1885 Tasting Notes


The first steep of this tea was lighter in flavor, but packed a sweet, yet floral punch which became stronger in subsequent steeps. By the time I reached my fourth steep of this tea it developed a somewhat vegetal flavor with hints of floral mixed in. While earlier steeps of this tea were somewhat creamy in texture, later steeps began to develop a hint of dryness. I was impressed not only with the flavor, but also with the number of times I was able to steep the tea. Even my fourth cup had wonderful flavor, I could very likely have gotten a fifth steep out of my leaves, but in my sick and clumsy state I managed to drop my steeper sending my tea leaves flying everywhere. This week is already starting off on the wrong foot, but at least I have a great oolong to help me on my road to recovery.

You can read the rest of the review on my blog:

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Chai tends to vary widely in methods of preparation as well as ingredients, but every chai I’ve sampled in the past has one thing in common: it’s made with black tea. The fact that this particular chai is made with a rooibos base didn’t escape my notice, in fact, i’m rather intrigued by the idea. As you know I’ve been drinking a lot of rooibos lately to help with the swelling in my hands. While the flavor of rooibos has slowly grown on me I still find the rather medicinal taste unappealing and prefer heavily flavored blends. In other-words this tea should be right up my alley.

My first sampling of this blend was not prepared in the traditional method (with milk and sugar) as you can see from my photo. I had just opened the package and taken a huge sniff when two things happened. First of all, I caught a good noseful of black peppercorn which caused a huge sneezing fit. Secondly, I discovered that my son had finished off the last of the milk while I wasn’t looking and all we had left was a really old carton of coconut milk. Not to be deterred, I decided to prepare this like I would any rooibos blend and was greeted with a huge burst of flavor on my first sip. The cardamom and black peppercorn were the flavors that were the most prominent and I was happy to find that the cinnamon wasn’t as noticeable, but rather something hidden in the background amongst the other spices. I find that many spice teas on the market this time of year are laden down with cinnamon, so this was a welcome change.

You can read the rest of the review on my blog:

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Egyptian Chamomile is one of the first teas my mother gave me when I was younger. It was a staple in our household, normally reserved for those nights we couldn’t sleep or weren’t feeling good. It is known to be a mild sedative and also for its ability to calm an upset stomach, which is why my mother always pulled it out when we were sick. It is also naturally caffeine free so you’ll commonly see it listed as an ingredient in various herbal and bedtime blends. The flavor is mild and somewhat sweet with a slight taste of apples. You can drink it on its own, blend it with other herbals, or serve it with a large drizzle of honey to ease a sore throat. While I don’t generally purchase chamomile on its own, it is still something great to have on hand. You’ll find it listed as an ingredient in many of the teas in my cupboard.

You can read the full review on my blog:

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Chamomile is also soothing topically! We were treating my dog’s paws with chamomile foot soaks to relieve the redness and itching. He had licked them raw because of grass pollen allergies. I was so impressed with how well it worked, I am convinced it must do wonders for our tummies.


I discovered that the infused sachets of Harney & Sons Egyptian Chamomile make excellent eye compresses!

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I am always interested in swapping so if you see anything in my cupboard that you want to try just send me a message. Please keep in mind that I order most of my teas in sample sizes and may not have a lot to swap. I’m also trying to keep my swaps limited to one a month so I don’t break the bank.

My favorite tea companies to order from are American Tea Room, Butiki, Della Terra, Rishi, TeaVivre, and Verdant, however I am constantly lured away from my favorites by a good sale.

Ingredients I love in tea
rose, peach, oolong, osmanthus, vanilla, marshmallow root and peppermint

Ingredients I dislike in tea:
spearmint, chocolate, orange, hibiscus, sage and for the most part lemon.

Ingredients I’m on the fence about:

I am a firm believer that sage only belongs in my thanksgiving stuffing/dressing and absolutely not in my tea.

Cinnamon, Chocolate, Burdock Root, and Goji Berries

FORLIFE Curve Teapot, 24oz
Adagio ingenuiTEA, 16oz
Adagio Iced ingenuiTEA, 32oz
Zojirushi Water Pot, 4L
Libbey Country Fair drinking jars for ice tea
TeaVivre Travel Gaiwan

Rating Guidelines:

100 – 90: Pantry essential and some of my all time favorites that I can’t live without.

89 – 80: You’ll have a pretty good chance of finding this is my pantry on a regular basis, but it isn’t the end of the world if I run out.

79 – 70: I might consider restocking this at some point if the price was right.

69 – 40: Not undrinkable, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it again.

39 – 20: What in the world were they thinking? Probably still finished this just because I hate to waste anything.

19 – 0: Wow, that’s so terrible chances are pretty good I dumped it out and gave away the rest.

My current top five favorite teas:

China Black – Rishi Tea
Earl Grey Cream – Zen Tea
Lemoncello – American Tea Room
Nonpareil Anxi Qing Xiang TieGuanYin Oolong – TeaVivre
White Tea Rose Mélange – Rishi Tea


Oregon, WI



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