123 Tasting Notes

drank Zealong Pure by Chicago Tea Garden
123 tasting notes

Drinking this is a pleasure. Nice spring floral melody with mildly roasty undertones. Just astringent enough to make you want to drink more, but the astringency is tempered by the natural sweetness. In fact, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to add sweetener to this — it’s that sweet. The first feature that hits you is the great soft yet bright honeysuckle flavor, followed immediately by the surprising butteriness. Together, this rated a spontaneous ‘wow’ and a smile. Not a bad tea day! Only one caveat: if, like me, you steer away from perfumey teas, even if naturally perfumey, this might be too much for you since it was almost at my limit. It would be great to serve to guests you’re hoping to expose to great teas.

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drank Coco*Loco by American Tea Room
123 tasting notes

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I usually avoid jasmine but after drinking this tea I can totally see its appeal. This is a perfect proportional blend of flavor notes. I prefer the plain silver needle version of this tea, but this jasmine variation is no slouch. The fragrance is like that blissful inhale of a good green tie guan yin, though more pronounced, and the flavor carries it through all the way. Drinking this on an overcast day might fool you into thinking the sun is out.

Tastes natural, smooth, almost delightful. Holds its flavor well for multiple steeps.

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By far the most predominant feature I picked up in this blend is the unmistakable scent of fermenting apples. Honeydew appears for an instant but then the flavor flattens out. The addition of honey took down the fermented fruit smell but still didn’t leave me with much to recommend it.

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Clever way to evoke toasted marshmallows! This tea is fun to try. The lapsong is a complement rather than front forward, so folks who shy away from strong smokiness have nothing to fear here. Brewed one cup plain and another with added almond milk, which seemed to water it down rather than enhancing it. Just a little astringency on the finish. I’m picking up almond flavor, as well. Folks who are drawn to flavored teas would probably rate this much higher.

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drank A Love Affair by Custom-Adagio Teas
123 tasting notes

Gentle tea, well-rounded flavors. The mint is refreshing without being strong. This is perfect for folks who would enjoy a soft mint tea. The chocolate flavor is faint but does a nice job of adding an interesting depth. Thanks to KiTT for blending and sharing this. Really quite delightful, would be great iced, as well.


YAY! Glad you enjoyed! :)


And I’m not even a mint fan. It’s refreshing and soothing at the same time. Brewed stronger, this would make a great base for a cocktail, maybe a mohito?

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Soapy! I can pick out the orange but it’s buried in a strong soapy smell and flavor… I love puerh but couldn’t even finish the cup. Looking at everyone else’s reviews I’m wondering if I somehow got a bad batch.


You’re not having any tea luck this morning! :(

Chi of Tea

its the same batch as everyone else, could there have been actual soap left in the cup or water somehow?


Chi of Tea: good question(!), but there was definitely no soap in the cup or water. I think it might be the orange flavoring that smells and tastes that way to me. I still smell it in the dry tea. Thanks for your response.

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drank Valentines by Adagio Teas
123 tasting notes

You know when someone who’s wearing just way too much perfume walks up to you and you try to politely step back out of the cloud of it? That was my experience drinking this tea. It was overkill for me. I’ll make one more attempt using almond milk as some have suggested but I admit I’m not into a lot of flavoring, unless it’s a complement instead of brash center stage. If you don’t like perfume clouds, stay away.

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I’m a dark chocolate enthusiast so I was psyched to try this, based on its name: double dark. Sounds dark, doesn’t it? Trust me, it’s not. So I initially gave it a low rating for not being dark and for being bland and watery. Put it in the recesses of my cupboard. Then, having pulled it out for a steepster swap recently I tried it again, this time with an extra long brew time, well beyond the recommended 7 minutes. Big difference. This is one of those teas that really benefit from being kept hot while steeping, and in fact it seems best off being left in the cup till the end. I like it with a little splash of almond milk and it can also take a little dash of cinnamon or shot of whatever alcohol you like with your hot chocolate. Still not double dark at all, but a nice drink on a cold day or evening.

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Smokey, maybe 25% as smokey as a lapsong souchong, especially predominant on the first steep. I’m thinking smoked figs, as if such a thing exists. Nice cup of tea to muse over. Medium-bodied with nice balance of flavors. 2nd steep still flavorful, with the smoke diminishing to an undertone.

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Strong preference for exploring teas au naturel, and unflavored (except for unprocessed ingredients, e.g., cocoa shells/nibs, vanilla beans, flowers, fruits…). Favorites lean in the direction of rich caramelly, malty blacks, any puerh, fresh floral oolongs and whites that have some dimension.

I am always up for swaps.

Beyond the experience of tea, I’m interested in exploring its medicinal aspects. Other interests … yoga, creative veggie cooking, environmental issues, animal welfare, music/guitar, lefty politics, preventive health/nutrition, biking, swimming, foosball, photography.

Here’s how I rate ’em:

95+: euphoria-inducing, le petite mort
91-94: extraordinary, exhilarating
85-90: delicious
81-84: definitely enjoyable
75-80: good, solid stuff
65-74: I’ll drink it, but without enthusiasm
45-64: something redeeming about it, but not much
31-44: just barely drinkable


Metro DC

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