Welcome to Steepster, an online tea community.

Write a tea journal, see what others are drinking and get recommendations from people you trust. or Learn More

596 Tasting Notes

drank JavaVana Mate by Teavana
596 tasting notes

Tea #15 from Another Traveling Tea Box

Where was this when I was weaning off coffee?!

I feel like the description of this as a Mate is a bit misleading, as the mate only plays a roasty background note to the black tea. But aside from that, this is creamy, chocolatey and strong.

It brews up a rich brown, not as opaque as coffee, but quite dark and smells a lot like a mocha. The taste is vanilla and cocoa first, with tea, and a pervasive toastiness provided from the mate. The aftertaste is sweet an it’s where I get the most Mate flavor.

Fiance really like the Matevana, but this is so so so much better. I don’t think this one is going any further.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Tea #14 from Another Traveling Tea Box

The pu-erh base makes me feel like I’m drinking dirt decorated with lime wedges. It even has the appropriate drying feel in the back of my throat. There’s also something kind of medicinal in the aftertaste — I can’t quite place it but I think I’m just gonna nope out of this cup.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Oolong Shalimar by Tin Roof Teas
596 tasting notes

Tea #13 from Another Traveling Tea Box

The base is a nice earthy oolong, and that’s the first thing I can taste, then the fruits hit, linger for a bit and give way to the tea again, and that has a nice woody, very slightly vegetal aftertaste. The rose doesn’t really have a specific point where I can taste it, but there’s a definite subtle floral floating around.

The mango is easily picked out in the fruity mix, but it bleeds into something that reminds me of watermelon Jolly Ranchers. Or Bubble Yum. The watermelon element reduces greatly as the tea cools, but it really threw me off while hot. Maybe cold steeping would remove it?

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Tea #12 from Another Traveling Tea Box

First off, I need to stop scorching my tongue on black tea. I think that’s the third time in so many weeks.

Secondly, I love love LOVE the name.

But I’m glad I tried this before I read the ingredients, because hibiscus and rosehips (especially together) make me so nervous. Luckily there was no hibiscus flavor to be found here! What I did find was a lightly pumpkin-ed spiced tea with some bright citrus notes. There’s a bitter note in each sip that does disappear after it’s swallowed, but I can’t say I care for it. I wish there was more pumpkin and less spice — this borders on (not super spicy) pumpkin chai levels.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Movie Night by DAVIDsTEA
596 tasting notes

Tea #11 from Another Traveling Tea Box

Dry, this tea smells sticky. I don’t really know how else to describe it. It smells sweet and melted caramel/candy-like.

The initial flavor really hits me as caramel corn. And then the apple makes itself present in the aftertaste, becoming more like caramel apples. The maple/caramel flavor is quite good! I don’t really pick up much in the way to actual tea taste, but that doesn’t surprise me as the ration is 90:10 in favor of the fruit.

This is a well constructed tea, and it definitely nailed what it was trying to be. I’m not going to rate it, because while good, the whole package pretty much wasn’t for me.


Sounds interesting…maybe like something that would be good to try once for the experience.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Tea #10 from Another Traveling Tea Box

I love the combination of matcha and genmaicha; it’s admittedly usurped regular genmaicha in rotation my pantry.

This one is quite good. It brews up murky, reminding me of a mossy forest floor. As far as taste goes, it has that awesome umami thing that I love about this combination. It’s roasty, slightly grassy with very subtle sweetness with a brothy quality to the brew.

I definitely prefer the ATR version to this one, though, which is what I was curious to find out. While this one is sweeter, that one has more body, more nuttiness, and all around a better flavor.

170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Red Velvet Cake Mate by 52teas
596 tasting notes

Tea #9 from Another Traveling Tea Box

This is one of those I wanted to like so much more. Red Velvet cake is one of my favorites, and I’ve enjoyed a good amount of the 52 Teas blends I’ve tried.

I just…I don’t know if roasted mate was the right base for this. It just adds an element of smokey toastiness that doesn’t belong in a chocolate cake.

That said, there’s definitely a cocoa element and even a vanilla-y sweet-tart cream cheese frosting element. The aftertaste manages to nail pastry well enough even. I just can’t get past the roasted note. It’s like someone took my cake and threw it on the grill.

200 °F / 93 °C 7 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Iced Princess by Teaopia
596 tasting notes

Tea #8 from Another Traveling Tea Box

I feel like this tea had potential. It smelled super good in the bag, and even the wet leaf smells fruity with a little but of spice. And then I tasted it.

Sigh. Hibiscus.

Seriously. All I taste is apple and hibscus, with an aftertaste of orange. There’s no tea, no papaya, and certainly no combination of ingrediants creating a ‘wonderful strawberry-peach flavour’. Bummer.


185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Pineapple Oolong by Lupicia
596 tasting notes

Tea #7 from Another Traveling Tea Box

I wish there were more of this in the box, because this is very good.

It’s a light, floral oolong with some deliciously juicy pineappleness. As the tea cools, the floral note is very easily noted as orchid (yum!), and I pick up a little bit of coconut.

The best piece here is the pineapple. It’s sweet then subtle-y tangy at the end of each sip. And honestly tastes juicy. Just like biting into pineapple.

I’m going to put the wet leaves in my thermos and see if I can get a cold brew out of them too. (So much for it being too cold for iced tea, I guess).

Pineapple tea was something that struck me a strange, so I wasn’t sure I’d like this, but it was a pleasant surprise.

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Tea #6 from Another Traveling Tea Box

I’m backlogging this one from Saturday night (when it wasn’t 40F out and chilly, thankfully)

This is a very fruity green tea, with a sweet, but not cloying, strawberry flavor that doesn’t need any additional sugar. Even with the strong strawberry flavor, the grassiness of the sencha isn’t masked and comes through as well.

I really really enjoyed this, but I’m sending the rest of it on as it doesn’t seem like a flavor profile I’d like hot and it’s getting too cold for iced tea.

Iced 8 min or more

Login or sign up to leave a comment.




Name: Lauren
Location: Wisconsin (previously a Chicago girl)
Occupation: Student by day and super hero by night
Super Hero? Yep!
Which One? I can’t tell you that! Secret identities and such. Just know I’m not the hero they want, but the hero they need.
Sidekicks: Fiance and two budgies, Skitter and Gandalf


Reading, writing, cooking, video games, computers, drawing, crafting, papercraft. Oh and tea.

A brief history:

I grew up in a family where the only working coffee maker was in my dad’s office. So the name of the game for my mother and I quickly became (bagged) tea. In 2004/2005, I discovered Adagio Teas. I don’t remember how it happened, or why I decided to pursue a purchase but here we are. I haven’t looked back.

My tea tastes have changed over time and I’ve moved from liking solely flavored teas (mostly black and white) to enjoying Darjeelings primarily, though malty unflavored blacks, fresh tasting greens, and lightly oxidized oolongs come in pretty high on my list, too. Of course, I still enjoy a good cup of flavored tea. I prefer caffeinated teas, as I have a horrible caffeine addiction that I don’t plan on kicking any time soon.

Red rooibos and lapsang souchong (or other strongly smoky teas) are my arch nemeses and I will see them defeated and removed by force from my cupboard. Like all thing, there are exceptions, but I assume they’re guilty until proven innocent.

I really don’t like negatively rating things, because I feel like if you don’t have something nice to say, you probably shouldn’t say it. But in the interest of non-biased tea reviews I’m going to give it a shot. I view every tea as a potential adventure so I’ll try most things at least once.

I love trading and swaps are always welcome! Please note, though, what it in my cupboard includes amounts ranging from a couple cups to 4 ounces or more, so please PM me to find out if what you’re seeking is available in that trade amount.

According to my spreadsheet, I also have about 100 other 1-4 cup samples that are not in my cupboard.. Feel free to message if you’re interested in see the spreadsheet for possible swap options as well.

Tea Ratings:

100-95 Nectar of the teagods that has been bestowed upon my unworthy tongue. I will never let this tin run empty.

86-94 These are the teas I would like to keep regularly stocked, but sometimes life gets in the way. Lovely teas, but not quite god tier. I still get cravings for these.

74-85 Good teas, but not amazing. I enjoy these, but may or may not restock once they run out. I would still recommend these to others.

60-73 Not bad. I’ll gladly keep drinking my cup, and wouldn’t say no if someone offered me this tea. I probably won’t rebuy these as there is likely something else that is comparable and better.

47-59 Certainly drinkable and might even have some characteristics that I enjoy, but I won’t pick it up again

30-46 I’ll probably finish my cup, but this tea isn’t to my taste OR it’s just overwhemingly mediocre. Life’s too short for bad tea.

11-29 This cup is in the sink now and I will never willingly consume this again. If you see a tea rated this way, I probably followed it with mouthwash.

0-10 Please say a prayer for the cup I destroyed in the process of disposing of this tea in the quickest manner possible. I may need tea therapy before I drink a similar tea again.


Wisconsin, US



Following These People