1181 Tasting Notes


I received this sample as a gift from Derk, thank you!

The steeped tea smells of warm cinnamon bread, malt, stewed cherry and dates, with some nutty and umami overtones. Smooth and malty with an oat/rye quality, with some fruity orange notes and a sweet ’n sour sauce flavor that lingers on my tongue. A hint of Chinese black smokiness.

Very tasty! Thank you, Derk!

Flavors: Bread, Cherry, Cinnamon, Dates, Fruity, Malt, Oats, Orange, Smoke, Smooth, Umami

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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This was kindly shared with me from Derk, thank you so much! I’ve been having trouble sleeping the last few nights and it is really catching up to me, so I’m hoping an IV drip of black tea at work today will keep my eyelids open just enough to power through.

The dry leaf is long and spindly with a plum-like aroma. Brewed, the tea is high aromatic, with a strong aroma of thick, golden floral honey and apricots over warm, overbaked bread and malt. It’s very smooth… I get a lot of stewed stonefruit and grilled/smoked pineapple fruity notes, with a sort of BBQ sauce umami note as well. The end of the sip is very malty with a bit of drying on the tongue and some lingering honey sweetness.

It’s a very pleasant morning black, and a nice palate cleanser in-between sweet gooey bites of Clif Bar for breakfast.

Thank you, Derk!

Flavors: Apricot, Bread, Drying, Floral, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Pineapple, Plum, Smoke, Smooth, Stewed Fruits, Stonefruit, Umami

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 17 OZ / 500 ML

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As I have continued to sipdown teas without making any purchases, a lot of “staple” flavors have been disappearing from my cupboard… rose black tea being one. So when I saw these teabags at my local grocery, I didn’t have high hopes, but thought it would be better than nothing.

My expectations were completely blown away by these, though! The black tea base has a much nicer flavor than I’m used to from grocery store blacks, having that rich, slightly smoky and slightly leathery flavor of a Keemun, with brassy-malt undertones. The rose fairly strong… it is perhaps a bit oily/artificial but I really love the flavor and like my rose teas on the strong side. I imagine those that do not have my floral grit could find this “perfumy” or “soapy.” It’s not as good as naturally scented rose petal tea, but for a cheaper and more easily accessible option, I’m really pleased with the flavor. It’s been great both as a warm morning pick-me-up-cup and coldbrewed in the fridge and gulped down as chilled tea.

Flavors: Artificial, Floral, Leather, Malt, Metallic, Rose, Smoke

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

What’s your favorite rose black?

Mastress Alita

I really like an Adagio fandom blend that is called “White Rose” — confusing name as it conjures white tea-feels, but it’s just their “Summer Rose” black tea mixed with their “Cream” black tea, and I just really loved how the two flavorings compliment each other. I also really like a good Chinese black paired with rose, like “Yunnan Rose Flowers and Big Snow Mountain Black Tea Dragon Ball” by Yunnan Sourcing or “Rose Petal Black” from The Tao of Tea.


Cool, thank you for the recs! I love florals but don’t think I’ve ever had rose specifically.


Mastress Alita – rose and cream teas mixed sounds really good. If I ever get through the rose teas I have right now, I may give it a try!


beerandbeancurd: If you like floral, White Wedding by Belloqc is over the top. I really like it but it was too much for some people so with them I just mixed it with plain white tea. White Nixon is lovely, too.

For black rose teas, I have tried Harney’s Rose Scented (good), Tsar Nikolas Valentine’s Blend (good and also inexpensive), and Rose Pouchong by Fortnum and Mason, which is called pouchong but is 100% Keemun base. LOL It was really good, too. I hope to try Lupicia’s Damask offerings soon, but their Yume is good and it is a blend with rose.


Woo, awesome! Thank you!


Haven’t had it for years, but I really liked Adagio’s Cream — never thought about blending it with anything else, but that was back in my newbish days.

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I really enjoy violet tea, but both that I have tried from Bird & Blend (this one and “Purple Rain”) have both been a miss for me. In both, the black tea in the base just came across really bitter, even with the most careful of measures during the steeping process.

This one isn’t quite as abrasive as “Purple Rain,” since the added chocolate flavor does add a bit of sweetness, but it also doesn’t really seamlessly mesh with the floral violet, either. I love chocolate paired with lavender and rose, but this just tastes a little weird to me? The fact the chocolate note is coming off really artificial probably doesn’t help. Having “cream” in the title, I’d expect more of a vanilla note in the flavor rather than chocolate, and I wonder if that would’ve improved it a bit more.

It’s not so bad that I won’t finish this off, but I wouldn’t order violet tea from Bird & Blend again.

Flavors: Artificial, Astringent, Biting, Bitter, Chocolate, Floral, Violet

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML
Roswell Strange

Fully agree! It’s weird to me that B&B seems to be struggling so much with the violet blends since it’s suuccchhhh a more common flavour in their neck of the world than here in North America.

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I have really enjoyed this tea. The dry leaf has a lovely sweet, lavender-forward aroma which carries over to the steeped cup. The flavor does make me think of a lavender frosting… it is very sweet with a vanilla cream undertone, and the lavender is lovely, strong enough to be a pervasive flavor but not so strong that the tea gets floral-bitter. My only complaint is that the apple comes off a bit strongly fruity, which does break the buttercream illusion a bit. The tea is also very sweet, so it has taken me a while to sip down my package, since it very much became a “mood” drink.

I’ve been mainly drinking this hot and plain, but decided to use up the last of the leaf in a frothy vanilla almond milk latte, which is very indulgent. The added creaminess of the milk and vanilla really pushes the sweetness, without drowning out the lavender which is by far my favorite part (I’m a big lavender fan).

Flavors: Apple, Cream, Floral, Frosting, Lavender, Sweet, Vanilla

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

Team Lavender here too. I really need to try a lavender tea one of these days that isn’t earl grey.

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drank Pumpkin Spice by Teeccino
1181 tasting notes

This sample was gifted to me by AJRimmer, thank you!

We are still getting intermittent snow in my neck of the woods, so I brewed this up as a warm thermos. Has that same dark, rich, roasty and slightly nutty coffee flavor as the other Teeccino flavors I’ve been able to try, but I find the pumpkin spice a bit lacking. I really only taste the nutmeg, and it is a strong nutmeg flavor, which I find rarely stands out in spice blend tea mixes I’ve had. It is a nice flavor and I like seeing it shine, and it compliments the coffee notes really well, but I don’t get even a hint of cinnamon, ginger, or clove, so it doesn’t really make me think of “pumpkin spice.” If they just named this “Nutmeg Coffee” it’d be spot on.

It’s good and I’m enjoying my thermos, but I liked the French Vanilla and Chocolate Raspberry flavors a bit more.

Flavors: Coffee, Dark Bittersweet, Nutmeg, Nutty, Roasted

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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This was gifted to me by AJRimmer, thank you!

I’ve finally worked my way through the tin, making hibiscus coldbrew. I drink it ice cold without any sweetener, and find it so refreshing. I actually get a strong cranberry note from the hibiscus in the absense of other fruit (a flavor I notoriously can never taste in cranberry flavored teas). It’s really nice! Tart, tangy, and hydrating.

Flavors: Cranberry, Fruity, Hibiscus, Tangy, Tart

Iced 8 min or more 2 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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This sample was gifted by AJRimmer, thank you!

It smells pleasant in the cup… gentle spices and a subtle sweetness. The flavor is nice, too. I get more of an orange spice tea than gingerbread, but it is also one of the better orange spice flavor profiles I’ve had in a while. The citrus isn’t too potent as a flavor, but I think it really makes the clove notes pop, which is coming off as the strongest spice note. The ginger is present but not without any unpleasant burning. The tea isn’t as sweet as it comes off on the nose, and the spice notes are strong but not aggressive.

It’s a nice cold morning tea. (Spring still is hesitant to spring in my neck of the woods, and it’s a comforting profile against the random snow/rain/wind that keeps popping up the second I think the weather is going to turn).

Flavors: Citrus, Clove, Ginger, Malt, Orange Zest, Smooth, Spices

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 17 OZ / 500 ML

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drank Blueberry Limeade by 52teas
1181 tasting notes

A sample from AJRimmer, thank you! I actually prepared this as a liter coldbrew combined with another sample from AJRimmer, “Cranberry Lemonade Green Tea” also from 52Teas, but the ratio was 4g Blueberry Limeade to 1.5g Cranberry Lemonade, so I decided to put the review here as I’m expecting that to be the main flavor profile (albeit likely a bit more lemony).

This is such a refreshing coldbrew! The base is fresh and just a touch grassy, with a strong lemon-lime citrus zing and a sweeter, juicy blueberry note. The citrus is tangy and lingers after the sip. The blueberry mixes with the citrus nicely. Easily gulpable ice-cold from the fridge!

Flavors: Blueberry, Citrus, Fruity, Grass, Lemon, Lime, Tangy

Iced 8 min or more 5 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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drank Raspberry Parfait by 52teas
1181 tasting notes

Another sample from AJRimmer, thank you! Prepared hot and plain in my trusty work thermos.

The base is rich and malty, but this cup turned out a bit astringent for me and is leaving some drying on my tongue after the sip. I can taste the raspberry and a bit of cream, but they are being overshadowed a bit by the heavy malty/woody base notes. I think in retrospect this would’ve worked out better as a latte, since that would’ve smoothed the rougher breakfast tea-esque edges and added a bit of sweetness to perhaps bring out the raspberry more.

It’s fine, just leaning more toward “fruity breakfast tea” than “desserty tea” like the name suggests. I do appreciate the omph I’m getting off the black base this morning, though. I daresay I feel like doing something productive for a change!

Flavors: Astringent, Cream, Drying, Malt, Raspberry, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 17 OZ / 500 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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