99 Tasting Notes

drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
99 tasting notes

6/10 in my Halloween Tea Marathon, and yet again it’s from KittyLovesTea.

I absolutely adore pumpkin tea, and this has been on my wish list for quite a while, and one of the ones I most wanted to try, so I was very excited to receive it in the secret pumpkin swap. It did not disappoint. I had the first cup of this plain, and was happy to find that the pumpkin flavour was prominent, with the spices complimenting it rather than overpowering it. A huge plus in my book! I have since had it with a pinch of brown sugar and as a latte, which blew my mind. I’m actually pretty sad that I love this one so much, since it’s a DAVIDsTEA and once it’s gone I have no way of getting any more. Please, David’s, open a store in England!!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 150 ML

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drank Graveyard Mist by 52teas
99 tasting notes

5/10 from my Halloween Tea Marathon, and 5th secret pumpkin tea from KittyLovesTea! I swear not all 10 are from the swap…

First off, I was an utter doofus when I brewed this. It was really late and I was working, so without really looking at it I assumed it was a black tea and dumped a load of boiling water on top of it. Despite the astringency of the burnt tea, I really enjoyed my small cup of this, and am looking forward to trying it again when I can treat the tea properly. It was really yummy! The dry leaf didn’t smell of much, but brewing, the scent is beautifully minty with a hint of vanilla. The mallow sweetness goes really well with the spearmint, and even steeped at too high a temperature the tea isn’t drying. If it were still available, this is one I would definitely consider reordering.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 150 ML

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drank Cotton Candy Black Tea by 52teas
99 tasting notes

4/10 in my Halloween Tea Marathon.

The rest of these notes won’t be very long, as Halloween was almost a week ago and I should probably get them out of the way. Plus I’m starting to forget the finer points of what I thought of the teas. I haven’t used my entire sample for any of them, so there will be a longer, more detailed review of them all at some point when I haven’t put as much pressure on myself to get a tonne done at once.

As far as I remember, this tea was pretty much indistinguishable to me from the Candy Corn one I had before it. I’m guessing Frank used the same base tea for both, and since they’re both sort of sugar flavoured, I’m fairly unsurprised. I did wonder before I drank it how he was going to translate the flavour, seeing as how candy floss is usually pretty flavourless. I don’t actually like candyfloss, so I haven’t had it for years, but I don’t think this tea reminded me of it. It was sort of sweet, though.

ETA: This was another sample from the secret pumpkin swap with KittyLovesTea!

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 150 ML

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drank Candy Corn Black Tea by 52teas
99 tasting notes

Steepster keeps eating my notes D: I’ve just spent ages writing about this tea and it froze then published my note blank ): is this happening to anyone else??

Anyway, this was the third of my Halloween Tea Marathon teas, and yet another sample from KittyLovesTea. I have actually finished my marathon now, but I’m quite behind on publishing my notes due to uni work and Steepster issues.

I’ve spent far too long on trying to write up this tasting note, so I’m basically going to attempt to write it quickly before it closes itself again. Controversially, I am not a huge fan of this tea. I have never had candy corn, so I don’t know how faithful an interpretation it it, but to me, this just tastes like a generic base tea with a slightly honeyed aftertaste. I think next time I will eat a candy corn from the dry leaf first. So I have a better comparison to go off. For all I know, it could be a perfect representation. As it is, I am drinking this blind and don’t think it’s really anything special. Sorry, Frank!

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 150 ML

I try to highlight my note, right click and copy, until I know it posts.


You have never had candy corn! What?


I’ll try that next time, thanks!

Lol Marzipan, I can’t say I’ve ever seen it! I don’t think it’s really a ‘thing’ in the UK

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Tea number 2/10 of my Halloween Tea Marathon.

This was another sample from my secret pumpkin KittyLovesTea, which I was really pleased about since I’ve been wanting to try this blend for a while.

I’ve read a few reviews of people wishing this was smokier, or had some lapsang in it, but to me it hits the nail on the head as far as bonfire toffee goes. For any non-British followers, this is the classic British sweet it resembles: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonfire_toffee

I used to have bonfire toffee every Halloween, even though I hated how it stuck to my teeth and had a sort of bitter aftertaste. It was a Halloween/bonfire night classic, how could I not? I haven’t had it for a couple of years, but this tea immediately brought me back and made me really nostalgic. It has the dark, caramelised taste of bonfire toffee, combined with the hint of apple which makes it almost reminiscent of toffee apples, too. Yes. This is exactly how Halloween tastes.

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 150 ML

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drank The Black Cat by Della Terra Teas
99 tasting notes

Happy (belated) Halloween, everyone!

So Frank’s dad is staying this weekend, and I didn’t have time to write much up last night, which was when I had this tea. I received it in my Secret Pumpkin swap from KittyLovesTea, and now is of course the perfect time to drink it.

I looked through a lot of my samples yesterday, and picked out 10 which were Halloween-inspired, some more than others. The plan is to drink all 10 over the weekend, although I might have to include Monday as a “long weekend” depending on how it goes. Some I have drank before, and some are completely new to me. I am also doing them in alphabetical order, partly because it’s easier to remember, and partly because I’m both indecisive and anal.

So here goes, tea 1/10 of my Halloween Tea Marathon!

Visually, this tea gets 100. It fits the mood perfectly. There are little candy pieces in the tea – black cats and orange sprinkles. The real magic, though, happens when it is steeped. As soon as I poured the water over the dry leaf, it turned a green colour. Over the duration of steeping, this became darker and darker until it was a murky almost black colour. It definitely put me in the Halloween spirit! (Haha, spirit, get it?).

The smell of the dry leaf was utterly divine, all tropical and sweet. I think this tea requires a lot of leaf, though, because even though I only brewed half a cup of it (on account of the drinking 10 teas), the scent diminished significantly when brewed.

The taste confirmed that more leaf is required, and I think that next time I have it I will use up the rest of my sample. I used a heaped teaspoon for only half a cup of tea, and I could still barely taste anything when drinking it plain. I was forced to add a sweetener, which was kinda too much but at least brought out some of that tropical fruit I had been expecting.

Overall, I am not disappointed in this tea as I expect it was mainly a quantity error on my part. I am excited to try this again!

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 150 ML

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drank Pomegranate Green Tea by Arizona
99 tasting notes

Frank pointed this out to me when we were shopping one day, so I bought a bottle to try because why not?

I would describe it more as a juice featuring tea than a tea itself, as the fruit juice definitely takes centre-stage. That being said, the green tea is definitely present in the taste and aftertaste, adding an interesting grassy note which I am almost surprised goes so well. It is certainly done better than other similar juice teas I have tried. I haven’t looked an the ingredients or nutrition information, but I have a feeling there is definitely some added sugar in this. It’s sweet but tart at the same time, but definitely not as sweet as most soft drinks. It is still fresh enough to be refreshing. I wouldn’t actively seek this out, but if I were out wanting a drink and saw this, I would likely choose it over a bottle of pop.

Sipdown! (5/180)

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drank SBT: Butterbeer by 52teas
99 tasting notes

This review isn’t going to be very detailed, I’m afraid, as I had this one ages ago and forgot to review it at the time. I also left it in the fridge uncovered, and after the first couple of cups it started to taste like fridge. From what I remember, though, it tasted fairly similar to root beer tea, and I couldn’t much tell the difference. I’m not a big fan of root beer, so that’s affected my judgement a bit. Still, I remember it being pretty decent.

Sipdown! (4/174)

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drank Nutmeg Cream by Butiki Teas
99 tasting notes
Thanks to VariaTEA for this sample.

Steepster just crashed on me and deleted my note D:

Unfortunately, I think that this is another tea which has fallen victim to my damp new flat. It’s not as damaged as the last sample, though, and I think the ‘spirit’ of the tea is still present, and there’s no yucky smokiness. I am hoping to pick some more of this up before Butiki closes to try it in its full glory.

Brewing, I can actually smell the cream, which is pretty amazing since even purely cream flavoured tea hasn’t been able to do this in the past. Flavour-wide, the cream is more present in mouthfeel, but the overall flavour is reminiscent of the eggnog I made last Christmas, so perhaps that’s due to the cream. The nutmeg is more present in flavour than smell, although it does definitely smell spicy. The base is prominent, but not overpowering. Stacy does a great job with pairing bases with flavours – it sort of sits alongside the nutmeg in a complimentary way. The cup was a little weak owing to the damp, but still very pleasant.

Sipdown! (3/174)

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

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drank Chocolate Flake Tea by Teapigs
99 tasting notes

I have tried this tea so many times, always in single serving sachets, and never gotten around to reviewing it for reasons unknown. Now that I have an official sipdown box, and have put it in my kitchen right next to the kettle, I am far more inclined to go for the teas I need to get rid of over the favourites I seem to keep going back to. This was right on the top, and as it was my final serving (I don’t plan on buying more), I guess the time has come to review it!

I actually drank this a couple of days ago, so the note will probably not be too detailed. It wasn’t really that complex to begin with, though, so I don’t think it will be too affected.

Each time I try this tea, I convince myself that this time I will be able to taste the chocolate, and each time, I am wrong. I have tried different steeping times, different amounts of water, different additives and even used two bags on one occassion. I have had it prepared in-store and I still couldn’t taste any chocolate! The Tea Pigs black tea base is fairly pleasant, with little astringency, so I can drink the cup easily enough. It smells sweet when brewing, and actually reminds me of cocoa butter rather than cocoa itself. The taste also reminds me of cocoa butter, perhaps a little more vanilla than chocolate. I have found it to taste pretty similar no matter how I drink it, and the additives don’t really seem to alter the flavour much. A pretty average tea, disappointing if you are expecting chocolatey chocolate.

Sipdown! (2/174)
I have a long way to go…

EDIT: I’ve just realised that this is my 50th tasting note! Wooo! If only it were a more positive one ):

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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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 couple of years back, but they weren’t on sale in the UK so I started trying other kinds instead and have been hooked for almost two 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: a lot of different things, but my absolute favourites are caramel, chestnut, raspberry, coconut, blueberry and pumpkin

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

I am a 20 year old student, studying English Literature and hoping to go into publishing one day. Other than drinking, hoarding and reviewing tea, my hobbies include reading, doing quizzes and puzzles, TV quiz shows (about the only things I watch regularly, unless Sherlock or Doctor Who is on), basketball (NBA, both the video game and actual sport – Chicago Bulls fan, and playing with my university girls’ team. I also watch my flatmate play, as he’s on the men’s team) and football/soccer (just watching – a lifelong supporter of Sunderland AFC).

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.


Huddersfield, UK

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