514 Tasting Notes

drank Formosa Oolong #8 by Adagio Teas
514 tasting notes

This tea had me worried. It brewed up exactly like the Formosa Bai Hao #40 with the unmistakable aroma of a salty peanut shell.

But as soon as I tasted it, I got a much sweeter liquor than expected with a buttery mouthfeel. It does have that nutty peanut shell taste in the background, but almost like it’s an afterthought.

It’s nice that the peanut shell is taking a backseat and letting other flavors come to the foreground. Not what I was expecting at all from that aroma!

By the way, I think what I call “salty peanut shell” is what others call “woodsy” or “earthy.” I keep seeing those descriptions pop up on these formosa oolongs, and I think that must be what I’m experiencing too. It’s just too pronounced to be overlooked. Woodsy. Hmmm…

Second steep yields a less woodsy but still deep, amber colored liquor. Third steep was the least woodsy and fairly bland.

Good, but still not the best oolong from Adagio’s Dragon Sampler. My favorite is definitely Wuyi Ensemble. Wuyi Ensemble has a much more classic oolong, vegetal taste and benefits the most from multiple infusions.

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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drank Pouchong by Adagio Teas
514 tasting notes

Mmm, this is really hitting the spot tonight.

There’s slightly more astringency than I remember, but the quietness is just what I needed after a hard week. It’s a light oolong that I have learned to appreciate.

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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This sample is courtesy of the benevolent SimplyJenW. My very first Lapsang Souchong!

If this is Lapsang light, I don’t think I could ever drink the heavier version. After an awful experience with a smoky Keemun, I was expecting to hate this. And I was pretty confident in that expectation.

But luckily, this doesn’t taste nearly as scary as it smells. The dry leaves and brewed tea are very smoky. It is reminiscent of liquid beef jerky, as another user pointed out.

Still, I don’t think smoky teas are for me. But I would highly recommend this Lapsang to people new to Lapsangs. Thank you, SimplyJenW!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Pro: strong flavor. Con: needs milk to cut the bitterness.

The fig comes across very strongly in this tea’s aroma and taste. If you love fig, this is the tea for you! Unfortunately, I don’t think I do and it took this tea to figure that out.

The black tea base is complementary to the flavorings. I’m not getting much in the way of brown sugar here. I think the fig overpowers it, so I added my own sweetener.

This was my first Ovation Tea experience, and it was a good one to start with. The high quality of their teas definitely comes through.

Thank you, SimplyJenW, for giving me the opportunity to try this! I was hesitant to order from Ovation Tea since they don’t sell small samples. But now I can be confident that the money I spend will be worth it. Thank you! :)

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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drank Wuyi Ensemble by Adagio Teas
514 tasting notes

The four minute steep yielded a beautiful amber liquor. It smells the way oolong should!

It tastes way more beautiful than the last time I brewed it too. I’m getting a little bit of woods-y with very slight floral notes. Maybe there’s a hint of nuttiness in here, but it’s not overpowering like in the Formosa Bai Hao.

Mmm, just the beauty of the Wuyi Mountains on my tongue. I’m impressed by this tea. It offers all the complexity it promised. The longer I drink it, the more I notice its astringency. But it’s quite tolerable. I like this tea.

Yay! Finally, an oolong from Adagio that tastes like an oolong. I’m a happy customer at last.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Coconut Pouchong by Adagio Teas
514 tasting notes

I don’t know how my opinion of this tea could change so much in such a short time, but I don’t think I like it anymore.

The coconut tastes artificial and leaves a gross aftertaste. So strange, ’cause I really loved this before. Rating of 80 is dropping to 47. Phew!

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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I decided to give this tea another shot.

The first infusion was definitely still salty peanut shell. But it had a certain sweetness that I don’t remember the first time I tried this tea.

The second infusion was still nutty, but less so. The end of the second cup was fairly astringent. On to the third infusion!

Finally, the salty nuttiness is gone and I’m left with a pretty pleasant cup of tea. Still astringent, but much better flavor overall. Sweeter notes are making themselves visible.

I’ll change my rating from 45 to 50. I might be able to get even more infusions out of these leaves, but I think I’m done.

This tea should go on on to someone who would enjoy it more than me. Would anyone like a sample?

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Momoko by Lupicia
514 tasting notes

Where to begin! The dry leaves smell like heaven. Very peachy. Very fragrant.

There’s an abundance of pink rose petals, tiny blue cornflowers, and little hard translucent crystal-like rocks (sugar perhaps?). That might explain why this tea is so sweet! I’m impressed with how much is in here besides green tea leaves. Lupicia never skimps on ingredients.

In Japanese, Momoko means ‘peach child.’ It’s an interesting name because this tea reminds me of cotton candy and bubblegum, which I associate with childhood. The peach is very present, but there are also some lovely rose notes.

I can taste the vanilla, and it’s blended so well with the peach flavor. My only negative comment is that this tea is somewhat heavy because of all the rich floral notes. And something sour is pinching the back right side of my mouth. I have no idea what that could be!

This is a very flavorful green tea! It’s very sweet and only a little bit astringent, though not bitter at all. At the end of the sip, I’m getting classic sencha grassiness.

Overall, this is a good flavored tea. Not my favorite of Lupicia’s flavored greens, but still a contender. The second steep was almost identical to the first.

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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drank Lady Grey by Twinings
514 tasting notes

I read the adorable letter from Uniquity to Lady Grey & knew I must try this tea!

But after waiting for it to steep and smelling the aroma, I thought I might have made a mistake. This isn’t like Earl Grey at all.

I took a tentative sip. Yuck! The citrus overwhelmed everything else and almost made me gag!

I re-read Uniquity’s letter and thought I might have to write its antithesis. But I decided to add a little bit of milk and sugar before completely giving up hope.

What a difference!! Suddenly, this tea was more than stomachable; it was wonderful!

The lemon complements the bergamot nicely, and now I’m truly enjoying my cup of Lady Grey (who I always mistakenly call Lady Earl Grey). She definitely is much sweeter than her husband and quite forgiving.

Thank you, Uniquity, for writing such a persuasive letter that I couldn’t help but try and love Lady Grey. I followed your steeping instructions and with the addition of a little skim milk & Truvia, I’m a convert.


Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

Huzzah! I don’t know that I’ve ever felt so blessed or appreciated in my tea experience as when I read this note. For a while I toyed with the idea of writing letters to all my teas, but it seemed a little insane. : ) I’m glad you could find a way to enjoy this one as well. I certainly had trouble with my path…


Aww, you’re the sweetest! Go tea blogging, haha!

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drank Earl Grey by Twinings
514 tasting notes

Delicious! Dee-lish!

Not at good as Lupicia’s Earl Grey (which surprised me because this is Twinings!), but still a good substitute when I’m craving that bergamot flavor.

It’s not overly strong bergamot, which I guess a lot of users dislike this blend for. But nevertheless, I still like it!

I don’t want my bergamot eating a hole through my stomach. This tea contains just enough to let me know what I’m drinking without making me woozy.

With just a little bit of sugar, this tea has me ready to tackle anything!

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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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).


Maryland, USA

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