1220 Tasting Notes

drank Banana Dream Pie by DAVIDsTEA
1220 tasting notes

I am on a banana kick now, although I’m not sure if I like this one or not.

On one hand, it was absolutely astringent with a 5 minute steep, which is what they recommend. I can’t imagine getting the chocolate and banana flavors with any less time. But on the other, it does taste good with milk and sugar. So maybe this would be better as a latte like Pumpkin Chai.

The banana flavor is so good, but the chocolate is somewhat lacking, and I’m not getting any creaminess really, even with the added milk.

I’m thinking when I make a latte, I’ll use a little chocolate syrup instead of another sweetener.

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drank Hot Buttered Banana Bread by 52teas
1220 tasting notes

Wow I don’t know what I was thinking, but I wasn’t going to write a note because I thought this was too old to drink because it tasted like bread.

HURR HURR Hot Buttered Banana BREAD. Totally on it today.

The banana is not as strong as I’d like it to be, but for its age this is decent. The walnut is probably why I can’t taste the banana, I’m sure I can fix that with agave or something. Walnut always seems to take away sweetness for me…not fond of them in tea, or in general actually but they always make their way into baked goods, so I accept that.

I may have to add a bit more leaf too to make it taste more banana-y, but it does taste like toasty bread, so that’s good!

Invader Zim

You gave me the giggles!


I found that my sample is losing the buttery banana note as well. But still, it’s a great tea!

Hesper June

Haha! sounds so much like something I would do;)

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drank Elven Mist Tea by Dryad Tea
1220 tasting notes

A friend of mine pointed out Dryad Tea to me on Etsy a couple of weeks ago, and since they also participate in this Out of the Box Sampler program, I saw that they would be doing some Black Friday deals. So I ordered about 9 samples of the teas for $10, and am finally getting around to trying them. There are two different levels of teas with different price points, so six regular samples is $6 and six from the fancier collection is $7. And then they also have three samples you can pick. So I did 3 regular and 6 Pandora Celtica.

Each sample is supposed to make 3 cups, but I’m using my Perfect Tea Mug and didn’t even use half the bag so yay for awesome, large sizes!

I just got back from eating pho and drinking half an avocado shake. An avocado shake is as amazing as it sounds. Hooooly cow. I had to put the rest in the freezer and now I need green tea. Jasmine and lychee sound very good right about now.

I steeped it for 2 minutes, since that tends to be my preferred time for flavored greens, and it does not disappoint.

It’s very floral, but the lychee adds a nice floral/berry twist to the typical flavor of jasmine. It’s not blowing me away, but the flavor is excellent. The jasmine almost makes the lychee taste juicy in the tea itself.

This was kind of a well I don’t know what else to get but it sounds interesting choice. So I can’t wait to try the ones I really, really wanted!

Also I let it cool off completely and that makes it a lot more tolerable when you’ve had enough jasmine. It seems to mostly be lychee tasting at this point.

2 min, 0 sec

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drank Merry Cranberry by DAVIDsTEA
1220 tasting notes

Jeez, this one has star anise too? Not as obvious as Ceylon Star but I think DavidsTea has a new favorite ingredient hahaha.

This one seems heavy too, I got an ounce of it but I don’t think it’s going to make much at all.

This is very, very Christmas to me! First and foremost, the flavor is cranberry with spice notes. Then the mistletoe adds a unique almost spruce-y type flavor. Not too strongly, but just enough that it reminds me a bit of a Christmas tree.

I completely forgot this is a green tea because it really seems more like an herbal. I do like it though. It’s sweet and spicy, with just a hint of earthiness.

I like it!


I bought 50g & thought there was so little of it. I need more!

Daisy Chubb

Okay I was not excited to try this tea… now I AM! I need it! haha


I’ll send ya some in exchange for some Wintergreen woods! :)

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drank Ceylon Star by DAVIDsTEA
1220 tasting notes

I didn’t bother to read what Ceylon Star was when DavidsTea first posted the note, I just read the name and assumed a straight ceylon for some reason. And that would have been okay.
Then once we reached December, I reread it and ohhhh yes.

So last minute text messages went out on Monday to my boyfriend of “can you make sure to get me half an ounce of Ceylon Star? It’s new!” So all the tea I made him get me, all $42 worth, $42 I don’t even have right now for tea, is finally mine. I couldn’t decide where to start but I knew I wanted one of the black teas I picked out, and I am on a white chocolate kick so it’s perfect.

There is a lot of star anise. The smell of the tea reminds me of the pizzelle cookies my grandma used to make.

The tea is sweet and slightly spicy from the anise and coconut. I didn’t really get much of the white chocolate, though I’m not even sure any made it into my steeper. It wasn’t as creamy as I was hoping it would be.

They used quite a nice Ceylon for this, because after steeping it I thought, wow, I really don’t like Ceylon when it’s steeped more than 3 1/2 minutes. But this, I might even save the leaf to resteep tomorrow morning because I’m sure it has a bit more life in it, and the star anise is the FULL star so it must still have something to it too!

I kind of wish I got more than half an ounce, I’ve never actually cooked with star anise so I didn’t realize how heavy it is.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

I havn’t had anise much (except with old fashioned candies.) but I adore that stuff. So I am going to add this tea to my shopping list! Mmm I can almost taste it, such a warm, sweet taste I am thinking. Did it need any sweetener? I can’t remember if you’ve said that you use sweetener at all in general or not.


I generally don’t, and when I do I make sure to mention that I added any. I didn’t add any to this one, it really doesn’t need it because the white chocolate and coconut sweeten it already I think.


i can’t get it until tuesday but if you’re ok waiting and extra day, I’ll grab you some and send it along in your package :)

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I really love this one. I am pretty sure I absolutely blew it on my final today, but I had this with me. Granted, on the train ride back home it ended up all over my pants and in my bag because it turns out the leakproof claim of my mug only holds true when it’s full.

I really like that I can taste each aspect of this tea without it being ruined by whatever it usually is that ruins Adagio flavored teas for me. It’s creamy, it’s clearly earl grey, and it’s got some berry notes to it. I don’t need to add milk or sugar whatsoever to enjoy this.

It’s also not so bad cold, either. When I got home I just wanted to eat lunch and go back to sleep, so I poured the rest of my tea into a glass of ice and had it iced. I love berry earl greys when they’re cold. This one I might have to also try cold brewing when it’s warmer again.

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drank Vanille des Îles by Mariage Frères
1220 tasting notes

I think it’s been a LONG time since I had this tea so I made a big teapot full. I’ve had this tea since May 2011 and it still tastes the same, that makes me happy!

I’m trying to study but I had to call my mom for a weekly chat and to remind her to send me half of the 12 days of Christmas from 52teas because it arrived the day after I left after Thanksgiving. And she of course deflated my entire mood for the day with some nonsense about how she won’t cosign for the last loan I’ll need for next fall as she doesn’t want to be on the line for it when I can’t find a job. Really nice coming from your own mom right? She seems to forget I’m not my brother’s idiot friends who have degrees that are serving them no purpose, like sports marketing. So irritated it just was so INCREDIBLY RUDE of her when she will never, ever have to pay them because that’s my responsibility and she apparently has no confidence in me? Not cool.

Okay. To the tea now that I’ve finally gotten that out.

I still love this tea very much because it’s kind of malty but still tastes like vanilla icing in tea form. I’ve still got a bit in my pot and it still tastes good even cooled off. Definitely not one I’d regularly drink cold but I think it actually gets kind of a creamy taste and even consistency this way.

I’m going to be sad when I run out of this tea, which is soon.

Invader Zim

Yay for mom’s that know how to push all your buttons and not have faith in their children!

Invader Zim

Sarcasm by the way…just in case that wasn’t clear.

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I really should have brewed this in the gaiwan but I was in need of tea ASAP after the peach fiasco.

My favorite part of keemun is how it has the most delicious honey notes, almost better than honey itself. Although, I just say that because keemun isn’t sticky and therefore is less messy to handle.

This one is really tasty, very sweet, and all around a good black tea in the morning to just drink straight.

I left a bit in my mug when I went to start prepping my spaghetti squash and it was even good cold, yay!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Mmm, I’ve had three cups of this today. Gaiwan time methinks!

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drank Peach by Adagio Teas
1220 tasting notes


That’s really all, just nope.

I made it hot this morning, it was horrible. I thought, well since the peach oolong is better chilled, maybe it’s the peach flavoring they use? Maybe it’d be better chilled too?


In this case, it’s not a problem at all with the Adagio Ceylon for once, it’s how horrid this peach flavoring is. Maybe I’m spoiled in the peach state (that doesn’t even produce the most peaches, shhhh) since all the other notes on this tea are rather positive.

Hey, at least it was a free sample.

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Well, since there’s no way I’m drinking this, I tried cooking with it. I infused butter with some of the leaves and brushed it onto a spaghetti squash to roast. Then I added a bit more in there, and tried it that way. Couldn’t take it.

I ended up making avocado sauce too (lemon juice, garlic, avocado, salt, pepper) and that went along even better, though the raw garlic is pretty strong.

I just don’t like the smokiness. I am going to try it with meat instead, maybe spaghetti squash isn’t savory enough for me to enjoy lapsang (not that it tastes like anything anyway!). I will find a way to make the smokiness enjoyable!


I have the same feelings about all the Lapsangs I’ve tried. My alternative is either to pass it on to those who actually like the extreme smokiness or mix with vinegar, brown sugar and ketchup as a BBQ sauce. I’ve also been told that almost all is produced for export. Apparently the Chinese aren’t big fans either.


BBQ sauce sounds like a good use, I’ve seen a lot of people say they use it as a rub. I typically don’t ever make anything that requires one so that may be the way to go instead.


hah, well, maybe try mixing it with a few other teas? idk. you’ve probably already tried that.
i actually am in love with the adagio Sherlock blend right now, which has Lapsang Souchong in it. but is also mixed with Assam Melody and Oriental Spice teas. I can’t seem to get enough i like it so much!
but ya, a rub does sound yummy.


I could not handle the smokiness the first time I tried it too. I couldn’t even handle having the tea in my house, it was so strong. I’ve since learned a better way to infuse it – it does help lighten the smokiness somewhat, maybe if you infuse it this way, it will work for you when you cook? When you brew it, use a method that makes it easy to discard the first infusion … in other words, you’re going to do a “rinse” of the leaves for 15 seconds. I use my gaiwan, but, for cooking purposes this might prove to be a lot of effort since the gaiwan is small. You could also use one of those “smart brewer” type of devices, brew for 15 seconds, discard the liquid, and then brew for 2 1/2 minutes. A lot of the smokiness – especially that dusty smokiness – gets rinsed away with this method.


I’m going to try using this tea in my turkey gravy tonight since I still have my sampler pouch on me too. I will report back to see how that works.


I make a rub by grinding a little with sea salt, black peppercorn, urfa hot pepper (you can use something else). Don’t overdo the tea. I’ve added granulated brown sugar or granulated maple sugar to the rub mix and used both on chicken and fish.


I’ve thought about making the last of the sample I have of the LS and putting vanilla or raspberry syrup in it. Which might make it totally gross, but….it might not.

Terri HarpLady

Momo, I have a recipe Tea Brined 5 spice Chicken. It uses Lapsang, & it was pretty tasty, as I recall. Let me know if you want the recipe.
I’ve been thinking of cooking a pork roast in the crock pot, and using a cup of Brewed lapsang instead of water…


Or, i can send you some Oh Canada and you can mix them together and drink bacon


Hahaha bacon!! like like like!


Haha, that sounds good but I know I won’t like it. I just cannot drink this stuff!


Yeah it’s not for me either. The smell brings back some cozy memories from my childhood but it also is super offputting for me.


I like the smell of smoke from campfires, but the smokeness of this tea…..found it hard to deal with.

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