158 Tasting Notes


Thanks to Tabby for sharing this with me!! : )

Green teas started my love of loose leaf tea. Green tea is the reason my dog is called Sencha. Green teas taught me that time and temperature in steeping are very important. Most significantly green teas taught me that quality makes a HUGE difference. I had almost forgotten about why I loved green tea so much until I tried this one.

The large green leaves smell fresh with a hint of sea weed. It makes your eyes pop wide open, the smell alone alerts you that you are in for a treat! The package reomends that you steep 1-2 teaspoons per cup. Since the leaves were so large, I opted for 2tsp.

They were beautiful to watch steep. The water turning golden green and the leaves expanding is borderline magical. The smell was hypnotizing. Mineral sea weed goodness!

The taste was exactly what I was hoping for. Sweet creamy sensation up front followed by a mineral wave ending on a pleasant seaweed note. The vegetable was toned down under the mineral (in my opinion, the way it should be!) Delicious first brew. One of the best I have had in a while!

The second steep was a little too watered down for my taste. I enjoyed it, but the with the sweetness and mineral flavor toned down, it was more of a ghost of what the first cup was.

I love this tea! Sadly, I just placed my order from Teavivre and didn’t include this… I guess that a second order will be necessary soon! : )

1 min, 0 sec

I had this recently, too, and it is one of the best Long Jing’s I have had (especially for the price).

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drank Vanilla Green by Adagio Teas
158 tasting notes

I have a soft spot for Adagio’s vanilla teas. That being said, this is my least favorite of them. I think that the main issue is that green tea seams to work better on its own than flavored to me most of the time. It can work with fruity, but I have yet to find a creamy flavored green tea in which the vegetable flavor doesn’t seem to get in the way of the tea as a whole.

The dry tea leaves are bright green and a joy to look at. They look green, fresh and inviting. The vanilla aroma is very strong (points in favor!) followed by the familiar green tea plantiness. In fact, if the vanilla flower (it is an orchid) smells like vanilla (I am not sure it does…) it probably would smell a lot like this tea.

While brewing, my 2 tsp of leaves unfurled quite nicely and gave of a smell very similar to that of the dry leaves except that once wet, the vegetable in them gets a tad bit stronger.
The liquor is a nice golden/green color.

The unsweetened tea is overwhelmingly vegetable that clashes with the vanilla. The individual flavors are great, but together they just confuse me. Sweetened it works much better. Why? Well, sweetened the green tea vegetable taste is highly disguised as, well…, sweet. This way the vanilla becomes the protagonist and the the green tea is like a pleasant little reminder that you are drinking more than just vanilla sugar water.

I enjoy it, don’t love it. I will happily finish what I have of it, I will just keep in mind that creamy greens just are not my thing.

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 30 sec

That is exactly how I feel about green teas – they just work better on their own. If I’m going flavored, I would rather it be black or honeybush!

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This is a tea that is hard for me to review… Why? Well, I had it hot and thought it was absolutely awful. So bad that I forgot about it (or tried to forget about it) for a really long time. This weekend, I arbitrarily remembered it and decided that it was time to try it iced and if I still couldn’t stand it, out it was going! So, turns out, that iced it isn’t nearly as bad!

I brewed a large pitcher of it (8 cups) with 12 teaspoons of the tea. The dry tea was high on the raspberries and lacking in the mate. It is very pleasant to look at the big luscious looking dry berries, but when you want tea, the berries become more annoying than pleasant. The smell is very artificial, it reminded me of Kool-Aid (which I haven’t had since I was 8…). There was a powdery sensation to the scent, which was very disturbing. I can’t really place what it was, but it somehow brought the word “dusty” to mind every time I sniffed it.

I let it brew for hours, basically until the liquid was cool enough to put into the fridge. It was a neat bright pink color. It looked really cool in the sun as well as under the light of my fridge! : )

I sweetened it very slightly and it turned out to be quite enjoyable! It is just tart enough to remind me of fresh raspberries and smooth enough that it doesn’t become painful to drink (no excessive puckering…). The aftertaste is artificial lemon. It reminded me of candy lemon drops. Not terrible, but also not great. The downside to this is that I tasted no mate. If I think about it I get a tiny bit of something that is woody that maybe may be a hint of mate, but I have to put too much effort in to finding it, so I am just going to say that the flavor is absent.

As a fruity iced drink, I would recommend it. As a hot tea, most definitely not, no way. I am enjoying what I have of it iced and maybe, one day, I may get more.

195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more

I think their fruity teas are definitely better when they’re iced.


Yeah… Iced and fruity work. This hot, was likr trying to sip hot fruit punch… It just does not work…

Tina S.

If you’re not a fan of koolaid teas avoid Raspberry Patch by Adagio. Its a dead ringer for raspberry Koolaid!


This review is another reason why I’m not a fan of Teavana.

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drank Vanilla by Adagio Teas
158 tasting notes

I am surprised that I haven’t written a tasting note for this one yet. For a while it was my morning tea, nearly everyday.

I really enjoy vanilla. While it is one of the most simple flavors, it is also one of the hardest ones to actually get right. I have had quite a few vanilla teas, many that taste too mineral or too artificial. To me a good vanilla tea has to be creamy, very strongly flavored, work well with milk and sugar and not over power the tea. Wow… Those a lot of requirements…

The leaves of this tea are dark brown, so dark that they seem black unless you stare at them for a while. The scent is sweet and inviting. The tea base smells dark and woodsy. The Ceylon used as the base tea tends to be “moody”, Adagio black teas are way too easy to over steep. So, after a bit of practice the 2 tsp for 12oz of water for 3min was just right.

As the brews, the scent makes it evident (in a 3m radius) that you are steeping vanilla tea. I love this. My kitchen smelling like vanilla is glorious.

The resulting brew is dark brown with a reddish tinge to it. Sadly, all of my glass Bodum tea cups have shattered and I am drinking out of a dark blue mug. I miss being able to look at the colors of tea while I drink them…

Unsweetened, the tea is very creamy followed by evident astringency from the Ceylon. While I have enjoyed it straight, this is a tea that benefits from being sweetened. The sweetness enhances the vanilla making it taste a lot like a hot vanilla ice cream float made in Ceylon! With a dash of milk (or even better, condensed milk or vanilla soy milk!) it is delicious and rich. The vanilla is strong enough to hold up to the milk and make it an easy cup to enjoy.

While it is rather simple, I really enjoy it. I dug it up this morning and remembering how much I used to love it made me smile. I am on my third cup of it today. This is one of my comfort teas. Nothing spectacular, but always there to make me smile. : )

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Great review! I love vanilla!


Your review made me want to give this tea another go. I only have enough for one more cup so I better not mess it up! :P


@SunnyinNy Thanks! : ) Vanilla is my favorite in everything! Mmmm… Vanilla bean Ice Cream!

@Viva La Tea I hope that it lived up to your expectations!


That’s my favorite ice cream too! My sister gave me some Marionberry preserves from Oregon (she lives there), and told me to warm up the preserves & pour it over some vanilla ice cream! Believe me, I will. :))

I can view my NOTICES within the last hour. I cannot view the 17 older ones, before the first full page of notices though. :-//


@ScottTeaMan I have never had Marrionberry, so I looked it up, it seems to be a type of blackbery! Sounds delicious!

I managed to get mine to 0. Took me a while, but after clicking a bunch and refreshing the notices page I am finally at a fresh start! Good luck resetting your notices!

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drank Caramel Vanilla Chai by 52teas
158 tasting notes

I was angry last night. Really angry… My bother decided that the best idea he could possibly have was to through a party at my house because he figured that I would stay at the hospital because my Dad had surgery yesterday (everything went well!). I got home, expecting to unwind after work with my doggies, boyfriend, and tea when to my surprise there was about 20 drunk people and loud music blasting… I was sooo angry that I couldn’t even get myself to relax. As a kid I understand that an empty house that you have access to usually means fun, but this was not OK. Well, I didn’t get much sleep and I am still angry, but a tasty tea this morning will make things a bit better!

I bought a pack of this because I enjoyed it so much. It just arrived and it is exactly what I needed! Something spicy, strong, sweet.

I am not sure why the leaves of this tea are ground so fine… It keeps making me expect bitterness, but thankfully I haven’t gotten any from it. It smells great as long as you don’t inhale too strongly (instant sneeze… found out the hard way…)

I prepared it with my tasty condensed milk/skim milk latte mix. It put a wide smile on my face (at least until I see my brother again…) and finally got me relaxing. The vanilla was really strong this time, and the latte mix helped smooth out all the flavors. I couldn’t make my cup last me every long. That is usually a sign that I really am enjoying what I am drinking!


I am sorry to hear about your experience last night. I hope sharing it with us helped some; I know the process of sharing daily struggles helps to make me feel more connected to others.

I am glad the tea arrived just in time. I was also surprised by the fine tea leaves in this tea; still, it is a good chai, and I am glad it came to your rescue!


And, I’m glad to hear your dad’s surgery went well!


I’m so sorry about last night as well. I hope you are feeling better with this tea and I hope you have a good day!


Practicing the “don’t let the sun go down on your anger” principle is tough! Glad you found a treat that helped.


Oh last night sounded terrible! I’m glad you had some tasty tea to help.


Thanks everyone! Sundays here and the sun is up! I am much happier today that everything has calmed down! : )

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drank Tie Guan Yin by Bigote Ecuador
158 tasting notes

I love Oolongs… I think I have mentioned this previously, but I will gladly repeat it! This is one of my everyday day teas for two main reasons: 1 It is delicious 2 I can get it for not an outrageous price decently close to my house! Since caffeine has absolutely no effect on me, this ends up being a bed time tea. It is incredibly relaxing to sip through the complex yet incredibly comforting array of flavors.

OOOOOooooolongs… The OOOooo is so appropriate! OOOoooo sooo good! (Ok… Now I am done with my silliness for the night! On with the tasting note!)

I had this tonight in my usual three steepings. I steep this 1 tsp of tea to 8oz of water, 8oz per cup so I can actually enjoy all three steepings (each increasing in time) without being too full my the last one!

The smell of the leaf is very fresh with hint of fresh cut grass. It has a lingering sweetness to it, that makes me always want to come back to it. While steeping, the freshness scent is briefly enhanced but always leading to sweetness.

The first steep is always the most vegetable like one. It tastes very crisp followed by artichoke and leading into a buttery delight. The aftertaste is all sweetness. Joy joy!

The second steep is my favorite. The artichoke is still there, but it is nutty and smooth. The buttery taste and feel is everywhere and the sweetness in the aftertaste is even more evident. It takes a lot of willpower to not drink it too quickly. I really want it to last!

The third steep is lighter. Upfront buttery and nutty. There is a woody note that doesn’t ever show up before the third steep. The vegetable becomes more of an afterthought, but still is very present. The sweetness in the aftertaste is subdued in this last steep. This is what keeps it from being my favorite of the 3 steeps.

If you like Oolongs, this is a handsome one to try! : )

190 °F / 87 °C

I love a good Tie Guan Yin tea. I get many steeps from the same leaves, and it is so delicious!


The second steep is always my favorite too, :))

Dinah Saur

More than almost anyone else, your reviews tend to convince me to try specific teas. Looking forward to getting some of this one at some point!


Yes…….I think this is probably Ninavampi’s best, most convincing review. I really enjoyed it!


Thanks so much Dinah and *ScottTeaMan"! I will try to keep it up! You have made me smile! : )


@Dinah- I think you can only get this in Ecuador. If you are interested I could send you a sample of it so you can get to try it. : )

Dinah Saur

@Ninavampi, Ooh, yes yes yes! I just sent you a PM with a reciprocal offer. :)


OOOOOooooolongs… The OOOooo is so appropriate!

I completely agree. An oolong has to invoke that sort of thought before it can be called awesome

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drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
158 tasting notes

I spent 2 days experimenting with this. I really wanted to like it more than I did the first time I tried it… I set out to make it tastier. My quest involved my latte mix (essentially condensed milk and skim milk in 2 to 1 proportion warmed and mixed in a pan), clove, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Today was a good day to get it right, considering it was so miserable… My favorite (and last double wall Bodum) tea cup got broken by someone (no one says who). Also, my cellphone decided to die on me (how did we live without having internet and communication always before!?!?!). The cherry on top was the pile of puppy poo that greeted me when I first got home… I really needed something sweet and tasty!

I brewed myself a cup of this with added spices (cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg) and added a bit (overdid it the first time…) of latte mix. Wow… It was delicious! But, I exaggerated on the amount of sweet milk I added, so, I tried again. Success! The added spice and sweet milk turn it into a creamy smooth pumpkin latte. The flavor is strong enough to stand up against anything so it welcomed the extra spice and milk!

I will surely finish the 100g that I bought, though it didn’t make my superstar tea list as I had hoped it would… I think I will only be drinking this as a latte, so, not an instant winner. Enjoyed it! Not sure I would re-order… Ask me again next fall. : )

aisling of tea

I feel the same way about this one. It’s okay, I guess, but nothing spectacular or as amazing as everyone seems to think it is. I’m almost done with my tin from last fall >.<


I still have almost an entire tin to get through…

aisling of tea

I cook with mine. It’s tasty when you use it in rice of to boil sausages in or in the liquid part of sweetbreads.

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drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
158 tasting notes

Finally, after reading and reading about all of the hype that Davids Tea has, I finally placed an order that my brother brought to me when he came from the US to spend Christmas with us. The order I placed is rather large… I ordered almost everything I wanted to try! : ) It has taken me a while to get around to trying them though… Today I try my first, and the one I have been most excited about. This one!

I love pumpkin pie! Even here in Ecuador, I must have pumpkin pie with Thanksgiving and Christmas. I think that it is my all time favorite pie! That being said, I went ahead and order 100g of this tea.

The smell of the leaves is spectacular and the tea is handsome to look at! Full of bright orange sprinkles and pumpkin pieces it is wonderful to stare at, sniff and enjoy. The scent smells a lot like pumpkin pie candle, very fragrant and delightful, but not entirely like something I would like to eat per se… It is low on the spiciness and high on the vanilla and caramel. I also got a scent that seemed to be actual pumpkin, which gives this tea some extra points!

I brewed it following the instructions on the package and achieved a pumpkin orange brew! The color was astoundingly similar to pumpkin pie color! It made me smile to realize that. The scent was still much like the leaves. Rich in vanilla and caramel, light on the spices with a hint of pumpkin.

The flavor was loyal to the scent. It was very rich and creamy. The pumpkin definitely stood out followed by creamy vanilla and caramel. I got an earthy note from the pumpkin, and enjoyed it! Sadly, there was not nearly enough spice for me to think pumpkin pie, just meh… I added sweetener and to my surprise I liked it less! When sweetened the pumpkin gets played down and the creaminess takes center stage. Not what I wanted. I have yet to make it a late, which I believe will work well with the creaminess of it. But as of now, it missed being one of my favorites. This is disappointing mostly because I was so excited about it.

If you want to try it, go for it. It is an enjoyable brew. Just not what I in particular want as pumpkin pie! : )

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 30 sec
E Alexander Gerster

Sounds interesting! I love pumpkin pie as well, and wonder if you might add a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon to spice it up? :)
Looking forward to your reviewsfrom your big tea order…


That is surely worth a try! : )

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drank Snow Geisha by Teavana
158 tasting notes

This is, officially, my lowest rating yet. I actually feel a bit bad about taking the time and energy to write about a tea that I just didn’t like. Still, considering how expensive this particular blend is (thankfully mine was a random gift) I feel that I should put my opinion out there for people to read if they consider trying it.

First off, I am sure that there will be people who might enjoy this. Everyone likes different tastes and different things, and that is just fine with me. I, personally, did not like this at all.

It smells artificial. If you could make plastic smell like cherry, I am sure that it would smell something like this. It also had some scent that made me think medicinal. Not enjoyable at all.

I have had it twice so far. The first time I had it, I could barely drink it. Unsweetened it tasted a lot like plastic with a cherry aftertaste. I sipped it until it cooled down and then chugged it down once it cooled down to quickly finish it and make something more tasty. The second time I added A LOT of brown sugar. To my surprise it was much better! Not any less artificial though… Sadly, I don’t up the score much because I am sure that sugar did more to make me like the flavor than the actual tea did…

Sweetened it tasted a lot like cherry Twizzlers, the kind that you can pull strings off of and eat it one strand at a time. It actually wasn’t horrible, but I don’t think that you should have to add soooo much sweet to a tea in order for it to be drinkable.

If this were a really cheap tea, I feel like it might make a nice really sweet ice tea. It is not cheap. I will not be purchasing it. Ever. Tough I must admit that I will eventually drink through what I have with insane amounts of sugar or sweetener. Maybe I will try to make insanely sweet and expensive iced tea… Hmmm…

Now I’m off to drink yummier tea! : )

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I feel guilty when I write bad reviews also but that’s one of the points of Steepster, right? To find the good ones!


Yep! Thanks for lessening my guilty feeling! : )


I’ve had the Sakura Allure (which is cherry also) and felt the same way. I don’t trust Teavana’s ability to make cherry flavored things!


me neither! flavored Teavana teas taste a bit artificial :(

Dinah Saur

I second Amy oh. I have written one real bad review (for Teavana’s Youthberry Blossom, or whatever they call it). I didn’t feel too guilty because it just wasn’t good and there was no tea flavor at all. If a “tea” tastes artificial, then they’re doing it wrong, in my opinion.


Ninavampi: I would call this an honest review; and I know for me, being honest
isn’t always fun, and doesn’t always feel good. But, in the larger context, someone who reviews a tea they don’t like—and then especially tells me why they don’t like it (as you did here by taking great pains to point out what your particular tastes are)—simply adds credibility to their positive reviews; in other words, I believe them when they tell me that they like it. I hope that makes sense, and I hope you will continue to be honest in your reviews! : – )


@SimpliciTEA- Thanks! : ) I value honesty very highly in people. I also agree that honesty doesn’t necessarily feel good, but it is the best way to go!


I actually view the rating system here on Steepster as being about the experience of having a cup of tea, not the quality of the tea itself. I really appreciate a review like this — I love cherry tea, but I’m not one for these kinds of flavor. It’s nice to know which ones have which kinds of flavorings, and for that I thank you for making an honest review of this tea!


@Calochortus- Thanks for taking the time to comment! : ) You have made me start my day with a smile!


what’s worse is when you rate a tea poorly and one of the sellers or someone else comments on your post because you have hurt their feelings. I don’t like that!


it’s really artificial taste, ugly tea

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This particular tea has been one I have wanted ever since I read about it here on Steepster. My favorite breakfast food has always been cinnamon rolls and tea is my favorite beverage, so both, combined, seemed like heaven to me. Sadly, it was sold out, and I would read over and over everyone’s reviews over and over in hopes that one day I would be able to try it!

One day, I was super excited to find that Frank had revived this! I couldn’t order it fast enough! In fact, I ordered two packs at once, confident that I would love this. It was a long wait, but I eventually received my two packs (and an extra of Pancake Breakfast!). I was at the office, and I didn’t have time to sit down and enjoy it, but I opened it and sniffed it. It wasn’t one of the blends that immediately took my breath away, but it was pleasant. :3

As soon as I got home I brewed it. I couldn’t wait to try it! Sadly, when I did, it wasn’t what I expected at all. I tasted the cinnamon, but I got no dough or icing. To make matters worse, there was a sour aftertaste that, I assume, came from the honeybush. I was desperate to like it. I tried longer brewing time, shorter, sweetened, no sweet, milk… I was almost resigned to give up on this tea. I had been so excited… I decided to put it up, and try it later.

This tea showed up in the 12 Days of Christmas I decided that the time to try this again was approaching. Finally, today, I gave it another try.

I brewed it for much longer than I meant to, my dogs distracted me, and what I meant to be like 4 minutes ended up being more like ten. To my pleasant surprise, it smelled really really good. I sipped it and it tasted even better!!! I got the cinnamon and dough, the icing, and very very little (thankfully…) odd aftertaste! I then sweetened it with honey. I rarely do this, but today I felt that honey flavor would add to the cinnamon roll effect. I was right! It was absolutely cinnamon-roll-doughy-creamy-sweet-sticky goodness!

The second brew was still very good, just not as flavorful. I drank it happily as well.

I am really happy that this tea finally came through and proved its deliciousness! I love it and could drink it everyday. I am actually considering another back up pouch… hmmm….

195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more

I’m glad you ended up liking it! I don’t normally like honeybush or roobois things myself.


If you ever get the chance to try Mozambican tea do try – it´s so unusual!


oops sorry, added the comment to the wrong box on my main page. really sorry, catastrophically bad scrolling.


Hahaha… No problem! In fact it has made me want to look into Mozambican tea! : )


@Amy Oh- Me too! I don’t usually get along with rooibos (usually only like green rooibos in small quatities) and Honeybush just has not been great with me. But I think I finally got this one right! : )

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I love tea and have since I was a little girl. Once I could buy my own tea, I began to explore and learn about the extensive and delicious world of tea!

Also, love my French Bulldog (named Sencha…) and my tea oblivious boyfriend. I enjoy ice skating (I am a part time coach), reading, writing, baking, running, and lots of sweets!

My favorite teas tend to be on the sweeter side. Both flavored and plain teas are great to me. Currently going through a flavored tea phase. Enjoying it greatly! : )


Quito, Ecuador

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