2280 Tasting Notes

You don’t see a lot of reviews from me saying that I don’t care for a tea. Here you go.

This is a sample teabag that came with my order of Premium Silky Green, the only tea I have ever ordered from Bird Pick. (It is sold as a green tea but I am really really sure it is actually a milk oolong. Still really great tea.)

The jasmine scent was great. But the first sip drew an immediate reaction from both me and my daughter. Nope! We are spoiled by the greatness of Teavivre’s jasmine teas. To be fair, this tastes a lot like the Asian Market jasmine tea that it is really cheap. Can’t remember the name of it. It is a pretty standard restaurant pouchong with jasmine. I think it came in a yellow tin?

But this is a bit harsh for sitting up and watching the snow fall as we keep the fire stoked. I can tell that if I drink much of this, it is going to irritate my stomach, and that’s not a good thing. Moving on….


“We are spoiled by the greatness of Teavivre’s jasmine teas.” I guess that was said about jasmine green teas – need to try them. Any ideas which ones are the best?

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I love Golden Monkey teas. I don’t remember trying this one before. I thought I had only tried the regular version from Teavivre, but there is a review already on their site for this. I wonder if I reviewed it on the wrong place?

Anyway, at long last I am trying this one. (Possibly AGAIN.)

My favorite thing about GM teas is its sweet complexity. It is a little bit sweet potato, a little bit malt, and a little bit honey, plus sometimes some nutty flavor. Or malt.

The biggest difference I notice with the Premium grade is that there seems to be a strong bottom note running under the usual flavors, almost like adding a super bass line to a song you like.

There is a place in my heart for both and I feel there will be times when I will prefer one of the other. They are similar but the character of the cup differs.

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drank Red Robe Da Hong Pao by teasenz
2280 tasting notes

Hubby is at last home from the “great Eastern snow storm.”We got a half inch here at home but three inches in areas immediately around us. Ha ha! But since ice on the roads is a factor with no one here having snow tires or chains, he had to work 75 hours this week, with 58 of those hours being consencutive and only broken by a three hour sleep and two twenty minute naps. Where he works, there were some truly treacherous icy roads to be dealt with. He gets tea and homemade chocolate peanut butter chip cookies for being our hero!

We had a really different experience with this tea compared to last time. I know food pairings can make a huge difference, but right off the bat when making the tea I picked up a lot more chocolate scent than before. Then, in case it was just me, I asked my daughter to sniff the leaves and see if she smelled chocolate. She did, to the point that she was really surprised when I told her there is no added chocolate scent or flavor, it was just the natural flavor of this tea. There was a lot of mineral scent in the wet leaves, and nutty, mineral, and chocolate flavor to the liquor. I am sad to see this one go, but it was indeed a sipdown.

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drank Holiday Tea by Harney & Sons
2280 tasting notes

A sample bag of this was included with my last Harney and Sons order which came shortly before Christmas. Shame on me for not drinking it then!

But it isn’t surprising that I put it off. When I was a kid, everyone made “Russian Tea” at Christmas. I doubt the Russians have anything to do with it. It was instant black tea mixed with Tang and cinnamon, possibly some other spices. It was incredibly sweet.

Now I am a little put off by your typical orange/cinnamon/clove blends, especially since I don’t want to add sugar anymore, yet I associate these flavors with sweet, sweet tea.

Fortunately, Harney and Sons has added ALMOND to this blend. Almond makes most anything better! It is so warm and smooth, even cozy. I can easily drink this without sugar, although cinnamon teas are not a favorite and I don’t seek them out. As a cinnamony Christmas tea, this one is do-able.

The main reason for drinking tea tonight is that we are having an unusual cold weather event and snow, which is fairly rare here, and youngest wanted tea and a late night snack. Hubby is emergency personnel at the base so I won’t see him for a couple of days and we are keeping the woodstove going round the clock to save on the heating bill. We only got a half inch of snow, yet there are wrecks everywhere as the roads are slick. Fifteen minutes to our south has three inches, twenty minutes north has three inches, a little further still and it goes up, so we are really fortunate.

Please don’t laugh, Canadian friends! We know this would be like spring to you! But we are not used to it, and it took me three days to remember that temps in the teens mean it isnt a good idea to feed the chickens in your pj’s!

Lexie Aleah

A family member gifted me this tea last week during Barnes & Nobles 50% off christmas sale.I found it to be pretty average tasting. Stay safe and warm!


I totally agree, Ashmanra. Almond dose, indeed, make most anything better – Especially in this blend. This is one of my favorites from Harney.
We’re bracing for 3-5 inches up here in Richmond tonight. We Virginians aren’t used to this extremely cold weather either. I’m a nurse and work the evening shift tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Lexie Aleah

I just don’t taste the almond or the orange, mine are sachets though.


Teatotaler – be careful! If the snow melts during the day it will refreeze quickly as the temp drops toward evening…when you head to work. I live just blocks from the hospital and housed a couple of night shift folks during an ice storm years ago.
Lexie – I felt that the almond took the edge off the clove, but I agree that any orange was subtle. I have been enjoying the other Christmas teas that are fresh bright orange, like Nina’s Fete de Versailles, or the cherry and almond or coconut blends. Those are more to my liking!


“When I was a kid, everyone made “Russian Tea” at Christmas. I doubt the Russians have anything to do with it.” No, they have not. Russians do not put spices in their tea, like never.

I am looking for good holiday teas myself but this one has tasted quite meh for me.

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drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
2280 tasting notes

Quite by accident but oh so appropriately, this was my first tea of 2018! I have made many notes on it, so there isn’t much to say about the tea that hasn’t already been said. It is a great daily drinker, wonderful for breakfast or with a meal, cake, or pie, affordable enough that I don’t feel obligated to resteep although I can get a second pot out of it pretty reliably. It is tea that smells like TEA.

We are in the grip of what our Canadian friends would call normal weather but has us Southerners in a bread and milk buying panic. It is COLD. We are keeping the woodstove roaring and staying in as much as we can. Our hands chapped as soon as the temp went below 40F. Schools opened two hours late today. For real. The chicken’s water keeps freezing and has to be rejuvenated. And my hubby will have emergency hours at the military base tomorrow night to monitor conditions and handle emergencies. Middle daughter made him Snickerdoodles to ease that blow. Snow is uspposed to be coming in and eastern North Carolina does NOT know how to deal with that. Youve seen the meme of a car on fire and AT-AT walkers coming down the road? That’s where my daughter lives an hour from here!

We will be here keeping the home fires burning and drinking tea for about a week, waiting for the weather we love the South for to return.

Lexie Aleah

Mmmn Snickerdoodles always make everything better.


Keep those toes toasty! We’re experiencing the first real winter we’ve had for several years, and mercy, how people forget how to function with highs in the teens.

Comm Guy

After days of day drinking pretty much the same morning teas, I almost forgot how tasty the Queen Catherine blend is! I made a cup of this “to go” for an anticipated slow commute through the local snow and ice event. It was gone, and I was plenty warm enough to clear the path for co-workers when I got where I was going. I am happily enjoying another cup as I enjoy the view on a frigid Saturday morning.


The Queen is my loyal friend! Even if you forget her for a while, she is waiting for you and is as delightful as ever.

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drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
2280 tasting notes

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drank Olivia’s Cup of Bling by Custom
2280 tasting notes

As my bio states, I am a music teacher – a very blessed one! Yesterday a group of sisters that I teach surprised me with Christmas gifts, and one of the gifts was a tiny tin of tea that the young lady had blended out of her own stash just for me!

I am guessing at the ingredients but I see mostly black tea with some green leaves that are probably blackberry leaves. There are some red petals that the French Teas call poppy but Steepster wouldn’t let me add poppy flowers as an ingredient for some reason. There are also small chunks of sweet zest. (Yes, I ate one!)

The scent of the dry leaves was sweet and I thought I picked up a lot of bergamot. But the tea was completely different from the scent! I sipped it expecting a berry Earl Grey, but what I tasted was a smooth lemony tea. There is no astringency, just fresh, bright lemon taste and a hint of briskness, making me wonder if there is some high grown Ceylon in here as well. My daughter and I drank a pot of this last night, and youngest gave it a thumbs up immediately.

This young lady has done a good job of choosing teas to blend. She is always willing to try new foods at my house, and when she tried homemade kefir she was spot on describing what she was tasting. We may have a gifted culinary artiste on our hands!


What a lovely thoughtful gift!

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Well, looks like we are sick for Thanksgiving. Hubby first, then youngest and me, now middle daughter.

I’m still cooking , though! Whatever this is, we have a cough (mine has been held at bay by drinking pickle juice), headache, pressure in face, neck pain, and extreme tiredness. No fever, no nausea, little appetite.

I realized that I feel no worse doing little things than I do lying down, so we are forging ahead, although we may actually gather on Saturday instead of tomorrow – unsure.

Hence the reason for the tea the way it is right now. I don’t really want to eat but ought to have something, so I made a piece of toast and a bowl of matcha…DOUBLE STRENGTH. Most matcha would be really bitter made double strength, but I want this nutritious drink to battle this sickness in spades, so I gave it a go.

Not only is it still good, I am sure I feel better, too. Let the cooking commence!


Feel better!



Comm Guy

Hope you feel better soon! Enjoy the matcha and the belated celebration.

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drank Vanilla Apricot White by Tazo
2280 tasting notes

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I am a music teacher, tutor, and former homeschool mom (25 years!) who started drinking loose leaf tea about eight years ago! My daughters and I have tea every day, and we are frequently joined by my students or friends for “tea time.” Now my hubby joins us, too. His tastes have evolved from Tetley with milk and sugar to mostly unadorned greens and oolongs.

We have learned so much history, geography, and culture in this journey.

I am also reviewing for Sororitea Sisters now!

My avatar is a mole in a teacup! Long story…


North Carolina

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