183 Tasting Notes

drank Cocoa Mint Maté by Tazo
183 tasting notes

Hey, a maté I actually really like?? Sweet!

I have been on the fence about maté in general for a while, but THIS tea is solidly in the “Love” category. :) I really appreciate that both spearmint and peppermint are present, because it just rounds out the minty experience. The chocolate and the roasted maté just complete each other so smoothly. Delicious!

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Okay. I gave this tea a second try. I thought maybe the first time I didn’t brew it right, or it just wasn’t what I was in the mood for, or… who knows? Anyway, I searched for anything in the flavor that I might call “pancake-y,” and I just don’t think I ever found it. I definitely got the maple, no issues with that. I even added milk, which usually helps to bring out “baked goods” flavors in tea… and it just didn’t help. I want to like this one, but without the pancake flavor, I am not prepared to say I do.

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 9 OZ / 266 ML

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drank Strawberry Blush Rosé by Teavana
183 tasting notes

I bought some of this when Teavana was having its piddly Valentine’s Day Sale (it was only 20% off, which barely counts as a sale, in my book). It smells very strongly of strawberry, with some hints of hibiscus lurking in the background. I didn’t see a whole lot of hibiscus in the loose tea, so I thought that boded well. :)

It turns out I was right! The brew came out a lovely amber/pink color, with a bit of haziness from the fruit pieces. The flavor was divine, like strawberry angel food cake. The oolong played nicely (although truth be told, I could have used more oolong flavor), and the hibiscus was very subtle! I really enjoyed it. I will definitely be trying this iced!

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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I made this one to have with some gluten free scones this morning (which came out really tasty!). It seemed like it would be a good pairing , because the leaves of this tea are very dark in color, almost completely black, with just a few streaks of brown. Another thing I noticed, as I was scooping it, was that the leaves are very very skinny and brittle.
The dry leaf doesn’t smell like much, mostly just that toasted almond-y orange pekoe smell. The brew, however, smells quite good—I’m getting chocolate and honey and a little hay. I didn’t sweeten it at all, just had it straight and black (which is, as I understand, how you’re supposed to enjoy Chinese blacks?). I do have to say, though, that even though I know the Chinese call black tea “red,” this doesn’t really look red to me, lol. Oh well. Not criticizing, just observing. Anyway, it was rather a smooth cup going down, great for if I’m looking for something a little nondescript. Thank you, Angel, for the sample!

Flavors: Chocolate, Honey

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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So, the first time I tried this tea, I oversteeped it. This morning was much better, though, so I thought I’d weigh in.

The smell coming off the loose leaf is intoxicating. I could almost just sit there for five minutes smelling it and be totally satisfied.

Almost. ;)

I tried it first black, with just a single tea scoop of sugar. The pumpkin was there, but the black tea tasted off somehow, and the caramel was almost toasty, like it had been cooked right to the point of being almost burned. However, after I added a TINY splash of milk and a little more sugar, WHAM, the caramel mellowed and sweetened, and the creamy, tangy cheesecake made itself known! So, boys and girls, the lesson here for me is simple: never have this tea without some sort of cream/milk element. :) Super delicious!!

Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Molasses

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Welp, I have to revise my opinion on this tea. I apparently didn’t use enough leaf the last time, so the flavors were off. The coconut comes through much more strongly this time, with a little tangy-ness that seems to be trying to be cheesecake. I think I have enough left in my sample for one more cup, so I think I will try it with some almond milk next time, to see if I can coax more of the cheesecake flavor out. Much improved from last time!

Flavors: Coconut, Cream, Honey

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Pina Colada Honeybush by 52teas
183 tasting notes

So, I’ve FINALLY gotten to taste this one, thanks to the sampler pack from Frank’s fundraising efforts! I’ve long wondered what this one is like, since it’s an award-winner. :)

My first sip was a very positive impression! The honeybush has a good flavor here, not so medicinal or astringent. The pineapple could be stronger, as could the coconut, but somehow the combination of the three flavors melds together to make a totally unique taste that’s so impeccably addictive… I think I maybe set the mug down once or twice between start and finish.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Apple Cardamom Rooibos by 52teas
183 tasting notes

SO! This one came in the mail today, along with two others, and even though it’s a red rooibos, I just had to tear it open and have a go at it. I’m currently on a very brief but very strict diet that does not allow caffeine, so I’ll have to set the other teas aside until it’s over, but I can have this one! The diet’s working splendidly, so I’d hate to cheat, much as it pains me every time I pass my tea shelf. I need to take some time to separate out the teas I can have, so I won’t have to peruse the whole lot every time I want a cuppa.

Anyhow, the initial brew smells very much of rooibos, with a great deal of enticing apple scent, which is good! There’s maybe a hint of cardamom, but not a whole lot. Surprising, since there were two pods in my steeper. Oh well.

I didn’t sweeten this one, because after the first few sips, I didn’t feel it really needed it. The apple is coming through just fine. I don’t find the red rooibos flavor as offensive as I normally do. I took the advice of a fellow Steepster and added some almond milk, but it doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference. Maybe it would have if I had sweetened it? Dunno. I will have to play around with this one. However, my first impression is very complimentary!

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Fig Rose by Teavana
183 tasting notes

I completely did not mean to drop off the face of the earth for so long… but it kind of happened. :( It started when I went on multiple back-to-back trips during the Christmas holidays (two of them were planned, one of them was not!), and it got a bit out of control. I’ve missed y’all…

Anyway, I finally got to go visit my hubby up in CHILLY Great Lakes, Illinois, and while we were there, we ended up in a Teavana, and saw that this tea was part of the Heavenly Sale. So it came home in my suitcase. :) I wish that was the end of the story, but it isn’t. My suitcase was delayed on the way home and did not make it to me for another FIVE DAYS. I was overjoyed to see it when it was finally delivered to me, but not so overjoyed, upon opening it, to find that the brand new tin of this tea that we had JUST BOUGHT (see above), which had been COMPLETELY FULL (I think it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 or so ounces of tea?), had spilled all over my luggage. There was only about a tenth of the original content left in the tin. I salvaged what I could… but the rest just had to go. I did manage to get the majority of the tea back into the tin, no worse for wear. Lucky I didn’t pay full price for it!

Now, on to the review. I’m not getting as much fig as I’d like, and since I’m a really big fan of the fig, that’s kind of disappointing. It is a yummy herbal tea, though. The caramel notes come through quite well, and the floral notes are pleasant, though I can definitely detect the presence of hibiscus, singing just loudly enough and slightly off-key…

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

Bummer about the tea spilling all over you luggage.

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drank Raspberry Truffle by Butiki Teas
183 tasting notes

Soooo, my last experience with this tea was, um, memorable, to say the least. One might also call it completely horrifying, but the tea itself was not in any way responsible for that. Let me tell it from the beginning.
I didn’t have all that much left of this tea, and it had been a while, so I pulled it out and steeped myself some. I noticed some weird looking white things in the strainer, but I didn’t think anything of it at the time. After a few sips, I decided to look up the ingredients online, and when I found nothing that might fit the description of what I saw, I opened the tin back up to get a look at the dry leaf.

What I found there still gives me the heebie-jeebies.


I proceeded to have myself a nice little flip out, clamp the lid back on the tin, run outside, and dump it in the grass on the other side of the carport. Then the rest of what I had brewed went down the drain. I have no idea how they got in there, since it was in a sealed tin, just like all the rest of my teas, so I then had to go check every single other tea that was on the shelf with that one. And then all the others, just for good measure and peace of mind. It was the only one that had been infected. And it’s not like I just got it, so I can’t assume these bugs were in it when I got it. The only thing I can think of is that at one point when the tin was open, one bug got in and had itself a nice time, and… little bugs. shudders

Butiki Teas

Ewwwww. That is so horrible. Ick.


Down South y’all have to seal things up. Not where I live. Too high and dry. I’d be freaked out too!


Oh. My. God.

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I very clearly remember my first experience with tea. It was in a Target near my house, and my best friend handed me a cup of chai from the Starbucks inside the store and said, “Try this.” I believe I was about 12 at the time, and from then on, I was completely hooked.

Anyway, as my increasingly weirded out family will tell you, my obsession with tea has (almost) steadily escalated since then. I discovered the world of tea slowly, first with just chai, and then with bagged teas I could get from supermarkets and specialty stores, and then with loose leaf teas. I mostly shop for tea at Teavana, but I also patronize other local shops that I’ve discovered within the last couple of years. I’ve ordered a smattering of teas from a few online places, but I’m always leery of buying tea online, since most of how I select teas in person is by smell… unless I’m at The English Tea Room.

My favorite types of tea are blacks and flavored blacks. And oolongs. Right underneath that are rooiboses and whites, and then greens and herbals, and then mates. I’m always looking for a new favorite (I get on tea kicks, which are various lengths of time in which I’ll drink one or two teas religiously, and then I’ll switch), but I appreciate rediscovering old favorites. I like to blend teas, but I never store them that way, mostly because I like to leave myself options.

I prefer nutty/sweet/rich teas to fruity/light-flavored teas or bold/full-bodied teas, but I do try to drink some of everything to widen my palate. I’m always willing to try any tea at least once (except this one tea that Teavana mercifully discontinued… the loose leaf smelled like cheese, I swear). I do perhaps rate teas a little leniently… because I’m not very picky. I will try a tea at least three times before I pronounce that I hate it, and I will always focus on the good aspects of a tea rather than the bad. That’s just how I roll. :3


Louisiana, USA

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