615 Tasting Notes


I agree with Shmiracles! This is a really clever blend.

Strong and sweet really does sum it up. And works perfectly in taste and for the character. Those make for the most fun blends too.

This starts with just the tiniest bit of smoke and malt then quickly turns into almond and cocoa and cinnamon — cookies really.

These blends are also making me want to marathon it again. Gaaaaaaah.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Donovan might be my favourite of the Sherlock teas, as much as I hate to admit it!


Oh wow, really? Added to my list…

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drank Earl Grey Creme by Market Spice
615 tasting notes

I received a sample of the from Eva, so thank you very much!

Honestly, I wouldn’t have known this was supposed to be an EGC if it wasn’t for the label. There’s very little bergamot in here, and what’s there is almost fruity. Not citrus fruity, but a little bit like a semi-sweet berry. The cream element, though, is very nice. It’s rich and milky and covers up the weak base.

This tea definitely tastes pretty good, but I’m still not sure about the EG element (or lack thereof).

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank SBT: Pina Colada by 52teas
615 tasting notes

We polished off the pitcher of Honey Ginger in less than no time — it lasted maybe two days — so this one was next. While I don’t think either Fiance or I care for it as much as the Honey Ginger, it’s pretty good.

This is far less subtly flavored than the Honey Ginger, but it works. There are elements of coconut, pineapple, and orange, and the brew seems to be a little smoother or creamier probably from the coconut. I’m not big on sweetened teas, but a little sugar really only adds to the tropical drink feel of this one.

I don’t think there will be any problems finishing this off.

Iced 8 min or more 14 g 60 OZ / 1774 ML

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This came my way from AlexaK, so thank you!

It reminds me a lot of the Creamy Caramel Oolong from Tealish. The first sip was very much tea-ja-vu to me.

The oolong is a little nutty and just a touch toasty, and the caramel adds a small amount of butteriness and sweetness. It suffers from the same issues as the Tealish one, though. While the oolong pairs well with the flavors the caramel was offering, I wish the caramel aspect was louder. As it stands, this could almost be an unflavored oolong with caramel/burnt sugar notes and not a luscious buttery caramel flavored oolong.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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So, I’m not a huge Teen Wolf fan; I watch it from time to time, but I don’t necessarily keep up on it. Still! Shmiracles was nice enough to send an unexpected package of samples and this was one of them, so I was happy drink up.

Initially this smells a little bit like cherry cough syrup, like most cherry things kind of seem to, but it’s far more subtle once it brews up. It’s a mild cherry, and the almond is separately recognizable, but also mild. As fair as cherry blends go, this one is pretty satisfying.

Thanks Shmiracles!

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

well i had to send you Billy Wiggins & Bruce Banner! Collect them all!
so, ya know, i threw a few extras in too. :)
i’m not a big Teen Wolf person either but my sis is and the blends actually sounded interesting to me, so it was an easy decision to buy.

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Everything I’ve had previous from Shang Tea has been wonderful, so I had admittedly high expectations for this even though it was a bonus sample (yay!) and not something I had chosen myself.

I’ve never had honeysuckle blossom in a tea before, so I wasn’t completely certain on what to expect.

The cup is sweet, buttery, vegeta, sweet and slightly nutty. It’s not a honey sweetness, and not really sugary either, but more of a floral-like sweet.

It’s hard to pick out the base because it all kind of blends together to create a really lovely, relaxing cup.

And for fun, this:


is my earliest memory of honeysuckle.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

Sounds amazing! I love honeysuckle :)


Ha! Loved the video.


Aw…I’m going to be singing “I’m just a little black rain cloud…hovering over the honey tree” all evening now!

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Definitely fruity and punch like, with an emphasis on the orange element. The cinnamon adds a really warming spiced note, as well. I really think there’s a definite amount of nuttiness too.

Like has been pointed out, sweetener perks it up a bit and makes it fruitier. It definitely has a winter-y feel, and with the sweet and spicy ingredients, it definite captures a bit of Christmas in there as well. (I’m just a couple months late).

Thanks for the cup MissB!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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drank Honey Ginger by Southern Boy Teas
615 tasting notes

I’m really enjoying this SBT. The flavors aren’t as ‘in-your-face’ as some of the other SBT blends I’ve enjoyed, but they’re very good.

The ginger is quite subtle, so if you’re expecting something peppery or strong this isn’t the one for you, but the honey is a little bit stronger and adds almost a sweet thickness to the mouthfeel. I can almost imagine a little bit of syrupyness from it. Both flavors work together very well, and I’ll enjoy my pitcher of this.

Iced 8 min or more

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I feel super bad I didn’t get to this one and the Oothu Black during the Kickstarter for Just Organic Tea, but I’ve been really kind of failing at life all over the place lately. So there’s that.

There were whole chunks of cinnamon and clove in the little sample, so I was expecting something kinda spicy. Unfortunately with a bit of milk and sugar, I ended up finding this kind of lacking in that area. The pumpkin flavor is tasty; it’s very much like pumpkin pie, but I think if I were to drink this again I would have to double or triple the amount of leaf to hit the amount of flavor and spice I would typically want in a chai.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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At a three minute steep this one seems to acquire some notes of stone fruit — primarily nectarine — at the end of the sip. It’s almost like some of the caramel notes present in the shorter steep have morphed into this. The cocoa, while subtle in the short steep, isn’t present at all in a longer one.

I definitely think the shorter steep is for me.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Been curious about this one, thanks for the note :)


Glad to help! :)


Lauren! Thank you for writing up your thoughts on this one. I love this tea as well. Whenever it is time to bag some up for an order, I get excited knowing that I’m going to get to smell it as I open the crate. The smell of the dry leaf is so special – warming and hearty, taking me back to the pleasant smells from my junior high woodshop class as a nice white oak board would be going through the planer. Delicious!


How is it possible that I don’t have any of this one? Why did I not order some of this? Hmmmm might have to place another Mandala order sooner than I thought….

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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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