1108 Tasting Notes


So there I was poking around looking for samples that Dexter recently was kind enough to surprise me with and voila, I came across a batch from Sil that I had neglected. Such deliciousness! Steeped at lower temperature. All the lovelies here.

Thank you, Sil.

I love this.

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drank Yule Fuel by For Tea's Sake
1108 tasting notes

Steeped up, this morning, this smells delicious with full on vanilla, hints of caramel and something tart like cranberry. Maybe a bit of almond too. My first sip or two or three continues those flavours with a bit of astringency at the end of the sip.. Spice is very much in the background here for me today. My spoon of leaf must have contained a whole different combination of flavours than it did previously. Nice.

On my second steep, a bit of clove is coming up with the astringency.

I wouldn’t run out and buy a tin, but I would certainly consider splitting one. This is a gentle black to drink without any additions.

Just finished the last sip and can say that enjoyed this tea up to the last drop. Nice when that happens.

Thank you for the sample, VariaTEA.

And it’s a sip down!

Flavors: Almond, Caramel, Cranberry, Vanilla


Ooh, sounded like a promising flavour profile.

Evol Ving Ness

Unique to me though. Others got more of a spice thing in their cups.


Ah, interesting.

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Jet black needles with bits of gold. Pretty. I am guessing that it is a DianHong Gong Fu cha, or Yunnan Gold. The tea steeps up red brown. Punchy—good hit of malt, dark cocoa, and lingering muscatel sweetness. A bit bewildering for my tastebuds—like a mega Darjeeling crossed with an intense Yunnan black. I am currently on steep four and it appears to still be going strong.

Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Honey, Muscatel, Sweet Potatoes

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drank Gingerbread Chai by 52teas
1108 tasting notes

There’s something about the spicy bite of this chai blend, black or with various additions, that makes it the perfect antidote for this bitter cold. Actually, in my opinion, all of 52Teas black based chai blends have been stellar. I hope that another chai series is coming soon. I am sorry that I missed the Pumpkin Chai. Oh well. What to do, what to do.


Would you fancy some Pumpkin Chai? I have no idea when I’ll be able to actually make it to a physical post office, but I’d be happy to send you a sample.

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reviewed The IQ Kettle by Breville
1108 tasting notes

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The sunflower seed flavour seems to be calming down a bit here in this cup, making way for a bit more nuttiness. Chocolate is still entirely missing. However, I am making an effort to make up for its absence with a slab of dark chocolate for breakfast. Tea, bite, sip, bite. It’s working out.

Without the chocolate accompaniment, this tea reminds me of Butter Pecan Black by 52Teas but with a hefty addition of sunflower seeds and their flavour. I am thinking that this leaf could do with some dark chocolate chips or some such to better approximate its name.

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My chocolate coconut chai snow globe tea. Snow globe because the chips of leaf drift softly in my clear glass steeper as the tea steeps. Perfect for this deep-freeze extreme cold warning weather.

Had a few delicious cups of this yesterday when Steepster was absent. Clearly, I needed a good cup of something during this trauma.

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drank Gingerbread Chai by 52teas
1108 tasting notes

This morning, in frostbite weather, I was supposed to go for a long walk with a friend. I packed this up with me for the walk. Thankfully, my friend and I missed each other at our meeting point and she left without me. All for the best as I couldn’t find my gloves and the tiny wee square of skin peeking out from my swaddling was burning from just minutes out there in the cold. This tea sure was good when I came back to drink it at home with the heat on.

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drank Gingerbread Chai by 52teas
1108 tasting notes

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Note to self—-you do not actually need any more tea.

My real tea obsession began in February 2015.

Not, sadly, when I had been living and working in China, though I very much enjoyed sampling a variety of teas during my travels there as well. No, no, that would have been far too sensible.

I am a reformed coffee drinker. I still enjoy a long double espresso with a good quantity or milk or cream from time to time, but for now, tea is my thing. All day.

*note—this is way out of date, so if we are doing a swap and you are checking to see what I like and dislike, mostly never mind what you find below. One of these days, I will update this. In the meantime, check what I’ve been drinking and use your own judgement. I like all the teas. Well, I am open to trying all the teas.

I tend to drink black, green, or oolong tea in the morning to early afternoon. Rooibos or
Honeybush or herbal in the evening. And perhaps some sort of sleepy-type tea in the wee hours.

This year, I’ve been discovering flavoured teas, so it may look like that is all I drink although that would provide a false impression.

Not a big fan of chocolate or mint in teas, but I will try them and, from time to time, have been pleasantly surprised. Also, usually I dislike a prominent cinnamon flavour, if untempered with other things, in teas. Again, I say usually, because there are exceptions.

Also, please note that haven’t quite gotten into the habit of updating my tea cupboard on Steepster, and it is unlikely that I will do this on any kind of regular basis.

I drink my tea black and unsweetened. If there comes a rare moment that I add something to it, I will mention it.

Finally, while I thank large and successful tea companies for tantalizing and beckoning me to the world of tea, I prefer to support independent ventures with real people, real enthusiasm and commitment, and real dreams.

Currently, I am researching monthly tea subscriptions. Perhaps it will keep me out of tea shops.

And here is Shae’s rating scale— which I am using with permission, of course— which more or less describes the way I have been rating teas. I am going to make more of an effort to stay very close to these parameters now.

Rating Scale

1-20: By far, one of the worst teas I’ve tasted. I most certainly will not finish my cup and will likely “gift” the rest to my sweet husband who almost always enjoys the teas I dislike (and vice versa).

21-40: This tea is not good but if I mix it with another tea or find another steeping method I might be able to finish it.

41-60: This one is just okay. I might drink it again if someone were to give it to me, but I probably won’t be buying more for myself.

61-75: This is a consistently good tea. It’s reliable but not necessarily special.

76-90: This one is a notch above the rest and I would gladly enjoy a cup of it any day of the week. I’ll likely be keeping this in my cupboard, but it isn’t one of my all-time favorites.

91-95: One small change and this tea would be perfect. I’ll definitely have a stash of this in my kitchen if you come over for tea.

96-100: No words can describe this tea. It’s an experience, an aha moment. Closed eyes, wide smile, encompassing warmth. Absolutely incredible. Perfect.


Mostly, but not always, Toronto, Canada.

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