635 Tasting Notes


I can’t comment on what the dry leaves smell like because this tea was influenced by the ones it was stored with. But the leaves themselves look great! Classic, green Bai Mu Dan leaves. I’ve had a couple strawberry-flavored green teas recently, so I’m looking forward to a white tea version.

The brewed aroma is light strawberry syrup. The taste is mostly lovely Bai Mu Dan with a light, sweet, strawberry flavor at the end of the sip. I don’t usually like flavored whites, but this is pretty darn good!

I have to say that I think I understand the oddity Mercuryhime describes when this tea is hot. The strawberry flavor is different and not what I expected. I don’t want to say artificial because that has a negative connotation. But it definitely doesn’t taste like biting into a ripe strawberry. The only way I can think to describe it is “syrup.” It tastes syrup-y.

Syrup or not, this tea is yum! What a nice surprise from a box full of goodies! I just might have to add this to my next tea order. Thanks to Mercuryhime for sending me this sample! You’ve introduced me to a great new tea vendor!

170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

You’re welcome!


Also, try cold brewing it. So tasty!


I’ll do that next. How long should I cold brew it for? This will be my first time trying that method.


Overnight or longer. I like to go 24 hours. Use less water than you think you need. You can add more if you need to. Good luck!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


So, I just realized I’m kind of a schmuck. I swapped some teas with a few generous Steepsterites about 3.5 months ago, and I never wrote tasting notes!!! Blasphemy! I apologize for being unappreciative, ladies. I got engaged shortly after receiving your packages, and although that’s no excuse for my ungrateful behavior, I haven’t forgotten you! I’m going to make it a priority to try all these wonderful samples that y’all were so kind to share with me. Please bear with me as there are quite a few, and it may take a couple weeks to make it through all these. But I’m sorry for my shameful behavior, and I vow not to let it happen again.

Now, on to these teas!!! First up, this White Coconut Crème tea, complements of Mercuryhime!

The dry leaves smell like candy! Very sugary sweet! The leaves are a faded green, almost brown color with lots of coconut bits and tiny flower pieces. It was hard for me to brew this tea for 3 minutes, but I quelled the impulse to pull the strainer out of my cup at 1.5 minutes and again at 2 minutes. The brewing instructions say 3 minutes for a reason! Be patient!

Finally the 3 minutes were up, and I handed the cup to my fiancé to smell first. His response? He said it smelled like “a milky tree. You know, like a tree made of milk.” Hmmm, while I’m not sure I share that opinion, it definitely doesn’t smell like any other white tea I’ve tried. I get coconut and cream in the aroma, which is just as good since this tea is called White Coconut Crème!

The taste is a floral, smooth, coconut-y dream! It’s really too bad I let this sit in my cupboard so long. I bet it’s sensational when it’s fresh! As is, it’s still very delicious. Thanks again, Mercuryhime and I’m sorry this tasting note is so belated.

170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Preach! I still have a good 15-20 teas left to try from swaps!


No worries! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Being engaged is definitely a valid reason for forgetting about tea from swaps. Being engaged is stressful!


Well, trying to plan a wedding in New England when you live in D.C. is stressful, but I have to say the being engaged part is pretty nice. ;)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Okay, I admit my taste buds might already be compromised. The fiancé decided to cook steak and habanero peppers in his cast iron skillet. Basically, he poisoned the air. I had to retreat into the bedroom because the air was so peppery I couldn’t stop coughing and sneezing. My nose is now running like crazy, so I’m not sure how reliable this tasting note will be.

The dry leaves smelled like tea. Yeah, I know, not very descriptive. But really, there wasn’t much to it. No overtly recognizable scents. The brewed tea aroma is a similar experience. It smells like Teavivre’s other black teas.

Now let’s see if I have any better luck describing the taste. It’s much stronger than I anticipated. It tastes like it could be a great base for blending. No bitterness or tannins detected. I feel like it’s a little peppery, but then again that could just be from the air. Toasty might be a better description.

It came in pre-measured, individual, little, red packets. So, maybe it tastes strong to me because the leaf is more proportional. When I measure the tea leaves out myself, I almost always err on the side of too little. Still, I think the Yun Nan Dian Hong Black Tea was more to my liking. It just had more flavor.

Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t flavorless. It just tastes kind of standard to me, like something I would drink as my morning cup of tea. Oddly enough though, the Teavivre site says it has minimal caffeine (less than 15% of a cup of coffee). I guess that’s a good thing since I’m drinking it at 8pm on a weekday.

But I usually choose black tea for its taste as well as caffeine content. So, if this doesn’t have much caffeine in it and the taste is lacking, there’s not a whole lot of point for me to drink it. It is a good cuppa, just not my favorite. Despite its high quality, the taste just isn’t enough to my liking for me to reach for it often. So, if you like Bailin Gongfu, you’ll like this one too!

Now it’s time to peek out tentatively like Groundhog Phil and see if it’s safe to come out yet.

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

Haven’t cared for this one either, but going to try a 3rd time to make sure… the pressure of not liking the #1 Steepster tea, huh? : )


Wow, I didn’t even realize it was the #1 Steepster tea! Now I feel more gratitude that I had a chance to try it. I mean, it’s good high quality tea. But the BEST tea? It’s too generic and plain for me to label it the best tea.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Tochiotome Green by Lupicia
635 tasting notes

YAY!!!!! I’ve been waiting for this tea to return for an entire year!!! It’s seasonal, and I missed it last year. I’ve been keeping an eye on the website ever since, not knowing when exactly it might pop up again. Then I read a recent review of this tea by Amy oh who mentioned it came in the monthly newsletter.

So, I knew I’d be getting my newsletter shortly and the long wait for Tochiotome would soon be over! I ripped open the package and was assailed by the dry leaf aroma, which is succulent fresh strawberries! The brewed tea is the same mouthwatering strawberry with the added aroma of verdant sencha.

Sadly, the flavor is little bit of a letdown. It’s very grassy with a touch of bitterness. The strawberry flavor wanes on the end of the sip, and the bitterness takes front stage in the aftertaste.

I guess I built this tea up in my head for a year, so I was expecting heaven. The beginning of the sip may be close to heaven, but the tail end ruins the illusion. It’s too bad Lupicia doesn’t use a nicer base. I was expecting something more like 52 teas’ Strawberry Pancake Green Tea minus the maple flavoring. I suppose if I liked sencha more, the grassiness wouldn’t bother me.

Well, if nothing else, this tea gave me the idea for an interesting quest for when I go to Japan. I’d love to try one of these tochiotome strawberries for myself (sans tea)!

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Cozy Chamomile by Bigelow
635 tasting notes

This will be my first experience with chamomile tea. I’ve never been very big on herbal teas. There’s no real tea in it! But here we go anyway.

At first blush, I thought the aroma was awful, like strong damp weeds. But I had my nose less than an inch from the cup, so maybe I was just smelling it too closely. I stood up and stared off into space while I waited for it to steep. I was breathing deeply and inhaling the tea without meaning to. Oddly enough, now it smelled good! I bent down and wafted the aroma towards me. But again, when I stuck my nose near the cup…phew! Stinky! So, who knows what that means.

The taste is similar to the aroma but stronger. When it’s actually on my tongue, it tastes great! Kind of like how the aroma is great when I’m standing over the steaming mug. But then I swallow and the aftertaste gets me. Blech! Strong, too strong. Icky. I can’t help but shake my head.

No no no. I don’t think I like chamomile. Or at least, this bagged version of it isn’t going to fly. It has potential, those little moments when I thought I liked it. But then it got squashed by yuck.

It’s really too bad. I’m so stressed out I can hardly function. I haven’t slept in 3 days. So, I thought the most recommended stress relieving bedtime tea would do the trick. Sadly, I think I’m going to have to rely on something else. I thought I could finish the cup, but I’m afraid this dirty floral tea is going down the drain.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

that’s too bad you don’t like chamomile. I find tulsi is helpful for stress. Valerian will help you sleep but it is REALLY smelly…


Hugs!! Positive thoughts and wishing the best possible out come with the most hugs possible!


Oops… Wrong post… But still send you hugs and possitvie thoughts!


Oh man, try a real chamomile sometime because this bagged version is nothing like the real thing


@DaisyChubb, ok I will! Thanks for the comment!
@Ninavampi, You are so adorable!!! Thanks for the accidental hugs! :)


@Amy oh, I tried the valerian and it didn’t make any difference. :( But thanks for the tip, and the warning. Valerian IS incredibly smelly! Hahaha!


that’s too bad! I hope you find some relief soon…

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Uh oh…I think I already messed up the preparation of this tea. I’m not sure I used enough leaf. The liquor is almost clear! Clear!!

The aroma of the dry leaves was great: soft, clean, not overly grassy. The dry leaves themselves were a long, thin, crispy, mixture of green and yellow leaves and stems. The brewed tea aroma is very very soft, a little too soft. Again, probably because I didn’t measure the leaf correctly. I hate when I mess up brewing a new tea. It makes me not even want to write a note about it.

But here we go anyway. I apologize for my incompetence in advance. I’ll add a little more leaf to the second steeping and let you know how that turns out. This first cup is surprisingly good, even though it’s a little watery. I can tell that this is fantastic tea if brewed correctly.

Okay, second cup! I steeped this one for 2 minutes 45 seconds at 176 degrees. The liquor is still basically clear, but the flavor is stronger now. For some reason, this tea reminds me of the way cotton candy melts in your mouth. It’s sweet, but not too much so. This must be what people call umami. I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced a texture like this in a drink. Simply exquisite.

This is my favorite green tea from Teavivre so far, although the Silver Jasmine Green Tea (Mo Li Yin Hao) is a pretty close second.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

It looks as though underleafing is a common mistake for first-time drinkers of this tea, myself included!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


I’m so excited to try this tea!! I suggested a flavor combination to Frank recently (maple pecan granola), and this is pretty close to that! Plus, I love maple and brown sugar oatmeal. It’s my favorite kind of oatmeal, and almost the only kind I eat.

I do have to say though, I’m not sure the picture on the package is adequate for this blend. It looks kind of…unappetizing. But this is uncharacteristic for 52teas. Usually Frank’s pictures are mouthwatering and make me go over my allotted tea budget. But clearly, the picture made little difference in my decision to buy it.

Anyway, the dry leaves smell really good! It’s hard to describe why, but I’ll try. It smells very similar to the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie blend, but minus the raisin. So, what’s left? This wonderful oatmeal, black tea, sugary sweet fragrance.

The funny thing is the brewed tea has a completely different aroma! It still smells amazing, but so different. I think the black tea itself is more pronounced now and masks that overwhelming sweetness. I can still make out faint traces of oat, but it’s softer now. As for the maple? I didn’t forget. I just can’t find much of it in the aroma. Hopefully, it will be there in the taste.

Mmmmm, the taste is wonderful! There’s none of that tannic bitterness common to black teas sans additions. I’m not sure how much it matches the description, but it tastes wonderful regardless! It’s not nearly as sweet as the aroma makes it out to be.

I added a tiny bit of unsweetened almond milk and a little brown sugar too. It’s still very good. I think I like it about the same with or without additions. Unfortunately, I’m still missing that maple syrup aspect. I wish that were significantly stronger. But like I said, it’s a delicious tea nonetheless! So, if you happen to not like maple and brown sugar oatmeal, give this blend a try anyway! You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


These leaves are beautiful! Long, narrow, perfectly straight, vibrantly green leaves. They’re quite large actually and thus hard to correctly measure. But I think I did all right. The aroma is lovely, fresh green tea.

The taste is even lovelier than the aroma. Light, fresh, vegetal, and sweet. Light is the perfect description. It’s not heavy like Dragonwell.

There’s also virtually no aftertaste (as in the taste doesn’t linger). I haven’t decided if that’s good or bad yet. But it is definitely a noticeable characteristic of this tea. The aroma is grassy, but luckily for me that grassiness doesn’t make it into the flavor much.

Overall, this is a wonderful green tea. The second steep for two minutes was just as flavorful as the first, and I’m sure it could keep going for several more infusions, if I was so inclined. This tea is quite affordable for such high quality. It’s deserving of my stamp of approval! I highly recommend!

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 15 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


I’m looking forward to trying the huge stock of green teas I have from Teavivre. They’ve sent me tons of samples, and I haven’t gotten around to trying all of them yet. But I’m on a green tea kick, so bring it on!

This is my second experience with gunpowder green tea. Although the first time I tried some, it was a mint, bagged concoction. So, that’s probably not the most representative of this type of tea. I’m confident that Teavivre will give me the best possible experience with gunpowder.

The dry leaves smell exactly like the alfalfa hay I used to feed my pet bunny, Jasper. He was the cutest white bunny in the whole world with a few light grey spots on his back, grey ears, and grey spots around his eyes that made it look like he was wearing eyeliner. Sooo cute!! I had to get rid of him when I moved across the country from LA to D.C. But he was a birthday present for an adorable little girl, so at least I know he went somewhere he’ll be loved and cared for.

But I digress. Ah, I never get over how certain smells bring a rush of memories. Anyway, the liquor is a pale yellowish green. The brewed tea aroma is less hay now and more…hmmm, interesting. It has a little kick of something that’s tugging at my memory, but I just can’t quite place it. Maybe it’s just a green tea smell. Man, how long has it been since I drank a high quality green tea?

Okay okay, on to the taste. Wait! Puer!!! That’s what the aroma reminds me of!!! Wow…really? Puer? Yep! I admit it’s strange. But my nose isn’t lying to me. Finally, the first sip…okay it tastes nothing like puer. Thank God! :)

The taste is back to the dry leaf aroma: fresh, green, alfalfa hay. It does have some kick to it, similar to the puer aroma. It almost reminds me of red hots. Not because it’s spicy. But because of that initial burning when the red hot first hits your tongue. But this sensation is a fleeting one and quickly dissipates.

I wish I could describe the aftertaste. It’s not like anything else. It’s also somewhat palate cleansing. This is a very interesting and unique green tea experience. It’s not like your standard green tea. Really, the thing it reminds me most of is puer. Except it’s muuuuuch more stomachable than puer.

The second steep for two minutes at just below boiling yielded a much darker brew, almost murky (excuse the lack of a better descriptive word). The leaves fully unfurled during this second steep. The taste is basically the same as the first cup, maybe a bit more flavorful.

I wonder if anyone has ever made a flavored gunpowder green tea. I think it could be really good if you found the right ingredients to add to it. It would make a very unique base. Despite its distinctive flavor, it’s not quite to my liking. But I highly recommend that people try this one of a kind tea!

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec

I used to have a pet bunny as well. His name was Jedi Ninja and my best friend and I loved him. He was great! Sadly we also moved and he had to be rehomed….


Gunpowder is supposed to be smoky I think. Did you get any smoke in this one?

ps – pu-erh rules!!!!! :-P


@Ninavampi, awwww Jedi Ninja! What a cute name! I feel your pain with having to find him a new home. It’s never easy.

@Amy oh, perhaps there is a slight smoke to this one. That could be the element I don’t particularly like. I really don’t care for smoky teas, but I can drink this one just fine. It’s not a very drastic smoke.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Strawberry Orange Scone by 52teas
635 tasting notes

So much for not buying more tea. Didn’t I just explain how much tea I have? How do you do it to me, Frank?! I just can’t say no!!

I’m sooo excited to try this blend! I don’t know what happened, but one day it magically reappeared on 52teas’ in stock page. It had sold out in less than 24 hours! I was sure I’d never get to try it. But then 2 pouches showed up, and I snagged the last one!! Yipee!

I’ve been exhausted all day, so I can justify drinking black tea at 7pm tonight. I’ve already had a total of four shots of espresso and one grande coffee. What’s a little more caffeine?

The dry tea smells heavenly! The perfect mix of strawberry and orange. The brewed tea has a very similar aroma but more citrus-y. Others described this tea as largely orange, but I’m hoping the strawberry will be equally present. First sip without additions…mmm, it is a good mix of strawberry and orange. But I prefer black teas with milk and sugar.

Second sip with additions…wow! This is really delicious! It’s not very scone-y. And it’s a fairly light black tea as black teas go, but that’s a pro in my book. This is full of flavor and reminds me of liquid Starburst, if such a thing existed. Yum yum!! I’ve discovered a new favorite!

Boiling 2 min, 45 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



Entering the sweet blissful world of tea aromas!

Having discovered this website at the end of July 2011, I’m so excited to share my tea adventures with all of you! I grew up with my grandmother serving Twining’s English Breakfast with cream and sugar.

But on a trip to Seattle in 2010, I stumbled into a Chinese teashop and tried my first oolong tea. I was forever changed! I embarked on a startling new love for green and white teas.

With a world of teas to discover, I was inspired to keep a tea journal to record my thoughts and new favorites. Let’s get brewing!

My ratings are completely subjective and 100% my opinion. All ratings are given in relation to each other (ie. teas are rated in the order of my enjoyment of them). Therefore, my ratings will constantly change as I try more teas.

I love swapping!!! If you see something in my cupboard you’d like to try, just send me a message. If you’d like to trade, anything on my shopping list will do or feel free to send something else entirely. I’m willing to try almost anything (although I’m not really a fan of honeybush, red rooibos, pu’erh, Lapsang Souchong, & banana-flavored teas).


Maryland, USA

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer