1328 Tasting Notes


Okay, enough.

I haven’t really read Steepster since at some point before Christmas, having been caught up in the holidays and avid reading of something else that was deemed a little more important to chew my way through at the time. There’s just no way I’m ever going to make it back through all of the Steepster posts I’ve missed. I’ve skimmed back a couple of days and I’m leaving it at that. If I missed anything important, please link me.

For the second tea of the new year, (the first being the orange pu-erh from Nothing But Tea, which Husband has developed an affinity for. You should have heard him try explain why earlier. He sounded like me on Steepster! LOL!) we had the next out of the 52teas Christmas box.

And once again I feel wary. I’m afraid I’ve had some sort of caveat with all the teas in box this year, although in some cases I’ve managed to overcome it. There are only two of the ones that are left that I’m actually looking forward to, so I suppose it’s been a bad 52teas year for me. I recall having better luck last year. Oh well, we can’t win them all, can we?

Anyway, the reason for my hesitation with this time is simply the fact that it’s chocolate flavoured and although I’ve had teas before with some sort of chocolate element to them, I’ve never ever found one that actually tasted properly of chocolate to me. I’m completely open to the idea of a chocolate flavoured tea, and the moment someone manages to make one that works I’ll be the first to swoon. But it hasn’t happened yet. The closest I’ve ever been are those black teas that have a strong naturally occurring note of cocoa. But those aren’t flavoured, and cocoa is not the same as chocolate.

It started out quite well. When I opened the envelope, the first note I noticed was something that reminded me of honey. A strong flower honey. This note persisted after brewing, and now also had a note of chocolate to it. Dark, heavy chocolate and in combination with the strong honey, the aroma of this tea struck me most of all as something akin to a dark chocolate toblerone. Husband thought it reminded him more of stepping into a heavily scented garden, which I consider to be in the same sort of category as my strong flower honey. There was a slight note of milk and of nuts as well.

When I took the first sip, it finally dawned on me why I’ve never managed to find a chocolate flavoured tea that works. When I get something with chocolate I expect a thick and slightly sticky texture, the sort of feeling one get from real chocolate melting on the tongue. When I then get a thin, watery mouthful of tea, it’s just not the same and it breaks the illusion of chocolate quite severely.

Add to this the fact that I might have rather different ideas of what constitutes as chocolate and what doesn’t than many of you Americans. Where I live, milk chocolate must contain at least 25% dry cocoa solids and dark chocolate at least 35% dry cocoa solids. Otherwise it’s not chocolate and is not allowed to be sold under the name of chocolate. The US rules for when chocolate is chocolate are based on how much chocolate liquor it contains, so it’s not directly translatable, but when reading about both it seems, if I understand it correctly, that the US will accept what amounts to less dry cocoa solids than the EU will. This supports my experience with Hershey’s Kisses which some undoubtedly well-meaning soul sent me once. They were quite, quite foul and had little to nothing to do with chocolate. Mind you, this was about a decade or so ago, so I suppose it’s possible that the quality of the product has been increased.

And all of this is why I don’t think this tea lives up to its name. At first there was the initial disappointment that once again a chocolate flavoured tea had failed to work. After having got over that, I could start paying attention to what it actually tasted like, and I have arrived at some very dark caramel. Slightly bitter, with a strong note of burnt sugar to it, but also with just a smidge of sweetness. I discussed this with Husband and while he hadn’t thought of that by himself, he agreed with my assession. It’s nice and all, but to us nothing in this cup even remotely resembles what we understand as ‘chocolate’.


Glad to see I’m not the only one that was not that impressed with it.


I have pretty much given up on chocolate tea. I love chocolate far too much and I miss that texture. And you are quite right about Hershey’s Kisses – blech.


Chocolate teas are always a bust for me as well :(


I feel like chocolate teas are really hard mostly because so much of eating chocolate is the texture. You can’t really get that in a liquid. I haven’t had this one to say for sure or not, though.

Sigh. The US and food regulations. It really wouldn’t surprise me that we’re missing out. Is there a brand of chocolate you would recommend? I would love to try it and see how different it is.


Della Terra has a couple of nice ones but generally chocolate teas do not thrill me.


Nicole, Exactly. I agree.

JoonSusanna, I wish I could give you specific recommendations, but I don’t know what’s actually available where you live. I seem to recall having heard that you can get Lindt, though, so that’s a good place to start. In general, try to look for something which is produced by a European company, because they’re more likely to sell European chocolate. I can’t guarantee, though, that exported products aren’t modified to local tastebuds. It’s probably more expensive, but give it a go anyway if you find some.


Tor Ince, I don’t think I’ve tried very many almond teas that I can remember. I know there has been some nut ones, but not just off the top of my head. I had a walnut green once, though, which was super sweet, almost to the point of being undrinkable.


I’d like to try that, but I must warn you that I’m currently likely to be a little slow with return parcels. I’ll follow you, so shoot me a message whenever.

I gave my mother some cinnamon flavoured coffee one year for Christmas. My father thought it was dreadful, but she and I quite liked it. (Probably especially me)


Strangely enough, I don’t really care for cinnamon in tea, but I like it in cooking and baking. I think for me it just doesn’t mix well with tea. I’m searching high and low for the Perfect Vanilla Tea, though. No luck yet.

Quince is not super popular here, I don’t think. Husband is English too and if I remember correctly he only had very superficial knowledge of it until I gave him some quince rooibos that I had. I didn’t like it at all, but he loved it. Once upon a time I had a rather enjoyable black tea with quince, but I can’t remember where I got it from and haven’t seen it since. I must admit that I had kind of forgotten about it until you reminded me just now, so I think I’ll keep an eye out now.


‘When I then get a thin, watery mouthful of tea, it’s just not the same and it breaks the illusion of chocolate quite severely"
- YES. THIS!!! I’ve given up on chocolate in teas.


As an American, I think Hershey sucks as well. It has a kinda icky taste. Personally I think it is if you combined real chocolate and bakers chocolate; also it seems to taste better if it is used for baking.

Dylan Oxford

So far, my favorite vanilla black is colonille from serendipitea. We drink a fairly large amount of said tea. Plus, they’re super nice people.


The differences between US and European chocolate are even deeper than percentage of cocoa solids. Speculation was when they started to make chocolate in the USA they did not know exactly how to process the milk and the process they used was different, leading to production of butyric acid. The wikipedia explains it better

""Hershey process" milk chocolate is popular in North America. It was invented by Milton S. Hershey, founder of The Hershey Company, and can be produced more cheaply than other processes since it is less sensitive to the freshness of the milk. The process is a trade secret, but experts speculate that the milk is partially lipolyzed, producing butyric acid, which stabilizes the milk from further fermentation. This compound gives the product a particular sour, “tangy” taste, to which the American public has become accustomed, to the point that other manufacturers now simply add butyric acid to their milk chocolates."


I really do not like american chocolate and was glad when I was able to understand the whys of it.

About quinces, never had any tea. Beware of one thing though, the ornamental quinces are not nearly as glorious as real ones! They grow very easily in my country and are very popular to make a sort of jam (true marmelada, which gave origin to marmalade). But they need a lot of sun to ripen properly, not sure if the ones growing in England are not the japanese ornamental ones whose fruit is not great. Even the fruit ones have the most beautiful blooms!


I agree…real chocolate, dark and lush…or forget it…it rarely balances well with tea and those few lucky and skillful enough to do it proper, realize that its a balancing act….


Hershey’s might be the most widely available chocolate in the United States, but it is certainly not the only kind made here. Skip the Hershey’s and go for the Scharffen Berger or Green & Black’s.


Green and Black´s is nice, though IMO a bit pricey for what it is and the fairtrade thing apparently slightly dodgy, but it´s a british company isn´t it?


Apparently it was originally … it’s now owned by Kraft Foods, and my current bar was manufactured in Poland. It’s global chocolate now. :)


Everything is sort of global now, Twinings is made in Poland I hear. American candy bars sold in Europe are usually made in Europe and would not be surprised if some brands are owned by Unilever. But I tend to associate the nationality with the original one, so G&B is to my mind british chocolate (as is Cadbury´s which is I think also now owned by the same company or some other boring conglomerate).

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I have said this a hundred times already but I really do prefer fruity flavoured tea for the most part. There are noteworthy exceptions to this rule, but what it all comes down to is that these various cake-y blends don’t really appeal to me. I can’t really seem to find the ‘cake’ bits either so they just strike me as rather gimmicky and bizarre.

Jello falls in that same category, if I’m to be completely honest. However, I have learned from previous experience to just disregard the jello bit and focus on the lime bits. Which neatly makes this a fruity flavoured green tea and there you are!

Due to various activities before Christmas and then being away over Christmas we’ve been rather stuck on these for a while. I’ve opened the rest so I know what’s to come, but I’m not allowed to drink them out of order, so we’re still on it.

It smells sweet and tart at the same time, and once again the thoughts stray towards the sweetie shop. We’ve had one earlier that was very bubble gum-y, and this one has the same sort of quality. A bit more winegum-y, though. Which I suppose fits relatively well with the whole jello concept.

Sort of.

The flavour isn’t so much a sweetie as the aroma, though. I can clearly detect an ever so slightly astringent and rather vegetal green tea underneath the flavouring, and I have to say that while the aroma wasn’t really pressing any of my hopeful buttons, the flavour rather makes up for it.

It tastes like a green tea with flavouring, not flavour with tea. The flavouring is fairly mild here, a little bit tart and a little bit sweet, but above all fruity. To my vast surprise, I’m rather enjoying this.


This one is awesome iced.

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drank Yunnan Pu-Erh by Blissful Blends
1328 tasting notes

Season’s Greetings, Steepsterites!

We have returned from spending a few days at my parents’ house over Christmas and my father’s birthday on boxing day, so we’re a bit whacked. Dinner has been ordered and we’re just winding down from all the social, and me, I’m trying not to think too much about the fact that I have to work tomorrow. Christmas was relatively good, and ‘relatively’ has something to do with some bad news we got regarding the health situation of a family member. Not unexpected, but bad all the same.

Yeah, we got totally behind on the 52teas christmas box, but I’ve opened them all on their appropriate days, so at least I know what’s coming. I have decided, however, that it’s cheating to drink them out of order. We’ll do it in our own time, I think.

Right now, we’re having the second steep of this tea which my parents in law sent me for Christmas. Or rather, it’s from Max the Cat who owns my parents in law. Max the Cat appears to have more tea-fu than we had previously given him credit for. Unlike my mother who has run out of the good bags that I’ve provided her with and tried to buy something that was a better quality than your average Lipton or Pickwick. What she ended up with were bags of a different brand, yes, but containing unflavoured rooibos, which I don’t like, or a questionable sencha. Bless. Well, she tried. I shall have to make sure to restock the supply up there for the next time we go up.

Now, this one from Max the Cat. Not only is it a very non-traditional choice of tea for them, it’s also loose leaf! I expect my mother-in-law must have had help in the shop or something, because I would be highly surprised if either of them have ever even tasted this type of tea.

Blissful Blends is one of those wellness shops that sells ayurvedic body care products and aromatic oils and what have you, so their selection of tea is likely highly limited. I found a link to their ebay store and that one didn’t even have any tea on it at all. Probably all you pu-erh conneiseurs out there would turn your nose up at the quality of this one, but me, I’m highly pleased with it.

When receiving tea as a gift, people seem to have a tendency to have chosen things that are known dislikes, so for this one not to be was a bit of fresh air. Also, it falls on a dry spot, as I’m trying to limit frivolous purchases as much as I can these days. (We also each got some money from my grandparents which we have decided ought be used on frivolity as they are gift-money. Some of mine will likely be exchanged for tea. We’ll see. It’s hard to decide what to buy with them) So at this point, brand new tea is the awesomest stuff!

I can’t make much comment on the first cup as it was had shortly after we came home, and I was in bad need of some tea, some warmth and some kitteh, so it disappeared rather quickly without too much in the way of paying attention.

This time, however, I can report that it smells quite barn-y and kind of sweet. Something akin to honey, but not really. Otherwise it’s pretty much a default pu-erh smell.

Same goes for the flavour. There’s a slightly tart, fruity start to the sip. Something berry-y, I think. Then it gets that earthy pu-erh flavour and finishes on a sweet note, which is not really honey, but not really caramel either. Something sort of in between.

All in all, it strikes me as pretty mild in flavour, and if I had to make tea for someone who had never had pu-erh before, I would hesitate to give them a cup of this, with the information that they can get a LOT stronger than this one is.

I’ve made it Western style this evening, but I shall have to try and short steep it as well eventually. I suspect it won’t come off as quite so mild and friendly in those circumstances. I would be nice if I could get it to show a little more teeth.

But right now? Being tired, cold and hungry? It’s made of liquid diamond and fairy dust.

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drank Graveyard Mist by 52teas
1328 tasting notes

This one seems to be extremely popular. Very hyped on Steepster indeed, and I seem to recall there being some sort of a petition to have it made permanent. I’m sure I saw that, and I believe it was about this one.

So I was fairly certain all along that it was bound to be in the box somewhere. And lo, I was proven right.

I have to say though, that I don’t really understand the hype. To me this both tasted and smelled rather like toothpaste. With marshmallows in.

For me the spearmint was almost the only thing I could taste. I could detect some marshmallow here and there underneath and nothing whatsoever of the base. Primarily spearmint.

I’m not familiar with spearmint in anything except toothpaste and chewing gum, so I can’t claim to find it all that pleasant in other things. So for the life of me, I can’t find the appeal in this blend at all. Neither could Husband, who asked permission to discard.

Had it been peppermint instead of spearmint I think I might have enjoyed it better, but as it is, I think spearmint is just way too sharp a flavour for me in general.

(Seems I’m not having an awful lot of luck with the Christmas box this year…)


I can’t even take spearmint in toothpaste.


I prefer different varieties as well, but if necessary, I can deal with it.


Well, that did sound like a graveyard to me. :P I’m sorry, I know how is like to drink tea you just cant drink. But hey, for every bad one there’s a few great ones yet to discover!


I started a petitiom for the Marshmallow Genmaicha to go permanent. Not sure if there was one for this as well but I wouldn’t doubt it! seems this is a hate or love it tea


I was intrigued by the name of this, but am not a fan of spearmint. Thanks for the review.


Yeeaaah I thought toothpaste with this one too. Have brought it home with me in an attempt to offload it on my mother…

Invader Zim

I had bought some of this thinking I would love it. It turned out to be sweet and toothpastey for me too. I gave it to a friend that fell in love with it.

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Okay, I totally get the concept of various different sorts of cheesecake. I find it an amazingly appealing concept to be honest. I likes me some cheesecake, yes I do indeed, but I’ve only ever been used to a plain white one decorated with a bit of fruit, so actually flavouring one with fruits and whatnots is a whole new concept for me.

I approve, oh yes I do.


Pumpkin? sigh I have had a number of pumpkin flavoured teas in the past, and not a single one of them have actually been something I can look back at and think ‘gosh, how nice!’ Pumpkin flavoured things have consistently had some sort of soapy flavour to it and I’ve never really been able to work out whether it’s a pumpkin aspect or me having had bad luck.

Caramel, however. Caramel is a very positive addition to the mix. Even if the pumpkin doens’t work out for me (again), perhaps it’ll be weighed up by the caramel.

On the whole though, these cake-y flavoured blends aren’t really the ones that appeal to me the most, and therefore it wasn’t that big a deal for me to reach the decision to declare 52teas generally Out Of Bounds. (Note, this has nothing to do with Frank or his company and everything to do with the fact that I consistently get to pay customs and imports fees on his parcels. I imagine this would be true no matter where I the US I bought from, and it’s really annoying to have to pay for my tea TWICE this way. With this Christmas box the fee was actually slightly more than the price of the tea. It has kind of stopped being funny and I’m not made of money.) This Christmas box is the frivolity I allow myself when it comes to this company.

Now, I have to admit I forgot to smell the leaf before brewing but afterwards it gave me a truly bizarre aroma indeed. Mulled wine? Mulled wine! Mulled wine and caramel pumpkin cheesecake has nothing at all in common that I can think of. Husband agrees with me on the mulled wine note and suggests it might have something to do with it smelling of cloves. I find myself rather wishing I had a glass of glögg now…

The flavour doesn’t give me this association, though. At first when it was at its hottest, I got a fair bit of caramel right at the front of the sip, followed by something rather subdued and vaguely recognisable as pumpking, but without that soapy note. What a relief, I thought.

Then the doorbell rang and the cup of tea got a short cooling off period while we dealt with that. It was the cat-sitter who’s looking after Charm and Luna over Christmas stopping by to pick up a key. I’d completely forgotten she was going to come, so I had to search in a mild panic for the stupid key because I couldn’t remember where I put it the last time. I found it though.

So coming back the cup, I find that it had developed a bit as tea are wont to do. Now there’s only a wee bit of caramel, mostly on the swallow, and a WHOLE LOT of soapy tasting pumpkin.


I can’t say I can find anything cheesecake-y in here at all though. Maybe a smidge of something that could be cream cheese, but that’s really it. I wouldn’t have thought of cheesecake on my own at all. Just pumpkin and caramel.

I’m feeling a bit torn as to how to rate this. While it was all hot and fresh and the caramel was the strongest note, I thought it was surprisingly good. At this point where there has been a completely role reversal, I’m less convinced. I think I’m going to give it around 70-ish and make it a compromise between the two.


If you can get your hands on Frank’s caramel cheesecake from earlier this year it might be more to your liking. It’s all the goodness of this tea minus the pumpkin. I’d offer to share but I only have a couple of cups of the precious left and it’s one of my true loves but I"m sure someone else out there might have some.


I am sad that you have such difficulties with customs, and I totally understand why you wouldn’t want to order when you end up paying enormous customs fees.

However, since I am a subscriber to 52Teas and therefore end up getting each of the teas, if ever there is a tea that you’d like to try, please feel free to PM me and ask … maybe if I note on the package that it is a “gift” of tea … there will be fewer customs fees?

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drank Earl Black by 52teas
1328 tasting notes

Okay, the next tea! Again, I was sceptical as soon as I saw the label.

I almost always am when I see ‘Earl Grey’ and it’s not a black base. Earl Grey is a black tea. The end. Any other base with bergamot is simply bergamot flavoured. But then that’s just personal taste, really. And honestly, it’s also splitting hairs. Yes, I’m fully capable of seeing this myself.

Now, in the past I’ve tended to have a rather rocky relationship with Earl Grey or really most anything bergamot flavoured. Often it turns into a grey, dusty, kind of floral and somewhat attic-y sort of flavour for me, although there have been a few exceptions here. The smoky Earl Grey from Kusmi being a famous example. Gosh, that one is Teh Nom!

I also, these days, have a somewhat rocky relationship with white tea. I had a period where Bai Mu Dan was what I kept on hand as Celebration Tea. These days I get mostly a funny sort of squash-y, cucumber-y flavour profile from it which I don’t really care much for in my tea.

So what we’ve actually got here so far is a tea base I don’t much care for flavoured with a fruit I’m not a fan of.


Well. Minus times minus equals plus, right?

Then there is the black currant. I’ve been fairly fond of black currant flavoured tea for as long as I can remember. That flavouring has never really let me down. On top of that there was a black currant flavoured white tea from 52teas that was extremely pleasant. So looking at it this way I’ve got something which I know to be a hit with some bergamot in it.

Actually in spite of my misgivings about bergamot in general, the idea of the bergamot and black currant combination struck me as rather appealing. I would have just felt more confident about it if it had been on a black base, I think.

Now that I’ve gone around and been ambivalent about this whole thing for a bit, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I think it sounds pleasant.

The aroma is fairly close to how I remember that black currant flavoured Bai Mu Dan smelling only with a modicum of citrus added to the mix. Well that’s good enough.

The flavour was really much the same way, only it gave me a number of funny associations. First I thought it had a somewhat floral sort of note to it, but that went away pretty quickly. Then I thought it gave me a funny sort of plastic-y association, but that note did not go away. It stayed and after a few sips I was able to pin point where it was coming from.

It’s chewing gum. Not any particular flavour or kind of chewing gum, but that sort of feeling that you get in the mouth when chewing gum. I think it has to do with how the aftertaste is highly fruity and very long, as though it’s somehow sticky and has attached itself to my tastebuds. It’s like I’ve just been eating a lot of black currant and bergamot flavoured sweets. Winegums, maybe. Something that makes the mouth sticky.

And that brings me back to the base again, because now having tasted it, I still think I would have preferred a black base. This white one seems too delicate for this massive amount of fruit, and a black base might have been able to hold it up a bit better.

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drank Sun and Cloud Mist by 52teas
1328 tasting notes

I am not having this under the best of circumstances, I must admit, because I made it upon coming home from work. Therefore I am gulping like my life depended on it (which it very nearly does!) and quite forgetting to pay attention. So today’s post might be a little superficial and stuff.

I’ll start with the beginning, namely when I opened the envelope yesterday. After having been sceptical for the first two days, this one finally got my hopes up for something that we would enjoy. Husband has a weakness for almost anything to do with lemon, so I was certain that he would like it. Me, I was struck by how much it smelled like a cross between a lemon surprise pudding and the sort of lemon pudding that my dad used to make when I was younger. (Unfortunately he can’t make it for Husband as gelatine is an important ingredient and Husband being vegetarian. He tried with agar-agar once, but it didn’t turn out very well at all).

After brewing it still has this lemon pudding medley smell. Lemony, creamy and sugary. I was pleased.

The flavour I was expecting was something a lot like these lemon puddings, and of course you just can’t do that in tea. You can get something that imitates a thick, creamy, custardy consistency, but you can’t actually get it. And the aroma was making me want that consistency.

I got over it though. You just can’t always get what you want.

The actual sip gave me initially green tea, then a funny flat note, and then a bunch of lemon-y lemonness. I don’t know what the flat note is. I can’t really describe it as anything else. It was just a feeling of flatness right there in the middle of the sip, like the first bit and the last bit weren’t properly connected. It didn’t make the tea unpleasant in anyway; it was just a bit odd, that’s all.

After the cup had been standing there for a bit and been allowed to develop slightly, the flat note gradually became shorter and weaker and after a few more minutes it was completely gone, so if I had just waited a little longer before sipping the first sip, I wouldn’t even have encountered it.

I always find it interesting how a tea can completely change character just by being left on its own for a few minutes. I’m especially noticing this in green and oolongs. Black teas do it too, but not to the same degree. They’re much more consistent in flavour most of the time.

Anyway, this did indeed live up to my expectations, if not completely then at least nearly, and Husband, predictably, gave the thumbs up as well.

I’m seriously craving a lemon-y pudding now, though! I tried my hand at aforementioned lemon surprise pudding earlier this year because I know it’s a favourite of Husband’s and it was for his birthday. It turned out really awesome (even with the dividing of eggs which is something I normally try to avoid as much as possible), so perhaps one of these days I’ll do it again.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a few top secret items to wrap.


That is so interesting- I was getting the same exact flat note. I included it in my tasting note originally and then took it down because I assumed that it was just me or something.


You can get something that imitates a thick, creamy, custardy consistency, but you can’t actually get it. <— that’s my problem often with chocolate and vanillas in tea :s sometimes it’s hard to accept the difference!


Oh there’s fake html here! I meant to say – That’s often my problem with chocolates and vanillas in teas… sometimes its’ hard to accept the difference!


Agreed. Teas like this usually just end up making me want to eat the thing they taste like instead.

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Okay, apparently we are continuing in the bizarre section. Smoothies, for me, is not something to do with breakfast. But then again you Americans eat some odd things for breakfast sometimes. For me, a smoothie is an afternoon-y sort of snack food. But okay, I can just disregard the word ‘breakfast’ and think of it as a sort of fruity creamy flavoured tea, right? Right! Suddenly it doesn’t sound so bizarre anymore.

Haha, win! The human psyche is so easily manipulated.

GOSH! This stuff pongs! The entirety of Tea Corner currently reeks of cheap bubblegum and all I did was open the envelope to see what was inside. We’re not actually having it yet, because we just had the cotton candy one, but I opened it now so that I could be sure to see what it was for the first time that way instead of coming at it later when people had started posting about it.

Crumbs, I’m not really looking forward to this one now. O.o

It’s a honeybush base, though, which is not something I’ve had for a long time. I think the last time I had honeybush was that pina colada flavoured one that I didn’t like because of the alcoholic notes and before I discovered the ways in which rooibos can actually be made acceptable to me. By blending it with fruit. Surely honeybush should be acceptable under the same circumstances then, yes? And this time without icky alcoholic notes. That at least sounds interesting.

Yeah, a honeybush with tropical fruits. I can totally do this. I’m feeling much more positive about the prospect of drinking this one now. Maybe I’ll make it after we’ve picked up our Christmas tree.

Well, it turned out that I didn’t make it until today after all so we’re a day behind still. No matter, though. It suits me fine. I made this and served along with breakfast because although it isn’t something with caffeine in it, we normally have a black tea, it was called something with breakfast. So when else should we drink it, really.

Oh yeah and we did pick up a christmas tree by the way. The kitties are curious, but seem to like it. They have never seen a christmas tree before. None of them have tried climbing it yet, but they like sleeping under it and Luna has been beating up a couple of the lower branches. We haven’t got much in the way of ornaments, but we’ve been mass producing paper ones yesterday and for me also this morning, so it’s beginning to look like a christmas tree.

Now on to the tea. After brewing it still smells rather a lot like cheap bubblegum, but there’s a little smidge of banana emerging as well. This, I thought, does not bode well. I do like fruity flavoured teas, but there is a limit. Even for me. On top of that, most of the flavours in this stuff is what I would call tropical fruits, and I haven’t really had much in the way of luck with those in the past. I’ve had a few that were great but many that were just mediocre and generic fruit.

So with some trepidation, I sip the cup and I was surprised at how not unpleasant it was. I thought the flavour was pretty strongly banana and with some of that generic ‘tropical fruit’ underneath. Then there was a note of something sweetly spicy which I attribute to the honeybush base. I haven’t had a plain honeybush in years and years, so I don’t remember any sort of accurate flavour profile for it, but I think it was something along these lines, yes. As it cooled and developed a bit in the cup there was a strong note of citrus emerging in the flavour. Mostly orange, but also a touch of lemon.

It had a sort of thickness to it in the mouth which I think added to the smoothie aspect of the flavouring, but other than that, it struck me as merely a tropical fruit flavoured honeybush. I wouldn’t have had smoothie associations myself, had I not seen the word on the label.

So it’s not bad, but it’s not something I would go out of my way for again.

Husband reports that he too was somewhat pleasantly surprised, although he thought it had a medicinal note to it.

I have looked in the next envelope, the one for today (the 16th). I think he’ll enjoy that one!


Hooray for xmas trees! Our kitties have not yet tried climbing, either. :D


oh boy, but if their anything like my cats, once they get a taste of tree climbing… LOOK OUT! hah meow

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drank Cotton Candy Black Tea by 52teas
1328 tasting notes

We actually had this one late for a number of reasons.

1. As the majority of people on Steepster having this 52teas advent box are on the North American continent, I’m several hours ahead of them. In order to make sure that I don’t spoil everybody’s surprise by having it at a time which is correct for me but way too early for all the rest of you, I have decided to drink on the correct days (or as close as that can be managed) and post with a day’s delay.) Possibly this is silly because someone has to be the first, but there you are.

2. Husband was under the weather and having the first tea of the box, and this flavour in particular, seemed a Bad Idea Indeed. It’s not really the sort of flavour that settles one’s stomach.

I had already peeked at what it was before he came home, so that’s how I knew it probably wasn’t something we should have on that day. I have to say that it suited me quite well to wait a bit. This company does some pretty bizarre flavours sometimes, and I have to say that to me this is one of the more crazy ones. Even now I cannot imagine this as a tea flavour. I couldn’t imagine it being very good, at least. So frankly, I was feeling a bit scared of it.

And do you know what the truly absurd thing is? I love caramel or toffee flavoured tea, so I’m not sure why this, also a sugary substance, seems so outlandish. It’s sort of the same sort of ‘family’, isn’t it?

Well. I thought that it would probably either be horrid or it would be very nice. I hoped it wouldn’t be horrid. I hoped it wouldn’t be totally sugared, because I just don’t do sweetener in tea. For many people a modicum of sweetener in a flavoured tea seems to bring out the flavouring more. I have tried it a few times, but that has never worked for me. All I get out of adding sweetener to tea is astringency. It has certainly never ever EVER made anything ‘pop’ in any sort of desirable way. Even the smoothest unbreakable Chinese black can be ruined completely for me if sweetener is added. So I’m afraid that what I was expecting here was a cup of sugared black. WAY too sugared black.

Even so, I’m trying to keep an open mind here. Keep myself prepared for the possibility of a positive surprise.

Well. It doesn’t smell like candy floss to me. It smells more like marshmallows and dry milk to be honest. Given my misgivings about this as a flavour to begin with, I find this rather reassuring. It makes me think that while it might not actually taste like candy floss to me, at least there’s a chance that it won’t just be black tea with sugar in it. Because let’s face it. Candy floss is nothing but sugar.

After steeping it actually does smell like candy floss. Possibly because it’s hot how. That is to say, it smells strongly of warm sugar.

Sceptical Cat is sceptical.

At least it still has that marshmallow-y feel to it. I’m not a huge fan of candy floss, except when I visit Tivoli in Copenhagen. It’s the only place where I want to eat the stuff and that’s more because of the feel of the place than for the having of candy floss at all. It’s… It belongs there. In other words, I’ve only had a few times in my life and have never been able to finish one off. I can eat maybe half and then I’m done with it. Possibly this is also part of why the flavour in tea strikes me as so absurd. If this had been released on April 1st, I would have wondered if it was an April Fool’s joke. (Although nothing really beats the infamous Tuna Melt Green Incident). But I do like marshmallows and that sort of foamy sweets, so…

Right. Enough with the dragging of heels. I’m going to taste it now.

I’ll count to three and then I’ll sip.

One …


Two and a half…

Two and three quarters…


Tastes… weird. It’s not quite the ‘black tea with sugar’ phenomenon that I had feared, but it’s pretty close. Neither as it candy floss. Even less is it those marshmallows I keep smelling. I don’t know what this is, but it’s not something I’m sorry I missed out on. To me, this is just some sort of generic sweetness, complete with accompanying astringency and stickyness, although not much this time.

I feel I ought to attempt to analyse the flavour like I normally try to do, but all I’m getting here is ‘sweet black tea’. That’s it. That’s all. I tried, I really did.

This was not for me, although I suspected as much already when I saw what it was. At least it wasn’t at all as vile as I had feared. This, although, not really to my tastes at all, is at least drinkable. And I would still rather have this than real candy floss.

Seems I’m the odd woman out on this one.


brilliant! your apprehension matches mine for sure. and then i overstepped mine slightly which made it go all wrong.
i’ll be VERY interested in your thoughts on some of the 12 days to come!


“Sceptical Cat is sceptical.” LOL! Sorry you hate this so much. I’m in love with it myself, but I also LOVE real cotton candy. I think it’s hilarious that it’s called candy floss in Europe. You don’t floss your teeth with it!


CHAroma, I wouldn’t say I ‘hated’ it. If I did, I would have called it undrinkable and the points would be red. I just didn’t care for it much. Also, neither is it made of cotton! ;)

Shmiracles, no spoilers please. :) I tend to have a preference for the simpler sorts of blends from this company. All those cake-ish ones and that sort of stuff have never really managed to win my heart even thought they’re hugely popular.


I think it looks more like cotton than floss. :P Even though we have very different taste preferences, I always thoroughly enjoy your tasting notes. You should write a book on tea! I bet you’d make the NY Times Bestseller list. Easy.


My experiences with this tea were very similar. And w00t, Tivoli! Never got to go despite visiting Copenhagen HOW many times last year. Oh well.


Incendiare, unless you plan on going on any of the rides it quite expensive to get in. Last time I was there, I was spending a few days in Copenhagen and had bought this tourist card which gave me free access or discounts to a lot of tourist attractions (including the zoo! Yay!) and I could also use it on the public transport. If you’re not going as specifically a tourist it’s not worth it to buy, but if you are I highly recommend doing so as there is definitely money to save. Anyway, it also gave me access to Tivoli but not to the rides. Since my hotel was not too far from there, I went in one evening to take a walk and have a cappucino at one of the cafes in there. It was a quite nice evening and I had some candy floss too. :) Only barely got my cappucino though, as the barista tried to talk me into buying a large one instead of the small one that I wanted. I knew I couldn’t drink a large one and the difference in price wasn’t very big, but what if I could only actually drink the same amount as was in the small cup? He seemed incapable of understanding this until he finally realised that I wasn’t going to budge. It was a fairly good cappucino, but I was tempted to leave a third of it just to prove my point. (Didn’t though. Was in Need.)


Oh yeah, I purchased that cOPENhagen card the first time I went but ran out of time to visit Tivoli. Spent my time bussing around the city, admiring the castles, hanging out at the national museum, and going on a canal tour instead. Damn, I love that city.

I didn’t think people could be so pushy there? Luckily never experienced that in Denmark. But way to be for standing your ground. :)


I never have either, only that one time. Usually that sort of thing occurs when you’ve bought something in a shop and they ask you if you are interested in joining their member’s club or something which means you get a little card and access to some discounts or their news letter or various competitions or whatnot. It doesn’t generally cost anything but it helps them ensure the customers come back, so they’ll usually make sure to get the litany of advantages out even if you’ve said no the first time. I’ve never had anybody continue try to convince me after the second no. I think maybe the sales people are paid differently here than they are in America, so it wouldn’t occur. I don’t think their salary is sales related. I know it isn’t in restaurants and such and hasn’t been for many years. We’ve done away with the tip ages ago and it’s just incorporated in the prices on the menu instead. (Makes it difficult for us to pay for a meal abroad though. So if we don’t leave one, it’s not because we didn’t want to. It’s just not something we’re used to having to remember to do!)

Afterwards of course, after he’d given in, I of course thought of a hundred great points I could have made, but then it was too late. Also, there weren’t a lot of people in the cafe at the time, so I also think he was feeling slightly bored maybe.

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drank Peppermint by Harney & Sons
1328 tasting notes

I’m not entirely on speaking terms with my tummy at the moment. Or rather, it is not entirely on speaking terms with me. That seems to be a trend around Steepster at the moment. I was catching up on people’s posts and there were a number of you that mentioned having tummy troubles.

Luckily Fleurdelily sent me a bag of this stuff in her parcel, so I’ve got me a weapon to deal with it. And I still haven’t got a return parcel put together. Really, it’s getting both embarrasing and ridiculous. At this point, however, I will probably have to say that it has to wait a little while longer, and then I solemnly swear I will have one in the mail before mid-January! It’s all due to Christmas and some other things going on right now meaning I try to be frugal and spread out extra expenses a little bit. (On the upside on that front, it looks as though January will be the last payment on my student loan! YAY! And Husband has just finished paying his as well. Those are some excellent expenses to get over and done with.)

Anyway, I’m having this peppermint tea in order to try and mollify Mrs Tummy a little bit, so I really ought to tell you about what it tastes like and whether or not it’s working.

Gosh! Minty! A bit strong too. And that’s really it. What else is there really to say about peppermint? I honestly can’t think of anything. I’ve been sitting here sipping and trying to analyse the flavour like I do with regular tea, but all I’m coming up with is ‘mint.’ So I’m throwing in the (tea) towel and moving on.

As for whether it’s working, I inhaled as I slurped the first sip, and I could feel that menthol-y feeling all the way down in my esophagus. It’s still there. It feels like breathing in frosty weather. I had a slight bit of acid burn, which seems to be soothed slightly by this, but it’s still there. It’s too soon to tell whether the tummy will become less rumbly, though, but I hope so. We shall see.

As it is, I think soothing the acid burn, even just a little bit, is worth a load of points, because that feeling is really very irritating indeed.

(I really do need to stock up on a few herbs for medicinal purposes. We haven’t got very much of the vile-but-soothing Throat Tea left either, but since that’s only chamomile and licorice root, I expect it’ll be cheaper to mix it myself.)

Hesper June

I try to always have some mint tea on hand for tummy issues as well as for congestion.
Ginger tea also is great for tummy problems.
Hope you feel better quick!


I don’t care for ginger, except in cooking or baking, so I’ll stick with mint. We’ve usually got some ginger root in the fridge though, so I do have it on hand. Husband uses it in cooking. A slice of fresh ginger steeped in boiling water was a very popular drink at my work place for a while. (And by the end of the day, it looks more like a slice of potato, LOL)


Grats on finishing (or nearly finishing) your student loan payments!


Hope you are on better terms with your stomach!

Regarding herbs, oh, try having lemonbalm (melissa officinalis) – it´s maybe the most popular herbal tisane in my country, and it is pretty nice. Slightly minty but softer, a bit more oomph than linden tea. It is nice for an upset stomach as well! Or even, and ok this was a surprise, Lipton has a “smooth digestion” tisane in my country which is actually quite OK (the easy sleep tisane from the same line is pretty bad though)

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Ang lives with Husband and two kitties, Charm and Luna, in a house not too far from Århus. Apart from drinking tea, she enjoys baking, especially biscuits, reading and jigsaw puzzles. She has recently acquired an interest in cross-stitch and started a rather large project. It remains to be seen whether she has actually bitten off more than she can chew…

Ang prefers black teas and the darker sorts of oolongs. She has to be in the mood for green and white, and she enjoys, but knows little to nothing about, pu-erh.

Her preferences with black teas are the Chinese ones, particularly from Fujian, but also Keemun and just about anything smoky. She occasionally enjoys Yunnans but they’re not favourites. She has taken some time to research Ceylon teas, complete with reference map, and has recently developed some interest in teas from Africa.

She is sceptical about Indian blacks as she generally finds them too astringent and too easy to get wrong. She doesn’t really care for Darjeelings at all. Very high-grown teas are often not favoured.

She likes flavoured teas as well, particularly fruit flavoured ones, but also had an obsession with finding the Perfect Vanilla Flavoured Black and can happily report that this reclusive beast has been spotted in a local teashop near where she works. Any and all vanilla flavoured teas are still highly attractive to her, though. Also nuts and caramel or toffee. Not so much chocolate. It’s a texture thing.

However, she thinks Earl Grey is generally kind of boring. Cinnamon and ginger are also not really a hit, and she’s not very fond of chais. Evil hibiscus is evil. Even in small amounts, and yes, Ang can usually detect hibiscus, mostly by way of the metallic flavour of blood it has.

Ang is not super impressed with rooibos or honeybush on their own. She doesn’t care for either, really, but when they are flavoured, they go usually go down a treat.

Ang used to have a Standard Panel of teas that she tried to always have on hand. She put a lot of thought into defining it and decided what should go on it. It was a great idea on paper, but in practise has been discovered to not really work as well.

Ang tries her best to make a post on Steepster several times a week. She tends to write her posts in advance in a word doc (The Queue) and posting from there. This, she feels, helps her to maintain regularity and stops her from making five posts in three days and then going three weeks without posting anything at all.

Angrboda is almost always open to swapping. Just ask her. Due to the nature of the queue, however, and the fact that it’s some 24 pages long at the moment, it may take a good while from she receives your parcel and until she actually posts about it.

The Formalities

Contact Angrboda by email: [email protected]
Contact Ang on IM on Google chat

Find Ang on…
Steam: Iarnvidia (Or Angrboda. She changed her display name and now is not certain which one to search for. She uses the same picture though, so she is easily recognised)
Goodreads: Angrboda
Livejournal: See website.
Dreamwidth: Ask her

Bio last updated February 2014





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