1163 Tasting Notes


Woke up to snow falling like crazy. I’d blame the marmot, but traditionally my neck of the woods has always felt the brunt of winter toward the tail end of the season…

Brewed two pearls to 500ml water, steeped for three minutes. The pearls had only partially unraveled, so I’ll probably make another steep today at some point (which is highly unusual for me, I’m a one-and-done tea leaf user… sacriledge, I know).

The smell wafting off my cup strongly of cinnamon bark, a bit sweet-spice and a bit woody, with an undertone of maple syrup, butter, and brown sugar…. all wonderful things.

The tea is smooth, a bit malty/bready, with a touch of sweetness and a strong hit of cinnamon bark. There is almost a sort of fresh, pine wood sort of note that hits me during the sip, that is brisk and slightly citrusy… it’s a bit strange, but also quite enjoyable. The desserty flavors of cinnamon, maple, and butter linger on my tongue in the aftertaste, and I imagine they will start to pop more during the sip when I’ve finally had the patience to let my tea cool properly. I rarely have that kind of self-discipline and drink my cup at piping hot temperatures that normal people can’t tolerate.

Flavors: Bread, Brown Sugar, Butter, Camphor, Cinnamon, Citrus, Malt, Maple, Smooth, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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drank Blackberry Oolong by 52teas
1163 tasting notes

Prepared as a coldbrew. The blackberry flavor is sweet and present, but not overpowering. The base tastes of a spring meadow covered in fresh green grass and wildflowers. Very refreshing! I always enjoy the blackberry flavor in a 52Teas blend.

Flavors: Blackberry, Floral, Fruity, Grass, Silky, Smooth, Sweet

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

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drank Rocky Road by 52teas
1163 tasting notes

I love the aroma coming off my cooling cup… a sweet and fudgy chocolate aroma, a hint of sweet vanilla, and I’m even getting a little graham on the nose, taking me into S’mores territory. And that’s what I get on the sip, too… sweet chocolate, a hint of cream, and a sort of graham/biscuit note from the base. Incredibly smooth! A delectable cup that would probably fare well as a latte but works fine as a plain hot cuppa.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cream, Graham, Sweet, Vanilla

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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drank Grilled Pineapple by 52teas
1163 tasting notes

I’m frozen through to the bone after shoveling 6+ inches of snow off the walk… hopefully my tea hasn’t cooled off too badly in the amount of time it took me clear out the masses of white stuff.

I love the smell of this. It’s pineapple, but there is this sort of soft floral note I’m picking up with the fruit aroma that just really works for me. The base has a brassy malt aroma with just a little smokiness peeking through.

I’m always a bit weary when a blend includes Lapsang Souchang, as it’s one of the few teas I just can’t do (the strong smokiness triggers my migraines). But I do like it when it is lightly and subtly added to blends, but it is a delicate line for me. This tea is just right. Just enough smokiness to give a sort of “almost burnt” breadiness to the malty base. The pineapple is noticable, but I could do with it even stronger, as it feels like the strong black base is overpowering the fruitiness a bit.

I feel a bit of warmth returning to my cheeks and fingers now. It’s very comforting to have a nice, strong cup of tea to sip on a cold morning like this!

Flavors: Bread, Burnt, Floral, Fruity, Malt, Metallic, Pineapple, Smoke

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

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I made a cup of this warm a few nights ago and it just didn’t really work for me. I absolutely love lavender, often at strengths that most others find “soapy,” but I was getting this kind of acrid/sour floral note from it that kind of ruined the cup. I was also getting a strong citrusy note, very lemongrass forward, with that sort of green/herbaceous taste to it. I will happily report that I am not a fan of chamomile, but wasn’t tasting any actual chamomile flavor in the cup.

I probably could’ve salvaged it with a bit of honey to smooth the bitterness in the florals, but I was lazy that evening and just made do. But I did decide to steep the remainder of the package coldbrew after that, and sipping on it now, it’s very nice! Very lavender forward, and I would not recommend it to anyone particular about that floral note, but I’m a fan. It doesn’t have that sourness in the coldbrew, instead it has a subtly minty briskness to the floral note. The lemongrass is still coming through strongly, though I think I’m also getting a bit more lemon peel tangy pithiness in the coldbrew as well.

Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Hay, Herbaceous, Lavender, Lemon Zest, Lemongrass, Mint

Iced 8 min or more 10 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

I don’t think I’ve ever cold-brewed a lavender tea… as a lavender fan, I’ll have to try!

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Traditionally, I have never really liked a blueberry-flavored rooibos. Something about the particular flavor of blueberry combined with the natural notes of rooibos just always came out tasting like drinking pure cough syrup to me. And I do still get a bit of that note in both the aroma and the flavor, though it isn’t nearly so pronounced in this particular tea. The blueberry flavor leans pretty sweet and desserty, and the vanilla does a lot to smooth out the rougher medicinal edges of the flavor. The aftertaste is very pleasantly blueberry. I’m enjoying this a lot more than I would’ve ever expected given my history with blueberry-flavored rooibos in general.

Flavors: Blueberry, Cream, Fruity, Medicinal, Pancake Syrup, Rooibos, Sweet, Vanilla

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

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The dry leaf of this tea has a really pleasant aroma that really evokes dates and orange marmalade jam for me. Steeped, I lose the citrus in the aroma and get a very strong grape scent. I get strong grape notes on the sip as well, which are reminding me of the “Tea and Scones” tea (one I really enjoyed). At the back of the sip the orange starts to pop, and I taste a very subtle hint of ginger in the aftertaste. As the tea cools, the flavors start to meld a bit more… I’m getting more “raisin bread” than “date cake” with orange glaze, but I really like the malty raisiny/grape notes with the sharp citrus undertones.

Flavors: Bread, Citrus, Ginger, Grapes, Jam, Malt, Orange, Raisins, Smooth, Sweet

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

That sounds delicious!

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I enjoy coldbrew Silver Needle, so that’s how I prepared this. It’s really enjoyable; I get a sweet red berries flavor during the sip, but at the end of the sip and in the aftertaste it turns to a tangy cranberry (probably the most notable I’ve tasted cranberry in a tea). The Silver Needle itself tastes of hay, honey, and pollen; the floral notes go nicely with the soft berry tones. It’s very thirst-quenching and refreshing!

Flavors: Berries, Cranberry, Floral, Fruity, Hay, Honey, Pollen, Strawberry, Sweet, Tangy

Iced 8 min or more 6 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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I think I’ve been craving turmeric lately… I made a Mango Golden Milk smoothie for breakfast and also brewed this tea for my work thermos.

I get the “autumn” vibes from the aroma… it’s a little earthy, a little smokey, and very mapley. The flavor is a pleasant mix of those things. The turmeric is present, but there isn’t so much that the tea is peppery/spicy. It leans more toward the sweet side, due to the maple. The green tea base adds some dry grassiness and subtle smokiness which is smoothed nicely under the sweet maple. I’m not getting any of the apple, though.

A pleasant morning cuppa, that works for the cold and rainy winter we are having despite the autumn flavors.

Flavors: Dry Grass, Earthy, Maple, Smoke, Sweet, Turmeric

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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I’ve been drinking this iced. I first prepared it coldbrew, but oddly enough, tasted more of a cucumber and melon leaning towards green mango rather than peach. Steeped hot and then iced, the green tea base is coming through fairly strongly with a grassy and vegetal flavor, though I do taste a soft peaches and cream flavor that is most apparent toward the end of the sip and aftertaste. I’m not getting the nutmeg at all. It’s quite refreshing as an iced tea, but I wish the flavors were stronger against the base.

Flavors: Cream, Cucumber, Garden Peas, Grass, Green Beans, Mango, Melon, Peach, Vegetal

Iced 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 32 OZ / 946 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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