1303 Tasting Notes


Second Steep
8 ounces water + 212 degrees + 12 minutes

The second cup is not that great actually. It’s watered down. I can still taste some of the spices though.

Flavors: Spices

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This blend smells incredible! It’s all juicy strawberries right out of the bag. It smells very sweet and it could be my imagination but I can almost smell the creamy yogurt. In fact, it smells just like Strawberry Creme Savers if anyone remembers those. Love those things.

Flavors: Cream, Creamy, Hibiscus, Strawberry, Sweet, Yogurt

205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank First Blush Blend by Teavana
1303 tasting notes

Second Steep
8 ounces water + 175 degrees + 7 minutes

I waited on the second steep until the water became darker, but unfortunately the result is bitter tea.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Backlog from December 5th:

It’s Saturday morning. The laundry is going, the breakfast dishes have been put away, and my favorite Christmas candle is burning on the kitchen counter. It felt like the right moment to try one of my new holiday teas from 52teas’ recent Kickstarter campaign.

Of all the Christmas teas, this was the one I was most excited about when I placed my order. I’ve really been intrigued by smoky teas lately so this sounded particularly exciting. The dry leaf doesn’t smell as smoky as I expected, though there is some smoke there. I can also smell a light spice, like the faint whisper of a chai. I steeped according to the instructions on the package, but the flavor to me seems muted. I’m hoping I can get more from it by steeping a little differently next time.

Flavors: Smoke, Spices

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Sadly, I found this one to be a disappointment.


I’m feeling a little let down by this one as well. I’ve had this a few times after writing this note but I still can’t seem to coax much flavor out of it. I was so excited when it first came out; maybe my expectations were just a little too high.

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
1303 tasting notes

Backlog from April 21st:

Pineapple Kona Pop / Raspberry Pineapple Luau
from Teavana

I mixed these two together this morning for something different, but it didn’t really create anything spectacular. In fact, it’s pretty tasteless. I’m sure it’s partly due to my teas being older, but it’s really just not good. There is a vague fruitiness but it mostly tastes dusty and bland. The color is a deep berry red which I’m assuming is from the hibiscus which I can also taste. Not impressed.

Flavors: Dust, Fruity, Hibiscus

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

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I made the mistake of eating super spicy salsa and chips before drinking this so I’m not sure I tasted much. There was some smokiness, and it was a nice cup. Trying again for a second steep.

Second Steep
8 ounces water + 212 degrees + 7 minutes

A little watered down but not bad.

Flavors: Astringent, Smoke

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Wild Sweet Orange by Tazo
1303 tasting notes

I steeped this for less time today to see if it might help with the bitterness, and it has. I can taste the orange, but it’s more like the bitter bite of zest or pith, and there is also an artificial sweetness which I think must be coming from the licorice. This cup is more tolerable than previous versions so I really think the shorter steep time was beneficial. It’s still tart and astringent but not overwhelmingly so.

Flavors: Artificial, Astringent, Bitter, Licorice, Orange, Orange Zest, Sweet, Tart

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 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.

Currently reading:

A Breath of Snow and Ashes
by Diana Gabaldon

Updated October 2020.


Alabaster, Alabama



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