850 Tasting Notes


I must have underleafed this one yesterday because it was unfortunately pretty tasteless and watery. As it cooled I got a little more flavor but it was nowhere near the bright citrusy ceylon and raisin notes.

Luckily I have more of this, though I do need to hoard it – it makes me so sad to think I’ll never get to buy this again :(.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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I love iced tea! Hot tea, too, of course, but I drink cold teas with meals and so it is a much more year round thing for me. This tea is another sipdown sample that comes from the ever generous Sil!

Glad I saw this only needs to be brewed for 2 minutes – I initially set the timer for 4 minutes but then decided to check and was able to yank out the steeper just in time. I added my preferred amount of sugar for iced tea and waited (rather impatiently) for dinner tonight.

I first had lime iced tea at a mexican restaurant around here and I fell for it HARD. Iced tea with lemon has never worked for me but iced tea with lime? It paired so well with the flavors of mexican food (my most favorite of all foods) that it has become my favorite flavoring to add to any iced tea, any time.

This tea was a surprise in that it was kind of creamy lime – like lime and vanilla? Only it’s actually the other way around – you get the vanilla first and a citrusy lime tang later. Like a lime flavored meringue, I guess. More of a desserty tea, actually, so I’m surprised it’s recommended to be iced.

Seriously, it’s kind of like key lime pie iced tea. Weird! Not bad, but not exactly the flavor profile I was expecting. I have had lime teas that worked better iced, so while I enjoyed trying this one I don’t think its one I’ll buy. It was fantastic getting to try it though!

Flavors: Lime, Meringue, Vanilla

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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Sipdown sample from Sil!

Had this last night with the boyfriend to end a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend. What made it so fantastic, you ask? Why, not leaving the house for 3 days, actually. Tea, the food we had in the house, reading (me), video games (him), and putting together my Cyber Monday orders. (Also known as bye bye monies…)

I’ve had the Fauchon L’Hiver blend and from the description on this I was really expecting it to be similar. Lemongrass and vanilla? Yes, please. But the lemon meringue lightness about L’Hiver just wasn’t present here – it was more tart lemon than vanilla, and I guess the white tea played more of a role than I thought in that one because this was decidedly more herby.

It was drinkable, and as the tisane cooled I definitely got more vanilla undertones, but this one isn’t the best of its kind I’ve had. Given how much money I just spent on tea though ($100+… cue heart attack) that is SOOOO a good thing!
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

awe..i miss l’hiver…

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Another sample from Sil!

I’m normally not fond of decafs and herbals but, for whatever reason, TeaGschwendner does not make a full strength Cream Caramel black tea. There is Cream tea, and Caramel tea, but the combination is only decaf. Weird.

It definitely smells caramelly. Dry leaf and steeped leaf smells specifically like caramel popcorn and when freshly boiled was deliciously cozy to sip. I did need to add creamer though – while the flavor was really nice, the watery texture was offputting and demanded some fortifying.

So I liked this. I would recommend it for someone who wants caffeine free dessert options to drink. I probably wouldn’t buy it for myself just because I would rather have the real caffeinated thing (and I may resort to buying caramel and cream separately and combining them to see what happens). But it was tasty and fitting for an afternoon cup of tea.

Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Popcorn

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

haha that’s what i did Joon, when they were like no…only decaf! I especially like having the cream on hand because it’s VERY subtle and makes a great addition to other teas to make them creamier and more delicious haha

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YUM. Another Teagschwendner sample from Sil and I’ve got to say, I’m really impressed so far!

I typically don’t really do a lot of herbal teas but these blends are really fabulous. This one in particular is very bright and citrusy – now that I know pomelo is a type of grapefruit that is definitely the main flavor I get – strange how a mix of apple, orange and lemon accomplishes this!

Two things I do want to note: I steeped this for 9 minutes but I don’t see what harm an even 10 minutes would do. Also, the ingredients list says licorice root, but none of that flavor is present (yay!).

This seems like a really nice summer bedtime tea, but I imagine a cold brew would be nice as well. This one definitely surprised me – I wouldn’t have picked it out for myself but it’s actually a GREAT fit for my tastebuds! Thanks again, Sil!

Flavors: Grapefruit, Lemongrass

Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

woohoo! glad i gave you at least one out of your comfort zone heh

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Part of a generous sampler I received from Sil!

Okay – any time I see blends and realize they are a mixture of tea types I get so nervous. I mean, black and oolong and green? What am I supposed to do about temperature? And strawberry, caramel, and jasmine? What a combination – I was curious to see what the final result would be.

I ended up going with an oolong temp (195) and black steep time (4 minutes) and came up with a light liquor that looks a lot like dan cong oolongs do, so kind of light amber. The scent is all strawberry and caramel/vanilla. I can never bring myself to add anything to oolong or green teas, so this is going to be a plain tasting.

And, surprisingly, it reminds me of the strawberry shortcake blend from DAVIDsTEA. Weird, especially because that’s a black tea I always had with milk and sugar, and this tea manages to have a strawberry and cream quality without any additions.

Yes, I quite like this, though I do think its more of an afternoon than a breakfast tea. But it’s a cold morning here so any warm beverage is appreciated…and this, I’m sure won’t be the last tasting note for me today. :)

Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Strawberry

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Glad you enjoyed it….I wasn’t to sure about it but figured it was the chicago blend so I had to get it!


Interesting. I also shy away from blended tea types (well, when green is involved, primarily). Glad it worked!

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Good thing I ordered from Upton today – this was an unexpected sipdown as well.

I feel gross. Just in time for my 5 day break from work, too. But at least I had enough of this and the lemongrass tea to settle my stomach. Soup and tea on the couch and maybe some Black Friday tea orders and all will be well (I hope!).


Feel better!


Hope you feel better too!


Hope you are feeling better soon!

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This is an unexpected (and most unwelcome) decupboarding.

Did not realize the boyfriend had taken a ton of this to work and so there was barely enough for the cup I wanted. To be fair, though, we then ordered this and a bunch of teas on Upton so – new teas with some old classics is never a bad thing.

This is a very brief sipdown, then – I will never see this one permanently gone.

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I’ve been trying to peruse my way through the black Friday and Cyber Monday sales to make up my mind for what I want to get. I think this year I want to experiment with Pu Erh. In general I want more tea that is gong-fu friendly – I think I’ll need it as it is both economical and stress relieving. Thinking about all the tea purchases I want to make of course had me wanting some right now, and this happened to be peeking out of my bottom cupboard.

The smell of this dry was intoxicating tonight. Chocolate and buttery avocado. I put 4.8 g. of leaf in my gaiwan and had to sit there and smell it for a few minutes before putting the water on to boil. I don’t remember the smell of it being that heady before.

1st steep – apparently I have discarded the initial rinse of this in the past but…the way that it smelled made it hard for me to justify that. So I had it steep for 10 ish seconds in boiling water and then allowed it to cool to taste it.

Sooo glad I did. Buttery cocoa with that signature apricot flavor is what I get. It doesn’t have the prolonged fruity after taste that some dan congs do, but what it DOES have is more than making up for it.

Steep 2 – 35 seconds. Definitely more fruity. Noticeable apricot that lingers on the swallow, and a slight astringence/roasted quality as well. The buttery texture is still here, too, but I miss the cocoa and avocado notes.

Steep 3 – 1 minute 15 seconds. Weaker apricot notes. Weaker tea in general. I seem to remember this loses its flavor fast and that is showing up here, sadly. Sort of a diluted honey flavor? Agave, then? I always think of Agave as a thinner version of honey. Also there is more of a grain note this time.

Steep 4 – Okay, I made a huge jump in time – 4 minute steep. I figured it was nearing its end anyway so I wanted to use all the strength for this last brew. Weak, watery honey notes and that’s it. I think I must be the opposite of a supertaster, because I feel like I can never get a huge amount of infusions out of any tea, and this affirms that belief.

It was fantastic in the first steep especially though – and I have to remember that I should just open up the bag and smell the dry leaf whenever I truly want to smell heaven.

A great tea to kick off Thanksgiving week!

Boiling 4 g

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I have come to the point (as of October 2014) where quality in tea is more important than quantity. Especially because I’m a seasonal tea drinker where hot tea is concerned, and a SLOW one to boot. I generally don’t resteep only because I’d be here all day if I did, though I do break out a gaiwan from time to time.

I adore French teas in practically every iteration, Japanese Sencha (specifically from the Uji region, as they offer the most seaweed flavor), and Dan Cong oolongs. I am trying to focus on plain teas and so companies like Verdant, Upton, and Butiki are on my favorites list.

When it comes to tea, I feel like the 10th Doctor says it best:

“Tea! That’s all I needed! Good cup of tea! Super-heated infusion of free-radicals and tannin, just the thing for healing the synapses. "


Atlanta, GA

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