41 Tasting Notes


It’s a palatable Irish breakfast, but no matter what I try, the malty flavor is sadly overshadowed by the astringent flavors. Darn you tannins—foiled again! I may pick up some dairy free milk for the remainder of this tea, in order to smooth out the astringency.

It’s so terribly sad, because the scent in the tin promises such a delightful experience that one would like to expect from an Irish Breakfast blend. Malty and warm. Same with the scent in the cup.

Alas, the hunt continues!

Flavors: Malt, Tannin

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 25 OZ / 750 ML

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I’ve had some bad Earl Grey cremes (looking at you Adagio) and I’ve had some good ones. This one is pretty good! The vanilla does a great job of smoothing out the potential astringency, and makes the bergmont almost orange flavored. The bergamont is very subtle, almost a plesant aftertaste, especially as it cools. In the tin, I get the distinct flavor of Panettone—an Italian Christmas cake and staple tradition in our family. Scent in the cup is nearly purely vanilla. It’s suprisingly good, in my opinion.

Flavors: Bergamot, Orange, Vanilla

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

It’s been a while since I’ve had this one but I remember I liked it!

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Tea tasting used to be a pretty big hobby of mine in the ye olde days of highschool. Although I never stopped loving tea, I did lose that sense of fun in being a tea critique and keeping a journal of my different forays and journies in the world of tea due to circimstance. A few big changes in my life have led me back to rediscovering the things I used to love, and I am so happy this website still exists.

Blog post aside! I tend to shy away from bagged teas, but I would consider the Downton Abbey blends an exception to this rule. Am I suseptible to marketing? Yes, probably. I fit the niche of Victorian/regency era aesthetic loving demographic RoT makes these teas for. I have no shame, but I digress again.

As for the tea. In the tin I get a very creamy scent. Steeped the scent dampens a little bit (dissapointing). It’s a very plesant black tea with caramel flavors, veering into the buttery side. It’s a very comforting dessert tea. Not unpleasently heavy, but leaving me satsfied after having a cup or two. It’s not the most special thing I’ve had, but I will reach for it now and again at work, and as a substitue for my at least once monthly bread pudding cravings!

Flavors: Bread, Butter, Caramel

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Welcome back from your hiatus!


Thank you so much! It’s good to be back!!

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Decent tea. Not a big fan of teas that already include sweetener, because I prefer my teas (especially herbal) unsweetened. It makes a fine iced tea though.

I usually don’t like rooibos, but I find blends that include some sort of mint to make it more palatable in my opinion. But I’ve never found a mint tea I didn’t like!

Flavors: Mint, Smooth, Sweet

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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So here’s the deal. This was one of the first teas I had, in the form of a Bigelow tea bag and it was nasty crap.

I then had a giant tea trip in which I tried both bagged Twinings and Tazo of this tea. Bitter and astringent. I somehow kept on though, because I never tasted what a halfway decent Earl Grey was supposed to taste like.

That fateful day is nigh.

I sipped this tea and didn’t even realise the fact that it wasn’t disgustingly bitter until I had another cup. I honestly still can’t comprehend how this isn’t tasting bitter to me. It’s probably not even that awesome of an Earl Grey, but in comparison it was awesome to me.

I’m going to sink into my copy of Schubert and a blanket and be content now. Good night you guys.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Vanilla Chai by Bigelow
41 tasting notes

I had this one yesterday. It was graciously given to me as I was waiting outside of a venue in the freezing cold. Even though I wouldn’t normally go for something like this… well as you can see I was in a desperate situation.

It was alright I suppose. It wasn’t undrinkable, but what seemed to be artificial vanilla was the most noticeable of the flavors and it was cloyingly sweet. The spices were weak. It made me think I was drinking a slightly spiced vanilla drink instead of a chai.

The only good thing about it was how hot it was, but I suppose a cupful of hot water would’ve done the job just as well.

I’m just glad I didn’t have to buy it…

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Irish Breakfast by Twinings
41 tasting notes

The nostalgia… it’s unbearable.

So it began around age fourteen. I had this obsession for tea in a house full of coffee lovers. I was still unable to purchase things online for myself (and even then, I had no knowledge of what tea retailers were sought after), so I fueled my love and desire with grocery store bought Twinings and Tazo.

This became a favorite in its bagged incarnation alongside Twinings Earl Grey and Prince of Wales.

The last time I tried this tea was a good four or five years ago when stopped keeping up with my tea rituals, until it was at a Teavana in Chicago where my passion for tea was reignited.

Oh. Yes, this is about the tea. Right.

I realized I had two bags of this left in the back of my cupboard and I thought, “I’m feeling adventurous. Why not?”

So I steeped this in my glass teapot. I watched it turn a gloriously deep red color… which surprised me (mostly because I’d never seen it directly through glass before).

The smell was just as malty and deep as I remember it.

And… there it is. That hint of astringency and the ever present malty flavor. I just wish it wasn’t as flat as it is. Why doesn’t it taste as deep as it smells?

I’m thinking that perhaps the loose version is a better incarnation of this tea. Sadly I suppose I don’t like it as much as I used to, now that I’m comparing it to other teas.

Bagged Irish Breakfast, we had happy memories.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Gyokuro Imperial by Teavana
41 tasting notes

So I also got this from the Heavenly Sale, because who’s not going to jump on $5 Gyokuro?

Yep. It tastes very much like spinach. It’s really grassy and vegetal tasting. Actually, it’s almost filling in a way. I didn’t understand how some people could describe a tea as “meaty” until today, but it’s true. The tea has substance.

The aftertaste is kind of sweet and I tasted some slight bitterness while it was hot, but as it cooled the bitterness went away.

It smelled and tasted kind of like any Green Tea Ice Cream I’d ever had except not as sweet as that. I suppose adding honey might bring it close, but I kind of like it the way it is without additives.

This one’s a keeper… at least until something better comes along…

165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 0 sec

I know, right? That meaty umami flavor is so strong in some teas. It’s caught me by surprise a few times. Tevana’s Jade Dragon Mao Feng is another one that’s got a lot of umami. I’ll have to try their Gyokuro, especially if it’s on sale!

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After we went to a very lovely French bakery for tarts (oh my, those tarts), my sister picked this one out on her birthday (because I’m slowly getting her into tea).

I just got around to making it, and I was skeptical, but it was ridiculously good. My sister complained of a slight astringency so I might lower the steep time just a tad.

I agree with LiberTEAS, I’m getting a slight “spiciness” off of this tea, but not in a chai sort of way. It’s more like… well if you’ve ever walked into a Spice and Tea Exchange store, the scent of the shop, it kind of tastes like that. It’s a very savory sort of spice, like eating pumpkin soup.

I still very much taste the pumpkin though and I quite enjoy the savoriness of the spice behind it. I think, though, the most incredible part of the blend is the caramel flavor.

I’ve noticed that the caramel comes out more once its cooled a little and the pumpkin/spices are a bit more subdued. It’s crazy though. I’m transported back into a time when I was very young, eating caramel drizzled ice cream at The Macaroni Grill (why does that look way less meaningful than it is in my head…)

Anyways, upon cooling a bit, it tastes just like caramel. Silky smooth texture and all. I’ve never experienced such a thing in a tea until now, so this impressed me the most.

My only regret: Not buying more.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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I’m coming back to Steepster after a nearly 7 year hiatus.

Going to continue my journey of logging what tastes good to me and what doesn’t and discovering new tea along the way.


In my house, drinking out of a Royal Albert teacup

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