955 Tasting Notes


Wow, this one is already close to sipdown. Like maybe as early as tomorrow. Did I mention I was a heaper?

I love it when I’m enjoying a tea such that a sipdown sneaks up on me rather than looms over me. This one is definitely in the former category. It’s a definite, but not overpowering orange flavor without a citrus tang (which keeps it from being mimosa-like), and instead with a suggestion of effervescence like an orange soda but of course, without the bubbles, which seems fitting for the “champagne of teas.”


I love that! But I also hate it, because when you’re on a good thing you don’t wanna get off it :( I am known to hoard boxes of teas so I never run out of some blends.


Yeah, I know. I hoard the stuff I love the very best, but I have to start letting go of the stuff that is short of that or I won’t ever make headway in my effort to clear out my overabundance of tea.

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drank Red Hot Cinnamon by 52teas
955 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 115 of the year 2014.

Nothing to be said that hasn’t been said already—it was a good solid cinnamon, though not my top pick in the category. An easy sipdown.

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drank Ginseng Vitality by Teavana
955 tasting notes

Still not a favorite, but so much better than the Tulsi Dosha Chai. And easier to drink for me than Sleep Tight from TeaGschwed…whatever because not savory.

I smelled orange again and I even sort of taste orange, which is fascinating given that there isn’t any orange in this, but I’ll take it.

Time to go lie down with a mug next to me and zone out to whatever’s been Tivo’d and I haven’t yet watched.

BTW, you guys who went to the David’s Tea spring sale are really making my fingers itch in a big way. Mason jar! Whale mug! Tentacles! (And I’d even get the whale and the tentacles despite being hand wash only just because they’re so adorable…) I have to get offline before I find myself whipping out the credit card…. bye!


Their teaware is dangerous, indeed!

Sami Kelsh

I’m honestly grateful there aren’t any David’s Tea shops here because I have no space and no money for any more teaware. I own like 4 mugs (not incuding the little 4oz. Roger Delgado mug that has a special place of honour on my Doctor Who Living Room Shrine Of Awesome) and can’t justify more as long as I live alone :(


I know. I just had to put a bunch of old travel mugs out to pasture to make room for some newer stuff. I went through so many different types of travel mugs, most of which had a lot of small parts I managed to lose the parts to, or couldn’t remember which went with which. Fortunately most of those weren’t containers I really liked and wouldn’t have used much anyway. I have some mugs I really should get rid of because they’re chipped, but they were given to me by various people and it’s hard to part with the sentimental stuff. If I gave away all my chipped mugs I might be able to justify a couple of the new David’s ones….

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drank Tulsi Dosha Chai by Teavana
955 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 114 of the year 2014. And I’m so glad….

I considered saving this for a night when I found myself at the end of the day with nothing sipped down, and then I thought…. Nah. Time for it to go now.

It’s still too lotion-y to be redeemed by its spice bouquet, which is so unfortunate because the spices work together in a way that could be quite tasty.

Now I must apply myself to sipping down Sleep Tight, though after I finish this I think I might have something like Rooibos Lemon Chiffon or perhaps Peppermint. I don’t think I can do both of these in one night two nights running…


Wow, great job sipping this one down. It’s never fun drinking away a tea that isn’t so enjoyable.


Thanks. Yeah, sometimes I feel like I should just toss the stuff I don’t like so much, but it’s rare that I really hate something so much I can’t stomach drinking it and hope springs eternal that something will change and it’ll grow on me. Sometimes that happens, but not so much. Usually I find myself marking down rather than up. It’s very satisfying when I get to toss out the pouch on something like this, though. ;-)


Haha that must be satisfying. I am the worst for teas I don’t like. They always get sent away. :P


Yeah, if I was into swapping, I’d definitely do that. But getting to the post office around here is a project as the lines are always long no matter when you go and I can barely keep up with everything else I have to do. (Plus now most of my tea is too old to swap in good faith anyway.)


LOL Courtney I’m like you. If I don’t like the tea, there’s no way in hell I’m finishing it. Away it goes!

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Steeped this one longer this time, and it did come out with a color closer to honey. It also came out tasting an awful lot like the Eagle Nest Ever Drop. The same bready flavor, which I’m now recognizing also has a sort of a sweetness to it, like a touch of honey.

I’m vacillating on this and on the Eagle Nest, because they really do have a distinctive flavor, but it’s more of a black flavor than a green tea flavor, and when seek out a green tea it’s not really what I’m looking to drink.

I’m going to knock both of them to the same rating and call it a day.

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Fairly certain this came as part of my Tea Table tea of the month club membership. It was still unopened until today. I’m working from home today so I have more leeway in tea selection and preparation method than usual. Still, I think this will be my last black tea of the day.

The tea has a strong, malty smell in the packet, like an Assam despite being a Ceylon. And despite the “fannings” designation, the leaves look attractive, though small. They look to me like extra long, extra thin rye seeds.

The liquor is a deep reddish brown. The aroma has more of the malty smell of the dry leaves smoothed out by steeping, and a fruitiness as well. The description says plum, and I definitely get that note. I might have said grape as well, as there’s something a little like wine about the aftertaste.

I don’t get the Assam-like maltiness in the flavor, and instead get the spicy fruitiness of a Ceylon. I get the plum note in the flavor as well, along with some astringency and an occasional back of the throat bite. It has a medium body and a fairly smooth mouth feel with some substance to it despite the astringency.

I think no. 2 will like this one as he likes the very solidly “tea” tasting unflavored blacks. My guess is this would make a good iced tea, too. Lots of flavor in this one. Pure Ceylons don’t usually rate astonishingly high with me as I prefer the China blacks in general, but this one is really nice for its type.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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I steeped this one a little hotter this time, at 190, and I think that really brought out the orange flavor nicely. I have to confess I don’t think I’ve ever had a Dreamsicle. I’m more of a Fudgesicle person when the ice cream man comes around. But I’ve certainly seen others having them and the flavor of this—orangy and slightly milky—does evoke the ice cream product.

Another that should be an enjoyable journey toward sipdown.

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drank Red Hot Cinnamon by 52teas
955 tasting notes

Today’s second morning tea, and now positioned for sipdown tomorrow. Not a difficult sipdown at all, but will make me feel less like I’m overdoing it when I open Mike-the-Nerd’s Irish Cream in anticipation of St. Patrick’s day, which I expect to do tomorrow or the next day.

I am slowly but surely making my way through all my old 52Teas packets. I will likely hit a speed bump soon because I have three of their chocolate chais. Since I’m dieting, I’m lucky if I can make room for one chai in my week, and seems like two is the most I can fit in. Of course, I could exercise and then I’d be able to fit in more, but it’s so hard to get started when you haven’t been doing it in a while and have lost all your aerobic capacity…

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Sipdown no. 113 of the year 2013, and it was a big tin. Almost 5 oz. Yay for progress!

It’s also my first LeafSpa sipdown and I suppose I should be sad because once these are gone, they’re gone, but I can’t be sad about getting out from under more tea. And it’s a nice big reusable canister, too. If I can get the gum off after removing the label. My Samovar canister repurposed from the Yerba Mate was a sticky mess. Last night I took the nail polish remover to it and it only marginally improved the situation. The BF said he was breathing the atmosphere of planet Acetone.

In any case, this was a perfectly fine example of an Earl Grey. It didn’t make it into my top tier but I drank it happily.

Oh, and I realized I do have tea from one more company that has disappeared. The Chicago Tea Garden, which had those little tuo chas in the mandarin oranges. Sad.


I find alcohol (rubbing alcohol, ethanol, isopropyl, etc) works pretty well if you soak a paper towel and lay it over top. Might be better than acetone. :D


It turns out we had some Goo Gone, so I used that and it worked like a charm!


Even better! :) Yay for re-using tins!

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drank Sleep Tight by TeaGschwendner
955 tasting notes

If I’m honest with myself, I have to admit I really don’t like this as much as most of the other herbal blends I have in my stash at the moment.

It’s not nearly as problematic as the Teavana Tulsi Dosha Chai, because at least it doesn’t taste like something it has no business tasting like, i.e., something that should not be consumed by humans. But it’s too far to the savory side to be something I truly enjoy.

I think I’ve discovered I don’t really care for savory teas, or at least not savory herbal blends. I like floral, or fruity, or mint, or some really well done rooibos or honeybush where I don’t taste the rooibos or honeybush too much but it serves as a dessert flavor delivery mechanism. But not so much the brothy and the salty in my herbal blends.

There are some teas that have a savory note to them that I have enjoyed, but when it becomes the focus, it’s a little much for me. I really can’t escape the feeling that if I wanted a hot beverage with a savory flavor I would rather have a really nice soup, complete with veggies and some form of protein. Or at the very least I could just drink a cup of bouillon which I have been moved to do maybe four or five times in my life.

Bumping it down to ok land. Because it really is ok, it’s just not a top choice for me. It’s going into the sipdown soon pile right behind the Tulsi.

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I’ve updated this bio as it’s been a couple of years since I “started getting into” tea. It’s now more accurate to say that I was obsessed with tea for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it, and I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I’ve recently started writing fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I much prefer to drink tea without additives such as milk and sugar. If a tea needs additives to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’m going to rate it high. The exception is chai, which I make on the stove top using a recipe I found here on Steepster. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs into the harder stuff, but once I learned how to make a decent cup of tea they became far less appealing to me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. I’m revising them slightly to make them less granular as I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas against other similar versions. So I rate Earl Greys, for example, against other Earl Greys, rather than against all teas. If something rates very high with me, though, it probably means it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is; will keep this stocked until the cows come home

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; likely to become a favorite, will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again if in the mood for this particular one or a better, similar version not available

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but probably wouldn’t buy again unless craving this particular flavor

50-59 Okay or run of the mill

Below 50 So-so, iffy, would definitely pass
or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.


Bay Area, California



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