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45 Tasting Notes

80

Got this in the local David’s Tea a few weeks ago.
It’s pretty good — but if only it had more chocolate flavour!
The mint is quite predominant and overpowers the whiff of chocolate.
Just to see what would happen, I melted a small square of fancy dark chocolate and carefully blended it in. To me, the tea was much better that way.
I added sugar and skim milk.

Now that I’m down to the bottom of the 2-cup mug, I’m finding an unpleasant aftertaste. Maybe the “chocolate mint flavouring”?

One of these days, I’ll find a caffeine-free tea with enough chocolate taste.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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85

This is very nice. As others have said, the mint comes through more than the chocolate – and I wouldn’t mind a bit stronger chocolate taste – but still, it’s a very good flavoured tea. And the rooibos is nicely hidden in the background. Thanks to Starfevre for this sample.

The packaged bag didn’t say how many ounces of water, so I used 8 oz of water with one teabag – and I see now from others’ comments that it’s intended for 6 oz of water. That accounts for a slightly too-mild, too-watery flavour. If I get some more of this, I’ll use less water.

Steeped for 8 minutes, added sugar and skim milk.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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85

Mmmm… this is good!

Nice chocolate flavour, interesting other taste-hints (bit of tang or tart), and the rooibos is nicely in the background. I would buy this one. Thanks, Starfevre!

Steeped for 8 minutes, added sugar and milk.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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75
drank Rooibos Vanilla by Adagio Teas
45 tasting notes

Pretty nice, satisfying tea. Just the right amount of vanilla flavour. Although I did find it slightly bitter/astringent (I know those two things are different, but sometimes they seem to overlap). It could be because I just had a mug full of green tea, and my mouth hadn’t recovered yet.

I would have it again, and I’m pretty sure I’d like it more with some added milk. I usually do that with rooibos, and don’t know why I didn’t think of it this time.

This was the bagged version, named “Vanilla Rooibos” (words reversed) – but a visit to the Adagio website told me that it’s the same stuff as their loose tea. Thanks to Starfevre for the sample.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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77

This was my very first tea order, and my very first foray into the world of teaphilia. I ordered it because a friend on another website waxed ecstatic about it, and I like lemon and love cardamom, so of course I had to try it. I ordered 2 bags from Zoomdweebies.

The dry leaves smell heavenly, lemony and a bunch of other things I can’t place.

The first time I made it (several weeks ago), I knew nothing, and poured boiling water over it and steeped it for 5-6 minutes. Silly me. (Why doesn’t Frank include steeping instructions for complete newbies like me?)

I wanted to keep trying, because I really wanted to have the good experience that my ecstatic friend had with this tea.

In the meantime . . . I’ve expanded my experience with teas a tiny bit, and also bought a tea thermometer. Then today, I read here all about how others are making this tea, and, intending to use 180F water, I immediately forgot what I’d read and used 190F. Sigh.

I tried again, this time carefully waiting until the water reached exactly 180F, and timed the steeping to 2 minutes, 15 seconds. Then I tried a second steep with the same leaves, at 180F and 3 minutes, and got a similar cup. (I wish there were points for persistence.)

The steeped tea is very nice. In contrast to what others are tasting, I can’t really pick out the cardamom, but then, there are so many things going on in this tea, and so many ingredients that I’m not really familiar with (including the chun mee base), that it all comes across to me as a complex, interesting, lemony, grassy, a titch piney flavour. (The pineyness reminded me of Retsina, the Greek wine.)
I think this tea will grow on me as I keep drinking it.

I’m not fond of the astringency, and so maybe will try it next time at under 2 minutes, and/or at 170-175F. Anybody know if there’s a way to offset astringency? I did add about ¼ tsp sugar per cup.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec
52teas

Curious what other website your friend is raving about us on…

Maryann

Healthmonth. I can’t remember who it was. She mentioned in passing that she made a mug of this most fabulous, delicious Lemon Cardamom tea, and so I asked her what it was and where she got it. And the rest is history….
Another on-line friend has since sent me two shoeboxes full of various samples to taste, I’ve stopped pouring boiling water over anything and everything, I’ve (almost) stopped saying that I don’t like black tea, and I’ve even bought a tea thermometer.
A new world has opened to me. :-)

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75

A nice tea, tasting mostly of peach. A slightly bitter (black-tea) aftertaste, maybe I steeped it a titch too long. But some other aftertaste, too, that I can’t put my finger on – a little tart, maybe the hint of tangerine.

I followed the package instructions, which say 1 HEAPING tsp per 6 oz (versus 1 level tsp, as written above) — and that’s a big difference — so maybe I made it a bit too strong.

Anyhow, I found it was good, but not a favourite.
(Thanks, Starfevre!)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

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90

I (still) really like fruit teas, and this one is really good!
So thanks for the sample, Starfevre — you sent it to the right person. :)

The blend of flavours is very nice — I can pick out the apple and orange, and a bit of tartness that isn’t overpowering (hibiscus, possibly rosehips).
It’s definitely all fruity and heady, though. As I get halfway down the 2-cup mug, I start to want something more earthy in it.

But this is all moot, because if the company is defunct then that’s the end of this particular blend. Too bad for me! :(
I’m glad I have enough to enjoy a few more cups of it.

P.S. two weeks later… I just had a second big mug of this, and man, is it good! I upped the rating from 85 to 90. I wouldn’t always be in the mood for a strictly-fruit infusion, but tonight it seemed like a nice idea. I find it such a good blend of flavours. I don’t know what-all is in there, but it’s complex and nicely-balanced and it hits me just the right way. I only wish I could get more of this stuff! (I do have enough for a few more cups, though, thanks again to Starfevre.)

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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65

The main thing I tasted was coconut, against a background of generally mild, brownish things (carob, malted barley, chicory). I picked up a hint of carob and/or cocoa, but not much. I think I would have liked it a lot better if it had had more chocolate flavour.

I dunno, there’s something about coconut in tea — or at least coconut in the teas I’ve tried — to me it tastes sort of soapy or something. Whereas I usually quite like coconut.
So… not terrible, but not all that good either.

It was fun to try it, though – thanks to Starfevre for the sample!

Steeped for 8 minutes. I added 1/3 tsp sugar, and some milk.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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75

Quite a nice, mellow tea. The chocolate and strawberry flavours are low-key (a nice “natural” strawberry, not that candy/bubble-gum taste), and it went down pleasantly. I’ve come to like flavoured rooibos, and rooibos seems to be a good base for this.
(I often want the flavours to be stronger, esp the chocolate, but maybe that’s because I’m a novice and I think I’m drinking hot chocolate.) I would have this again, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for it.
I added 1/3 tsp sugar, and milk.
(Steeped for 14 minutes, oops.)
Thanks to Starfevre for this sample.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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85

So I’m a tea novice and I’ve been trying to cultivate/acquire a taste for black tea. I mean, why not? Then I’d have some more stuff to enjoy in my life. Lots of other things are acquired tastes: coffee, beer, red wine, Indian food. Brushing your teeth.

It’s taken a while, but I think I’m getting there. First there was an Oolong. And now this. (Much thanks to Starfevre for the sample.)

I didn’t expect much from this tea. (After all, it’s a black tea, eh?) When I opened the package, it smelled just like black tea, maybe a titch more interesting. As I prepared it, I was thinking, “Well, if it’s just a black tea and I don’t like it maybe I can cheat and add some chocolate syrup”. ;-)

The taste is really… great! And interesting!
I was so surprised. I’m not sure I have the language to describe the flavour. I looked at notes on other Assam Banasplaty teas — and saw words like “malty” and “smooth” and “slight metallic aftertaste” — and those fit for me. But it has more complexity and interest than that.

I made a big 16 oz mug (using 2 measured tsps of tea leaves), and it was gone in no time. I was careful to steep it for exactly 3 minutes. And I did add sugar and milk — I couldn’t appreciate a black tea without those, as I don’t like the bitter taste.

I wonder, is this one of those teas that could improve with multiple steepings?

And how does one do that? Do you have to do the 2nd steeping soon, while the leaves are still wet? Or do you spread out the leaves to dry, and re-steep later?

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Starfevre

The leaves will stay wet for a very long time, so it’s fine to do it while the leaves are still wet. Really, the only restriction is not to leave them for so long that they grow mold, so you’re usually good for a couple of days before you have to throw them out. I’ve heard good and bad things about keeping used leaves in the fridge so I usually don’t bother.

Maryann

Thanks, Starfevre! I may try a 2nd steep tomorrow.

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