622 Tasting Notes


Another review I’m moving now that I’ve found the wholesale source; I tried this tea as “Spicy Chocolate Rooibos” by Angry Tea Room (they no longer carry it). It is still available as “Mexican Hot Chocolate” by Par Avion Tea.

This sampler came from the Here’s Hoping Teabox, so thank you to tea-sipper for organizing and all teabox contributers! I prepared this as a small pot of tea in the evening, to hit that evening sweet-tooth craving while not having to worry about caffeine.

The dry leaf had a very sweet chocolately scent, a bit like cinnamon and nutmeg mixed with powdered cocoa, and it also came off as just slightly floral to me. The steeped cup has a very nice cinnamon spice aroma with a hint of cocoa in the background, but I’m a bit of a spice-wuss, so I’m a bit scared of the amount of chili in the blend… But it honestly did not have the kick I was worried about. Really, the tea just has a warmth to it that ends up feeling quite cozy. The rooibos/honeybush base has more of a sweet chocolately note than tasting much like either of the base teas, though I wouldn’t say the chocolate is extremely strong, either; present and noticable, sweet, but not rich or overpowering. The cinnamon is the dominant flavor, and it starts off quite sweet on the tongue, but then the warmth of the spicy chiles settles on the back of the tongue, leaving the finish of the sip slightly spicy, and with a warm, satisfying feeling down the throat and in the stomach. The spiciness doesn’t unpleasantly linger, but I’m sure the tea would also take a bit of milk well to taste, for those even more spice sensitive than myself (and I consider myself pretty sensitive!)

I had my reservations, but this turned out really nice. I’m glad I decided to try this despite the scary “spicy” word and two types of chiles in the ingredients. It reminds me of Mexican cocoa, if the chocolate notes were toned down a bit.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Spicy, Sweet

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 4 g 15 OZ / 443 ML

Aw, Angry Tea Room doesn’t sell this anymore? I just had this the other day. At least you found some sources.


How are you tracking down the wholesale sources? I have a few I’d love to find.

Mastress Alita

@tea-sipper: It seems with the exception of “Sue’s Blend” which is Tea Guy’s “Chocolate Ginger Bourbon,” I’m not really seeing Angry Tea Room stocking any other Tea Guy blends anymore. Par Avion Tea seems to be exclusively repackang Tea Guy blends, even ones that have now been pulled from Tea Guys’ retail site (they must have made some of their blends available as wholesale-only now).

@Shae: Careful searching of ingredient lists, mixed with my library science research training, pretty much. There are still some that stump my best efforts, but I have gotten pretty good at it. I’m still in the process of moving a few of my reviews around, because if one mom-and-pop-shop stops carrying something I find it much more meaningful for me to look for a tea using wholesale info and prefer to archive off of that. (And I use my Steepster hive-mind not for inventory, but archival purposes; I have an external spreadsheet I use for up-to-date inventory needs).


Yeah, you’re good at this kind of thing. I didn’t even notice Angry Tea Room was sourcing from Tea Guys and I’m familiar with their teas.


Thanks for sharing! I’m so impressed you’re able to find all these.

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I hunted down the source of this tea that I sampled from The Angry Tea Room (called “Caramel Popcorn Movie Night”) back in February 2018. Expect a “work in progress” sign up as I shift around a few more reviews to their wholesale source listings… at least they are fairly old ones?

I decided to have a late night first time watch of Deadpool tonight, so I pulled this sample out from my Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox samples to sipdown since it went so well with the mood! (Thanks so much to tea-sipper for organizing and all contributors of the box!) The brewed tea had a very sweet, caramely scent, with almost a maple syrup sort of sweetness to the aroma. Mmmm! I found the flavor very nice… it was a very rich, full caramel flavor, rather than being overly sweet-syrupy like some caramel-flavored teas I’ve tried. I think the base of the tea is what really balances out the flavor so nicely; the roasted mate gives it a toasty depth, and I’ve found that black/rooibos blends tend to create this nice combination of sweet malt. The tea is very smooth with no astringencies. This is a fantastic dessert tea!

Flavors: Candy, Caramel, Malt, Maple Syrup, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

I was just thinking about this tea earlier today! I looked it up to sadly find that Angry Tea Room no longer carries it. So your tasting note is great news for me!


That sounds really tasty. I love caramel popcorn.

Mastress Alita

It isn’t on the Tea Guys retail site, so it seems like they now have several blends that they only create for wholesale. But if you search the ingredients you can still find retailers carrying the blends; Par Avion Tea has it, though it does appear the blend has been updated since the time I had this one. Not sure if the new updated blend holds up, I really enjoyed this one too.


@Mastress Alita Thank you :)


Now I’m noticing that Angry Tea Room stopped selling MOST of the blends I loved that they had. No fun.

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This was done in 190 degree F water with a three minute steep, and the resulting brew had a nice caramely color, but had a musky, earthy, roasted aroma. The flavor of the tea reminded me of roasted nuts (I was actually reminded a lot of TeaSource’s Roasted Chestnut tea), and the liquor was very smooth with a sort of sweetness that left a somewhat honey-like aftertaste on my tongue. The tea had subtle notes of deep, rich, earthy minerals beneath the sweeter, toasty, roasted nutty flavors. I found the tea very enjoyable! Smooth and nutty, with many of the appeals of a darker tea without the astringencies or bitterness. I think this would appeal to fans of nutty, earthy flavors that don’t like flavored blends.

Flavors: Earth, Honey, Mineral, Musty, Nutty, Roasted nuts, Smooth, Sweet

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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drank Lychee Peach by Art of Tea
622 tasting notes

This tea has a suprisingly smooth base; I was expecting a lot more astringency with this one, but it is very sweet and the flavor is fantastic! While I’m not much of a fan of the texture of lychee fruit, I love the flavor, and this tea has a great, rich lychee taste, with a softer peach note in the finish. I also notice this slight floral note which just rounds out the fruity flavors nicely. This is one of my favorite black teas to prepare iced as well, since it has a nice strong flavor and I find the stonefruit notes really refreshing and naturally sweet enough to hold well as a cold tea, as long as it is prepared as a hot steep first and then chilled.

Flavors: Floral, Lychee, Peach, Smooth, Stonefruits, Sweet

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

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Moving this review I made in January of 2018 under Fusion Teas over to the wholesaler, Dethlefsen & Balk, since I prefer my own cupboard to be organized that way and this tea is definitely from D&B. Feel free to ignore this old review… I may be moving some other stuff around as I come across them.

The tisane smelled strongly of orange-vanilla creamsicle, and it wasn’t the first time I had a holiday blend this winter with that flavor profile (which I found a bit odd, as creamsicle always makes me think of the ice cream pops, a very summer association in my mind). Despite the large amount of ingredients in the blend, from the two cups I got from the sampler, my impression of the flavor was a sweet orange-vanilla creamsicle base with a lot of tart hibiscus and cranberry notes, something which I recall being quite unique compared to the other creamsicle teas I’ve tried. The tea also had a slightly savory note from the carrot, but it was quite hard to pick up on unless you happen to drink a lot of carrot juice (which happens to be one of my favorite juices). It was very subtle. The tea was quite sweet with a very smooth, somewhat creamy mouthfeel, and despite all the spice in the blend, it left very little impression on the taste; the cinnamon notes were also quite subtle. The tea felt like a blend of a Cinnamon Plum fruit cider tea and an Orange Vanilla Rooibos creamsicle tea. It was a bit of an odd combination, but not unpleasant, either. I wish that for all the ingredients in the blend, more flavor notes stood out. There seems little reason to me to have so many ingredients in an herbal mix if they don’t really add anything because other flavors dominate the cup so thoroughly. Perhaps it was just the luck of the draw of what ended up in my sampler pouch, though.

Flavors: Creamy, Hibiscus, Orange, Smooth, Sweet, Tart, Vanilla

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 350 OZ / 10350 ML

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drank Smores by CitizenTea
622 tasting notes

One of my older sampler tins, I decided to make a warm cuppa of this for my morning tea. I’m actually enjoying this one more than the Chocolate Hazelnut and Rooibos Chocolate Chai, as both of those I found a bit weak on flavor unless I really upped the leaf content, but I’m getting a pretty sweet, marshmallowy note from this cup with just my teaspoon. I do still feel that, like the others, the chocolate note is a bit weak — I can tell it is there, but it is coming out more like a chocolate sweetness than a chocolately flavor to me? At least that’s the impression I’m getting, while I’m really tasting a marshmallow flavor, and I can’t think of many teas I’ve had that flavor note from before. Especially without trying to add lapsang souchong to the blend (which is a migraine trigger for me so I have to avoid it), so I’m really enjoying this. I’m getting a hint of a biscuity note too, which is nice, and making me wish I had some biscuits or grahams to eat with this cuppa. I just wish the chocolate was popping a bit more, but I tend to feel that way about a lot of teas. If I had some chocolate almond milk I’d be curious how this would fare as a latte, and if the marshmallow flavor would still hold up against the milk… if I end up making a grocery run I may have to try that out while I still have some of the sampler leaf.

Flavors: Chocolate, Graham, Honey, Marshmallow, Smooth, Sweet

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

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I’m continuing to focus on my older teas, especially coconut teas; this one, at least, doesn’t have dried coconut in it, just some sort of coconut flavoring/extract, so despite the age it doesn’t taste soured/rancid. I got it from Snake River Tea, but I don’t know where they are sourcing it from… I had it warm before work one morning and found it very buttery with a nice toasted coconut flavor, but I’m really enjoying making it as a cold brew and filling my water bottle with it as iced tea. It tastes of butter, roasted nuts, toasted coconut, slightly vegetal, and I’m finding it very refreshing.

Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Nutty, Roasted nuts, Smooth, Toasty, Vegetal

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

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I’ve been seeing this one pop up this month as appropriately festive and though I’ve had it for ages (and shared it out a few times!) I have yet to even try it myself yet (the story of my life…) So I am making a cuppa as my nightly herbal tonight, even though I have a migraine and am tempted to just grab a boring ol’ cup of mint or ginger tea…

Used a heaping teaspoon in boiling water and left the teabag in the cup to bathe well past the five minute mark. The aroma coming off the cup is amazing! I’m smelling caramel apples, burnt sugar, vanilla cream, and a hint of pepper. And I have to say, after taking the first sip, that I feel I’m actually getting all those notes coming out in the flavor, too. Mostly I’m getting a warm caramel apple flavor, with a darker burnt sugar/creme brulee note, and some more subtle notes of vanilla and spiced pumpkin bread. It’s very sweet so this is definitely a sweettooth/indulgent/dessert sort of tea, but I know I certainly (cough frequently) have moods for that, especially in the evening, so having a caffeine-free option that hits that spot is great. And though it does encapsulate autumn flavors well, I can’t imagine finding caramel apples and pumpkin desserts less appealing (at least for me!) any other time of the year, so I appreciate that August Uncommon Tea doesn’t treat the flavor as a seasonal and yoink it from their line-up at certain times of the year.

My head may be unhappy tonight, but my mouth certainly isn’t.

Flavors: Apple, Baked Bread, Burnt Sugar, Candied Apple, Caramel, Cream, Pumpkin, Smooth, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla

Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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Happy Halloween! It’s my mom’s birthday today (I got her a birthday advent with coffee samplers; I never could convert her to tea but respect our differences!) When I moved into this condo last summer I rescued a completely black cat with Granny Smith apple green eyes (I named her Chiya, the Nepalese word for tea!) and she seems to be full of the “Halloween black cat” spirit today as she’s a huge ball of energy this morning; last night the wire snapped clean in half on her favorite chaser toy, so we are having to make due with an older chaser until the replacement shows up. (Obligatory Halloween kitty photo for those that like cat pictures: http://bl.canadia.info/photos/Chiya%2001.jpg )

I decided to brew this one because it is one of my oldest teas, ergo a good sipdown candidate, and the title seemed appropriate. I measured out 2.5g of green tea leaf and then added in several blueberries to the leaf separately, and steeped for 2 minutes in 175F water for my work thermos. The tea is quite nice; I can actually get a lot of the base green tea notes shining through, with a slight vegetal note that is a bit beany. I actually do taste a bit of a cotton candy vibe, as the tea is quite sweet, and leaves a sweet/fruity aftertaste on the tongue. A lot of teas with blueberry notes taste very thick, syrupy, or artificial; the blueberry here is present but doesn’t have that “blueberry pancake syrup” vibe I get from other blueberry teas, it tastes a bit more on the fruitier side and a little more subdued so I’m getting more of the base tea notes pulling through. I also feel a little tang of tart berry at the back of my tongue balancing the sweet candy-like flavors that is really pleasant.

I’m really enjoying this tea, and finding I like how the flavors seem to pop even more as my thermos cools, so I think I may like this even more as a cold brew; I may try that out with some of my leftover leaf (I do love flavored greens as iced teas). I think it hit the mark well though, and is a satisfying warm cup on a cold Halloween morning.

Flavors: Beany, Blueberry, Cotton Candy, Fruity, Sweet, Tangy, Vegetal

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

What a beautiful kitty!

Martin Bednář

Wonderful kitty (we actually have very similar one) and wonderful tea. Is something more to want?


“…a completely black cat with Granny Smith apple green eyes..” – I liked that descriptive detail. Came strait from a discerning tea review.


Hi Chiya :)


Chiya is a beautiful cat!

Mastress Alita

Thanks! She is quite happy that her replacement teaser wands have arrived! (Such a spoiled beast!)

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I found this old sampler tin and have been in a chai mood lately as the cold (and very windy!) fall weather sets in here, so I decided to finally try a cup of this tonight. The aroma of the dry leaf does remind me a bit of Mexican cocoa, as I do pick up a faint chocolate aroma, with a much stronger spice smell, namely cinnamon and cardamom.

The flavor is a little flat for me… I’m not sure if it’s the age, or if maybe I should’ve overleafed this just a little. The spices have a nice flavor and are very warming, but the base feels very weak to me, somehow, like the rooibos itself doesn’t have any fullness to it, and the chocolate is getting completely overwhelmed. The cinnamon, clove, and cardamom notes are very bold but I’m a bit let down that the rooibos itself, cocoa, and fruity goji berry notes are pretty much missing… right now I sort of feel like I’m drinking spices in a cup of water.

This was a pretty large sampler so as I work through it I’ll try upping the leaf and seeing if that creates an improvement, but I’m pretty disappointed at the moment. But considering the age of the sampler by the time I’ve finally gotten around to trying it, I feel some of the blame has to be on me and I can’t judge it too harshly.

Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Clove, Spices

Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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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, RuPaul’s Drag Race, 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
-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)
-Grapefruit (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.

Currently Sipping Down: Tealyra teas, Adagio teas

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.

New Teas Tried for 2020: 31
Sipdown Count for 2020: 50


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://docs.google.com/document/d/1AvGT1XwgJUTErt3zhjpHbXf6HNS3k_Ym85zoHJPmhX4/edit?usp=sharing . A downloadable spreadsheet version with more detailed information can be acquired here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D2J0sUMNItRsf0jBRBR6XDFUimm60f0o/view?usp=sharing . I am currently on a tea trading/ordering hiatus to get my collection under control! I cannot participate in any tea boxes, group orders, tea exchanges, or accept any tea gifts 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 gifting (USA only!)

Contact Info:

The Steepster PM system has been broken for some time. If you need to get ahold of me, 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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