drank Cotton Candy by Della Terra Teas
300 tasting notes

Whenever I’m in Sweden in late spring or early summer, my foremost summer-is-really-here ritual is to have soft serve ice cream with sprinkles. I tend to favour the chocolate sprinkles, but every now and then I go crazy and pick the tutti frutti ones. This tea, in the bag, smells exactly like that – the first ice cream of the season. Thick with creamy vanilla and studded with refined sugar-powered sprinkles.

It smelled so ridiculously good, I really had to try it. I generally go for fruity, floral rooibos, and I’m kind of sick of that now, so I figured it might be time to graduate to those birthday cake-y ones everyone seems to be raving about.

I have to admit I really like this one, which, hilariously, makes me feel a little dirty. It’s so unabashedly artificial it’s sort of like the Texan Beauty Salon Makeover of teas. Flavour wise, it tastes exactly as it smells, it’s like a melted vanilla soft serve ice cream with sprinkles in a cup. Spun sugar seems all wrong – it’s doesn’t even come close to that level of cloying sweetness, and it has nothing of the slightly caramelized, burnt note of good, freshly made spun sugar.

It’s vanilla-sweet and delicious and will definitely make me more open to dessertier rooibos blends in the future.

[Sample from the second round of the EU Travelling Box, spring 2014.]

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

the Texan Beauty Salon Makeover of teas ! ahahaha I imagine Sue Ellen with her brushing drinking an artificial pink cup of tea

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the Texan Beauty Salon Makeover of teas ! ahahaha I imagine Sue Ellen with her brushing drinking an artificial pink cup of tea

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I’m going to try all the teas.

Then I will choose a lucky few perfect specimens, and we will live happily together in my tea cupboard.


  • * *


This year, all bets are off. I am going to drink both peppermint and chamomile and possibly suffer a little. But it’s okay – it’s for science.

I’m doing Project Jasmine, Project Peach and Project Unflavoured Green.

In terms of flavoured teas, Lupicia and Mariage Frères have become my massive favourites, and I have learned that Dammann Frères/Fauchon/Hédiard and Butiki aren’t really for me.

The O Dor, Adagio and Comptoir des thés et des épices are all on this year’s I’d like to get to know you better list.


Getting back into tea drinking last fall, I was all about rooibos. This past spring has been all green tea, all the time, with some white additions over the summer. Currently attempting a slow, autumnal graduation to black teas. Oolongs are always appropriate.

The constant for me, flavour wise, is the strong presence of fruity and floral notes. Vanilla is lush, as long as it’s not artificial. Peach, berries, mango. Cornflower, rose, lavender.

No peppermint.

No chamomile.

No cinnamon.


  • * *

My ratings don’t reflect the ‘What does this tea do for me?’ standard, but rather my own ‘What would I do for this tea?’ scale.

My absolute favourites. Teas I would travel for – or, in any case, pay exuberant postage for, because they simply have to be in my cupboard. Generally multi-faceted teas with complex scents and flavours. Teas with personality. Tricky teas.

Teas I wouldn’t hesitate to buy again if and when I came across them. Tea purchases I would surreptitiously weave into a travel itinerary (Oh! A Lupicia store! Here?! My word!).

Teas I enjoyed, but don’t necessarily need to make any kind of effort to buy again.

Varying degrees of disinterest and contempt.


Rome, Italy

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