365 Tasting Notes

My drinking pattern the past few days has been to start the day with a smoky or chai-like kapow black tea which is then followed up with milder flavoured something, white or green, in the afternoon.

This was today’s afternoon choice because I need to make my way through this tea. Drinkable, but I am not a fan really. The balance of flavours is good, but the spiced citrus paired with green tea doesn’t work for me. This, of course, could just be my particular bias and not the tea’s fault at all.

Flavors: Citrus, Spices

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Seem to have a passion for smoky teas these days despite the glorious weather. Can’t seem to wrap my head around there being bergamot in this blend. To me, it’s cherry. And cherry tends to equal here, have some chocolate.

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I don’t know what it is doing outside, but inside it feels chilly and damp, which to me is the ideal weather for something smoky.

This is my second day drinking Outlaw from the sample that Dexter so generously shared with me when we met up for our city walk. Yesterday, the cups didn’t leave much of an impression. It was just kind of ok. Perhaps I had steeped too briefly. Today, however, boom—I am definitely enjoying this smokiness and the faintest whiff of cherrywood. Nothing froo-froo about this at all. A solid masculine tea. Love this.

Sometimes, it takes a few cups to find one’s way around a tea. Delighted to have another cup or two of this to enjoy.

Thank you, Dexter. Good call, this.

Flavors: Cherry Wood, Smoke, Smooth

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Awesome. Happy you are enjoying it. :)

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Yes, seriously delicious. Especially when this is exactly what you feel like drinking on a day which started out with rain, mist, and cold feet. Just the right amount of everything.

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drank White Christmas by 52teas
365 tasting notes

Hurray for meeting tea friends! :)
Dexter and I met up for a wee walk around town and a cup of genmaicha and Thai tea ice cream. All kinds of deliciousness.

This is one of the teas that I had packed in my bag for the day.

I like this one a lot. Generally, I am not a fan of mint. I might even go so far as to say that mint scares me, so it took me months to get around to opening this. Pleasant surprise. The marshmallow and delicate chocolate soften up the mint. I will have no difficulty at all making my way through the small quantity that I have. I wish I had more of this on hand. It’s a lovely lift both at home and in my travel mug on the go.

Flavors: Cacao, Marshmallow, Peppermint

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

You don’t like mint…I may need to review the teas I intend to share…




I only packaged 2 mint teas for you so I left them but I will be mindful to not add more

Evol Ving Ness

Not to worry, not to worry, you can add them. I like to try things. And I like to surprise myself. Also, I think we may be moving on to 88. :)


Hahaha well I have yet to start packing the 66 but when I get there we’ll see how many teas I have left to try.

Evol Ving Ness

No rush. I have been slow, very slow. My first step is to corral things and then be able to still locate what I’ve corralled the next day.

Evol Ving Ness

VariaTEA, do you by any chance have any Queen Catherine by H & S? If you have enough to spare, could you add some to our exchange bag? Oh, and the QTT Peeps one, also if you have enough on hand to part with. If you have any that your heart longs for, please mention them. I might have them, or not, of course.


Evol, I don’t have any Queen Catherine and no Peeps yet. I’m sorry.

Evol Ving Ness

Not to worry. Thought I’d ask. If the stars are aligned, my own peeps might be coming.


your peeps are ordered…i’m guessing we’ll see that order sometime in may.

Evol Ving Ness

Yay! Thank you, Sil.

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This tea is the business.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Smoke

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

..and this is how I get sucked in to buying a bunch of Chinese black teas before my official Chinese black tea revival of 2018. :0

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Perhaps it is my steeping technique, but I am not getting any richness here. Apple, yes. Cinnamon, yes. Very light black base. Not satisfying to me. Just not my cup of tea. Back into the box it goes. Perhaps others will have better luck with it.

Thank you, Ubacat, for adding this one to the box.

Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Note to self—-you do not actually need any more tea.

My real tea obsession began in February 2015.

Not, sadly, when I had been living and working in China, though I very much enjoyed sampling a variety of teas during my travels there as well. No, no, that would have been far too sensible.

I am a reformed coffee drinker. I still enjoy a long double espresso with a good quantity or milk or cream from time to time, but for now, tea is my thing. All day.

I tend to drink black, green, or oolong tea in the morning to early afternoon. Rooibos or
Honeybush or herbal in the evening. And perhaps some sort of sleepy-type tea in the wee hours.

This year, I’ve been discovering flavoured teas, so it may look like that is all I drink although that would provide a false impression.

Not a big fan of chocolate or mint in teas, but I will try them and, from time to time, have been pleasantly surprised. Also, usually I dislike a prominent cinnamon flavour, if untempered with other things, in teas. Again, I say usually, because there are exceptions.

Also, please note that haven’t quite gotten into the habit of updating my tea cupboard on Steepster, and it is unlikely that I will do this on any kind of regular basis.

I drink my tea black and unsweetened. If there comes a rare moment that I add something to it, I will mention it.

Finally, while I thank large and successful tea companies for tantalizing and beckoning me to the world of tea, I prefer to support independent ventures with real people, real enthusiasm and commitment, and real dreams.

Currently, I am researching monthly tea subscriptions. Perhaps it will keep me out of tea shops.

And here is Shae’s rating scale— which I am using with permission, of course— which more or less describes the way I have been rating teas. I am going to make more of an effort to stay very close to these parameters now.

Rating Scale

1-20: By far, one of the worst teas I’ve tasted. I most certainly will not finish my cup and will likely “gift” the rest to my sweet husband who almost always enjoys the teas I dislike (and vice versa).

21-40: This tea is not good but if I mix it with another tea or find another steeping method I might be able to finish it.

41-60: This one is just okay. I might drink it again if someone were to give it to me, but I probably won’t be buying more for myself.

61-75: This is a consistently good tea. It’s reliable but not necessarily special.

76-90: This one is a notch above the rest and I would gladly enjoy a cup of it any day of the week. I’ll likely be keeping this in my cupboard, but it isn’t one of my all-time favorites.

91-95: One small change and this tea would be perfect. I’ll definitely have a stash of this in my kitchen if you come over for tea.

96-100: No words can describe this tea. It’s an experience, an aha moment. Closed eyes, wide smile, encompassing warmth. Absolutely incredible. Perfect.


Mostly, but not always, Toronto, Canada.

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