1168 Tasting Notes

drank Toffee Banana Honeybush by 52teas
1168 tasting notes

I placed a small 52teas order recently, and it just arrived yesterday! This was part of that order and a blend that I was intrigued by. I’m into it. The banana tastes like actual banana but a touch sweeter; I’m not sure if that’s from the influence of the toffee flavoring or the banana flavor itself is a bit candy-like. The general effect is like if you melted a Toffifee on a banana. It’s very sweet without crossing over into being too sweet. I also appreciate that it’s a bit nutty without being woody the way rooibos and honeybush often are. This won’t last long around here!

Flavors: Banana, Nutty, Toffee

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drank Sweet Starflower Oolong by Rishi Tea
1168 tasting notes

You know how when you wait a long time for something, it’s hard to be sure that the thing will be as good as you’d hoped? I waited a year to get my hands on this tea. Kelly and Marika spoke so highly of it on GeekSteep that I really wanted to try it!

And you know what? It lived up to the hype! This tea is really, really good. It’s got such a wonderful passionfruit flavor to it -sweet and tart – on a base that complements it perfectly. I got sidetracked with life and the second cup cooled off, which resulted in a pretty different (and still delicious) flavor profile. Cold, it’s not as fruity. The thick mouthfeel and dark honey notes of the base tea come out more. The sweetness here reminds me so much of a big-bitten tea, although as far as I can tell it isn’t one? Really looking forward to playing with this more. Thanks to Kelly and Marika for the remarkably good recommendation!

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Sipdown! We were visiting family in Florida for a few weeks, so I tried out some local tea options while we were there. One of the more notable was high tea at Serenity Teahouse in Palm Beach. The place is super cute, very frilly and extremely on theme for a teahouse. They have vegan and gluten free options for the high tea but they need 48 hours notice for that. They were able to do a vegetarian version with a same-day reservation though! The food was delicious. Housemade salad dressing, fantastic scones, really no complaints. I got the vanilla sencha with my meal. It came with a little sand timer and wasn’t particularly difficult to get the leaf out when the timer was done. It was a nicely balanced blend, with that soft, almost marshmallow-like vanilla. The other one that I wanted to try was this hazelnut vanilla oolong, so I picked up an ounce to take home.

My guess is that it’s a catalogue tea, just because I don’t think they generally blend their own. It’s pretty enjoyable. The hazelnut and vanilla flavors are tasty, well balanced, and not too strong or alcoholic or anything. The base oolong is fairly mild, which is my biggest complaint. I’d prefer these flavors on a sturdier oolong base. Also, and this is my own fault: smaller bits settled at the bottom of the bag and I didn’t think to shake it up. Which means that when I got to the end, the last couple of cups were unpleasantly bitter. I ended up adding oat milk to make them drinkable. In previous cups, the oolong base was too mild to hold up to milk at all! So that’s my caveat for this blend.

Flavors: Hazelnut, Vanilla

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Sample sipdown! I definitely oversteeped this all three times I made it (distracted, not timing, etc.), so the woodiness of the rooibos came through stronger than it probably otherwise would have. Luckily I like rooibos! I think the blackberry and apple flavors are pretty solid here. The apple probably gets a boost from the chamomile, which is a nice combo. Would I have chosen this one myself? Probably not, because I’m not big on blackberries, but I’d happily drink it again!

Flavors: Apple, Blackberry, Woody

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Sipdown! If I had to guess, this probably came from a Tea Thoughts (spring?) countdown box. I didn’t mark it though, so really I’m just going off fuzzy memory. I assume it would have been a spring box because of the sakura. This is a good oolong for warm weather. It’s light without being thin, gently sweet, and has a hint of tartness. It is slightly drying on the back end, which I could take or leave with this flavor profile, but it doesn’t diminish the enjoyment.

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I woke up feeling boiling hot today. Turns out to have been a migraine, but it put me in the mood for fruity tea. This particular blend was a gift from a friend’s trip to France. It’s surprisingly robust for a French tea. I’ve come to expect French teas to be subtly flavored, but this one has a very clear peach flavor with a minty finish. The peach is sweet but not overly so, with maybe the faintest hint of tartness? I turned the last third of the mug into a tea soda. This blend lends itself beautifully to that. This would probably be great cold brewed too.


Hope the tea helped end the migrane. Mint seems like a cooling feeling to combat overheating.


Thanks! It is, I like mint, fruity blends, and bug-bitten oolongs for hot days.

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drank Mango Green Tea by Cusa Tea
1168 tasting notes

Sipdown! Admittedly, I wasn’t paying super close attention to this one today. One perk of powdered teas is that they are very portable and easy to add to bottled water, so I tend to use them for travel. Today I used it at the ballpark, which only allows outside beverages in if they are sealed plastic bottles of water. So after we made it past security, I cracked open the water, added the tea powder, and shook until blended. Historically, I remember Cusa teas not always dissolving perfectly under these circumstances, but today it did. But between the heat and the game, I wasn’t giving this my full attention. Which is fine. It’s mildly fruity and sweet, it’s caffeinated, it’s inoffensive. Sometimes that’s all you need.

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drank Vanilla Parfait by DAVIDsTEA
1168 tasting notes

Also not a true sipdown because I have more bags, but this one is finished. I appreciate that I haven’t gotten sick of this blend yet. I think a lot of that has to do with the straightforward creamy vanilla profile. Simple, classic, ideal for a health blend.

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drank Jasmine Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
1168 tasting notes

Not a true sipdown because I have another bag, but this one is done. I like this! I had better notes jotted down somewhere, but from memory: I like the floral jasmine here, I recall the underlying oolong being smooth and creamy, and it resteeps well Western-style as well as being good for grandpa-style brewing.

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Backlog to mark a sipdown from last week. This was definitely a good-to-the-last-drop blend. Come to think of it, I’m not sure whether I’ve seen a lot of other lemon/hojicha combos, which is surprising because it works really well.

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Geek and nerd (shoutout to GeekSteep). Still trying to get a handle on this whole work/life balance while ALSO succeeding at work thing. I have some chronic illnesses that make that harder. Tea is my respite.

Favorite tea types, in order:

Don’t drink:

A sampling of tea shops I like:
Te Company
Tea Thoughts
Harney & Sons

RIP Butiki



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