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500 Tasting Notes

68

I just drank Adagio’s plain Silver Needle so that I could compare it to this flavored version. The leaves are thinner, curlier, and darker than the Silver Needle. There’s also more twigs. I’m kind of surprised. I wouldn’t expect the addition of the jasmine to warp the leaves so much.

But moving on to the taste. This is a much better experience than my first one with this tea a couple days ago. The jasmine is much lighter than I remember. This tea is floral and sweet. I definitely can’t say it’s the best jasmine tea I’ve ever had. That would be Lupicia’s Jasmin Mandarin, a Chinese green tea. I’ve also had better jasmine tea than this at a local Thai restaurant.

Still, it’s not bad by any means. I’m not getting much in the way of the Silver Needle though. That doesn’t come through until the second infusion. The jasmine overpowers it too much in the first cup. The astringency also makes itself apparent on the first cup, instead of the third in the plain Silver Needle. That’s probably the most disappointing aspect of this tea. Though there’s not a trace of bitterness.

Overall, good, not great. I probably won’t place an order once the sample runs out. In fact, this really just makes me want to buy Lupicia’s Jasmin Mandarin!

First steep at 180 degrees for 5 minutes. Second at 175 degrees for 7 ½ minutes. Middle of the road rating from me.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Silver Needle by Adagio Teas
500 tasting notes

Very light and sweet. Vegetal taste is more apparent in the aftertaste. A fantastic white tea for people new to whites. Not very complex, but it’s beautiful in its simplicity.

First steep at 180 degrees for 5 minutes, second for 7 ½ minutes, and third for 10 minutes. Flavor started to fade by the third infusion and got pretty astringent.

But the first two cups were so fantastic that I’m upping the rating from 73 to 80.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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72
drank Chai Spiced Apple by Twinings
500 tasting notes

I drank this tea without milk today, and it still wasn’t what I wanted it to be. It’s too dull. No ginger. No piquance. Just diluted warm apple cider.

It would be so much better if it wasn’t so watery. I want to brew it with two tea bags next time, but it turns out very dark with just one. Plus, I can’t imagine how much caffeine would be in it then. I’m getting a headache just thinking about it.

I’m sad Twinings can’t make a better chai. I’m not going to go so far as to throw away the rest of the bags, but I have a feeling it’s going to take a while to finish them all. I also might try pawning some off on other people.

It’s not that it’s a bad tea. It’s just not what I want in a chai.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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70
drank White Symphony by Adagio Teas
500 tasting notes

The first steep at 180 degrees for two and a half minutes was kind of bad. It wasn’t completely bitter, so I’ll say it was halfway bitter. Not great.

The second steep for five minutes began normal and then went downhill. I think I might be letting the tea cool off too much as I drink it. It doesn’t taste nearly as good lukewarm as it does piping hot.

This is the last of my sample, and I’m not too sad to see it go. Though I am sad that I could never duplicate the same experience as that very first cup of tea. It was complex and beautiful.

Unfortunately, it never was again. Because of this, I’m lowering the rating from 80 to 70.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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68

I’m having a bad day, so maybe I’m taking it out on this tea. But it’s not that great. It’s astringent and a tad bitter and tastes more like a green tea than a white. The jasmine is flaky and meh. I don’t know. I guess I’ll try it again and rate it then. I really wanted to like it. :(

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 6 min, 15 sec

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82
drank Lady Grey by Twinings
500 tasting notes

The divine Lady Grey is getting a boost from 75 to 82. She’s been very good to me lately, and I find that I’ve been craving her as soon as I arrive at work. :)

Uniquity

She really grows on you, eh? : )

CHAroma

Yep! :)

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80
drank Silver Needle by Adagio Teas
500 tasting notes

So, it’s been a long weekend. I went to a socially awkward party, had to move everything in my kitchen out of it and then back in (roach spraying, yuck), got about 6 Ezpass violations in the mail (apparently there was a problem with our transponder) and fought with my boyfriend. All in all, not one of the better weekends.

But there’s always my loyal friend, Tea, to turn the day around! Tonight, it’s Adagio’s Silver Needle. This is the third Adagio white tea I’ve tried from the sampler pack.

The dry leaves have that familiar hay smell, but the leaves themselves are very different! I’m sure for all you out there that have had white tea countless times, the long and skinny white-haired leaves aren’t that interesting anymore. But I thought they were wicked cool! It was that much more fun to measure out the tea leaves. I can’t believe how pristine and uniform they are. But on to the tasting…

Slightly sweet, slightly vegetal. Definitely getting artichoke. Overall, a very pleasant cup of tea. It’s not amazing and probably not my favorite of the three (white peony takes the cake). But I can feel the stress melting away. I think I’ll need about 11 more cups to be back to my normal self. Time to find out if this tea is up to the challenge!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 6 min, 30 sec

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99

Mmmm!!! Uber spicy!!!

Starbuck’s Chai Tea Latte doesn’t leave anything to be desired, except more when your cup is empty. It’s delicious, hot, creamy, and ultra-chai spicy!

The cinnamon wasn’t overpowering, so I was still able to taste the other spices underneath. That’s uncommon in chais I’ve had, where usually the predominant (and sometimes only) taste is cinnamon.

This latte was so spicy it actually burned my throat a little on the way down! Not a bad burn. More like piquance. Totally unexpected!

This is a good place to start if you’ve never had chai before. It’s a great experience and woke me up for work. I ordered it with skim milk, and it was still frothy and creamy and delicious. Two thumbs way up! :)

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72
drank Chai Spiced Apple by Twinings
500 tasting notes

Pro: great blend of chai spices. Con: not very strong.

This kind of tastes like watered down hot apple cider. I wish it were stronger. The spices are nice, and I can taste the apple. But it’s just not quite there enough for my liking.

I added a small amount of milk & sweetener, and it did bring out the apple a little more. But I think I’ll make this again with 2 teabags.

Overall: good, not great.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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70
drank White Symphony by Adagio Teas
500 tasting notes

The dry leaves smelled very hay-like, quite similar to the White Peony. But as soon as the leaves were wet, they smelled completely different! More like steamed vegetables. The liquor is very pale and almost colorless.

The taste actually mimics the flavor of the dry leaves. Primarily, I taste hay in the sip and steamed veggies in the aftertaste. I’m actually surprised how long the flavors linger. And the flavor just keeps changing, even though there’s no tea in my mouth! It’s insanity!

It’s sweet and complex and delicious. There’s one element I’m tasting that’s almost like half and half, but very light and subtle. So good! This tea just keeps changing and showing me new dimensions.

Hmm, but the second steep is a little disappointing. It seems to have lost all of its complexity and layered flavors.

I’m a little confused on steeping time though. I’ve seen completely contradictory information on the Internet. One site said to steep the leaves for over 5 minutes, even up to 15 minutes on the first steep. Another site said to steep the leaves for only 1 minute or less. What gives? Can anyone give me some advice?

Here’s what I did: 1st steep at 185 degrees for 2 minutes. 2nd steep at 180 degrees for 4 minutes. 3rd steep at 180 degrees for 9 minutes.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Bio

Entering the sweet blissful world of tea aromas!

Having discovered this website at the end of July 2011, I’m so excited to share my tea adventures with all of you! I grew up with my grandmother serving Twining’s English Breakfast with cream and sugar.

But on a trip to Seattle in 2010, I stumbled into a Chinese teashop and tried my first oolong tea. I was forever changed! I embarked on a startling new love for green and white teas.

With a world of teas to discover, I was inspired to keep a tea journal to record my thoughts and new favorites. Let’s get brewing!


My ratings are completely subjective and 100% my opinion. All ratings are given in relation to each other (ie. teas are rated in the order of my enjoyment of them). Therefore, my ratings will constantly change as I try more teas.


I love swapping!!! If you see something in my cupboard you’d like to try, just send me a message. If you’d like to trade, anything on my shopping list will do or feel free to send something else entirely. I’m willing to try almost anything (although I’m not really a fan of honeybush, red rooibos, pu’erh, Lapsang Souchong, & banana-flavored teas).

Location

Maryland, USA

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