813 Tasting Notes

drank Caramel Vanilla Chai by 52teas
813 tasting notes

Wow, I haven’t posted in 15 days! Seems like forever. I got sick a week ago and felt like crap, so there wasn’t much tea drinking going on. Turns out, I drank more herbals, which is usually my least favorite tea. Overall, though, I didn’t really have the energy or the desire to make tea much. I’m back and feeling better, although it’s taking longer to recover than I expected. I had like a mild flu, which is annoying since I had the flu shot. Oh well.

So, I got this tea before I got sick, and decided to wait until I was better to post about it. This chai kind of confuses me. The dry leaf smells heavenly, like a sweet caramel-y chai. The brewed tea, however, is not as sweet. Actually, some days are better than others, but most of the time, there is a really strong spice overpowering the tea. I think it’s the cardamom. I usually like cardamom in chai, but this one is hitting me wrong.

Today, I’m having some friends over for tea! Woohoo! So excited! And this time, I only have to make the scones! :)


Glad you’re feelin better :)


Glad to hear that you’re better now :)


Thanks, all!

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drank Paris by Harney & Sons
813 tasting notes

Was persuaded by a tasting note by pyarkaaloo to have another cup of this tea this morning. Funny how reading a tasting note can really make you crave a tea. ;) My tin is getting low, but not quite yet a sipdown. This is still pretty much my one and only favorite tea from Harney & Sons. It’s complex and delightful.

It’s raining, a lot, and that’s a good thing because the big D-word became a reality over here, but I don’t think it’s going to be enough…they said it would have to rain straight until May to make up for our water supply debt this year. Anyhoo, it makes me just want to sit inside with a cozy cup of tea, so that’s exactly what I’m doing. Might go see the Lego movie later…yes, I’m one of those dorky adults that loves Lego. You can’t deny the great reviews though!

2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

I’ll be interested in your thoughts on Lego … couldn’t decide if it would be cute as a bug or painfully awful!

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drank Dolce Vita by RiverTea
813 tasting notes

I drank a cup of this tea yesterday, but found that adding sugar kinda ruins it for me. It was way too sweet, which I didn’t really think would ever be a problem for me, since I have quite the sweet tooth! ;) The only other time I had that problem was when I accidentally poured an avalanche of sugar into a cup of blueberry cream cheese danish tea by 52teas. I think with this tea, the little meringue hats provide more than enough sweetness, so today I’m enjoying a cup without sugar.

The raspberry in this tea reminds me very much of lipton’s raspberry iced tea, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. When eating out in years past I always went for that iced tea instead of soda, but now I pretty much only drink water.

I think overall. It’s an enjoyable raspberry tea. It might be a good candidate for iced tea also.

It’s raining, so we can’t go running. Glad it’s raining though, because we need it bad! Guess there’s more time for tea today!!

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Roswell Strange

Mmm, sounds good! I think I’d be tempted to pluck the meringue hats out of the dry leaf and eat them that way.


It is tempting! :)


mmmmm sounds tasty!

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drank Granny's Cake by RiverTea
813 tasting notes

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!! I knew it was going to be amazing when I smelled the dry leaf last night, and it was so hard not to make a cup last night, but I knew I better wait on the caffeine. To me, this is a chocolate chai done right. There are so many chocolate chai’s where you don’t taste chocolate at all, or in the case of the Starbucks chocolate chai, taste like chocolate soap….ewwww! This one is perfect!

I also have a hard time with chocolate flavored teas, since most don’t taste right to me, but the chocolate in this tea goes perfectly with the spices. I have to admit, I made sure to include a chocolate chunk in the leaf I used for this cup. Hopefully the chocolate flavor translates even when you don’t get a chunk in your cup.

On the spices, they are delicious! I love star anise, as shown by my love for DavidsTea’s Ceylon Star, which I think they are getting rid of (nooooo!). Well, in that case, I think I just found a substitute in this tea!

Overall, I’m very impressed with RiverTea, and this is only the first one I’ve tried! On to the next!!

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Roswell Strange

Yay! Spread the RiverTea love! But I’m gonna take that as a “yes” on tasting the anise? ;)


Yes, it’s there, but subtle. There are a lot of other spices that peak through too. :)


Yay! I’m happy you one this too! I always worry that I’m overreacting when I rate a new tea just because it’s new and exciting!


so glad you liked this! exciting :)


i love star anise too! it’s really great in Cha Yen Thai (black) by Teavana. also, agreed on Starbuck’s Chocolate Chai…it’s god awful!! it tasted like chocolate lavender potpourri! it’s nasty…they just like to ruin chai..


So, I tried to add steeping parameters, and found that problem with the tsp round down. I used 1.5 tsp for 3 minutes. I really wish Steepster would change the scroll to a more precise field, as it doesn’t work well on my iPad.

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drank White Christmas by Lupicia
813 tasting notes

I sipped this down today. It was pretty darn good, and I wouldn’t mind picking more up at some point, but it’s probably seasonal, so no more until next year. That’s actually a good thing because I’m on a “I want lots of new teas to try” kick lately, rather than a “I want to restock favorites and always have them around” kick.

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Sipdown! This was good, and I enjoyed it while it lasted. That is all!


Short and sweet!


Ya, I’ve been in sipdown mode lately. Gotta make room for new tea!


Sometimes, that’s all you need to say. :D

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I sipped this down yesterday! I enjoyed it so much, I pretty much drank a cup of it every day until the package was gone. It was a great breakfast tea! Yum!

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drank Sugar and Spice by DAVIDsTEA
813 tasting notes

Over the last couple of days, I started drinking my flavored black teas without added sweetener, and I think I started to get used to not having it. I mean, there’s a sweetness to these teas anyway, considering they are flavored. I’ve just always had a sweet tooth, and milk and sugar have always been staples when I drink black tea. I think I’m going to continue this trend, but today, I’m taking a departure, because this tea tastes so delicious with some added brown sugar! ;)

Now that this cup is over, I want to drink something else before we head out to see I, Frankenstein, but my little kitty just got comfortable on my lap. So hard to disturb him! :)

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This is freaking delicious! I’ve been meaning to try this one, and recently received a sample from my mom. It smells like peach and milky oolong, but the taste is like straight peach juice from a can of peaches. I like how thirst quenching it is too! Mmmm! Like most oolongs, it resteeps nicely. Next time I’m in Lupicia, I’ll be sure to get some!

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This is definitely one of Frank’s better blends. He seems to be kind of pro at breakfast/baked good black tea blends. :) I really am enjoying this tea. It definitely tastes like banana bread. I think as far as banana bread flavored teas, this one ranks higher than DavidsTea’s version that I enjoyed last year, but not quite as high as Butiki’s Foxy Roxy’s Banana Walnut Treat. I think it’s because I like the banana flavor better in Butiki’s, but seeing that I don’t have any of that one, this one is hitting the spot! This bag probably won’t last long!! Yum!!


I was very tempted by this blend. It sold out soo fast though. Oh well, I suppose it was not meant to be.

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Another profile facelift! My tastes have changed a lot from when I first discovered loose leaf tea.

I can trace my tea journey back to October 2012, when I discovered DavidsTea. Before that, I had the occasional cup and enjoyed high tea at An Afternoon to Remember, which has since closed.

I went through a period of wanting to try all the teas, and was really into flavored teas, especially dessert blacks, but my tastes have substantially changed over time.

I still enjoy the occasional flavored black or rooibos, but I’m more into unflavored black teas right now and recently, puerh. Chinese black teas are amazing…with their notes of chocolate or sweet potato, who needs a flavored tea? I had a much steeper learning curve when it came to puerh. I used to dump out cups of puerh for tasting like leather. Now, I am really enjoying them. I think it took finding good quality puerh and steeping them gong fu style to really enjoy them.

I also, on occasion, enjoy a good oolong, white, or green tea.

Favorite tea companies right now include: Mandala, Teavivre, Butiki, Golden Moon, Lupicia, and DavidsTea (for teaware mostly).

Just a note: I don’t rate my teas numerically because my iPad doesn’t like the scroll bar. Maybe someday that will change…hint hint, steepster! ;)

P.S. My profile picture is of one of my 2 cats, Holly, who is a little princess but very photogenic, and she loves boxes, including those that bring me tea! :)


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