560 Tasting Notes


A special tea for my birthday today!

I was a little nervous to be trying this tea only because it has spruce needles in it and it smells like Christmas potpourri… definitely something you wouldn’t want to drink. I love the little snowflake sprinkles, though. They add such a nice touch! Once the tea has steeped, it smells sweeter, softer and mostly like orange peel.

Sipping… I first taste a very sweet almond flavor that reminds me of.. surprise… cake! The finish is where the orange peel comes out. It’s not an orange flavor, but really the bitter orange peel. I don’t taste much of the spruce needles, but perhaps they are lending something to the cup that I am not aware of.

I’m very glad to have tried this tea and it will be a nice companion this December. It’s certainly a very festive blend! I don’t know if I love it enough to repurchase, but I’ll enjoy it this year.


Happy Birthday to you!

Roswell Strange

Happy Birthday! How old? :P


Happy Birthday!!!


Happy birthday!

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The scent of this tea reminds me of Fruit Stripe gum. I also get this weird mint that pops through occasionally. I love the pretty white and pink/red flowers that are mixed in with the white tea. Very festive!

Sipping… this tea actually tastes a little bit like Fruit Stripe gum to me, but with the addition of a white tea base. There is something a little tingly in the tail end of the sip, that makes me think of spices.. but it’s so faint that I don’t really notice it. While this tea has lovely flavors, it’s very delicate. I do wish that it had a little more strength.

December 14 – Advent 2014

Cameron B.

Jealous! Mine tasted like a ginger tea. :(


I love fruit stripe!


Wow, I can’t even remember what Fruit Stripe smelled/tasted like!

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Ah, happy to see a familiar favorite in the calendar. Still very much the same for me.. smooth, biscuit, poppy with a hint of something fruity. So delicious! One of my absolute favorites from Dammann Freres.

December 4 – Advent 2014

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This tea smells like jasmine, passionfruit and peach – very much reminds me of summer.

Sipping… this has such a nice fruit flavor. I love the passionfruit paired with the jasmine. The jasmine isn’t too strong, but sits in the background. It gives off just enough flavor so you know it’s there, but not enough to overwhelm the cup. While this tea is light and refreshing, I’m not sure if I’m in the mood to drink such a summery blend. It would be perfect for the warmer months, but not for the winter.

December 13 – Advent 2014

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While I’m excited to see a rooibos blend, I’m not really sure if I’m going to like this one. It smells very much like children’s Motrin.. liquid orange in a small plastic cup.

Sipping… oh, good! It isn’t as weird and medicinal as I thought it would be. The orange is light, fresh and pairs beautifully with the wood from the rooibos. It seems that the dry sharpness from the rooibos works really well with bringing out the tangy bits from the orange. I also love that there is a bit of sweetness in the background that makes me think of cheap, watery orange juice – that comforting hit of sugar and citrus.

I am enjoying this tea much more than I expected. Would I buy this again? Possibly, but it seems like it’s one of those teas I would enjoy in smaller amounts and only when the craving strikes.

December 5 – Advent 2014

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The scent of this tea reminds me of Marco Polo from Mariage Freres… strawberry candies with black tea in the background.

Sipping… I was expecting a stronger strawberry flavor, but this is actually very nice. The strawberry sort of blossoms on your tongue after the sip and leaves you with a bright tartness. The black tea seems more on the earthy side, but that could be because rhubarb is present. Rhubarb always tastes a bit like earth or dirt for me.

I’m really impressed by this cup and would possibly buy more of this in the future. A great first cup of the day!

December 11 – Advent 2014

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I was a little disappointed to see this tea bag only because I recently had a similar tea yesterday. I think that I would have been more okay with two similar teas if I spread them out over the course of a few days, but I’m playing catch up.. so now is the time to drink it!

I’ve decided that Earl Grey teas are a once in a while tea for me. Two teas that are Earl Grey-ish in a week may be a bit too much. That being said, I think this would be a great choice for someone who loves orange/citrus oils and black tea.

It’s bright and smooth. This cup even leaves that tingling feeling that you get after eating an orange wedge. I can see a splash of milk adding a more comforting dimension, but it’s lovely without. Given the choice between this one and the Earl Grey Yin Zhen I had yesterday, I think I prefer Gout Russe. It’s mild, sweet and citrusy.

December 6 – Advent 2014

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This one smells weird right out of its package. I’m not sure exactly how to describe it… faintly smells of green tea, orange, spices and something doughy? Luckily it doesn’t smell like Play-Doh, but it still smells strange.

Sipping… I taste a light orange flavor and the mild green tea base. The spices/doughy bits hide behind everything and really just contribute a strange flavor. It’s not terrible, but it’s very weird. If I gulp down this tea, I do get more of a sweet fruit flavor and something that reminds me of bubblegum.

I wouldn’t purchase this tea in the future, but it’s nice to try something interesting.

December 10 – Advent 2014

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I’ve tried this tea using the recommended 1-2 pearls, but haven’t been impressed.. so I’ve made this morning’s cup with around 5-7. We’ll see if it makes a difference.

Right away, I can tell that the scent is much stronger and very sweet. Sipping… yep, definitely better with more pearls! This is smooth, sweet – hints of caramel, hay and wood. It’s actually a little chalky which I found to be the case with fewer pearls. I love how this has much more body and it’s so smooth! Yum.. would definitely buy these again, but not sure if the value is there since I have to add so many pearls to get the delicious cup I want.


Anytime I’ve made a tea with black pearls, I’ve used 4-5 at least in order to get my desired flavour level. They do last for multiple infusions though, usually.

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The plain tea bag smelled like Play-Doh which wasn’t a good sign. After water has been added, it does smell much more like Christmas – cinnamon, spices .. maybe some orange thrown in. Not sure how I feel about this one, to be honest.

Sipping… hmm.. there’s a lot going on in this blend. I taste cinnamon and orange, but also something that reminds me of a cookie? I’m not sure.. there’s something doughy tasting in this cup.. it’s almost like completely plain dough with spices and orange. The Play-Doh scent remains, sadly, and really dominates everything. The green tea base is smooth, not astringent and very soft. I’m happy to have tried this one, but it’s far too strange for me.

December 7 – Advent 2014


Yuck – I’ve had teas that smell like play-dough before. I haven’t figured out what it is, but it’s happened to me most often with white teas.


This is the first time I’ve smelled Play-Doh.. but I’ve read that others have experienced it before! It’s really strange to have such a gross smell in a tea!

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Tea (& Coffee) lover. Bookworm.

Favorite teas: Milk Oolong, Flavored blends, Dessert teas, Creamy Teas, Rooibos, Oolong, Black, Green
Dislikes: Spices, Peppery flavors, Cloves, Cardamom, Licorice, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Mate, Puerh, Chai, Ginger

My Rather Picky Ratings
90+ – Reserved for the very best! Always in the cupboard!
80-89 – Quite good! A very pleasing cup.
70-79 – Room for improvement, but not bad.
60-69 – Mediocre.
50-59 – Bad. Will not purchase.
49 & below – Depending on the more specific rating: Undrinkable. Yuck. Will not purchase.

Note: Teas in my cupboard are all of the teas that I’ve logged, regardless of their current presence in my actual cupboard. For an updated list on what teas I have available for swap, check out the swap thread and not my cupboard! Thanks!

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