1197 Tasting Notes


I have a lot of GI issues related to my chronic migraine condition, so having a ginger tea around is a must. Grabbed this blend from my local grocery and actually preferred it to the brand I’d been buying, Twinings of London’s Lemon Ginger. The lemon flavor doesn’t taste as artificial/cleaner-esque in this tea compared to the Twinings, and while I know most people abhor licorice root, I’m not one of them, and I like the inclusion here because it takes a little bit of edge off ginger spiciness while still allowing a nice amount of healing ginger. Sadly it has been perpetually sold out on every subsequent trip I’ve made to the store, so I had to restock the Twinings that I don’t like as much. This was definitely my first choice, though.

Flavors: Earthy, Ginger, Lemon, Licorice Root, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 350 OZ / 10350 ML

Hey, my migraines give me GI issues too! I thought it was just a weird quirk of my body.

Mastress Alita

Nope, it’s a normal part of what happens in the neurology of the brain (and part of why I get so annoyed when people think a migraine is “just a bad headache” when it is a neurological disorder that has many symptoms, including but not limited to head pain).


Same! My symptoms are a whole complicated constellation, which means that treatment/symptom management has to happen on multiple fronts too. For what it’s worth, in case it’s helpful, my hands-down favorite migraine blend is Triple Goddess from Calabash Tea for loose leaf and Harney Ginger Lemon for teabags. Neither is exceptionally cheap for a ginger tea but I tend to buy my ginger tea in bulk, which helps with cost.

Mastress Alita

I’ll have to try those out! I tend to just grab whatever is easily on-hand at the grocery store but they often aren’t “favorites” when it comes to ginger teas. My favorites (both loose leaf, and both currently not on hand for my cupboard at the moment) are Rishi’s Tangerine Ginger (not recommended to hibi-haters) and Davidson Tea’s Tulsi Ginger Lemon.


Ooh. I have been meaning to try Rishi out, will keep this in mind!

Martin Bednář

Hm. I should tell that my brother that during migraine GI issues can happen and they are normal.

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drank Crescent Green by Spirit Tea
1197 tasting notes

Another sample gifted from Derk, thank you!

It’s sweaty yucky summer here now so I prepared this coldbrew. I really enjoy coldbrewed green tea (more than hot, actually) and this one is great! It actually gives me some white tea vibes from the flavor profile. There is a sort of fruitiness to it, that tastes a bit like a cross between pear and muscat grapes, with a bit of floral honey. Beneath that is an autumn leaf grassiness. Very tasting and refreshing! I love it!

Thanks so much, Derk!

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Fruity, Grass, Honey, Muscatel, Pear

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

Cold-brewed green tea is the best! This one sounds good.


Sure thing, Mastress Alita :)

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drank Mint Matcha by 3 Leaf Tea
1197 tasting notes

I start every day with a smoothie that includes a teaspoon of matcha. I’ve tried experimenting with using flavored matcha before, but because they are always chalk full of sweetener, they made my smoothies waaaaaaaay too unbearably sweet. 3 Leaf Tea has the only unsweetened flavored matcha I could find, so I grabbed a couple of their flavors not long ago and added this as a sample to reach free shipping.

One of my favorite smoothies is a combo of blended coconut milk, mango, vanilla Greek yogurt, and lime juice. I decided to add this matcha instead of plain matcha to go for a mojito vibe, and it worked well! The flavor of the matcha holds out nice and strong against all the smoothie ingredients and adds a very refreshing minty note to the drink. I was expecting a strong peppermint flavor, but I’m actually getting more of a spearmint note. It’s really complimentary with the tangy lime. I can’t comment on the actual matcha itself, as I don’t really taste the grassy matcha taste in smoothies and I pretty much never drink it as a plain drink.

There is only a little left in the sampler pouch now, but I’d definitely be willing to get this one again. I may use what is left paired with a strawberry smoothie to see how much versatility I can get with a strong flavor like mint.

Flavors: Creamy, Mint, Spearmint

1 tsp

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drank Hazelnut by Teeccino
1197 tasting notes

This is one of the three flavors of Teeccino available in my local grocery store (as grounds). I’ve been putting two scoops of the grounds in a fillable teabag and cold-steeping overnight in a liter jar to make coldbrew.

This is really nice. Definitely has that same roasted coffee flavor of the other Teeccino flavors I’ve tried, but the nutty notes are amplified, and the hazelnut flavor is actually very spot on. I think my brain association with hazelnut and chocolate also brings out a really dark and bittersweet chocolate flavor. It’s a tasty coldbrew but is very thick and mouth-coating, which isn’t always the texture I want for a quick thirst quencher or a cold drink accompanying a meal, but I love the mileage I can get out of a single bag of grounds making coldbrew. I think I’ve been drinking this as my main cold tea for several months now.

I did attempt to try it warm one morning, but I nodded back off into sleep on the couch and when I awoke, it was already cold. Ah well! I’m sure it’s just as tasty warm.

I’ll probably get another bag at some point, but I plan to try the last available-to-me flavor first (Mocha, if memory serves). I did like this one more than the French Vanilla, mostly because it so perfectly nails the flavor on the tin (hazelnut) while the French Vanilla one tastes of coconut to me.

Flavors: Coffee, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut, Nutty, Roasted, Thick

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

I love the mocha! Hope you like it, too!


Oddly enough, I have a box of the hazelnut teabags that I’ve been plowing through lately and have only ever drunk them hot! I’ll have to give the cold brew a try!

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

I kept putting off having this due to my belief tea like this “has to be brewed gong fu,” and I just never have the time for gong fu, so I finally decided to be a heathen and brew it western. 3.25g to 350ml 205F water, steeped for 3 minutes.

The liquor is a lovely pale yellow with just a tinge of a green hue. The brewed tea smells beautiful, like a spring garden full of lilac bushes and fresh greens. There is also a hint of cream on the nose. The smell alone is reminding me how long it has been since I’ve dipped into a Taiwanese oolong, one of my favorite tea types.

The mouthfeel is very silky, with a strong floral note… orchids, lilacs, gardenias. Beneath that is a bright citrusy note mixed with fresh greens… sweet grass, wildflowers, garden peas. Ashmanra mentioned “baby powder” and I totally get that. Has a very relaxing energy, and the bright floral and vegetal flavor fits for a spring day (usually we are well into summer in this area by now, but our winter lasted into April, so now our Spring has been pushed all the way into June… Summer might finally start rearing its head by next week. I’m not looking forward to it!)

Thank you, Derk!

Flavors: Baby Powder, Citrus, Cream, Floral, Garden Peas, Gardenias, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lilac, Orchid, Silky, Smooth, Sweet, Warm Grass, Vegetal, Wildflowers

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

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

It’s a rainy morning here so a darker oolong just sounded right. The aroma is an amalgamation of roasty, earthy, and nutty notes… like nuts harvested from wet, metallic ground. Also a hint of nutmeg aroma on the nose.

It tastes as it smells. Rain-soaked earth, walnuts, a hint of spice. The roast is pleasant, giving it a mild char aftertaste without tasting like chewing on charcoal ash. There are some undertones of very dark, bittersweet chocolate. I don’t get the fruity notes that so many others have noted — maybe a hint of apple sweetness beneath the roast, nuts, and earth? — but perhaps that is due to my heathen Western brewing preference over gong fu.

The warm roastiness and metallic earth really do make this a nice accompaniment for a drizzly morning. Thanks for sharing, Derk!

Flavors: Apple, Burnt, Char, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Earthy, Metallic, Nutmeg, Nutty, Petrichor, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Spring Water, Toast, Walnut, Wet Earth, Wet Rocks

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

The fruitier notes were more prominent gong fu or with less leaves. It’s more like a cooked apple or plum than something really fruity. I personally got a lot of earth and some vanilla-maybe parallel to the walnut you’re getting.

Cameron B.

Heathen high-five! :P

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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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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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