545 Tasting Notes


Yesterday I picked this tea to drink because I hadn’t had it in awhile and it was a fave of mine before. I notice I’ve only logged it once, I think I was drinking during The Great Unlogged Period and I haven’t had it since. Wow.

So sometimes you remember really liking a tea then you don’t have it for awhile and when you do again, that isn’t the case. That is, you might still like but not as omg so good much. That totally wasn’t the case with this tea. I thoroughly enjoyed my mugs of it yesterday as much I used to.

Coming up next: I had Harney & Sons’ Ginger Peach black tea for the first time this morning! Yum!

2nd steep: 20+ mins

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

That’s a long second steep – did you forget about it? ;)

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

lol Nope. I found a bit before Christmas that, for me, just leaving black teas steeping 20+ mins somehow gives a fuller flavored 2nd steep (for those blacks that do 2nd steep okay) than just adding several minutes to the original steep time. Idk why this is so. But it works for me. lol So I’ve just been putting them on to steep, noting when 20 mins is from that time, and coming back sometime after the 20 mins is up. For some teas, it’s a noticeable difference to me and for others, not as much. It’s just become common practice.

Okay, that was waaay too long an explanation. The first time I did it though, it was an accident. And I was just really pleased with the results. So I tried it again with the same tea the next time I made it. Then other teas. Also, since it’s a second steep, the black teas do to get bitter with the lengthy time.

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The fourth and last bagged tea of the day yesterday. I pretty much always take a cup of tea upstairs with me when I’m staying at my parents and they go up to bed way earlier than I would go to bed and I take a laptop upstairs and game/chat online in bed. This was the only non-caffeinated kind of tea they had open so this is what I went with. I figured I’d had enough black tea for the day.

Overtime, I’ve found that I need to steep these Celestial Seasonings zinger-style teas at the lower end of the recommended steeping time. I don’t hate hibiscus because I like tart things. But I like to make it on the least tart side. So I’m upping my rating 5 points (decent bagged tea range is 40-50) on this one because it’s a lot better than before I figured that out. But this one still remains one of my least favorite zinger-style herbals because it has a bitter bite/sour bite/sharpness to it that I don’t get with the others. Which sucks because I like the peachiness and tartness of it just fine for a warm mug to idly sip at.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Alchemist's Fire

I’m surprised to hear you found this one tart or sour, I haven’t found that with mine at all.

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The third bagged tea of the day yesterday. My dad and I had teas while my mom was at a finance meeting in the evening (she’s the office manager/accountant at her workplace). He boiled the water, started a cup for himself, then asked me if I wanted anything while the water was hot. Yay for tea with dad!

So I picked this to have with milk and a touch of honey because for some odd reason honey vanilla chai sounded good then. I knew I was going to add milk to it so I steeped it the maximum recommended time. I got a mug of creamy honey spiced black tea. All of those things vaguely. But sweet and desserty so I enjoyed sipping while studying. He watched investment/finance channel shows then a vintage/older (think 80s)/sports cars auction show. Dads lol.

I’m not rating this tea right now because I made it with milk and honey and did not get a true sense of what the tea itself tasted like. But it would have definitely fallen within the nice bagged tea range this way.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Second bagged tea of the day yesterday. Definitely peachy. With a bite that is supposed to be ginger and I could identify as ginger, but was also a kind of off ginger taste. Not quite sure how to explain. It wasn’t yucky or anything. Black tea base was a little lighter than the previous tea, but I could still taste it. I cannot remember if I steeped this one for 3 or 4 minutes, but it was one of the two.

Drank when my mom got home. We both had cups of tea. And while studying briefly before dinner, which was thick cut breaded but baked pork chops with grainy mustard, black pepper roasted brussel sprouts, and sweet potato gnocchi with cinnamon and brown sugar browned butter.

Rating this one a 55 (nice bagged tea range 50-60).

200 °F / 93 °C

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I spent yesterday at my parent’s studying in their empty quiet house while they were at work. And I drank a lot of bagged teas. So here comes the bagged teas recap.

This one was a solidly nice bagged fruity black. I can taste the black tea, it’s not bitter or overwhelming or underwhelming. And I can taste tart fruit that is reminiscent of pomegranate. At least, it doesn’t taste like generic tart berry, that is to say.

I made all of these in a big pottery mug, which most of my parent’s are, and enjoyed sipping them as I studied.

I’m rating this one a 58 (nice bagged tea range is 50-60).

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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drank Earl Black by 52teas
545 tasting notes

I was going to drink one of the remaining two white teas I have from the previous year’s 12 teas of Christmas. But then decided I’d rather have this one. I enjoyed 4 tasty steeps yesterday. The leaf possibly could have gone another steep or more. I still think it tastes just like 52teas Black Current Bi Mu Dan and cannot really taste the bergamot over the black current.

As a side note, I really wish I’d tealogged all my 12 teas the first time I drank them because I do not think I’m going to remember my initial thoughts on them as well by the time I have them a second time.

2nd steep: 1 min 30 sec. 150 F.
3rd steep: 2 mins. 155 F.
4th steep: 2 mins 30 sec. 160 F.

This parameters worked fine. Possibly could have gone 3 mins on the 4th steep.

150 °F / 65 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Left this one resteeping on the counter last night when I went to bed because I didn’t want to lose the second steep from it. Took out the tea when I woke up and lidded it. Drank it later in the day while studying and mmm!

First steep last night was at an increased time. I’ve been increasing the steeping times on all my honeybushes to 7 minutes and 30 seconds then sometimes 10 minutes to see if it makes any difference. I’ve found that it does seem too. This one was also good with the increase but I’m not sure I’m getting as much of a difference as I have with some of the others I have. But I did drink it up awfully quickly.

205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 30 sec

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I’ve had this at least twice but apparently I haven’t written a tasting note for it yet. So this time, as an experiment, I cut open the sachet and measured the tea to see how much was in it and how much water I should be using. It turned out double the amount I use in a standard mug. So I used a big mug this time. What prompted this was that I remember the tea being overly strongly flavored before.

This first steep was eminently sipable so I think it was the right track. Still most heavy on the clove, I can also definitely taste the almond and think I can find the cinnamon. The citrus I cannot taste except maybe in that I detect a juicy quality. So while this tea is a bit bitter from the clove, it’s not at all astringent or drying. The second steep was light but spiced and drinkable. Both mugs were consumed while studying with some gaming in between.

I’m rating this a 68 (upper end of my nice range) for now while I tinker with it.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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On the fifth day of Christmas, 52teas gave to me Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake black tea.

(Backlogging. 3 days ago. Tuesday morning.)

I opened this packet and thought it was a chai. lol. I was so wrong. For this tea, I could taste the caramel definitely, the pumpkin some, and a creaminess that might have been cheesecake. It was a good cup. Second steep was too weak. Would not resteep in the future.

2nd steep: 20+ mins.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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drank Earl Black by 52teas
545 tasting notes

On the fourth day of Christmas, 52teas gave to me Earl Black.

(Backlogging. 4 days ago. Monday afternoon.)

Upon cutting open the packet, I immediately identified the smell as Black Current Bai Mu Dan and thought we had gotten that before I pulled out the label. Taste-wise, the first and third steeps tasted pretty much identical to what I remember the Black Current Bai Mu Dan tasting like. The second steep I thought I could taste some citrus from the bergamot. The fourth steep was close to too watery to be drinkable and I prolly wouldn’t do again.

I’m rating this 74 same as the Black Current Bai Mu Dan.

2nd steep: 2 mins, 150 F
3rd steep: 3 mins, 160 F
4th steep: 4 mins, 160 F

150 °F / 65 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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I’m 33 years old, studying pharmacy, and have a surly cat named Bin. I love tea, coffee, beer, wine, and most things food and beverage related. I also love music, movies, reading, writing, and learning new things.

I’ve drank tea all my life but about five to six years ago, my close friend Spautz got into tea and got me more into tea. I drink black teas and tisanes/herbals most. Since receiving a variable temperature kettle from my parents for Xmas this past year, I’ve been drinking more greens, oolongs, and whites. I’m very very new to puerh. That is, I’ve had only one.

Ratings scale:
90-100 Awesome
80-90 Great
70-80 Good
60-70 Nice
50-60 Decent
40-50 Drinkable
30-40 Meh
0-30 Awful

Would I order this again ranking:
5 – definitely
4 – likely
3 – maybe
2 – neutral
1 – no


Charleston, SC

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