993 Tasting Notes


Grabbed this as my next packet of old holiday tea to sip down. The dry leaf has a raspberry cream aroma.

Steeped 2.5g in 350ml 175F water for 2 minutes. I’m still getting a raspberry cream aroma from the cup, though it is quite delicate, and I can small the sharpness of the grassy green beneath it. The green tea base has a nice fresh, grassy taste, with just a hint of a vegetal pea note, rather than the musty-funk I get from older green tea. The fruitiness I’m getting is more of a soft/sweet berry flavor and is lacking the sort of tang that would define that closer to raspberry for me. There is also a soft vanilla/cream note. Overall, the flavoring is quite gentle here, but this is also an older tea for me. I can sort of get a “raspberry cupcake with vanilla frosting” vibe, I just wish it was sharper/more pronounced.

Still a satisfying afternoon cuppa.

Flavors: Berry, Cake, Cream, Fruity, Grass, Peas, Raspberry, Sweet, Vanilla, Vegetal

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

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Finally got through some very much needed house cleaning today, in which I guzzled through the last of a coldbrew mason jar I had in the fridge. Thankfully I had set up another mason jar of coldbrew last night — this tea! — and just needed to strain it to continue getting much-needed chug-style hydration.

This blend is a 2018 reblend. The dry leaf has a lovely lemon cream aroma… reminds me of Tazo Lemon Loaf on the nose. Coldbrewed, I’m getting a very refreshing wet rock minerality and fresh damp grassiness from the green tea, with a somewhat sweet/creamy lemon flavor that retains a citrus sharpness toward the end of the sip. There is also a mellow herbaceous/hay quality in the background, which I’m guessing is from the lemon grass.

Bright, refreshing, and very thirst-quenching! Exactly what I needed to recharge after cleaning-cardio.

Flavors: Citrus, Cream, Grass, Hay, Herbaceous, Lemon, Wet Rocks

Iced 8 min or more 6 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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Happy National Pear Day! Today the prompt is to drink a tea with pear flavor notes.

Found this old (yet still sealed) bag that I purchased from a cupboard sale by Ost, back in 2018. Thank you, Ost!

Normally I won’t drink caffeinated tea after 6 p.m., but the dry leaf of this looked far more like a chunky fruit herbal blend than a flavored white tea blend, so I’m expecting anything from the tea leaves to be minimal enough to not effect my sleep (and if I’m wrong, at least tomorrow is Sunday).

I decided to steep this like I normally steep herbals as well… just a big, haphazard scoop into a fillable teabag that is left in the cup while I drink. The tea does have a nice, very pear forward aroma while steeping. On the tongue, I am getting a sort of mixed pear/apple fruity flavor, and, oddly enough, an unplaced floral note. Midsip and lingering after the swallow is a nice ginger flavor, certainly present, warming, and lingering, but not spicy-hot/burny. I’m tasting cinnamon as well, and I think the sweetness of the cinnamon is probably taking some of the edge off the ginger being spicy.

I like the flavor combo. I’m a big ginger fan but find ginger-forward teas tend to be too hot for me, and this is just the right balance of warming spice and sweet fruit.

Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Floral, Fruity, Ginger, Pear, Spices

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

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Not long ago, I decided I really needed to stock up the pantry with some quick-and-easy teabag herbals, as I’ve been quickly using up my non-caffeinated loose leaf due to my “no caffeine after 6 pm” rule. I remember hearing about the limited “Forager’s Edition” teas exclusive to Target (four blends, each “inspired by” a different region of the US). When I went, Target was sold out of the Midwest blend, Wild Apple Sarsaparilla, so I went home with a box each of the other three.

Then, gmathis was kind enough to offer me a sample so I could try all of them! Today I (finally) got out to the mailbox and was surprised with a beautiful card, kind note, and two teabags. So I am now steeping it up as my nightly cuppa today!

The aroma from my steeped cup is giving me sort of a caramel apple vibe… I smell apple, but there is a sweet vanilla/caramel sort of note as well. On the sip, I taste green apples, and it actually has more of a bite to it than the syrupy sweetness that plays on the nose. Sort of an herbaceous peppery flavor… which, looking at the ingredients on the package, I’m going to guess is coming from the cardamom. After the swallow, a sweetness plays out on my tongue… I do taste licorice root, but mildly, without the long, coating-sensation sweetness. I’m actually having a hard time making out the sarsaparilla, which is what interested me the most in the blend (I’m a big fan of it!) I had been initially worried about the chamomile (a flavor I’m not keen on) but the flavors/spices in this tea completely cover up that weird “soapy” taste I get with chamomile.

This is really pleasant! A nice blend to unwind after what felt like a very long work week. Thank you so much, gmathis!

Flavors: Apple, Caramel, Green Apple, Herbaceous, Licorice, Pepper, Sweet, Vanilla

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

My pleasure! This one was a surprise to me. I’m two thumbs up for two on the Foragers I’ve tried (Juniper Honey Mint was the other.)

Mastress Alita

I enjoyed the Honey Juniper Mint one, too! (which I tried but haven’t gotten around to recording a note for yet). I haven’t tried the other two flavors yet!

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drank Eggnog Mate by 52teas
993 tasting notes

I think with perhaps the exception of tea-sipper, I may be the only person on the site not doing an advent. I’d rather sipdown the gobs of old-and-getting-older tea in my cupboard… many of which are old holiday teas. Likely from advents past.

So this is the first packet I’ve pulled out. Only had enough time to steep for about 3 minutes rather than the recommended 5 as I was running late for work and needed to get it in the thermos and out the door.

Sipping on it now, as its been a few hours and cool enough in my thermos for easy drinking. I have never had eggnog, and thus don’t know what it should taste like (this year, I’m going to get some and finally scratch that itch). So maybe it is my lack of flavor experience, but all I’m really tasting is mate. Very good mate, less on the hay/herbaceous side and coming out more nutty/coffee-like. It has a sort of spicy scent on the nose, but it isn’t coming out that strongly on the tongue… perhaps slightly nutmegish?

It’s warming and the roasty/nutty flavor is hitting the spot on a cold, under-slept morning.

Flavors: Coffee, Hot Hay, Nutmeg, Nutty, Spices

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

No advents — my cupboards, baskets, shelves, tea chests, and various other receptacles are running over. Before you know it, I’ll be hiding bags in my car.

Mastress Alita

Here, here! Do I ever know that feeling.


So I am a bit embarrassed to ask after all this time, but exactly where is this tea challenge posted? I see tasting notes all the time saying it was part of the challenge and kept thinking I would bump into it somewhere but so far, nope. Ha ha!

Mastress Alita

It’s the “Sipdown Progress Thread” in the Discussion/Forums of this site.



Thank you, Mastress Alita!


Yeah, the No Advents club! Mastress Alita, Gmathis and Tea-sipper! haha.

Mastress Alita

Now we just need some matching t-shirts!

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Steeped up a cup of this tonight. I get a strong cinnamon aroma from the cup, but also, oddly enough, apples. I wonder if the caramel/cinnamon is just creating an apple association? But it is a strong cinnamon apple cider sort of aroma, while the cup is really hot.

In flavor, I mostly just taste a sweet cinnamon rooibos… a little bready, a little nutty, a little woody, lots of cinnamon. I don’t taste caramel, but am picking up a sweetness to the tea.

It isn’t really reminding me of caramel monkey bread, but it is a pleasant nightly cuppa.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Nutty, Rooibos, Sweet, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 4 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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Cold brewed. I enjoy the taste, but I honestly don’t notice any difference, flavor-wise, between this and Murchie’s “Pink Lemonade” tea, which I sipped down rather recently. The Murchie’s blend is all herbal, while this tea is on a white tea base, but I’m not really getting anything from either the flavor or body of the tea where the white tea is making any difference. Tastes like a hibiscus fruit tea, with a tangy and pithy/juicy citrus flavor, overlaying the tart hibiscus fruit punch base.

Between the two, I think I do prefer the fully-herbal Murchie’s blend, which was a bit punchier/authentic with the citrus. This blend has some lovely, huge hibiscus flowers (rather than just the cut/sifted petals) but was lacking the citrus chunks/peels and instead used strong flavoring on a weak white base. They do taste strikingly similar, but other than the increased weight from the ingredients, I think I prefer the chunkier and more natural herbal/fruit tea.

Flavors: Fruit Punch, Fruity, Hibiscus, Lemon, Pleasantly Sour, Tart

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

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Happy National French Toast Day! Today the prompt is to drink a tea with flavor notes of a French Toast topping! I just decided to go with this tea that has “French Toast” in the title, which has been in my stash since 2018. I bought it on vacation to the Bay Area in California, which, back then, had several physical DAVIDsTEA locations. Now, all the physical DAVIDsTEAs in the US are closed. So… old tea, as per usual!

Still smells nice in the bag, though… like sweet lemon, and definitely cardamom. Brewed, it smells even sweeter, giving off a sort of honey graham cracker sort of aroma, as well as the citrus and cardamom.

Base has a malty/baked bread quality. The sip has a sweet cinnamon-sugar flavor, with a strong pop of cardamom that takes hold mid-sip and lingers on the tongue, but not in a spicy-hot way. There is a lemony note to the tea, which is amplified a bit by the citrusy taste of the cardamom.

It’s nice. The spice of the cardamom is smoothed by the sweetness leaving a nice cardamom flavor that doesn’t burn. I still enjoy the elusive 52Teas’ “Coconut French Toast with Cardamom Maple Syrup” more, though.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Citrus, Graham Cracker, Honey, Lemon, Malt, Smooth, Spices, Sugar, Sweet

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

I am a fan of this one too. A bit heavy on the sugar, but the blend is a winner.

All our locations here are closed but one. Too bad. These are teas that really do need to be sampled before investing in large quantities.

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Happy (American) Thanksgiving! Today the prompt is to drink a tea with flavor notes of a favorite Thanksgiving dish!

Sooooooooo… I know what you’re thinking. Instant Thai tea packets?! I live alone, without any friends or family for states. I have a sister that lives in-state, and is only a 2 hour drive away, but she has worked management in retail for over a decade now, which means she can’t be seen, period, during the holidays. So this cultural idea of a big meal at a family get-together just doesn’t exist for me.

Being in this situation, I have to create my own traditions, and my Thanksgiving tradition is to buy GOBS of Thai food the day before when restaurants are still open, and just work my way through all the leftovers on Thanksgiving. Ergo, Thai tea is the perfect fit for my “favorite Thanksgiving dish”!

These have long been a guilty pleasure of mine. I shouldn’t enjoy instant tea as much as I enjoy these things. A combination of instant powdered black tea, sugar, and cream, this brews that classic, guady, 70s orange of Thai tea, and tastes really thick and creamy… like hot chocolate, only vanilla-flavored instead of chocolate. So indulgent!

Flavors: Cream, Creamy, Sweet, Thick, Vanilla

175 °F / 79 °C
Evol Ving Ness

Happy day of thanks to you!


Enjoy the Thai food!


I love non-traditional traditions! For years, until our constitutions became middle aged (not to mention the rest of our bodies), we did an annual Thanksgiving Eve chili dogs and Frito pies run to a local place, Stogey’s Coney Island!

Martin Bednář

You have found a solution for yourself. And it suits you well and that matters!


Thai food splurge sounds glorious. The instant powdered black is a guilty pleasure of mine as well :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Evol Ving Ness

Oh I miss American chili dogs, specifically from Pink’s in LA. Frito pie sounds good too. And Thai food, of course. <3

Mastress Alita

Mmm, chili dogs with fritos is good eatin’, too!


Your Thai tea sounds decadently good! I will have to keep an eye out for something like that.

I am glad you have a tradition that makes you happy! That food sounds wonderful. Happy Thanksgiving!

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I pulled this 2018 acquisition as my next caffeine-free nightly tea to work through. I’m surprised I haven’t tried this yet, as I love lavender-forward teas!

This is a very sweet tea! Not the puckeringly-sweet licorice root bomb that their “Spa Day” was, but enough that I question why they felt the need to add licorice root and stevia leaf to this one. I’m not getting a distinct flavor of either of those things, but the sweetness of the tea is pushing the vanilla flavor into a sort of “over-the-top” vanilla frosting note, and the rooibos base tastes like pure, golden honey. The lavender is absolutely lovely, giving the cup a lovely fragrance and plenty of lavender flavor (I find a lot of lavender teas are quite light-handed with it, moreso than I personally would prefer, and this is definitely in the camp of generous lavender). Sometimes I get a vegetal-bitter quality from lavender that is too strong or brewed too long, but thanks to the sweetness of this tea, I can leave the fillable teabag in the cup indefinitely and it nevers goes bitter.

It could do with a little less sweetness, but I’m happy with the flavor overall.

Flavors: Floral, Frosting, Honey, Lavender, Sweet, Vanilla

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

Hmm, with licorice AND stevia, I must admit I had my doubts. Glad it worked out.

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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 asexual 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 currently strictly limiting tea trading/ordering to get my collection under control! My participation in any tea boxes, tea exchanges, or group orders, and acceptance of any tea gifts is very limited at this point in time. If there is something on my spreadsheet that I have in large quantity (50g or higher) that you would like to sample, feel free to contact me about it, as I am open to limited outbound gifting (USA only!)

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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