509 Tasting Notes

drank Raspberry Truffle by Butiki Teas
509 tasting notes

I’m amazed at the dry leaf! The aroma is strongly raspberry, and there are a TON of freeze-dried raspberry pieces and chocolate chips in the blend. I’ve never seen a tea so chock full of ingredients!! It’s almost a ridiculous amount of generosity. Almost. ;)

I usually try a new tea straight before trying it with additions, but I’m really impatient right now. So, I’m just going to add skim milk and Truvia from the get go. I usually enjoy black tea better that way, and I’m ready for this dessert tea treat!

The brewed aroma is mostly black tea and raspberry. First sip…mmm this is good! I probably should have tried it without additions first, but it’s too late now! It’s very sweet and cocoa-y with the raspberry adding a nice complement to the cup. All the flavors are very balanced in my opinion. It’s equally dark chocolate, raspberry, and black tea.

I’m not a huge raspberry truffle fan though. I’d have preferred coconut truffle or caramel truffle or milk chocolate truffle. Maybe even cherry truffle. But the tea can hardly be blamed for that. As a raspberry truffle tea, this one is hard to beat. As others have mentioned, it does possess a nice creamy quality.

It’s also very strongly flavored! There’s nothing subtle about this tea. Granted, I used an extra ½ teaspoon than recommended. I can’t help myself; I’m a rebel. ;) This truly is yet another stellar tea from Butiki Teas!

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Miss Starfish

This sounds absolutely delicious!


It really is! And that’s coming from someone not big on raspberry. :)

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drank Lemon Cardamom Chun Mee by 52teas
509 tasting notes

52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2012 – Day 9

This is another one I missed this year. It certainly is very lemon! The dry leaf aroma alone is super lemony. The brewed tea aroma is…different. I’m guessing that’s the Chun Mee and cardamom coming through.

The taste is rather lacking in my opinion. I get a strange green tea flavor that I assume is the Chun Mee. I’ve never had this type of green tea before so it’s a hard flavor to recognize. There’s also lemon but it’s not a super lemon like in the aroma. It’s much more subtle and blends nicely with the cardamom spice. But it’s not really spicy either. And neither sweet nor bitter. It’s just sort of…bland.

I’ve read reviews where people compare this to Sun and Cloud Mist. Honestly, they’re worlds apart! There’s really nothing similar about them at all in my opinion. Except of course that they both contain lemon. But really, Chun Mee and Yun Wu are two extremely different green teas. I much prefer the latter.

Maybe I needed more leaf, or maybe I needed to let it steep longer. I tried a second steep at 185 degrees for 3 minutes. The resultant cup is unfortunately not much different from the first. I added a bit of Truvia and now it’s a sweet lemony green tea. But it still sits heavy on the tongue and makes my mouth feel stuffed with cotton.

I’m not having an allergic reaction. :P Rather this tea leaves a thick, heavy feeling in the aftertaste. It’s not a clean feeling like I’ve experienced in other green teas, namely Organic Dragon Tip from Butiki Teas. In fact, I think I may go make a cup of that next to cleanse my palate. This is just too heavy and bland for my tastes.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2012 – Day 8

YAY!!! It’s the morning and I wanted a black tea, and BAM! Frank gave me a black tea!! And not only that, but it’s a chocolate tea!!! EEEEEEEH!!!

I quickly brewed this up while an incredibly annoying kitty meowed incessantly. Seriously, what do you want??! He has food and water and I even tried to pick him up and pet him and give him attention. But no, he just walks off and keeps meowing like he hasn’t eaten in days. Ugh.

I need an especially delicious treat this morning to put up with him, so I added Truvia and unsweetened almond milk to my cup. The result? A really sweet, really chocolaty elixir of +20 to ignore kitty sounds. Aaaah, ignorance is bliss.

This is a seriously yummy dark chocolate tea. I’m getting dark cocoa and a hint of bittersweetness. Yum yum yum! It’s like death by chocolate! Which consequently is a lot more pleasant than death by annoying kitty sounds. ;)

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52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2012 – Day 7

Time for tea! The dry leaf aroma is very LIME. The brewed tea aroma is unexpected: sweet, sugary, & citrus-y. First sip is lighter than I expected too. I probably could have used more leaf. It feels like the lime is punching me in the tonsil though. Wow, that is some strong lime!

The sugary sweetness is only in the aroma. The taste is much more lime green tea than sugary candy treat. This is an interesting tea. It’s probably suited well as an iced tea. Maybe I’ll use the rest of the sample that way if I can remember to do so.

I gave the cup to my fiancé to try. He took several sips and said, “I have no idea what it is, but I like it a lot. It tastes round, if I had to describe it as a shape.” Interesting description, my love. I wouldn’t have any idea what it is either. Well, if I hadn’t cheated and read the description. :P

It is yummy! But just not a flavor I think I’d want all the time. I like lime on salmon and in margaritas. That’s probably about it. It’s weird in tea. I prefer lemon tea. Hmm, now to come up with a rating. This is hard! I feel like I have to reserve judgment until I try it iced.

I waited for the cup to chill and it does taste different cold. More of the marshmallow root comes through now. It actually reminds me of the Rainbow Sherbet from last year. It’s still not going to be a favorite of mine though. When it came out, I debated whether or not to buy it. In the end, I’m glad I didn’t. But I’m happy for the chance to try it and gotta’ give props to Frank for creativity!!

EDIT: Uh oh, just found some slimy gunk in the bottom of my cup. Yuck. I don’t know what that is, but now I’m really freaked out. Did that come from the tea, or did I not clean the cup properly in between teas? Either way, yuck. I’ll leave the rating alone though because I’m not entirely sure this is the tea’s fault.

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

Ew. Hate when I find random things at the bottom of the cup :(


Yeah, it looked like algae. Blech. :(


Love this one cold steeped!

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drank Graveyard Mist by 52teas
509 tasting notes

52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2012 – Day 6

Hmm, Graveyard Mist. I would have been really excited for this one, if I hadn’t received a sample from Indigobloom a while back. I didn’t like it very much then, and I don’t like it very much now either. I’m just not a fan of spearmint in tea. It’s too much like toothpaste. Oh well, on to the next!

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

at least now you know it wasn’t just the one batch! lol


Hahaha! If anything, this cup was worse because it was more potent. I’ve decided not to drink any more teas with spearmint. It’s just not my thing.

I always feel bad writing less than happy reviews about teas I get from swap partners. I know you can’t like every tea, but I always feel guilty. Like, you shared your awesome teas and then I go “Ick!” LOL!


Haha, ditto, I feel bad when I don’t like a tea someone generously shared with me. Especially if I know a) they love it or b) it’s expensive.

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Mmm, the dry leaf aroma is heavenly almond buttery baked confection! The brewed tea aroma is similar but with the black tea base shining through. First sip, hmm a little thin for my tastes. I added a little Truvia and unsweetened almond milk. BAM!!! WOW!!! This is incredibly delicious!! Almond Indulgence indeed!

It tastes just like pie crust, cinnamon, butter, brown sugar, and almond pie. Have I ever had an almond pie? Well, no. But I assume it would be like pumpkin pie except almond. YUM! This stuff is fantastic! I just can’t get over how good it is. Every sip is as delicious as the last. I added an extra ½ teaspoon, and I’m glad I did! I love strong tea.

Ooh, pick up a sample of this ASAP people! It’s sooooo good. I just can’t stop raving about it. I love it whether it’s called Almond Indulgence or Almond Cookie. To me, it’s baked almond pie! Mmmmm yum!!

It does remind me of the almond cookies my mom used to make at Christmas time. I didn’t get any this year though. I have my second wedding dress fitting in less than a month, so it’s salad, fruit, and veggies for me!! This will be the yummy treat that keeps me on track.

It’s dare I say better than eating pie! :) It’s even better than Cantaloupe & Cream, which I wouldn’t have thought possible. And the first Butiki tea to earn a 100 rating from me! :D

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Donna A

I agree, this one is really good. Will have to re-order.


Me too!! I only have a tiny bit of it.

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drank Earl Black by 52teas
509 tasting notes

52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2012 – Day 4

Sorry I’ve been M.I.A. I went to my fiancé’s parent’s house for Christmas, and I don’t like to travel with my teas. So I’ll be completing the rest of this sampler pretty late. But better late than never!! I haven’t looked at 52teas’ site or Steepster for over a week. Therefore, the rest of these teas are going to be a surprise to me! :)

Oooh, I haven’t had this one before! The dry leaf aroma is juicy black currant. I don’t actually smell any bergamot, which is surprising. Bergamot usually lets itself be KNOWN! This just smells like sugary candy. Yum!

The brewed tea aroma is black currant and white tea. There’s still no bergamot to be found. Even in the taste! All I can smell and taste is juicy black currant and white tea. To me, that’s enough. I LOVE this tea!! But I’m just left feeling confused…where’s the berg???

The white tea base is naturally sweet but not too much so. Even though it smells sugary, it doesn’t taste sugary. Rather, it’s a sweet and sour tea. Really unique and very delicious. But I have to lower it a few points because there’s just no bergamot to be found anywhere, and this is supposed to be an Earl Grey white. And I’m left wondering what the Black Currant Bai Mu Dan tastes like…

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

Black Currant Bai Mu Dan tastes like this tea. I also didn’t taste any bergamot whatsoever, and would have guessed that this was BCBMD based on the aroma/flavour.


I’m glad I’m not the only one!


Happy belated 12 days of tea :)


Thanks!! :D


I’m enjoying reading yours late since I’ve been MIA too and in a way, still expecting there to be more reviews of others. It feels like it should be more than just 12 days!


I agree. It should be a full advent calendar of 25 days!!!!! But man, that’d be a lot of tea. I have trouble as it is just getting through the 12. :) But I’m glad we can do it late together! It’s definitely more fun sharing the experience with others.


I actually didn’t bother buying it, and in a way, I’m glad I didn’t now that they’ve all been revealed since I already have the ones in there that I really love, and based on the reviews of the ones I wasn’t sure of before, still sounds like I wouldn’t like them. But I hope you’ll enjoy the ride!


I completely agree with you actually. I have yet to try one that I want that I hadn’t already purchased.

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52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2012 – Day 5

Mmmm, as soon as I opened the package, I smelled butter and spices. Ooooh, I love this tea!!! I think I’m interpreting the caramel as butter. Either way, the aroma is to die for! I quickly brewed a cup and sat back to enjoy a hard day’s work.

I set up a scavenger hunt for my fiancé today. At the end of it, the last clue leads to his car. He bought it fairly recently and as soon as he did, the windshield became defective. All these little bubbles started appearing in the glass. It’s not from rocks hitting the windshield. It’s like air bubbles on the inside of the glass and they’re populating like rabbits. Super weird. It made his first car purchase really disappointing. So, I bought him a new windshield. :)

I can’t wait to see the look on his face. I also bought 4 yards of red satin ribbon and made a big bow to put on the front of the car. I can’t wait for him to get home!!! Even though it’s a little early to give him his Christmas present, today was the day they could install it. Ah, I’m so impatient!! Anyway, I’m enjoying this tea just as much now as I have in the past. It’s a decadent treat while I await my fiancé. :)

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

ahhh I can’t wait to hear what he thinks! have fun :P

Invader Zim

That’s awesome that you got it replaced for him!


Scavenger hunt!!! crazy awesome! haha he’s gonna have so much fun.


Thanks, everyone! It was a lot of fun! He said it was an extremely thoughtful gift and that it made him really happy. :)

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drank Sun and Cloud Mist by 52teas
509 tasting notes

52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2012 – Day 3

Ooooh, another goodie!!! I love this tea. Just see my other review. Cutest packaging on the planet!! I bought it as soon as I saw that adorable kitten. Luckily, I was rewarded with a fantastic tea and not just a cute picture. :)

I’m not getting icing in the aroma or flavor this time, but it’s still a great cup of tea. LOVE this high quality green tea base. And the lemon blends in so nicely, it’s as if God intended these two to be together. Then the marshmallow root rounds out the cup and adds just the right amount of oomph. Splendid!

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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drank Cider Guayusa by Butiki Teas
509 tasting notes

I accidently understeeped this by a minute. Wasn’t really paying attention and needed my morning cuppa! My cat seemed really interested in sniffing this one. Never licked it though, which is good for me. No kitty germs!! Eww!

Anyway, this one isn’t too guayusa-y. The added flavorings blend nicely with the base and transform the whole cup into one complex taste. The spices aren’t too spicy. It doesn’t taste like a Chai. It’s just a really nice, cohesive tasting cup.

I can distinguish orange and guayusa the most prominently. The cinnamon in this is very quiet and not overpowering, thank God. Cinnamon is almost always overdone in teas. This is just great! The more I sip, the more I like it. Stacy may have successfully converted me to guayusa fan! :)

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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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