1362 Tasting Notes

drank Earl Grey Black by Teavana
1362 tasting notes

I felt like something predictable and reliable today. This one is always a comfort. The aroma is calming. I think I must love it so much because it’s one of the first teas I really started drinking on my own. It’s sentimental.

A friend at work mentioned to me yesterday that on special occasions she drops a single bag of Earl Grey into her pitcher of sweet iced tea. The way she spoke, it changes the flavor dramatically and really elevates a simple glass. I may try it this weekend with this Earl Grey. I’m having family over for Christmas and I love making tea when they are here.

Speaking of, how is everyone’s holiday planning coming along? I’m making a lot of homemade gifts and am starting to feel the pressure to get everything finished on time. Is anyone else making/giving handmade gifts? What about tea gifts? I would love some ideas for next year!

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Again with the menthol! This flavor/scent seems to be coming through in so many of my teas lately. I’m not sure what I’m smelling exactly because I don’t think there is supposed to be any mint in here. Aside from the menthol, it smells sweet and a little fruity but also tart. The majority of this mix is white tea with some large dried blueberries thrown in. There is hibiscus and also some red chips of something that look like they were pulled from a bag of potpourri.

So. I steeped this a lot longer than I should have. A coworker came by my desk and I was distracted so the tea was left to itself for a while. The color is a berry red and still smells slightly of menthol plus tea. Of course, it’s bitter since I over-steeped it, but it does have some blueberry flavor. This seems like the kind of tea that would be really good iced. I may try that next time.

The tea has cooled down a bit and I’m enjoying the flavor more. I’ll probably be using the rest of this as iced tea.

Flavors: Blueberry, Fruity, Menthol, Sweet, Tart, Tea

175 °F / 79 °C 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Backlog from December 19th:

My brother was over on Friday so of course we pulled the teapot from the cabinet almost immediately after he arrived. We started with Pineapple Kona Pop but finished it so quickly that when he went back for his second cup it was already gone. He looked so disappointed when he picked up the empty teapot that I jumped up to make another pot.

This one is my favorite at the moment so I had to share! We each had a cup and put the rest in the fridge for later. I’m not sure how this one will be cold, but if I don’t like it I’ll reheat. I’m sure it will be just as good.

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drank Pineapple Kona Pop by Teavana
1362 tasting notes

Backlog from December 19th:

My brother came over for dinner and a movie. We went out for sushi first and then it was off to see The Hobbit. We chose a late showing so before dinner we pulled out the teapot and finished off the last of our Pineapple Kona Pop. This is one of my husband’s favorites so we’ll need to restock soon. He puts a good deal of honey in his so that it almost tastes like candy, but with the moderate amount I add to mine it’s really sort of bland. This is the one tea we have that, in my opinion, really requires a lot of sweetener to make the flavor come through. I do like Teavana’s sample of Pineapple Kona Pop mixed with Blueberry Bliss so I might try to blend those two next time for a cold brew.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 24 OZ / 709 ML

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drank Earl Grey White by Teavana
1362 tasting notes

I have to admit, I’m not all that excited about this cup today. It’s a tea I put in my bag yesterday so if I want something warm to drink it’s either this or decaf coffee from the break room. Don’t get me wrong, the last time I had this tea it was good. I think I’m just not in the mood for Earl Grey at the moment.

I must have steeped this too long. AGAIN. It’s bitter and not really enjoyable. I’ll try adding some honey to it to see if I can smooth it out some. This tea has the potential to be good, but it is so fussy!

The honey definitely helps. Much, much better. I’m still not tasting the bergamot here; it’s just straight tea. It’s also a little dry. But honestly, it’s been so cold today that this cup is really comforting.

Exciting news! My husband and I signed up last night for the Verdant tea of the month blends subscription! We had been talking and narrowing down our options for the last few days and when we finally made our choice Verdant was down to one spot available. I don’t think I’ve ever typed so fast in my life! I can’t wait for our first box to arrive next month. Has anyone here had any experience with Verdant Tea? From what I’ve read on the discussion board, their teas are reliable and of good quality.

Next up, a TTB!

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter

0 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I have bought tea from Verdant before. I like their Laoshan Black and Laoshan Chai. I didn’t like the Zhu Rong, though it gets a LOT of high ratings; and I have a couple others I haven’t opened yet. Even the one I didn’t like looks good, and smells good – I think it was me, not the tea.


Thanks, Skulleigh! I’ve added the Laoshan Black to my wishlist to pick up later. I’m glad to know we’ve settled on something that everyone seems to love.

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drank Hazelnut by Teeccino
1362 tasting notes

I’m not sure this really counts as a tea, but it is an herbal blend and it’s on Steepster so I’ll make a note of it here. To me, this tastes just like coffee. It always brews up really strong so I add some sugar and cream to tone it down. This one does have a bit of an artificial taste but all in all it’s a good cup.

I’ve really enjoyed each of the Teeccino flavors I’ve tried. I tend to keep these stocked in my pantry since I don’t drink much coffee. It’s a nice alternative.

Flavors: Artificial, Coffee

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Youthberry White Tea by Teavana
1362 tasting notes

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drank MateVana by Teavana
1362 tasting notes

I’ve only ever tried one or two chocolate teas and those have consistently tasted like they were watered down. I guess I shouldn’t expect tea to be on par with a hot chocolate, but a little creaminess would be nice. We’ll see how this one goes.

Of course, the first thing I noticed when I opened the bag was the chocolate. There is also another scent I can’t seem to place. I’ve never tried mate before so maybe that’s it. There are chocolate flakes mixed in with the tea as well as some dried orange/yellow flower petals. I really like the way this smells and looks so hopefully it exceeds my expectations.

The liquid here has a shiny film on top and is very dark and murky. It tastes bitter and has coffee notes. With cream, it feels more like a black tea – I’m not tasting any rooibos. That being said, it actually has more flavor than I expected it to. I’m not sure that I like this one, at least not yet. There’s something about it that I cannot place.

I did my normal pre-steep, but I’m still feeling like I have some caffeine in my system so perhaps the mate has more than others I’ve tried. I read that the mate is supposed to make a person feel more alert without the jitteriness of caffeine, but I don’t feel that way at all. In fact, I feel sluggish and a bit like I just ate a big piece of sugary cake. Oh well.

Flavors: Bitter, Chocolate, Coffee

200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This is such a beautiful tea. The first thing I noticed when I opened the bag was the bright, rusty color of the rooibos. It resembles a deeply colored pine mulch and is striking against the red peppercorns and blue cornflowers in the mix. There are also bits of ginger, as evidenced by the stringiness of the pieces, and chips of cinnamon bark. There are small pebbles of something or other mixed in too, but I couldn’t say what they are. There is definitely a lot going on.

This blend is very fragrant – there are a lot of different scents coming out here. It’s a bit medicinal at first and I can detect the faint smell of menthol, but it also smells sweet. I have to say, I love the way this smells while it’s steeping! The vanilla and rooibos really come to the forefront. The color of the liquid has become a deep amber after steeping and still carries that menthol scent.

Unsweetened, the tea tastes slightly spiced. I added honey and am now tasting mostly rooibos with that spicy aftertaste. This is a really good chai, even without the milk, and it feels good on my scratchy throat. It seems to have just enough bite. Delightful!

Flavors: Medicinal, Menthol, Rooibos, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Citrus Lavender Sage by Teavana
1362 tasting notes

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Lifetime student. Lover of books and paper and ink. Kitchen dweller. Aspiring herbalist, excessively proud cat lady, and tea fanatic. Thirty-something elder millennial. She/her.

I love flavored black teas most of all, always with cream and honey. I prefer to sweeten my tea as it seems to bring out the flavor. I enjoy floral and fruity teas, as well as flavored or scented ones. I’m not overly fond of green or white teas, but I’ve found a few that I enjoy.

I’m open to tea swaps and/or just sharing what’s in my tea cabinet! Please reach out if you see something I have that you’d like to try. I do my best to update my cupboard regularly.

It will take me longer than usual to get to the post office while we’re in the midst of this pandemic, but I would still love to send you something next time I’m out and about!

Any and all black teas, smoky teas, raspberry, strawberry, red fruits, bergamot, chai spices, floral teas, caramel/toffee, jasmine, rose, vanilla, peaches, plums, valerian root, cinnamon, cardamom

Not a huge fan
Lime, white teas, green teas, artificial sweeteners, sarsaparilla, licorice, lemongrass, lavender, hot hibiscus, hibiscus in black tea blends

Rating Scale

1-20: By far, one of the worst teas I’ve tasted. I most certainly will not finish my cup and will likely “gift” the rest to my sweet husband, James, who almost always enjoys the teas I dislike (and vice versa).

21-49: This tea is not good but if I mix it with another tea or find another steeping method I might be able to finish it.

50-70: This one is just okay. I might drink it again if someone were to give it to me, but I probably won’t be buying more for myself.

71-79: This is a consistently good tea. It’s reliable but not necessarily special.

80-90: This one is a notch above the rest and I would gladly enjoy a cup of it any day of the week. I’ll likely be keeping this in my cupboard, but it isn’t one of my all-time favorites.

91-95: One small change and this tea would be perfect. I’ll definitely have a stash of this in my kitchen if you come over for tea.

96-100: No words can describe this tea. It’s an experience, an aha moment. Closed eyes, wide smile, encompassing warmth. Absolutely incredible. Perfect.

Currently reading:

A Breath of Snow and Ashes
by Diana Gabaldon

Updated October 2020.


Alabaster, Alabama



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