972 Tasting Notes

70

This was one of the samples I chose to get to $25 for free shipping on my Adagio order (I wanted the Christmas Cookies fandom sampler). I love grapefruit, so I figured this was worth a try. I’m not sure why I felt the need to order any of this, to tell you the truth, as I’ve been pretty much exclusively unimpressed with Adagio in the past. Oh well, impulse buy! This looks to be a generic formosa-type oxidized oolong base with some citrus peel and flower petals. Dry scent is sweetly grapefruit.

Hmm… It’s not terrible. The base is pretty much completely lame, and tastes like dry autumn leaves to me and not much else. The level of grapefruit flavor is good, and so is the flavoring itself. On a different base, this could be really tasty. As is, it’s just okay and it’s making my throat a bit itchy.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Grapefruit, Roasted

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88
drank Pineapple Barley by Lupicia
972 tasting notes

Now that my tummy is full of leftover Indian food, for some reason I reach for this one. Not sure why, but oh well! Apparently barley tea is a digestif for me. :P I’m slowly making my way through all of Lupicia’s flavored barley teas, and this is the one I chose with my holiday tea order. Dry scent reminds me of pineapple gummy bears with a strong roasted undercurrent.

Like the other flavors, this has a very strong roasted flavor that I enjoy quite a lot. It’s almost similar to coffee, or perhaps a smoother version of a heavily roasted oolong. The level of pineapple flavor is perfect, and it actually goes very well with the roasted barley. I will say, the pineapple here is definitely artificial, and it does taste exactly like pineapple gummy bears as opposed to the actual fruit. Very tasty though!

Flavors: Candy, Coffee, Pineapple, Roasted

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 11 OZ / 325 ML

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80

Another sample from cookies. She recommended I try this one next since it’s apparently quite similar to the Wild Black from Titan that I just tried. The leaves look somewhat different – the color is more of a chocolate brown than black and they’re more broken. There are some stems and golden tips included as well. Dry scent is similarly woody but with more of a sweet note.

The taste is also fairly similar, with strong wood and earth/mineral flavors. However, this tea is a bit smoother and less harsh, and there’s a nice creamy note and smooth mouthfeel. It’s a bit sweet, and it’s a clear sweetness that, along with the mineral note, makes me think of cool stream water. There’s also a teensiest bit of dried fruit, possibly raisin or cherry. Pretty tasty!

Flavors: Creamy, Dried Fruit, Earth, Mineral, Smooth, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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78

This is a sample from cookies. I’m always willing to try more samples from AliExpress, it feels like such a gamble since you never know what the quality will be like, but the prices are usually really low. These leaves are jet black and fairly large, and they have that fragile look about them. Dry scent is surprisingly smoky, I had to make sure this was the right tea since I thought it was a lapsang at first.

The smoke has lessened a lot in the tea itself, thankfully. This is definitely a very earthy and woody tea, in fact the first thought that popped into my head when tasting it was, “Ost wouldn’t like this, it tastes like wood.” Teehee. There’s also a fair amount of smoke along with a strong mineral taste. So overall, very earthy with a lot of dark complementary notes. Sort of forest floor-y!

Flavors: Earth, Mineral, Smoke, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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93

This was one of the free 20 gram samples that Joel included with my Capital Tea Limited order. Thanks, Joel! The leaves are adorable. They’re jet black and thin, but curled up in a way that reminds me of bi luo chun. Baby snails! Dry scent is hay and honey.

OMG. This tea is so delicious! In fact, it’s reminding me strongly of Butiki’s Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black (aka Waffle Tea), which is wonderful since that one’s not available anymore. There are super strong honey and bread notes in the beginning with perhaps a touch of cinnamon, but near the end of the sip you get a huge punch of waffles-with-maple-syrup flavor. So creamy and rich the entire time. Delish! :)

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Creamy, Honey, Maple Syrup, Pastries, Smooth, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
looseTman

“… reminding me strongly of Butiki’s Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black …”
That’s very strong praise!

Cameron B.

I know! That was absolutely my favorite Butiki tea. I would call this tea a mixture of that tea and TeaVivre’s Bailin Gongfu. :)

TippysTea

Sounds wonderful, got to try this ourselves!

Lupiressmoon

Hm this sounds quite good to me too. Actually, it sounds downright delicious, divine, and catered for my taste buds.

yyz

It is really good!

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83
drank Gemini by Nina's Paris
972 tasting notes

Another one from madametj! This one sounds oddly close to Taurus, though I’m excited by the addition of grapefruit. I just think it’s weird that they’d make two that are so similar. Anyway! I can’t smell any grapefruit in the dry leaf, just strawberry.

The steeped tea has a really lovely strawberry scent, it reminds me of jam. And I think perhaps I can smell a touch of citrus as well. The taste is an interesting combination of strawberry candy or jam, cream, and a touch of citrus (not sure I would pick out grapefruit, possibly more like orange). I wish there was a bit more flavor, to be honest, as it’s pretty light. Still yummy though.

Flavors: Cream, Jam, Orange, Strawberry, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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70
drank Scorpio by Nina's Paris
972 tasting notes

This one is from my swap with madametj. I was happy to see it since I’ve been curious about these zodiac teas for a while, and I’ve only tried one so far (Taurus). There are a few purple flowers mixed in with the red rooibos base. Dry scent is kind of sour, which is odd.

The steeped tea smells a bit like pickles for whatever reason… It kind of tastes like pickles, too? Not sure what’s going on there. If I really think about it, I can taste apricot and peach with cream, but my tongue really thinks it’s pickle tea. :P

Flavors: Apricot, Cream, Peach

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Dustin

Ha! So it’s not just me! I totally got the pickle taste too and thought I had done something wrong.

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75

Ugh, so I’m at almost 200 teas now… I blame generous Steepster frens! :P Although only partially, as I have made a few purchases of my own lately. In any case, I need to work on sipping things down again to get my cupboard back under control. This one is the free sample I chose with my Adagio order – I wanted the Christmas Cookies fandom sampler and added enough samples to get the free shipping on $25. I heard good things about this tea from someone, perhaps Arshness? So I figured I’d give it a try since I like rooibos and love desserty lemon teas. It smells rather medicinal, which scares me.

Luckily, it doesn’t taste overly medicinal, though there is a bit of that. It mostly tastes mildly of lemon and lemongrass. I don’t actually find it to be very dessert-like, which is disappointing. Needs more vanilla! :P

Flavors: Lemon, Medicinal, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sami Kelsh

Ooh, I don’t think I’ve ever had this one straight. I like adding it to something like peppermint or vanilla when I want a bit of a lemony flavour alongside something else!

AllanK

I have yet to try any tea from Adagio.

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70

This is the last of the teas I actually ordered from Capital Tea (I still have two free samples to try). I believe this is a fairly famous estate, and I’ve had one Kenilworth Ceylon before, I think from Simple Loose Leaf? The leaves are long and thin, though perhaps a touch shorter than the other Ceylons I’ve tried today. Dry scent is musty hay with some dried apricot thrown in there.

First off, I have to say I’m actually getting jittery from drinking all of these high-caffeine black teas. I have a fairly high caffeine tolerance, so this is unusual and strange for me! This one is a bit blah in my opinion, which is unfortunate. It tastes fairly generic and malty. There’s a bit too much mustiness here as well, along with some hay. I think these two flavors make it seem more drying than it actually is. It’s not bad necessarily, just doesn’t measure up to all of the other unique Ceylons I’ve tried today. Can’t win ’em all, I guess!

Flavors: Hay, Malt, Musty

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
OMGsrsly

I don’t really love Kenilworth. Last year’s was more blah than usual.

donkeytiara

i struggle with ceylons in general…too powdery for me.

Cameron B.

I really like some of the ones I got from Capital Tea, this one was just generic for me.

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85

This is my last untried Assam from my Capital Tea order. In fact, I just have one Ceylon and my free samples left after this. I must say, I’ve been quite happy with my purchases so far for the most part (and his prices are so super low!). Anyway, this tea! The leaves look similar to the Boisahabi Assam I tried earlier – they’re dark, long, and thin with some golden tips interspersed. Dry scent is very musty and hay-like, which I find strangely comforting.

Hmm, I must say, I am a fan! This definitely has that strong malt character as well as intensity of flavor that I expect from an Assam. However, it’s not bitter or astringent, and it’s very smooth. All of the flavor notes here are dark and rich, such as tobacco and molasses. There’s also a bit of a musty hay taste along with some mild woody notes, and just a bit of rich cocoa pops out at the end of the sip. Yum, another satisfying tea!

(There’s a tad bit of astringency as it cools, but not enough to be bothersome.)

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Cocoa, Hay, Malt, Tobacco, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
OMGsrsly

Hattialli is one of my favourites!

Cameron B.

I tried one previously from Butiki and didn’t like it at all! This one is yummy though. :)

OMGsrsly

I have the Butiki one, actually. And one from Tea Centre (Courtenay). They’re different grades, so slightly different… but I love them both.

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Profile

Bio

Hello, my name is Cameron. I’m 25 years old and currently living in New York state with my lovely boyfriend (a software architect). I am currently not employed, which leaves plenty of time for cooking and tea-drinking! I am a staunch lover of pugs and other squishy-face dogs, although sadly I do not currently have one. :(

I originally got into tea a couple of years ago. My sister introduced me to Teavana (there was a store in the nearby mall) and I was hooked. I have just started to drink tea again and I am very grateful to have found this community where there are so many with experience and wisdom to share!

I am a shameless Western steeper!

I love swaps! If you see something in my cupboard that you’d like to try, shoot me a private message and we’ll work something out!

My general tea info:

Likes:
Taiwanese Blacks
Yunnans (esp. Pure Bud)
Lightly Roasted Oolongs
Japanese Greens
Genmaicha
Sobacha
Blueberry
Cherry
Vanilla
Fig
Almond/Marzipan
Chocolate-Orange
Most “Dessert” Flavors (caramel, toffee, butterscotch, cake, cookie, etc.)

Favorite Companies:
Capital Tea Limited
Lupicia
TeaVivre
Yunnan Sourcing
Yunomi

Not A Fan
High Mountain Oolong
Overly Floral (esp. Rose)
Strong Licorice Root
Hibiscus
Rose Hip
Strong Bergamot

Rating Scale:

90-100: Spectacular, a staple
80-89: Delicious, might buy again
70-79: Pretty good, won’t repurchase
60-69: Just “okay”
00-59: Undrinkable!

Location

Saratoga Springs, New York

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