80 Tasting Notes

drank Lemon Soleil by Adagio Teas
80 tasting notes

I remember once having a boxed set of tea as a teenager which was a black tea and lemon blend. I loved this set and devoured it – I was never able to find or duplicate it again. I couldn’t remember the company of blend- although, seriously, grocery stores don’t have that much variety so never solved that little mystery.

Anyway, I’m gungo-ho to try lemon blends because of that nice box experience. It can be so hit or so miss. There’s different lemon flavors, applications of it, and sometimes it works alone…sometimes it just doesn’t.

This one isn’t exactly bad, but it has an unpleasant bitterness I don’t understand. It’s not supposed to be a strong tea, a breakfast tea, or a brisk tea – lemon tea should be pleasant and bitter free. I did do a healthy teaspoon of brew, but this is my staple spoon and staple size with my staple cup – bitterness is rarely a problem due to user effort.

There’s a citrus bitterness/astringency but it’s not wholly lemon. I would guess, if trying blind, this was a blood orange black tea. There isn’t sunny, tartness, or freshness.

Not nauseating, but not something I drool over.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Citrus, Lemon, Orange Zest

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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drank Florence by Harney & Sons
80 tasting notes

A pleasant tea that reminds me of a Giovanni Cocoa powder I had in my cupboard for awhile. This double chocolate cocoa powder smelled great but was kind of crappy as a hot chocolate – I’m NOT saying this is crappy as a cocoa tea, but they remind me of each other. Basically the taste of THIS reminds me of the aroma of THAT. Get it? Don’t feel bad if you don’t – I don’t fully get myself either.

I’m more of a cocoa in tea fan than I used to be. It can be so hit or miss. I prefer when it’s mixed with OTHER. The sample I am using now is pretty old, so I may not be getting the full effect. Have some more ordered and on the way so will do an updated tea taste note then. For now, the taste is very good and has cocoa coating the tea. The two aren’t particularly distinguishable but blended. Nice stuff.

I’m kind of curious about this mixed with other teas or maybe some tea latte.

Flavors: Cocoa

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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drank Anxi Tieguanyin by Zen Tea
80 tasting notes

I’ve had this sample awhile. It’s weird because it looks like I never logged owning it in my cupboard, when I usually put everything in as soon as I get it. It’s also not on the website anymore, so I guess they don’t sell it now – they do have Anxi Dark, which sounds very similar, so it could have replaced it, but that one lists some differences (like peach) that this doesn’t have, so I don’t think so.

Either way, this one turned out nice. I liked it a lot – it had a grassy, earthy, nutty flavor. Sometimes I would sip in a mild, subtle cocoa, but other sips it seemed absent. When the cocoa was absent, it wasn’t missed; when it was there, it was welcomed.

It’s funny that this dark-roasted tea produces a relatively light cup. I didn’t have much of the sample left, so only brewed in half a cup rather than a full. Very vibrant, smooth flavor – not brisk or robust, but it’s great as it stands.

I’ll have to try the other Anxi sometime, although I really don’t think they’re the same tea. I will also try the same type of tea from Verdant.

Flavors: Cocoa, Grass

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

I’ve had some weirdness with teas that I know for certain I logged in my cupboard disappearing from it. I’ve been emailing Jason about it, so hopefully the issue will get resolved soon. I hate the idea of stuff being missing – I don’t keep a spread sheet, so if it’s not logged in my Steepster cupboard, it’s not logged anywhere.


Oh this could be it. I swear I logged another tea as a review a few years ago but can’t find it now. Discouraging. May start backing up steepster notes at least. I really depend on them with my memory.

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drank Blood Orange by Zen Tea
80 tasting notes

Zen Tea continues to impress me with their teas and all I’m sampling from them.

There is nothing really wrong with this tea, I just don’t think it’s my style. I like spicy orange and lemon, but have never tried a blood orange tea. The blood orange does not seem artificial at all, and it does a great job of blending in the background, popping out it’s flavor, without overpowering the black tea. It is not cloying or fake. There is the small taste of acidic bitterness an orange has, but no bitterness in the tea. I’m glad the black tea does not have a bitterness of its own – otherwise that could be a disaster.

The tea also leaves behind a nice taste in the mouth – clean and similar to drinking citrusy drinks. Overall the quality of the tea is quite good, it’s just a flavor that I’m going to keep around as a staple.

Flavors: Orange

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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drank Chai by Twinings of London
80 tasting notes

I use the teabag form – gasp!

I drank again at work today. There’s just something about their chai. It’s slightly flat, but I really love the combination of flavors. In fact, surprisingly, I still haven’t found another chai – loose leaf included that quite rivals it. On the search, because I know it’s out there. And, ya know, being a chai fan, I really MUST have a divine loose leaf chai.

195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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drank Lady Grey by Twinings
80 tasting notes

It really doesn’t make any sense that I like this tea.

For the most part, I don’t like Earl Grey and Bergamot oil flavorings. Or maybe I just don’t like Earl Grey, since Paris by Harney & Sons is enjoyed by me (although the bergamot part is my least liked part of it, hmm…..)

Either way, this is also a bagged tea. For some reason I really dig it though. I have drank almost two boxes in the past year or so, which is good for me. Despite being a bagged tea, Lady Grey, the Holiday Spice, and English Breakfast from Twinings always taste great to me.

Here’s a nod to Lady Grey, a bagged tea that, for whatever mysterious reason, accomplishes something with me. It’s a happy cup that’s cheerful, smooth, easy, bright with citrus but not tang or astringency.

Flavors: Bergamot, Lemon

185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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A very good breakfast tea, my last try from the samples I ordered.

Robust, malty, black, smooth, and definitely layered for a nice wake-up appeal. Definitely drink this one hot, because I didn’t care for the flavor when it got cooled down too much.

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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drank Lapsang Souchong by Zen Tea
80 tasting notes


Well, I have never had Lapsang Souchong. I’ve been reading descriptions about it lately, and see many don’t like it. I was curious about the smoky and campfire description, so I tossed a sample in with my recent Zen Tea order. I’m digging most of the teas I’ve tried from this company.

I opened the bag and took several big sniffs – they aren’t kidding when they say it smells like smoky campfires and the whiff of bacon that has cooked. I like bacon as much as any person but wasn’t sure how much I’d like drinking anything with it’s flavor!

I steeped at a smidge over four minutes in a five ounce cup, poured over with boiling water from the tea kettle.

I really had no idea if I’d like it – first, I’m picky. Second, I’ve never drank anything like this. I’m delighted to say I actually do like it quite a bit. It’s not something I could drink all the time, but the smoky flavor and uniqueness appeals to me. After it had cooled down a little, I found big gulps tasted good. I like the aftertaste. I added a tiny bit of sugar and I find that helps bring the flavor out more. I almost feel the smokiness slightly in my chest and it’s an enjoyable, almost decongestant feeling. The sugar mixed with the smokiness is a great idea for me.

I can picture this type of tea with the woods, campfires, road trips, old fashioned cowboys on journeys, the moon high in the sky with fog. It would be cool to have a woodsland or moon-centered name with this kind of tea. I’m cheesy like that, ok? And I make no apologies about it by this age in my life. :)

As it cools, it tastes even better still warm. Having a cold drink nearby to sip in between makes this even more enjoyable. That’s a weird thing I do when drinking hot tea a lot of the time.

And for some reason I think an addition of blueberry flavor or other dark berry would taste enticing with a Lapsang Souchong.

Flavors: Smoke

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

I’ve been in the mood to have this again, having cravings. Must have been a closet Lapsong addict.

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As it brewed:

I was hesitant on trying Scottish Breakfast tea since the one time I tried an Irish Breakfast Blend, it almost curled my toes off. I know the Scottish can prefer stronger drinks in general. I brewed at three minutes for fear it would be too strong for me (it wasn’t!)

This turned out to be a tastefully done, pleasant black morning tea. Nothing brisk stands out to me, but there is a definite maltiness that I enjoy the most from the tea. Smooth and very pleasant stuff. No bitterness at all when full heat, a little comes through as it cools

It’s fine without sugar, but I added a little since that’s my thing. I put in a dab of milk after the tasting just to see and I can honestly say it’s not needed as I really don’t find a taste difference. It’s creamy on its own.

I drank while eating a leftover piece of Pumpkin Pie, and they went very well together.

If you are wanting a black tea that’s smooth for the mornings; this is a good one to try.

Flavors: Malt

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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I was very curious about trying this one from the description.

It’s a beautiful color and I steeped three minutes with just under boiling water from the kettle in my 5 ounce cup. Next steep I will try 4 minutes to see if I bring out more flavor and all the way boil, with some cooling.

I don’t get much spice note at the end, but there are glimpses of it sometimes. It is a pleasant, soothing black tea with a nice reddish brown color left behind in the cup. A black tea that makes me feel tranquil and peaceful. Smooth with no astringency or bitterness.

A great black tea when you’re looking for a standard black tea – good with and without sugar. Milk wouldn’t make sense to me in this one, it’s not a breakfast tea. It’s smooth, not brisk, very peaceful.

I drank this with a small piece of Cheesecake. I hadn’t mixed tea and cheescake before but it definitely works. Delicious! This would be one of those soothing black teas that would fit a hot bath and good book perfectly. More of an evening, relaxing blend over a morning wake-up call.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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Okay, I’m much more of a tea noob than many here – and apparently a little bit of a cheapskate as well.

I can’t help it, I love the old fashioned porceline cups with dainty handles and cherry blossom tree designs. Novelty teapots will make me giggle like a child in a candyshop. I could browse online stores and stare at teaware for hours. I get all into high teas foods and treats.

I dislike mint and most florals, especially Jasmine (yech). Don’t care for Earl Grey (Bergamot flavours) but love English Breakfast. Not into bitter and highly astringest.

I’m a black tea nut. Love almost all forms of the stuff – especially digging Phoenix Pearl from Zen tea right now, divine. Strangely, I’m not a darjeeling fan. I do dig Oorlongs and recently found and fell in love with Lapsang. Like golden teas.

Most of the Green tea I’ve tried isn’t for me, although I have a love for Coffee Shop of Horror’s Bog Goblin Green Ginger tea. Funny since I’m not crazy about lemongrass, dislike strong ginger in BLACK tea, and am not a green tea fan – but I love this tea. Go figure.

I’ve cut back a lot on sweet, iced tea because of weight/diet, but when I do drink that stuff, I’ve taken to iced tea cubes and fruit cubes over regular ice cubes. A lot of fun experimenting with and works so much better. No watering down.

Phoenix Pearl by Zen Tea
Golden Monkey (Harney & Sons or other source)
Paris by Harney & Sons
Bog Goblin Lemon Ginger Tea by Coffee Shop of Horrors
Assam Melody by Adagio Teas
Christmas Tea (Bags) by Twinings
Lapsang Souchong by Zen Tea
Florence by Harney & Sons

On the lookout for my perfect loose leaf Breakfast Tea and my ultimate Chai blend…

Besides tea, I love BOOKS and reading all sorts of things – run the website, The Paperback Stash, and active on Goodreads for several years. Also a huge music lover – books and music are my mains. Have an last.fm account and over 100 created playlists on 8tracks under JCFantasy23. Christian for life. Have a mean cat I love, a house bunny, two hermit crabs, and a black moor goldfish. People wise, blessed with the greatest son in the world, amazing parents and brother, perfect friends. Life is good.


Lakeland, Florida, United States

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