314 Tasting Notes


I thought I’d like this, but I don’t. :(

It tastes and smells like cherry cough syrup!! Blech.

I don’t know…maybe the vanilla flavoring is too strong. I was surprised on how artificially “fruity” this was.

It’s only tolerable with plenty of milk.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

Awww, sorry. :-(


I know, huh? It’s the first tea I ever had to throw down the drain! I’m afraid to finish my sample. But maybe a lower temp and steeping time might help.


At least it’s just a sample, right? :)


Yep. Just a sample—thank god! :)


Eeek! :(

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drank Pu'erh Tuo-Cha by Teas Etc
314 tasting notes

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The scent is like the “lite” version of A&D’s Caravan misted over with Hawaiian Punch! There is this veil of red fruitiness covering the toasty, smokiness of the tea. Smells pretty yummy, actually. However, contrary to its scent, the taste is very soft and light with not much body—kind of wimpy! There’s this hint of salt and yeast with a sweet aftertaste. Seems better suited as an “afternoon” tea—way too mellow for breakfast! I’m glad I have a sample of this, but there has to be more “pizzaz” for me to buy more.

A promising tea which, sadly, falls short.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Chamomile Lavender by Teas Etc
314 tasting notes

This is tasting better and better to me nowadays. Maybe I’m getting used to the herbally/potpourri flavor. It’s definitely more enjoyable if I use less leaf (herbs?). I mainly drink this “medicinally” (in the evenings as a sleep aid or in the daytime if I feel anxious) and I often make the mistake of thinking “more is better”! But too much leaf just tastes overwhelmingly potpourri-ish and icky. So, just a little less than 1 level teaspoon per 12 oz. is perfect.

You really don’t need much. It’s pretty potent!

Boiling 8 min or more

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drank Milk Caramel by Lupicia
314 tasting notes

The scent of the dry leaves is amazing! I can really smell the creaminess of the caramel. It reminds me very much of the popular caramel spread from Argentina called “dulce de leche”. The tea brews up quite dark—like a roasted oolong. The taste is toasty and sweet like a sugary Genmaicha!

I’m really really enjoying this—it’s sweet, toasty, creamy comfort in a cup.

(While the aroma is deliciously rich, the flavor is actually really mellow and smooth—no bitterness and no astringency)

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec

Whhattt!?!? Milk caramel houjicha!??! Sounds heavenly! I wish Lupicia’s website was easier to browse.


Yeah, Lupicia’s site is kind of “messy”. But I love their free s/h after $35 and free monthly samples!


Woo. I’m pretty sure my samples of this are coming this Wednesday…I can’t wait. It sounds so good!

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drank Chamomile Lavender by Teas Etc
314 tasting notes

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I just want to add that this is fantastic with milk! The creamsicle aspect is enhanced and whole effect of drinking this is very soothing—must be the warm milk. The taste seems “naturally” sweet (are the flavors sweetened?) so no additional sweetner is needed. Reminds me very much of an Earl Grey Latte from Starbucks (what they used to call the “London Fog”) but much less $$$.

Upping the score (because of this yummy “tea latte/milk tea” experience)!

Edited to add: It’s so strange because my last note on this I added milk and it wasn’t this delicious at all! Must have overbrewed it or used too much/too little leaf or something! So for this note, I used 3 heaping teaspoons in my small teapot which can hold up to 2 mugs of water (I think that’s 16oz?) and it came out perfect for milk tea.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

This is very good for an Earl Grey…


I am in search of an excellent Earl Grey. Thank yo for your post!

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drank Almond Cookie by SpecialTeas
314 tasting notes

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Oh boy, this tea has character! Upon opening my sample packet, I was surprised on how fragrant the leaves were! Peppery, bready, peaty and herbal. Once steeped, the taste is bold, smoky and very peppery! On cooldown the earthiness asserts itself. Very smooth too—no bitterness and not much astringency. I guess you could call this a “piquant” breakfast blend?

(I added just a bit of milk)

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Love this tea as well. It has become one of our breakfast standards. But sadly, SpecialTeas is no more. We ordered a whole pound during their final sale last winter, but when that’s gone it will be a sad day. SpecialTeas indicated they have been bought by Teevana. At first, I (naively) assumed that meant Teevana would now carry SpecialTeas products, but no. Does anyone know if Teevana (or anyone else) will be offering this tea at some point, or does another company offer a similar Yunnan / Assam blend?

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Virgo Sun, Pisces Moon, Aries Rising

My ratings are purely subjective and each note varies according to my perception and mood at the moment. So, with that said, my rating scale can be deciphered as follows:
90-100: I am in love! A must have at all times! :D
80-89: This is good. It is full-tin worthy! :))
79-70: This is okay. Glad I tried it. Might get more. :)
69-60: Meh. I’m indifferent. Neither here nor there, this is Tea Purgatory. :/
59-under: Mediocre and Sad. Really not good enough to try again. A disappointment. :(

My Misc. Personal Favorites List (because I love making lists!):
Books = The Mind Parasites by Colin Wilson, The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, Beauty by Sherri S. Tepper, The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher, Personal Darkness by Tanith Lee.
Movies = E.T., The Princess Bride, Babette’s Feast, Enchanted April, The Age of Innocence, Death Becomes Her, GATTACA, Fight Club, The Matrix, The Others, Pride and Prejudice (2005 version), Nacho Libre :).
TV Shows = The Twilight Zone (a classic!), Star Trek TNG, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I miss this!), Mad Men, Sherlock, Being Human.
Music? = I find myself perennially stuck in an 80’s-90’s New Wave & Alternative time warp. ;)
Quote of the Day: “There really isn’t anything; only the story appearing now—and not even that.”


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