685 Tasting Notes

drank Santa's Secret by DAVIDsTEA
685 tasting notes

Still one of my favorites! The mint isn’t as in-your-face as it is with a strictly peppermint tea. I like the bit of creamy vanilla flavor that smooths it out. Today was one of those days at work that make one want to walk out. Thank God for tea.

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My nose is very stuffy. I decided to have this one last night. It didn’t help my nose much, but I still enjoy the tea. The wind has turned and is coming from the south. Even though it is 15F, it is darned cold with that wind at 26 mph. Normally my apartment is warm but when that south wind comes up… I have my thermostat set at 75 but it is 62 in here. I have checked all the windows, and they are all cold. It’s that darned wind. Hot tea is required.

I have turned one more page in my cancer journey. The chemo port was removed today. I am still numb from the shot (oh lord, that shot HURT) but having the port gone reaffirms that the oncologist does not expect the cancer to come back. I cannot lie flat for 48 hours. So I am going to find a beloved tea that I don’t drink often because it is too expensive or almost gone and drink a WHOLE POT to celebrate!


I think I’m a bit behind on some news as I haven’t been keeping up with notes, but fantastic to hear this great progress in your cancer journey <3 Definitely drink those favourite teas!


Definitely a reason to celebrate and to cuddle up with a blankie and cat!


Congratulations! :)


What great news, enjoy your celebration — you deserve it!


Congrats on your great news! My aunt is just starting radiation treatment in two weeks for breast cancer. Enjoy your pot of tea!


Hope your port incision heals quickly and that you enjoy the hell out of that tea!

Maddy Barone

Thank you, everyone! I am in some pain, but it’s bearable.
This was the last step for my cancer journey. I do still have regular colonoscopies, MRIs and oncologist visits to face for the next 5 years. I was diagnosed with stage 3c rectal cancer in July of 2020. I was told that many people with that diagnosis beat it, which made me realize that many do not. 5 months of bi-weekly chemotherapy and 5 weeks of daily radiation and oral chemo therapy helped shrink the tumor enough that surgery at the Mayo Clinic was successful. I was very lucky. Having the port removed showed that the oncologist doesn’t expect me to need it any more. Yay!

Martin Bednář

Always happy to hear (read) good news!


You summed it up in a paragraph, but that sounds like a long tough year. I’m glad you were brave and soldiered through it all and now have plenty to celebrate!


Yes, you are strong! Congrats on a happy milestone!

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I found a straggler from my Etsy tea advent calendar! and brewed it up last night. I love doing tea advent calendars.

This one was good. Certainly drinkable, but the flavor was muted. It is supposed to have cinnamon, cloves, orange, lemon and lime, which sounds delicious. I couldn’t detect any particular flavor. Mildly spicy. Got no citrus. That could be the result of my faulty nose. Anyway, I enjoyed the cup enough to drink the whole thing .

The Etsy Tea Advent Calendar was worth the money I spent, which was around $29.99US. The presentation was lovely. Each bag was wrapped in high quality paper and attached to a foam snowflake. The teas were all from higher end grocery store type companies like
Ahmad and Eastern Shore. I did not find any tea that I fell in love with and had to order. The cost of the 24 tea bags did not come even close to the $30 price, but what you pay for with a tea calendar is the presentation and the fun of opening each surprise. The Etsy shop I ordered from is below:


I think next year I will see what other tea advent calendars are available. Which tea advent calendars di you enjoy this year? Can you recommend one for me?

We enjoyed A.C. Perch this year and Dammann Frères!

Martin Bednář

Paper and Tea wasn’t bad either. I was just sad with that few repetitions that were there. But tea was usually high quality and enjoyable.
On the other hand, it wasn’t much holiday themed in flavours nor in style.

Cameron B.

Dammann Frères is my favorite!

Lexie Aleah

I did the Palais Des Thes one last year and was able to find it online at Macy’s or Amazon or somewhere. From what I recall the tea comes in a muslin tea bag. I’d recommend that one and remember it being pretty affordable as well.

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Etsy Tea Advent Calendar Day 22—I am playing catch up after being away for a few days in Minneapolis with my brother. I drove home today, and the first 130 miles were perfectly clear roads. The next 110 miles were awful. shudder I could see some pavement through the compacted snow on one lane of the interstate at times. And once in a while the snow would clear enough that I could see at least a quarter mile ahead. Fun times, I tell ya. After I eased my car into the garage it took me a few minutes to convince my hands to unclench from the steering wheel! But I’m home and enjoying a hot tea.

This one is not bad at all. I was afraid it would have a ‘cough syrup’ fake cherry flavor flavor. It didn’t. I also thought the tea base was sturdy enough to not be overwhelmed by the flavor. Either this is the best tea of the calendar (so far) or I am too relieved to be home to care :)

Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate!


Glad you got home safe and sound! Merry Christmas :)


Oh boy, I bet hone feels great right now! So glad you made it safely. Get cozy and enjoy!


Merry Christmas :)


Bless your frozen heart! Clenched-knuckle driving is no fun. Welcome home.

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drank Ginger Snappish by Bigelow
685 tasting notes

Etsy Tea Ad=vent Calendar Day 21

This was a pleasant evening tea. Not outstanding, but pleasant. The ginger flavor was a bit muddled, but I expect that is me, not the tea. I enjoyed it more as it cooled. I won’t rush out to buy a box of this but if it was one of a selection of bagged teas at a hotel or restaurant I would drink it again.


Good evaluation. Decent, but not stellar. I was once really in love with it, but now we are just friends. (But it is a nice, gentle nightcap and does a good job when you aren’t feeling well.)

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I opened the cheerfully wrapped little package on the my Etsy advent tea calendar and just couldn’t. Int he beginning I told myself I was going to try every tea, even if it was one I didn’t think I would like. But really, life is too short to force myself to drink something I am sure I won’t like. Jasmine green tea is a hit with a lot of people, but not me.

So. I went to the tea drawer and pulled out this one from last year. I really do enjoy it. The creamy mint flavor is clear. The liquor is not. The little candies made the tea look cloudy, which doesn’t appear very appetizing. Luckily this one is quite tasty. And a darned sight better than the jasmine green tea slated for today.

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Etsy Tea Advent Calendar Day 19:

I enjoy Pear teas. Cranberry Pear from Davids is a fave. This one does not come close to that one. But it is not bad. The flavor is very mild. I don’t get the pear, and the ginger is only a hint. But the tea is warm and not bitter or astringent. No weird lingering after taste. I finished the cup with no trouble. So this is one of the teas that I would not order, but would have no trouble drinking again. That’s kind of damning it with faint praise. But honestly, it is better than most of the teas I’ve had this month.

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Etsy Tea Advent Calendar Day 18:

Ah, an herbal mint tea. Delightful. I enjoy herbal mint teas. Hard to screw up a plain peppermint tea. I checked the website for an ingredient list. Oh. Redbush (rooibos). And spearmint. That might be a nice change from peppermint. And vanilla. Okay, I could see that adding a touch of creaminess to the tea. And hibiscus. HIBISCUS??? I do not like hibiscus.

I brewed up the cup. The liquor was very dark. Common with rooibos . I sipped. Nothing. I didn’t detect any mint. Or any hibiscus. What the heck. I let it cool a bit and tried again. A hint of cool mint. Still no hibiscus. Some woodiness from the rooibos. Still no real flavor. I drank half the cup and then gave up and made a cup of plain peppermint tea.

I have to say, this tea advent calendar has been a bit of a disappointment to me. On the one hand, it is beautifully presented with each tea bag wrapped in heavy blue paper with Christmas/winter designs and tried to the Snowflake wall hanging. And it is nice to try teas I have never seen before. I am a tea snob, but there are several bagged teas I enjoy like Good Earth Sweet & Spicy, Twinings Prince of Wales, Scottish Breakfast by Taylor’s of Harrowgate, and more. I just don’t care for most of the teas by Eastern Shore Tea Company. But we do still have a few days left, so maybe I will strike gold in one of those. :)

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Etsy Tea Advent Calendar Day ?

I am completely off on my days. This week through me for a loop. On Monday I had quarterly my MRI and CT scan. I couldn’t eat or drink anything from Midnight on Sunday until after the scans were done, which wasn’t until 1:30 Monday afternoon. Then I went to work. And after that I went to bed. Those scans are not painful. I just find them very tiring. Tuesday I met with the oncologist and learned that -praise God- the cancer has not returned. The pain I’ve been experiencing is from the start of a hernia, which is common with ostomies. So I have a special belly wrap to wear to support me, and I am not to lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for at least two weeks.

That was a long and lame excuse for why I haven’t been drinking my tea this week. :9

This tea may have been my favorite of the month. The spices are mild, but I can detect them. It feels cinnamon heavy, because I get that slightly mouth drying sensation I often get with cinnamon. I wouldn’t rush out to buy a box of this one, but I could easily drink another cup.

I promise to be more faithful with my teas for the next week. Hard to believe Christmas is only a week away! I am driving to my brother in Minneapolis for the holiday, so I might be iffy with the 23rd-25th teas. But they will certainly wait until untilI come home onthe 26th.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Mandy, I am so sorry that you are/have been going through all this. It’s a lot. So glad you are ok. <3

Evol Ving Ness

Gah, Maddy, sorry. Damn auto-correct.


So glad it isn’t cancer! Here’s hoping for excellent rest and refreshing for you!!

Martin Bednář

Glad it isn’t cancer, but I understand your tiredness of all the scans.


Scanxiety is exhausting. Hope you are able to relax this holiday season!

Maddy Barone

Yep, I had stage 3c colorectal cancer. It had spread to the lymph system. Chemo and then radiation shrunk the tumor and even killed the cancer cells in a few of the affected lymph nodes and surgery in March got all the cancer. But it commonly returned within a year. So I was very glad to get a clean scan. :)


Hmmm just what is the proper tea to drink while awaiting test results? Yay for a clear scan!

Evol Ving Ness

I can imagine. That is a lot of ongoing stress and worry. More <3

Maddy Barone

Thank you!

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Etsy Advent Calendar Day 12

I was pleased that today was an herbal tea. I was busy busy busy all day and didn’t get a chance to open the package until tonight. I didn’t want a caffeinated tea tonight. Tomorrow I have an appointment so I need to go into work at 6:00 am.

AS usual the tea pack packet didn’t have an ingredient list so i went to the website. It has no base (being herbal, it doesn’t need one, but I thought maybe rooibos or honeybush). The ingredients are things that have the colors of the rainbow like rose hips, orange peel, lemon peel, parsley, cornflowers, and lavender flowers. That’s a lot of floral, which I m not fond of, but on the other hand the citrus peel might balance those out. On the third hand, there is no hibiscus, so that is a plus.

I brewed it for 5 minutes. The liquor is pale gold. The flavor… is mild. I kinda get the citrus, but it is a citrus overlaid with a soapy taste. AS it cooled the citrus came out more and the soapy receded. This is an interesting tea with lots of ingredients that might not go together very well. I think maybe they do. I can say that I was able to finish the cup. I’m not sure if I liked it, but then again, I finished it. There were no ratings for this tea. IN fact, I didn’t see this tea on Steepster, so I added it myself. I would love to know what others think of it. I am waffling on whether or not to recommend it.

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I love cats. I love alone time. I love sitting indoors on a cold winter night with a book or my knitting while drinking tea. I don’t have a sense of smell, so many of the more subtle flavors of tea escape me. Two of the things I CAN taste are bitter and sour, so any tea that has even a slightly bitter taste is nasty for me. And what others might perceive as pleasant tartness may be horribly sour for me.

I’m also a writer. I love writing, and a mug of hot tea helps me get through the hours sitting in front of the computer. Although I’m a comparatively new tea drinker, I’m jumping in feet first. Feel free to recommend any teas you think I might enjoy.

100-91 – Wowza! I want to keep this tea in the cupboard all the time.
75-90 – Very nice. It would be good to have this tea on hand from time to time.
60-74 – OK. Wouldn’t keep it in the cupboard, but I would drink it again.
45-59 – If a friend served this I would drink it to be polite, but it’s not really my cuppa.
Lower than 45 – Blech. It was too sour or bitter for my taste. Would not drink it again.


Fargo, ND



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