1517 Tasting Notes

drank Hazelnut by Teeccino
1517 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
1517 tasting notes

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drank MateVana by Teavana
1517 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
1517 tasting notes

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This is a sample I received from Teavana with an order I placed online back in October. It’s unique in that it has rock sugar mixed in with the tea leaves. I’ve never used rock sugar before, but supposedly it dissolves into the water as the tea steeps. Aside from the rock sugar, which looks and tastes just like the rock candy I used to eat as a kid, the tea has bits of apple, orange peel, and what I’m guessing is hibiscus. There are a few thin pieces of tea but definitely more fruit. It’s very fragrant and smells sweet, fruity, and a bit tart.

Immediately after pouring over the water, the liquid showed streaks of pink and peach. The tea leaves opened and the rest of the mix began to turn a ruby red. The rock sugar seems to have dissolved into the tea so we’ll see how sweet it is on its own. Hopefully the temperature and steep time are right.

There is a slight sweetness, but nothing like the samples they have in the store. I’m also not really tasting any citrus here. It’s definitely more berry.

A little bland, a little tart. Somewhat astringent. It’s not my favorite, but I think with a little honey it might be better.

Flavors: Astringent, Berry, Fruity, Sweet, Tart

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
1517 tasting notes

When I first opened the tin for this tea, my initial thought was that it smelled just like Danish butter cookies. The resemblance is striking. Aside from the scent, I also noticed that each sachet was filled with tea leaves rather than the tiny, powdery bits I normally see in bagged tea.

This brewed up really dark and began smelling more like tea than cookies. I can still smell the vanilla but not in a big way. I’m not really tasting it either. I let the tea cool on my desk, and it has an even better flavor now. It’s even more pronounced than when warm so I think this may be a good one to drink chilled.

Overall, this tea didn’t quite live up to my expectations. It isn’t bad, but there seems to be something missing.

Flavors: Cookie, Vanilla

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Earl Grey Black by Teavana
1517 tasting notes

It’s kind of watered down today. It is sweet enough but I may have added too much cream. The tea is faint and not very flavorful. There is a bit of bitterness too. Overall, not the most satisfying.

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Pineapple Kona Pop by Teavana
1517 tasting notes

I woke up this morning with my throat feeling sore and scratchy so my sweet husband made me a hot cup of this herbal tea. He prefers herbal teas and this is one of his all-time favorites. I like the darker teas myself, black ones mostly, but on days like this the light herbals really help.

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drank Earl Grey White by Teavana
1517 tasting notes

I’ll give it this – the tea leaves are beautiful. They twist and curl about, long strips of green and cream, supremely fragrant. I saw an infographic yesterday from chinalife that showed the many differences between loose leaf tea and bagged tea. On one side, two slumped, sodden bags of brown in a shallow puddle of tea. On the other, a mix of beautiful multicolored leaves unfurled to show their natural shapes. Don’t get me wrong – I like bagged tea. But there is something amazing about seeing tea as it’s meant to be, it’s pure form opening up in front of your eyes.

I mentioned above that this tea is very fragrant. It seems to lose that fragrance once steeped. It’s there, but lightly so. After a thirty-second steep (with no dipping), the liquid is a pale amber color. The leaves are slightly damp and have become a bright green.

And at last, all traces of bitterness are gone. I feel like I’m tasting this tea for the first time. Even without honey (which I almost always add) it is enjoyable. The flavor is gentle. It tastes entirely of tea. I’m not getting any of the bergamot here.

Side Note: I usually flush the caffeine with a thirty-second “pre-steep” but since Teavana says that white tea has an extremely low amount I decided to leave this one as is. I can definitely feel the effects of the caffeine since I never have it in my system so I’m not sure Teavana associates should be telling customers that this is virtually caffeine free. For those of us who are sensitive, even this small amount is noticeable.

165 °F / 73 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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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.

Updated July 2021.


Alabaster, Alabama



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