1211 Tasting Notes


This has been such a stressful few months. Started with weird partial power outages, after the first of which the compressor on my fridge died. This weekend culminated in my water heater element burning out, and the main breaker on my power dying. I have one of those brains that just can’t “shut off” when something is disrupting my status quo and I can’t fix it immediately, but the water heater install should be this morning and hopefully then I can finally calm down and get back to situation normal.

This tea was the perfect fit because I wanted a nice caffeinated breakfast option, but also something calming… so lavender Earl Grey, and what a nice lavender Earl Grey it is! The bergamot is tasty but doesn’t overwhelm the cup, and with the added vanilla note it leans into a sort of “lemon cream” aftertaste on my tongue. The lavender is just the right amount, potent enough to be an easily noticable flavor but not so strong as to wash out other flavors or make the cup bitter. The tea itself lends a malty and somewhat brassy undertone and goes down real smooth.

Delicious and just what I needed this morning.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Cream, Floral, Honey, Lavender, Lemon, Malt, Metallic, Smooth

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

Sorry you are having all those problems! I hope you can enjoy lots of relaxing cuppas and de-stress!


Ugh, that’s so stressful, and I know what you mean about not being able to ignore it when things are off-kilter! I hope the install goes well.


Oh yeah, and the shut off is equipped with an overflow trigger that activates even more activity when your head hits the pillow at night ;) Sorry for all the appliance woes!


That sounds very frustrating! I’m the same way when things need to be fixed. I hope you can get everything resolved.


ick — I’m hoping that’s enough broken stuff in your future for a while!

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A box of this tea was left on the up-for-grab’s table in our library breakroom, so I decided to take it home. The name sounded great… cinnamon horchata? Yum!


Welp, I now know why this tea was being given away for free. The teabag smells like stinky feet and cinnamon, and the steep cup… just smells like stinky feet. I’m not exactly sure how to put the taste into words, except HORCHATA THIS IS NOT. This is a musty damp basement where a lone cinnamon stick was left forgotten in a corner.

It’s so bad, but I can’t bring myself to take it back to work and put it on the up-for-grab’s table, passing it on like the curse from “The Ring.” If I have noticable sleep benefits from it, I’ll probably try steeping a teabag with something stronger (like some roasted buckwheat or Teeccino, maybe hot cocoa) to use it up. If my sleep still sucks after drinking this monstrocity of a cup, it’s gettin’ tossed.

Flavors: Stinky Feet, Mold, Dank, Cinnamon(?)

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

I have heard that valerian smells like sweaty socks. It is also used as a sleep aid. Does this contain valerian?

Roswell Strange

I had the same thought re: Valerian!

Mastress Alita

No valerian at all. The main ingredients are ashwaghanda root and passionflower.


Wow, this is quite a review. “Pairs well with Limburger and durian fruit.”

Martin Bednář

Maybe it’s old and forgotten in someones cupboard. Eh, I meant drawer with socks, or dirty clothes?

Mastress Alita

No, not old. Just bad.


Did it at least help you sleep? If not, I think this feet tea won’t be missed.

Mastress Alita

I did get drowsy, but I’m uncertain if that was due to the tea or just a very long work week. I’ll continue experimenting. Tonight I brewed the teabag with a bag of roasted buckwheat, and it’s better, but not quite strong enough to fully hide the feet stank.

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Tonight I’m finishing off my packet of this tea. The aroma is spot-on chocolate cherry. The chocolate flavor is a bit boozy, but it compliments the cherry nicely, which, thankfully, is not veering into medicinal territory. The honeybush is sweet, and I’m getting notes of oats and that pepper note I always get from honeybush, which is blending with the chocolate to give sort of a Mayan chocolate vibe. The flavors are just really harmonizing well together!

Flavors: Alcohol, Cherry, Chocolate, Fruity, Oats, Pepper, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 5 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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This is a decadent tea; the caramel note is very spot-on, and I love the noticable hint of saltiness in the aftertaste. It has a very buttery and creamy taste and mouthfeel, and leaves a strong coating sensation. It’s also very sweet. I’m sure a latte would make this even richer and creamier, but honestly, it doesn’t need it. Dessert in a cup. Should I feel guilty I’ve been having this for breakfast recently?

Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Creamy, Salt, Sweet, Thick

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

Nope. =)

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drank Peach Oolong Tea by Bestore
1211 tasting notes

Todd gave me one of the pre-sealed packages of this tea he got from his China trip. It is a sachet-style teabag and smells strongly of the artificial peach found in candy. As it steeps, I start to get some aroma notes of minerals, greens, butter, and baked apple.

The oolong was coming off quite strongly right after removing the teabag, but the peach starts to come forward and the flavors smooth out as the tea cools a bit. The oolong has a leafy vegetal flavor and is slightly buttery. The peach comes in about mid-sip and lingers in the aftertaste. It is definitely that artificial peach candy flavor, but not nearly as sweet. The apple note blinks a bit in the background, but is hard to pick up on.

It reminds me of a poor man’s version of Lupicia’s Momo Oolong Super Grade.

Flavors: Apple, Artificial, Butter, Fruity, Green, Peach, Vegetal

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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Todd gave me one of the pre-sealed packages of this tea he got from his China trip. It’s… very strange. When you open up the package, rather than having a teabag inside, it’s this solid square that looks like a solidified honey-like substance with one dried lemon slice and one dried kumquat enclosed inside. The instructions say to drop it in cold or room temperature water, though I could find no information on exactly how much water one “cube” is for… I used a liter knowing it might be a bit watered down since I was guessing. The cube dissolves in the cold water very quickly, and leaves the lemon slice and kumquat floating in the water. I couldn’t really find any information on the ingredients… one source said it was instant jasmine green tea? If so, I definitely don’t taste anything remotely like jasmine or green tea in flavor. It just tastes like lemonade, albeit waaaaaaaaay less sweet (which I prefer). It is bright and citrusy, and while I think it tastes fine with the amount of water I used, it would probably be a bit stronger and punchier at a half-liter, instead.

So, it’s basically like an instant cube of dissolvable lemonade. It’s a bit fun, definitely refreshing, but not particularly exciting. This would be incredibly convenient for travel, but obviously not very accessible in this part of the world.

Flavors: Citrus, Lemon

Iced 8 min or more 1 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

Neat! And what a cool gift from Todd! I wonder if Superanna might be able to get these in Japan?


Interesting! Don’t you love tea friends that share their odd discoveries with you?


Huh, I had no idea it would be like that inside, as the one I opened from Bestore had a pyramid teabag inside. I’m glad it was good!

Mastress Alita

Are you sure you aren’t just thinking of the peach one? I can find no information anywhere online about Bestore having a Kumquat Lemon tea that is tea in a teabag. Every source shows the instant cubes with the dried fruit inside.


Oh I’m talking about the peach one. I haven’t opened one with an instant cube inside yet, and it sounds interesting!

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drank Mint Olympus by DAVIDsTEA
1211 tasting notes

I’ve been working through my package of this for the last couple of months, and really enjoy it in the evenings. I have a lot of GI issues and rather than just avoid the foods I know cause me issues, I’ve been chasing those meals with this tea to help soothe the tummy instead, heh.

I’m a big fan of Greek Mountain Tea, though I’ve only had it straight and not in a blend. When I had it before, it was big, fluffy flowers rather than sifted like in this blend, and the flavor I got was really fruity, a sort of floral honey and apple with a bit of citrus, hay, and mint in the background. I’m not getting any of those notes in this blend, aside from citrus and mint, but considering the amount of peppermint and lemon myrtle in this blend, I suppose that makes sense. It’s really minty but lacks that strong menthol aftertaste of most mint teas… instead it leans closer to tulsi in flavor, in that the mint is a little peppery and citrusy and some pleasant basil notes.

I prefer the flavor of Greek Mountain Tea more on its own, but I also like the extra flavor notes in this minty tea that would be lacking from drinking plain peppermint. It’s nice, and it really is great against nighttime acid reflux.

Flavors: Basil, Citrus, Mint, Pepper

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

As someone who was up from 3:55 am to 6:15 am with horrible reflux and a wretchedly burning throat…good to know.

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It’s Thanksgiving morning (edit: this was written yesterday when the Dash was down yet again), and I was greeted by our first snowfall of the year. Boo! I needed tea therapy after shoveling the slushy walk, and when I was looking through my older selections the word “maple” caught my eye and I realized I was really hankering for that flavor.

Steeped according to the package. The spent leaves had a strong woody aroma, not too unlike houjicha, while the steeped cup smelled strongly of maple and butter. That is pretty much what it tastes like, too: sweet maple and a bit of buttery creaminess on a roasted and slightly nutty backdrop. I may try a subsequent cup as a latte with sweet almond milk as I suspect that will make the maple pop even more, but it is perfectly satisfying as-is. Fits the “suddenly it’s winter!” weather.

Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Earthy, Maple, Nutty, Roasted, Sweet, Walnut, Woody

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML
Martin Bednář

First snowfall here today morning (and yesterday it was freezing, so I naturally fell on dirty pavement).

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Rating: 82

Todd gifted me some Chinese green teas from his trip to China last month. I don’t have any information on these teas aside from translating the type, and this one is a Long Jing (Dragonwell). No steeping instructions, so I just defaulted to my norm for green tea, of 2g/350ml 175F water, steeped for 2 minutes.

The aroma off the spent leaves was roasted nuts, and while I get a little of that from the cup, I also smell more vegetal notes, like peas or green beans. The liquor is pale yellow and very slick and warming. There is a little earthy nuttiness there, but mostly the flavor is very buttery greens. It’s been a long time since I have had a Dragonwell, and I’m really enjoying it. It’s very relaxing and feels good on my sore post-dental-surgery mouth.

Flavors: Earthy, Nutty, Vegetal, Peas, Green Beans, Butter

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I’ve been really enjoying this! Nice, roasty hojicha with those cozy woody and nutty notes, with a nice caramel sweetness. The caramel is really popping for me, leaning almost into a maple flavor with the fruitiness of the apple. This will be missed when I finish off the bag. Shame flavored hojicha blends are so uncommon, I haven’t had many but seem to really like the ones I have stumbled upon.

Flavors: Apple, Caramel, Fruity, Maple, Nutty, Roasted, Sweet, Woody

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 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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