185 Tasting Notes


Look, a tasting note!

The base on this is very smooth… its softer than the bases from previous black teas that I’ve had from 52teas. So, bravo Frank!

Now, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a huge bergamot fan to begin with, and I’m especially fond of bergs with a creamy or vanilla bit to them. I’m also fond of cheesecake. That means what we have here is a win/win/win… win.

This tea is fairly sweet all on its own, so careful with the sugar, friends! It’s not cloying, mostly due to the sharp citrus element to it, but I think you could hurt this if you were overzealous with the sweetener :)

Anyway, num nums. Glad I picked some of this up :)

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Hahaha omg, not….a tasting note from Dylan! Aaaaaah! Welcome back? :)

Dylan Oxford

Hahaha, thanks Sil :)

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Hrmm. Definitely not something I’m going to finish. It’s flowery in kind of a soapy way. Icky.


Hmm, yeah, vanilla and pineapple don’t sound like a winning combo to me. I’m not trying to say you should have known, though! Sometimes teas that sound like bizarre combinations turn out to be delicious. Sorry this one didn’t!

Dylan Oxford

I’m not sure what it is, but very few of the Della Terra samples we purchased have been enjoyable. It’s funny though, because they seem to get pretty high ratings from everyone else. So it’s probably just me ;)


Different people different tastes. It has happened to me as well. I try a tea that has some ‘fame’ or reputation… and I just say ‘why? just… why?’ :P


I’m 50/50 with them so far, but the ones I liked, I REALLY liked! Didn’t try this one though…

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No sir, I don’t like it.

To be fair, I am (at least mentally) comparing this to 52Teas Malted ChocoMate, and it isn’t holding up. There is a bit of a chocolate flavor to this, but mostly I get a very marshy, sweet flavor.

Its weird. It looks like roasted mate, but for all the world tastes like green mate.

At any rate, I uh, I don’t see this one sticking around.

I’m not putting a rating on this one, because this seems very much like a ’It’s not you, it’s me’ kind of deal. But personally, I’m not finishing the cup.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Oh no! pretty bad when you can’t finish a cuppa!

Daisy Chubb

I’ve had a blend with almost the exact same ingredients from Utopia teas and I thought it tasted like tomato soup, so I’m totally with you on this one for now! lol


I think I tried this one and said the same thing.


Bonus points for the Ren & Stimpy review at the first. (Unless their bit comes from somewhere else) ;)


Haha – I definitely know it from Ren & Stimpy, too.

And that’s a bummer. I love ChocoMate so I’d probably be disappoitned with this tea, too.

Dylan Oxford

Thanks for the support! I always feel a little pang of guilt when I leave a bad review.

And yes, totally Ren and Stimpy :)

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This is a fairly unassuming black tea… dark with a strong flavor, but not too… characteristic? Very straightforward. Would be an excellent iced tea base next summer, yes yes.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank S'mores by Della Terra Teas
185 tasting notes

Alrighty… guests are out of the house, back to writing about tea!

We bought a sampler pack from Della Terra Teas because Missy really wanted to try the chocolately sampler pack. So we picked it up! And a few custom sampler packs… and there was a promotion that they threw in a Fall Sampler free with two custom sampler packs…

So, even though I haven’t been here posting, that doesn’t meant that I’ve somehow managed my problem. ;)

This tea is quite good, though they had me at graham cracker. It is very chocolately, and the marshmallow adds a nice creaminess to the flavor. A very nice creaminess.

The tea base itself isn’t my favorite though. I’m not sure what type it is (and Della Terra’s website isn’t telling!), but it reminds me a lot of the Hunan black I’ve had in a few blends from MarketSpice, that really just rubs me the wrong way.

Oh well, the flavoring more than makes up for it, and I think this tea will probably stick around. Could it be better? Probably. Is it the best tea with graham crackers I’ve ever had? YES!

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Woo, you live!!


The idea of a s’mores tea is very, VERY enticing.

Dylan Oxford

We live :)

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Between working a somewhat ‘normal’ shift at work, and doing some crazy house cleaning/reorganizing for Missy’s visiting brothers, I haven’t been updating much lately.

I’m not entirely sure what my mental block is against working the standard business hours of 8-5. Well, traffic is a big part of it, commuting is definitely not all it’s cracked up to be. I digress. Working 8-5 makes me tired, and my tiredness prevents me from writing interesting and witty things in a tea review. This should probably be etched in my mind for those silly times where I think “Hey, I should write a blog, and make witty and interesting posts several times a week!”. It is unlikely to happen.

So this? This was kind of a random herb I threw into my Mountain Rose order just to give it a shot as a tea. I had a somewhat vague idea of what Fennel was, because I know it’s in some Mediterranean food, and it’s rumored to kind of taste like black licorice. I like black licorice, and things that resemble the taste of black licorice, so I’m interested in what it could mix with.

The liquid itself has a light yellow color, and gives off an inviting smell of… well, like an Indian restaurant. It’s not as sweet as what I think of the smell of black licorice being, which probably has a lot to do with the fact that I don’t have any sugar in this cup. Just fennel, all day long.

The taste follows suit with the smell. It is very reminiscent of black licorice, but with a more savory, almost salty flavor to it. A little sweet, almost imperceptibly salty, and with a teensy woodsiness at the end.

I had Missy try a little sip of this (she made it for me, after all). Her review is something along the lines of “It tastes like salty black licorice, and I can’t stand it”. Though, in my experience, I haven’t met many women who enjoy the flavor of black licorice. Not sure why, but it seems to be a trend.

So yeah, this isn’t necessarily something I’d ever want to drink on it’s own, but it could definitely add an interesting background flavor to some blends. It would probably go well in the background of a Tulsi blend.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

This is a tea people drink for flatulence. Might be good to cook with gas inducing foods or to drink after meals.

Dylan Oxford

Hrmm, good to know!


LOL!!! Mercuryhime!!!! Hahahahahahahaaa!!


Thought I was being helpful and not telling a joke. Hehe :p


It is helpful and funny too! :)


This is like my favorite tea! I often eat Fennel, guess ‘cause I’m from a mediterranean country haha
Now that I’ve read this I’m gonna try black licorice : D

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I really, really love Teavivre’s Keemuns.

For the sake of transparency, I’m technically drinking a Keemun Grade 1.5 tonight, as it was a mix of remaining samples. But I like 2 better, so that’s where it’s getting logged. Nyah nyah nyah.

I drink this, and it pretty much cements in my mind that there’s no real need for Lapsang Souchong in my life. This keemun is rich and smokey, absolutely deliciously so, but without that really heavy smokey pine flavor. Which, all being said isn’t that bad (at least not Teavivre’s version), but is nowhere near as pleasurable as the just slightly smokey flavor of the Keemuns.

Missy’s awesome, she’s letting me finish off the pot because I like this so much. I’m totally drinking more than my fair share on this one… nummy nummy.


Aw, that is very sweet if Missy! Now, rub her feet!

Dylan Oxford

She’s a great woman :)


Gah, I STILL need to try a Keemun.

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Almost out of these little tarantulas… which is probably good, since they’re going to have a birthday here pretty soon. I’ll miss them, but there’s a similar tea from Teavivre that tastes just as good, if not better (and not $10/oz!). Can’t remember which off the top of my head though. I’m sure I have a tasting note somewhere.

How are all you beautiful people tonight?

Terri HarpLady

Hi Dylan!
I’m having an awesome night watching SNL. I still have the tin from the Golden Imperial Lotus tea, it was a tasty tea, & I like the tarantula image!


Oh god little tarantulas… what a spine-tingling image! Tarantula tea aaah

Dylan Oxford

Haha, something about the leaf tips sticking out of the little brown and black mottled bundle has always made me think of tarantulas.


That’s a hilarious mental image. :D


Tarantulas?!! AHHHHH!!! Why would you even go there?? Now I’ll never be able to try this tea!

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I may have mentioned on here before that my first experience with matcha was not a positive one. We had bought a pouch of matcha from a tea store that shall not be named, and Missy spent some time looking around on the internet figuring out exactly how much matcha to use for a cup of tea. Needless to say, it didn’t go terribly well. I took one sip, looked at Missy, and said “Are you serious, you actually want to drink this?”. Except it also involved swearing.

I put my interest in matcha on a back burner at that point. Maybe it was something a future, more refined me would enjoy, but definitely not today.

Then, Red Leaf Tea started showing up and making a huge effort to bring in new customers from Steepster. Reviews started popping up about their fantastic matcha, and the awesome flavors that they have. When the Belgium Chocolate Matcha went on sale, I knew it was time to give matcha another try. I figured, if I can’t enjoy half-priced, chocolate flavored matcha from what appears to be the best matcha vendor around, there was probably no hope.

My order options were:

Size : Small
Matcha Quality: Royal (Premium Grade)
Flavor: Distinctive

A side note: I involved two variables here, which breaks my little scientist heart. However, I thought that the best chance to succeed here would be if I used a better grade matcha, and a more prominent level of flavoring.

For preparing this one, Missy used her battery-powered frother, as opposed to the traditional matcha tools. It may be bucking convention, but it really seems to create a nice, smooth evenly distributed cup of matcha. This resulted in a smooth, but murky jade green drink, which is significantly darker than the matcha-that-shall-not-be-named. This makes it obvious that there is true cocoa powder in here, as opposed to just a flavoring (unless there was a flavoring and a coloring, then all bets are off).

It definitely smells very chocolatey, very sweet without any sugar added. It reminds me of a chocolate cake batter, or possibly muffin batter. There’s the chocolately sweetness to it, but the hint of background… well, I suppose it’s the smell of the matcha itself. Anyway, the matcha smell in the background elevates it a little bit to a baked-good smell, at least for me.

The taste is very smooth. At first, it has a warm hot cocoa flavor to it, absolutely delicious. It is inviting, and comforting, with a subtle sweetness on your tongue (much more subtle in taste than in smell). To me, the first drink was overwhelmingly cocoa flavored, with no vegetal taste to betray the matcha lurking below. Each successive drink makes that matcha flavor come out a little bit more. There is a strangely beneficial aspect to this, and that is that the matcha flavor itself slowly builds on you. It’s very crisp and clean, lightly foresty but without that swampy, seaweed taste that some green tea comes with.

As you get to the end of the drink, there is some matcha that has settled towards the bottom. This is likely because I’m a little bit of a slow drinker, sensitive to hot liquids and such. Or, we really have no clue what we’re doing. Always a possibility.

All in all, I would definitely recommend this matcha, especially if you’re new to the world of matcha. It has renewed my faith in matcha as a viable beverage choice.

You can get it here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/belgium-chocolate-matcha.html

Now… to mix it in with a protein shake in the morning…


Thanks for the review! I’m definitely going to check this one out.


P.S. Red Leaf doesn’t use artificial colorings. :)

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My fiancé and I are beginning to enjoy tea infusion, and it’s slowly becoming an interesting hobby that the two of us can share. Maybe not slowly… it’s somewhat amazing how much tea you can buy when everything looks shiny and new.

Tea Rating system:

90 – 100: This is a tea I will always have on hand at work, and at home. I will leave it on altars as offerings of perfection.

80 – 89: This, or one of it’s close cousins, will likely be in my cabinet at home. When this tea runs out, I will buy more. I’ll always wonder if there is something better, but be too afraid to look to stray from home to find it.

70 – 79: Definitely good, but not a clear winner. I enjoy it, I’ll finish it, but I probably won’t buy it again until I’ve exhausted all other versions of this product from any reputable retailer. Though, it may enjoy a resurrection for custom blending.

60 – 69: This tea is okay, but definitely not something I’m going to brew again. I’m going to give what I have left away.

30 – 59: I didn’t finish drinking this tea. I actually poured it out, and went for something else. I’ll still give this tea away, but I’ll do it with a warning and a plead for forgiveness.

0 – 29: This tea is riding securely towards an iceberg at the helm of the failboat. I’ve taken this out of my tea tin, and laid it on a napkin as potpurri. I do not consider it fit for human consumption.


Tacoma, Washington, United States

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