620 Tasting Notes


This is my 600th tasting note! The last 100 passed really quickly, it doesn’t seem very long at all since I hit 500. I’ve been meaning to try this iced for a while now, because I really thought it would make a great iced tea. I finally got around to it, and I’m… underwhelmed. It’s more bitter than I expected, and the sharp hay-like note of the shou mei is the most dominant by far. There’s an ever so slight hint of the sweet, crisp apple I expected to dominate right at the front of the sip, but it’s quickly overwhelmed by the base. I drank the first cold steep last night, and when the liquor came out deep and bitter I threw the leaves back in to steep a second time, hoping it would mellow out. It did, and the apple note is definitely slightly more noticeable, especially in the scent which is now all fresh green apple, but the hay still dominates. Never mind, I’ll just finish this as a hot brew.

Iced 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Thanks Martin! (:


600! Way to go!


Congratulations! Keep them coming!


Thanks guys!

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Sipdown! 235/400

Fresh, this is one of my favourite EG Cremes, and probably the one I’d choose to keep in stock once I’ve whittled down my cupboard if I had the option to buy more. At this point though, the bergamot has faded almost completely even though the cream is just as strong as ever. This leads to a very creamy, almost vanilla custard note with very little citrus to cut through it, leaving a cup which is rich and heavy. I’m not a big fan of vanilla or cream flavours on their own, but I love them combined with citrus, so I’d probably be enjoying it more if I didn’t have that bias. If I’d had my head screwed on right this morning I could have combined it with a citrus-heavy EG to recreate the tea I remember loving so much when this was fresh. I didn’t though, and now it’s gone. I’m sad to see it go, but it’s not as difficult of a goodbye as it might have been if I’d finished this while it was still in its prime.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Omg. Cold brewed this tea is totally transformed. It smells like vanilla coke, and it has a hint of cola about the taste too. The lavender is the strongest at first, making a massive change from the hot brew where it doesn’t come through really at all, and as I sip the spearmint becomes slowly stronger. The vanilla is present, but still not particularly strong, and the guayusa is earthy and herbal-tasting in a pleasant way without overpowering the other flavours. It’s hard to describe accurately, but this is nothing like I expected it to be. Cold brewing is the way forward with this one! Upping my rating from 67 because, wow. what a change.

Iced 5 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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There’s another street party today so I made another pitcher of this tea iced to take out. I’m training for a new job so can’t take part in the party (I did go out for an hour to have a burger from the BBQ though), and I completely forgot about this and left it in the fridge when everyone went outside. Now the party is in full swing, I’ve came back inside to do more online courses, and I’m drinking the pitcher myself. Everyone out there has moved on to alcohol. Oh well!

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drank Bubbie's Baklava by DAVIDsTEA
620 tasting notes

Cold brew resteep – yummy! This works really well as a cold brew!

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drank The Malt Shop by Della Terra Teas
620 tasting notes

I drank this yesterday both black and in latte form, and even though I did enjoy it brewed regular western-style it was definitely better as a latte. My mam said it smelled like hot chocolate, and it kind of tasted like it too. Yummy.

I’ll write up a better note at some point in the future, but notes will be brief and sparse for the next little while because I’ve finally started training for my new job! I’m training online because of the Covid situation, and that means there is A LOT of reading followed by A LOT of tests. So far I have 3 down, 23 to go. I’m still drinking tea, but I can’t focus as much attention on it as I’d like to right now. It’s my birthday on Wednesday though so I will be taking the day off and drinking plenty of tea then!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Martin Bednář

No way! We have birthday in same day? By the way, good luck with readings and tests!


Your birthday is the 24th too?! :D Thank you! I’ve done 5 now and passed them all but they’re just so time consuming.

Martin Bednář

Yep. 24th of June, for 25 years in a row :D


I’m 26 this year, so it looks like exactly one year older than you! :D

Martin Bednář

Interesting coincidence though! What is one year difference in all the people in the world?!


Hope you both have a great birthday :D


Thanks tea-sipper! :D

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Pretty similar steeped regular Western style to how it is as a latte. Coconut and cardamom, a slight hint of pepper and ginger heat, and not much else. The base tea isn’t the most robust, but not totally weak either and it somehow still manages to be astringent. DAVIDsTEA’s Coco Chai Rooibos is way better imo. That one executes the flavour profile I imagine this tea was aiming for so well.

Sipdown 234/400.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Drinking this this morning because I woke up an hour before my alarm and needed much caffeine. This is a weird one though, because the mint, lavender and vanilla flavours are all ones which I generally associate with evening drinking rather than first thing in the morning – especially lavender. Combined with the high-caffeine guayusa means it’s not one I drink often. Today I’m finding the mint and vanilla melding together well with the mint less dominant than usual. The lavender is still less prominent than both of them, but the more I sip the more I notice it. Even though the caffeine boost is there because of the guayusa, it’s not really slapping me awake like I wanted it to. I think the flavour profile is just too mild for when I’m this tired.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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drank Sugar Plum Forest by DAVIDsTEA
620 tasting notes

Yep, this is the tea I remember disliking. My last cup was surprisingly okay so I thought maybe I’d remembered it wrong, but no this is gross. I must have got a good bunch of ingredients last time, or maybe it was the lower steeping temperature. This cup is musty, metallic and overly sweet, the kind of sweetness you get from liquorice root which coats the back of your throat. This is what I remembered it tasting like originally, and so 2/3 of the cups I’ve had have been gross. The 1/3 that was nice wasn’t good enough to make up for the grossness I have in my cup tonight. Oh well, at least I won’t miss it.

Sipdown 233/400.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I love jasmine tea, and this one smells absolutely beautiful – sweet and delicate. Unfortunately, it’s quite an astringent green base, and the cold brew I had today needed to be sweetened to be drinkable even though it wasn’t in the fridge for very long compared to most of my cold brews. The jasmine scent was actually really nice though, it’s just a shame about the base. Maybe it’ll be better as a hot brew, but I’m used to hot brews being more astringent so I’ll have to remember to steep at a lower temperature to be on the safe side.

Iced 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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I first got into loose leaf teas when a friend of mine showed me Cara McGee’s Sherlock fandom blends on Adagio a good few years back, but they weren’t on sale in the UK so I started trying other kinds instead and have been hooked for almost three years (and have purchased several fandom tea sets including the Sherlock one I lusted over for so long).

Flavoured teas make up the majority of my collection, but I’m growing increasingly fond of unflavoured teas too. I usually reach for a black, oolong or white tea base over a pu’erh or green tea, though I do have my exceptions. I will update my likes and dislikes as I discover more about my palate, but for now:

Tea-likes: I’m generally easily pleased and will enjoy most flavours, but my absolute favourites are maple, caramel, chestnut, pecan, raspberry, coconut, blueberry, lemon, pumpkin, rose, hazelnut and peach

Tea-dislikes: vanilla (on its own), ginger, coriander/cilantro, cardamom, liquorice, pineapple and chocolate

I am a 25 year old bartender, English Literature sort-of-graduate and current student working towards finishing my degree. I am hoping to one day complete a masters degree in Mental Health Social Work and get a job working in care. Other than drinking, hoarding and reviewing tea, my hobbies include reading, doing quizzes and puzzles, TV watching, football/soccer (Sunderland AFC supporter and employee of my local football club), music, artsy weird makeup, and learning new things (currently British Sign Language).

I should probably also mention my tea-rating system, which seems to be much harsher than others I’ve seen on here. It’s not always concrete, but I’ll try to define it:

• 50 is the base-line which all teas start at. A normal, nothing-special industrial-type black teabag of regular old fannings would be a 50.

• 0 – 49 is bad, and varying degrees of bad. This is probably the least concrete as I hardly ever find something I don’t like.

• I have never given below a 20, and will not unless that tea is SO bad that I have to wash my mouth out after one sip. Any teas rated as such are unquestionably awful.

• This means most teas I don’t enjoy will be in the 30 – 50 range. This might just mean the tea is not to my own personal taste.

• 51+ are teas I enjoy. A good cup of tea will be in the 50 – 70 range.

• If I rate a tea at 70+, it means I really, really like it. Here’s where the system gets a little more concrete, and I can probably define this part, as it’s rarer for a tea to get there.

• 71- 80: I really enjoyed this tea, enough to tell somebody about, and will probably hang onto it for a little longer than I perhaps should because I don’t want to lose it.

• 81 – 90: I will power through this tea before I even know it’s gone, and will re-order the next time the mood takes me.

• 91 – 100: This is one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted, and I will re-order while I still have a good few cups left, so that I never have to run out. This is the crème de la crème, the Ivy League of teas.

I never rate a tea down, and my ratings are always based on my best experience of a tea if I drink it multiple times. I feel that this is fairest as many factors could affect the experience of one particular cup.

I am always happy to trade and share my teas with others, so feel free to look through my cupboard and message me if you’re interested in doing a swap. I keep it up-to-date, although this doesn’t mean I will definitely have enough to swap, as I also include my small samples.
Currently unable to swap as I’ve returned after a long hiatus to a cupboard of mostly-stale teas I’m trying to work through before I let myself purchase anything fresh

I also tend to ramble on a bit.


South Shields, UK

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