167 Tasting Notes


Truly awful this time around. My mam (bless her heart) decided to be sweet and make me a cup of tea while I was working. She knew I usually steep my teas for a few minutes, so she’d seen this downstairs and popped it in boiling water for at least 5 minutes (probably closer to 10) before bringing it to me, teabag still in. It was too late by the time I realised. This tea becomes mega sweet if you leave the bag in for longer than a couple of minutes, and it is a bit iffy to brew. Unfortunately, the liquorice root was really overpowering in this cup, and I couldn’t even taste the peppermint. It definitely sorted out my sweet craving for the rest of the day, though! I powered through because my mam had been so sweet to think of making it for me, and by the end of the cup I was sort of getting used to the sweetness and beginning to taste a hint of the mint. I only have one cup of this left, and I will make sure to brew it for a much shorter time! Not changing my rating as it was a brewing error at fault, and not the tea itself.

Boiling 8 min or more 8 OZ / 250 ML

Aww, she tried haha.

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drank Hello Sweetie by Butiki Teas
167 tasting notes

This is the first cup of loose leaf tea I have drank in months. I picked the perfect tea to remind myself why I love it so much. I have been absent for good reason, and there are some personal issues I’m still dealing with, so it might take a while for me to ease myself back into writing proper tasting notes, but I’m glad to be back. These last few months haven’t been the greatest for me, but I’m hoping that the worst is now behind me and I can move on – with tea! This is the third (I think) time I’ve drank this, but I don’t remember it ever being so totally delicious. Banana is on my list of hated flavours, so on paper I shouldn’t enjoy this tea, but Stacy suggested the banana was light enough that I’d enjoy it and I’m pleased to report that she was right. Brewed for 5 or 6 minutes (I got distracted) the Premium Taiwanese Assam doesn’t go at all bitter, but rather becomes delicious and caramelly. I added one sugar but after trying it like this decided against adding milk as it was already so perfect and I didn’t want to ruin it. The banana flavour is actually really enjoyable blended so well with the other flavours, and the praline is definitely dominant long with the caramel. The sugar brings out the coconut flavours too, which are strongest in the aftertaste, which I really enjoyed as coconut is one of my favourite flavours. A really great tea to reintroduce myself with, but I’m still praying that Stacy will get bored of her freedom and come back to making teas! Her talent is far too good to disappear ):

Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

welcome back! hugs


Thank you! ^^


Welcome back. :)


Thanks! (:

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drank Thé des Poètes by Dammann Freres
167 tasting notes

Sipdown! (32/368) Thank you so much for sharing this tea with me, Miss B!

This tea has been in my sipdown box for a while now, and I’ve just never been in the mood to finish it off. This morning I’m feeling a bit under the weather, and this was the perfect tea to soothe me. I did a bit of a double take when brewing this, because the scent is so strong and fills up the whole kitchen. If I remember rightly it usually smells like a baking apple pie, but this time I smelled… Sour cherries? Definitely. I even double-checked the ingredients because the scent was so dead on! Maybe it was just contaminated in the box, though, because the taste is unchanged. Plain, the caramel is prominent with a hint of apple. Adding sweetener brings out the apple, so it’s a delicious cup of gooey toffee apple. The cinnamon is a lingering note towards the end of the sip, and there’s also a mild citrus note which rounds it out. I added a splash of milk to make it more comforting since I’m not feeling too well, and this brings out the base more so that the fruity flavours aren’t as dominant. The cinnamon and citrus notes actually seem to hold their own a lot more when milk is added, too. I’m not sure it’s settled my stomach, but it’s definitely taken my mind off it! Thanks again, MissB!

Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Sipdown! (31/368)

I’m really sad about this one ): I know I can’t buy more tea at the moment but this is one of my favourite summer teas! I have only just finished up with my pouch and I wanna buy more already D:

The last cup was perfect. A lot of the lemon bits were at the bottom, so this cup had a better balance between the strawberry and lemon than there has been in previous cups. The smell is still insane and the sweet fruity strawberry as I remembered. Only this time the lemon provides a more rounded note at the back of the sip, and this is exactly strawberry lemonade, only hot. I wish I had more of this for the warmer weather to have iced – it’s so much better than the Costa iced strawberry lemonade!

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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First time I’ve used this random steepings tag! This was a sipdown of an unidentified teabag sample I received from Mina in the Hapatite tea swap. It was labelled ‘black tea with fruits and spice’ and is in a little round, organic-looking (?) teabag. Other than that I have no info. I can’t say that I mind – I definitely wouldn’t be picking any more up! The scent is very cinnamon-y, and the main note is also overwhelming cinnamon. I think this has stevia in, as it’s very sweet with no additives, and there’s a lingering back note of orange. It is so so cloying and sweet, and almost undrinkable. Blech. Sorry Mina!

I would rate this tea around a 16.

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I’m having one of those days where you just need a lot a lot of caffeine to get going. I opened a new bag of this this morning, and the SMELL! Mmmm. I forgot how much I love this. I think I’ve only ever drank this hot once before, I just think it’s perfect iced. This morning I whisked a scoop of powder into 6oz cold milk and then topped it up with hot water. Warm, this is very sweet! But still so so delicious. It had definitely given me the energy boost I needed, and curbed my sweet tooth in the process! I love that this is a healthy treat (:

140 °F / 60 °C 0 min, 15 sec 15 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Sipdown! (30/368)

Hello steepster! So it’s been another month again! I knew I wasn’t going to have much time for steepster of late, but am hopefully going to be able to write up notes more often now. I’ve had to admit defeat and apply for extenuating circumstances with my remaining work, which means that if it’s granted I won’t be graduating this summer, but in November instead. ):

I’m moving out of my student flat at the end of June, and want to have less tea to pack when I do move, so I’m going to be concentrating on sipping down a lot of teas! This was one, because I’d been saving the last bag to review and the box was taking up room. It had been a while since I drank this tea, and was actually only down to the bottom of the box because I’d been palming it off on Frank, so I couldn’t really remember how it tasted. The bright red liquid and slightly sour smell instantly screamed ‘hibiscus’ to me, and I added a sweetener stupidly without trying the tea first. This was a mistake. The tea was so sweet I could barely bring myself to drink it! Had it not been the final cup I think it would have been dumped. Blech. Although having said that, had I not added the sweetener I think this would have been very pleasant. It’s not often I come across a bagged fruit tea which isn’t overwhelmed by hibiscus. The strawberry comes across strongly and is very much at the fore of the sip, with the mango being almost undetectable – merely a whisper in the background. It does add another dimension to the tea than if it were simply a strawberry tea, but I’m not entirely convinced that it’s a dimension that I like, or is needed. The flavours also come across as somewhat artificial, which I’m not too surprised about from a basic Twinings tea. I actually think this would be quite enjoyable if I wasn’t so spoiled by good teas, and Frank seemed to like them.
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 9 OZ / 266 ML

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Hello Steepster! I’m back, albeit very briefly. I’m currently having some issues and dealing with some things, at the same time trying to write my dissertation (and a million other essays) and finish my degree. Unsurprisingly, I haven’t had much time for steepster of late. I was starting to worry that if I didn’t make some time for it soon I would never come back, and that cannot happen! So I’m making a brief stop by just to check in.

I chose this tea because I haven’t written a tasting note on it yet, and had put it up on the Butiki trading post as I think it could go to a more appreciative home than my own – so many people seem to love it, but it’s just good to me. Nobody has taken it off my hands yet, so if anyone is interested you’re welcome to it.

This tea reminds me of the Mrs. Hudson Adagio custom blend from Cara McGee’s Sherlock collection, only with a much better black base (I think one of my favourites) and a more subtle almond flavouring. In my head I associate this tea with grandma type people, and it could be to do with this connection. The almond flavour is the first thing I notice, but it doesn’t last long and is replaced by the base tea, which is a lovely well-rounded black that goes very well with milk (I’m drinking it like a traditional English cuppa today). Frank isn’t one for my teas usually – he doesn’t like anything he considers to be ‘abnormal’ – but I think this is one he might enjoy. The note that lingers the most is the cinnamon, which only comes through in the aftertaste. This is definitely an enjoyable cup of tea, and maybe a good choice for brunch or when I want something that’s not too fussy, but it’s definitely a like more than a love for me.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

Welcome back! Try to take care of yourself amidst the chaos. :)


You have been missed Nattie! Hope you are managing to keep up with everything.


Thank you (: life is definitely hectic right now.


Honestly I can relate at the moment. Being busy just makes the quiet times feel more special :) Hang in there Nattie and good luck with everything!


Thanks KittyLovesTea – that’s definitely a good way to look at it! Good luck with your stuff, too. (:

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drank Maple Bacon by Man Teas
167 tasting notes

Just sipped down the rest of my sample of this from Janelle ‘s mystery box sale a while back. I thought it was a sipdown, but after consulting my spreadsheet it looks like I have some more of this somewhere courtesy of Miss B! I’m glad, because I’d really like to try this with maple syrup as a sweetener. I was distracted when I drank this, but I don’t remember getting much bacon flavour. It was mainly a plain daytime black tea, with a faint bacon aftertaste like I’d eaten a packet of bacon rashers a while ago and they were lingering. Part of me is disappointed that the bacon wasn’t stronger, but part of me is really glad. Maple syrup and bacon is still such a weird combination to me, I’m not sure I’m ready to add tea to the mix!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

I loved this with a tiny pinch of salt too.


Nattie, are you drinking your breakfast again? ;)


I will have to try it with salt next time!

Cwyn hehe, you caught me :’) I had pancake breakfast tea this morning too!

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Unexpected third sipdown of the day! (29/330)

I was packing up the rest of a swap package for Janelle today, and was only going to have one serving of this left over, so I thought I might as well have it now. I’m upping my rating a bit from 34 as it wasn’t too bad this time around. Hot, I mainly got a nice enough, plain genmaicha. Still no gingerbread. As the cup cools I’m getting that weird cola flavour again, but not as strongly as last time. I’m also getting some citrus through this time, which I’m translating as lime, though judging by the peel in the dry leaf it’s probably orange. I’m still not sure how this fits in with the ‘gingerbread house’ theme. That’s definitely not what I would have called this tea.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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I first got into loose leaf teas when a friend of mine showed me Cara’s Sherlock fandom blends on Adagio a good few years back, but they weren’t on sale in the UK so I started trying other kinds instead and have been hooked for almost three years.

Black teas make up the majority of my collection, but I am expanding my horizons and trying to include a variety of other teas, too. Flavoured blacks are my favourites, but I’m growing increasingly fond of unflavoured teas too. I will update my likes and dislikes as I discover more about my palate, but for now:

Tea-likes: I’m generally easily pleased and will enjoy most flavours, but my absolute favourites are maple, caramel, chestnut, pecan, raspberry, coconut, blueberry, lemon, pumpkin, rose and hazelnut

Tea-dislikes: vanilla (on its own), ginger, coriander, cardamom, liquorice, pineapple and chocolate

I am a 22 year old English Literature sort-of-graduate and temporary bartender. Other than drinking, hoarding and reviewing tea, my hobbies include reading, doing quizzes and puzzles, TV watching (self-diagnosed geek and Netflix addict), football/soccer (I am a lifelong supporter of Sunderland AFC) and listening to classic rock.

I should probably also mention my tea-rating system, which seems to be much harsher than others I’ve seen on here. It’s not always concrete, but I’ll try to define it:

• 50 is the base-line which all teas start at. A normal, nothing-special industrial-type black teabag of regular old fannings would be a 50.

• 0 – 49 is bad, and varying degrees of bad. This is probably the least concrete as I hardly ever find something I don’t like.

• I have never given below a 20, and will not unless that tea is SO bad that I have to wash my mouth out after one sip. Any teas rated as such are unquestionably awful.

• This means most teas I don’t enjoy will be in the 30 – 50 range. This might just mean the tea is not to my own personal taste.

• 51+ are teas I enjoy. A good cup of tea will be in the 50 – 70 range.

• If I rate a tea at 70+, it means I really, really like it. Here’s where the system gets a little more concrete, and I can probably define this part, as it’s rarer for a tea to get there.

• 71- 80: I really enjoyed this tea, enough to tell somebody about, and will probably hang onto it for a little longer than I perhaps should because I don’t want to lose it.

• 81 – 90: I will power through this tea before I even know it’s gone, and will re-order the next time the mood takes me.

• 91 – 100: This is one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted, and I will re-order while I still have a good few cups left, so that I never have to run out. This is the crème de la crème, the Ivy League of teas.

I never rate a tea down, and my ratings are always based on my best experience of a tea if I drink it multiple times. I feel that this is fairest as many factors could affect the experience of one particular cup.

I am always happy to trade and share my teas with others, so feel free to look through my cupboard and message me if you’re interested in doing a swap. I keep it up-to-date, although this doesn’t mean I will definitely have enough to swap, as I also include my small samples.

I also tend to ramble on a bit.


South Shields, UK

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