy it. LOL! Well, at least someone will drink this free sample. :) My husband did want me to note that he didn’t enjoy this as much as the North African Mint tea he had earlier today. He rates this one at 50, while I’m giving it a whopping 8 for being undrinkable. That nets this tea a rating of 29.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

Blech. This one just sounds wrong from the get go. Can’t imagine the flavour. :/


It’s not good. LOL!

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Sipdown #56

My husband said he doesn’t like chai. But then he tried this one and said he really liked it! So, maybe he’ll drink the Coffee Chai sample I just found in my cupboard…Hmm, perhaps my sipdown goal will be accomplished with his help. ;) Is that cheating?

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Sipdown #57

I really dislike red rooibos. But I can never turn down trying a new tea. So, I brewed this one up with only 1 tsp for 3 minutes. And you know what? It’s not horrible! LOL!

The mint and chocolate flavors are stronger than the base. But I still get that little twinge in the front of my forehead that reminds me this is rooibos. It feels similar to the start of a headache. So, I’ll drink this cup and then pass along the remainder to a friend. I always enjoy trying new things though, and this tea surprised me. Thanks to Shmiracles for sharing her stash!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Sipdown #58

I decided to give this tea another chance before passing the rest of it along to a friend. This time I used only 1 tsp and steeped it for 2 minutes. I enjoyed it sooooo much better! I added a splash of skim milk but no sweetener, and it is delicious! The hazelnut is much lighter and more authentic tasting this go-around. Now I understand what everyone has been raving about. Upping the rating from 44 to 76. Thanks again for the sample, Shmiracles!!

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

all these fandom blends don’t tend to blow my mind, but definitely grow on me. also yes, i learned that for me less steeping does do better. yay glad you tried it :)

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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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