555 Tasting Notes

drank Cinnamon Apple Black by Maya Tea
555 tasting notes

So, I’ve had this tea for a little while, I just haven’t logged it because I’ve been drinking it mostly at work.

Maya Tea seems to be a hit or miss company for me. Their prices are great, but I’m not impressed by the quality of this one. While the apple aspect is fine, the cinnamon tastes artificial and cheap. Kind of like Red Hots or Big Red gum. I understand that real cinnamon doesn’t dissolve and leaves sediment in tea, but I think it’s worth it.

I’ve been making it over ice, so I’m not sure how this will translate when I start to make it hot. But it’s not quite cool enough here for that. The only reason I chose not to recommend this tea is the cinnamon flavor. I think there are far better apple cinnamon teas out there, if that’s what you’re looking for. But don’t let this put you off of trying Maya Teas. Some of their stuff is great. Just not this one.

Flavors: Apple, Candy, Cinnamon

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Bonfire by Adagio Teas
555 tasting notes

It’s nice to see Adagio rolling out more seasonal stuff these days. Nice, and very tempting. I had some points racked up and decided to get this and a personal blend I made called Haven. Plus Cream because I missed it and it goes with everything.

Now, this tea is a strange one. A honeybush with a touch of lapsang? Ok, different but interesting. Add hazelnut? Sweet, sounds good. Red peppercorns, cacao nibs, anise, and cinnamon? Amazing! But then they added orange peel, rosehips, clove, and apple pieces on top of all of that. There’s just so much going on. Somebody may have gotten a little too creative.

The aroma has me cautious. The husband (not a tea drinker) said it smells like “chocolate and bubblegum”. I’m not getting either of those, but the fruit is bright and in the forefront, but kind of clashing with the hazelnut. And the lapsang’s smoke. Steeped, the tea has a strong orange spice and nutty smoke scent. It’s intriguing. And fruity. And definitely reminds me of fall and winter.

The flavor is actually very warming and comforting. The hazelnut and the orange peel against the honeybush taste like a lovely dessert you’d serve hot with vanilla iced cream. With the lapsang to back it up, it tastes toasty and baked. The spices back it up but don’t shout over the main flavors. The clove is especially present, but I smell it as I sip more than I actually taste it.

I could definitely see myself sitting by the fire drinking this. Heads up, though, this is a limited edition tea, so if you wanna try it, you might wanna get it soon!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Fruity, Hazelnut, Nutty, Orange, Orange Zest, Smoke

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Ginger by Adagio Teas
555 tasting notes

This one was kind of a flop for me. I love ginger! I love the burn!

…But this does not burn. There’s no bright, almost citrus-like flavor of some ginger teas I’ve had. It’s mellow, more like an everyday ginger ale. Not to say it’s bad or anything, I was just hoping for more of a fresh ginger kick. This tastes like powdered ginger.

That said, this will still be good to mix with stuff or enjoy iced. I can add a layer of ginger to pretty much anything in my cupboard and it will be good, so I don’t mind that this isn’t stellar.

Flavors: Ginger

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank 14 Day Teatox by Baetea
555 tasting notes

Let me start off with a disclaimer: While I believe tea has health benefits, I don’t usually trust things with the word “detox” on them. Honestly, if your body needs a product to cleanse itself of “toxins”, you’re probably in liver failure. That said, I got this $35 bag of tea for $2 with a coupon. So, if it’s awful, I won’t care.

Despite being a blend of all sorts of things I wouldn’t have thought to put together, it actually smells pretty nice. Like lemon cake. However, it also lists “flavors” in the ingredients. Not impressed there. Once steeped, it comes out dark like a black tea. Aside from the lemon, there is a strong rooibos aroma. I really dislike rooibos, but I’m trying to keep an open mind.

The flavor is mild and actually not bad. Yes, the rooibos flavor is in the forefront, but it pairs really well with the lemon. There is also a bit of astringent bitterness, but I don’t mind it. I can’t taste the other ingredients so much. But I look forward to seeing if the guarana seed has any effect.

One more thing, though. This tea lists corn as an ingredient. That’s definitely a first for me… and will probably be a last, also.

Flavors: Bitter, Lemon, Rooibos

3 min, 30 sec
Super Starling!

Is this the one the Kardashians were hawking?


No idea, lol. I’m the wrong person to ask about that stuff!


Totally agree with the “detox” buzzword crap!


Agreed, especially since there’s rarely any proper medical research to back it up

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This is the second time I’ve gotten this as a freebie in the Republic of Tea catalog. But last year I was making a pot of chai to share with someone and blended it in. So no review. My bad.

Ok, so the tea bag is very, very aromatic. I’m getting loud notes of butter-rum flavor, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and pumpkin. Good lord. They did not go lightly on the spice. (Yay!) Seriously, this smells like it would be a Yankee Candle. (I mean that in the nicest way possible!) Just handling the bag from the envelope to the cup leaves my hands smelling festive.

In addition to the usual stevia sweetener, I added a tiny splash of 1% milk. Ginger seems to be the strongest spice in the mix, followed by clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The pumpkin pie filling flavor is there, but the spices sort of shout over it. This could be my fault for steeping for so long.

This still might not be quite the pumpkin spice tea I’m looking for, but it sure comes close! Best yet, for sure.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Nutmeg, Pumpkin, Rum

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Watermelon Cooler by Adagio Teas
555 tasting notes

Got this as a free sample in my most recent order. I saw Adagio teasing us with free watermelon tea on Twitter and I couldn’t resist. So I made a small end-of-summer order.

The contents of the pouch look like a mix of dried apple cubes and red potpourri. The apple pieces were all clumped together, so I broke them up with my spoon. Now, I haven’t had an Adagio tisane in like ten years. I tried a few back in the day and thought they were good, but I need my caffeine fix and without that, those teas were basically expensive juice that I had to assemble myself.

But… but watermelon. So, the pouch gave a range of 5-10 minutes. I went with 8, preparing it strong to go over ice. It didn’t come out quite as bright pink as I was expecting with the hibiscus content. It’s more of a peachy pink. Kinda like cantaloupe. However, the flavor is pretty spot on. Very melony despite how much apple is in it. And it’s very natural-tasting… not like a Jolly Rancher or anything like that. I’m really looking forward to blending it with a coconut black tea in the morning.

Big disclaimer, though — I used twice as much tea as you’re supposed to. I’ve had a bunch of teas like this and by now I know what’s up.

Flavors: Apple, Berries, Berry, Fruity, Hibiscus, Melon

Boiling 8 min or more 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Cathy Baratheon

‘expensive juice that I had to assemble myself’ LOL what a fitting description of fruity tisanes!

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This is another tea from Angel at Teavivre. Thanks again, Angel! Sorry it took me so long!

The first thing I notice as I open the pouch is a sweet, almost caramellized fruit aroma. Like a grilled peach. The leaves are very narrow and fine. Dark, dark brown. As the tea steeps, the water goes dark very quickly and the leaves unfurl to perfect little spears of young leaves.

The flavor is smooth and has a distinct sweet potato note. I also get a sort of wheat bread and malt flavor, too. It’s a very heavy black tea, but I love it. It’s very satisfying and is definitely going on my order list for Teavivre. Would be a wonderful winter tea. I think it could also serve as a good substitute for coffee.

A note to self, however: Scoop lightly, this stuff is potent! Maybe go with a shorter steep time, too.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt, Sweet Potatoes

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Austin Breakfast by Zhi Tea
555 tasting notes

This was another sample from Joshua who is working with Zhi Tea. Thanks, Joshua!!

The dry leaf has a very sweet, Ceylon-like aroma. Like hay and vintage leather. The leaves themselves are little brown nuggets, some broken, some whole. The resulting dark amber tea is a strong cup. Definitely appropriate for the first tea of the day. I get notes of leather, raisins, hay, and something woodsy. Sort of like the way the forest smells when it hasn’t rained in a long time.

I can’t say I’m as impressed with this one as I was with Assam Breakfast. It’s pretty astringent, though the flavors are nice. I guess there’s a sharpness that’s not appealing to me as much. But still, I’m happy to have it for the upcoming first cool mornings of fall.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Dark Wood, Hay, Leather, Raisins

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

The other day it rained after not raining for a while and I enjoyed that aroma. A good breakfast tea should have some astringency to it along with depth due to tanin. Teas that don’t tend to be flat.

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drank Assam Breakfast by Zhi Tea
555 tasting notes

My thanks go to Joshua at Zhi Tea for sending me this sample! I really like the packaging. Very elegant, artsy pouches.

The leaves are a dark chocolate brown, small, and very concentrated. Because of this, one teaspoon makes a hearty cup of tea. Of course, that makes it a very effective first-thing-in-the-morning cup. But strength is not bitterness in this Assam, as it has been in others I’ve had in the past. Even as it brews up to a dark brownish amber, it remains pretty mellow. Some Assams I’ve had in the past have a sort of sharpness to them, but this one doesn’t. The flavor is nicely balanced.

I get notes of malt, cream, and honey. Maybe whole wheat bread. It’s a very satisfying and rich taste. I could definitely see myself ordering this come winter.

Flavors: Cream, Honey, Malt, Wheat

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Another sample from Angel at Teavivre! Thank you! I should preface this by saying this is my first white puerh ever! This is an all new experience for me.

The tea itself is gorgeous — long, perfect silver leaves. They’re fuzzy and remind me of the antennae of the giant moths we see here in the summer. <3 The aroma is very sweet and stone-fruity. It doesn’t really smell like puerh at all! Just apricots and spring-like perfume. There is no mustiness or iodine smell like I’m used to with puerh. (The things I sometimes find off-putting.)

The tea brews up to a very light tan. The flavor is mild and clean, not musty. If anything, the aging process of this puerh removed any sharpness that might have been there. I get delightful notes of apricot, maybe peaches. Very fruity and smooth. Mellow and understated, but lovely. There is a distinct note of “puerh” in the scent of the tea before I sip, but nothing like that in the taste. This is truly unique (to my experience) and elegant. I highly recommend it.

Flavors: Apricot, Fruity, Stonefruits

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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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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