615 Tasting Notes

drank Vanilla Chai by English Tea Store
615 tasting notes

Tea #8 from Traveling Tea Box C

First thought “Holy crap they recommend a seven minute steep time?”

Second thought “Holy base, Batman!”

Third thought “You know. I never really liked chai…”

That said, it’s a brisk (and strong) black base and the chai spices aren’t super potent. Surprisingly, it’s not the spices that turn me off this. The base is a bit much for me, and has some very slight bitterness and some less slight astringency. The spices I got initially were clove and ginger then some cinnamon. They all intensified as the cup cooled. As it cools down I can pick up the vanilla, but it’s never really in the forefront. More like an afterthought that never got completely realized.

Hopefully there are some chai spice lovers further down the tea box!

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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drank Carrot Cake by Tealish
615 tasting notes

Tea #7 from Traveling Tea Box C

Maybe it’s because my last experience with a carrot cake tea was so bad, but I really liked this! I didn’t get carrot cake, but I liked what I got I guess. It kind of tastes like cooler weather.

First off, though, it doesn’t smell like Burt’s Bees Carrot Day Cream (I’m looking at you DAVIDsTEA…) which was a huge plus for me.

The black base here is mellow, and present but not overpowering. It does pick up some astringency as it cools as well. The taste was cinnamon-y and spiced (got a bit of nutmeg, maybe a tiny amount of all spice). I could get out-of-the-box spice cake out of this maybe, but it needs more richness, maybe some pineapple chunks or some creaminess or some depth before it hits the carrot cake mark.

I’m probably still going to take a couple more teaspoons from the tea box because this is totally blustery morning tea and we’re getting close to that time of year again.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

this review made me chuckle….. i love pineapple in my carrot cake. sigh.

Short Sorceress

I’ve never actually had a carrot cake with pineapple in it. Sounds like a yummy addition, I’ll have to try that next time I make one.

BrewTEAlly Sweet

Oh lowrd I must have! especially for the autumn season!!!

BrewTEAlly Sweet

I can’t wait!

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Tea #6 from Traveling Tea Box C

So, I ordered the Chocolate Lovers Try Me Sampler from Della Terra a couple months back and they must have been out of this, because they subbed in The Malt Shop in its place (which meant I ended up with two samples of The Malt Shop, but I digress) so I was looking forward to having a chance to try this.

I definitely get chocolate from the aroma, but in an artificial sort of way. It actually made me think of the Tonka Cupcake Dolls from the 80s/90s (You know. The ones that have the plastic skirt that flips up so they turn into cupcakes?) They had this kind of generic artificially sweet smell to them, and that’s what this triggered.

The taste is chocolate; dark chocolate at that. It’s not as artificial as some of the chocolate has been in the other Della Terra blends I’ve tried, but it still has that aftertaste of I really don’t care for. The base is just okay, too.

This was kind of a swing and a miss for me, though.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

I remember those dolls! Not the kind of chocolate aroma I want in my tea, for sure…


never heard of the dolls… liked the tea though. i added cream to mine…. maybe that killed the aftertaste?


Latte-izing them usually makes Della Terra’s chocolate flavor so much better for me (ie killing the aftertaste), so it definitely a possibility :)

Short Sorceress

I still have a few chocolate teas left from Della Terra so I’ll keep that in mind. I didn’t particularly care for any of the Chocolate Lovers Try Me Sampler except for s’mores.

BrewTEAlly Sweet


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Tea #5 from Travelling Tea Box C

I wanted to like this one more. The dry leaf smells really tasty, and the idea just sounds like something I should love.

I only really tasted the oats and black base. The oatmeal flavor was true and definitely had kind of a simultated heartiness that stuck. I didn’t get much in the way of either maple or brown sugar. There’s a sweet note at the tail of each sip, but it’s immediately followed by some astringency that I really wasn’t expecting and didn’t care for. I also think the base was too strong for something that needed to be more subtle.

I tried adding maple syrup as a way to sweeten and add mapley goodness, but it only added sweetness and made the base a little metallic almost.

The bowl of actual maple and brown sugar I made after drinking this tasted better.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Tea #4 from Traveling Tea Box C

So. The last time I tried drinking a tea named after a liquored drink, I was sorely disappointed in that it tasted nothing like an Appletini. So here I am with something named after a Grasshopper, which is another tasty drink that a swap of would be awesome, because cross-my-heart I’m not an alcoholic.

I brewed up a cup of this for Fiance and I (Because he asked! My tea clutches are sinking in.) and found that this tea nails a grasshopper surprisingly well. It’s more complex for sure (and obviously not quite the same), but the concept translated really well.

The honeybush (which I just learned I like so much more than rooibos) has a slightly spicy bite, and overall almost almond-y flavor and ends sweet, which ties in well with the creamy sweetness of the chocolate and vanilla smoothness. The mint is bright, but not overwhelming.

I could totally see this making an excellent latte. Or undoing the lack of alcohol by making it a latte with some Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur. That would probably be amazing.

There’s probably enough in the bag yet for 2-3 cups (that I may or may not share with Fiance) so I’m yoinking this out of the box. :)

Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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drank Godiva Roche by English Tea Store
615 tasting notes

So. Fiance and I went up north(ish) to have a weekend of kayaking, swimming, mini golfing, bonfires and general amusement. The plan was originally to head home tomorrow afternoon sometime, but we left tonight to avoid the traffic. We still got in everything but the swimming, so it’s all good. Definitely heading back up over labor day to spend some time with my sister and her boyfriend.

Tea #3 from Traveling Tea Box C

There’s quite a bit of stuff in this box with little or no caffeine, and while my caffeine addiction might not be thrilled with this, the part of me that likes going to bed at a reasonable hour is ecstatic.

The dry smell of this tea is sweet and desserty and has a nice subtle vanillaness to it. Brewing though, I can definitely pick up the rooibos. That being said, this tea has a nice vanilla sweetness that comes through in the forefront, and a natural cocoa note lingers at the tail of the sip. It also goes down really nice and smooth. This isn’t enough to mask the rooibos though, as the other 90% of the flavor is rooibos.

Honestly, rooibos and I are still at odds. It’s starting to taste less like cedar chips now, but I’m still not in love with the flavor so this is definitely not really a tea for me.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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drank Ceylon Star by DAVIDsTEA
615 tasting notes

Tea #2 from Traveling Tea Box C

I really like black licorice (Yeah. I’m that person.) So tea with anise sounded heavenly. Especially without any of the typical masala chai spices.

I brewed this a little strong (about one teaspoon for five ounces of water), because I have an issue with non-fruity Davids blends turning out really sad if I don’t.

I’m really torn on this tea. I don’t taste any coconut. At all. And the chocolate does leave that kind not-so-good-but-not-quite-horrible articial aftertaste. But the hard hitting anise followed by a cocoa sweetness is so good. It’s like drinking really mild black licorice and then eating a Hershey’s kiss.

It kind of fails as an anise/coconut/chocolate mix because one third of that is just…missing. And if I was looking for a chocolate tea, this wouldn’t be it either. But I’m actually really, really surprised how much I like this and it’s licorice-y goodness.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

I love black licorice too, but I really didn’t like this tea The flavors were all over the place!


You’re not alone…love black licorice. I’ve avoided this one, but will now re-think a possible purchase.

Hesper June

I like black licorice too. I think I got that from my dad, he loves the stuff:)


I really didn’t think the flavors were all over, mostly because I only really picked up the tea, cocoa, and anise. I don’t think it was what it set out to be, for sure, but in the end I liked it for the anise more than anything.


I’m so glad I’m not alone in black licorice love. My family thinks I’m mad!

Short Sorceress

I love black licorice, and I really wanted to love this tea because it smells so good steeping, but I thought this was such an odd tasting tea. I would have liked it much better without the chocolate in it.


It was odd. But good odd for me, so I’m not complaining :) Honestly, I would really love something like a black tea base with licorice and orange. Which probably sounds really weird, but ornage sherbet with Good n Plenties is pretty much awesome.

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Tea #1 from Traveling Tea Box C

There was only enough of this for one cup, so I snagged it because blueberry tea in pretty much any form is something I end up liking.

There are so many blueberries here! Before I looked closer I initially mistook this for an herbal!

The tea brews up kind of a ruddy browny purpley color that honestly looked better in my cup than the gravity steeper. But the smell was amazing. It smells like blueberry dessert or hot jammy goodness. So good.

I think the smell might have lifted my expectations higher than they would have been otherwise, but this didn’t blow me away. It’s still really good, and the blueberry taste comes through and is delightfully blueberry-y and natural, and there wasn’t a weird stevia aftertaste like I was dreading. The base is simple and inoffensive.

It’s definitely a simple, but solid blend. I’m warming up to David’s little by little.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

It is so much better cold steeped. I agree, the smell was so heavenly I expected way more than it gave in the end. But since I had 50 grams I had enough to play around. Sadly, it sounds like you don’t have that luxury.


I definitely got the feeling it would be better cold steeped. I could seriously just steep small amounts of this tea and smell it. It’s like gooey blueberry pie filling.

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I guess this is kind of a double review, because I finally got around to snooping in semi-local teashops. Fava Tea Co. is about 30ish minutes from home for me, but worth the trip. They have 300 or so blends and some neat flavored rock sugars (actually think the lemon one would be amazing in this). The associates were super friendly and it was really just a fun experience!

There’s also a teashop opening much closer (5ish minutes away) this weekend that I’m super hyped to scope out.

But onto the tea!

I really like teas with herbs like this. They have a kind of savory flavor depth offered by the herb. This was no exception. :)

I brewed this double strong hot, and then served it iced. The base was nice and raisin-y, but there were no clear toasted notes, but maybe a little bit of light earthiness. The basil offered a nice green layer of flavor that really complemented the dry fruitiness present. It also paired well with the lemon, making it more refreshing than I had initially expected with the base.

The lemon flavor was spot on and natural tasting. Maybe a little sharper than I was expecting, but it wasn’t overpowering in anyway. It was definitely the star of this cup, but it did help bring everything together for a lovely, cohesive and well-executed idea. I’m usually averse to the idea of sweeteners, and this doesn’t necessarily need any, but I would like to try this with honey (or rock sugar) and see what it does to the flavor profile.

I’m excited to try this warm. It kind of reminds me of something I’d drink when I was a little down. It’s lemony and bright and comforting.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec

oooo, dunno if i would like this, but there is an element of intrigue! lol.


It was just intriguing enough I had to impulse buy it. But I’m finding herbs in tea aren’t nearly as weird as they sound.

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The dry leaf smells like sweet butterscotch candy, surprised me just a little because the ingredients list isn’t quite what you’d expect for butterscotch.

I appreciate the white base they used here because I think it might have sat too heavily otherwise. The mouthfeel as it stands is still mildly heavy and rich. It really captures the essence of being smooth and buttery without overdoing it.

The flavor is a nice savory butterscotchiness that isn’t too terribly sweet, but captures the essence of the candy. There’s a nice spiced note at the tail of the sip that is cinnamon-y and a perfect end note.

I could see sweetener being nice in here, but I really think it was pretty awesome as is.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Name: Lauren
Location: Wisconsin (previously a Chicago girl)
Occupation: Student by day and super hero by night
Super Hero? Yep!
Which One? I can’t tell you that! Secret identities and such. Just know I’m not the hero they want, but the hero they need.
Sidekicks: Fiance and two budgies, Skitter and Gandalf


Reading, writing, cooking, video games, computers, drawing, crafting, papercraft. Oh and tea.

A brief history:

I grew up in a family where the only working coffee maker was in my dad’s office. So the name of the game for my mother and I quickly became (bagged) tea. In 2004/2005, I discovered Adagio Teas. I don’t remember how it happened, or why I decided to pursue a purchase but here we are. I haven’t looked back.

My tea tastes have changed over time and I’ve moved from liking solely flavored teas (mostly black and white) to enjoying Darjeelings primarily, though malty unflavored blacks, fresh tasting greens, and lightly oxidized oolongs come in pretty high on my list, too. Of course, I still enjoy a good cup of flavored tea. I prefer caffeinated teas, as I have a horrible caffeine addiction that I don’t plan on kicking any time soon.

Red rooibos and lapsang souchong (or other strongly smoky teas) are my arch nemeses and I will see them defeated and removed by force from my cupboard. Like all thing, there are exceptions, but I assume they’re guilty until proven innocent.

I really don’t like negatively rating things, because I feel like if you don’t have something nice to say, you probably shouldn’t say it. But in the interest of non-biased tea reviews I’m going to give it a shot. I view every tea as a potential adventure so I’ll try most things at least once.

I love trading and swaps are always welcome! Please note, though, what it in my cupboard includes amounts ranging from a couple cups to 4 ounces or more, so please PM me to find out if what you’re seeking is available in that trade amount.

According to my spreadsheet, I also have about 100 other 1-4 cup samples that are not in my cupboard.. Feel free to message if you’re interested in see the spreadsheet for possible swap options as well.

Tea Ratings:

100-95 Nectar of the teagods that has been bestowed upon my unworthy tongue. I will never let this tin run empty.

86-94 These are the teas I would like to keep regularly stocked, but sometimes life gets in the way. Lovely teas, but not quite god tier. I still get cravings for these.

74-85 Good teas, but not amazing. I enjoy these, but may or may not restock once they run out. I would still recommend these to others.

60-73 Not bad. I’ll gladly keep drinking my cup, and wouldn’t say no if someone offered me this tea. I probably won’t rebuy these as there is likely something else that is comparable and better.

47-59 Certainly drinkable and might even have some characteristics that I enjoy, but I won’t pick it up again

30-46 I’ll probably finish my cup, but this tea isn’t to my taste OR it’s just overwhemingly mediocre. Life’s too short for bad tea.

11-29 This cup is in the sink now and I will never willingly consume this again. If you see a tea rated this way, I probably followed it with mouthwash.

0-10 Please say a prayer for the cup I destroyed in the process of disposing of this tea in the quickest manner possible. I may need tea therapy before I drink a similar tea again.


Wisconsin, US



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