3170 Tasting Notes


Additional notes:  Divine on this rainy day.  And I’m sad to see next time will finally be a sipdown of this (Frank’s) blend.  It’s a good one!  Very nutmegy and raisiny and peppery today.  Just the tea I was craving today.  It brews up a fine pumpkin orange.

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Thank you very much, AJRimmer! I had this a few days ago.  I think I’ve had variations of this from other shops before, but I love it, so it’s nice to have more around!  The flavor is strong and I like it with two teaspoons to make it even stronger.  The black tea itself isn’t particularly strong but the lavender!  The bergamot!  It’s like they’re at war which might dissuade others from liking this, but not me.  I wish there were more vanilla, since it’s in the name.  But otherwise, the black tea itself is simply a carrier and additional caffeine to these flavors.  I think it’s their boring Ceylon base so I’m happy it’s flavored so much.  It’s bright, it’s fragrant, it’s strong floral overload.  It reminds me of Dorothy passing out in the poppy field?   But with lavender.  It’s like a last punch of summer.
Steep #1  // 2 teaspoons for full mug // 20 minutes after boiling  // 2 minute steep
Steep #2  // just boiled //  3 minute steep


I’m so glad you liked this one! It was a little strong for me.

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Thanks so much for this freebie, Ost! An individually wrapped sachet that I imagine isn’t new.  I can’t find any info, but it seems to be a plain green.  It isn’t bad.  I had some Pringles before drinking… my favorite: honey mustard (Rick & Morty pringles, no less!), so we’ll see what we can do with these flavors.  There is a drying effect. A bit of that smoke quality a gunpowder has. But I think it’s a mix of different green types.  Some leaves look like gunpowder.  It’s okay!  Boring note, but needed to write one for this lonely tea (and probably discontinued).
Steep #1  //  36 minutes after boiling  // 2 minute steep
Steep #2  // 30 minutes after boiling //  2-3 minute steep
2020 Sipdowns: 82 (August Uncommon – Dots & Loops + English Tea Store – Swiss Hot Chocolate)

White Antlers

As a Pringles lover, I am disappointed in myself to have not known that the honey mustard flavor exists. Off to search!


haha! I haven’t tried all the Pringles… must be I know to gravitate to the Honey Mustard. To warn you though, you definitely can’t find them in all the stores.

White Antlers

Ah! Good to know that this will be a tough Pringles hunt. : )
I recently discovered the bbq flavored Pringles and find them to be quite good with guacamole. Big pass on the dill pickle ones. : P


Oh I would probably love the pickle pringles. :D

White Antlers

I think you can get most flavors, if not all, at Walmart and on Amazon.


yeah, Walmart is where I KNOW I can find honey mustard.. the limited other stores I visit usually do not have honey mustard.

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I bought this a while ago now, but the flavor seems like it’s staying consistently vague since I bought it.  I’ve been trying it with different steeping parameters and I think I’ve found the right way to brew it now.  Two teaspoons for a full mug with a very short steep and cooler water makes the flavors pop better than if I just try to oversteep the tea on the first cup.  I’ve found one minute steeps work best on teas with subtle flavoring, especially if there are not really any additional ingredients other than flavoring.  Honestly, it would be difficult to make a tea taste like Salty Caramel Pumpkin with flavoring alone and that is what this is.  Black tea and flavoring.  Like possibly the flavoring was added to a tea, it was taste tested, and someone were asked to think up a name for it… it MIGHT be “salty caramel pumpkin”?  It’s tough to tell what this tastes like otherwise.  There is a hint of salt, sweetness, and maybe the savoriness of a pumpkin, but only if you’re really trying to reach.   Raisins in the second cup when it’s cooled.  I like the depth of the black tea – it’s comforting with these flavors in autumn.  But I will definitely be steeping this tea like this in the future.  Both steeps had equal amounts of flavor.  Otherwise, any longer than one minute and it starts tasting like plain black tea.
Steep #1  // 2 teaspoons for full mug // 22 minutes after boiling  // 1 minute steep
Steep #2  // just boiled //  3 minute steep

Also, how did I forget to mention?  It’s The Morning News Tournament of Books Super Rooster time!  Already in the thick of it.  For any bookish fans… I’ve been following this for years and now the WINNERS are competing against each other.  This is a highlight of a dismal year, for sure:  https://themorningnews.org/tob/superrooster/welcome-to-the-super-rooster.php Yes, I have read all sixteen winners.


Love the book-off concept!


Yes, it’s one of my favorite things to read the books and follow along with the judgements.

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Additional notes:  Really solid consistent four steeps with 2 1/2 teaspoons (making sure to include an entire cherry in the infuser).  Why is this still so lovely?  Coffee, cherry, roasty.  ….I feel like I’ve written something along these longs before.  One of the handful I was able to try from Quarter to Tea but I MISS THEM.

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Thank you very much, AJRimmer!  Always happy to try some rare 52Teas blends!  This one is a unique one — blackberry and jasmine with huge chocolate chips on a green rooibos/ green base.  I wouldn’t think of this combination.  But its creation was also inspired for a marriage proposal, so that is pretty special and its supposed to represent all the continents except Antarctica.  Also very cool.  I made sure to get one huge chocolate chip and almost an entire blackberry in the infuser.  But the green leaves might have been too much, as the flavor is a bit bitey.  I wasn’t tasting jasmine, but there was definitely blackberry mingling with chocolate which was quite good.  Why isn’t chocolate blackberry more of a thing?  The green tea kind of takes over here though. 
Steep #1  // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 47 minutes after boiling  // 2 minute steep
Steep #2  // 47 minutes after boiling //  2 minute steep
2020 Sipdowns: 79  KipersLilTeashop – Not My Mama’s Merlot

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Thanks so much, derk!  I kind of ruined this one though.  I don’t know what happened.  Maybe the water needs a filter change.  Possibly used too many leaves, not realizing how much a white cake would expand.  But the flavor was bitter all the way through.   Hints of lemon in the second cup, but then bitter again.  I was VERY tame with my steeps, so I don’t know how this was so bitter. Then there were some strong chemicals being used in the house that smelled very strongly, so I didn’t want to risk ingesting these weird chemicals that may have floated onto the damp tea leaves for a third steep, so I sadly had to discard the leaves.  I wouldn’t have bothered to even write a note for this, but now it’s gone, so I had to write something to acknowledge the sad ruining of this tea.  Both by user error and possibly chemicals.  mrgh. I won’t rate this one because it doesn’t seem fair. Derk’s tasting note said ashmanra had more success with this one, but I say derk had more success than I did. AND I’m even more sad about it because ashmanra’s note says this is the white counterpart to Ruby 18… I love Ruby 18 so I would have really loved not to ruin this one.
Steep #1   // 47 minutes after boiling  // rinse // 1 minute steep
Steep #2  // 47  minutes after boiling //  1 minute steep
2020 Sipdowns: 77


I have a lot of trouble with Ruby 18 white teas too. I know that they are starting to gain in popularity, but I have not been able to get into them. I have difficulty getting consistent results each time I try to brew some. I feel like I’m just missing something and have to be doing something wrong. I don’t know what I could be screwing up though.


That’s how I feel about oolongs. It’s rare that I find one I like and watching people really get into and enjoy them make me feel like I’m missing out. Not sure where I’m going wrong!


Thanks for the reassurance that this type is finicky — it makes me feel a bit less badly about ruining my sample.


Sorry you had a bitter experience!


Certainly not your fault, derk! :D

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Additional notes: This was quite good when I originally had it years ago.  I was hesitant to finish my sample, but now I’m glad I did, because this session just wasn’t anything special.  It tasted like a generic sloppily stored pu-erh which was too bad.  This was stored relatively well — in the sample pouch within the larger Teavivre zip pouch with only other Teavivre sheng, so I don’t think it was a storage problem — but it’s not like I’m monitoring humidity or anything.   Originally this tasted like fruit – sweet apricots but now it simply tastes of swampwater.  It’s possible I overleafed it — about 2/3 of the sample pouch.  It’s just too bad, as pu-erh is supposed to age better and the first session years ago was lovely….
2020 Sipdowns: 76 (Tealated – Chai)

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Additional notes: This is an ammmazzziinngg pairing with some waffles (with syrup/coolwhip). I’m certainly glad I chose this one today. I TRIED thinking of a tea that would be great with waffles, and didn’t think it would be THIS perfect. It’s more of a fruity/cherry assam with a hint of smoke. It’s a unique assam, not something I’m really looking for with assam, but I guess it has its shining moments!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons // 20 minutes after boiling // 2-3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 1/2 minute

Also, I’m listening to the new Sufjan album today and it has been so needed for this crap year! Thank you Sufjan!

Edited to add: hand to forehead — I realized I kept calling this an assam when it CLEARLY is a yunnan. Sigh. Well, that’s because I’m drinking it again today. And with waffles. And it’s amazing again. I think I’ll call this “The Cool Whip” tea and just put a dollop of Cool Whip on the top of the mug if I’m not outright having this with waffles. It’s not a typical assam OR a typical yunnan. So I wouldn’t guess this is yunnan either. It’s hard to compare this to anything anyway! Sadly out of stock right now, but hopefully that is temporary.

Flavors: Cherry, Fruity

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Additional notes: Bought more of this during the sale so I had to enjoy some on one of the last hot days of the year. And today might be it for the hot! I would definitely say this isn’t exactly melon, though it does have a unique sweet flavor to it. The original sencha base was stunningly buttery, with this harvest, the base seems to get lost. The flavors just seemed stronger before, including the pepper. I wonder if B&B even makes fresh blends for the sale teas? Or are they back stocked teas, which would be why they are on sale? (But why would they make fresh teas just to sell them cheaper? hmm.) Today I’ll be drinking Nearly Nirvana.

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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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