4405 Tasting Notes

drank Black Iced Tea by Tazo
4405 tasting notes


I don’t know if this is the entry for the box of large tea bags/filters or if it’s the entry for the black iced tea you might get at a Starbucks (I very seldom go to Starbucks). Anyway … I’m writing this tasting note for the box of large tea bags/filters.

The best thing I can say about this tea is that I’m glad I didn’t buy it. It was a box that was sent to me as a gift. I would have been very disappointed if I bought this.

I tried brewing this several different ways. I cold brewed the tea filters overnight. The result was a flat and dull tasting black tea. Maybe I’m spoiled because I’ve been drinking so much of the SBT as of late, but, this is definitely lacking.

I also tried hot brewing the filters … I also resteeped via hot brew the tea filters that I cold-brewed. Nothing that I did produced a pitcher of iced tea that I was happy with, and I just realized that the problem is not with the brewing method but the tea itself.

Put simply, it’s just a very sad, sad tea. This is the kind of tea that gives tea a bad rep.


Another nominee for the hall of shame!


As I mention in my review of this tea, I realized as I was drinking it why some people don’t like tea. I wouldn’t like tea either if this was what I was drinking. Tazo/Starbucks/Teavana should be ashamed of themselves.


People always tell me they don’t like tea, yet whenever I insist they taste some that I’ve brewed I only hear their surprise. There’s too much icky tea out there that people can get ahold of. :p

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With my subscription to the Selection Club from Simple Loose Leaf, I have thus far always chose the sampler pack. Hey, I’m a taster, and I find the smaller sizes of five teas to be much nicer for my needs than larger sizes of just one or two teas.

I don’t know that if I were choosing just one or two teas for the month of April, that I would have selected this tea, because generally speaking, herbal tisanes like this (with lots of hibiscus) are not my favorites.

That said, this is a pretty good tisane, and I found that the hibiscus and cranberry seemed to marry much better than some other berries with hibiscus. They are both tarty type of flavors and they meld together in a seamless way.

I liked this better iced than hot. It’s a tasty tisane. Not my favorite, but they can’t all be my favorites, and I liked it enough to not only finish the hot cup when I reviewed it, but also enough to brew a full half-gallon pitcher to enjoy iced the next day.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/04/11/cranberry-breeze-herbal-tisane-simple-loose-leaf/

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drank Valley Green Tea by Shan Valley
4405 tasting notes


After scanning through some of the tasting notes of this tea, I see that this one wasn’t as big a hit with others. I personally liked this one. Of the four teas from Tea Valley, I think that this one represents the daily “go to” type of tea with more of a “green tea” taste … you know … the classic green tea taste: vegetal that falls somewhere between grassy and buttered beans, leaning just a little more toward the grassy than the vegetables. Very subtle nutty notes – not quite as roasted or nutty as the Mountain Roasted Green Tea from Tea Valley, but, still … this is nice.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/04/10/valley-green-tea-shan-valley/

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The aroma of the dry leaf was a little off to me and had a chemical-y smell. Fortunately this didn’t translate in the flavor. I didn’t taste chemicals, I tasted chocolate, caramel, peanuts and the natural nutty notes of the honeybush played to the peanut flavor very nicely.

Really tasty. I don’t know that this is a Peanut Cluster liquefied, but it tastes good.

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Sipping on this one right now, I think that Tea Grotto may have discontinued it. It’s another sampling that I uncovered in my stash.

OK … this is pretty good. The black tea is full-bodied. There’s some astringency to it, but not overly so.

This is a moderately flavored tea. I don’t find the pomegranate to be overly strong, but it’s strong enough to be tasted. My only complaint is that the pomegranate tastes a little bit artificial. It’s not a bad flavor or anything, it just doesn’t taste bright or juicy or like the true fruit, it tastes like pomegranate flavoring.

Again, since this is a discontinued tea and I don’t know how old my sampling is, I am not going to bother rating it.

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I’m having a cup of this tea right now. I came across this in my stash and i have no idea how long I’ve had this sampling. Hopefully it’s not too stale.

Well, the good news is that I don’t think it’s stale. After a few moments of cool time, I can taste the apple and the caramel notes come through nicely. The black tea is brisk. It’s also a tad astringent. I think I’d prefer it to be a little less tannic, but, overall, it’s a tasty tea.

It’s one that I can’t find on the Culinary Teas website anymore, so I guess they’ve discontinued it. While there, I did happen to notice that they’ve changed their website.

Anyway, due to the potential age of this sampling, as well as the fact that it’s no longer available from Culinary Teas, I’m not going to bother rating it.

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I’ve been very happy with the teas that I’ve tried from Tea People.

This one has a really nice balance of sweet and savory. The vegetal tones are a little bit grassy, a little bit like steamed veggies, and even a little kelpy. It has a very invigorating taste, this one is good to sip when you need a little pick-me-up.

Here’s my full-length review of this one: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/04/09/makaibari-silver-green-tea-from-tea-people/

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drank Cumulus by Pelican Tea
4405 tasting notes


I love the dry leaf aroma of this tea, it is warm and spicy from the cinnamon and habanero, and there is a crisp, minty note from the peppermint. There is also a fruity note that I detect … which at first I thought that might be from the green tea, but, I don’t think I’ve ever smelled a fruity note in a gunpowder green … so perhaps the fruitiness comes from the habanero also (peppers are berries, after all).

A really tasty tea. So far, I’ve tried two teas from Pelican Tea and I’ve enjoyed both. The habanero is a little intimidating when I read the label, but once I’m able to get past that and actually taste the tea, I’m very delighted with it.

A very harmonious cup. The spice notes meld beautifully with the cooling peppermint. A good balance without competition for attention.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/04/07/cumulus-green-tea-pelican-tea/

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A very faint dry leaf aroma, almost to the point of being non-existent. Normally I smell something with a pu-erh, but this is very, very faint. The wet leaves, on the other hand, have a very strong vegetal note, like peas.

This very young Pu-erh is more vegetal than earthy, so those who tend to shy away from Pu-erh because it’s overly earthy … this would be one for you to try. It’s much more like a green tea than a Shu Pu-erh.

Sweet, vegetal, buttery, notes of mushroom and steamed veggies with hints of nut. The analogy that I made on my full-length review (see it here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/04/06/fengqing-wild-tree-yesheng-raw-pu-erh-tea-cake-2013-teavivre/ ) is a plate of extra-mild, freshly steamed, sweet spinach topped with lightly sauteed mushrooms (sauteed in butter, of course!) and then topped with thinly sliced almonds – raw almonds.

Quite a lovely pu-erh experience!

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There are two listings for this tea here on Steepster, but since I’ve already written about this tea on this listing, I went with this one.

I like this tea quite a bit. Yeah, it’s on the smoky side, but the smoke notes are soft and don’t interfere with the bergamot notes. A slight malty note to the tea as well, with hints of chocolate. Notes of grapefruit are slightly stronger than the bergamot notes. It’s a really nice medley of flavors.

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I am obsessed with tea!

I am a co-founder of the SororiTEA Sisters:

I also review teas for the Tea Review Blog:

In addition to my passion for tea, I am also a mixed media/altered arts artist. You can see some of my art here: http://eccentricpastiche.blogspot.com

I am also a self-proclaimed foodie. I review local restaurants and the food I buy online here: http://hungryinportland.wordpress.com


My favorite teas are Yellow Teas with most Oolong teas at a close second. As far as “flavored” teas go, I love Earl Grey, Chocolate and Jasmine teas.

I also am intrigued by flavored teas with an unusual or unique flavor combination.


I don’t do a whole lot of swaps anymore, however, I do occasionally sell sampler boxes here: http://liberteas.teatra.de/ I don’t always have sampler boxes available as it depends upon how much time I have as well as packaging supplies. I usually post at least one or two sampler boxes per month, though, so if you’re interested, keep an eye out or PM me and I’ll let you know when I have some posted.


Most of the teas that I record in my notes here are going to have a fairly high rating from me. This is not because I am not discerning, but because I do not usually waste my time on drinking tea I do not care for, nor will I waste my time on writing about it.


Vancouver, WA



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