555 Tasting Notes

drank Butterbeer by 52teas
555 tasting notes

I thought I wouldn’t order any more tea until after New Year, but I had to make an exception for this I had only gotten a taster but I loved it, so I went back and got a few more from what was left. It was that and the fact that we’ve put a big dent in our Chocolate Marshmallow Chai already. My husband has been drinking it almost every day.

The flavor of this is pretty much exactly what I hoped it would be. Root beer with smooth, sweet butterscotch. I love butterscotch. Those bright yellow ones Grandma always has in a dish? That’s exactly what this tastes like, except blended with sarsaparilla. I am really savoring that butter flavor.

I should probably mention that I made this over ice. It was great that way, but I’m also really looking forward to trying it hot.

Flavors: Butter, Butterscotch, Candy, Root Beer, Sarsaparilla

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

I always find myself making promises to myself about not getting more tea til after a certain date, but I always seem to break that promise :/. Instead I’ve been focusing more on keeping my collection circulating and fresh (i.e. the vast majority of my cupboard should contain teas 6 months or less old since I acquired them).

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drank Green Guava by Simpson & Vail
555 tasting notes

This has been in my cupboard for way too long. I got it as a free sample in a Simpson & Vail order about a year ago. I don’t know why I was so put off by it. I mean, I’m not opposed to fruity flavored greens, but guava can be really hit or miss when it’s used as flavoring.

The green tea base they used is mild and well-rounded with notes that remind me of white tea, but stronger. The leaves were pretty as I measured them into my infuser. Slender, pale green, and fuzzy with blue flower petals, dried raspberries, and what look like guava shavings.

This tea surprised me. I thought I was going into a tea that was going to be sour and vegetal, but it’s actually light and fruity. The guava flavor is very lively and sweet. Sometimes guavas can be kind of pungent, but there’s nothing like that in this. I’m really impressed by the base they used. It’s so clean and fresh, but not weak in any way. Nothing like the sometimes seaweedy senchas that often get blended with fruit. I might have to get a sample of it plain.

Flavors: Berries, Berry, Fruity, Guava

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I have been so obsessed with 52Teas lately. The concept of a new blend every week is so tempting! Also, they sent me another freebie in my order?? A full sized Gingerbread Chai! I don’t know what I did, but I’m grateful!

I should start this review with a disclaimer that I’m sick with a cold and my tasting ability is somewhat off.

First of all, I’m really impressed by the big, whole raspberries in this. Yum! I felt bad tossing them out with the leaves. Maybe next time I’ll give one a nibble. The aroma is also lovely, like a fruity, raspberry dessert. Or raspberry candy.

I know there are more aspects to this tea besides lush berry, but it’s kind of all I can taste. There is a mild note of cocoa, yes. It’s mostly in the exhale and aftertaste. I’m not getting the custard notes others have mentioned. But they might be there?

Will add steeping details later as I’m on mobile and the sliders are not wanting to cooperate.

Flavors: Berries, Berry, Cocoa, Fruity, Raspberry

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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This is back in my stash because my husband, who isn’t a tea drinker, really likes it. This and Harney & Son’s Earl Grey Supreme are pretty much the only teas he likes. So naturally I like to keep these rarities on hand.

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Yay, the seasonal Republic of Tea freebie! And this is a controversial one here on Steepster, I see.

Dry, this tea is very aromatic. The cinnamon and clove are very powerful. While these translate well into the steeped tea, they sort of blend with the apple flavor. The licorice isn’t so much in the taste as it’s there leaving that tingling feeling. The black tea base isn’t very distinct. I guess it’s a little bitter.

I don’t get why some people dislike this so much. Sure, I could do without the licorice, but otherwise this is just like Constant Comment, but with apple instead of orange.

Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Cloves, Licorice

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

I think this is one I didn’t care for … but was glad to see that plain old Tazo “Joy” is temporarily back on the shelves at Target—that’s a seasonal one I like.

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Another blend I couldn’t resist from 52Teas.

Now, honestly, I thought this was gonna have actual marshmallows in it. (You know, because I’m a 30-year-old that sometimes lets her 6-year-old self choose teas.) But it has marshmallow root. The things I thought were marshmallows in the picture are actually white chocolate chips. There are also regular chocolate chips mixed in, great big cardamom pods, cloves, the chai spice works.

Much like Adagio’s Chocolate Chai, the chocolate is not in the forefront of the flavor. With this chai, it’s ginger. Bright, fierce, burning ginger. Oh hell yes. A chai that is actually spicy. Then comes the chocolate. It’s mostly in the nose and the aftertaste, but it’s very present and natural. It’s not that artificial chocolate flavor you get in cheap dessert teas. The cinnamon and cardamom come in next with the clove and the rest of the spices. It leaves my mouth warm and tingling.

Like I’ve said, I love a bold tea experience, so I didn’t go by the instructions. I doubled up on the scoops of leaf. And it was great that way. This would make absolutely killer dirty chais. ♡

Flavors: Cardamon, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, White Chocolate

Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

Right I remember now why I didn’t keep drinking this the other nightt….. it’s nor good cold. Drink it while it’s hot


Crap sorry this was meant to be added to my tasting note….. not sure how it ended up here…. sorry… trying to delete…


Hah, that is a weird glitch!


I personally would love to add mini marshmallows to the marshmallow teas but they aren’t vegan and since we wish to include our vegan friends – we use marshmallow root instead. :)

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This is actually the second time I’ve had this in my stash. I just finished it quickly last time and never got around to logging it. The first time, my mom picked it out for me when she was away for work in Texas. Recently, she had to go back and picked up more because she remembered I liked it.

I have such a thing for Fujian black teas. This one is no exception. The leaves are a mix of chocolate brown and dark tan, delicate and skinny. Most are somewhat whole, with only a little broken leaf debris in the bottom. Dry, it smells a little bitter and musty, with a hint of smoke and tobacco-like sweetness.

But once it’s steeped, the flavor is something mellower and much more smooth. Notes of honey and hay bloom, along with that distinct finish of Fujian cocoa flavor. Almost dark chocolate. Oh yes. That’s what I’m in this for. The black teas that naturally taste like chocolate or croissants or dinner rolls. This is almost precisely that, but I have to take points off for a faint iodine flavor. Because of Teavivre and other companies, I know that note doesn’t have to be there. I’m spoiled.

One bad note doesn’t spoil the whole tea, though. I’m happy to have this back in my collection just in time for the temperatures to start to drop.

Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Hay, Honey, Iodine, Smoke, Tobacco

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

I’m a fan of this one too! Funnily enough, there’s a Spice and Tea Exchange near my mom’s house in Delaware…may see if she can pick it up for me also. :P

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drank Maple Apple Tea Cake by 52teas
555 tasting notes

I want to say thank you again to Anne at 52Teas for the Gingerbread Chai! I ordered while they were on vacation and she included it in my order because of the wait. That’s so kind!

Finally, finally placed an order with 52Teas. I’ve tried so many things they’ve made in swaps and destashing sales, but this is the first I’ve acquired on my own. Treat yo self. My only regret is not doing it sooner when *LiberTEAS*’s old Sweet Caramel O Mine was in stock. Miss that tea.

Now, have any of you ever opened a dessert-scented Yankee Candle and thought “Oh yeah, I could take a bite out of that”? Ok, maybe that’s just me, but this smells just like that. Sweet apple pie filling mixed with buttery, syrupy pancakes. Decadent. Now, when I say apple pie, though, I don’t mean cinnamon. It’s just delicious apple with a tiny hint of caramel. The tea is full of large chunks of dried apple that lend a very natural fruitiness. Once steeped, it actually really lives up to its dry aroma. Though I can’t say I agree with the 2.5 minute steep time. I tried it that way and again but for 4 minutes and liked the longer version.

Tasting that makes me see why their Pancake Breakfast was such a big deal. They’ve got that maple syrup flavor down. Definitely will be back to try more once I put a bigger dent in my tea stash.

Flavors: Apple, Burnt Sugar, Maple, Maple Syrup

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This is the quarterly Republic of Tea catalog freebie. I’m sure it will be interesting because this is definitely not something I would have chosen on my own. I like mint and am in love with vanilla. However, rooibos and I are not friends. Though I guess green rooibos isn’t quite as bad…

Flavor-wise, the mint is in the foreground and it is oh-so-tingly. Really cools and lingers in your mouth. It’s followed by a very nice, smooth vanilla. It’s desserty with creamy notes of white chocolate. Yeah, this actually tastes like peppermint bark. Though the peppermint has that faint pickle taste that I swear is there but only I ever taste. As far as the rooibos goes, I really can’t taste it. The mint is just too loud.

While this is interesting and makes a nice after-dinner treat, it’s still not really something I’d get for the cupboard. When I go for seasonal teas, I don’t really crave peppermint. I want caramel, cinnamon, pumpkin, clove, nutmeg, that kind of thing.

Flavors: Candy, Mint, Peppermint, Spearmint, Vanilla, White Chocolate

Boiling 6 min, 15 sec

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drank Earl Grey Supreme by Harney & Sons
555 tasting notes

This is back in my tea stash thanks to Kaliskaa, who went to Harney Fest and picked me up some goodies. <3

I’ve reviewed this tea a couple times already, so I’m not gonna go into detail. But five years after first trying this, I still have never found an Earl Grey that could top it.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus Zest, Fruity, Lemon

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Cathy Baratheon

I agree, this is absolutely the best earl grey!

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Quiet, strange, and in love with the world of tea. Living just outside of Atlanta. Cat lover, electronic music geek, balcony gardener, and collector of fossils. On the hunt for the perfect tea in each of my favorite categories.

I prefer black teas, but I’m trying to broaden my horizons. My favorites tend to be yunnan tips, earl grey, chai, and pretty much any black tea from Fujian, China. My favorite add-ons are plum, cinnamon, sage, apple, coconut, raspberry, lychee, bergamot, osmanthus, cucumber, lavender, vanilla, cardamom, ginger, and caramel.

I’m shy about green tea, curious about white, and learning to love oolong. I hate rooibos and anything with orchid, fennel, or jasmine.

Since joining, I’ve traded with: Kaliska, QueenOfTarts, LiberTEAS, JustJames, Spencer, Ninavampi, Jillian, Teafreak, KeenTeaThyme, and RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas.

You can assume that I’m preparing my tea using the Western method. I use zero-calorie sweeteners and in the hot months, I drink my tea almost exclusively iced.


Decatur, GA



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