123 Tasting Notes

drank Forever Nuts by DAVIDsTEA
123 tasting notes

This one comes from a swap with Marcel Duchamp! =)

Upon opening this one I was drooling. It smells so nutty (almonds and cashews?), sweet, and cinnamon-y! I wanted to eat all of the nuts, but then I wouldn’t have any tea, now would I?

Brewed it is much the same. It’s an amazing smell! I am getting a little bit of a tart apple smell, which I’m not too big on, but I’m hoping it isn’t a huge part of the taste.

Taste: Ok, so it all comes down to this: Is it as good as it smells? Ultimately…no. It’s not as good. That isn’t to say it isn’t good at all. I am picking up a nuttiness (although less pronounced than it was in the smell) combined with an almost buttery aspect. I am also getting really subtle spice notes. What I’m picking up that I am not a huge fan of is the apple. It’s tart and just not doing anything for me in this cuppa. I feel as though it throws off the nutty-buttery-spicy brew…although, I may be biased as I’m not a fan of apple teas. I really wish there was a bit more spice; this tea seems to be lacking that extra something. The buttery/nutty notes could also be a little stronger.

Overall, I am very happy to have tried this. I just wish it tasted more like it smelled. It isn’t bad, but it isn’t an absolute favorite. Would I take it if offered? Yes. Might I swap for it again in the future? Sure. Would I buy some for myself? Probably not.

Thanks again, Marcel! =)

Boiling 6 min, 15 sec

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So, I made this one iced today (dumb idea, because it’s now snowing super hard outside and I want something warm…). I was right – it is really good iced!

The watermelon is still a bit in the background and seems more like a general “melon” taste rather than true watermelon, but it’s still good. The blackberry is nice and sweet (not so tart like it was when made hot), and the honeybush adds a sweet aspect as well as a ceder-y aspect.

I really like this iced! Good for a honeybush blend!

Now I need to go and make something warm!

Thanks, again Alphakitty!

8 min or more

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Alysha was kind enough to send me some of this tea.

Dry, it smelled mostly of black tea, with hints of a mapley nature. Once brewed the maple notes stand out more, as does a buttery aspect.

Taste-wise, I pick up a stronger black tea aspect than the smell would point to, which is interesting. Luckily it isn’t bitter! That combined with the subtle buttery flavors as well as the light maple notes makes for a pretty good breakfast tea. I don’t think I’m getting a big pancake vibe, as the aspects are a little too subtle to combine that way, but it is tasty. It’s slightly sweet and surprisingly smooth.

Overall, I’m glad I got to try this one. I’m also glad I still have enough for two more cups! Might have some for “breakfast” tomorrow.

NOTE: I like this one better cooled off a bit – the buttery aspects come through a bit stronger that way. When it’s too hot, all I get is black tea.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

I had a similar experience. I didn’t find it that pancake-y either, so I figured I would try it again with more leaf. I wish they listed their steeping/measurement parameters!

Emily M

Me too! It can be tough trying to figure it out on your own.
I wouldn’t say this one was bad, just wasn’t what I was expecting. Gonna play with the time/amount a bit on the next cup.


52 tea blacks tend to be best in the 2-2.5 mark with water just under boiling (or boiled then cooled a little) or at least so far that i’ve found..

Emily M

Yeah, I think the 2 min mark has worked best for MOST black blends I’ve tried. Otherwise I risk bitterness.

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drank Cinnamon Roll Honeybush by 52teas
123 tasting notes

Sample sipdown! Thanks again, teapot1!

This one was calling my name this afternoon, so I had to have some. The smokey taste is still present, but it isn’t as powerful as I remember it being before. Added a little cream to this, and it made the icing notes come out a bit more in the taste, which was nice. The cinnamon and honeybush taste were also a little more balanced, and were both the most pronounced in the cuppa. A good after-lunch dessert tea!

Now for a quick run to the post office!

See previous tasting notes for a bit more detail.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

I’ve got some of this one on the way…can’t wait to try it! :D

Emily M

Hope you enjoy it!

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drank Strawberry Zabaglione by 52teas
123 tasting notes

Swap from Lariel!

I think I steeped this one a little too long, not that it’s bad, but I am tasting mostly the slightly bitter black tea base. There is a slight tart/sweet aspect and the mouthfeel is slightly thick (creamy). Going to retry this one a little later. It smelled so good when it was dry, so I know it was my bad.
No rating for now.


2-2.5 min is the sweet spot for this one typically :)

Emily M

Yeah. I think I let it go for a bit longer. Thanks for the suggestion – I think that’s what I’ll aim for next time.

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drank Weeping Angel Tea by 52teas
123 tasting notes

Swap from Alphakitty!

This one, once brewed, smells kinda like a hazelnut coffee…totally not what I expected. But it smells absolutely delicious!

What I’m getting in the tea is different, though. I’m getting the black tea base, some buttery popcorn taste, and a light caramel/toffee (toffee is a bit more pronounced) mixture. It kinda does remind me of coffee, actually…just not as potent. It’s a subtly sweet tea, with a nice toffee corn aspect. Reminds me of those Christmas-time popcorn ball things…only with black tea. Pretty good.

I’ll have to have the rest of this one while watching “Blink” with my sister when she comes home on Friday, just for reasons…

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

My favorite episode!

Emily M

=) It is pretty awesome!


!! I drank this one while watching Blink for the first time (w/my boyfriend) a week or two ago. Enjoy!

Emily M

Thanks! I will. =)

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drank Grape Oolong by Butiki Teas
123 tasting notes

Had some of this with the little sis today (11yrs old). She’s slowly being converted to tea fandom, and I think this one was a HUGE win! She loved the grape in this, and even picked up on the subtle floral notes. She’s a keeper, I think. ;)

Overview: Nice, natural purple grape taste, smooth mouthfeel, and subtle floral aspects. Had this one cold today because I left it on the counter and forgot about it. Still as good cold as it is hot! Floral aspects may be a bit more pronounced, though.

See previous note for more in depth taste notes.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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Alright. So I opened the bag of this one is POW! Lots of sweet marshmallowy smells came jumping out at me. I thought this would mean it was going to be super marshmallow tasting (oh no!), but once I scooped out a tsp and put it in the pot, the smell was much more balanced. I guess all together it was just too much!

The smell of this one dry is more marshmallow than anything else. There are the roasty/toasty genmaicha notes that I love so much, but it is mostly marshmallow. The scent DOES remind me a Marshmallow Treats, which is awesome. I used to love those when I was a kid.
Once brewed, the marshmallow calms down further, and the toasty notes of the genmaicha stand out a bit more. Yay! It still reminds me of treats, but now there is a little more depth to the smell. It’s both sweet AND toasty. The toasted rice smells awesome.

Taste-wise, I’m picking up subtle/mild marshmallow notes, and these are especially notable at the back of the sip. I’m picking up the toasty, earthy genmaicha the most – not a bad thing. The marshmallow root does add a sweetness to the genmaicha that is completely different and interesting. The marshmallow treat taste is there, it’s just not as heavy as it was in the smell – again, I don’t think this is a bad thing. Yes, I quite like it. The mouthfeel is very “fluffy”. It’s got a lot working for it. It’s not overly sweet, it allows the genmaicha to shine, and it brings back childhood memories. =)

Overall, I’d say this one is a win.

NOTE: Once it cools down a bit, the marshmallow becomes more detectable. I like it best after it sits for a few minutes.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

yum! jealous! :)


I’m also jealous. It was sold out by the time I woke up in the UK! Sounds really lovely, though. I can almost taste it.

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This wonderful sample came from TastyBrew!

Alright, so I could smell this one right through the ziplock, and boy what a smell! Cinnamon (sweet not spicy), sweet almond, buttery baked good notes…oh man, it’s all here. I’m trying to resist just eating it and all the almond bits in here. Why, Stacy? Why must you tempt me so?

Throwing it in the pot, pouring the boiling water, and now I’m just smelling it as it brews. The scent of this one is making me hungry.
This has much the same scent profile as it did dry, except that maybe the buttery baked notes are peeking in a bit more. The almond is sweet and strong (not too strong, though), and the cinnamon is also sweet and prominant. Drool.

Ok, now to the best (?) part of the tea experience – tasting it!!
Based on the smell, you’d think the almond and cinnamon would make for one cloyingly sweet tea. This is not at all the case. Though it is sweet, it’s a nice balanced sweetness. The nuttiness of the almond has emerged more in the brew, while the sweetness is a little more subtle. The cinnamon notes aren’t as strong as they were in the smell, but they are still around adding a sweet, warming aspect to the cup. The buttery cookie aspects seem to be mostly gone, but I do catch them here in there at the back of the sip. The black tea base has also decided to emerge after brewing, giving a off a mildly earthy/black tea element to the middle of the sip.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. Almonds are probably my FAVORITE nut (almond M&M’s anybody?)and I love me some cinnamon in tea. I wish the buttery notes I had gotten in the smell had translated a bit more readily in the cuppa, but overall I was very pleased. I think for the next cups worth I have, I’m going to add just a smidge of sugar and see what happens. But as this one stands now, I could see myself ordering some.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I heard the mailman…

Thank you, TastyBrew for parting with a bit of this yummy blend!

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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Swap from Alphakitty! This one smells so good!

I’m slowly getting through all the swaps people have sent me. Now that I’m on break, I’d imagine I’ll have more time to really sit and enjoy some teas.

Smell: Dry this one smells heavily like blackberry with hints of pomegranate. It’s also got a bit of a buttery scent to it, which I found in the one unflavored Shou Mei I had. Yum. Nice and sweet/refreshing. Once brewed it smells even better! Slightly tart, deliciously sweet, and FRUITY! I’m getting the blackberry mostly, but that’s totally ok. The pom is very light. The buttery scent of the Shou Mei (also a slight “earthy” flavor) adds a bit of depth to the cup. I can’t wait to drink this one!

Taste: The tartness is a little more evident in the taste, but it’s nicely balanced with the sweet notes. The blackberry is spot on, not candy-like or artificial. The pomegranate notes are also fresh and delicious, even if they are less pronounced. The cup is smooth, and the mellow white tea base is perfect here! Mildly buttery, earthy, and sweet. I’m also getting this wonderful cooling effect at the back of the sip…don’t know where it’s coming from, but it makes for a very refreshing cuppa.

Overall, I’d say this tea is a big win. Love the flavors, the mouthfeel, and the crisp, refreshing nature of the brew!

I know feel like I need to buy this tea! I need MORE. haha

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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Started brewing loose leaf tea about two years ago, so I’m still relatively new to the scene. Excited to share my experiences and learn more from everyone on here!

I’ve found I Prefer:

Oolong Teas
White Teas
Smooth Black Teas
Flavored White Teas
Flavored Black Teas (depending on the base tea)
Flavored Oolong Teas
Certain Herbals/Tisanes

I’ve found I Dislike:

Bitterness/Astringent Teas
Strong Floral Teas
Fruit Tisanes (at least hot)

Green Teas, Matcha, and Rooibos teas tend to be hit or miss with me. I guess it depends on the tea and my mood that day.

That being said, I’ll give anything a shot!

When I’m not brewing/sipping tea, I’m usually reading, listening to music, studying for classes, or in the summer, kayaking/camping/hiking! I also enjoy a good movie now and then. I’ve got quite the collection going. It almost rivals my tea collection! ;)

I’m currently searching for a nice, “non-grassy” tasting green tea that works well cold brewed. If you think you’ve found it, just send me the name/company and I’ll check it out.

Happy steeping!


Albany, NY

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