985 Tasting Notes


Yep, this is a really good one. Too bad it is limited. Can we beg Frank to add it to the permanent collection?

This one steeps up lightly pink from the blueberry…but maybe that was just my red cup. Lovely creamy and blueberry flavor. I do have to admit this is my first blueberry flavored black tea, and it works.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Good basic China black. I see my basic black collection expanding, lately. Could it be this is where my loyalties lie? Don’t get me wrong, I love the flavored stuff. However, a good China black really makes me go weak in the knees.

This one is fairly bold as far as my tastes go, and completely satisfying. Slightly smokey, slight cocoa notes, but not as sweet as Adagio’s Fujian Baroque. This one has a slight bit more bite to it.

I am definitely liking Harney’s packaging (mine is a 4 oz tin). Very classy, and it does not add to the cost of the tea. Prices are still comparable to similar quality teas if not better. Overall, a great company in my experience.

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drank Chocolate Chip Mint by Custom
985 tasting notes

Chocolate tea experiment:
So I made a 12-16 oz mug of this and added a tsp. of Swiss Miss Diet Hot Chocolate mix. Please don’t judge me. Yes, this could be the perfect solution to milk chocolate tea….even if it is kind of cheating. The good news, it can’t be more than 15 calories! Yum!

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This one is new on Steepster….. thank goodness I have good copy and paste skills!

I bought this one because I was looking for a little pick me up. It does have St. John’s Wort on the ingredients list, so that means it is a no no for the gals on BCPs. It is lightly pink in color from the hibiscus, and smells of lemon. I am glad the hibiscus is light, as too much hibiscus can tarten up a tea in a hurry. The lemon definitely comes through in this one. It really is pleasing, and I can just imagine it iced. Yum. Definitely a winner for me….actual rating to come later after a few cups.

Resteep at 10 minutes: Still good lemon flavor. And I do detect the peppermint…it is refreshingly light. The hibiscus is gone in this one, as hibiscus is only good for one steep. I really like this!

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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drank Candy Cane by 52teas
985 tasting notes

This was one of two that came from Frank’s Oops Week in March 2011.

I love this. I am not usually an Indian tea drinker, mostly because I have not tried many. I am guessing it is darjeeling, as I am such an Indian tea noob. The peppermint is light, which is perfect for me, and the hint of vanilla really rounds it out. The tea base is smooth. Very pleasant. I added a little sweeener to mine.

Kudos to Frank! And I just have to thank him for…well, being him, and doing what he does. He makes tea so fun!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

I hope I end up with Candy Cane as one of my oops!


Oooooh, this sounds so tasty! Also, I’m very glad to know I’m not the only one who needs sweetener in her tea!


I gotta have it a little sweet…..I am trying to cut it back, though, slowly. Tea has been my replacement for sweets, and it is so working for me!

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The morning steep……this time I added milk and sweetener. Yum. Mildly hearty, and a good get you going tea.

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Another new tea! This is my first from Arbor Teas. Holding off on a rating until I have tried it a few times.

As far as the tea goes, this one is pretty good and different from anything else I have in the decaf black tea category. For the first cup, I had it with milk and sweetener. I can definitely taste the coconut, but it is pretty subtle. It was good, but nothing really great to report. Need to do more research……..

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Steep #2: 5minutes….I can definitely tell the intensity of the chocolate has gone down. However, the amount of chocolate left kind of intensifies the cocoa notes that are in the black tea base.

Steep #3: 7 minutes….This one is still pretty good. The color is still ambery brown and there is still the faint hint of cocoa. Three good steeps makes this a good value in my book. I am not sure this would have worked well on a lower quality base. It is nice that once the cocolate dissipates, you are left with a good quality black tea.

Steep #4: 9 minutes….I am not sure this one was worth it. I did add milk just to see if there was anything left as far as tea, and I think that was a mistake. Since this is a black that does not really need milk (except for maybe that first steep…in a yummy kind of way, and not the bitterness cutting kind of way), I think it would hold up fine without milk on a 4th steep.

Note to self: The next time you do a 4 steep test, use a smaller cup. Your jumbo mug is too big for this many steeps….

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A huge number of tea shipments for the day. This was the one I was most interested in trying today. I am not planning on rating this one for a while. I have come to the conclusion that I need at least two or three tastings to get a really good idea about a tea. Here goes for this one.

I will admit it, the name is what convinced me to purchase. That and the profile looked as if it was a flavor infused better black. The chocolate smell is pretty strong in the bag and brewed cup. There are no bits in this tea…just slightly shiney, curly, and long tea leaves. The leaves are mostly brown with a bit of yellow. First steep tastes chocolatey, but it is subtle. The black tea base is really good. I have this cup slightly sweetend, but it is almost begging for milk to be dessert. It is rich! Let’s hope it continues to impress.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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My motto: Drink the good tea!

Tea enthusiast, trying to keep up my cardio for the zombie apocalypse. I have come to accept that I am a western brewing black tea drinker as that is where my ‘tea heart’ lies. I started on loose leaf as a way to have my dessert and not suffer the caloric issues. Once I tried it, I was hooked.

I drink what I like, which is mostly China blacks, a few traditionally scented blacks and Earl Greys, plus a flavored tea here and there. I don’t mind spending a bit on premium varieties on occasion, but an expensive tea has to deliver. My favorite places to order are Harney & Sons and Upton Tea Imports. TeaVivre is great for Chinese tea.

My ratings are pretty subjective. If it falls under 70, I may not take the time to post about it unless I had something specific to say. If it is 70-80 I like it, but I will probably not rebuy. Favorites are over 80 and up, but sometimes the less expensive or more easily obtainable version of a similar taste will win out for my cupboard space.

Usual teapot steeping method: 24 oz teapot, 3 perfect scoops of tea (4 1/2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual mug steeping method: 15 oz mug, 1.5 perfect scoops of tea (just over 2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual pan method: 1 1/2 cups water, 2 perfect tsp chai (3 actual tsp). Simmer for 3 minutes. Add 2/3 cup skim milk. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Strain and sweeten.

Usual pitcher method:
5 or 6 Perfect Spoons of tea (this means about 7-9 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, brewed essentially double-strong in my 24 oz teapot for 4 minutes. Fill my Fiestaware Disc pitcher (about 60 oz.) halfway with ice. Add brewed double-strong tea to the pitcher. Stir it a little and enjoy. No additions.

(*SRP is my Sample/Stash Reduction Plan starting on April 12, 2012. I got so far, but just decided it was too fussy to keep track.)



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