1219 Tasting Notes


I picked up a small sampler of this tea from Steepers in Campbell, California. After a bit of hunting, I’ve discovered that the blend is identical to that of English Tea Store, which I highly suspect is probably the wholesale source of the tea for the shop.

This tea had a nice green tea flavor with a fruitiness that rounds out any astringency and gives it just a bit of natural sweetness, with a hint of a tart apple aftertaste. It has a nice apple flavor, but it isn’t too strong; there is a nice fruitiness without it being overwhelming. The description text from the website is just a bit misleading, however; the tea flavor is described as “hints of sweet caramel and apple pieces adds to the lightly astringent green tea,” but the tea did not have a caramelly flavor or taste. I’d describe it a bit like a dash of apple juice mixed with green tea, though if the apple flavor were just a touch more subtle and the blend not quite as sweet as your typical juice.

Full review: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/tea10/

Flavors: Apple, Sweet, Tart, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Of all the seasonal teas from Art of Tea I’ve tried, this one is by far my favorite, and has earned a spot as a permanent mainstay in my tea collection. This tea tastes like York Peppermint Patties in a cup to me; you can taste subtle chocolate tones beneath a strong, vibrantly fresh burst of refreshing peppermint. There is not a strong chocolate taste, as it is more grounded in the dark black tea, but it is noticeable, and the tea has a natural sweetness to it. It has a warm, hot chocolate sort of appeal, while also having a soothing, cooling sensation from the brisk peppermint. It’s a lovely winter tea and dessert tea, and great for fans of a choco-mint flavor profile.

Full review: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2017/02/28/tea09/

Flavors: Chocolate, Dark Bittersweet, Peppermint

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Butterscotch by Art of Tea
1219 tasting notes

The smell and color of a brewed cup of this tea had me thinking of Werther’s Originals before even taking my first sip! The taste, however, was not quite so strong as that; the tea has a very distinct butterscotch flavor and aroma but it didn’t come off as overpowering to me, but more light and sweet. I did have to use quite a bit of leaf, as the white tea leaves are so light and fluffy, to get a nice, solid flavor, but the tea held up to multiple steepings well. I found it a very pleasant dessert tea, and one I plan to restock now that Art of Tea’s winter seasonals are back in stock.

Full review: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/tea08/

Flavors: Butterscotch, Sweet

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Salted Caramel by Bigelow
1219 tasting notes

This tea put me off immediately by smelling sickeningly sweet. I made it at work, and my coworker seated on the other side of the cube kitty-corner to me could smell the cup, it was just so syrupy-sweet smelling! I enjoy sweet teas, and it took me a long time to wean myself off adding sugar to my cuppa, and even I thought, “Ugh, that looks way too sweet!”

The taste was far too syrupy to me. There was certainly a caramely flavor to it, but it came off as a caramel-infusion of maple syrup rather than a caramel-flavored tea. I thought that adding sweetener was throwing fuel onto the fire, but trying to drink it plain, it somehow came off as far too astringent, despite having such a sweet flavor. The whole taste was just off-putting to me. I found it drinkable when I sweetened it, but it was so sweet I didn’t particularly like it. I couldn’t seem to find any happy medium where it came off right. The flavor and the blend just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Full review: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/tea06/

Flavors: Astringent, Caramel, Maple Syrup, Sweet

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Red Berries by TeaSource
1219 tasting notes

This is a very fruity tisane; it has a sweet fruity berry flavor with a zingy, tart finish. Depending on how you like your fruit teas, a little sweetener or honey may help take the tart edge off the finish, giving it a sweeter, punchy flavor, but it is fine sans sweetener if you like fruits that have a bit of a tart bite to them. The tea is very rich and surprisingly pleasant warm, but makes a great iced tea with a fruity, punchy flavor that is refreshing during hot weather.

Full review: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/tea05/

Flavors: Berry, Fruity, Hibiscus

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I picked up this tea at a time that I needed to cut all caffeine from my diet, and as a fan of green tea, I was glad to find a decaffeinated flavored green tea option. I’ve since been able to reintroduce caffeine into my diet, but kept this tea around to drink around bedtime.

This didn’t taste so bad back when I was drinking only herbals and decaf teas during the period when I couldn’t have caffeine, but now that I’m drinking caffeinated teas again, I’ve revisted this tea and find it completely unpalatable! There is something that tastes bitter, metallic, and off-putting about the tea, and the mango flavor just can’t hide it. My initial impressions of this tea were that it was quite pleasant, with a fairly nice green tea taste and a very pleasant mango flavor, but now that I’m drinking regular green teas, my palate just can’t stand this! If you are used to decaf teas only, this might be fine for you, but I wouldn’t recommend it otherwise.

Full review: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/tea04/

Flavors: Bitter, Mango, Metallic, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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This is the sort of tea that I love on cold winter nights. It is like a warm, thick fruit cider, but is wholly unique from the typical spiced apple cider. This tea has a rich hibiscus base with some plum-flavored notes, and a nice warmth added from spicy cinnamon. The tea has a bit of a tart and spicy bite to it, but is still naturally sweet enough to drink sans sweetener. A great tea if you like hibiscus teas and want a warm spiced fruit cider experience.

Full review: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/tea03/

Flavors: Cinnamon, Hibiscus, Plum, Spices, Tart

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

Coincidentally, I was looking at a tisane, perhaps by Rishi with the same name.

Mastress Alita

Ah, I didn’t know Rishi had this blend! While I enjoy Spice and Tea Exchange’s blends I’ve always found their tea a bit over-priced, so once I need to restock this one I think I will try Rishi’s version and see how it compares. Thanks!

TeaEarleGreyHot I am still drinking this and loving it! You all discovered cinnamon plum before I did, but I have since bought more and keep it handy on the shelf. This is a tea that I always sweeten with splendor, a rare thing for me.

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drank Headache Tea by AmberFreda
1219 tasting notes

As a chronic migraineur, I have a lot of migraines, so this was one of the first herbal blends for a specific health ailment that made it to my cupboards. Blended by AmberFreda on Etsy, the current blend includes chamomile, feverfew, lavender, skullcap, cinnamon, and ginger. The feverfew, skullcap, and lavender are known to help with headaches, chamomile relaxes muscles, and ginger and cinnamon are great for the nausea that accompanies migraines. At the time that I purchased the blend, instead of cinnamon, cramp bark was used, so I’m sure that has an effect on the overall flavor profile compared to the current blend.

This is a very strong herbal tea, and the ginger especially has a strong scent and taste in the blend. If you like ginger teas, you shouldn’t have too much trouble with the flavor, though I find it still has a bit of a wet, earthy herbal taste. My preferred way of taking the tea is simply blending it with a bit of a strong lemon ginger, as the citrus flavors blend nicely, hide the earthy or herbal medicinal tastes, and make it really pleasant! Even plain, there is no bitterness to the blend from the feverfew, which is nice.

When my head is really raging, I tend to go for this tea. My migraines are severe and this tea can’t stop them, but when the nausea is awful and I can’t eat anything, I usually can manage tea, and this tea is light on the stomach and helps with the headache nausea a lot. Since it does have a strong flavor and is blended specifically for head health, I wouldn’t recommend it for just a general cuppa. Far better tasting teas out there for that!

Full review: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2017/01/10/tea02/

Flavors: Ginger, Herbs, Wet Earth

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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This was one of my first looseleaf teas and I still blame it for starting my addiction into tea. It has a very unique spicy flavor; the rooibos base makes the blend less astringent and more sweet than black chais, and the spice is a bit less cinnamony with a nice full, husky taste of ginger, clove, and licorice! I’ve tried other rooibos chai blends similar to this one but they didn’t have the licorice root, and that really sold this blend as the cream of the crop for me. If you aren’t a fan of licorice, however, this may not be the blend for you.

Full review here: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2017/01/03/tea01/

Flavors: Clove, Ginger, Licorice

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud genderqueer asexual (she/they) and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little condo!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Bergamot (in moderation)

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Hemp/CBD teas
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.


My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/xjt9ptx3 . I am open to tea trades (within the United States only!) at this time. Note that I will not trade teas that I currently have in a quantity less than 50g (samplers, 1oz packages, etc.) or any teas that are currently still sealed/unopened in my cupboard.

Contact Info:

Feel free to send me a Steepster PM, or alternatively, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.


Idaho, United States



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