518 Tasting Notes


It’s been so long since I had this in my cupboard. When I saw that it was included in one of the reblends, I knew that I had to give a pouch another try. Before I realized that I needed a lot of leaf and a long steep time to make a tasty cup. It certainly smells like honeybush and strawberry.. maybe a little bit like strawberry bubble gum? After water has been added, the cinnamon really pops and it actually takes on a rather spicy character.

Sipping… the honeybush and strawberry pop on the tongue first. It starts off rather pleasant, but then the strawberry starts to taste a little fake and a bit freeze-dried.. you know that flavor? It’s not so much chemicals as something that’s a little off. The cinnamon shows up next and takes you into a nice, rather sweet finish. I think I like this tea a little bit more than when I first had it, but it’s still not giving me the butter, brown sugar, pastry, pie flavors that I think it should have.

Very drinkable in this f-f-freezing weather we’re having at the moment. Quite a soothing cup, but maybe not a repurchase for me unless I can pull out more of that pie flavor.

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I think I’m getting more into pepperminty teas this year. Winter normally makes me think of peppermint mochas, but as peppermint is always included in holiday/Christmas blends, I am usually forced to try a minty one despite it not being my favorite flavor. Instead of wishing for more creamy, egg-noggy Christmas flavored teas, I’ve decided to just embrace the peppermint and force myself to drink it down! It happens sometimes that I’m pleasantly surprised.

Giving this tea a sniff, I smell mostly rooibos and peppermint, no chocolate. I’m a little worried because it seems like it’s not going to be creamy chocolate. Sipping… the rooibos is definitely detectable and is rather strong. I don’t mind this because I like rooibos, but for those who do not like it, I would avoid this blend. The peppermint is also a bit strong. It’s not like it clears out your nose and mouth, but it does taste toothpasty. I don’t get any chocolate which is a bit disappointing because I think it would make a nice addition to the cup. The aftertaste is also a little sour and strange. For the most part, I enjoy the RoT’s “Cuppa Chocolate” teas, but this one is not for me.

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drank Qu Hao Silk by The Tea Spot
518 tasting notes

The scent of this tea reminds me a bit of a puerh. It smells like dirt and hay. I do detect some sweetness behind it all, but the earthy scent is the strongest. It certainly brews up a rather dark cup as well!

Sipping… I mostly taste sweet hay with some mild chocolate and floral notes. The cup is actually not as silky as I thought it would be. That’s not to say that it isn’t smooth, it does get quite astringent at the end. This is a solid, drinkable cup of tea, but isn’t my favorite.

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This tea smells very tasty, I only wish that it didn’t have the licorice because it makes it smell a little funky. Beyond the licorice, I smell sweet peppermint. Mmmm..

Sipping… the first thing I taste is that sweet, tongue-coating licorice. It’s almost enough to make me stop drinking, but it quickly morphs into the sweet peppermint and chocolate flavors. The finish is creamy and sweet. I find that if I sort of gulp down this tea, the licorice goes away a little and out comes the wintery white chocolate and peppermint. Tasty!

Thank you to VariaTEA for sharing some of this tea with me before I went out and bought a bunch. I’m not sure if I like this blend enough to buy some of it, but it’s definitely a nice holiday treat.


This is their one holiday tea I want to try.


I am glad you (sorta) like it!


VariaTEA, I do like it and am so happy to have tried it. THANK YOU! It’s a fun peppermint white chocolate tea version. :)

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I grabbed this tea from the traveling tea box that was sent my way recently. It looked very interesting — little rosebuds tucked away in a little plastic bag. I have certainly enjoyed the teas from Bluebird Tea Co. and I don’t mind the ingredients in this blend. It doesn’t smell the best after it’s steeped: herbal, a little soapy and a bit of rose.

Sipping… hm.. this is pretty interesting. It’s very smooth despite it having some ingredients that could potentially make it a little sharp or strong. I definitely taste the rosebuds, but they’re not over the top. The lemongrass is present, but lingers in the background and lends more of an earthy/herbal note to the cup. I can’t taste the cocoa shells which is a little sad, but there really weren’t too many so I can see why.

I’d say that this is a solid cup of tea. It’s nice, creative and calming. I don’t think it’s my favorite from Bluebird Tea Co. and I’m not sure if it’s going to be in a future order, but I’m indeed happy with this blend tonight. Lovely!


I just received some of this myself today, and was also surprised at the little tiny rosebuds. I’m a bit scared to try it now, however after this review maybe I’ll give it a go.


You should definitely give this one a try. It smells interesting, but is very smooth and not overwhelming.

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This evening I wanted another cup of tea, but only an oolong would do! This one looked like a nice choice. I generally like ali shan oolongs, perhaps not my ultimate favorite, but a solid choice. The scent of this tea is buttery and floral. The floral notes are sweet and simply gorgeous! I’m excited to see what this tea will taste like because the scent is beautiful.

Sipping… this is quite delicate! I was expecting more of a floral smack in the face, but this is very smooth.. it’s almost like a whisper of what I want it to be. A tiny bit of astringency finishes off the cup, but otherwise it’s very smooth and almost milky. I wish that this tea had a little bit more to offer in terms of the flower or butter notes, but it’s nice. I think that this could be a good choice for people who are new to oolongs and aren’t sure where to start.

Even though I could use a little more flavor, I could see myself popping this into my shopping cart. Thank you, Teavivre, for a sample!

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This cup is just what I needed to wake up and focus on some homework! It’s a bit thick and a little astringent. This seems like it would be the perfect tea to have with milk, but I’m having it plain today. I catch some smoke and some floral notes as well. The floral notes come towards the end of the sip and help to round out the cup. The smoky flavors are quite mild which is nice as I don’t care very much for teas with heavy smoke. There is a bit of a lingering sweetness with the astringency — quite brisk yet smooth. I’m excited to see how this one will be with milk — I’ll add it next time! Thank you to Scheherazade for sharing!

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Any tea that is milky: milk-scented, milk-flavored, naturally milky is a must-have for me. I’m not sure what it is, but I do like creamy/milky teas more than anything. What’s strange is that I rarely have milk in my tea unless it’s an English Breakfast or I’m having afternoon tea. The scent of the dry leaf reminds me of a milk oolong. Once water has been added, I do smell more of the black tea combined with the milk. It reminds me of milk-flavored candies, not milk from a carton.

Sipping… oooh, this tea has a bit of a thick mouthfeel that I really like. I taste a bit of an astringent black tea with a bit of powdered milk. It’s not really creamy, but has that very distinct artificial milk flavor. Overall, I’d say that this is a relatively tasty cup, but is a bit too fake for my tastebuds.

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drank Graveyard Mist by 52teas
518 tasting notes

This is one of those teas I didn’t know if I wanted to buy or not. I’m not a huge fan of mint, but the combination of marshmallow root and malt sounded quite good. If the mint could be masked, I actually might enjoy it! This tea reminds me of those conversation hearts that are available around Valentine’s Day — the minty ones. Sipping… I’m surprised that the mint isn’t super strong. I don’t taste a bunch of the marshmallow root, sadly. It ends with a very abrupt, sharp and almost bitter note. This tea is on the verge of tasting like toothpaste or mouthwash or gum.. but it’s not as MINT! as I thought it as going to be — so good news! Very happy that I was able to sample this (thanks to the traveling tea box) and not have to buy a full pouch.

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I love angel food cake and thought that angel food cake flavor + a white tea = dream. When I opened the pouch, I was hit with a scent that is almost identical to children’s chewable Tylenol. Oh, it brought back memories of having to a) eat the stuff b) wash it down quickly with water after c) hope to never do that again. It’s funny the way scents bring back memories even years later. After the water has been added, it’s toned down a little bit and the white tea steps forward. I actually get a bit of a headache after smelling this one.

Sipping… good, it’s not entirely Tylenol… but I taste artificial grape mixed with white tea? Eh.. not a good sign. As it cools, more pineapple comes out and the white tea becomes softer. I also get a tiny bit of something sweet in the background that reminds me more of candy than cake. I’m thinking of a Lifesaver candy… the piña colada ones? It’s not explicitly a tropical holiday tea, but I definitely get that vibe.

So, I seem to be missing the mark with my cups of tea today. I hope I can find something to sip on that won’t make me feel sick.


That’s too bad, because a pineapple angel food cake should be instant heaven, no pun intended.


It should! I’m not sure what happened with this one.

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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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