882 Tasting Notes

drank Cozy Tranquil Dream by Plum Deluxe
882 tasting notes

Day 14 of the Plum Deluxe caffeine-free advent calendar. This is a great combo of chamomile, citrus, and mint. I’m not sure that “cozy” is the right word for it, but it’s really tasty and a lovely bedtime tea. My only complaint is that the chamomile “fannings” were a particular pain in that they kept sticking to the packaging. This is one of my favorite advents this year, on balance, but the plastic packaging of the samples is really prone to static electricity. Depending on the type of tea in it, that can make it harder to get the tea out and results in wasted leaf, which always sucks.

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Day 13 of the Plum Deluxe caffeine-free advent calendar. If this and the Caramel Snickerdoodle blend from Day 2 are anything to go by, Plum Deluxe makes darn fine cookie-flavored herbal blends. This one tastes exactly like the name suggests and makes a delicious latte to boot. I only regret how quickly I drank through the sample.

Flavors: Cookie, Creamy, Sugar, Vanilla

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drank Apple Cider by DAVIDsTEA
882 tasting notes

Day 20 of the DavidsTea herbal advent calendar. I liked this one a lot! It tastes like hot apple juice, in a good way. I did want it to have cinnamon, because I personally am a big fan of cinnamon (no really, when I order ice cream I ask them to put on an amount of cinnamon that they think is too much, and then add a little more on top of that). I added some cinnamon chips to the leaf when brewing up the last cup, and that made a difference – it gave the cup a gentle kick and some depth that it had been missing before.

Flavors: Apple, Sweet

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drank 9 Berries (Organic) by DAVIDsTEA
882 tasting notes

Day 19 of the DavidsTea herbal advent calendar. This is enjoyable, but I think perhaps 9 berries was too many? It feels a little kitchen sink, and therefore hard to make out the flavors of the individual berries. The strawberry is pretty noticeable to me, as is the hibiscus (not one of the titular berries), and what I initially thought was cranberry but since there’s no cranberry in this blend maybe it’s raspberry? This tea tastes sweet and tart, which is a flavor profile I like. I just might have liked it better if it was a little more focused.

Flavors: Hibiscus, Strawberry

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drank Wild Chrysanthemum by Te Company
882 tasting notes

Happy Lunar New Year! Marking the occasion with this Taiwanese herbal, which I honestly thought I’d previously written a note for but the tea wasn’t even in the Steepster database! I find this tastes like a slightly savory chamomile. Not quite a buckwheat note, but that same kind of cozy grain quality. Which is just a nice combo for trying to unwind on a rough day: sweet, savory, grainy, cozy, and a touch floral.

Flavors: Floral, Grain, Savory, Sweet

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drank Alpine Punch by DAVIDsTEA
882 tasting notes

Day 18 of the DavidsTea herbal advent calendar. My experience of this tea 10 years ago was fairly different from what it tastes like now. Back then, I noted that it smelled like spiced apple cider and tasted like apple and cinnamon, with a hint of ginger and creamy almond on the back end. Now, basically none of that is coming through. I’m getting coconut and woody rooibos. It’s ok, drinkable, but not great. I don’t know if the blend has been reformulated or if I’m getting unevenly distributed leaf, but it does seem to be different.

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This was part of a set that I got as a holiday gift. I made this as a stovetop chai with oat milk and honey using the double boil method. It was tasty enough, but the spices were very mild. Perhaps they’d be stronger if drunk straight without additives, or prepared as a latte (i.e. with less milk)?

As a side note – this isn’t a reflection on the tea but is something that I want to note for myself for future awareness: black tea doesn’t always agree with me, which is why I tend to avoid it. That’s been a little better lately, and I find that terroir tends to make a difference. But this particular tea seems to be one that my stomach doesn’t love. So probably not one to restock.


Tea from India, especially black tea, is a frequent offender for tummy trouble for me. Tea from China much less so.


Nice to know I’m not the only one! I’ve often wondered why – maybe it’s the sulfites in black tea? But that wouldn’t explain the regional differences, unless Indian black teas tend to have higher concentrations of sulfites. Somewhere there’s a tea scientist who knows the answer, surely.


I think the terroir and the species of plant makes a different. Indian tea seems to be higher in polyphenols perhaps? Harney and Sons says that Assam tea leaves actual particulate matter more than any other and that could be part of it. India is usual Camellia Sinensis assamica and China is usually Camellia Sinensis Sinensis except for in the south where there is assamica varietal. The way the different countries typically process their tea could be affecting it, too.

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drank Dragonfruit Matcha by Kiani Tea
882 tasting notes

Day 8 of the Kiani advent calendar. I was so confused by the neon pink color of this! The name made me think that this is a dragonfruit-flavored powdered green tea, and a bright pink green tea is kinda shocking. But no! This is powdered dragonfruit! There was only enough to make one cup, and I kind of regret that I made it according to package instructions, which say to mix with heated milk of choice. All I could taste was hot oat milk and a little tartness. This might have been more successful, flavor-wise, as a cold drink. On the up side, because it’s not powdered green tea, it didn’t count towards my caffeine budget for the day. I wouldn’t mind trying powdered dragonfruit again at some point in the future and playing around with the parameters to see what it actually tastes like.

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Day 7 of the Kiani advent calendar. I wasn’t expecting these to be whole leaves – I know some places sell peppermint that way but I can’t remember the last time I bought loose leaf peppermint that wasn’t cut up into bits, even from nicer companies. So I was really excited when I saw the whole leaves and smelled that nice peppermint scent coming off them. Brewed up, the aroma and flavor is a sweet peppermint that’s slightly medicinal, but not in a bad way. I see “menthol” tagged as a flavor note on this page and I think that’s right, and the thing I’m connecting in my mind with “medicinal”. This is easily one of the finer peppermint teas I’ve had. I was careful not to oversteep because I’m hoping to get a second mug out of it and add some honey to that. Great for a rainy, exhausted night.

Flavors: Menthol, Peppermint, Sweet

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drank Just Peachy by DAVIDsTEA
882 tasting notes

Day 17 of the DavidsTea herbal advent calendar. I have a little tin of this too from an older sampler, but hadn’t gotten around to trying it yet so this was still a treat. The aroma as this brews is just wonderfully peachy. The tea itself tastes like peach juice – I gulped down the first mug so fast it didn’t have time to get cold and I immediately made a second mug. Interestingly, tea-averse partner walked into the kitchen while this was steeping up and swore the aroma was peach-but-something-is-off. So make of that what you will. I think it’s quite on point.

Flavors: Juicy, Peach

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Geek and nerd (shoutout to GeekSteep). Still trying to get a handle on this whole work/life balance while ALSO succeeding at work thing. I have some chronic illnesses that make that harder. Tea is my respite.

Favorite tea types, in order:

Don’t drink:

A sampling of tea shops I like:
Te Company
Tea Thoughts
Harney & Sons

RIP Butiki



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