2934 Tasting Notes

drank Mayan Chocolate Chai by 52teas
2934 tasting notes

Years ago I wanted to try a cayenne chocolate chai. I wanted to try this one specifically years ago, especially since it had cayenne, and thanks to Rachel’s sale, a sample was included in my 52Teas sample batch I was lucky to grab. Opening the package, there is a lot of cayenne pepper dust with some big almond slices. The taste is super-heat and spicy! Almost a bit too much but I love it. I wish there was more chocolate flavor and more flavor from the almond slices but this is nice. The second steep was surprisingly still very spicy after a just boiled, six minute steep. There isn’t much flavor in the way of actual chai spices but I like this one that way. Black tea, chocolate, cayenne. This would certainly be one of my favorites from 52Teas even if the flavor isn’t quite the way I want it (but that may be due to the age of this blend.) I’m very happy I finally got to try this one!

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Additional notes: ICED! Just a quick note on this one iced. Really, I just dumped some leaves in the mason jar without measuring like I usually do! After two days in the fridge, the flavor is mostly roses and not really any black tea. Most people probably wouldn’t like the flavor of the roses without the black tea, but I’m loving the flowery goodness. It tastes like summer.


The nice thing about iced tea season is that you just about can’t ruin anything as long as it’s good and strong and cold.


Ooooo I love the taste of roses!

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I had been wanting to request more samples from Teavivre but I kind of felt guilty about it and I thought I’d drink up some of my other teas first anyway. BUT Angel from Teavivre sent me a message on Steepster saying she was sending me some samples anyway! Well, if they are offering, I will certainly not say no! So THANK YOU for the amazing generous sample package! I always love Teavivre’s teas, so this will be fantastic. Tan Yang’s are the next tea I HAD to try, thanks to the reviews I’ve seen here on Steepster. The descriptions of Tan Yangs sounded like they’d be my new favorite.

I wanted to follow Teavivre’s steep instructions: This means 185 degrees with FOUR teaspoons of tea for 8 ounces with 1-3 minute steeping times. So I used three teaspoons of these lovely mostly golden yellow wirey leaves (which is probably the most leaves I’ve ever used for any tea).

First steep // A minute thirty seconds. I let the water cool a while after boiling. Sadly, I have no way to tell what temp my water is. The flavor is divine, but it seems like the water was cooled too long for a black tea. But I will certainly follow Teavivre’s instructions at least for the first batch of leaves since they kindly sent me the samples. This is so good, but I wish I knew why this was called a Tan Yang. I’m going to take a guess that it’s because this tea is from Tanyang Village? It seems like a lighter Yunnan tea. I know Yunnans come from Yunnan. But this is a Fujian tea (and from the few teas I’ve had that I’ve known are from there, they seem like they have charcoal accents.) Anyway, the flavors here: a bit of smoke somehow (is that the Fujian?), sweet potato, honey, molasses… but on a lighter scale, probably because the steep temp is so low.

Second steep // Hotter & two minutes. This one had a deeper flavor, but still very similar to the first cup. I must have steeped it just the right way with the increase in time & temp to get it that way. I definitely suggest using three teaspoons for this one since I can see how it would be way too light tasting with only one teaspoon. Very good!

Third steep // Just boiled for 4 minutes. Cup number three had a slight flavor that reminded me of what I would call the Fujian flavor: something like charcoal. But it is just enough to be intriguing… not overpowering. The cup color is now a deep red rather than orange. More malty goodness!

I always thought that the few Fujian teas I’ve tried were so charcoal-like that they were my least favorites. But I’ve learned that not all Fujian teas are the same. I guess every tea IS my cup of tea! Oh no!


“Sadly, I have no way to tell what temp my water is.”
Here’s an inexpensive fast-reading solution you may wish to consider: http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/36677-davidstea-thermometer-and-timer

Terri HarpLady

This is actually the next tea I’ll be drinking this morning!


Oh thanks, looseTman, I didn’t know that existed. Also I appreciated you mentioning in yesterdays tasting note that 8 grams of tea is 3 teaspoons. :D


You’re welcome. The DAVIDsTEA thermometer/timer is cost-effective and very handy for brewing western style.

A more convenient but more $$ method would be a variable-temperature kettle. Here’s one example: http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39130-bonavita-1-liter-variable-temperature-digital-electric-gooseneck-kettle – very helpful for Gongfu brewing.

8 grams of tea is 3 teaspoons is correct for Bailin Gongfu. However, the same weight of a larger leaf tea might have a larger volume – more teaspoons. I just purchased one of these to eliminate the uncertainty and to insure brewing consistency.

Thanks for recommending ZTL EG Cream. We’re enjoying it.


Wow, tea can be a science, I guess! I just have a mug. haha. Yes, I knew that meant 3 tsps of the Bailin Gongfu and other teas would be different. But it’s nice to have a ballpark guess now. Also, I realized because of this that I may have underleafed many of my Teavivre samples, so it’s my mission to steep those correctly pronto. (Like this tea needed 3-4 teaspoons and I previously would have thought that was too much.) I’m very happy you liked Zentealife’s EGC! They are one of my favorite tea places!


I probably should get a scale someday too – I am probably underleafing and overleafing all the time. I tend to just use my “perfect” teaspoon, which I think is about 1.5 of a regular teaspoon, and is totally inconsistent with various tea densities. :P


I purchased a scale because some tea suppliers specify grams instead of teaspoons and I have no experience estimating grams of tea. I’m also not a big fan of ambiguous terms scant, generous, heaping, 1-2 tsps., etc. With the cost of some of the better teas, I don’t want to waste tea with an incorrect guess that yields weak or overly leafed tea – obviously something to be avoided. However, I suspect some very experienced tea lovers are able to accurately estimate grams.

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Additional notes: I want to thank both Dinosara and Momo for selling/sending little pouches of this one. I had a little pouch too, but this is my FAVORITE PUMPKIN TEA!! I just love that there is actual pumpkin pie filling in this blend, I just wish there were moooorrree. Pumpkin pie filling is just genius and should be an idea for all those pumpkin teas that just add spices in it. So I can definitely see going through three small pouches of this! I accidentally steeped this one for 20 minutes, but it was still delicious!

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drank Earl Grey Cheesecake by 52teas
2934 tasting notes

Additional notes: Sample sipdown! It seems I’ve been drinking many 52s lately. I’m sad to see this one go. I don’t know if it was because of how old it was or the little bag it was in (I just ordered these that are hopefully better for my baggie teas: http://www.ebay.com/itm/100-3-5×5-Ziplock-1-oz-Stand-Up-Pouches-Bags-SUP-AA-Clear-Silver-/310664301525 I asked Dinosara where she gets hers!) But the flavor wasn’t quite as bergamot as I remembered, so it doesn’t fill my bergamot craving but this is the 52teas that I’ve tried with the most cheesecake flavor. I haven’t tried them all though!


ooh that sounds good. yum.

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drank Southern Fruits by Pickwick
2934 tasting notes

A random tea bag I had around… it’s a bit old but it isn’t bad! It isn’t a strong tasting tea if it’s a black tea (after 3 minutes), but the flavors of the southern fruits are surprisingly pretty tasty. The tea package shows pear, peach, apricot and apple (I think). I’m getting mostly pear and apple. It’s very nice! I wouldn’t mind having more of these around.

3 min, 0 sec

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Additional notes: sample sipdown! This odd duck is done now. So the last time I didn’t use enough leaf because I had those infusers that only held one teaspoon. Now I have a brew basket, so it was around two teaspoons. Even though this tea has aged even more since the last time I had it, the flavor is still the same as I remember it. It’s just a weird minty, chocolatey, cinnamony, spicy, chamomiley blend. I’d call it a waste of the Laoshan Black, but I don’t seem to love it as much as anyone else. My tastebuds just don’t find the magic of this one somehow. That’s too bad! And here’s hoping that this is the only one.

1 min, 30 sec
Terri HarpLady

Yeah, I didn’t care much for this one either.


Lots of people like this one iced.

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First to review this one? How did that happen? I’m always up for trying any new blends from Della Terra. I must admit though… I think I’m falling out of love with rooibos because it seems that any rooibos likes to leave tiny rooibos pieces to irritate the back of my throat that is already bothering me, no matter how well my infuser does with screening out the rooibos. I think they are really tiny pieces! I have no idea why I’m just noticing that now. But I don’t think it would be a problem if rooibos was made out of bigger pieces. Anyway, this blend didn’t have that affect as much as other blends.

I was looking for the little ice cream bits here but wasn’t able to spot many in my sample. If I think about it now, rooibos almost naturally seems like root beer somehow. The flavor and fragrance is almost there anyway. But there is a root beer flavor here… I just wish there was more. And more creaminess. Next time I’ll try two teaspoons.


As I remember, even the DavidsTea version of this was missing the float part!

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drank Boo-Berry Cotton Candy by 52teas
2934 tasting notes

Additional notes: ICED! Have I mentioned this is my favorite image on a tea package? I LOVE it. This one is delightful iced. I was afraid the green tea would be bitter but it isn’t at all! Two teaspoons in a mason jar for two days. The blueberry cotton candy flavor is as present as it could be! I think even more that it was hot unless I didn’t steep it perfect. And I love the two giant blueberries floating the mason jar. So good!


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drank Pomegranate Green by Element Tea
2934 tasting notes

Additional notes: Sample sipdown! If I had known how good this one was, I would have ordered it so long ago. It has aged surprisingly well. I guess I liked this cup better than the last after reading the tasting notes for the last time. It’s a tasty flavor, so I’m uping the rating.

Element seemed to have been back in business for a while but I sent them an e-mail weeks ago asking what was going on and never got a reply. I had no idea they started again, so I wish they would have sent an e-mail to past customers that they were open again. Maybe no one knew and they closed again! I was very happy with the teas they carried.


I sent them an email several weeks ago and never received a reply. I’d love to order from them, but given how dated their site is and the fact that they won’t respond to customers, I’m scared to!


We must have sent an e-mail to Element at the same time. It was actually your mentioning that Element was back open in one of your tasting notes that I knew about it! :D

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Hi! I love tea and trying new ones – it adds a bit of variety to my day! Books, music, TV & movies are my thing… and tea, of course.

Some of my favorite tea shops (still operating):
Dammann Freres
Yunnan Sourcing

Favorite tea shops (RIP):

My icon photo is Richard Mayhew from the graphic novel ‘Neverwhere’ by Neil Gaiman, Mike Carey & Glenn Fabry.

Most of the teas listed in my cupboard are actually sample sizes. I don’t really have 2,000 ounces of tea around here! Many of my teas have only one teaspoon left… maybe two. But I like keeping them in my cupboard list for reference to what I could be sipping. Usually, I write tasting notes once for each tea. I’m still drinking them, just not writing tasting notes each time!

My dislikes: hibiscus, ginger (unless in chai), turmeric, bee pollen, charcoal type flavors

My ratings:
95-100 – Super awesome deliciousness favorites – cupboard essential
80-95 – Also pretty delicious
65-80 – Pretty good
50-65 – Okay
1-50 – Probably won’t want to sip it again

I’m planning on being a Steepsterer as long as there IS a Steepster, so if you’re not hearing from me, that means something happened to my health… if you know what I mean. (Or as evidenced by the great computer hiatus of 2019, something happened to my computer.) :D

Happy sipping!



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