618 Tasting Notes


Day fourteen of advent calendar: I seem to have gone overboard with the sweets lately… a cookie exchange today, more cookies at work… cake.. candy. I definitely don’t need it all.. but I’m trying to just enjoy myself and not worry about it. Tonight I decided I needed a cup that is comforting, clean and can help with digestion. This tea is strange because the peppermint flavor is more grassy.. herbal and green. I was sort of expecting that sinus-clearing, sweet peppermint flavor. I do like this different dimension of peppermint, but there is something in this that I don’t like and I can’t put my finger on it. The pine? Eucalyptus? This cup is mostly an herbal sort of peppermint with some other odd flavors mixed in and they just don’t blend well. I would have liked a more minty, creamy and smooth cup, but this just wasn’t it tonight.

Lexie Aleah

My cookie exchange is tomorrow. It’s definitely hard this time of year to avoid them. Maybe I should order some of this, I tend to dislike peppermint in teas but enjoy green blends.

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Day four of advent calendar: I’m worried that I might not like this tea as it seems like it’s heavy on spices. I actually like cider, but not when it’s overwhelmed by cinnamon, clove, ginger. The scent of this tea reminds me of a spiced apple candle… a tad artificial. Sipping this tea, it’s definitely not as strong on the spices.. The apple flavor is a bit weak and watered down. I wish that the cider element could be stronger and more natural. It reminds me of drinking a dish of potpourri. Even though I don’t love this cup, it is a comforting drink to have on a cold night.

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Day three from this year’s advent calendar: haven’t had this one quite yet. Reserving this note for my review.

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Day two of the advent calendar and I’m also nervous to be trying this blend because of the hibiscus. I usually worry about fruity teas like this one because they usually just end up a fruity, tart mess on my tongue and it’s hard for me to pick out any of the individual flavors. This one is “award-winning” so I wonder if it will be any different… there has to be a reason for its popularity, right?

The scent of this cup reminds me of a strawberry jello.. very mild, fruity and sweet. Sipping.. I taste sort of a jumble of fruits, but it’s actually not as hibiscus-dominated as I thought it would be. I wish I could pick out more of the strawberry lemonade flavor, but it’s just fine the way it is. I would be interested in seeing how this tea would be iced during the summer. Out of the other fruit teas I’ve had in the past, this one is pleasant, but not outstanding.

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I was a little disappointed to see that this was the first tea in this year’s advent calendar only because I’m not the biggest fan of chai. I do like gingerbread and rooibos, though.. so I thought that I’d give this one a go. The first thing I noticed was the intense spiciness of the ginger. I can tolerate ginger in small amounts, but this was a little too strong for me. It had a very warming quality to it, so it would be nice to have on a really cold and snowy day. The ginger didn’t remind me of the kind of soft and sweet ginger that you’d find in gingerbread, though. I also thought that the other flavors in it were strangely sweet and unbalanced. Even though I wouldn’t purchase this in the future, I did finish the cup. I also appreciated the rooibos base and the different take on a gingerbready chai tea.

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I think I may have steeped this cup a little too long, but it is still pretty tasty. Nutty, woody and there’s even a hint of maple still. Time seems to have faded some of the flavor, which is to be expected, but this cup still brings back good memories.

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If there is a red velvet tea out there, I’m going to try it! I was happy to see this one from A Quarter to Tea and I was also glad to see that it had a rooibos base.
This cup made me sad, though, because I didn’t really taste any red velvet. It was really a watery rooibos with an overly sweet and artificial flavor. No chocolate or vanilla in sight. I really thought that this would be a delicious blend, but it’s just not all that yummy.

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This is one of those teas that is getting quite a lot of positive reviews, so despite my dislike for cardamom (generally speaking), I did want to give this one a go. I have a feeling that the cardamom will be tolerable in this blend because it’s mixed with something sweet. The scent of this tea is delicious! Bready, sweet and a tiny bit of that playful cardamom in the background. I have high hopes!

Sipping… oh this is very nice. This tea has such a great combination of cinnamon, cardamom and sugar. I also taste a little bit of the lemon peel which adds just the lightest tang. The black tea doesn’t really shine at all, though, and prefers to stay hidden behind everything else. I really like this tea and believe it’s the closest I’ve been to tasting french toast in a tea. The aftertaste is a bit weird… I am thinking it might have to do with the lemon and the spices mixing. It’s not really artificial, but is just an odd flavor combination. I would have liked for there to be a stronger custardy, eggy flavor to further enhance the french toast, but it’s pretty darn good without.

If you’re interested in a sugary sweet and lightly spiced holiday tea, I would pop this into your shopping cart. It’s very unique, drinkable and delicious! Yum!


Yay! Glad it won you over despite the cardamom.

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drank Lishan Oolong by Tea Ave
618 tasting notes

I’m really excited to be trying this tea as Tea Ave mentions that this is the tea that inspired them to open up their own shop! That has to count for something, right? I know that this type of oolong is loved by many for its incredible flavor. I personally have liked other oolongs a bit more, but I’m always willing to try others.

The scent of this tea is sugary sweet and incredibly floral. It really does remind me of a buttercream icing with the essence of flowers. Lovely! Sipping… I wasn’t expecting such a thick mouthfeel, but it does feel rather heavy on the tongue. It isn’t buttery so much… but luxuriously weighty. I mainly taste flowers with a bit of a mineral background. The flavor brings to mind lacy petals and leaves – it’s delicate, but strong enough to take center stage. I do catch a bit of sweet butter and sugar towards the end of the sip, but it’s really all about the flowers. There is also something that reminds me of apricot or peach, but it’s very faint and doesn’t last long. It’s strange, because while this tea feels thick and bold, the aftertaste is light and ethereal, leaving just a memory of what was a strong flavor.

I think this is a very special tea and would be ideal for someone looking for a well-balanced oolong. It seems to have a bit of everything.. a bit like a tea that can’t make up its mind, but in a good way. Balanced, tender yet bold.

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I am really eager to try this blend as I’ve never had a tea blend with caraway included. It sounds like such an interesting combination – assam tea, caraway, cacao.. so unique! Plus, I love the idea of this tea bringing to mind a library and old books.

Sipping… hm, the first thing that I taste is the smooth black tea base and the cacao. It reminds me of other chocolate and black tea blends I’ve had in the past. There is a tiny bit of astringency as well. A strange thing happens after I’ve sipped.. a bit of a buttery flavor blossoms on the tongue. It reminds me of caramel squares and buttered toast. I also pick up on hazelnuts and very lightly, cherries in syrup. The finish is very drying, but it’s still drinkable despite being slightly unpleasant. I can’t seem to pick up on the caraway flavor… but then again, I’ve never had caraway in a tea.. so I could be tasting it, but just not know it.

Overall, I enjoyed this tea and I appreciate that it had many different flavors to discover. I’m not sure that I really experienced the library comparison just by taste… perhaps the description is slightly far-fetched, but it was certainly interesting. I’m excited to see how my next cup will be when I add a bit of milk!

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Tea (& Coffee) lover. Bookworm.

Favorite teas: Milk Oolong, Flavored blends, Dessert teas, Creamy Teas, Rooibos, Oolong, Black, Green
Dislikes: Spices, Peppery flavors, Cloves, Cardamom, Licorice, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Mate, Puerh, Chai, Ginger

My Rather Picky Ratings
90+ – Reserved for the very best! Always in the cupboard!
80-89 – Quite good! A very pleasing cup.
70-79 – Room for improvement, but not bad.
60-69 – Mediocre.
50-59 – Bad. Will not purchase.
49 & below – Depending on the more specific rating: Undrinkable. Yuck. Will not purchase.

Note: Teas in my cupboard are all of the teas that I’ve logged, regardless of their current presence in my actual cupboard. For an updated list on what teas I have available for swap, check out the swap thread and not my cupboard! Thanks!

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