66 Tasting Notes


Firstly this smells delicious right out of the tin, a very realistic sweet gingerbread aroma .. I did a regular brew in a large mug and added oat milk & sweetener as is my preference .. The taste was much more malty than I expected, with just the amount of ginger .. Not overtly spicy and I can’t even detect the cinnamon or clove, so this is not a chai substitute .. The aftertaste is such that it could really very easily trick the brain into believing you’ve just eaten fresh from the oven gingerbread!

Second brew using the same bag was for an extra couple of minutes and still gave plenty of rich flavour ..

I wanted to love this tea and it’s certainly unique and enjoyable enough that I don’t regret my purchase at all, but it’s not an absolute must have so doubt I will order again .. At least not until Christmas ’22, if it returns ..

*My penpals will each get a sample in their next letter/card

Flavors: Ginger, Malt, Smooth, Sweet

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I love love love Autumn! Waking up on still dark mornings, snuggling under warm rugs while I mentally debate how I really ‘must’ get up, then planning exactly how & what to throw on eg: socks are essential as I just know the kitchen floor is going to be freezing cold ..

Well this was my (Sunday) morning, and what inspired me to dig out the secret stash of tea I’ve had hidden away in an airtight/dark box at the back of my cupboard for OMG- nearly a year!

I swear it was like running into an old lover and finding out the spark is still there .. Memories came flooding back as I read the names of various blends and stole wiffs out of different tins & baggies .. Ahhh, how could I have ever given this up – oh yeah, I went on a holiday to Cleansville via Juice Fasting lol .. Well you know what, if a cup of tea is what kills me, then I promise I won’t complain!

Soo, I guess I should add some tasting notes :D

Very aromatic and naturally sweet, tho I confess I did end up adding a small amount of raw sugar which totally amped up the Maple Syrup flavour .. I don’t have any milk in the house but wonder if adding a drop would boost the creamy/buttery/pancakey notes? That’s something I’d like to try so perhaps I’ll take my pouch when I go visiting friends later today ..

My only negative comment on it is that I found the after-mouthfeel a touch too astringent, meaning it left my tongue feeling somewhat puckered – but remember this is OLD tea and I haven’t drunk tea (other than jasmine pearls) for a looong time, so anyone reading this needs to take that into account .. Still, all up I’m going to give it a high rating 90(from me) = Mmm Yummy Stuff!

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
Southern Boy Teas

Welcome back. You might try a shorter steeping time for this one to reduce the astringency. Maybe 3 minutes.

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drank Puerh by t Leaf T
66 tasting notes

This arrived a couple of days ago and I’ll confess I’ve been hesitating trying it .. But something told me to be brave today, soI tore open the fresh bag and gingerly gave the dry leaves a sniff – wishing I didn’t have descriptions like ‘shrimp’ in my head, lol .. And you know what? It smells like TEA :P

Sure there’s a rich earthy base note of hmm, mold? That really isn’t the best word, but it’s the only one coming to mind .. Oh wait, maybe fungus fits better as it brings up images of mushroom sheds, and peat .. I don’t know, but the point is it’s not overwhelmingly strong, nor bad :)

So, I actually bought this to try and mix my own version of 52Tea’s Chocolate Mayan Puerh that I often write about and long for .. And due to my experiences with that I just brewed this like I would any other black, albeit for less time – 2min for the first steep, and with no prior rinsing etc ..

As I expected it brewed to a brilliant cedar wood red colour, but surprised me with quite a bit of smokey aroma, & flavour too .. I’m not a fan of strong Russian Caravan types, but this is mild and palatable even for me ..

Remembering this was all about my mayan chocolate experience I began by adding some dark chocolate nibs, a sprinkling of Cayenne, then a good dash of Cinnamon (not in original just went with my gut on this one) .. Oh and also added milk & sugar, just a little of each, as this is how I like my afternoon cuppas .. It was sweet, almost creamy though not quite malty, and with a generous peppery bite which I quite enjoy – a very good substitute indeed!

Brew #2 (same leaves) I steeped for longer, and am drinking plain, sipping as I type this .. And even without all the playful additions I’m finding it full bodied, yet low astringency .. This Tea actually has the perfect ‘mouth feel’ imho ..

It’s definitely not going to be for everyone, and it’s not even something I’d want to drink every day, but it’s very different from anything else in my cupboard, and makes a pleasant change .. So yup, I’m pleased as punch that I bought it, and yes I would definitely recommend as something new/interesting to try :D

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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drank Marzipan by The T Shop
66 tasting notes

I have been slowly savoring my bag of Marzipan as I was aware it was no longer listed on the shops website :(

Welllll – it’s back!!! Oh My Goodness, this has made me so happy I could dance ╭☆╯

An absolute treat of sweet almond flavour, that can only be likened to drinking a battenburg cake – something so deliciously morish that I think I’ve made myself sick each and every time I’ve been faced with one .. Not that this tea will make you sick, oh no, but you WILL require more than one cup :D

PS: info above says it’s good with Danish biscuits, well I’m currently munching on home-made Springerle, and the combo is utter perfection ♡

195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more

Ooh, I will have to try this one since I’m definitely always on the lookout for good marzipan teas!


I’m happy to send you a sample if you’d like, just PM me your addy (◕‿◕)✿


ahh sounds lovely! i love the taste of almonds, i wonder how this would taste with almond milk :-)

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Nice fresh 250gm tin (that’s a little over half a pound) ..

Greedily opened it up and took a big indulgent sniff woah that’s fragrant!

Brewed a nice strong pot, a little milk, a little sugar, a new book on my iPad – ahhh now this is the life!

A tea that truly deserves it’s rating 3 ratings of 100 – even though the overall one is 84?!

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drank Irish Breakfast by Twinings
66 tasting notes

The last couple of (loose leaf) boxes I bought of this have been terrible :(

Really dusty, really stale, really bloody disappointing! Especially as this ‘was’ one of my absolute favourite teas .. Don’t know what’s up with that, but I do know it’s not just me as my daughter who lives in another city has also found this the case .. So bad in fact that we both threw it out .. .. ..

And to this effect, I’ve sadly had to drag my rating waaaay down .. But man oh man, me & Irish, we were damn good while it lasted – and yes I say the same thing about my now ex husband!


There you are!! Missed ya round here :)


What a shame! This is – or was – a good tea. I have only had it in bags, though. In Ireland, it’s simply sold as Assam. I asked my daughter’s Irish boyfriend if he liked Irish Breakfast tea and he said he had never heard of it. A few months later, he shipped me the variety box and where we have IB they have Assam.


Aww you missed me :) Thanks!

I guess I got stuck on my favourites for a few months there, and really haven’t tried anything new .. But now that I’m finishing them off and about to re-order, I thought I’d better check to see if there’s anything else I simply HAD to sample lol ..

Yes this used to be an awesome CTC Assam – and may well still be a quality product in other countries!! But what’s currently available in New Zealand truly is rubbish :( It’s not even that it’s texturally dusty – it literally tastes like it (not that I go around eating dust mind you?!) .. Maybe I’ve gone too low on the rating, but I took it down to the unimpressed face :/

And while I have ordered it from England before (I really really wanted the tin), it just costs too much to keep doing so .. Perhaps I’ll try the Irish from Harney & Son’s as I need to order more Vanilla Comoro today ..


I felt bad about my rating, especially since I’ve been so passionate about this tea in the past .. So I took it back up a little bit – but still won’t be buying anymore for at least a few months .. Hopefully fresh stock will then be available!


I have the one from Harney and it is stronger but pretty good. I take it with milk and sugar.

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Oh My, how is it I have never logged this wonderful tea before??

Maybe I never bothered as Miss Sweet’s friend pretty much took the words right out of my mouth .. Well, if I was as talented as prose as s/he obviously is ..

Anyhoo, I just finished off a 250gram bag this morning, and am racing to order another tonight .. Which I hope hope hope will get here quick!

Earl Grey Excelsior – Rockin’ my world since Jan 2010! ♡

195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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drank Coconut Cream Pie by 52teas
66 tasting notes

I’ve found myself drinking a lot more of this of late .. I don’t know if it’s the cold weather (it’s freaking freezing here atm!) or what, but that soothing buttery goodness is making me all nomnomnom .. I even prep’d a cup of Harney & Son’s Thai Green (similar butter profile) the other day trying to switch things up, but oh no, only the Coconut Cream Pie will satisfy this craving!

I’m just waiting for another interesting (fruitless) black to be blended before putting a re-stock order in ..

What ya think Frank, something sweet & decadent to warm us southern hemispherians up – I’m thinking white chocolate cheesecake – peanut butter & jelly – coffee, toffee & & cream – oh what about salty caramel ??

Darn, now I’m making myself hungry!

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drank Chai by Twinings
66 tasting notes

I had two cups of this at my neighbors house today and was actually quite impressed, so I’m surprised by some of the comments & low ratings it’s been given here ..

A medium strength black that doesn’t get lost amongst some rich creamy vanilla aspects, and a nice amount of ginger to round it all off .. No bitterness at all, even though the bag was left in my cup for a long time ..

For a cheap, bagged, supermarket available cuppa I found this to be remarkably good! And I wouldn’t hesitate to offer it to guests, or drink more myself – in fact I might pop back over tomorrow for another cup :)

Well done Twinings – so much better than I expected!

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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So what’d I think?

Well firstly the brewed aroma reminds me of leaf litter, but that’s not to say it’s unpleasant .. It’s ‘earthy’, maybe even a little ‘moldy’ to my nose .. And it does taste predominantly like (light smokey) burnt toast to me, though the Cinnamon/Nutmeg/Baking Spice comes through loud and clear too .. The butter is more subtle, yet still but obvious .. Raisins, hmm I dunno? But like everyone else has said the combined blend really does taste exactly like it sounds!

This was another sample I got off Rachel and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to try it without investing in a whole pouch as I’m not sure it’s ‘my cup of tea’ .. And to put that in perspective Cinnamon Raisin bread/toast isn’t something I would eat either ..

That said I’m on my third cup, and will happily have a fourth just to finish it off :)

edited to add I think I prefer this more as it cools off ..

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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For many years I only drank coffee, and the occasional herbal tisane .. But eventually I got sick of people complaining that I had no ‘real tea’ in the house so I bought a box of cheap tea bags and remembered WHY I didn’t drink the stuff!

And so life went on until the day an English friend invited me to visit her home .. She made us a pot of (loose leaf) Earl Grey to enjoy in the garden – and finally I’d found a Tea that I truly wanted to drink!

Now-a-days my favourite alternates between home-made Masala Chai, Lady Grey with a few extra drops of Sweet Orange Essential Oil, Dessert Flavoured Blacks, and my latest interest is Dragon Peal Jasmine ..

any less = I wouldn’t drink it again
70 – 80 = Nice, but there’s better
80 – 90 = Mmm, Yummy Stuff ..
90 – 100 = Unique, Stand-Outs, & Can Not Be Withouts!


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