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358 Tasting Notes

90
drank Taurus by Nina's Paris
358 tasting notes

This was the last of my loose-leaf samples that I had to log. And just as I was brewing this cup, the mail arrived with new samples, ha! I don’t think I will ever be caught up. But I look forward to trying the new samples when I get home from the beach on Friday.

I saved this sample for last because I was pretty excited about it. I don’t love rooibos, but all of the other teas that I’ve tried from Nina’s have been so well balanced that I figured this one would be worth a try. The dry leaves smell of fresh strawberries with a hint of rooibos. The tea in my cup has a rooibos and jammy strawberry aroma. The flavor is bursting with fresh strawberries and cream. There is really only a little rooibos noticeable in the aftertaste. This is really a great tea and I am loving this fresh strawberry flavor. Perfect for summer, and I bet it would be wonderful iced! Thank you, Sophie and Laurent from Nina’s Paris for this sample!

-Dry blend has red rooibos with pieces of dried strawberries.
-Dry leaves smell like fresh strawberries with a hint of rooibos. Tea liquor aroma is of rooibos and jammy strawberry.
-Tea liquor is a clear medium reddish orange color.
-Fresh strawberry flavor and finish. Light berry and cream aftertaste with a hint of rooibos.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Very good tea. Fresh and juicy strawberry flavor with a heavy cream note. Only a small rooibos flavor noticeable in the aftertaste.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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40
drank Spiced Plum by Harney & Sons
358 tasting notes

Somehow this little Harney’s sample has seemed to escape my notice until now. It smells wonderfully of spicy cinnamon and sweet plum. The tea is a thick, dark reddish purple color. Wow, this is tart! The flavor is all mouth-puckering plum with a cinnamon aftertaste. Adding a little sweetener cuts down on the tartness, but it is still a little overwhelming. I probably wouldn’t have bought this tea if I had realized that there’s hibiscus in it. If you like hibiscus this would probably be a nice winter blend for you.

-Dry blend is a mixture of very small pieces of hibiscus and cinnamon.
-Dry leaves smell overwhelmingly of spicy cinnamon with a hint of sweet plum. Tea liquor aroma is of rich cinnamon and fruity plum.
-Tea liquor is a thick dark purple red color.
-Very tart plum flavor and finish. Light burning cinnamon aftertaste.
-Best with sweetener.
-Fair tea. Very tart plum flavor with a strong note of spicy cinnamon.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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50

Ick. This one is not good. The mediciney rooibos is much too strong, and there’s more of an apple flavor than a pear flavor present in my opinion. Adding milk and sweetener helps to bring out the pear and tone down the rooibos, but not enough to make me want to drink another cup!

-Dry blend has red rooibos with yellow petals and pieces of dried fruit.
-Dry leaves smell sweet and of apples. Tea liquor aroma is of rooibos and warm apple.
-Tea liquor is a clear medium reddish brown color.
-Strong rooibos flavor with an apple and pear finish. Light mediciney rooibos aftertaste.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Fair tea. More of an apple flavor than pear. Strong rooibos flavor noticeable.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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70

First cup of the day. I am trying to hydrate with water in between all of my tea drinking. My running group starts back tonight after a 3 week break. I haven’t done much running during the break, since I’ve been so busy with house stuff and vacations and getting ready to start school. Whoops. I hope I don’t fall over during the run tonight, how embarrassing!

I’ve finally moved on to the big box of teabags that I have to get through in the pantry. I only have 3 loose leaf teas left to rate and either put in tins or in the swap pile. Those 3 are all decaf, so I was happy this little fully caffeinated teabag was lying right on top of the box this morning when I looked. I’ve always enjoyed The Republic of Teas’s blends, and the little round teabags are so cute. This teabag smells a little artificial, but not terribly so. I can’t smell any of the sage in the dry teabag, and only a little hint of it in the brewed tea. The flavor is nice, with a fruity blackberry flavor and finish. The only sage that I can detect in the flavor is a small bit of it in the aftertaste. This tea is definitely more blackberry than sage. The blackberry is also not really quite ripe blackberry flavor, more of an almost candy-like, artificial blackberry. With that being said, it is still a nice tea and I am enjoying this cup.

-Round unbleached teabag.
-Teabag smells of artificial blackberries. Tea liquor aroma is lightly of blackberries with an herb note.
-Tea liquor is a clear medium orange brown color.
-Fruity blackberry flavor and finish. Light berry aftertaste with a very faint hint of sage.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Good tea. Somewhat artificial soft blackberry flavor. Very subtle hint of sage.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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60
drank Decaf Earl Grey by Adagio Teas
358 tasting notes

Last cup of the evening. Today has been a busy day. The fiancee got home from St. Louis late last night and I’m leaving Tuesday morning for the beach, so we had a lot of house paperwork to get organized while we were together. We were able to go to the pool for a little while, which was nice.

I love Adagio’s Earl Grey Moonlight, and was hoping this would at least be a little similar. The dry leaves and the tea both smell very light. The initial flavor is a little dissapointing because it has that cardboard-like taste from decaf teas. I found that the bergamot and citrus flavors were very light. The milk and sweetener helped to mask the stale cardboard flavor, but didn’t do much to improve the earl grey flavors. Overall, this is an ok cup. I will probably only finish the sample pack because it is decaf and I can have it right before bed.

-Dry blend has medium black tea leaves and twigs with pieces of dried orange peel and small blue petals.
-Dry leaves smell softly of bergamot. Tea liquor aroma is of very light citrus.
-Tea liquor is a clear very dark brown color.
-Cardboard malty flavor with a citrusy finish. Light bergamot aftertaste.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Good tea. Odd flavor from the decaf black tea with a faint hint of bergamot and citrus.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Serenity

Yes, that cardboardy taste! Oh, decaf teas…I keep trying!

Josie Jade

Me too, Serenity! I like Adagio’s decaf raspberry and decaf tropics, though!

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100

Oh, I really love this one. It’s a beautiful blend with big tea leaves and pretty rose petals. There is a light, sweet grape aroma that just makes me happy. The flavor is lightly sweet with a floral note. The aftertaste is heavenly – sweet grapes and rose. I added a little sweetener and then some milk. The sweetener brought out more of the grapey notes, and although I was hesitant to try the milk, it actually added a nice creaminess to the cup. This is one that I would definitely purchase again! It’s like a warm summer day with meadows of flowers and sunshine in a teacup!

-Dry blend has large black, brown and green tea leaves with pink and yellow rose petals.
-Dry leaves smell of sweet grapes. Tea liquor aroma is of floral rose with a hint of grape.
-Tea liquor is a clear dark yellow color.
-Faintly sweet flavor with a light floral finish. Soft sweet grape and rose aftertaste.
-Best with sweetener. Milk optional.
-Excellent tea. Delicate and sweet grape flavor with a hint of perfumey rose.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Fuzzy_Peachkin

Sounds lovely!

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Second attempt at making matcha. Thank you, Ninavampi for this sample! I think I preferred the amaretto flavor. I added a little milk to this one, which helped, but the spiciness in the pumpkin pie flavor seems to be taking center stage. It’s drinkable, just not something that I would ever prefer over a nice cup of strong, malty black tea. Maybe I’m not making it correctly, even though I looked up directions on making matcha. All of the lattes and things that everyone makes with matcha sound so good, but I think I prefer a simple cup of tea where I just pour hot water over some leaves. I think I am just not a lover of matcha, sigh.

-Dry blend is a powdery green matcha.
-Dry leaves smell strongly of cinnamon. Tea liquor aroma is of spicy pumpkin pie.
-Tea liquor is a thick dark green color with foam on top.
-Vegetal flavor with a strong spicy finish. Light pumpkin pie and clove aftertaste.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Fair tea. Very strong spicy flavor with just a hint of pumpkin.

QueenOfTarts

I agree! This matcha had too much spice and not enough pumpkin for me — I didn’t get any pumpkin pie flavor in it to be honest. I do like matcha, but find that I prefer the red base more than the green.

Josie Jade

Glad I’m not the only one, QueenOfTarts! I will have to try the other types of matcha. I’m sadly not loving the regular green matcha, but am curious if the black or red may appeal to me more. :)

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Well, this is my first experience with real matcha, and I don’t quite know what to think. I’ve heard so many great things from matcha lovers that I just assumed I would love it. I forgot that matcha is made from green tea, which for starters is just not my favorite. (I know, I know, how could I not realize that!) After some quick reading on how to prepare matcha I finally sifted and whisked my little cup. It got foamy on top, which I think is a good thing. It was a lot more vegetal tasting than I was prepared for. I can taste the amaretto flavor and it’s good, it’s just also very thick in texture. I am enjoying it much better once it cools with a little sugar added. And the fiancee is actually kind of loving it, so that’s a good thing. I have another flavor of matcha that I am going to try. Maybe amaretto just isn’t my flavor? Or maybe matcha is just an acquired taste that I will learn to love? Anyways, thanks Mercuryhime for this sample!

-Dry blend is a powdery green matcha.
-Dry leaves smell lightly sweet and fruity. Tea liquor aroma is strongly fruity.
-Tea liquor is a thick dark green color with foam on top.
-Vegetal and sweet fruit flavor and finish. Heavy amaretto almond aftertaste.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Good tea. Thick vegetal flavor with a strong apricot and almond amaretto flavor.

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80
drank Spearmint by Adagio Teas
358 tasting notes

I just discovered that I really like spearmint. I enjoy peppermint too, but sometimes I find that it is almost too strong with the cooling mint. Spearmint seems to be peppermint’s more calm and sweet little cousin. This is a nice soothing cup for after dinner, when you don’t want something too overwhelming!

-Dry blend has medium green and brown pieces of mint leaves and twigs.
-Dry leaves smell freshly of sweet mint. Tea liquor aroma is of cooling mint.
-Tea liquor is a clear medium golden yellow brown color.
-Smooth and sweet minty flavor. Lingering refreshing minty aftertaste.
-Best with sweetener.
-Very good tea. Gentle and sweet mint flavor that isn’t overwhelming.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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50

I’ve had this Adagio sample since forever, and I don’t think that I’ve ever tried it. It’s definitely not what I expected in the flavor. The dry leaves are large and pretty, and have a tangy citrus aroma. The tea smells of soft and sweet citrus. The flavor is of tangy grapefruit and sweet orange. There is almost a creaminess to the aftertaste with a hint of zesty citrus. This definitely is not a pure grapefruit flavor, there is more sweetness than tartness in the cup. It’s also a very delicately flavored cup, as none of the flavors stand out very much. If the flavor were a little stronger then I would rate this tea higher, but it’s still not a tea that I would drink very often.

-Dry blend has large green and brown tea leaves and twigs with pieces of orange peel and yellow petals.
-Dry leaves smell lightly of tea and tangy citrus. Tea liquor aroma is of soft and sweet citrus.
-Tea liquor is a clear medium yellow color.
-Tangy grapefruit and sweet orange flavor. Almost creamy and zesty citrus aftertaste.
-Best with sweetener.
-Fait tea. Nice citrusy flavor, but too light. More notes of orange than grapefruit.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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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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