Friday Afternoon

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drank Stardust by Friday Afternoon
1321 tasting notes

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drank Hearthfire by Friday Afternoon
95 tasting notes

Liked it well enough to finish the packet and not feel sad that I’d bought it, but it’s not one I need to buy again. The pepper and the smoke are the strongest flavors, to the point that I couldn’t detect the turmeric and cinnamon.

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This really tastes something like pancakes with syrup! It’s not as good as the 52teas version of course, but it’s quite pleasant! It tastes a little bready, and the syrup tastes authentic too. I’m loving this sweetened with milk! It was probably my favorite find from the last TTB. It tastes even better cold after it’s sat all day, and the resteep is delicious as well.

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Originally I threw this in the nope section. I scoffed and said I don’t think so. But then I thought back to a jalapeno spitzer I had that was surprisingly good. So here we are. Smells like something the turtles would try. I see Leonardo as more of a Darjeeling dude though. Either way, this should be an interesting experience.

Oh my word. The initial aroma hurts my nose. It’s like I cut up a jalapeno and then stuck a finger in my nose.
SPICY! Spicy and hibiscus? WHY? OW. That was painful to swallow. My tongue is on fire. WTFrak is going on. This is all wrong. I do like the lapsang. That is smoked nicely but the tingling of my tongue. Oh for crying out loud. I was not paying attention and took a second sip. It’s just as bad as the first. This is so unique and I really appreciate the ingenuity of the mix…. Evil smile. I’m going to have my husband try it. He likes things really spicy. XD He said “mmm spicy.” And then scrunched his face real tight.


LOL. The name of this tea seems to be apt.


HA! I didn’t even think about it but that’s so true. But there is no cool… only spicy

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Made this one last night!

I have to say that this is probably my favourite Caleb-inspired Critical Role/Fandom blend I’ve come across. With a simple ingredient list it so clearly mirrors his background story and fire motif, and the luster dust is a beautiful extra trust for this beloved dirt wizard.

The taste was as expected in some ways – a hint of earthy ginger and a beautiful crawling back of the throat heat from the chili. Overall, it was sweeter than anticipated but that’s really on me for forgetting that there’s licorice root in the blend. In the future I’d probably just steep for a shorter period of time and I think that would reduce that note in a way that would be more pleasant for my own tastes.

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Hello January! I am sipping on this tea hot and plain at work – it’s a black tea with peppermint leaf and natural caramel flavoring. It’s easy going and helping me getting through another cold Monday morning.

My thing is – what is the point of the caramel? I don’t taste it, my cup is just a peppermint black tea. I’ll easily go through this 1 oz package but won’t be a rebuy for me.

Flavors: Peppermint

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drank Cool, But Rude by Friday Afternoon
2387 tasting notes

TTB tea! Ha my partner and I referred to this as “the bacon tea” during the few days it took us to finish this cup. It was quite smoky and super savory. With milk and sugar, it was drinkable, but this really isn’t my sort of tea.

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Yikes. So, the weather recently has taken a turn for, well, winter here in central Ohio. And this is my least favorite season but added bonus of the high winds have been making everything SO bitter. We are lucky not to have lost power or anything though!

Bonus, my “kids” (the three kittens who were born in April/May 2023) got to play in the small amount of snow (like maybe an inch or less?) this weekend. We treat our cats like dogs (?) where they live inside but we let them go play outside whenever they want within reason (like not overnight, or bad weather, etc). The kids were amused for a short time (first time seeing the white fluffy stuff), and then were huddling on the back porch cat tower ready to come in. :)

Anywho. It’s Monday morning. I am at work. Here comes in this tea – it’s a blend of four teas (assam, ceylon, pu-erh, lapsang) and the smokey of the lapsang is the strongest. Not the strongest lapsang, but it definitely comes out. I’m drinking this for a hot cuppa to get my day going. Not a bad tea, but if you don’t know, I’m not a black tea person.

I have a 2 oz package of this, sipped it a few times, but if anyone else would like the bag or some of it, please let me know so it can find a new loving home.

Flavors: Smoked

Martin Bednář

I like the name, but not an ideal person for rehoming right now :(


I have a S&V watermelon mint green that I feel the same way about if you are interested in a swap.

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drank Lady Grey by Friday Afternoon
4210 tasting notes

Just a note to say I can NOT do this bergamot. Who would ever think this is a good bergamot to use?? A rare tea I am dumping. But thanks for allowing me to see it isn’t for me, Tiffany!

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drank Seaworthy by Friday Afternoon
2387 tasting notes

I received the TTB this week, and this is the first tea I tried! I can’t tell what this flavor is, but it is evocative of a sea breeze! It’s a little marine-like. Cold, it’s refreshing, but I wouldn’t need it again. It’s a little savory.

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TeaTiff TTB #25

I’ve never tried a tea with jalapeño in it, so I had to give this a shot! I actually quite enjoyed the balance of smoky and spicy, but the sour note coming through from the hibiscus somewhat ruined the experience for me. Still, such an interesting blend!

Flavors: Smoke, Sour, Spicy, Tart

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Perfectly good green tea with ginger. I couldn’t really taste the black peppercorns?

It did not scratch whatever itch I had for green tea today, however, so this one is going on my, “Good for somebody who’s not me!” list. :-)

Flavors: Ginger, Green

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“Teas I drink in a day Friday 12/22/23” #3
MUG: David’s Tea dark blue 20 oz tumbler (beat up my very first DT tumbler of this style)
STYLE: cold brew
DRANK: after lunch

NOTES: Another note indicative of my work week habits. So for years it’s always been one or two DT pitchers done as a cold brew (thank goodness we have a full size fridge at work and it was brand new purchase in like late 2019 or early 2020 I think?… so for a year or two it was barely used as the hotel obviously didn’t have many employees at the time). A while ago I started using tumbler to do an individual mug cold brew. Sometimes it would be a brand new tea that I’d put a PS or two in (or a sampler packet etc) and then brew overnight and drink the next day. Another common thing as I’ve been overall drinking more hot tea this year (of course more with the weather dependent, but I used to basically only drink cold brew and year round), I resteep the leaves from a hot cuppa as a cold brew and strain/drink the next day.

Yesterday I had two hot & plain cuppas of this tea, so tossed leftovers into my trusty tumbler and filtered out today to sip. In past month or so I’ve been drinking hojicha blends, this is one of them (ingredients: green tea, chocolate, osmanthus flower, natural apple flavor). TBH I don’t know what osmanthus flower tastes like but this just tastes like a cozy roasted cup hot and nice refreshing cold .

I see Kaylee has written about this tea previously and tried it different ways, since I have this huge bag to work on [and probably more as I have a bad habit from my handful of favorite companies, if a tea sounds good I’ll buy 3420842893483 bags of it or/and years might go by and not realize I already have said bags in my stash be like “oh that tea sounds good” and then purchase some or a bunch, clearly I have major FOMO/hording/etc. issues.] will definitely do some experimenting.

EDIT: Instagram post, pic 3 is mug & packaging and 6 is picture with teas 4&5, @teawithjann vlogmas playing, snacks from @dessertbydeb box that arrived that day, and one my kids (my kitten Sherbet, one of my two girls):

Flavors: Roasty

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drank Tummy Soother by Friday Afternoon
3316 tasting notes

Sample Sipdown

December Sipdown Challenge – a wellness tea

It doesn’t help my numbers at all since I don’t add samples and swaps to my cupboard, but this has been sitting around for too long and needed to go.

I didn’t have a tummy ache. I just wanted something without caffeine before bed, so I can’t speak for how well it works for stomach issues.

As a taste experience, it was not what I was looking for at that moment. It was extremely earthy, probably from the sage. I didn’t hate it but the flavor wouldn’t make me buy it. If it does wonders for stomach aches, I would definitely drink it when in need.

Please keep in mind that my sample was very old before you judge this tea solely by this note!

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TTB tasting: I had this tea before breakfast, i had it as a latte as well. I steeped it at 212F and 5 minutes. I first had it plain and felt it was too astringent or bitter? After adding a touch of honey and milk it mellowed out and the nuttiness came forward from the toasted barley with a after taste of apples. I liked it, i was nice to try something like this, i wouldnt of ordered it for myself. I was a nice fandom tea blend but i don’t think i would buy it though, but i was nice to try!

Flavors: Apple, Nuts, Roasted Barley

Boiling 4 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I’m upping my rating from 68 to 75: not quite high enough to earn it permanent residency in my cupboard or anything, but definitely one level up in appreciation. I fell asleep for a few hours, so when I woke up my tea had cooled to the perfect drinking temperature (it was still hot—it’s one of those insulated travel mugs that keeps my tea hot for like 12 hours or so).

First, the not great: sliiiight bit of astringency. But honestly, nothing much to complain about.

Then, the great: It’s so much creamier than it was when it was boiling, almost milky! I really love the mouthfeel now. Since I’ve gone dairy-free and don’t even bother with plant-based milk in my tea anymore, it’s rare that I get that experience. Just lovely. The vanilla is still front and centre, but it’s now ensconced in other flavours, like the bergamot I was missing earlier. I would still like to taste more of the tea. My caffeine-sensitive body is telling me that I definitely used enough leaf, so I know it’s not that, but it’s fine, it’s okay. The bergamot lingers longer than the vanilla, solidly identifying this as an earl grey.

Overall, a huge improvement. You might be saying, Nik, a double cream earl grey is supposed to be vanilla-y. And you might be saying, Nik, I could’ve told you the flavours would form a group hug instead of sitting off in their own corners if you’d just give them a minute. And to that I say, well, I’m still learning and I’ve got a long way to go. =)

Flavors: Bergamot, Vanilla

Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I was unpacking and chopping up boxes (recycling pickup tomorrow), when I found an order from Friday Afternoon Tea. It’s my first order from them, yay new tea! And yay for opening the box upon—or close to—arrival, instead of two years later.

Okay, anyway, so I opened the box and there was this little packet of Double Cream Earl Grey separate from my main order. It looks like they included a free sample, but wow, it’s a very generous sample. This has got to be at least 5-6 cups of tea. That’s so lovely of them!

I was so jonesing for earl grey. Just, like, simple black tea with a ka-pow of bergamot. Something delicious and safe, pretty much guaranteed to take me to my nyum-nyum place.

I wish this were that, but it’s not. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not terrible. tea-sipper likened it to bug spray last year, which wow, that sounds awful and I’m grateful that wasn’t my experience. It’s just heavy on the vanilla and light on the bergamot for me. It’s a bit light on the actual tea, too. I’m just getting a whole lot of vanilla. Maybe that’s because I don’t like vanilla so I’m extra sensitive to it, or maybe it’s because I didn’t get a balanced scoop of leaf in my spoon, I don’t know. I definitely like it enough to keep drinking it, so I’ll probably have a better feel for it after another cup or two. One thing I appreciate is that I oversteeped it and it was very forgiving: no bitterness or astringency.

Flavors: Vanilla

Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Do you dislike vanilla in general or mainly in tea? I have a tea that my husband’s likes well enough but he says it reminds him of a certain shopping mall tobacco shop his father frequented. I realized that he was thinking of the heavily vanilla scented tobacco his father bought and that particular had a rather thick (thicc lol) vanilla flavoring.


I don’t love vanilla in general, but I recognise that it’s useful. Like, when I make chocolate frosting, the vanilla extract brings out the chocolate flavour and makes it smooth, without making the frosting taste like vanilla. So I’m not so against it that I absolutely won’t tolerate it in anything, but I don’t love the flavour—especially in ice cream and tea.


Understood! It does help accentuate flavors and when a blend says it is cake flavored I find it is usually mostly vanilla flavored to me. I do like vanilla, and use it a lot in much so that we make our own in vast quantities.

My palate and preferences have changed so much, and I have to give Steepster a lot of the credit. The first time someone said they tasted roasted carrots in a green tea I thought, “Ma’am, are you for real?” Then one day I was roasting carrots and thought, “Man, I would really like some green tea. This is reminding of….WAIT A MINUTE! IT REALLY DOES HAVE CARROT NOTES!” That was eye opening for me.

It is really neat to see sich a friendly community where we can admit to liking or not liking hibiscus or bergamot or whatever, and everyone respects that we all have different tastes!

Absolutely. =) And yes, while I still strongly favour dessert teas, and while I haven’t ventured beyond pouring hot water over a sachet or loose leaf—like multi-steep oolongs, gongfu, and pu-erh cakes—Steepster has definitely broadened my horizons.


You make your own frosting?!? I’m in awe of you now!


I found a recipe that takes 10 mins or so: mixing butter, sugar, cocoa powder, milk, and vanilla extract.


haha! I see “Friday Afternoon” and “Earl” and I say OH NO for anyone drinking it (even though in this case, it was free!) But I’m VERY glad it’s a tea that you enjoyed and didn’t get the dreaded “bug spray”. :D

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It rained a lot of this past weekend, so this was exactly the right kind of cozy and warming vibe that I wanted from my tea the past few days. I spent most of the mug trying to figure out exactly what the notes of hot cocoa and chili were reminding me of and I came up with a few close-ish things before solving this brain puzzle. At first I was thinking, like, snickerdoodle vibes since there was a very baked/cookie quality in addition to the cinnamon/spice. Then I thought of DT’s discontinued “Cocoa Canela” blend which was also a mate with chocolate and spices – though that one was much, much more chocolate forward. Finally I think I nailed it! One of the cafes that I order from a lot here in Montreal has a “Spicy Brownie” that’s made with a bunch of cayenne in it, and there’s definitely some major flavours/vibes overlap between the two!

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Sipped on this today and it was actually very good. I would have thought a roasted mate base would have been more naturally complimentary base for these flavours but on the flip side it’s also the expected choice and there’s for sure a part of me that’s delighted by the offbeat choices made here. The chocolate was very nice and I think that’s because the quality of the chocolate pieces in the blend was very good, and this wasn’t just chocolate flavouring which can be very underwhelming or liqueur-like on its own. This added a bit of a bittersweet cocoa note and a needed heaviness. Less processed tasting too. I also liked that the heat started mild but slowly built up of the cup. Sometimes I feel like people skimp out on the chili for fear of it being too much for more spice sensitive folks but this seemed like a good middle ground. Not, like, devilishly hot but more than a whisper.

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Sipdown (2381)!

This was a free sample from my Friday Afternoon order earlier in the year that I had, frankly, totally forgotten I had. I saw it while looking for another tea and I thought it was an even better option to incorporate into my tea selections today.

I brewed it very strong since I used the full (generous) sample for my mug. However, even with the intensity it was very enjoyable. Rooibos forward which does mean not for everyone, but it had a lovely mix of aromatic, silky vanilla notes and rich almond. Not as sweet as amaretto, but definitely sort of in that decadent and boozier direction. It gave me sugar cookie vibes a little bit but just with, well, almond. No getting around the prevalence of that taste, as much as I did enjoy it. Sort of like a more simplified take on DT’s Alpine Punch? Nothing super original – I’ve definitely tasted this type of composition elsewhere. Yummy, though!

Tea Photo: (Third Pic)

Song Pairing:

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Drank this tea while watching the Critical Role Mighty Nein reunion one-shot on twitch today. I hadn’t tried this blend before, but as it’s inspired by one of the characters from this campaign it seemed like as good a time as any to brew it up. In hindsight, given the episode content, maybe it would have been more timely to finally try the Caleb inspired blend that I have from Friday Tea instead…

I love all the ingredients in this blend from a conceptual perspective – I can totally see how they all relate to the character of Caduceus even though I have a personal opinion/headcanon that a tea blend inspired by Cad should probably be only herbal teas/caffeine free. Now, from a taste perspective I thought this was… eh.

The shou pu’erh base is okay. It’s very earthy in an oilier sort of way with a bit of funk to it that feels like it needs to air out. Not the highest quality, but not bad quality either. The thing is, the only other ingredients in the blend are hibiscus and grapefruit peel and neither really help to balance out or mask those flavours. They are a pleasant enough tart berry/citrus-ish note but mostly they contribute astringency and acrid bitterness. Not to a point where the drink is unpalatable, but it’s very much (to my tastes) not balanced…

What the blend needs is sweetness to help round out those rough edges. Whether that’s in the form of flavoring or something more nuetral but still natural – like apple pieces or maybe sweet blackberry leaf? Or, y’know, just having the end user add sweetener. Next time I make this for myself that’s probably what I’ll do. Honey (even though Cad is vegan and wouldn’t approve) or, like, cane sugar or agave.

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The very last one from the Studio sampler! Inspired, of course, by Kiki’s Delivery Service.

I saved this one for last because it sounded good to me – it has barley and toasted rice and other fun things in it. However, I’m finding it mostly tastes like ginger and hojicha. The ginger is quite strong, and has the earthy flavor of dried ginger root. Then behind it I can taste a bit of the roasty hoji-kukicha. Sadly I don’t taste barley or rice, or anything resembling vanilla flavoring.

So a bit disappointed, maybe I just got a lot of ginger in my sample? It’s certainly overwhelming all the other flavors. In general, I haven’t been enamored with any of these Friday Afternoon teas – it seems their teas and my tastes just might not be a good match. Oh well, can’t love them all!

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Dry Leaves, Earthy, Ginger, Roasted, Spicy, Toasty

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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More Ghibli, this time it’s a blend inspired by Castle in the Sky! One of my favorites (though let’s be real, they all are) and one that I actually watch fairly often. I love the robots and I think this is such a sweet inspiration for a tea blend.

So this one is a blend of green tea, aged black tea, and flower petals. I actually quite like these particular black and green teas together, the black is quite mineral and earthy yet smooth, and the green is more vegetal. It came out a touch bitter with my parameters, so maybe I should’ve stopped it a bit sooner, but still very pleasant. For the florals, I mostly taste a bit of the rose, and it’s more of a dry, dusty rose note. It goes surprisingly well with the mineral notes of the black tea. I don’t think I’m tasting jasmine, but in my experience dry jasmine flowers don’t really taste like jasmine-scented tea anyway.

It’s a nice blend. Probably not one I would order since I’m not a rose fan, but I did enjoy it. I think a little hint of fruit or maybe cinnamon would’ve been a nice addition here as well.

Flavors: Creamy, Dust, Earthy, Floral, Grassy, Mineral, Rose, Smooth, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

I am seriously late to join the Ghibli fan club, but … why didn’t somebody tell me how enjoyable they were sooner??? Castle in the Sky was the first one I watched.

Cameron B.

I love them all! They definitely run the gamut of fun and whimsical to dark and serious though ha ha. Would recommend Ponyo and Kiki for lighter ones and Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle for somewhere in the middle, to start! Totoro is a classic as well, but has never been my favorite. :P

Mastress Alita

I’m that weird anime otaku that has never liked Spirited Away and is constantly judged for it, while a lot of the Ghibli movies I like are not “popular” ones (like “The Cat Returns”). “Kiki’s Delivery Service” and “The Secret World of Arrietty” (based on “The Borrowers”) are probably my favorites.

Cameron B.

Oooh I always forget about Arrietty, love that one too! I like the less popular ones too, like Whisper of the Heart and The Cat Returns. But I just like them all ha ha, except for maybe Grave of the Fireflies and Pom Poko.

Mastress Alita

“Grave of the Fireflies” is what a YouTuber I watch describes as a “vegetable” movie… movies that are good for you and you should see them, but no one wants to when they can have a “popcorn” movie.

Cameron B.

It’s a soul crusher. T.T

Autistic Goblin

If you liked Howl’s Moving Castle you should read the book it was based off of by Diana Wynne Jones. There’s two other books in that universe to read as well.


Loved Howl’s Moving Castle and “The Cat Returns” is sitting on top of my DVD player.

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drank Nightwalker by Friday Afternoon
4083 tasting notes

Ah, Princess Mononoke… It will always have a special place in my heart as the first Ghibli film I ever saw, and honestly probably one of my first experiences with anime in general? I don’t watch it often, because it’s quite long and serious, but every once in a while I’m in the mood for it. :)

Anyway, the tea. This has butterfly pea flower and glitter, for obvious reasons. Not a fan of the gimmick but at least it makes sense for the inspiration, and the glitter is well-restrained. I admit black walnut makes me nervous, I remember hating it in the past, but I feel like I’m just traumatized by my grandmother making oatmeal cookies with black walnuts that had been in the freezer way too long ha ha. So maybe it’s just stale, freezer-burned black walnuts that I don’t like… XD

It’s a bit of a moot point anyway, because I don’t notice any walnut here. I pretty much just taste the green yaupon base, maybe with a hint of dandelion root. I didn’t even see any hibiscus in my sample so definitely not getting that. I do like yaupon a lot, so I’m still enjoying it, but was hoping for more of the other flavors.

Flavors: Dry Grass, Earthy, Grassy, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Roots, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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