559 Tasting Notes


This is actually the second time I’ve had this in my stash. I just finished it quickly last time and never got around to logging it. The first time, my mom picked it out for me when she was away for work in Texas. Recently, she had to go back and picked up more because she remembered I liked it.

I have such a thing for Fujian black teas. This one is no exception. The leaves are a mix of chocolate brown and dark tan, delicate and skinny. Most are somewhat whole, with only a little broken leaf debris in the bottom. Dry, it smells a little bitter and musty, with a hint of smoke and tobacco-like sweetness.

But once it’s steeped, the flavor is something mellower and much more smooth. Notes of honey and hay bloom, along with that distinct finish of Fujian cocoa flavor. Almost dark chocolate. Oh yes. That’s what I’m in this for. The black teas that naturally taste like chocolate or croissants or dinner rolls. This is almost precisely that, but I have to take points off for a faint iodine flavor. Because of Teavivre and other companies, I know that note doesn’t have to be there. I’m spoiled.

One bad note doesn’t spoil the whole tea, though. I’m happy to have this back in my collection just in time for the temperatures to start to drop.

Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Hay, Honey, Iodine, Smoke, Tobacco

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

I’m a fan of this one too! Funnily enough, there’s a Spice and Tea Exchange near my mom’s house in Delaware…may see if she can pick it up for me also. :P


I’ve had a couple Black Monkey teas over the last few years and I love it! :D

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drank Maple Apple Tea Cake by 52teas
559 tasting notes

I want to say thank you again to Anne at 52Teas for the Gingerbread Chai! I ordered while they were on vacation and she included it in my order because of the wait. That’s so kind!

Finally, finally placed an order with 52Teas. I’ve tried so many things they’ve made in swaps and destashing sales, but this is the first I’ve acquired on my own. Treat yo self. My only regret is not doing it sooner when *LiberTEAS*’s old Sweet Caramel O Mine was in stock. Miss that tea.

Now, have any of you ever opened a dessert-scented Yankee Candle and thought “Oh yeah, I could take a bite out of that”? Ok, maybe that’s just me, but this smells just like that. Sweet apple pie filling mixed with buttery, syrupy pancakes. Decadent. Now, when I say apple pie, though, I don’t mean cinnamon. It’s just delicious apple with a tiny hint of caramel. The tea is full of large chunks of dried apple that lend a very natural fruitiness. Once steeped, it actually really lives up to its dry aroma. Though I can’t say I agree with the 2.5 minute steep time. I tried it that way and again but for 4 minutes and liked the longer version.

Tasting that makes me see why their Pancake Breakfast was such a big deal. They’ve got that maple syrup flavor down. Definitely will be back to try more once I put a bigger dent in my tea stash.

Flavors: Apple, Burnt Sugar, Maple, Maple Syrup

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This is the quarterly Republic of Tea catalog freebie. I’m sure it will be interesting because this is definitely not something I would have chosen on my own. I like mint and am in love with vanilla. However, rooibos and I are not friends. Though I guess green rooibos isn’t quite as bad…

Flavor-wise, the mint is in the foreground and it is oh-so-tingly. Really cools and lingers in your mouth. It’s followed by a very nice, smooth vanilla. It’s desserty with creamy notes of white chocolate. Yeah, this actually tastes like peppermint bark. Though the peppermint has that faint pickle taste that I swear is there but only I ever taste. As far as the rooibos goes, I really can’t taste it. The mint is just too loud.

While this is interesting and makes a nice after-dinner treat, it’s still not really something I’d get for the cupboard. When I go for seasonal teas, I don’t really crave peppermint. I want caramel, cinnamon, pumpkin, clove, nutmeg, that kind of thing.

Flavors: Candy, Mint, Peppermint, Spearmint, Vanilla, White Chocolate

Boiling 6 min, 15 sec

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drank Earl Grey Supreme by Harney & Sons
559 tasting notes

This is back in my tea stash thanks to Kaliskaa, who went to Harney Fest and picked me up some goodies. <3

I’ve reviewed this tea a couple times already, so I’m not gonna go into detail. But five years after first trying this, I still have never found an Earl Grey that could top it.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus Zest, Fruity, Lemon

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Cathy Baratheon

I agree, this is absolutely the best earl grey!


Stash makes a very good regular (not their Double) Earl Grey-I get the teabags. Harney & Sons Earl Grey Supreme, for me is really my favorite too. The tea base and Bergamot, are perfectly balanced & smooth and I remember no bitterness when steeping.

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drank Cinnamon Apple Black by Maya Tea
559 tasting notes

So, I’ve had this tea for a little while, I just haven’t logged it because I’ve been drinking it mostly at work.

Maya Tea seems to be a hit or miss company for me. Their prices are great, but I’m not impressed by the quality of this one. While the apple aspect is fine, the cinnamon tastes artificial and cheap. Kind of like Red Hots or Big Red gum. I understand that real cinnamon doesn’t dissolve and leaves sediment in tea, but I think it’s worth it.

I’ve been making it over ice, so I’m not sure how this will translate when I start to make it hot. But it’s not quite cool enough here for that. The only reason I chose not to recommend this tea is the cinnamon flavor. I think there are far better apple cinnamon teas out there, if that’s what you’re looking for. But don’t let this put you off of trying Maya Teas. Some of their stuff is great. Just not this one.

Flavors: Apple, Candy, Cinnamon

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Bonfire by Adagio Teas
559 tasting notes

It’s nice to see Adagio rolling out more seasonal stuff these days. Nice, and very tempting. I had some points racked up and decided to get this and a personal blend I made called Haven. Plus Cream because I missed it and it goes with everything.

Now, this tea is a strange one. A honeybush with a touch of lapsang? Ok, different but interesting. Add hazelnut? Sweet, sounds good. Red peppercorns, cacao nibs, anise, and cinnamon? Amazing! But then they added orange peel, rosehips, clove, and apple pieces on top of all of that. There’s just so much going on. Somebody may have gotten a little too creative.

The aroma has me cautious. The husband (not a tea drinker) said it smells like “chocolate and bubblegum”. I’m not getting either of those, but the fruit is bright and in the forefront, but kind of clashing with the hazelnut. And the lapsang’s smoke. Steeped, the tea has a strong orange spice and nutty smoke scent. It’s intriguing. And fruity. And definitely reminds me of fall and winter.

The flavor is actually very warming and comforting. The hazelnut and the orange peel against the honeybush taste like a lovely dessert you’d serve hot with vanilla iced cream. With the lapsang to back it up, it tastes toasty and baked. The spices back it up but don’t shout over the main flavors. The clove is especially present, but I smell it as I sip more than I actually taste it.

I could definitely see myself sitting by the fire drinking this. Heads up, though, this is a limited edition tea, so if you wanna try it, you might wanna get it soon!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Fruity, Hazelnut, Nutty, Orange, Orange Zest, Smoke

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Ginger by Adagio Teas
559 tasting notes

This one was kind of a flop for me. I love ginger! I love the burn!

…But this does not burn. There’s no bright, almost citrus-like flavor of some ginger teas I’ve had. It’s mellow, more like an everyday ginger ale. Not to say it’s bad or anything, I was just hoping for more of a fresh ginger kick. This tastes like powdered ginger.

That said, this will still be good to mix with stuff or enjoy iced. I can add a layer of ginger to pretty much anything in my cupboard and it will be good, so I don’t mind that this isn’t stellar.

Flavors: Ginger

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank 14 Day Teatox by Baetea
559 tasting notes

Let me start off with a disclaimer: While I believe tea has health benefits, I don’t usually trust things with the word “detox” on them. Honestly, if your body needs a product to cleanse itself of “toxins”, you’re probably in liver failure. That said, I got this $35 bag of tea for $2 with a coupon. So, if it’s awful, I won’t care.

Despite being a blend of all sorts of things I wouldn’t have thought to put together, it actually smells pretty nice. Like lemon cake. However, it also lists “flavors” in the ingredients. Not impressed there. Once steeped, it comes out dark like a black tea. Aside from the lemon, there is a strong rooibos aroma. I really dislike rooibos, but I’m trying to keep an open mind.

The flavor is mild and actually not bad. Yes, the rooibos flavor is in the forefront, but it pairs really well with the lemon. There is also a bit of astringent bitterness, but I don’t mind it. I can’t taste the other ingredients so much. But I look forward to seeing if the guarana seed has any effect.

One more thing, though. This tea lists corn as an ingredient. That’s definitely a first for me… and will probably be a last, also.

Flavors: Bitter, Lemon, Rooibos

3 min, 30 sec
Super Starling!

Is this the one the Kardashians were hawking?


No idea, lol. I’m the wrong person to ask about that stuff!


Totally agree with the “detox” buzzword crap!


Agreed, especially since there’s rarely any proper medical research to back it up

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This is the second time I’ve gotten this as a freebie in the Republic of Tea catalog. But last year I was making a pot of chai to share with someone and blended it in. So no review. My bad.

Ok, so the tea bag is very, very aromatic. I’m getting loud notes of butter-rum flavor, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and pumpkin. Good lord. They did not go lightly on the spice. (Yay!) Seriously, this smells like it would be a Yankee Candle. (I mean that in the nicest way possible!) Just handling the bag from the envelope to the cup leaves my hands smelling festive.

In addition to the usual stevia sweetener, I added a tiny splash of 1% milk. Ginger seems to be the strongest spice in the mix, followed by clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The pumpkin pie filling flavor is there, but the spices sort of shout over it. This could be my fault for steeping for so long.

This still might not be quite the pumpkin spice tea I’m looking for, but it sure comes close! Best yet, for sure.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Nutmeg, Pumpkin, Rum

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Watermelon Cooler by Adagio Teas
559 tasting notes

Got this as a free sample in my most recent order. I saw Adagio teasing us with free watermelon tea on Twitter and I couldn’t resist. So I made a small end-of-summer order.

The contents of the pouch look like a mix of dried apple cubes and red potpourri. The apple pieces were all clumped together, so I broke them up with my spoon. Now, I haven’t had an Adagio tisane in like ten years. I tried a few back in the day and thought they were good, but I need my caffeine fix and without that, those teas were basically expensive juice that I had to assemble myself.

But… but watermelon. So, the pouch gave a range of 5-10 minutes. I went with 8, preparing it strong to go over ice. It didn’t come out quite as bright pink as I was expecting with the hibiscus content. It’s more of a peachy pink. Kinda like cantaloupe. However, the flavor is pretty spot on. Very melony despite how much apple is in it. And it’s very natural-tasting… not like a Jolly Rancher or anything like that. I’m really looking forward to blending it with a coconut black tea in the morning.

Big disclaimer, though — I used twice as much tea as you’re supposed to. I’ve had a bunch of teas like this and by now I know what’s up.

Flavors: Apple, Berries, Berry, Fruity, Hibiscus, Melon

Boiling 8 min or more 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Cathy Baratheon

‘expensive juice that I had to assemble myself’ LOL what a fitting description of fruity tisanes!

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Quiet, strange, and in love with the world of tea. Living just outside of Atlanta. Cat lover, electronic music geek, balcony gardener, and collector of fossils. On the hunt for the perfect tea in each of my favorite categories.

I prefer black teas, but I’m trying to broaden my horizons. My favorites tend to be yunnan tips, earl grey, chai, and pretty much any black tea from Fujian, China. My favorite add-ons are plum, cinnamon, sage, apple, coconut, raspberry, lychee, bergamot, osmanthus, cucumber, lavender, vanilla, cardamom, ginger, and caramel.

I’m shy about green tea, curious about white, and learning to love oolong. I hate rooibos and anything with orchid, fennel, or jasmine.

Since joining, I’ve traded with: Kaliska, QueenOfTarts, LiberTEAS, JustJames, Spencer, Ninavampi, Jillian, Teafreak, KeenTeaThyme, and RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas.

You can assume that I’m preparing my tea using the Western method. I use zero-calorie sweeteners and in the hot months, I drink my tea almost exclusively iced.


Decatur, GA



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