119 Tasting Notes


Another from the Literary Tea Collection I bought myself last Christmas. Years ago, I toured The Mount (her home in Lenox, MA) while they were renovating it. The grounds are lovely. I was required to read Ethan Frome in high school and have picked up a few of her other writings over the years.

I’ve been enjoying this one over the last few weeks. Today I broke out the Christmas tea set and made a pot of tea while avoiding the pile of work on my desk. It has a light floral taste. I don’t notice the citrus or ginger that others mention on the SV website. It’s a decent cup of tea but doesn’t excite me. I will continue use it until it’s been used up but not on my “must re-order” list.

Flavors: Floral, Flowers

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I’m a huge Austen fan and recently went to a wedding of a friend who shares my love of all things Austen. This tea was one of the reasons I picked up the Literary Collection gift box. I almost sent it to my friend as well and honestly, I might do that for her birthday.

I did have this tea last week but cold season has hit our house and I couldn’t taste anything. Today it tastes much better. I wasn’t sure what I was going to think about the spearmint and lavender combo but it works well together. I’m reminded of a lavender cookie I had once. It’s a nice sip for a quiet afternoon.

Flavors: Lavender, Spearmint, Vanilla

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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drank Mango Green Organic by Harmony
119 tasting notes

A neighbor was gifted this collection of Harmony Organic Teas and regifted it to me. It was a pretty collection of their teas that look like books on a shelves in cardboard boxes with 10 bags each in side. The outer package still had the sticker from Marshalls/TJMaxx.

I have had a few of these teas so far and have been underwhelmed. The envelop for the tea bag is plastic coated paper. The tea bag itself is a flimsy paper bag resembling a paper towel. The the leaf is tiny, tiny dust particles.

I steeped this one in 195F water for 4 minutes as recommended. There is a slight aroma of mango while steeping, definitely not strong. It has a clear pretty yellow/brown coloring. The tea does have a mango flavoring to it but definitely not overpowering. I think I taste it because I’m anticipating it to be there. There is more grassy flavor than anything else. It feels rough on the back of my throat. Over all, I’m disappointed in the tea and probably will use it to make ice teas or try my hand at tea infused spirits.

Flavors: Grass, Mango

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Good ole TJMAXX. The place for odd ball tea finds. XD I found a really good company once called Island Rose. Best earl grey I’ve ever had but then they switched to doing two concentrates intead. it was a sad day

Jen vB

Ohhh that is sad.
Every time I’m in a “TJMaxx” store I always hit up their tea section. You never know what you will find!

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Part of the Literary Tea Collection Gift Box I bought a while ago. I have to say, reading the ingrediants and descriptions, this is not something I would purchase. I had a friend over the other day who had shared in the disappointing experience with the Banana Bread Chai. I offered him a cup of tea and said I wanted to open a new tea. It was a gloomy night and Poe seemed appropriate. There was a party going on around us but we both were pleased with the tea and loved that it was a reddish hue (Tell-tale Heart Style, we thought).
Today is my second tasting of the tea. This time, it’s morning, and generally when I’m able to play on Steepster. I may have steeped it a minute or 2 more than recommended but it didn’t seem to ruin the cup. I love the earthiness and smoke flavors, which is something I didn’t ever think I would say. I don’t think this is a tea I would drink every day but it is one I definitely would repurchase and enjoy. Especially on a gloomy November day when winter is creeping closer.

Flavors: Campfire, Earthy, Smoke

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

It’s too dry here to be good Poe weather just yet, but that sounds absolutely appropriate.


I love this one too, have a tin of it. Sometimes its better than other times (odd, I know), but I drink it quite a bit as one of my main go-to teas.


I have a tin of it too!

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I’m not sure that I’ve read Frankenstein. I know the story and have seen movies but I may have to put the novel on my list. This tea seemed appropriate for the spooky season.

I steeped the tea at 175 for close to 3 minutes to avoid bitterness. I had read that others made the mistake of steeping at higher temps. It’s a pretty golden color. The aroma is very artificial to me. I think it’s the addition of cacao and chocolate flavoring. I want a stronger blackberry taste.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

I listened to the audiobook on YouTube! Not a favorite, but it’s interesting to see how all the different media portrayals vary from the original.

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drank Beach Bellini by Teavana
119 tasting notes

I was gifted this last Christmas and have 2 tea bags left. I like this as a mid day cup of tea but I have to be in the right mood for it (I think that’s true for most teas though!). I drank this mostly through the spring and summer. Its a warm day today and I want to make some space in the cabinet. I don’t like the plastic packaging it comes in. The container is shaped like to-go cup and it fits awkwardly in my cabinet.
The tea has a light yellow tint to it. It’s light and fruity- mostly pineapple and mango but I get hints of peach too though that’s not in the ingredients. It does leave a bit of a syrupy feeling in my mouth after but not unpleasantly.
I still miss Teavana shops and I’m pretty sure I tried it there when the shops were in operation. If I saw this on sale at the local Target, I’d probably pick it up again.

Flavors: Peach, Pineapple, Tropical Fruit

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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I purchased a ton of this last year to make Tea Trees (trees made out of tea bags) for a Christmas Swap. I finally am getting around to having a mug myself. I’m positive I’ve had this out at a restaurant or at a friend’s home. Bigelow is very common in the grocery stores and discount stores.
I steeped it for just over 2 minutes, probably closer to 4 minutes. It reminds me of Wrigleys Spearmint Gum. Which makes sense as this tea bag is black tea and spearmint. I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a stick of it before. I also am not sure when else I’ve had spearmint aside from tea and that gum.
I feel like I should have used it this summer to make sun tea with some of my fresh peppermint. Pretty sure my oldest kid will like this one. The others in the home don’t care for mint flavoring. I know that visitors would recognize it and pick it out of the tea stash. Pretty sure it’s a favorite of my mother in law’s too. It’s not a favorite tea but a “make do with what you have tea” for me.

Flavors: Spearmint

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

I got one of those little trees from a work friend—loved the idea!

Jen vB

It was so easy to do. The hardest part was sourcing tea bags that had green wrappers


Mine had several different Harney & Sons varieties, which I had never seen in conventional paper bags before.

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When I purchased my 2022 advent calendar, I was intrigued by the chai line up. I saw that the gingerbread would in the advent calendar so I ordered the Banana Bread Chai. We had unexpected guests on Saturday, one of which is known to make banana bread regularly. I brewed up a pot for us all. While we all enjoyed the tea, none of us thought it was like banana bread.
This afternoon, I made another pot for me and the kids. Since it was with the kids, I added a splash of milk in my cup as well. I enjoyed the tea much more and this time, it vaguely reminded me of grilled and buttered banana bread- heavy on the butter. I like the heat of the ginger and cinnamon in this blend; it’s not too strong but enough kick to warm me. Probably going to add a little sugar with the milk in the next mug.

Flavors: Butter, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Ginger

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML
Cameron B.

Yeah I felt the same way, not like banana bread and oddly heavy on the ginger.

Roswell Strange

I’m with you both – way too much ginger and not enough banana.

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Tourist tea…. a gift from my parents last trip to Canada. Granted we have this in the New England area as well. It came in a neat little wooden box with a vacuum sealed bag containing 12 tea bags. Since today is Canadian Thanksgiving, it seemed appropriate.
The tea bags look like typical cheap, fine powered tea and remind me of Red Rose or Lipton. I grabbed my favorite mug and steeped for just under 5 minutes. It’s a nice clear light brown color and smells like any other black tea. Then I ran up to get laundry as it cooled some. I don’t find it super sweet, which I was surprised by. I don’t equate this tea with maple syrup but definintely with the scents of a maple sugaring off. I didn’t add anything to it but I do have some maple sugar in the house. I might experiment with that.
I liked this and while I know it’s a touristy thing, I probably would pick it up again especially for any maple gift baskets I put together. I’m sure it’s found in all the local maple sugar shacks in the area

Flavors: Maple

Boiling 4 min, 45 sec 10 OZ / 295 ML

Oooh…maple candy! Metropolitan Tea does flavored tea very well.

Jen vB

@gmathis being outside of Boston, I’m curious to know how good the Boston Tea Party tea is.


If I tried that one, it’s been too long for me to remember. One that I did like and bought in foolishly large quantities as a newbie was their Monk’s Blend.

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It’s funny to read other tasting notes and see only reviews from 7-14 years ago. It appears that Steepsters either loved it or hated it then. This is a tea that Mighty Leaf has kept on the market and can be found pretty regularly. I believe I picked it up at the grocery store.
There wasn’t a strong scent to the tea bag. I accidentally steeped it at a higher temp than I normally would. Once I realized how hot the water was, I steeped it for approximately 2 1/2 minutes. Seems like I didn’t screw it up too badly. The color was a nice yellow. It smelled faintly of pineapples and mango. I was reminded of a random “tropical” tea that I picked up at a grocer in Aruba many years ago. It was just fruity enough without being overpowering.

Flavors: Green, Mango, Pineapple

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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In the early 2000’s, my brother worked for a grocery company that removed items from the shelves and I ended up with a cabinet filled with random tea.

After I finished that cabinet, I started trying new things and exploring the world of tea. Still exploring, still learning, and loving this community.

I tend to take my tea with no additions and quite hot. Though often I find myself having to reheat my mug due to distractions. I’m partial to herbals, white tea, green, and blacks. But I really will try anything once.


New England

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