259 Tasting Notes

drank Malted Genmaicha by 52teas
259 tasting notes

Do you ever have one of those experiences when you come face to face with your prejudices and discover that you have been wrong? When this tea showed up at my house, I undoubtedly shot it a prim frown of disapproval and put it away thinking I might be able to use it in a swap. No rice krispies in green tea for this woman!

So today I decided to give it a try….I’ve liked the 52teas of the week very much and thought that I owed them a courtesy taste—-before I gave this tea away to some unsuspecting victim.

HELLO! I love this tea! No rice krispie taste; but there is a toasty sort of crispness. It’s not overwhemingly sweet at all. A layer of smoke, a nuttiness, and a tinge of malt all add up to a fully tasty experience. As I try more teas, I notice that I really respond to those which give me a big and unique tasteful. This tea is excellent for afternoons. It steeps swiftly to pot to mouth time is speedy.

2 min, 30 sec

Per your 1st sentence- yep! Pu Erh:)

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drank Maple Bacon by Man Teas
259 tasting notes

Maple Bacon is potentially a novelty tea, but 52teas does transcend the “novelty” by producing an authentic, full-bodied tea. It smells delicious and it’s a good, strong, smoky black tea with a nice overtone of maple. I could see the bacon bits in the tea and I could smell the bacon in the loose tea, but I could not really taste the bacon…perhaps my palate is not subtle enough.

It’s delicious with a lump of brown sugar and if you have some maple sweetener, that would bring out the maple even more.

I have to say that 52teas comes up with varied and ingenious flavors. Each one that I’ve tried ranges from very good to superb so they are certainly not merely a “novelty”. They have a very good “nose” and “tongue” and lovely visuals too.

4 min, 0 sec
Southern Boy Teas

Thanks again for your kind words. I’m so glad you are enjoying our teas.

We did get a great tip from a customer the other day on this: A pinch of SALT actually brings the bacon flavor front and center. Wish I had thought to incorporate that into the blend somehow.


@52teas, then I guess you’ll just have to reblend it;)

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This is a lovely tea! If you like the idea of sweet strawberry with a bite you should try this one.
The strawberry taste is rich, sweet, and very authentic. The aroma is fully fruity and redolent of a strawberry grove in full season. The pepper comes out as a robust and pleasingly biting counterpoint to the sweetness of the tea.

I’m sure it could sustain milk and sugar but I did not need any.

6 min, 0 sec

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drank Irish Breakfast by Adagio Teas
259 tasting notes

Excellent morning tea. It’s strong and robust and fully flavored. Rich without milk or sugar but could tolerate both, I think. There’s a hint of peat bog, moss, and smoke which makes me think of Ireland.

I would call this a great everyday breakfast tea, especially for those who want a good infusion of caffeine.

4 min, 30 sec

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If you like the flavor of cloves, you should love this tea. I’ve enjoyed it before but I just had a “critical cup”—i.e. one in which I thought about the qualities of the tea instead of just slurping it down. It’s one of the richest rooibos teas I’ve enjoyed. I let it steep for a long time and then drank it slowly. As time passed, the cloves became the dominant aroma and taste. That’s great for me because I’ve always loved clove.
I think that this will become one of those teas that I must have in stock—a destination tea for when I need to be perked up in the evening and caffeine is verboten.

6 min, 45 sec

Whenever I see this tea, the “ruby” makes me think of Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice…

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If I were given one of those impossible philosophical chores—-you are stuck on a desert island and can only bring one tea, or if you had to pick one tea only to drink for the rest of your life, my immediate answer would be Earl Grey. I’ve loved Earl Grey teas and tasted quite a few of them. When I saw that I could try TWG via mail order, I was ecstatic.

The packaging is delightful. When you open the inner lid on the canister (yes, there are two lids) that Earl Grey aroma is overpowering in its seductive goodness. I noticed this first—many Earl Greys signal their presence with a whiff of vaguely citrus aroma. TWG most certainly has the full fledge bergamot odor—indeed, I felt that I was romping about in a Calabrian bergamot grove. The citrus aroma has overtones of pear, and you can make out the distinctive touches of orange, grapefruit, lemon, and lime clearly.

I loved this tea! Drinking this tea after another Earl Grey is like having the most expensive, exquisite, carefully made deep chocolate after a Hershey’s bar. They are from two different planes of experience. Compare the pedestrian, everyday life, which can be drab and dismal, with the most exquisite day you can imagine—a day in sun-drenched Italy, perhaps and you can conjure up the sense of discovery I had with TWG Earl Grey Gentleman. It’s deep, rich, satisfying, filling, and almost a full meal on its own. It does not need sugar and milk, but I tried some with my second cup and the sugar and milk are not strong enough to mar the flavor at all.

A second steeping was flavorful and satisfying. I plan to try other TWG Earl Greys.

They have nine listed on their website:
Breakfast Earl Grey
Earl Grey Fortune
Smoky Earl Grey
Earl Grey Gentleman
English Earl Grey
French Earl Grey
Earl Grey Theine Free
Earl Grey Buddha
Earl Grey d’Amour


Your descriptions are so wonderfully colorful that I couldn’t help but place this tea on my Shopping List!


I’m on the lookout for more Earl Grey’s. I need to find that perfect one. Your review was very helpful—thank you!


oooh, how did you mail order?

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drank Gingerbread Rooibos by 52teas
259 tasting notes

This is simply a delightful, festive, holiday tea that works well on any cold evening.
Gingerbread Rooibos was the first in my “tea of the week” orders and I was thrilled. In addition to the very attractive packaging (such things do matter to me a little bit), they produced a dreamy and delightful tea. There’s the snap of ginger but also the sweetness and soothingness of a complexly flavored gingerbread.

I was thrilled with this selection—the odor, the taste, the experience were comforting in a way that is exciting. I felt returned to the age of innocence when Christmas meant spice and sugar and all things nice. Great tea! Different and versatile.

6 min, 0 sec

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drank TehKu Golden Monkey by TehKu
259 tasting notes

This is a delightfully rich and satisfying tea. It’s smoky, a bit malty, full-bodied, and complete within itself. Near the end of my cup I added a bit of honey and milk, which did not detract from the tea, but really didn’t add anything. I would drink this again, hot and golden. Golden Monkey seems to be the tea-drinker’s equivalent to a single-malt scotch.

TehKu is a local company with a wonderful tea-house, and I know that they do mail-order for those who live outside the area. No affiliation.

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Another one-note tea from Numi. The clear mint taste reminds me of a wintergreen/spearmint/pepperming mélange. It’s an excellent tea for quite evening work.

I believe strongly that a local restaurant serves this precise tea as their special “Comfot Tea” and it indeed is a consoling, friendly, and generous drink.

5 min, 30 sec

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This is a great tea for lime lovers. It’s got a single, solid note. People seem to love it or hate it.
I drink this occasionally with a small cube of demerara sugar. Mostly I use it as a base for a --(and please sit down and don’t get upset)—soothing drink for those who suffer from a bad cough or sour throat. Add one or two cough drops, some sugar or honey, and stir well. My children love it! And why not use tea for medicinal purposes?

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I really love big, bold, brash teas. Smokiness enthralls me. I don’t seem to do subtle.
I don’t do rooibos.

My rating system:
Never again in a hundred million years

31-55: This tea probably has some redeeming qualities but I won’t would not seek it out again.

Shows some promise but also has a fundamental flaw. I probably owe these a second taste but am unmotivated.

Good with at least one strong quality; I probably would not buy it but would drink it cheerfully.

81-90: Worthy contenders; they might be ranked 100 on somebody’s else’s scale. I like them a lot but have not fallen in love. Will probably buy and use.

91-95: These are the true loves, the chosen ones, the ones I dream about and crave. Unless they are in a limited edition—la! how you tease me!—I will always keep in my cupboard.

96-100: I cannot be separated from these teas and would develop a panic attack if I were to run out.

“She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain.”

Elderly dowager. Quintessential cat lady.

Tea which must be in stock always:

Black Dragon LS by Upton Teas: My choice every morning.

Florence & Lapsang Souchong by Harney & Sons

a good Gen Maicha

Samovar: Russian Blend, Maiden’s Ecstasy, Ryokucha

Mariage Frères: Confucious, Vivaldi, Eros, Aida, Marco Polo

American Tea Room: Brioche

Leland Teas: Bogart

Life in Teacup:
An Xi Tie Guan Yin Grade II modern green style & also Charcoal Style


In the midst of the middle of the heart of nowhere in particular.

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