358 Tasting Notes

80
drank Vanilla Black by Harney & Sons
358 tasting notes

I often write off vanilla flavored things as too plain, but I forget how much I love the flavor of real vanilla, as in vanilla bean. I ordered a little sample of this with my recent Harneys order to see how it is. The dry leaves smell a little musty and smokey with a wonderful strong aroma of vanilla bean. It kind of reminds me of vanilla icing. The tea itself has a rich vanilla aroma. The flavor is pretty simple, just a sweet malty vanilla flavor and finish. There is a delicate vanilla bean aftertaste that is very nice. Besides the obvious vanilla, I am tasting a little smokiness in the cup, which I am assuming comes from the black tea base. I feel like I’ve tasted the same smokiness in some of Harney’s other black tea blends, namely Black Currant. There is no bitterness at all, but it’s not quite as smooth as I expected. I am enjoying this cup, and would probably order a tin of it. I do wish it were more pure vanilla flavored with a little less smokiness, but it does give a nice complexity to the cup!

-Dry blend has medium black tea leaves and twigs.
-Dry leaves smell slightly musty and smokey with a strong aroma of vanilla bean. Tea liquor aroma is of rich vanilla.
-Tea liquor is a clear orange brown color.
-Sweet malty vanilla flavor and finish. Delicate authentic vanilla bean aftertaste.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Very good tea. A simple cup with a smokey maltiness and the flavor of rich vanilla bean. No bitterness.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Cavocorax

I always underestimate how good vanilla is.

Josie Jade

Me too, Cavocorax! I always reach for vanilla if it’s a cupcake or icecream or something. But with tea, I always reach for chocolate over vanilla!

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80

We got home from the beach very late last night, and I got up early this morning to help my fiancee get ready to go to St. Louis to visit his family. After a crazy past few days of being at the beach and everything that comes with organizing vacation details for a group of people, I am a little happy to be home. And especially happy to be back in my kitchen with a cup of tea! I usually take tea and my little Bodum kettle with me on vacations, but didn’t this time because we had so many other food items/coolers/etc. to bring. Boy was I sorry that I didn’t have any tea when I got the worst headache ever the first day we were down there! Definitely learned that lesson – must make room for the tea!

Anyway, this tea sounded heavenly this morning when I was perusing my cabinet and trying to decide what to make. The dry leaves smell strongly of sugary caramel and rich chocolate, while the tea aroma has a malty black tea scent with a hint of burnt caramel. The flavor and finish is slightly malty and chocolatey. The caramel comes out mainly in the aftertaste, and is heavy and delicious. This is like a light cup of hot chocolate with a wonderful caramel sweetness at the end.

-Dry blend has medium black tea leaves and twigs with pieces of cocoa and small pieces of flavoring.
-Dry leaves smell strongly of sugary caramel and rich chocolate. Tea liquor aroma is of black tea and burnt caramel.
-Tea liquor is a clear dark reddish brown color with an oily sheen on top.
-Slightly malty and chocolatey flavor and finish. Heavy caramel aftertaste.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Very good tea. A smooth cup with a rich cocoa flavor and a sweet caramel aftertaste.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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60

I was curious about this tea when I saw it in the Traveling Tea Box. It sounded like a fun blend, with pineapple, strawberry and passionfruit flavors and rose petals! The dry leaves smell sweet and fruity with a hint of floral rose. The tea has a tropical fruit aroma. The flavor is lightly grassy and floral with a subtle fruity finish. The aftertaste is very strong, and I can pick out pineapple and passionfruit flavors. I added some sugar, but it gave it brought out more of the grassiness of the tea. I’m not sure if this tea is supposed to be named after the Fruity Pebbles cereal or not? I am not really getting a lot of the cereal’s flavor from this tea, but it is still a pretty nice cup of tea for the afternoon!

-Dry blend has large green tea leaves and twigs with pieces of dried fruit and rose petals.
-Dry leaves smell sweet and fruity with a hint of floral rose. Tea liquor aroma is of tropical fruit.
-Tea liquor is a clear medium yellow color.
-Light grassy and floral flavor with a subtle fruity finish. Strong, sweet and fruity pineapple and passionfruit aftertaste.
-Sweetener optional.
-Good tea. Sweet tropical flavor. Not reminiscent of Fruity Pebbles cereal.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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60

Another morning cup of tea from the Traveling Tea Box! I have been so productive this week and I think it’s because I’ve been drinking so much tea. I’m usually pretty sensitive to caffeine, but there have been so many fun teas to try that I’ve not really noticed it. Tomorrow we go to the beach so sadly, today is my last day with the box. I will forever be a fan of traveling tea boxes after this first experience with one being amazing!

This Earl Grey Cream blend includes coconut in it, which sounds delicious! The dry leaves smell mostly of sweet vanilla, with a little bergamot. The tea itself has a soft bergamot aroma with a hint of creamy vanilla and coconut. The flavor is a little surprising – it’s sharply malty with an unexpected tart citrus flavor. There’s a very sweet vanilla finish with a nutty vanilla aftertaste. I wish the coconut stood out a little more, since all I am really getting is just a little nuttiness mixed in with the vanilla. This tea is nice, but nothing special in my opinion. It is also pretty sweet on it’s own, but adding in milk and sugar tones down the tartness of the citrus.

-Dry blend has large black tea leaves and twigs.
-Dry leaves smell sweetly of vanilla and deep bergamot. Tea liquor aroma is of soft bergamot with a hint of creamy vanilla and coconut.
-Tea liquor is a clear very dark brown color.
-Sharp malty and tart citrus flavor with a sweet vanilla finish. Nutty vanilla aftertaste.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Good tea. A very sweet Earl Grey with vanilla. Coconut flavor doesn’t stand out. Strange, slightly artificially sweet taste.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Tea Sipper

Putting the teabox together was worth that effort then. :D I just hope it keeps not-getting-lost-in-the-mail like it has been! I’m crossing my fingers!

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60

I was super excited to try this tea when I came across it in the Traveling Tea Box. The dry leaves smell sweet and nutty with a small hint of chocolate. The tea itself smells more like fresh green tea with some nuttiness. The flavor is buttery green tea with a strong nutty taste. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with a hint of cocoa, with a nice toastiness to it. Sweetener definitely brings out more of the chocolate, which makes it so much better in my opinion. I’m glad I got to try this one, but I doubt that I will ever purchase any.

The little foster kitty came running and sniffed my tea again. I don’t think she cared for this tea either, since she put her tail up and sashayed off!

-Dry blend has medium green tea leaves and twigs with slices of nuts and white blossoms.
-Dry leaves smell sweet and nutty with a small hint of chocolate. Tea liquor aroma is of fresh green tea with a hint of nuttiness.
-Tea liquor is a cloudy medium yellow color with an oily sheen on top.
-Buttery green tea and strong nutty flavor and finish. Slightly bitter and toasty aftertaste with a hint of cocoa.
-Best with sweetener.
-Good tea. Fresh green tea and nutty flavor with a trace of bitterness.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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30
drank Te Med Blåbärssmak by IKEA
358 tasting notes

First cup of the morning from the Traveling Tea Box. I didn’t even know that IKEA made tea! I saw that it was a blueberry black tea and knew that I had to try it. One of my favorite teas is The Republic of Tea’s Wild Blueberry.

Sadly, this one is lacking. The dry leaves smell more of malty black tea than blueberries. I was expecting a strong blueberry scent while the tea was brewing, like other blueberry teas I’ve had. I couldn’t smell anything at all! There is only the faintest hint of blueberries if you put your face directly in the cup. The flavor is robust and malty, with a light blueberry aftertaste. There is a hint of bitterness that lingers, even after adding milk and sweetener. I’m glad I was able to try this tea, but I think I will stick to my juicy, bursting-with-blueberry-flavor Wild Blueberry tea. :)

One of our foster kittens just stuck her face in my tea! She has actually done this every day since she has learned to jump up on the table. As soon as she hears me making tea she comes running. All annoyingness aside, it is pretty cute. She’s the runt of the litter and we found out yesterday that she will be staying with us for two more months since she needs another (sigh) hernia repair. I am not complaining – I love that little tea drinking cat!

-Dry blend has medium black tea leaves and twigs.
-Dry leaves smell of malty black tea with a blueberry aroma. Tea liquor aroma is lightly of sweet blueberries.
-Tea liquor is a cloudy very dark brown color.
-Robust malty flavor and finish. Faint blueberry aftertaste with a touch of bitterness.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Poor tea. Very weak blueberry flavor with a lingering bitterness.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec
TheTeaFairy

no Ikea carried tea either!

TheTeaFairy

oops, meant to say «no idea they carried tea»

Josie Jade

Me either! I’ve never even been to an IKEA store, although we have one within a 3 hour drive of us. I may have to go in now! :)

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80

I had a tin of this in teabag form a few years ago and remember loving it. The cup I’m enjoying now is from the Traveling Tea Box and it is in loose form, so I was curious as to whether it would taste the same as I remembered. The aroma of the dry leaves is much the same – soft, fresh coconut. The tea liquor has a hint of spiciness in its aroma. The flavor is light coconut with a note of pepperiness thrown in. There is a smooth and sweet clove finish that I think is why I like this tea so much. The cardamom and ginger come in mainly in the aftertaste with a warming spiciness, but not too overwhelming. No surprise that this tea is best with a little milk and sugar, it is a chai after all! This tea is a little more peppery than I remembered, but it may be because it is in loose-leaf form. I am enjoying this cup all the same, and have been reminded of how quickly I went through a tin of this tea before!

-Dry blend has a mixture of medium black tea leaves and twigs with large pieces of spices.
-Dry leaves smell softly of fresh coconut. Tea liquor aroma is of warm coconut with a hint of spiciness.
-Tea liquor is a clear medium orange color with an oily sheen on top.
-Light coconut flavor with a note of pepperiness. Smooth and sweet clove finish. Slightly warming and bold spicy aftertaste.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Very good tea. A sweet and warming spicy chai with a touch of fresh coconut.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Janefan

I adore all thing coconut… and I need more chai. I may have to pick some of this up when I go off tea-buying hiatus (next year?)

Josie Jade

I love coconut too! I feel like they have this in the bagged version at World Market and also Earth Fare! I think I actually prefer the bagged version for this tea, too! It seems more coconutty and less peppery-spicy.

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100

Another winner from the Traveling Tea Box! I think I’ve been fond of every tea so far from this box with the exception of the Butter Truffle, and even that one wasn’t too terrible! I wasn’t sure what was in this Jane Austen Mafia blend, but I had read many favorable reviews of it, and decided to give it a go. I was happy to discover that it is blackberry, vanilla and cream. Adagio’s cream is one of my all-time favorites. The dry leaves smelled like maple syrup to me, but the tea itself is all heavy cream with a hint of berry sweetness. The flavor of this one is absolutely perfect – juicy blackberry with a sweet cream finish. The strong aftertaste is of blackberry and vanilla and it lingers nicely. There are also delicious malty undertones that keep me wanting to take just one more sip! This one is definitely going on the to-order list. Thank you, Traveling Tea Box, for making my wish list that much longer! :)

-Dry blend has medium black tea leaves and twigs with pieces of green blackberry leaves.
-Dry leaves smell of cream and maple syrup. Tea liquor aroma is of heavy cream with a hint of berry sweetness.
-Tea liquor is a clear dark reddish brown color.
-Juicy blackberry flavor with a sweet cream finish. Strong blackberry and vanilla aftertaste that lingers. Delicious malty undertones.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Excellent tea. Perfect blackberry and cream flavor with a note of maltiness.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Fuzzy_Peachkin

oooh! Sounds like a good blackberry blend. Must go on shopping list to try!

Cavocorax

Ooooh, I ordered some of this. I can’t wait for it to arrive!
#LiteraryTeaNerd

Tea Sipper

I’ll have to try Adagio’s Cream since Adagio & cream teas are some of my favorites on their own. :D

Josie Jade

I really liked this one, hope you do too. And Tea Sipper, Adagio’s cream is definitely worth a try! I like cream teas a lot too :)

Janefan

This is on my wish list for the name alone!

Cavocorax

Haha. It’s half the reason I bought it, truth be told. That and TARDIS – I got someone on Steepster in the US to order both of those for me and send them to me in Canada just so I could finally get my hands on it.

Josie Jade

I loved the name, too! Glad the tea was awesome also! :)

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100

I had a cup of this late last night before bed. I wondered about this one – I love mint and chocolate but am a little more reserved in my feelings about about rooibos. The dry leaves smell wonderful, with no trace of rooibos. I could definitely identify the cooling smell of the peppermint right away. The flavor is mainly of mint with just a little trace of chocolate. I wish the chocolate was a little more strong, but I realize that this could be because it’s been in the Traveling Tea Box for awhile perhaps. The best thing about this tea is that is has no mediciney rooibos flavor – hooray! I added a little sugar and it brought out a little more of the chocolate flavor. On a whim, I added a bit of milk and it made it absolutely perfect – soft and smooth and very comforting. This is a wonderful, calming cup of tea for right before bed, with just a little desserty sweetness to satisfy my sweet tooth!

-Dry blend has small red rooibos and small pieces of green mint leaves with pieces of cocoa.
-Dry leaves smell lightly of chocolate with a hint of fresh peppermint. Tea liquor aroma is heavily of mint with a small note of chocolate.
-Tea liquor is a clear dark reddish brown color.
-Strong and sweet minty flavor and finish. Subtle chocolate and cooling peppermint aftertaste.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Excellent tea. A refreshing cup of mintiness with a touch of sweet chocolate. No rooibos flavor noticeable. Perfect before bed with a splash of milk.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec
Tea Sipper

I had this one last night too — mainly because I had a headache. It does seem like it has slightly dimmed in flavor a bit, even in its original pouch.

Josie Jade

It’s still wonderful, though! I thought about melting a piece of chocolate right in my cup to make it a little more chocolatey! :)

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90

First cup of the day from the Traveling Tea Box. Last night was a somewhat late night, and even after sleeping in, I definitely needed something to wake me up this morning. My mom and I went to see Cesar Millan last night, and it was a very good show. That man amazes me with what he is able to do with dogs!

The dry leaves of this tea smell strongly of honey. I can detect a little baked cookies aroma. The tea itself smells wonderfully of warm cookies with a hint of sweet honey and nuts. The tea has a slight oily sheen on top, which I am guessing is from the nuts. I love biscotti, and the flavor of this tea is very close. The flavor is of fresh baked biscotti with a nuttiness to it and a honeyed sweet finish. There is a light nutty and bready aftertaste that is very satisfying. I added some sweetener, which really didn’t make much of a difference either way, but adding milk brings out a silky smoothness which feels quite nice. Now if we only had some biscotti in the house to go with this cup!

-Dry blend has small black tea leaves with slivers of nuts.
-Dry leaves smell strongly of sweet honey with a hint of baked cookies. Tea liquor aroma is of warm cookies with a hint of sweet honey and nuts.
-Tea liquor is a clear dark brown color with an oily sheen on top.
-Fresh baked biscotti and nutty flavor with a honeyed sweet finish. Light nutty and bready aftertaste.
-Best with milk. Sweetener optional.
-Very good tea. Sweet honey and cookie flavor. Silky smooth mouthfeel.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Veronica

I took some of this from the tea box, but I’ve yet to try it. I might brew myself a cup this afternoon. Your description sounds wonderful!

Josie Jade

I hope you like it too, Veronica! I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it this morning! :)

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Bio

Just a Southern girl who loves sunshine, little dogs and all things tea!

I love animals and animal rescue. We have a rescued Chihuahua, Greyhound, Siamese and 2 Tabbies. We also foster kittens for the local humane society.

My favorite teas are sweet and malty black teas but I try to branch out and taste them all. :)

“Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things.”

Rating Guide:
10 – Awful tea, wouldn’t purchase again
20 – Poor tea, wouldn’t purchase again
40 – Fair tea, might purchase again
60 – Good tea, likely to purchase again
80 – Very good tea, very likely to purchase again
100 – Excellent tea, will definitely purchase again

Location

North Carolina

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