358 Tasting Notes

20

I picked this one up last summer from the London Tea Room and it was my first experience with pu-erh and mate. My fiancee and I were hoping for a smooth, chocolatey flavored chai, but it wasn’t quite as we expected. I’m rating it today so I can pass it along to someone who will hopefully appreciate it more. The dry leaves smell very sharply of a spicy cocoa. The description mentions a Ayurvedic long pepper, so I am guessing this is the reason for the spicy aroma. The tea liquor is a rather thick, dark brown color with an oily sheen on top. The flavor is overwhelmingly of pepper. A little of the vanilla comes out when sweetener is added, but it is still followed up by a strong pepper taste. It honestly is like drinking liquid black pepper, bleh. This one is just not for me!

-Dry blend is a mixture of small broken black and green leaves, pieces of bark/wood, twigs and coconut slivers.
-Dry leaves smell like sharp, spicy cocoa. Tea liquor aroma is very earthy and peppery.
-Tea liquor is a thick dark brown color with an oily sheen on top.
-Subtle cocoa flavor with an overwhelmingly strong peppery finish.
-Best with sweetener.
-Poor tea. Sweetener brings out the vanilla notes, but the primary flavor is overwhelmingly of pepper.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

I enjoyed it a few times, with Stevia, & then it was just…ok. My son Drew drank the rest of it, I think.

Josie Jade

I tried it with stevia too, which helped a little but not a whole lot. Then when I added milk, just ugh! I couldn’t even finish the cup, which I never do. Oh well, I love every other LTR tea that I’ve tried so I suppose it’s ok that I loathe this one. :)

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90
drank Ceylon Star by DAVIDsTEA
358 tasting notes

First tea of the day. No class today since it’s a holiday, but since I spent my snow day and the weekend reading Anna Karenina I have quite a bit of homework that I need to be doing (sigh). Hopefully with lots of tea breaks I will be able to get everything on my to-do list done! This was the first tea that I ordered from David’s Tea during the holidays and I was pretty impressed when I opened the packet. The blend is pretty, with nice big tea leaves and full-sized pieces of star anise and really large coconut flakes. It’s almost too pretty to drink (almost)! It smells like dark chocolate cocoa with a touch of sweet coconut also. The flavor is nice – not too over-the-top spicy and all of the flavors really complement each other well. I added a little milk and sweetener and that definitely pulls all of the flavors together well and creates a more creamy cup. This tea leaves a lingering licorice flavor in your mouth, lovely!

-Dry blend has large black leaves, star anise, large coconut flakes and pieces of chocolate.
-Dry leaves smell strongly of cocoa with a sweet hint of coconut. Tea liquor aroma is of spicy licorice.
-Tea liquor is a slightly cloudy medium orange color.
-Rich vanilla cocoa flavor with a somewhat spicy licorice finish.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Very good tea. Creamy and warming.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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60
drank Amandine Rose by Teavana
358 tasting notes

This tea looked really good to me when I saw it in one of Teavana’s emails. I love marzipan teas and the rose petals and candied violets decided it for me. The ingredients list rose petals, but I didn’t see any in my bag, and the only candied violets were in one large, kind of strange-looking, clump. The tea liquor smells amazing – all warm marzipan with a really nice sweet floral note. The flavor is lightly of almond and it’s the strong floral finish that leaves the most impression. I really can’t detect any cinnamon at all. Adding sweetener alone seems to only bring out an artificial over-the-top floral-sugary taste, but adding milk and sweetener brings out a more toned down floral flavor and also creates a little creaminess for the almond marzipan base. I will admit that I am a little let down by this tea, I was hoping for a bolder flavor instead of all of the fake floral notes. I don’t dislike this tea, but for the rather expensive price I probably won’t be purchasing any more.

-Dry blend has small black tea leaves, orange petals, pieces of almonds and purple candied violet pieces.
-Dry blend smells nutty, sweet and slightly floral. Tea liquor aroma is of sweet marzipan with a floral hint.
-Tea liquor is a medium orange brown color.
-Faint almond flavor with a strong floral finish.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Good tea. Weak almond/marzipan flavor. Floral notes are slightly artificial.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

I bought some of this once, based on it’s aroma. I kind of liked it the first time I tried it, but after that it was meh…

Josie Jade

I know what you mean, Terri! It smells so good and the description makes it seem like it would be the perfect tea, but the flavor is just lacking unfortunately.

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80

I had high hopes for this tea when I discovered it at Tin Roof Teas. I love fruit-flavored black teas and I love this tea store also. The dry leaves smell just like raspberry yogurt and the tea liquor aroma smells like warm, tart and sweet raspberries. In the past I haven’t really loved this tea, but after experimenting I’ve found that I enjoy it with just sweetener added, which enhances the berry flavor. If milk is added it brings out the creamy, yogurt flavors, which I apparently don’t enjoy as much. This tea would probably be excellent iced as well. I am surprised that I don’t love this tea more, especially since other reviews compared it to Tower of London by Harney & Sons, which I love. I think the Tower of London blend has more of a honey flavor to it, while Anna’s is obviously a yogurt flavor and that may explain my non-love for this tea. I like it, it’s enjoyable to drink (maybe just not every day), but it doesn’t compare to Tower of London in my book.

-Dry blend has black tea leaves and pieces of green raspberry leaves.
-Dry leaves smell like creamy raspberry yogurt. Tea liquor aroma is of warm, sweet raspberries.
-Tea liquor is a medium golden brown color.
-Light malty flavor with a hint of fresh raspberries. Nice, tart finish.
-Best with sweetener. (Milk brings out yogurt flavor).
-Very good tea. Nice tart raspberry flavor with the addition of sweetener.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I love this one! It reminds me more of Marco Polo than Tower of London, though. You are right – ToL is so honeyed, while this one is tangy like yogurt or sour cream. It has all the berry goodness of Marco Polo but not the fussy, easily astringent base. I have all three, but I will be letting Marco Polo go off my shelf when I finish it.

Josie Jade

Yes, Anna’s is reminiscent of sour cream! It made more sense to me when you said that! I haven’t tried the Marco Polo but I love the Tower of London blend!

ashmanra

Same here! When I first went loose leaf, I mentioned wanting to try ToL. It was sold out at Harney at the time, and hubby searched and searched online until he found a tea shop that had some. He gave it to me on our anniversary. After that, I begged Michael Harney to make it available loose leaf, and he agreed to mix up one pound for me. I asked for three, then someone else asked for two (this was all happening on Facebook) and someone else asked for a pound…pretty soon he just said OKAY OKAY! And made it available loose leaf for everyone! :) I love it because hubby looked so hard to find, and he likes it, and there are few flavored teas that he likes!

Josie Jade

Oh what a nice story! I actually have the little sachets of ToL, but I will certainly have to try the loose leaf now!

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60

I’ve had this tea for forever and this is my first time trying it. It was one of those teas that I was so sure of in the store that I just had to purchase it, but after getting home I would smell it and be like why did I buy this again? I used some of this in the 12 days of tea gift that I made for my Mom for Christmas and this was her most favorite out of all the teas, she absolutely loved it. The dry leaves smell overwhelmingly smokey, and I’m not quite sure if I’ll like that as a flavor or not. There is a nice hint of vanilla and berries in the smell also that makes it nice. The flavor is overwhelmingly woodsy with a very strong smokey finish. The berry and vanilla flavors come out more as the cup cools, and there is a nice tartness to the berry flavor. I just can’t get past that lingering smokiness that is left in my mouth! Although I probably will be giving the rest of this bag to my Mom, I wouldn’t mind having a mug of this tea to enjoy outside at night around the fire pit. Unfortunately we don’t use our fire pit very often, so I won’t be purchasing more any time soon!

-Dry leaves are small and black with a few dried fruit pieces.
-Dry blend smells very smokey with an undertone of berries and vanilla. Tea liquor aroma is strongly smokey.
-Tea liquor is a clear dark brown color.
-Strong, woodsy flavor with a hint of berry tartness. Lingering smokey finish.
-Best with sweetener.
-Good tea. Intense smokey flavor. Vanilla flavor becomes more pronounced as the cup cools. Sweetener enhances the nice berry flavor.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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50

I a few samples of The Republic of Tea’s chocolate rooibos blends that I am excited to try. I have a hard time making myself switch from strong black teas to caffeine-free teas in the evening, and I am hoping that these delicious-looking blends will help. The teabag smells chocolatey and has that sweet odd scent from the rooibos. (I’m not a huge fan of rooibos, but am trying to be open minded!) The flavor is alright, it is kind of subtle. I added a little sweetener as I hoped it would enhance the sweeter flavors and also some milk as suggested, but both of these overwhelmed the tea. I was hoping for a more smooth and creamy cup. Although it’s not as good as I hoped, it’s still a nice caffeine-free cuppa for before bed, but probably one that I wouldn’t necessarily purchase a full tin of.

-Round natural unbleached teabag.
-Teabag smells of chocolate and rooibos. Tea liquor aroma is of sweet, warm red velvet cake and icing.
-Tea liquor is a deep reddish-brown color.
-Light chocolate flavor with a mellow red velvet finish.
-Best with a small amount of sweetener. (Milk overwhelms the delicate flavor.)
-Fair tea. Very thin and weak flavor. No creamy cake-like flavor as expected.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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90
drank Coconut Baozhong by Queen Mary
358 tasting notes

I suppose I am having my own little “Sipdown Saturday” today, in between furiously reading Anna Karenina! This tea came to me from Nicole (thank you!) and it smells heavenly. I love anything coconut flavored, and have had a few other coconut oolongs in the past that have been quite nice. This tea is very pretty in it’s dry form – nice, big olive green twisted leaves. The flavor is wonderful, nice and smooth and nutty, with a touch of natural sweetness also. It is not artificial-tasting like some coconut-flavored teas often are. This is my first experience with Queen Mary Tea, but I would certainly order from them after experiencing this tea. They have a very nice website, and their tea room looks so very cute. If I am ever in Seattle I will definitely be dropping by!

-Dry blend has large, twisted green leaves with a few twigs. Leaves unfurl during steeping to large, full-sized leaves that float to the top.
-Dry leaves smell of creamy coconut with a hint of sweetness.
-Tea liquor is a clear, pale yellow color.
-Smooth coconut flavor with a creamy mouthfeel. Lightly sweet finish.
-Best with a little sweetener.
-Very good tea. Sweetener brings out nutty flavors. Very light and satisfying.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

ooohhhh, I just visited their site! What a beautiful looking place, & some very tasty looking teas!

Josie Jade

I agree! Have you had the Coconut Oolong from The London Tea Room? This one reminds me of that!

Terri HarpLady

I have had the coconut oolong from LTR, & it is quite good!
Coincidentally, I was at the London Tea Room today! Tony & I went to breakfast downtown, & then we went to the LTR for tea. He had a pot of the Plum Berry White, & I had a pot of Irish Breakfast.

Josie Jade

Oh I’m jealous! I can’t wait for our next trip to St. Louis and the LTR! I’ve not tried the Plum Berry White or their Irish Breakfast, but I’m sure they’re quite good, as all of their teas seem to be!

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90

I received this tea in the mail today from a swap with nwolf93 and am so excited to try it! It smells good – really sweet with a touch of cinnamon. I’m not the greatest fan of cinnamon, but this tea seems like it has just enough to give it a little spiciness to compliment the other flavors without it being overwhelming. I was worried to see that the tea appears to be a little thin after steeping, but the flavor is perfection – very creamy with marshmallowy goodness. David’s Tea absolutely hit the nail on the head with the flavor and name of this one! I added milk and sweetener, but this tea is so sweet by itself that it would probably be best with milk and just a little sweetener next time. I’m very happy I received this one in the mail today, as it’s a perfect tea to enjoy on a rainy day. Now if I could only build a fire inside and make some smores to go along with it!

-Dry blend has black tea leaves, lots of twigs, tiny marshmallows and pieces of brittle. Marshmallows partially dissolve during steeping.
-Dry blend smells very sweet, like vanilla icing, with a hint of cinnamon. Tea liquor aroma is of warm sugar and cinnamon.
-Tea liquor is a cloudy medium yellow color.
-Toasty with a creamy marshmallow flavor. Sugary-sweet finish.
-Best with milk and sweetener. Not much sweetener is needed.
-Very good tea. Very warming on a chilly day or as an after-dinner dessert tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Cavocorax

Oh I wish I’d tried that. I tried all the other new ones, but for some reason, I skipped this one.

Josie Jade

Would you like to try some? I’m open to a small swap if you would!

Cavocorax

Sure! Let me know if you see anything in my cupboard that you’re interested in. Maybe Della Terra’s S’Mores? Or whatever you like. I’ll let you know if I have enough to send.

Josie Jade

I’ll pm you :)

Miss Starfish

Fantastic review! Made my mouth water, haha!

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90

I received a sample of this from Serenity, along with her high recommendations for this tea! I have been waiting for the perfect moment to make a cup, and with today’s dreary weather and two unwatched episodes of Downton Abbey on DVR this is that moment! I had to give my little Chihuahua some allergy medicine, and our Greyhound is on pain medicine after her dental cleaning, so they are both sound asleep next to me and the house is nice and quiet at last! :)

This tea is really good! I followed Serenity’s instructions for 2 tablespoons of tea and also added some milk and sweetener. It is a nice, strong black tea with a slightly florally-sweet note. It leaves that black tea aftertaste in my mouth, which is just perfect. I think that after a cup of this tea I will be rejuvenated enough to get some more of my english homework done, yay! This is definitely an ideal tea to start the day with, and so onto the shopping list it goes!

-Dry blend is a mixture of black, brown and green colored leaves.
-Dry blend smells malty and a little floral. Tea liquor aroma is malty and musky-floral.
-Tea liquor is a dark brown color.
-Strong, mouth-filling flavor. Slightly astringent. Delicious malty finish.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Very good tea. Rich and robust. Very satisfying as a morning cup.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Blue Mist by Simpson & Vail
358 tasting notes

I am finally getting around to trying this sample that Nicole was so kind to send me. I accidentally (kind of) fell asleep while I should’ve been studying earlier, so now am a bit groggy and need a tea to wake me up so I can get back to my stacks of homework. This tea has a nice, very light fruity scent. I added a little sweetener to this tea, which seems to help to bring out the faint fruity flavor. As soft as this tea’s flavor is, I don’t think that it would stand up very well to milk. The fruity flavor tastes mostly of mango and apricot to me. Overall, a pretty good cup of tea to wake up from a nap!

-Dry blend has tea leaves and a few twigs with small blue and yellow petals. Petals expand during steeping.
-Dry leaves smell lightly of sweet fruit. Tea liquor aroma is of mangoes.
-Tea liquor is a clear orange color.
-Warm fruity flavor with a somewhat malty undertone. Smooth, honey-like finish.
-Best with a little sweetener. Milk would overshadow delicate flavors.
-Good tea. Sweetener brings out banana flavor. Would be perfect as a fruity iced tea during the summer.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

Ok, it’s driving me crazy. You changed your Steepster name at some point, right? What was it originally? Please PM me if your reasons for changing it were to remain anonymous!

Josie Jade

Hi Kittenna! Yes, I did change my name from Miss SweeTea. This was my first venture into online communities (besides Facebook) and I didn’t know what to expect. Once I began to love Steepster I saw another user change her name and I decided to change mine to my real name. (Sometimes people would refer to me Miss SweeTea and I wouldn’t even realize it was me, ha!) Sorry for any confusion, no more name changes!

Kittenna

Oh, no worries at all!! I changed my name on here too, and I’m sure it threw people for a loop. I just could not for the life of me figure out who you “used to be”, haha. Thank you! :D

ashmanra

Oh, hi! I didn’t realize it was you! :)

Josie Jade

Hi Ashmanra! Hope you’re doing well! Did you see/try the Vanilla Gorilla from Tin Roof Teas? I may be making a trip to Raleigh soon :)

ashmanra

I haven’t been in a while but will be heading up there soon! We should try to meet sometime and go to Noodles and Company, then grab a cup of tea and hit Penzey’s. LOL! That is my usual routine. Oh, and going to the antique mall upstairs to gaze at the amazing Victorian carved dog bed.

Josie Jade

I would love that, let me know when you plan to go next. Oh, and gazing at antique carved dog beds is my idea of the perfect day. That little dog in my profile picture would so appreciate one of those. :)

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Omg lol ditto what ashmanra said. I’d been thinking I don’t remember adding this Josie Jade girl but okay lol. Hiii!

Josie Jade

Haha, hello Chrine! Hope you’re doing well!

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Profile

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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