559 Tasting Notes

drank Lotus by Tazo
559 tasting notes

It’s a Tazo tea day!

Hmm, this doesn’t taste much like a green tea. The liquor is very dark, golden/amber in color. It reminds me of the color of honey.

It actually tastes a little like honey too. But not the honey from bees, more like agave nectar. With a little sweetener, it’s drinkable. But not delicious.

Strange, this. I’m getting a bitter taste that’s reminiscient of oversteeping a lower quality tea. Really no grassy greenness at all. Not much in the way of floral lotus either (unless lotus smells/tastes like agave nectar).

It’s too bad they market this as a green tea. The average American consumer who has never tried real green tea will be led astray by this imposter.

It’s back to my loose leaf stores at home! No more mass marketed bagged teas for me!

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

If it contains Lotus it will have a similar effect to Kava. It’s also called the narcotic of the Nile….


Kava is nothing like Lotus. Blue Lotus has mild psycho-active properties and can act as a mild sedative. Kava interacts with medication and can kill your liver (thus killing you). They are completely different substances.

Charles Thomas Draper

yes of course they are completely different. As far as it killing your liver, I believe that started in Germany where they were using other parts of the plant other than the root.


None of the studies I read applied only to one part of the Kava. It’s probably safest just to not risk it.

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This is one of the best drinks I’ve ever had in my entire life! Don’t bother to drink this tea hot without the lemonade. Suffice it to say, it’s not a pleasant experience (see oozing rose hips: http://steepster.com/Charoma/posts/85951).

But this, THIS is my one true love!


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drank Passion by Tazo
559 tasting notes

This tea has me a little frightened. It looks like red wine, and rose hips oozed out of the tea bag when I squeezed it! Here we go again with the oozing rose hips!!!

I’ve had this tea before as an Iced Passion Tea Lemonade at Starbucks. But I’ve never tried to drink it hot and by itself.

Wow! That is tart! I think it needs the lemonade to dilute and sweeten it. This is much stronger than I would have expected from an herbal tea.

I’m actually not even sure if I can drink it like this. It’s giving me an instant headache. I think I’ll stick with the Starbucks creation instead.

It’s so strange because it is AMAZING iced with lemonade. This is a completely different experience. If you told me this was the same tea as in the Starbucks creation, I wouldn’t believe it. Crazy.

If it goes down the drain, it gets a rating of 10 or less. Sorry Passion tea. :(

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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drank White Peony by Adagio Teas
559 tasting notes

The dry leaves smell just like hay, but that’s a positive for me (I grew up riding horses). The brewed tea has a light hay smell with an added component. The tea, I’m assuming.

Wow, this tea is interesting. I’m getting so many flavors! One of the flavors is almost like lightly toasted pumpkin seeds. Yum!! Of course, now that I’ve picked out that flavor and identified it, I can’t taste anything else.

Mmm, but this is good. Really different from any of the other teas I’ve had. I’m not even sure I’ve ever had white tea before! This might be my first!

I didn’t know what to expect, but I guess I thought it would be like an oolong. More vegetal, but less grassy. That’s what I thought anyway.

This isn’t grassy or vegetal at all. It’s a unique flavor all of its own. I’m really impressed, and I think I’ll be drinking this a whole lot more. First white tea is a success!

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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The dry leaves smell exactly like grape fruit snacks. I can’t stop sniffing the bag! The aroma of the brewed tea is heavenly! I can still detect the grape smell, but it’s underneath a lovely grassiness from the oolong. I can’t wait to try this!

Oh, wow! I think this is going to be a new favorite. I can’t believe how good this is! (Thus, the overuse of exclamation marks)!!!!

This is Lupicia’s tea of the month, and therefore a free sample. Grapes seem to be the theme. The newsletter lists all of their grape teas and talks about how grapes have been added to tea for years.

I’ve tried Lupicia’s Muscat tea, a grape-flavored black tea, in the past and found it undesirable. The grape was too overpowering and candy-like.

But this is delicately flavored! I can still taste the grassy oolong underneath (which actually makes it taste more like a flavored green tea than an oolong). The grape is much more subtle in the taste than in the aroma. The aroma is like gummy snacks, but the taste is more like the grape taste in wine. In fact, it could do with a little more grape!

I’m not so sure about that “clean, crisp finish” though. The finish is a little bitter to me, thus the lower rating of an otherwise wonderful tea. Perhaps a shorter steeping time would remedy that?

Nonetheless, adding this to my list of teas to buy…Thank you, Lupicia!

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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drank Formosa Oolong #8 by Adagio Teas
559 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
559 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
559 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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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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