166 Tasting Notes

drank Plum Passion by T-Spoons
166 tasting notes

Greetings from Iowa! I’m on my first work trip at my new job and I’m exploring the town on my downtime. And of course, what else does a tea lover do but find the local tea shop, right? Since it’s nearby the University of Iowa, there’s a chain called T-Spoons. I was excited to find they actually had LOOSE tea, but I was disappointed that they only had a four varieties of green (one of which they called yerba mate :-/). But still, it’s tea, and I was really excited! 

I went back and forth between the Plum Passion and the sencha. We all know sencha, but the plum passion looked more like an oolong (they assured me it was green). My curiosity won me over and I had myself a cup.

And…. I think they might have over brewed it a little bit. It’s definitely a little too bitter, but I worry that it’s my fault since I distracted them when they were brewing and they brewed it too long. I’m definitely getting some plum notes, but I can’t get past that bitterness. I think I might get them to remake it when the line dies down a little bit.

As a side note, I couldn’t find this tea anywhere with this same name, so who knows where it actually comes from..

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drank Cucumber Mint by Tea Forte
166 tasting notes

Azzrian sent this to me a while ago, and I’m just now getting to it. I’m not really getting any mint flavor to it, which makes me think it’s no good. Or maybe I’m just expecting the mint flavor to be overpowering, and it’s not. Who knows. It’s just tasting like generic green tea. It’s definitely not bad, but I wouldn’t have guessed one of the flavors would have been mint.

Anyway, I’ll leave a rating off tonight. I’m feeling very “blah” and I’ve been sneezing up a storm. At first I thought it was allergies but maybe it’s a cold. It’s hard to tell this time of year :(

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drank Strawberry & Vanilla by Lupicia
166 tasting notes

Hey Steepsters. Changed my name. See below for the reason. 

Yesterday was a very stressful day. I had a job interview that lasted a full day. 5 different people interviewed me, and then at the end of the day I had to give a 1 hr presentation. I think it went well, but now the waiting game begins. I treated myself to a massage today since yesterday was quite the challenge. 

Since yesterday was so stressful (and devoid of tea) I thought I would brew up some tea I got in a trade. This is very yummy and flavorful. Not bitter at all and was quite enjoyable hot. I’ll have to try cold brewing too. 

Since I’m applying for a few jobs, but I like my tealog to be able to speak freely, I thought I would change my name(s). If you forgot who I am, just send me a message. 

(Thanks to Crystal and Lady 0f Spaydes for a sample of this)


Nice. I do the same thing. I kinda hate that job places do that now.


I’m probably being overly paranoid, but eh. Rather avoid potential drama than get in trouble for it.


I am embarrassed to say I have to send you a PM. BAH!


We can be full-day interview suffering compatriots… I had one yesterday too! And I’ll have another coming up soon that will probably be 1.5-2 days. But at least I have interviews!


Oh man. This was my very first. What kind of job were you interviewing for? Mine was a training position.


My interview was for a faculty position. It was also my first! Nerve-wracking, for sure. I don’t know if day-long interviews are typical in your field but this was a “short” interview for academia!


stop changing your name woman! that’s twice today :P


I don’t even know who you are any more. X^D

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drank Pina Colada Honeybush by 52teas
166 tasting notes

I changed my picture (no one really uses pictures of themselves on Steepster, so I decided to do the same). However on one browser it shows up as the photo of me and on the other it’s the hamster in a teacup. What is it showing up for everyone else?

Okay, now onto the tea..
This was a sample from momo way back when that I decided to cook up tonight.

When I first brewed this hot I barely tasted anything. I wasn’t sure if this was a bad batch or the tea was just too cold. But now, as it cools, I definitely taste more of the flavor with the pineapple and coconut.. This is definitely a tea to drink cold or cold brew.

This tea isn’t wow-ing me, it’s just okay. I’m leaving off a rating, though, since it might be an older tea and the flavors might not be as spot on as they were when this tea was first released.


I use google Chrome. On the feed it is the photo, but when I go to your page it is the hamster…… oh technology.

Miss Starfish

I’m using firefox, and it’s the same (old picture) on both the feed and your profile.


I’m loving this consistency. LOL.


Ok. Now the photo on the feed is the Hamster.


I’m seeing your old one.

Miss Starfish

Checked back because I wanted to see this hamster… Yay! Hamster is now present on both.

Lady 0f Spaydes

I use a picture of myself! Its a photo I took before seeing Emilie Autumn and it seemed totally appropriate.


I know. You are one of the few. I guess Steepsters don’t like putting pictures of themselves.

Lady 0f Spaydes

Well I am admittedly pretty vain, I don’t think most people are. :P

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drank Sencha House by Zen Tea
166 tasting notes

Thanks to Zen Tea for a sample of this.

How appropriate, I’ve been listening to a lot of house music and now I am drinking a tea to go along with it. It has such a pretty green color when brewed.

This sencha has a very vegetal grassy smell – it’s definitely green tea. It might be a little bit too much for my tastes, I prefer my greens on the mellow side. However, for someone who wants a quality sencha and isn’t as bothered as much by grassy greens, this is a good choice.

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drank Piccolo by Lupicia
166 tasting notes

Not the biggest rooibos fan, but this came as a free sample with my Lupicia magazine, so I thought I would pop it in tonight while watching the Lance Armstrong interview on Oprah.

This isn’t bad, and has a nice natural sweetness without needing any sugar. It’s not the best, but the rooibos flavor isn’t super prominent which makes it a little more bearable.

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drank Eight Candles by Della Terra Teas
166 tasting notes

Before all the hype about this tea, I just wanted it because it was a Chanukah tea. It could have been a totally unappealing flavor, and I would have still wanted it because it’s a Chanukah tea. It really doesn’t take much to market to me, eh? But then this tea was getting all rave reviews so I knew I HAD to try it. They sold out of this tea pretty quickly during Black Friday, but lucky the lovely Jackie T was able to send me some so I could see firsthand what this tea was about.

This tea is very nice, and I’m not the biggest fan of black teas. You can taste the marshmallow in there, definitely. I’m not sure if I like it hot or cool better- both are really good. Plus, it looks so sparkly and shimmery. I don’t know if it’s an every day tea for me, but it’s definitely a good desert tea.

Hopefully this tea will inspire other tea makers to come up with other Chanukah teas. I’m lovin’ all the Chanukah love.

Jackie T

Teas with visual appeal suck me in…it was the sparkles in this that got me :p

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Thanks to Nature’s Tea Leaf for a sample of this tea.

For my first steeping of this tea, I noticed it said to steep only a minute. Well, I started steeping it… and then promptly forgot about it. One of these days I will learn to set a timer instead of faking it. Five minutes later, I went back to try the tea – prepared for the worst – and it was actually pretty good. Wow! I’m impressed. Normally green teas are way too fickle to handle a five minute steeping.

This tea is a nice flavor. It almost taste like a white tea and has a very soft taste. Definitely not vegetal at all and a good green for people who don’t like grassy greens (and have a tendency to forget their tea is still steeping – LOL)

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Thanks to Nature’s Tea Leaf for a sample of this.

I’d heard of Jasmine Pearls before, but I had never heard of Jasmine Daughter Rings until I stumbled on their site. They’re very similar, but rolled into an “O” shape instead of a ball. It reminds me of the paper curls I used to make out of boredom by rolling a piece of paper onto a pencil. As they unfurl, they lose their curliness and get more flat. The tea is definitely fun to watch.

Even though they are billed as jasmine flavored, the jasmine isn’t overpowering. I found the flavor a little bit off and I wasn’t liking this as much as some of the other teas. I think it might have been the green tea base that I wasn’t too fond of. It tasted a little flat to me. I think I still prefer the flavor of jasmine pearls a little bit better, even though they can be more intense.

Side note: Nature’s Tea Leaf also has a “Dragon Pearls” tea that is NOT jasmine that is actually not that bad. They have lots of unique teas.


Yes, that non-jasmine Dragon Pearl was sooooo exquisite. I must order some! We love it with Asian buffet take out!

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I originally suggested this flavor to Stacy when her “create your own flavor” contest was going on. I was thinking of unique flavors to replicate in tea. Chanukah was coming up, and there seemed to be an endless amount of Christmas teas coming out, but no Chanukah ones. So, I suggested this flavor based on one of my favorite Chanukah foods. I thought Stacy would laugh and say, “What a terrible idea!” but I think she was actually intrigued by the challenge.. and so this flavor is born.

(Thanks to Stacy for sending a sample of this my way, btw.)

The smell of the tea is definitely a nice applesauce base. When it’s brewed, without sweetener, you get this nice soft apple flavor with some very faint cream and potato notes. It’s a perfectly nice flavor all on its own and it doesn’t really NEED anything, but… just for kicks I’m going to add salt because I want to bring out those potato notes.

And adding salt definitely changes the taste of the tea. Those apple notes are pretty much gone and it turns into more of a broth soup type taste. How crazy! It’s a transforming tea.

The best part of the tea is that after it’s steeped, you have these real chunks of potato and apple in your steeper basket that you can eat, which I did. 

All in all this is a very interesting tea that is unlike anything I’ve ever tried. The flavors can be subtle, but make for really interesting combination. So glad I suggested it!


This one just sounds too cool to not try.

Butiki Teas

I love challenge and this one was pretty challenging but also fun. Thanks for the suggestion! Maybe next year we will try the jelly doughnut.

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So the short story is, a few years ago I was VERY MUCH into tea. And then a lot of things happened, and I got out of tea for a while. And now, I’m back.

To me, tea is the missing puzzle piece for my healthy lifestyle. When I drink tea I am encouraged to eat healthy and be active. I drink tea because I simply enjoy the taste, but the health aspects are just an added bonus.

I love all types of teas, although greens and oolongs tend to be my favorite. I also love a good herbal.

Unless otherwise stated, I drink my teas straight. To brew I either use my ingenuiTEA or T-Sac (for teas that don’t expand much). One of these days I might break down and buy a Breville, but I’m trying to resist..

I’m kinda strict when rating my teas. I rarely give a tea above a 95. Teas that I really like I keep in the 95-85 category. I’ve yet to give a tea 100 yet. So, if you see a tea about 95, that means I thought it was an amazing tea!


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