119 Tasting Notes

drank Pancake Breakfast Black Tea by 52teas
119 tasting notes

Today has been very good to me for these reasons:
1.) It marks the end of one of the most stressful weeks in my whole schooling career
2.) My winter vacation is now officially starting
3.) I got home from [another] very long day and I checked my mailbox to find that my samples from the wonderful Bonnie and my big box o’ samples from LiberTEAS were in there! Hooray! I now have enough tea to last me a lifetime (I counted and I received 65 samples!)

I was at a loss for which tea to try and I’ve been eyeing this tea for quite a while (Bonnie so graciously included it), so I decided to dig in and make myself a cup.

Side note, not only is this my first taste of THIS tea, it’s also my first tea EVER from 52teas…. Needless to say I’m excited!

The dry leaf smells a lot like (who would have guessed) maple syrup….. That is nice, but I’m hoping that I can tell that this is a pancake tea, not a maple tea. Anywho, I steeped with boiling water for 5 minutes and 30 seconds. The liquor/wet leaf smell is (again) maple syrup-y, and the liquor itself looks like (wait for it)…… maple syrup.

I read some reviews, and after trying the first few sips plain (more black tea than flavored black tea), I decided to add some brown sugar.

HOLY HUNK OF BURNING HEAVEN THIS IS GOOD! It does taste more like pancakes than maple syrup! Like when you have the perfect ratio of pancake to syrup and the pancake absorbs some! There’s a somewhat grainy note and a slight astringency towards the swallow that makes it taste like a pancake! It also has a nice little shock of sweetness that cuts through.

Yes yes yes yes yes. I definitely have to try more teas from Frank (there’s some in my other samples!) and this is going on my “Buy ASAP Or I Might Die” list (unfortunately it’s a pretty big list…..). Thank GOODNESS this is in the permanent collection now, because next time I order my cupboard will never be without some of this!

Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

You had me at “HOLY HUNK OF BURNING HEAVEN”…. Very fun review!


U made me laugh…roll over! Happy vacation pancake man! Have the rest for breakfast with some bacon and eggs! Glad u finally have some fun and happy tea!


lol. my must have list is getting long too! I need to try this one!


Haha, good review :) Enjoyed reading it as well! Makes me excited for when I finally allow myself to delve into 52teas’ collection.

Daniel Scott

Okay, now I’m REALLY excited to get my 52teas order, since I included this one. (Should be here within a few more days.) I too seriously hoped that it would be a pancake maple, not just a maple. I mean, I’ve had maple syrup so fresh from the maple farms that you would swear they could actually pull that stuff pure from the tree. After growing up getting sometime tastes of that in the Canuck backwoods, “maple” teas just don’t do it for me. Glad to hear it really delivers!

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drank Kotobuki by Lupicia
119 tasting notes

This is the tea I drank this morning… Sorry I’m a little late!

Let me start off by saying I’m always hesitant to drink flavored oolongs-they’re so complex and can change so much and so many of them are beautiful on their own, so I’m always a little careful when drinking flavored ones.

That said, this is done very well. This was another sample my friend Bella gave me (bless her soul), and I can see why she loves it! The plum isn’t really too tart or present. It provides a bright sweetness that sort of stirs in the background behind the tea and the other ingredients. The flowers add such a nice light and floral taste, and I LOVE it!

My one complaint (it’s my fault)-I made it in my Noble mug and drank it for a while with the cap off. However, once I got in the car to go to school, I put the cap on and it was left on for little while-this did not do too many wonders for the tea. After a little while with the cap on, the tea started to develop that plastic-y taste that happens with low quality jasmines. That, however, was my fault, and I won’t make the mistake again!

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

We did miss you Ian!

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drank Champagne Rosé by Lupicia
119 tasting notes

Many thanks to my wonderful friend Isabella for giving me a sample of this tea! If you read this, Bella, you’re amazing!

I understand that this will be quite awkward as I am only 15 and writing a review on a champagne flavored tea…. Regardless, I have had a sip of my parent’s here and there and I know what it tastes like (trust me, I’m not a drinker!).

Anywho, on to the tea. The dry leaf smells like champagne and there is a subtle sweetness in the background… Steeped for 3 minutes with boiling water in my mug. The tea smells kind of bland. Sort of a champagne-y scent (if that makes sense….) but I can tell there’s a sweetness in the tea. The smell isn’t as strong as the dry leaf but the sweetness comes through more, if that makes sense.

For the first sips I’m getting kind of a chocolate-y taste, which is weird because there’s no chocolate. The aftertaste in my mouth is slightly sweet with a champagne-esque flavor.

As it cools the sweetness of the strawberry and the sort of slash (that’s the only word I can think of) of the champagne comes out, and it makes for a nice brew. Overall pretty tasty, though I don’t think I would purchase a full size version of this.

Thanks again Bella!

PS: I’ve realized my ratings don’t make sense (at least to me) so I will be going through and fixing them…. If anyone was wondering :P

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

I’ve had this before and think from reading all your reviews that either you are not steeping long enough for your taste or not using enough tea sometimes. You seem to comment on weak brews. This one as I remember is better a bit stronger in my opinion and sweetened. Brings out the floral. The aftertaste is champagne alright.


I couldn’t agree with you more. I always brew according to the instructions on the actual tea, and I haven’t really found my “rule of thumb” with most teas. I’m trying though!


Great deal !!


Scratch that. Meant, I’ve been struggling with “is it the tea?” or is it me (prepping). Makes me want to go back and test things again and tweek to make sure.

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drank David's Darjeeling by DAVIDsTEA
119 tasting notes

Last sample that I got with my DAVIDsTEA order.

First off, let me say that I’m not a huge fan of Darjeelings. I do really enjoy some, but a lot are really gross to me.

I won’t say this is gross, but it certainly isn’t one I enjoy. It has a very stereotypical Darjeeling taste and aroma. Very musty and woody. The word that this tea invokes in my mind is “damp.” That’s really all I can think of when I taste it…. I have a bad habit of adding milk and sugar (or Truvia/Stevia) to my unflavored black teas when I have them in the morning, and I did that here. If anything, I think the milk and stevia makes me like it even less. Right now, it’s like a liquid form of must and that is really unappealing to me.

Bottom line, I don’t think I’ll ever try this one again.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Apple Awakening Fruit Tea by Teavivre
119 tasting notes

Final sample from TeaVivre!

Dry, this tisane is LOVELY and smells just as good. It’s bright red and has a pop of green from the verbena, and the lemon is definitely the strong suit in the aroma. I brewed it with my Noble mug from DAVIDsTEA for 8 and half minutes with boiling water.

I added a little bit of sugar to avoid excessive tartness. This tisane is lovely! The apple ISN’T the forte, which I like. It has a very distinct apple aftertaste, however, and I LOVE it. The roselle adds a nice tartness that’s not too strong, and the verbena adds a nice zing to it. So very very nice, I love this tisane so much, and I thank TeaVivre again so much for this sample and all the others. The quality was amazing throughout, and I thank you for being so gracious!

Boiling 8 min or more

Glad you’ve been having such a good time with your samples. I’m expecting mine soon!


This is one of the tisanes I was eying when I was looking into buying some of her tea (before I bought lots of tea on sale from other vendors). Still, I hope to make a purchase later this year, and your review gives me that much more confidence in her tisanes! Thanks!


Absolutely amazing pictures on the website you list in your bio!


No problem SimpliciTEA! It’s SO good. And thank you on the pictures!

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I am thoroughly impressed with all of these samples!

This one’s my favorite so far. The pearls are so exciting to watch unravel! The smell is very strong and perfumy, but the actual tea is light and not heavily flavored like a lot of Jasmines are. Very nice!

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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drank Chocolate Chili Chai by DAVIDsTEA
119 tasting notes

Another sample that came with my order from DAVIDsTEA. The dry leaves smell kind of spicy and have light chocolate smell.

Noble Mug with boiling water for 5 minutes. I added a little sugar to try and lighten the spice.

A very nice tea! The chai spices don’t come out as much as I would like, but the chocolate is nice and smooth and not too harsh like it often can be. The spice lightly pierces through and creates for a wonderful blend!

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Blueberry Fruit Tea by Teavivre
119 tasting notes

Second review for TeaVivre’s samples.

I guess I should share how I brew my tea. Most of the time I brew it in my Noble travel mug from DAVIDsTEA (http://www.davidstea.com/accessories/travel-mugs-2/noble-glass-travel-thermos) and sometimes I brew a teapot using just a regular mesh tea ball (I don’t have a tea pot with a built in infuser, unfortunately). Anywhoo, on to the tea.

This was another sample I got from TeaVivre. After drinking the Pi Lo Chun I was in the mood for something a little sweeter, so I decided to have a cup of this. The dry "leaves"smell very sweet, almost like fake blueberry bubblegum that you get for a dollar at the store. The leaves are BEAUTIFUL, a vibrant pop of blue and maroon-y purple.

The brewed tisane is a lovely deep purple and has retained its scent. I added a little bit of sugar to avoid any tartness.

I LOVE THIS TISANE! It’s tart (but not overly tart to the point of puckering) with a little tang and a small punch of sweetness. It tastes EXACTLY like the description, and none of the pure fruit flavor is sacrificed like it is in so many fruit blends.

Very nice, this will be a cupboard staple from now on.

I used about 4 tsp. for about 12 oz. of water and steeped for 8 minutes and 30 seconds with boiling water.

Boiling 8 min or more

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Many thanks to TeaVivre, my samples arrived today!

I was at a lost for which to try first so I flash-quized my dad and he chose this one. As many have raved before me, the packaging is genius-TWO DIFFERENT BAGS! Ingenious! I’ve made a mental note that if I ever start my own tea company, that’s how I’ll package everything.

The dry leaves are a mint-green color. They smell very savory, kind of like seaweed.

First steep- ~175 degrees (Fahrenheit) for 1 minute and 15 seconds. It’s VERY light, and when it’s in direct sunlight, it almost looks clear. The brewed tea smells the same as the leaves but not as strong. It’s very light, and has a savory taste. It has a slightly salty taste, and it’s very vegetal. Not really what I look for in a tea, but good for what it is. I’m not going to resteep these, but I will enjoy drinking this cup while it lasts.

I’m not too too big on savory teas, but I did enjoy the vegetal saltiness of this one, and I thank TeaVivre again for graciously sending me some samples! I’m excited to try the rest!

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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drank Love Tea #7 by DAVIDsTEA
119 tasting notes

Upping the rating a teensy bit.

This time I brewed it at 205 for 5 minutes (with the cap on my mug brewer system) and I broke down and added a spoonful of pure cane sugar.

It’s so much better like this! I might have actually changed my mind about this tea….. My cup yesterday just made me go “Eh, this is boring” but today I’m really enjoying it!

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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I’m Ian and I’m a 15 year old student who lives in Vermont. I started (heavily) drinking tea in Late 2010 and have been obsessed ever since!

I tend to drink more black and herbal teas, though I do enjoy oolong, green, and white, and I’m exploring other facets of the tea world (I’m still trying with pu-erh!)

I tend to lean towards sweeter and fruity flavors in my teas, and I’m not a big fan of smoky flavored teas, or anything that’s VERY bold.

I also enjoy a cup of coffee every once and a while, though it does mess with my stomach sometimes so I don’t drink it as often as I drink tea.

In addition to tea drinking, I’m also really interested in:
Classical music (I’ve been playing clarinet for 5 years now and it’s my favorite thing to do), independent arts/music, education on environmental sustainability, reading, Fair Trade and safe-trade practices, Cognitive science, art history, and a lot more.

I’m open to swaps, but I don’t have a very wide collection. Regardless, if I review a tea and you would like a sample, feel free to message me and we can work something out! If you would like to just try something without a swap, feel free to ask too! I know that I personally don’t have a lot of teas to swap and if you’re in the same position as me just feel free to ask for a sample and I’ll send you some, no strings attached!

I run a blog on TeaTrade which you can find here: http://serendipitea.teatra.de/. The goal of my blog is to better connect tea with the arts and go beyond just the taste aspect of tea. Enjoy!





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