1439 Tasting Notes

drank Chocolate Malt Dream by 52teas
1439 tasting notes

Another tea that I decided to open this month after existing in the timeless vaccuum that is my tea cupboard.

Both aroma and mouthful are incredibly nostalgic for me – a mix of those chocolate scented toys, a children’s chocolate birthday cake, a brownie with caramel drizzle, and most of all, malt balls (100% malt balls). It’s veering on chalky but that’s somewhat true to form and doesn’t detract from how cozy, simple, and pleasing this blend is.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Cocoa, Creamy, Malt, Malty, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla


Malted ChocoMate was one of my favorites from the Frank 52teas days … this sounds like a really nice companion.


That’s one of my favourites as well! I’d drink it as a consolation prize after a sleepless night :P

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This tea has a cloying aroma and has ingredients that make me doubt life (chinese sencha? With cinnamon AND cocoa?). Yet I bought a sample pouch anyways because I’m apparently a masochist.

I didn’t love it during most of our time together. I thought it would work iced but it somehow became more cloying in a licorice-like way. Something must have changed with age (or me) though because the last few cups were enjoyable! Sweet, syrupy faux-honey & butterscotch, with notes of cinnamon, aniseed, candied fruit, and… chinese sencha.

Yeah, I don’t love it to bits – those ingredients are on my “nope” list – but it still is an awfully creative blend.

Flavors: Anise, Bright, Butter, Butterscotch, Cherry, Cinnamon, Custard, Fruity, Honey, Sweet, Vegetal

Martin Bednář

That’s indeed a weird combo of ingredients.

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Sipdown! I’ve had this for two(!?) years but only cracked it open this month, in an attempt to polish off older and seasonal teas.

It’s not my favourite tea in the world but it was easy to drink. Apple and caramel notes are definitely subtle, but the base oolong (a toasty one) is flavourful despite the age.

Flavors: Apple, Caramel, Floral, Malt, Roasted, Sweet, Vegetal

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Another sipdown (I have many this week)! Not so mournful about this one because I mentally ascribe it to “seasonal flavours.” I’ll order more near the end of summer season. Probably. Or when it becomes challenging to rally energy and resolve in the dark, cold hours of early morning, and I begin to look longingly at jars of Nutella. Whichever comes first…

Flavors: Caramelized Sugar, Chestnut, Cocoa, Hazelnut, Malty, Nutty, Roasted Nuts, Smooth, Sweet, Tannic, Vanilla

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I ordered more of this after the holidays and tried to stretch it out. Alas, the allure of salted caramel on a brisk base was too strong. I didn’t even make it last until summer. Sad sipdown.

Flavors: Brisk, Butter, Butterscotch, Caramel, Kettle Corn, Malt, Popcorn, Salty, Sweet, Tannic

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The first few times I tried this I honestly wasn’t too impressed. The woody, earthy cinnamon wasn’t blending spectacularly with the floral, fragrant tieguanyin base. The last few servings were pretty decent though – although, it often hit a more watery horchata note than a thick and creamy rice pudding one. I guess it depends on the rice pudding you’re used to.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Earthy, Floral, Rice, Rice Pudding, Sweet, Vegetal, Woody

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I usually shy away from dessert-flavoured puerh blends. I know there are some great blends out there, but the first puerh I ever tasted was a odd fishy dessert concoction that has made me hesitant ever since. Pistachio cream flavoured things trumps my prejudice though; this particular blend turned out to be a great way to combat the hard southern California water too.

My mom, who won’t go near puerh, was lulled into drinking this with a lot of milk. There is a bit of puerh earthy funk that I don’t love, but mostly is tastes like a pistachio-creme filled chocolate thing – so, easy to enjoy and sipdown with the family.

Flavors: Cocoa, Creamy, Dark Chocolate, Earthy, Mushrooms, Nutty, Pistachio, Rich, Smooth, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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It’s been so long since I’ve had this tea style that I’ve completely forgotten what it tastes like. For some reason, when I initially bought it, it smelled a bit like a puerh (I did buy a flavoured puerh, so possible contamination via plastic bags). Since arriving home that has dissipated to a more familiar Yunnan Black tea profile (ex – hay, honey, earth, etc)

Sipping this one right off the cuff invokes hay barns, timber yards, and cigar parlors – notes of wood, earth, tobacco, leather, malt, tannins, and whisky with orange rind. It tastes like the outdoors and boozy comforts; it would make a fun tea for a camping trip. As it cools down it mellows out enough to reveal a subtly sweet side: stonefruit, raisin, and honey notes.

Steep Count: 2 + a short rinse (3 pearls). The first steep was on the longer side.

The more abrasive notes of first steep become secondary to the honey, raisin, and stonefruit. Add a dash of pepper to the mix. This flavour profile reminds me a bit of a gentler assam – another tea style I haven’t had for ages. As this cup cools, it verges into milky/creamy territory.

Flavors: Cedar, Cherry Wood, Citrus Zest, Dark Bittersweet, Earthy, Fruity, Hay, Honey, Leather, Malt, Orange, Pepper, Raisins, Smooth, Stonefruit, Tannic, Tobacco, Whiskey, Woody

Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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A shoot-off of Spice & Tea Merchants, I believe. They are located in Temecula, California and carry teas from a dozen suppliers – including a cultivated selection from aforementioned Spice & Tea Merchants, and Harney & Sons (who else has Paris and Florence?). I recognized a few familiar faces but I bet a lot of Steepsterites would be able to identify more.

It was near the end of my trip and was beginning to feel the absence of Earl Grey in my life so grabbed an ounce of this. It’s not reinventing the wheel but it does the trick. The bergamot is well balanced, while the vanilla notes are almost cake-ish in creamy sweetness. This dessert-like quality went over well with my Earl Grey-loving parents and sister. An easy and pleasant sipdown after I arrived back home too. No complaints!

Flavors: Bergamot, Cake, Citrus, Creamy, Malt, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Root Beer Float by 52teas
1439 tasting notes


I don’t know how long this reblend has lived in my cupboard but I decided to take it with me on my roadtrip to California. It holds up well as a cold steep, against the harder (than I’m used to) water. It tastes exactly like namesake, except less cloying sweet, so I’m happy.. and also a little sad to see such a satisfying tisane blend go.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Root Beer, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla

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I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

My favourites are teas like Milk Oolong, Silver Needle,and Japanese Sencha/Gyokuro, or fruity and floral flavoured ones. However, I generally enjoy ALL the teas, including a good old cup of Earl Grey or Breakfast blend.


Vanilla, Maple, Caramel, Butterscotch, Cream, Toffee, Nougat, Marzipan, Butter

Citrus Fruits, Passionfruit, Banana, Pineapple, Melons, Blackberry, Raspberry, Currants, Elderberry, Persimmon, Rhubarb..

Ginger, Turmeric, Clove-forward chai, Cardamom

Sandalwood, Frankincense, Juniper, Eucalyptus, Mints

Lavender, Jasmine, Rose, Lilac, Violet, etc.

Spinach, Grass, Hay, Cucumber, Rice, Sweet Potato

Less Preferred Flavours/Ingredients:
Stevia, Apple, Cocoa Nib, Almond, Licorice, Cinnamon-forward blends, Chinese Sencha

Subjective Rating System:
I don’t give a lot of low ratings out, since a) I tend to grab tea I know will appeal to me, and b) I don’t have a lot of strong dislikes.

90-100: Favourites. The Desert Island Teas.
80-89: Loved teas. Possibly staple-worthy.
70-79: Good teas, but I’m less likely to repurchase. Minor quibbles.
60-69: Ok teas. Likely a few preference and/or quality issues.
50-59: Cup of meh. Will do in a pinch.
11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea.
1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This tea is the embodiment of the primordial swamp, an unholy abomination. It’s very gross and I’m almost positive it doesn’t exist.


BC, Canada

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