5551 Tasting Notes

drank Sakura Cherry by DAVIDsTEA
5551 tasting notes

Cold Brew Sipdown (128)!

As a cold brew, the bubblegum notes I observed in the first (hot) cup I tried of this are even more apparent and in your face. Downside is that the cherry is less sweet and well rounded, and sadly it gives off a bit of a medicinal/cough syrup sort of quality. The green base was more masked as well; in a way I think that’s a plus because I disliked the base in the first place. However, it’s also a drawback because it means there’s less flavour to counterbalance the medicinal aspects of the cherry.

Overall it wasn’t terrible; I did finish it afterall. However, there are some areas where improvement is definitely doable and needed in order to make this better. As is, I wont be buying it again.

Also, Bad Suns’ new album is out! I’m really loving it so far – there aren’t really any tracks I dislike although some are definitely better. It’s been fun learning the new songs alongside cups of tea and trying to work out pairings for songs I’m just now exploring.

Pairing for this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFSvLf0hU00&list=LL1M1wDjmJD4SJr_CwzXAGuQ&index=5

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I was experiencing some pretty bad cramps earlier in the week, so I broke out the raspberry leaf again and I’ve been enjoying the occasional cup throughout the week. It’s so hard to say whether or not I feel like it’s actually doing anything – but I like the flavour and it’s not making things any worse so I think I’ll continue to incorporate it into my tea drinking routine when I’m feeling crampy…

One of the more interesting cups this week was late at night with some added in coconut milk: it was supper buttery in addition to having its usual comforting vegetal and herbaceous notes and underlying sweetness. It felt really warming; like a big hug from the inside out, and it was really smooth and tasty.


I’ve never tried raspberry leaf tea with milk. Sounds interesting. I’ve had good luck with ginger tea for cramps. It can also be a sign of magnesium deficiency, which is also what causes many women to crave chocolate.

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drank Buddha Bamboo by Tea Desire
5551 tasting notes

This is a queued tasting note.

Cold brewed this one; mostly strawberry but managed to stay light, fresh and vegetal which was pretty nice. This is definitely less flavourful than it used to be though; I need to start thinking of more creative ways to use up the rest of the leaf because I’m getting pretty bored of this one, as well…

Decreased my rating a little, as well.


When I cold brewed this one I found that even after 24hrs it was essentially flavourless. Do you think this tea doesn’t cold brew well it could it have been that the leaves were getting old? I didn’t really have it that long, and my hot brews didn’t seem to have a problem. Thoughts?

Roswell Strange

It could be that it was stale; my leaf of this is REALLY old and has lost a hell of a lot of flavour from when I first got it. If you didn’t get a lot of fruit chunks/rose buds in the measured leaf that you used that might be part of it as well – the bamboo itself really doesn’t have a whole lot of flavour.


Ah, that might have been it. It was kind of the bottom of my sample packet, so it probably didn’t have all the good stuff it needed for the flavour. It was a little old too, I suppose. Maybe I’ll try again when/if I get another fresh batch.

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drank Redberry Tonic by DAVIDsTEA
5551 tasting notes

This is a queued tasting note.

Made a tea cocktail using a cup of this one after I’d iced it

- Standard icing method was used…
- Added in a 1/3 oz of grenadine
- And then added in an oz of limoncello

Basically it tasted like this one normally tastes, but exaggerated. So, the sweet red fruit/berry notes were richer and more prominent from the syrupy grenadine and the lemony notes more powerful and aromatic. It’s a really refreshing thing to be sipping on midday. Sweet, and perfect.



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drank Oolong Supreme by DAVIDsTEA
5551 tasting notes

This is a queued tasting note.

Made a teacup of this one with breakfast (a red pepper and egg scramble) and I found that the roasty body notes and fruity plum and raisin undertone of the tea really complimented the eggs and sweeter notes of the peppers.

All was great; that is until I finished eating and drinking my tea. About five minutes after finishing everything off I was hit with a wave of nausea that ultimately culminated in me instantly throwing everything up. The tea was not pleasant on the way up. Don’t know what went wrong; after I threw everything up I felt totally fine for the rest of the day. Either the tea or the food was just something that I guess my body needed to purge?


Oh no! And that sounded like a lovely breakfast too.


bleeeeerrrrghhhh weird feeling isnt it. has to happen though


the amount of rubbish flying around its expected.. another thread maybe

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I’m just having a really nice, lazy morning around the condo with Eilert while I wait for Kyle to come over this afternoon, and so far that’s meant finishing Season One of Legend of Korra and drinking lots of this tea.

I’m really enjoying this one; it’s soft and sweet with these lovely, romantic floral undertones. On their own, I think the lavender would bother me but the vanilla in this is doing wonders for the flavour. Oddly, the finish of this cup seems to be kind of smoky, which is a very strange flavour note to appear in a cup of white tea that basically only has added lavender and vanilla. Not that I’m minding the smoke note so much, I just don’t know where it’s coming from…

So, Eilert always seems to try to drink my tea when I have it out at the same time as I’m drinking – and I always have to stop him because I know the caffeine in the tea is harmful for guinea pigs. I just did some research though, and apparently fennel “tea” tisane, really is actually good for guinea pigs. So, I think I’m going to look into buying straight up fennel so we can have tea time together.

Any other pet owners ‘feed’ tea to their pets? In particular, I’m curious if anyone else with small rodents has tried the fennel tea thing. Did they like it?

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From last night!

This is one I’ll definitely need to revisit before rating because I drank it in a hurry last night since I was (poorly) multi tasking. I definitely didn’t give it the same care and attention that I like to give teas the first time I try them…

I will say, the dry leaf aroma gave me a mixed impression. The pineapple smelled really sweet, juicy and fresh but the coconut gave off quite a lotion-y aroma so that was sort of a mixed boat for me. I forgot I was steeping this, due to the aforementioned poor multitasking, so it got a steep time of well over ten minutes and because I was brewing in a smaller teacup that I’ve been using recently for first tastings it was already cold by the time I pulled out the strainer. Boo!

I very quickly drank it, and I will say that I do remember it being rather pleasant overall albeit quite strong and sweet. Much more of the “Pinita Colada” from my brief tasting than anything resembling carrots or carrot cake. Don’t recall it tasting specifically lotion like either, which is good. But like I said – proper care and attention wasn’t given. So definitely revisiting this one sooner rather than later. But as far as first impressions go, I think there’s something here.

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Cold Brew from yesterday…

This one doesn’t have the worst flavour in the world, I just wish that the strawberry notes were a lot less artificial tasting. Add on top of that the fact that, even as a cold brew, it comes out astringent as heck.

Need to start looking for a new flavoured Earl Grey alternative… Suggestions?


My wife is a huge Earl Grey fan and her favorite flavoured Earls come from Red Leaf Teas.

Roswell Strange

Hmm; never thought about ordering from them before for non matcha things, but I’ll definitely take a poke around the site! I’m actually not a HUGE EG fan, but I like having something plain around for the occasional time I want EG and for guests who aren’t super adventurous, and I like having something with a bit of a twist as well.

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Bonus tea from my 52Teas order…

This one smells really nice; strong apricot notes for sure. Technically, these are pluots used in the blend but my initial impression is that they’re definitely more on the apricot side than the plum side.

Brewed up, this is pretty smooth with a really nice, lush and present stonefruit note all throughout the entire sip. Again, I definitely think it’s a much stronger apricot flavour than plum but regardless it’s very delicious and natural tasting. As well, it’s definitely the perfect level of sweetness. Similar to the Grapefruit/Ginger tea from 52Teas I had earlier in the week the ginger isn’t overly apparent, with the strongest point I’m experiencing it being at the end of the sip. I think I may even like this pairing of apricot and ginger better than the grapefruit and ginger due, though.

The base oolong here is nice; it’s a little nutty which is a nice added component to the cup. Other than that one dominant note, it doesn’t offer a whole lot of other added flavour nuances, but it more so just a nice complimentary backdrop to Anne’s other added ingredients.

Aside from flavour; the name of this tea is really fun. It reminds me really strongly of my birthday twin Marzipan who has always had a penchant for sparkly teas. I miss seeing her here and active on Steepster; but hopefully she’s doing well. Sadly, my cup wasn’t really sparkly at all – but it was tasty, and that’s what counts the most.


Yeah, it’s difficult to do the sparkly part and keep it vegan because most sprinkles/sparkles are not vegan. I did find vegan sparkles but they are flakes so when I sprinkled them over the tea, they didn’t give off very much sparkle. They’d be much more effective on a cupcake, I think.

Super Starling!

I’m almost afraid to ask this, but… what animal products are in sparkly products?

Roswell Strange

I’m just guessing, but I’d think maybe gelatin?

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Midday tea.

I was light on pretty well everything when brewing this up because I just wanted a light taste of the smoke notes, and nothing assaulting. So, less leaf and less steep time as normal and then on top of that I added milk as well to cut the smoke a bit. And I got my desired affect; this was a weaker/muted smokey flavour with, dare a say it, both anise and wood undertones. So, I did kind of eventually get the licorice flavour CS advertised and which had been missing in previous cups.

I also paired it with some food in addition to my typical song: in this case a poached pear ice cream which was a delicious counterpart to the more savory smoke. Such a light, subtle and soft fruity note was a really good way to juxtapose the smoke notes and make each tiny sip really ‘pop’ in a memorable way.

As for my song pairing…

I really love pairing smoky teas with slower, sadder music because something about teas with strong smoke notes is really reflective and nostalgic to me. So, immediately I thought of the album ‘Hospice’ by The Antlers. Honestly, you could probably pick any song from this album and it would work well. It’s a beautiful ‘story telling’/concept album filled to the brim with sad, reflective songs.

This one was the standout though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egsSN31uAFk

It’s just filled with so much pain, and anger. I don’t know why, but relating to it and connecting to it through the tea I’m drinking is almost therapeutic in a way. I find the whole experience really puts me in both an introspective mood and a relaxed one.


Rui A swapped me some tea & he gave me some unsmoked lapsang souchong. I really liked it – was lovely & smooth


Unsmoked Lapsang Souchong would be milder. The leaves are later harvest and larger.


yeah the closest I could think of was a mild keemun

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My name is Kelly. I’m a twenty something tea drinker and reviewer living in Saskatchewan, Canada. I started drinking loose leaf fairly casually about five years ago, and at some point between then and now that ‘fun little hobby’ turned into a serious obsession.

You know you’ve got it bad when you get your hobby tattooed to your arm.

I’m a TAC certified Tea Sommelier!

Typically I drink flavoured blends more than straight but one of my mini goals is to get that ratio to a more 50/50 level. I do a daily cold brew, and have at least (but usually a lot more) two hot cups of tea every day. Naturally I lean towards black or white blends and as of late oolongs but I WILL drink everything; the last half year or so I’ve been challenging myself by further exploring Oolong and Pu’Erh which are the tea types I know the least about overall.

A personal goal of mine has been to do a proper Gong Fu session every week because it’s something I deeply enjoy doing but struggle to make time for. I can’t say I’ve been doing great staying on track with this goal, but I haven’t forgotten about it!

My default for preparation is Western Style with zero additives. The exception to this is matcha which I drink in straight milk with no additives. So unless I mention otherwise you can assume that I’ve prepared my tea Western style without added ingredients/sweeteners.

Favourite flavours/ingredients: Pear, lychee, cranberry, cream, melon, pineapple, malt, roasty, petrichor, sweet potato, heady florals like rose, walnut, and honey, but only in moderation.

Least favourite flavours/ingredients:
Lemongrass, ginger, often Chai spices in general, mushrooms, overly vegetal or marine/seaweed, chamomile, sometimes mango or peach, stevia, saltiness, or anything that reminds me too much of meat that isn’t supposed to taste like meat…

Currently exploring/looking to try: Shou Pu’Erh or Dark/Roasted Oolong, Sweet Potato flavoured blends or straight teas with strong sweet potato notes, and anything with Goji berries. Also, I need to try ALL the root beer teas!

Tea Pet Reference Guide:

Clay Pixiu Dragons: Zak & Wheezie
Clay Monkey: Enzo
Ruyao Carp: Splashy
Ceramic Rabbit: Rupert
Ceramic Horse: Bergamot
Ceramic Snail: Snicket

I also have two real life pets:

A skinny pig hairless guinea pig named Eilert, after Henrik Ibsen’s play Hedda Gabler, and a fancy rat named Wasabi.

Currently I’m employed at DAVIDsTEA. While I’m still reviewing DAVIDsTEA blends I am no longer numerically rating them due to the obvious conflict of interest. Any tea blends you currently see with a numeric score that are from DAVIDsTEA were reviewed prior to my being hired there.


SK, Canada

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