631 Tasting Notes

drank Christmas in a Cup by Element Tea
631 tasting notes

Thanks to Mercuryhime for making this tea experience possible! This is the last tea of the many generous samples she’s shared with me. You’re the bomb, lady! :)

Wow! This has a lot of cinnamon in it! The dry leaf aroma was equally both orange and cinnamon. But the brewed tea aroma is pure cinnamon.

First sip, and my instincts are confirmed. This is hot cinnamon water with a weak black tea background. Perhaps it would have been improved with a longer steep time? The orange citrus notes I crave are sadly nowhere to be found. The base is slightly bitter and…waxy? It was crying out for milk and sugar, so I kindly obliged.

It’s more drinkable now, but pretty much still strong cinnamon in weak tea. It also doesn’t remind me of Christmas much at all. Then again, I don’t necessarily link cinnamon and Christmas. Cinnamon is great in Chai tea or hot apple cider. But this is missing all the other lovable spices that go in Chai. So, I’m left with a tea that’s just okay.

But, of course, you never know what a new tea will bring until you try it. If you like cinnamon, then this would probably be right up your alley! But I think there’s a green tea in my cupboard that’s calling my name, so I’ll finish this cup and move on to greener pastures. ;)

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

It’s been great seeing your reviews!

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drank Decaf Carol by Lupicia
631 tasting notes

I wasn’t going to brew another tea tonight because that requires me to wash my cup and strainer. But I’m intrigued by this loose leaf sample from Lupicia, so I’m washing some dishes!

The dry leaves smell fruity and delicious! It must be the strawberry. Oh, it smells so good!! It’s funny because I just read a post by Angrboda where she said she had to try and type around a “sleepy but social cat (what do you mean make her go away??? I can’t! She’s cute!).” Now I’m doing the exact same thing, precariously balancing my laptop on the edge of my knees with my arms wrapped around a purring kitty who demands attention now. :) I can’t possibly move him when he lays his head on my hand and sleeps.

“You’re making this impossible,” I say to him. And he responds by looking up at me, still purring, and doing that slow blink thing cats do when they’re happy. He’s just the cutest thing in the world! How can anyone dare to disturb that happiness?

At least the distraction has allowed my tea to cool to a drinkable temperature. Wow, this tea is delicious! The strawberry is definitely the most prominent flavor. It lends a great sweetness to the brew so that I’m not immediately compelled to add milk and sugar. Still, I’m going to add just a tiny touch of milk anyway because the kitty decided to get up.

This is really really good! Even though I’m not individually tasting all the flavorings in this tea, I’m sure it wouldn’t be the same if they were left out. This tea has really impressed me! It’s too bad it’s no longer available since the holiday season is over. I really missed the boat with this one. But now I know to look for it next year! And that’s what I call a tea success!

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I know how that goes. I have a very aptly named puppy (Mr. Snuggles) who insists on being on my lap the moment I sit down. I sometimes find myself pressing my laptop against my chest with my knees and typing with my hands just under my chin so that the spoiled brat can curl up on my lap with the laptop acting like a little heat pad above him. Of course he’s absolutely adorable and utterly trusting and he’s licking my toes and GAH! Just dang irresistible. Other puppy is content to pull at my hand until I’m petting him so I’m also typing one handed. I know, I’ve spoiled them, but cute little animals will probably always get their way with me. Except for house training. That’s serious business. :)


Kitties. They own us. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve sat bouncing on full to bursting bladder because there was a content cat on my lap so I couldn’t move. Usually don’t push them off until I absolutely have to.


I just stayed in bed an extra half hour because my spoiled princess (kitty) was being cute and purring next to me. Not that it was any great struggle. : )

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drank Happiness by Lupicia
631 tasting notes

A free sample tea bag of this came in my latest purchase from Lupicia. And by latest purchase, I mean the one I got about 6 months ago, hahaha!

I made this at work, so I don’t really know what temperature the water was or how long I steeped it for. I definitely used way too much water because I forgot that most Lupicia teas say to brew it in only 5 ounces of water. I probably used twice that much at least.

So, it didn’t really taste the way it was supposed to. Honestly, I couldn’t discern much beyond a low-grade green tea flavor. I’m disappointed I messed this up because I don’t really remember what it tasted like the one other time I’ve tried it. So, I guess the rating will remain unchanged. Too bad. I thought this was my second chance with this tea.

Alas, I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

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drank Lemon Green by Le Thè
631 tasting notes

This was a surprise from Ninavampi and I bet it’s going to be good! The dry leaves are little, rolled up, green leaves with huge chunks of dried lemon. The aroma is lemon, grassiness, and a bit of pepper.

The brewed tea smells and tastes really lemon-y! But it’s not overdone or even acidic. There’s a hint of bitterness from the green tea but no astringency or tartness that makes your face pucker. It’s a very well-executed lemon green tea. Ultra delicious!

That hint of pepper from the aroma of the dry leaves appears in the brewed tea taste too. It’s really interesting. I’m definitely going for a second steep! Three minutes later, I have another steaming mug of tea in my hands. The leaves really opened up on this infusion. They’re huge! Absolutely HUGE!

The second infusion is not quite as flavorful as the first, but still yummy. I like it best when it’s piping hot. This strikes me as a good bedtime tea, even though it probably possesses some caffeine. Now if only I lived in Ecuador… :)

Thanks to Ninavampi for sending me a tea that I otherwise wouldn’t have gotten to try!

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

Glad you liked it! : )

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drank Earl Grey by Lupicia
631 tasting notes

Ahhh, the lovely strong aroma of bergamot. This tea wakes you up with just a whiff of the dry leaves! This really is the best Earl Grey I’ve ever had. It tastes exactly like the tea they serve in Paris. So decadent! So full and well rounded!

This is a completely different experience than the Creme Earl Grey by Element Tea that I just had yesterday. This tea makes that one look like water. The bergamot flavoring in this Lupicia version is much stronger and more flavorful. It’s truly a wonderful and uplifting cuppa. I’m raising the rating a couple points.

And now my whole office smells like a Parisian café. :)

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Kotobuki by Lupicia
631 tasting notes

I’ve been wanting to try this one for a while. Of course, it’s also been chilling in my cupboard for a while. Today is the day to break the cycle and finally try it out!

Part of the reason I wanted to try this is because it sounds good. But the larger reason is because Lupicia sells this tea and one called Wedding in individual packets for wedding favors. Since I love tea so much, I thought it might be fun to give out tea as favors! So I bought one favor as a test run to see how nice the packaging is and to see if I even like the tea I’d give to other people.

The packaging is nice and very appropriate for a wedding. It’s a white mesh, drawstring bag with one tea bag each of the Kotobuki and Wedding, individually sealed in opaque, cream plastic with gold lettering. So far so good.

The Kotobuki dry leaves smell very plum-y. The brewed tea aroma is still plum-y but with the added scent of green oolong. Wow! This tastes very wine-like. It reminds me of a sweet red wine I had at Olive Garden. It also has lovely floral notes that I don’t think I’ve tasted before. Maybe it’s the rose. I know rose teas are common, but I haven’t tried any yet.

This is sweet and delicious and possesses no astringent qualities! I’m confident that this would make a good favor because I think it would appeal to people with varying tastes. It’s also unique enough that most people probably haven’t experienced anything like it.

I’ll keep this in my mind as a possibility. But now I have to try the Wedding tea that comes with it. And before I try that one, I think I’m going to re-steep this. It’s just too yummy to throw the bag away after one cup!

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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drank Creme Earl Grey by Element Tea
631 tasting notes

Yet another tea provided by Mercuryhime. Thanks for sharing some awesome teas!

This tea is no exception. It has a well-executed bergamot flavor with a wonderful creamy component added to it. I’m not 100% sure how long I steeped it for because I set my timer for 4 minutes but then didn’t hear it go off. It doesn’t taste oversteeped though, and there’s only a slight bitterness. Nothing unmanageable.

I added milk and sugar and wow! Now it’s ultra creamy and delicious! I can’t believe I’m the first one to rate this tea. If you’re a lover of Earl Grey, you need to check this out immediately! The only reason I’m rating this in the 70s is because Earl Grey has never been one of my favorites. But I do still enjoy it, and this is one of the better EGs I’ve tried.

Very yummy and calming as I try to play Skyrim, which is continuing to freeze repeatedly even after patch 1.5 that was supposed to fix this problem for good. Screw Bethesda. They really suck. How could they release a broken game? It’s so frustrating! The latest patch has only made the freezing worse. It’s literally unplayable now.

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I"ve been wanting to give Skyrim a try but now I’m not sure. :P
I’m glad you’re enjoying the tea though!


Hahaha! Well, Skyrim is one of the best video games I’ve ever played. I cleared out my data folder on the PS3 and re-downloaded the patch. Now it seems to be working fine. But it was really frustrating!


The best. Wow. High praise. :) may I ask what your other favoritse are to see if we have the same taste?


I have it on xbox and it hasn’t frozen yet, but it’s bethesda and I know it’s only a matter of time haha. Really is the best game in the world though, imo!


Dragon Age Origins & Final Fantasy VII & VIII are my other favorites. I also like the original Harvest Moon (SNES & PS1).


Yes! Origins! I have to get back to playing that :) FF VIII froze on me 75% through the game – I couldn’t fix it and I didn’t want to play it again so I may never know what happens lol. Good game choices my dear!


Good games! :) FF VII and VIII have confusing endings but I stlll enjoyed them mightily. I guess I’d probably like Skyrim then! I seem to prefer reading to games these days though. Plus husband is always hogging the PS3 with boring FIFA or some other sport game.


Just have to add — didn’t Bethesda make Fallout 3? My brother would play that game (I loved watching the game like it was a movie), until it froze forever. He couldn’t download the patches because he didn’t have the internet hooked to the xbox. But it IS frustrating that Bethesda makes such detailed games but they don’t fix the bugs before releasing them. It’s like they make the games ALMOST perfect but not quite. Also, glad to hear you like Final Fantasy VII! I have a copy I’ve been waiting to play for a while now (bought it from ebay a few months ago!), but like Mercuryhime, the books are piling up. I just saw these comments because I just reviewed the Element creme earl grey which I loved!


Yeah, they made that one too. They’ve fixed most of the issues with Skyrim now, including the freezing one. But for a while there, it really was unplayable. I just love it too much to give up on it for good. It’s one of my all time favorite games, glitches and all. Play FF7 noooow!!!! That is the best game EVER! Best characters, best story, best music, best magic system, hands down.

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This sounded like the perfect tea for tonight! I love jasmine teas, and I think they are complemented well when paired with citrus flavors. One of my favorite teas is Jasmin Mandarin by Lupicia. So, I have high hopes for this one by Ovation and kindly provided by Mercuryhime!

The dry leaf is very interesting. There are short, flat green leaves, rolled jasmine pearls, marigold petals, and little bits of fruit. Some of the fruit appears to be orange peel but there are these other little things that I swear look like orange seeds! But I’m guessing from the description of the ingredients that it’s little pieces of tangerine. I can’t imagine you’d get much flavor from an orange seed, so I don’t know why anyone would put it in a tea blend.

Anyway, the brewed tea aroma is a lot gentler than I expected. I often find that jasmine teas are overpowering in their aroma, very in-your-face. But this smells more like a citrus-y green tea with subtle hints of floral jasmine. Maybe I didn’t use enough leaf? I followed the directions on the package and brewed this with 1.5 tsp in roughly 8 oz. for 2 minutes at 175 degrees.

The flavor is soft and subtle like the aroma. There’s very little jasmine in this. Maybe the ratio of pearls to green tea was off. Or maybe this tea sat in my cupboard for too long waiting to be brewed, and the pearls have lost most of their jasmine flavoring. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely still good! Just a lot less jasmine than I would expect from a tea called Jasmine Citrus Blossom.

The most prominent flavor is the marigold petals. I’ve gotten used to the way marigold petals taste because of their frequent appearance in 52teas’ blends. It’s a very comforting, soft, floral flavor, and I think it’s a good addition to this tea.

Maybe I should try adding a few of my Teavivre Jasmine Dragon Pearls to the rest of this sample. That will give the added jasmine punch I’m looking for. Those little pearls are practically intoxicating (if one can become intoxicated from sniffing jasmine; uh oh now I’m just giving people ideas)!

Yes, it’s decided. I’m going to add ½ teaspoon of dragon pearls and another ½ teaspoon of this tea to the second infusion. I’ll be back in a few…

The flavor is much improved now. But I can’t say I’m not disappointed. I wanted this tea to stand on its own merits. Maybe I just need a fresher batch. I didn’t exactly store this in ideal conditions. But I’m willing to give it another chance. There’s still enough left to try again, and I might add this to an Ovation tea order. In fact, they’re having a free shipping deal right now. So, this may be the perfect opportunity to try out more of their teas!

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

I don’t even remember sending all these different flavors! Haha I’m sorry this one was subpar. :(


Oh, it’s not your fault! I wouldn’t have even gotten to try it if not for you! I welcome all new tea experiences. ;)

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Thanks to Mercuryhime for this special treat! The aroma of the brewed tea is like nothing else I’ve ever encountered. It’s 100% unique. It smells strangely fruity and meaty at the same time with a dash of pine needles and spice. This is going to be interesting.

I’m not usually a fan of darker oolongs. My first experience with them is funny now in hindsight. I bought an oolong sampler from Adagio, and it was exclusively dark oolongs. I had no idea what was going on because I’d only ever had green oolongs before, which are completely different. I loved the green version and not so much the other. I thought I was losing my mind. Did I even know what oolong was?

The taste is something entirely new compared to the aroma, the beginning of the sip is anyway. It tastes like woodsy honey with a small hint of smoke. The end of the sip mimics the strange aroma from before and lingers into the aftertaste where it morphs yet again into floral, vegetal notes. The aftertaste stays prominently in my mouth for what seems like forever! It’s definitely stayed with me for at least 15 minutes.

And this is only the first infusion! Let’s see what happens with the second steeped for 3 minutes. Hmm, it’s very different and very similar at the same time. It’s less fruity meat and more floral oolong, so that’s a change to my liking. This must be directly halfway between green and roasted. From my research, that would make it a semi-oxidized oolong aka “blue-green tea.” The third infusion for 4 minutes tastes like an above average dark, woodsy oolong with no astringency.

It really is too bad SpecialTeas no longer exists because this is something more people should have the opportunity to try. If it’s from tea trees that have been harvested for over 700 years, hopefully someone else is still harvesting and distributing it. This is harder to describe than anything else I’ve ever tasted. The flavor is so strong yet so capricious. This is truly magical tea.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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drank Pure Mint by Twinings
631 tasting notes

Okay, so I’m a little crazy. But you probably already knew that.

I’m trying to lose weight for my wedding. Part of my plan is to drink tea whenever I’m craving something bad like sweets or snack foods. I really really want to buy some new bagged teas to take to work. But I have so much tea! I really can’t justify buying any more.

So, I’ve made a pact with myself. I can buy new tea when I use up all my old tea bags that are sitting around and collecting dust (not literally, eww! Just thinking about dusty tea gives me the heebie-jeebies). Anyway, that’s how I find myself drinking this Twining’s Pure Mint Black Tea.

It’s really not a bad tea, but it’s also really not what I want right now. I’m thinking a floral oolong would hit the spot nicely. Of course, there’s no bagged floral oolong tea in my desk drawer, so I’m just going to have to get over that.

I added a little bit of sweetener and skim milk. At first, the mint was so surprising that it confused my tongue! It’s not like I didn’t know there’s mint in here. I don’t know how to describe what happened. It just took me by surprise. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had a mint tea in so long that it literally flabbergasted my taste buds!

Either way, I won’t miss this too much when it’s gone. The only reason I won’t re-stock it is because I want to try new things. But it’s still a great tea, and I recommend it to anyone that is looking for a mint-flavored black tea!


I think pretty much every bride tries to lose a bit of weight before the wedding. It was actually great for me since I needed motivation to start exercising again. Half a year later, I’m still running 2 or 3 times a week. Though I’ve stopped the weight training and crunches. Hmm….

As for your tea situation, you can get disposable or reusable tea filters that you fill yourself. That way, you can drink your loose leaf even at work. I kept a bunch of loose leafs at my desk and a pack of tea filters. Here’s an idea of your options:

Good luck!


Thanks for the suggestions, Mercuryhime! :)

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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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