620 Tasting Notes

drank Carrot Cake by Della Terra Teas
620 tasting notes

Sipdown! (97/395)

Okay don’t judge me guys, but I may have had this sample in my cupboard from my swap with VariaTEA for around 4 years before finally sipping it down… My cupboard is just so huge that little baby samples like this often get lost amongst the others and I forget I have them for a while before they finally resurface. I’m fairly sure I had a cup of this when I first got it in the post, but that was so long ago now that I honestly don’t remember. There was just enough left for a big mug so that’s what I’m having this afternoon as I begin Mission Positivity. My wonderful boyfriend (his name is Ryan and we met the day before my birthday earlier in the year) has inspired me to take more control of my life and happiness, and drinking more tea and journaling it along with my life is just one of the ways I’m doing this. Anyway, please bear with me as I find my feet again and drink a lot of tea which has seen better days.

Luckily, this tea has held up amazingly well since I didn’t store it the best and have kept a hold of it for so long. I don’t remember what it was like when it was fresher, but the flavours are still present and I can’t imagine that much has been lost. Immediately when I poured the water over the tea, I got an incredible waft of vanilla cream cheese frosting, and knew that this was going to be delicious. There’s a back note of cinnamon to the scent, which becomes stronger and more cake-like the longer the tea is brewing. I left it brewing as I did laundry in the next room and several times had to stop what I was doing to take a big sniff because it smelled so good. The flavour is just as delicious. It’s sweet without being too much, bready and comforting. I feel like adding a pinch of sugar would have enhanced the dessert quality of the tea, but I’m drinking all my tea plain at the moment as I’ve just recommitted to Weight Watchers (another part of Mission Positivity). I don’t think the sugar is necessary, though – I definitely don’t feel like I’m missing out! The main body of the tea is rooibos-heavy, though not in an unpleasant way, with a touch of warming cinnamon and hint of vanilla. I actually think the rooibos is a very good choice for the base in this blend, as it adds a lovely honey note which meshes really nicely with the additional flavours. It feels thick and unctuous as a carrot cake should. The carrot cake spices and vanilla cream cheese flavours come out even more in the aftertaste, and it really does taste as though you’ve just eaten a piece of carrot cake! It’s one of my favourite desserts, and as a fan I have to say I’m very impressed with this tea.

It’s a shame that DT went out of business, because this tea could definitely replace dessert for me, especially with a touch of sugar, and that’s something I’m looking for at the moment especially as I’m trying to get to my goal weight and just be healthier in general. Still, it’s not like I’ll be off my no-buy any time soon, so at least I’m avoiding temptation…?

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Coffee & Cigarettes by Butiki Teas
620 tasting notes

This is starting to lose some of its flavour. Weirdly, the added flavours seem to be what’s sticking around the longest, and the base tea is what is losing its complexities. The result is a still tasty, less robust tea which for most tea companies would be pretty decent but when I remember how amazing this used to be it makes me want to cry a little.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Would it help to add a bit of a plain tea that you like to boost the base flavor without it overcoming the added flavors?

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drank Popcorn by Teapigs
620 tasting notes

Drinking this to combat the super rich lunch I ate and enjoying it more than usual. Mild and nutty and I can live with that.

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec 6 OZ / 177 ML

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drank Chilli Chai by Teapigs
620 tasting notes

Drinking this while listening to The Rolling Stones and revising for my driving theory test tomorrow, which I am dreading…

I think the individual teabag I purchased for a single cup a while back must have been pretty old, because from my review I wasn’t very impressed. Since then I’ve been given a whole box of these teabags for Christmas and having drank most of them by now I can safely say that the chilli kick does come through! It’s not as strong as some chilli teas I’ve tried (Winter Fire I’m looking at you) but it’s got a decent burn. The level of spice is actually pretty perfect for me. It’s a nice twist on a chai, and I might eventually pick up some more.

I don’t have time to write a long review now because I’m cramming for my test, but I’m going to start getting back into writing tasting notes.

Upping my rating from 63.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

Good luck!


Good luck! I really struggled with my tests, and I was so nervous, but a lot of people do way better than they expect. I wish you the best of luck. :)


Thank you! I passed! Just dreading the practical now…

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drank Pitta Ayurvedic by DAVIDsTEA
620 tasting notes

Sipdown! (96/395)

Another one of my oldest teas that I should be moving out of my cupboard. It probably sat in there way too long, but I don’t think it affected the flavour too much. Sadly, I didn’t get any peach from this, like I was hoping – it was mainly a peppery holy basil drink with some lemon undertones. Drinkable, but not memorable, and I did notice a slightly scratchy throat after I’d finished the mug. I wish I had more to say about it but it really wasn’t all that memorable.

Thank you Miss B for my sample!

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Graveyard Mist by 52teas
620 tasting notes

Sipdown 95/395!

Yeesh, it’s been a while since I posted a tasting note. I lost my job a couple of weeks ago and have been struggling to find the time and energy for steepster, since I’m spending a lot of time looking for a job and writing up applications etc. I have been drinking tea, though! My aim for this month was just to drink tea every day, which I am managing, even if some days it is just plain old bagged black tea. I’m determined that when I get back on track with the rest of my life I won’t discover that my love of tea has gone.

On to the tea. I really enjoyed this one, and I’d even go so far as to say it is one of my favourite green teas I’ve tried. Of course, that isn’t saying too much because I don’t love many greens, but there have been times where I have actively sought out this tea, and dug through a giant mountain of other teas to get to it. That’s high praise. The spearmint is just the right amount of subtle, and it melds seamlessly with the marshmallowy vanilla sweetness. I love this combination in teas, but this has an additional slightly smoky, vegetal note from the green tea base which actually works with the sweet flavours rather than against them to just give it a little extra dimension. I will be keeping my fingers crossed that the new 52teas sees fit to reblend this at some point (cough – halloween – cough).


It’s been reblended and is currently available: http://52teas.com/this-months-teas/


Oh man this is such bad timing for me! Fingers crossed it sticks around until I find a new job!!


I’m so happy this is permanent now! 52teas, you know you’re gonna be my first port of call after this darned no-buy…


Sounds good to me. :)

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I said a sad goodbye to this tea this morning, but I know it’s going to be a ‘goobye for now’ rather than a ‘goodbye forever’. I woke up reaaally early (for me) and for some reason in the mood for a really really big mug of tea. So I steeped up the last of this in my IngenuiTEA and I’m currently enjoying the morning with a 16oz mug of grapefruity goodness.

Sipdown 94/395.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Samurai Chai Maté by Teavana
620 tasting notes

Sipdown 93/395 on this sample from the EU TTB many moons ago.

Weirdly, I think that this might be quite a short tasting note purely because there is so much flavour! It’s a little overwhelming and nothing particularly stands out to the point where I could write about it. It’s more a general cacophony of fruits and spices. Brewing, the scent was overwhelmingly cinnamony to begin with, but this mellowed out the longer it steeped and some tropical fruit notes began to poke their way through. When I took my first sip I was taken aback by how sweet it was, particularly since it doesn’t have any added sugar or stevia, so I’m drinking my cup plain. The flavour profile is basically: spicy chai in the foreground, citrus and tropical fruits in the background adding a twist to the blend. More specifically I do think that the cinnamon is the most dominant of the chai flavours, but it’s more mellow than I expected based on the scent and blends well with the other spices. I can’t pick out any individual fruits in the sip, though there is a pineapple note which lingers longer than the others in the aftertaste. Though I am enjoying my mug I wouldn’t seek out more as it is confusing my tastebuds a little, and it’s actually a little more on the mellow side than I had expected for a mate chai.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Sipdown! (92/395)

So I finally get around to giving this tea a more detailed note. It’s not going to be as detailed as some others I’ve written because I just don’t have as much to say about this tea, but it will at least be better than my last couple on this tea because I was paying attention this time! This was part of a hapatite tea swap I did a while back with a lovely girl named Mina, who as far as I know isn’t present here on Steepster. If you’re other there, Mina, thank you!

I find it weird that this tea is called ‘sunrise’ because I always associate honeybush with night time, and never really drink it in the morning. Each time I’ve drank this has been before bed, and maybe some of my issue with this comes from the fact that it was zingier than I expect for that time of day. I’ve written in a previous note that this gave me an ‘orange fondant’ sort of association, and after lookng at the ingredients and finding that this contains orange peel and vanilla it doesn’t seem so surprising! The malva flowers add a weird sort of botanticals note which I don’t think goes overly well with the other flavours, and I’m starting to think that I’m not a marshmallow fan at all. Other than that, though, it’s not a bad tea. The honeybush has a nice honey note which sweetens the orange, and added to the vanilla this creates an orange flavour which tastes something like an all-natural orange sweet. It’s not quite fresh fruit orange flavour, but it’s not artificial-tasting either.

I drank my last cup of this accidentally iced – there wasn’t as much water in the kettle as I expected, so I ended up brewing the tea bag in only around 4 or 5 oz of water, and then I got distracted scrolling through instagram and left it brewing for probably close to 20 minutes! By the time I remembered about it it was on its way to cold anyway, and with it being much more concentrated than expected I thought it would be best if I just topped it up with another 4 or 5 oz of iced water and called it a day. This turned out to be a happy accident, because even though I was more in the mood for a hot tea at the time, this is much less cloying iced and I think that I actually preferred it this way! The flavour combination just works better iced somehow, and the orange is more present than the malva, vanilla and honey which blend together to create a sweet backnote. We parted on good terms.

Iced 8 min or more 10 OZ / 295 ML

Would you know what the artificial flavoring ingredients are?

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Sipdown! (91/395)

Thank you Hapatite for the sample. Unfortunately this one wasn’t my favourite. The black tea didn’t really add much, in fact I didn’t realise it was in the blend until I came to review it! It wasn’t awful, but when it comes down to it there are other things I’d rather be drinking, and I preferred the hibiscus on its own to this blend. One plus I did notice though is that this didn’t need as much sugar to counteract the sour hibiscus.

Sorry about the short and infrequent tasting notes guys, life has just gotten unexpectedly more stressful lately and even though I don’t have a lot going on (the opposite, actually) I haven’t felt in the right frame of mind to be writing up tasting notes and I haven’t even been drinking that much tea. Fingers crossed I’ll get out of my rut before it gets too deep, I’ve been there before and I’m not going back.

Sorry about the slightly dark turn that apology just took, too…

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I first got into loose leaf teas when a friend of mine showed me Cara McGee’s Sherlock fandom blends on Adagio a good few years back, but they weren’t on sale in the UK so I started trying other kinds instead and have been hooked for almost three years (and have purchased several fandom tea sets including the Sherlock one I lusted over for so long).

Flavoured teas make up the majority of my collection, but I’m growing increasingly fond of unflavoured teas too. I usually reach for a black, oolong or white tea base over a pu’erh or green tea, though I do have my exceptions. I will update my likes and dislikes as I discover more about my palate, but for now:

Tea-likes: I’m generally easily pleased and will enjoy most flavours, but my absolute favourites are maple, caramel, chestnut, pecan, raspberry, coconut, blueberry, lemon, pumpkin, rose, hazelnut and peach

Tea-dislikes: vanilla (on its own), ginger, coriander/cilantro, cardamom, liquorice, pineapple and chocolate

I am a 25 year old bartender, English Literature sort-of-graduate and current student working towards finishing my degree. I am hoping to one day complete a masters degree in Mental Health Social Work and get a job working in care. Other than drinking, hoarding and reviewing tea, my hobbies include reading, doing quizzes and puzzles, TV watching, football/soccer (Sunderland AFC supporter and employee of my local football club), music, artsy weird makeup, and learning new things (currently British Sign Language).

I should probably also mention my tea-rating system, which seems to be much harsher than others I’ve seen on here. It’s not always concrete, but I’ll try to define it:

• 50 is the base-line which all teas start at. A normal, nothing-special industrial-type black teabag of regular old fannings would be a 50.

• 0 – 49 is bad, and varying degrees of bad. This is probably the least concrete as I hardly ever find something I don’t like.

• I have never given below a 20, and will not unless that tea is SO bad that I have to wash my mouth out after one sip. Any teas rated as such are unquestionably awful.

• This means most teas I don’t enjoy will be in the 30 – 50 range. This might just mean the tea is not to my own personal taste.

• 51+ are teas I enjoy. A good cup of tea will be in the 50 – 70 range.

• If I rate a tea at 70+, it means I really, really like it. Here’s where the system gets a little more concrete, and I can probably define this part, as it’s rarer for a tea to get there.

• 71- 80: I really enjoyed this tea, enough to tell somebody about, and will probably hang onto it for a little longer than I perhaps should because I don’t want to lose it.

• 81 – 90: I will power through this tea before I even know it’s gone, and will re-order the next time the mood takes me.

• 91 – 100: This is one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted, and I will re-order while I still have a good few cups left, so that I never have to run out. This is the crème de la crème, the Ivy League of teas.

I never rate a tea down, and my ratings are always based on my best experience of a tea if I drink it multiple times. I feel that this is fairest as many factors could affect the experience of one particular cup.

I am always happy to trade and share my teas with others, so feel free to look through my cupboard and message me if you’re interested in doing a swap. I keep it up-to-date, although this doesn’t mean I will definitely have enough to swap, as I also include my small samples.
Currently unable to swap as I’ve returned after a long hiatus to a cupboard of mostly-stale teas I’m trying to work through before I let myself purchase anything fresh

I also tend to ramble on a bit.


South Shields, UK

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