326 Tasting Notes

drank Pitta Ayurvedic by DAVIDsTEA
326 tasting notes

Sipdown! (96/395)

Another one of my oldest teas that I should be moving out of my cupboard. It probably sat in there way too long, but I don’t think it affected the flavour too much. Sadly, I didn’t get any peach from this, like I was hoping – it was mainly a peppery holy basil drink with some lemon undertones. Drinkable, but not memorable, and I did notice a slightly scratchy throat after I’d finished the mug. I wish I had more to say about it but it really wasn’t all that memorable.

Thank you Miss B for my sample!

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Graveyard Mist by 52teas
326 tasting notes

Sipdown 95/395!

Yeesh, it’s been a while since I posted a tasting note. I lost my job a couple of weeks ago and have been struggling to find the time and energy for steepster, since I’m spending a lot of time looking for a job and writing up applications etc. I have been drinking tea, though! My aim for this month was just to drink tea every day, which I am managing, even if some days it is just plain old bagged black tea. I’m determined that when I get back on track with the rest of my life I won’t discover that my love of tea has gone.

On to the tea. I really enjoyed this one, and I’d even go so far as to say it is one of my favourite green teas I’ve tried. Of course, that isn’t saying too much because I don’t love many greens, but there have been times where I have actively sought out this tea, and dug through a giant mountain of other teas to get to it. That’s high praise. The spearmint is just the right amount of subtle, and it melds seamlessly with the marshmallowy vanilla sweetness. I love this combination in teas, but this has an additional slightly smoky, vegetal note from the green tea base which actually works with the sweet flavours rather than against them to just give it a little extra dimension. I will be keeping my fingers crossed that the new 52teas sees fit to reblend this at some point (cough – halloween – cough).


It’s been reblended and is currently available: http://52teas.com/this-months-teas/


Oh man this is such bad timing for me! Fingers crossed it sticks around until I find a new job!!

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I said a sad goodbye to this tea this morning, but I know it’s going to be a ‘goobye for now’ rather than a ‘goodbye forever’. I woke up reaaally early (for me) and for some reason in the mood for a really really big mug of tea. So I steeped up the last of this in my IngenuiTEA and I’m currently enjoying the morning with a 16oz mug of grapefruity goodness.

Sipdown 94/395.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Samurai Chai Maté by Teavana
326 tasting notes

Sipdown 93/395 on this sample from the EU TTB many moons ago.

Weirdly, I think that this might be quite a short tasting note purely because there is so much flavour! It’s a little overwhelming and nothing particularly stands out to the point where I could write about it. It’s more a general cacophony of fruits and spices. Brewing, the scent was overwhelmingly cinnamony to begin with, but this mellowed out the longer it steeped and some tropical fruit notes began to poke their way through. When I took my first sip I was taken aback by how sweet it was, particularly since it doesn’t have any added sugar or stevia, so I’m drinking my cup plain. The flavour profile is basically: spicy chai in the foreground, citrus and tropical fruits in the background adding a twist to the blend. More specifically I do think that the cinnamon is the most dominant of the chai flavours, but it’s more mellow than I expected based on the scent and blends well with the other spices. I can’t pick out any individual fruits in the sip, though there is a pineapple note which lingers longer than the others in the aftertaste. Though I am enjoying my mug I wouldn’t seek out more as it is confusing my tastebuds a little, and it’s actually a little more on the mellow side than I had expected for a mate chai.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Sipdown! (92/395)

So I finally get around to giving this tea a more detailed note. It’s not going to be as detailed as some others I’ve written because I just don’t have as much to say about this tea, but it will at least be better than my last couple on this tea because I was paying attention this time! This was part of a hapatite tea swap I did a while back with a lovely girl named Mina, who as far as I know isn’t present here on Steepster. If you’re other there, Mina, thank you!

I find it weird that this tea is called ‘sunrise’ because I always associate honeybush with night time, and never really drink it in the morning. Each time I’ve drank this has been before bed, and maybe some of my issue with this comes from the fact that it was zingier than I expect for that time of day. I’ve written in a previous note that this gave me an ‘orange fondant’ sort of association, and after lookng at the ingredients and finding that this contains orange peel and vanilla it doesn’t seem so surprising! The malva flowers add a weird sort of botanticals note which I don’t think goes overly well with the other flavours, and I’m starting to think that I’m not a marshmallow fan at all. Other than that, though, it’s not a bad tea. The honeybush has a nice honey note which sweetens the orange, and added to the vanilla this creates an orange flavour which tastes something like an all-natural orange sweet. It’s not quite fresh fruit orange flavour, but it’s not artificial-tasting either.

I drank my last cup of this accidentally iced – there wasn’t as much water in the kettle as I expected, so I ended up brewing the tea bag in only around 4 or 5 oz of water, and then I got distracted scrolling through instagram and left it brewing for probably close to 20 minutes! By the time I remembered about it it was on its way to cold anyway, and with it being much more concentrated than expected I thought it would be best if I just topped it up with another 4 or 5 oz of iced water and called it a day. This turned out to be a happy accident, because even though I was more in the mood for a hot tea at the time, this is much less cloying iced and I think that I actually preferred it this way! The flavour combination just works better iced somehow, and the orange is more present than the malva, vanilla and honey which blend together to create a sweet backnote. We parted on good terms.

Iced 8 min or more 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Sipdown! (91/395)

Thank you Hapatite for the sample. Unfortunately this one wasn’t my favourite. The black tea didn’t really add much, in fact I didn’t realise it was in the blend until I came to review it! It wasn’t awful, but when it comes down to it there are other things I’d rather be drinking, and I preferred the hibiscus on its own to this blend. One plus I did notice though is that this didn’t need as much sugar to counteract the sour hibiscus.

Sorry about the short and infrequent tasting notes guys, life has just gotten unexpectedly more stressful lately and even though I don’t have a lot going on (the opposite, actually) I haven’t felt in the right frame of mind to be writing up tasting notes and I haven’t even been drinking that much tea. Fingers crossed I’ll get out of my rut before it gets too deep, I’ve been there before and I’m not going back.

Sorry about the slightly dark turn that apology just took, too…

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Malted ChocoMaté by 52teas
326 tasting notes

Sipdown! (90/395)

I really liked this one. Today I had it with some peppermint sugar and it was like drinking a minty mocha. If it were still available I’d probably pick some up. Upping my rating from 76 to reflect this.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Sipdown! (89/395)

MissB sent me this a long time ago and it lingered around way longer than I thought it would. From the name I fully expected to love this tea, but each time I drank it I was disappointed. Over the last couple of days I finished this off I drank it a few times, using different parameters each time and couldn’t settle on one which made the flavours pop like I wanted. The base tea is not the greatest – it’s not the worst, either, but it’s fairly astringent and needs milk, even brewed at lower temperatures and for less time than a lot of blacks can stand. It’s also pretty flat, and I like a base tea with nuances, or at least one good solid note which I can hold on to and this didn’t have that for me. The lime flavour, especially when shorter brewed, actually is present and pretty nice. It has a sharpness but also a jammy quality and is brought out with a little sugar, but the coconut is nowhere to be found (and I love me some coconut, so this kinda disappointed me a lot). What’s more, the absolute killer for me is that the astringency means I can’t drink this without milk, and when milk is added the lime flavour is almost completely drowned out, and it doesn’t even help add more coconuttiness so unless you like your tea bitter there is zero point in even having this. I really like the idea of this tea, but the execution is poor. Ah well, on to better teas.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Sipdown! 88/395

Thanks to Hapatite once again for sending me this tea. I drank the last of it a little overleafed because there wasn’t quite enough for two cups left, so it was stronger than expected, but the flavour profile was basically the same. The flavours of this were nice; herbaceous lemony soothingness with a kick of pepper at the end of the sip which built throughout the cup. My issue though is that it sort of coated my throat uncomfortably, and by the end of the cup it was quite scratchy and uncomfortable to swallow. I drank this while having a Lush bubble bath and reading, and until it started to get uncomfortable it was a good choice for my relaxing afternoon. I liked it well enough and I’m grateful to have been able to try it, but I wouldn’t buy any more.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Malted ChocoMaté by 52teas
326 tasting notes

I underestimated how much leaf I had left of this and the last couple teas I’ve had, so no sipdowns from my last few cups. I’m slipping… Still, I’m not complaining, because now I have an extra mug of this, which makes quite the tasty start to the morning. Thank you Janelle for sharing!

Brewing, the scent threw me off at first. I was expecting chocolate milkshake, but what I got was closer to Butiki’s Coffee & Cigarettes (which is stored completely separately and can’t have contaminated this). It had a roasted coffee note from the mate which was prevalent and a sweeter, creamy back note more akin to what I was expecting. Taste-wise, though, they’re not so much alike. The mate naturally gives off a note very similar in flavour to Butiki’s coffee flavouring, though more robust and natural. There’s also a wisp of smoke here right at the end of the sip, but the comparison ends there. Chocolate in tea is very hit-or-miss-y for me, and this has a great chocolate flavour. It’s not by any means the most dominant flavour, but it pairs incredibly well with everything else that’s going on in my mug and adds a rich, indulgent background. It’s like I’m drinking a mocha with my tea this morning, and it feels a little bit naughty in a good way. An actual mocha from a coffee shop would use up about 1/3 of my daily SmartPoints, but this is only a 30th, and only because I added a little sugar to enhance the rich creamy chocolate notes. The malt note comes in mid-sip, which is weirdly making it seem thicker than it really is. It’s also making me want to try a malted chocolate milkshake, which sounds incredible and based on this tea absolutely would be. Malted milkshakes aren’t so much a thing over here (why do we miss out on so much?!) but surely there has to be somewhere that does them… hmm.

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I first got into loose leaf teas when a friend of mine showed me Cara’s Sherlock fandom blends on Adagio a good few years back, but they weren’t on sale in the UK so I started trying other kinds instead and have been hooked for almost three years.

Black teas make up the majority of my collection, but I am expanding my horizons and trying to include a variety of other teas, too. Flavoured blacks are my favourites, but I’m growing increasingly fond of unflavoured teas too. I will update my likes and dislikes as I discover more about my palate, but for now:

Tea-likes: I’m generally easily pleased and will enjoy most flavours, but my absolute favourites are maple, caramel, chestnut, pecan, raspberry, coconut, blueberry, lemon, pumpkin, rose, hazelnut and peach

Tea-dislikes: vanilla (on its own), ginger, coriander, cardamom, liquorice, pineapple and chocolate

I am a 22 year old English Literature sort-of-graduate and temporary bartender. Other than drinking, hoarding and reviewing tea, my hobbies include reading, doing quizzes and puzzles, TV watching (self-diagnosed geek and Netflix addict), football/soccer (I am a lifelong supporter of Sunderland AFC) and listening to classic rock.

I should probably also mention my tea-rating system, which seems to be much harsher than others I’ve seen on here. It’s not always concrete, but I’ll try to define it:

• 50 is the base-line which all teas start at. A normal, nothing-special industrial-type black teabag of regular old fannings would be a 50.

• 0 – 49 is bad, and varying degrees of bad. This is probably the least concrete as I hardly ever find something I don’t like.

• I have never given below a 20, and will not unless that tea is SO bad that I have to wash my mouth out after one sip. Any teas rated as such are unquestionably awful.

• This means most teas I don’t enjoy will be in the 30 – 50 range. This might just mean the tea is not to my own personal taste.

• 51+ are teas I enjoy. A good cup of tea will be in the 50 – 70 range.

• If I rate a tea at 70+, it means I really, really like it. Here’s where the system gets a little more concrete, and I can probably define this part, as it’s rarer for a tea to get there.

• 71- 80: I really enjoyed this tea, enough to tell somebody about, and will probably hang onto it for a little longer than I perhaps should because I don’t want to lose it.

• 81 – 90: I will power through this tea before I even know it’s gone, and will re-order the next time the mood takes me.

• 91 – 100: This is one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted, and I will re-order while I still have a good few cups left, so that I never have to run out. This is the crème de la crème, the Ivy League of teas.

I never rate a tea down, and my ratings are always based on my best experience of a tea if I drink it multiple times. I feel that this is fairest as many factors could affect the experience of one particular cup.

I am always happy to trade and share my teas with others, so feel free to look through my cupboard and message me if you’re interested in doing a swap. I keep it up-to-date, although this doesn’t mean I will definitely have enough to swap, as I also include my small samples.

I also tend to ramble on a bit.


South Shields, UK

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