531 Tasting Notes

drank Masala Chai by Samovar
531 tasting notes

The entire time it was cooking, I couldn’t help but hover over the saucepan taking deep breaths. It smelled amazing!!!

I followed Samovar’s directions exactly. Two cups of water and one tablespoon of Truvia went into my saucepan. I brought it to a boil and added the entire Samovar Chai sample and one bag of Twining’s English Breakfast. It boiled for 10 minutes. I then removed the Twining’s bag because I was afraid it would become too bitter. But I left in the Samovar Chai sample and added one cup of whole milk. I brought the mixture to a boil and immediately removed it from heat (I have an electric stove) and covered it. I returned 10 minutes later and strained out the tea and spices.

Finally, it was time to taste it! Mmm, good but not what I expected. The aroma is MUCH stronger than the taste. It’s still delicious, but it also tastes kind of diluted. It’s missing that piquance I get in the Starbucks Chai Tea Latte.

I really thought this would be the perfect chai tea. The spices in the aroma are lovely, strong, and intoxicating. The spices in the taste are significantly lighter and more in the background.

The lacking black tea base didn’t bother me. Samovar gives you mostly spices, and I think that’s a pro. You can add whatever black tea you want to it, making an infinite number of chai tea possibilities.

But I wish the taste was as fantastic as the aroma. Truly, the aroma of these spices could not be better. I wonder why it doesn’t translate into the taste better. Maybe there’s a better way to cook it. Perhaps I did something wrong? Lots of other Steepster users describe this as spicy, strong, peppery, and almost chewy. But I’m getting a pretty light cup of spices myself.

For that reason, I’m giving this tea a little bit lower of a rating. But I would still recommend it because maybe someone else can figure out the best way to prepare it. Others definitely do seem to get more out of it than me.

Boiling 8 min or more

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Wow, this is a really green green tea!

It’s obviously a very high quality dragon well because I don’t even like this type of green tea, but I thought this was pretty tasty. Did I mention the cool, flat leaves? So cool!

My boyfriend appreciates authentic, grassy green teas more than me, so I gave him the cup to finish. He said, “I like it a lot! Just my style!” Which I knew it would be. :)

I’m afraid this tea is a little too green for me. But even that being said, I can still tell that it would be amazing to others. There’s not even a trace of bitterness. In fact, as soon as I tasted it, I forgot what bitterness tastes like. I can’t even imagine it while drinking this tea.

I’m giving it an 81 because it’s clearly a fantastic tea. It’s just not my tea. So, I don’t want to be responsible for dropping the average because my tongue can’t appreciate Chinese green tea awesomeness.

This is just pure, wonderful tea and the perfect tea to be my 100th tasting note!!! O_O

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

Yay for 100th tasting note!!!

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drank Apple Cider Black Tea by 52teas
531 tasting notes

Wow, this tea is a conundrum!

It is quite similar to mulled apple cider because of the blend of spices that’s in it. But it’s missing the strong apple component I expected and wanted, despite the fact that it has large chunks of dried apples. If you had mulled apple cider, took out the cider, and replaced it with black tea, you’d have a cup of this tea.

It’s pretty good, but strange at the same time. I keep thinking I’m drinking hot apple cider, but then it tastes like tea instead! You’d think I’d get over it, but every sip surprises me.

It tastes better with milk and sugar, which I added one at a time after trying it straight. I’m going to make it as a chai tea latte next time. That oughta be really good!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

I haven’t had this but possibly some lemon and honey would make this more apply? It’ll add tart and floral flavors that apples have. Just a theory.


Hmm, I’ll have to try that too. Thanks! I never would have come up with that combo on my own!


You’re welcome. :) I hope it works.

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drank Lychee Black by Samovar
531 tasting notes

I should really make this iced next time. I hear so much how everyone loves this tea iced, but I always brew it hot. I wish it were summer. Oh, how I love the heat! But on to the tea.

This is a perfect lychee tea, in my opinion. It tastes exactly the way I would expect a lychee black to taste. No disappointment here!

I wonder what those rose notes are that everyone else is tasting and Samovar includes in the description. I’m not smelling or tasting rose at all. It’s just very strong lychee to me.

Either way, this is a strong black tea that requires a little bit of milk added. Maybe I’ll use a shorter steep time next time. I think I’ll like it better that way. Although as it stands, it’s still a pretty great tea.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Pro: high quality green tea, no bitterness. Con: flavoring isn’t very strong.

The dry leaf aroma is green tea and ultra sweet strawberries. The brewed tea aroma is green tea, strawberries, and that ultra sweet aroma from earlier has morphed into what I can recognize as maple.

Hmm, I’m not sure what to make of this one so far. The initial flavor as it hits my tongue is a little weird and off-putting. I think it’s the maple. I’m not sure I like maple and green tea as a combo. But it has a very pleasant aftertaste: clean sencha grassiness with authentic strawberry flavoring. No artificiality in 52teas blends!

Unfortunately, it doesn’t really taste like strawberry pancakes. I’m getting a light strawberry flavor with an added component that’s something akin to butter. But overall, the flavoring is quite light. I’d prefer it to be a lot stronger.

I’ll have to play around with the steeping parameters to see if I can make it stronger. I really want to love this! But right now it’s just like. Good, not great.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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drank BOO-berry by 52teas
531 tasting notes

I’ve quickly replaced my morning cup of Pancake Breakfast Black Tea with BOO-berry. I just love it! I’ve always thought that blueberries would make a wonderful flavoring to tea, and I’ve been on the lookout for a great blueberry tea ever since.

Well, I think I’ve found it in BOO-berry! This has the perfect blend of blueberry and marshmallow root. The black tea base is simple and complementary as well. I really can’t think of any improvements to be made to this!

The berry taste is clean and fresh, not artificial in the least. The dry leaf smell is a little…strange, for lack of a better word. I think that’s probably the marshmallow root. It’s quite strong in the aroma, but more natural in the brewed tea.

The tea also has perfect ratios, although I can’t seem to find any actual freeze-dried blueberries in the leaves. Maybe they’re chopped too finely or I’m mistaking marshmallow root for blueberry (is that possible?). Nevertheless, you can’t miss blueberry in the taste, and that’s what matters most!

Ahhh, I just love this tea. I’m raising my initial rating of 85 to 98. The more I drink it, the more I love it. It’s great straight if you’re going to pair it with food. The blueberry taste cuts right through whatever other flavors you might have in your mouth, which I found quite impressive. But if I’m going to drink it without food, I prefer milk and a little sweetener.

It’s quite a versatile blend, and I’m going to miss it when it’s gone. It sold out before I even received my weekly sample, or I would have stocked up! But I’m glad that others get to enjoy it as well. If I bought all the bags, no one else would get to see how awesome this tea is too!

And the name? How cute is BOO-berry?! Perfect! Just perfect! My favorite tea in the world!

Anyway, I’m surprised I’m the only one to write a review here. Come on people! What do you think? Do you agree that this is the best blueberry tea ever?? :) After all, I think I used the word “perfect” about 5 times in this review. Thank you, 52teas! And bring us more blends like BOO-berry!!!

P.S. The only reason I docked it 2 points rather than giving it a 100 is because it’s not in the permanent collection. How I’ll miss you when you’re gone!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank BOO-berry by 52teas
531 tasting notes

BOO-berry!!!!!!!!! Finally!!!! You have arrived!!!

I thought about you all day. When will you arrive? Maybe today is the day! I ran home from work and opened my mailbox to find, not just my highly anticipated BOO-berry, but also the new Strawberry Pancake Green Tea!!!!!!!!!

Wasn’t I just saying yesterday to someone here on Steepster that it would be lovely if 52teas made a strawberry or blueberry pancake blend? Now I get the best of both worlds! And oh, my BOO-berry! You’re so good! Just how I imagined, and yet better at the same time!

This is the best day ever!!!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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This tea is just so good! It has tons of actual vanilla beans!

My first experience with this tea was using my new owl mug (click here to see how cute it is: http://tinyurl.com/3rcj6ko). It has a dark brown inside, so this observation eluded me then. But today, I used my lime green mug because I was at work.

I noticed a bunch of little black specs at the bottom of my empty cup. At first, I thought the leaves had been chopped up too finely and had gone through the strainer. But then I realized they’re vanilla beans!

How can anyone think this tea doesn’t taste like vanilla when there are real vanilla beans floating around in it? I’m going to have to place an order now that my sample has run out. Welcome home, Vanilla Blossoming! :)

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

That sounds delicious!

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Wow! This is so interesting! I’ve never tasted anything like it before (and yes, I have had and love pancakes).

I definitely get the correlation to pancakes. There’s a buttery bread taste to the tea, which I guess is what I find so interesting. It’s strange to drink tea and taste buttered bread. And as Jenn mentioned in her review, this tea is much more complex than expected. It’s really amazing!

The aroma of the dry leaves has a very strong maple scent, but unfortunately this doesn’t translate into the brewed tea as much as I would like. It’s also quite tannic, so I added some milk.

Other tea drinkers here on Steepster seem to have no problem picking out the maple notes, so maybe it’s just me. Also, I tend to think of maple syrup as the sugar-loaded Aunt Jemima kind. Perhaps others are more accustomed to pure maple syrups, which this blend might be more representative of. I’ll add a little sweetener the next time I brew it and see if that helps me recognize the maple notes better.

It’s definitely a very good tea, and I’m sure no one else but 52teas could create such a unique, dare I say magical, blend! It’s early, so please excuse my criticism. Overall, I think this tea is fantastic! I will happily add it to my morning routine.

With over 50 tasting notes, fantastic reviews, and most ratings in the high 90s with quite a few 100s, I really hope this makes it into the permanent collection!

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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This is my first 52teas experience!!! I’m so excited!

I ripped open the bag and was assailed by a strong maple scent. The tea leaves are interspersed with generous portions of thin, curly, yellow marigold petals. I wanted to measure the tea with my small scale to ensure a perfect cup.

But as I was measuring out the leaves, something weird started happening. One little marigold petal was standing straight up! I looked at it and thought, hmmmm. Maybe a piece of my hair is caught in the leaves or something? I tried to pick it up, but it jumped away from my hand and landed on the countertop. Strange.

I kept measuring out more leaves, and that’s when I realized what was going on. As petals bounced away from the scale, I figured out they were full of static electricity! It was so funny, and such a weird way to start out my 52teas experience. It is kind of cold today (high 40s/low 50s), and I did open the package as soon as I brought it in the house. That’s the only explanation I can think of.

But anyway, on to the tea itself! It brewed up to a nice clear, slightly golden color. It still smells heavily of maple, but now there’s the added oolong vegetal quality to the aroma. And the taste? Hmmm, not what I expected. There’s definitely a slight maple taste and some lovely floral notes, but I’m not getting much cheesecake flavor. It’s definitely not creamy or milky or cheesy.

However, it’s still quite good! The first infusion actually is probably my least favorite. The oolong really develops in later infusions. I’m loving this second cup! This is a great tea, and although I’ll be sad when my limited bag is empty, I am happy that I got to experience it. That there’s not much of it makes it that much more special. :)

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

I thought that maybe you had found something alive in your bag or something! LOL


Oh, gosh no! Hahahaahaa, that really made me laugh though! Nope, this tea is just goodness with a touch of static electricity. :)


Welcome to the Wild Wonderful World of 52Teas! This one sounds amazing!! :)

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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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