862 Tasting Notes


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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drank SoHo Blend by Harney & Sons
862 tasting notes

Actual tasting note

Tea of the morning. Needed something simple to prepare (I have this in bagged form) since my brain is busy with other things of late. Served with creamer and it is more vanilla coconut which works for me – I don’t really like chocolate in tea. A good convenience option.

Miscellaneous updates

It has been a busy few weeks for me! I went on a cruise with some friends to the Bahamas where it was the height of summer in November and came back to freezing cold temps. Considering the exact opposite happened in September (went to Germany where it was autumn, and then came back to late summer weather) I think my body is truly confused about the seasons.

I came back to work after the Bahamas trip and had an epiphany of sorts – I can’t do my current job anymore. Well, I mean, I can do the actual work, but I can’t work for the management as it is now. So, I put in my notice. My last day is December 17th, and we’re moving.

From Georgia to Oregon. Just because we looked at a map and it seemed like it was calling to us. I love being outside and hiking and I love challenges and the unknown. And I’ve been a nurse for 2 years now – I’m ready to take these skills on the road and see what happens.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

Wow! Good for you. I lived in Oregon for years and loved it. Good luck on your new adventure!!!


WOOHOOO!!!! congratulations! that’s awesome. oregon is amaaazing. way to take charge of things and just go for it!

Holly Faye

I’m a little envious of all of your travels. Best of luck with the move and whatever lies ahead!

carol who

Congratulations on starting a new journey! OR is a great place! I’ve only visited but I have several friends that have moved in the last few years and they love it!


Good luck! That’s exciting miscellany :D

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Part of the swap (nay, sampler) I received from Sil – thank you so much for sending me so much Teagschwendner to try!

The smell of this dry is nauseating. Like, headache inducing – it doesn’t smell like natural lemon. But strange things can happen when water hits the leaf so I’m hoping that it is the case here.

Yep, this is totally transformed in the best way possible. The scent and taste are totally mellowed to a much more natural lemon. It acts just like Noel a Venise, actually – creamy lemon that doesn’t need any additives to be a great, flavorful cup. The main difference between the two is that here, lemon is the main flavor, whereas in the Dammann Freres blend, cream is at the forefront.

I definitely like this, and Sil gave me enough for several cups that will not go to waste. Yay for a good cup of tea, and a promising new (to me) tea company!

Flavors: Cream, Lemon

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

Yay! I’m glad you enjoyed it…I was hopefully, hence the he have a bunch of cups bag hahaha

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drank Mojitea by Argo Tea
862 tasting notes


Like, this is so gross I feel like the tea is actually spoiled. Expiration date is good but this tastes fermented-y and the sourness from the lime is not helping me feel like it’s drinkable. It’s overly sweet too but I can’t get past the feeling that this tea is OFF.

I’m normally one to be pretty lenient with tea ratings but WOW. There’s no saving this one. Never again.


That’s the worst. I’ve had a few undrinkables too. You always have to wonder a bit what has happened, because teas shouldn’t ever go bad, per se. Stale yes, rancid coconut, yes, but bad?

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Oh look! Another tasting note for this tea from me!

Nothing much to say about the prep, as I can do this in my sleep by now. Strong black teas are sometimes the only way to start a morning right.

I really, really, inexplicably wanted to try puerh this morning, though. To the point where I’ve been looking up the tuo chas on Mandala’s website. I imagine this will be the Black Friday purchase I make this year. Ah well – good to plan these things out, right?

2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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I can definitely tell that this has an oolong/black base, as it does not quite have the strength that my favorite chai (Yogic Chai’s Original blend) does.

Todays cup was not bad – I had it plain with the below parameters. The scent and taste were STRONGLY gingery and heavily spiced, which I like, but the mouthfeel was thin and there was a lot of astringence. Given that I steeped it so long I’m not necessarily surprised at the bitterness but I do wish that I could strike a better balance between texture and astringency.

I suppose there was a hint of cocoa but the spices really drowned it out. It’s a heartily flavored tea and I enjoyed it this AM – we had our first freeze warning last night so this is the time of year to be drinking chais for sure!

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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I’ve been rediscovering all the teas in my cupboard since tea drinking weather started back over the last month. This morning it is good as always – there were HUGE blueberries in my leaf and as a result this cup tastes even more fruity than usual.

I added a little bit of creamer and the result is a blueberry, tangy pastry. Fantastic – and easily one of 52Teas best. I have plenty left to enjoy and I’m quite glad of it!

Flavors: Blueberry, Cream, Pastries

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Something magical happens to this tea as it cools. Starting out it’s nothing really special, but then suddenly you get the cake texture and cinnamon orange notes., with just a hint of plum. Even without additives, even despite the fact that this tea is a REALLY old one in my stash – it tastes amazing.

I wonder if it has something to do with whatever flavorings Stacy used? I feel like with the exception of Three Friends, everything else has held up very well to multiple years of storage. I’m making it a personal goal of mine to get through this bag by the end of this holiday season though. It’s great but I don’t want to leave it for another year!

Flavors: Cake, Cinnamon, Orange, Plums

175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

For the most part, my Butikis have held up pretty well too, I’d say. Especially considering the bags aren’t airtight. I’d say quality flavourings/teas are the reason. (I just drank some Creamy Eggnog – 2 servings had been sitting in a bag for probably over a year, and it was as good as the first day I had it).

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drank Butterbeer by 52teas
862 tasting notes

I’m on standby for work but I know I’ll be called in soon – it’s a matter of when, not if, in other words.

But until then, I figured I’d make a cup of tea. Audiobooks, card games, and tea. So much more fun than work!

I hadn’t done this one in a while and it’s not really a breakfast tea to me – much more of a dessert or afternoon black. I made it WAY too strong to have by itself though – so creamer went in to kind of tone down the bitter black tea-ness and it’s much more palatable, if a little sweet. It is like a buttery root beer float when made this way. Yum!

In its own way, this is a perfect pre-Halloween treat. And I have plenty to left so I’d better start drinking it while its in season!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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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. "


Medford, OR

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