1069 Tasting Notes

drank Bubble Gum by DAVIDsTEA
1069 tasting notes

For the May sipdown prompt, “A tea with a creative blend of ingredients.” Technically the composition of this isn’t too different from your typical fruit tea, but the flavorings make it quite unique. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tea with “juicy fruit” flavoring.

The dry leaf smells so strongly of pink bubblegum, it’s almost a little unnerving. I cold brewed the tea, and expected a purple or blue hue from the included butterfly pea flower, but instead it brewed a very faint pink-bordering-on-goldenrod. The smell carries over in the cold brew, too, though not as potent.

It tastes very accurate. It has that weird combined fruity flavor that tastes like bubblegum. It is sweet but not aggressively so given the candy tie-in. I have to really focus in to pick apart some of the fruit flavors (apple, pineapple, pear) but mindlessly gulping it ice cold to fight against warm weather dehydration, it just tastes like bubblegum. Classicly “pink” at first, with more of a “Juicy Fruit” gum flavor later in the sip that lingers on the tongue. Oddly enough, I get a very faint (a mere shadow, really) of a spearmint aftertaste, despite there being nothing minty in the blend.

It’s fun and definitely unique, but aside from the novelty of trying it, I don’t think it is the kind of thing I’d seek out again, despite being a bubblegum flavor fan.

Flavors: Apple, Bubblegum, Candy, Fruity, Pear, Pineapple, Spearmint, Sweet

Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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drank Butterbeer by 52teas
1069 tasting notes

For the May prompt “a soda tea.” This is a 2018 reblend.

I’ve pretty much already sipped down my soda-flavored teas because I’m such a fan of them, but I still had this 15g packet. Which will only get me two litres worth of ice tea and feels like a waste, but I want to drink my soda tea like I drink soda… namely, ice cold and carbonated.

Dry leaf smelled strongly like rootbeer, with a sort of creamy vanilla undertone. I brewed hot and then chilled overnight, and once cold, I added carbonation with my DrinkMate C02 infuser. And now I basically have delicious rootbeer soda, sans all the sugar, in my water bottle. It’s still plenty sweet in my opinion, and I love the extra brisk bite the carbonation adds.

Not really what my mind goes to when it thinks of “butterbeer,” but since I really like rootbeer teas and they are hard to come by, I’m never disappointed with those interpretations, either. Maybe it has more of a butterscotchy element when brewed warm, but I am very happy with my bubbly iced tea.

Flavors: Root Beer, Sweet, Vanilla

Iced 3 min, 0 sec 7 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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For the May prompt “a strawberry tea.”

The dry leaf aroma of this tea actually does remind me of strawberry shortcake… it has a sweet, candied strawberry sort of aroma mixed with a vanilla/cream scent that comes off very light/whipped and kinda pulls my mind to imagery of soft sponge cake.

Brewed up, both aromas are still present off the warm cup, with the strawberry aroma becoming a little zestier due to the malty/mineral notes of the black tea. The base has a surprising amount of boldness, with a deep coppery malt, citrus, and mineral flavor; it comes off a bit strongly when the tea is still piping hot, but as the liquor cools the flavorings become more dominant. The strawberry is a little fruity and a little candy, falling more on one side or the other for me depending on the sip, and the sweet vanilla/cream flavor is lovely.

Really enjoying this one!

Flavors: Cake, Candy, Citrus, Cream, Fruity, Malt, Mineral, Strawberry, Sweet, Vanilla

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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This was easily the hardest on the monthly sipdown prompt list for me, “a tea with grape/muscatel notes.” I’ve already sipped down my older grapy-grape Lupicia teas, and when I brewed a cup of the only darjeeling left in my house, it just didn’t have any muscatel notes to it. I recalled that I very often smell and taste a grape flavor in jasmine tea (I’m not sure why, but I have noticed there are some other people out there that have this response as well, so at least I’m not alone) so I decided to brew this long ago sampler from Teavivre.

I recall I picked out this sampler in the first place because my early experiences with jasmine were very not good — as in, it was like inhaling the strongest, worst grandma perfume ever and gave me a migraine — and I thought the proclaimed peach flavoring might tame it a bit. I’m not sure if my tastes have changed since then or it was just bad luck with a far-too-strong jasmine, as I’ve had better luck since then (especially on black bases). Sniffing the dry leaf, I definitely get that distinct flowery jasmine aroma, but I also smell that “grape candy” sort of aroma in it, as well. I definitely don’t smell any peach, though.

Brewed, it still smells heavily of jasmine… not as strong as the “grandma perfume” cup from my memory, but there is a perfume-like quality to it. I also smell grape and bubblegum in the aroma. I’m still not smelling peach… maybe there is some sweetness there contributing to the candy aromas?

The flavor is heady jasmine with a noticable flavor from the green base. There is a slight sweet grassiness but leans more closely to a fresh garden/vegetal quality. The jasmine is strong but isn’t giving me perfume headache, so I’m enjoying the flavor a lot. On the tongue it doesn’t taste as strongly of grapes as I’ve gotten from jasmine black teas, but I do still get that mild grape candy/bubblegum sweet flavor from the tea. There’s peach in this?! Really?! Maybe its just from the age of the sampler, but I don’t get even a hint of stonefruit.

It’s a pleasant cup but I see no reason to have this over other jasmine pearls, as the differential here was the peach, and that is entirely non-present for me.

Flavors: Bubblegum, Candy, Floral, Garden Peas, Grapes, Jasmine, Sweet, Warm Grass, Vegetal

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 17 OZ / 500 ML

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Coldbrewed this for the May prompt “a lemon tea.”

It reminds me of other “Pink Lemonade” fruit teas I’ve had in the past; it has a strong lemon citrus flavor, that is pleasantly tangy with an herbaceous lemongrass edge, followed by a sharp and pithy orange note and a sweeter, fruit punch/raspberry finish.

This is a refreshing tea and I’m always happy to have this flavor profile as a coldbrew, but this particular blend doesn’t really stand out to me over any of the other “pink lemonade” style fruit blends I’ve had.

Now if only the weather here would turn sunny and warm, to fully enjoy a refreshing lemonade coldbrew… (It snowed yesterday! AUGH!)

Flavors: Citrus, Fruit Punch, Fruity, Lemon, Lemongrass, Orange, Orange Zest, Raspberry, Tangy, Tart

Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

It’s in the 90s here this week! I don’t like the heat, but I couldn’t imagine snow this late in the year either. Stay warm!

Mastress Alita

Last year we had a warm May like that! I’m not a fan of the heat either, but it appears this year we are just going from Winter to Second Winter to Summer without ever getting a proper Spring!


Snow? Wow! We did have a couple of days of cool down but it is warm and sunny again. I can not imagine snow in May.


It’s not unheard of in SW MO, either; flurries, anyway. Last time it happened, a few years ago, the flakes were as big as quarters and melted almost before they hit the ground.

Mastress Alita

Here, most of our May snow has not stuck, but my sister is only two hours away and they got enough of a build-up this last Monday that their tree, already full of spring leaves, capsized under the snow weight. Craziness!

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Using this tea as “a tea that reminds you of yourself.” It’s tart in that puckery sort of way which turns a lot of people off, and it is incredibly unique (at least in small town Idaho, where exotic fruits such as Chinese hawthorn are just not a thing). I feel pretty awkward around others and feel like I come off abrasive even if I don’t mean to, and that I just don’t really “fit in” in the area I live. I’m an acquired taste, I guess…?

I got a sample of this from Teavivre, and it didn’t look like very much dried fruit was in the packet, so I cold brewed the whole sample in 500ml of water instead of a litre like I usually prepare cold brew. I like it! But I don’t think I could recommend it to most, as I find this a strong citrusy flavor with a tart, puckery flavor. It tastes sort of like really watery lemon juice that transitions into a sort of tangerine/orange peel flavor that lingers on the tongue. Maybe a hint of pine in there, as well?

If you are the sort of person that finds hibiscus too tart, then this tea will be too tart. I’d say that fans of pleasantly sour things should give it a try. I wouldn’t mind having more of this!

Flavors: Citrus, Lemon, Orange Zest, Pine, Pleasantly Sour, Tangerine, Tart

Iced 8 min or more 1 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

I really like how you connected the tea to the sipdown theme. Definitely unique and says a lot about you as well as the tea. I’d bet you’re not the only one here who feels as though they don’t fit in where they live. Maybe we could make ourselves a town and “not fit in” together!

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Pulled this 2018 tea for the May prompt “a geeky tea.”

The dry leaf was beautiful; the rolled leaves were sooooo long and once brewed, some looked positively autumnal floating in the warm water. Dry, the leaf smelled of nutmeg and a little custardy, but the minute water hit the leaves I got a strong floral/fruity aroma. Steeped, I still get that fruity aroma, as well as a sharp medicinal note. I’m not sure I could peg the particular fruity aroma, but I can certainly get a plum association… I think my nose is smelling an odd combination of plum, fig, and raisin. The more I stick my nose in the cup while waiting for the tea to cool, the more I smell the nutmeg, as well.

I’m getting a warm fruit compote flavor from the cooled tea, not medicinal at all on the tongue. Definitely tastes a bit like a combination of the above three fruity flavors, but with a hint of cherry as well, particularly at the end of the sip. I taste the nutmeg, but it is lightly warming and not a strong presense. I don’t really get any of the custardy notes that I could smell on the dry leaf, but there is a sort of honeyed sweetness to the tea.

Very satisfying on (yet another) dreary rainy day.

Flavors: Cherry, Fig, Fruity, Honey, Nutmeg, Plum, Raisins, Spices

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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Finishing this off for the May sipdown prompt, “An herbal tea.”

It’s a “sweet cinnamon candy” tea, but I find I really enjoy that flavor on a rooibos base; the mix of honey sweet and mildly woody suits that sweet cinnamon flavor nicely. I have a black tea version of this tea as well, but like this one better; that combo of sweet and warm spiciness just makes for a nice nightcap on these rainy spring evenings.

I’ll have to restock this at some point. Raising my rating from a 75 to 80.

Flavors: Artificial, Candy, Cinnamon, Clove, Orange Zest, Rooibos, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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Using this for the sipdown prompt “A tea flavored like a favorite baked good.” (Though I think all baked goods, banana bread excluded, would count as a “favorite baked good” for me, hahahaha…)

Prepared this cold brewed, which is my typical prep style for heavy, chunky fruit teas. I’m sipping on it now from a chilled water bottle to re-hydrate after a grocery run, and it is very refreshing. It is sweeter than I expected (ya’ll know me, I’m a tart ’n tangy hibi fan) and because of that sweetness, I am seeing the blueberry muffin comparison. The blueberry does have that jammy/syrupy sweet taste I associate with blueberry baked goods.

While I normally drink my fruit teas cold, due to the sweet nature of this one, I think I’ll have to try a warm cuppa this evening. Still satisfying cold, just lacking the tartness I typically expect and enjoy in a fruit tea cold brew.

Flavors: Blueberry, Fruity, Jam, Pancake Syrup, Pastries, Sweet

Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

Yes, “favorite” baked good is a puzzler for me. haha

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New month, new sipdown prompt list! Using this tea for “a cupboard staple.”

I find it hard to go wrong with any genmaicha, but I particularly like this one from Kyoto Obubu Tea Farm (purchased through Yunomi). I find I prefer the more “traditional” genmaicha used with bancha instead of sencha, and this tea has lovely large, full bancha leaves. The flavor is a fresh, spring-like vegetal grassiness, with that lovely roasty, toasty, nutty flavor from the genmai. The proportions are good too; every scoop gives an ample amount of both tea leaves and genmai for a very even flavor.

This is a tea I find hits my tastes any time of the year. The green tea evokes the fresh, grassy warmer weather, and the satisfying warm roastiness of the rice makes it comforting in cooler weather. On a very rainy spring day like today, it really hits the spot.

Flavors: Nutty, Roasted, Sweet, Warm Grass, Toasted Rice, Toasty, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

Yep, genmaicha is definitely one of my cupboard staples. It’s one of the teas that made me grateful I started drinking tea. :D

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Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud genderqueer asexual (she/they) and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little condo!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Bergamot (in moderation)

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Hemp/CBD teas
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.


My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/xjt9ptx3 . I am open to tea trades (within the United States only!) at this time. Note that I will not trade teas that I currently have in a quantity less than 50g (samplers, 1oz packages, etc.) or any teas that are currently still sealed/unopened in my cupboard.

Contact Info:

Feel free to send me a Steepster PM, or alternatively, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.


Idaho, United States



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