19 Tasting Notes


I am getting over a cough, so I’m somewhat congested.

A friend purchased this and shared with me today.

The blackberry smell is very intense, like warmed up pie filling, adn you can catch a whiff at a distane, maybe within two feet… Definitely smells a lot more sweet than tangy. I can almost taste pie when I smell it, and it is distnctly blackberry, without a doubt. It smells completely natural, and it has no weird artificial smell to it. I think usually, sage is a strong olfactory spice, but I don’t smell any of it at all. Sage is kind of more of a poultry seasoning, very savory, so hopefully it’s not overpowering when I actually get around to the taste.

First taste, sans sugar. The hits are not very complex, and presently this takes like an extremely mellow black tea — not bitter, not strong. It’s very smooth, but the fruity smell doesn’t translate to a strong fruity taste… in fact I can hardly taste it at all (maybe it’s the congestion). Definitely am not getting a sage taste. I am hoping to bring out more flavor with a bit of Splenda.

I think I overdid the Splenda. Now it’s too sweet, and it’s obviously more of a splenda sweetness than a fruity sweetness. It does have a moderate blackberry flavor however. More like a pie filling than a fresh, tangier blackberry.

I would definitely drink this over ice!

Flavors: Blackberry

180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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I got a cup of this to-go from Teavana while I was out; I was seriously hungry and I needed to stave off the munchies. Not sure if my hunger is biasing this review… I also brewed this with splenda.

First, this tea is EXTREMELY sweet with only a bit of sweetener. It is VERY flavorful and permeates very strongly. It is absolutely delicious. The cinnamon is almost overwhelming, to the point where my gums were tingling a little bit 2/3 the way through. Cinnamon and sugar are the main tastes in this tea. It’s also not at all bitter, tastes fruity… it’s really yummy!

You CAN brew this over again, apparently… even though I just has a satchel of it to go.

Flavors: Anise, Apple, Cinnamon, Spicy, Sugar

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Valentines by Adagio Teas
19 tasting notes

I received this tea awhile ago from Adagio’s tea of the month. When I opened the package, I was hit by the strong smell of chocolate and something that smelled like freeze-dried strawberries. I assumed it would be delicious.

Chocolate teas are my thing. Sweet tasting teas are my thing. This was not my thing.

I brewed this for about 5 minutes with splenda. As I bring it to my lips, it smells how it does dry. I have such anticipation, surely this will taste good!

First sip: Slight bitter hit first, followed by the overwhelming taste of… maple syrup? It tastes like chocolate only a vaguely, but then it also tastes floral, and combining those = maple syrup taste. The flavors are blending—in a bad way.

Second, third, fourth, and fifth sips: Nope. Not any better. My gums around my molars taste like maple syrup. Need a new tea to mask it asap.

DO NOT WANT. I don’t know if I can finish it!

Flavors: Chocolate, Floral, Maple Syrup

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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This tea is a very lovely savory tea with minimal bitterness. The barley taste is a bit weak unless it is steeped for a long time, but when it is strong enough, it’s really great! You can taste the toastyness of the barley grains. I’m usually a lover of sweet teas and adding sugar to everything, but this has changed my mind entirely. Wonderful tea, would recommend. :)

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Roasted Barley, Toasted Rice

195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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I found this on sale recently at World Market – 50% off for RoT? Um, hell yes.

I always find the rooibos is naturally sweet—but in a weird, rooty sort of way. When I read the ingrendients (which are short and underwhelming), I expected to be kind of disappointed, but who cares, it’s 50% off.

Boy was I wrong. While the flavor is definitely not complex, it is very robust. The blueberry flavor is intense. VERY intense—and blueberries are freaking delicious. It doesn’t taste artificial either, which is quite nice. Usually, I find that flavored sweet rooibos teas are overwhelming, but this one sits right on the edge — any more sweetness, and it would be ridiculous.

The smell is very pleasant — it definitely smells how you’d expect a fragrant blueberry cake to smell up close. Overall, the tea is very pleasant in short, small doses.

170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Marshmallow Macaron by Teavana
19 tasting notes

I had a the pleasure of getting a free cup of this when I made a recent visit to Teavana to restock my favorite blend.

Anyway, it was brewed with some unknown amount of their ever-so fancy “German Rock sugar”. Generally, I prefer sweetened tea. The first sip frankly took me by surprise. The taste was crazy sweet and came in multiple complex hits. At first, you sip and get a very mild vanilla+tea flavor. Then, you taste a split second of marshmallow, which blends beautifully with vanilla… It’s all good, but then within milliseconds the taste shifts dramatically to a carmelized/maple-y flavor that I suppose is supposed to be emulating macaron. At this point, the last hit, the tea is almost sickeningly sweet. The last hit tastes quite artificial, and it lingers.

Still, it keeps you coming back for the first half of the flavor hits, especially that tiny hint of mellow marshmallow. I ended up finishing it in the end, but I definitely wouldn’t be able to drink more of it. Over the next couple of days, I sort of missed it…

3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I am always left impressed by the “get xyz” series from Republic of Tea (actually, just in general, I love their brand).

The taste is smooth and sweet the whole way — upon hitting your tongue and going down the hatch. There is a hint of cinnamon without it being overpowering — most blendmasters make a mistake of adding far too much cinnamon in their blends.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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Before steeping, the scent out of the box is very intense. The strongest notes upon smelling the unsteeped bags is strong with cinnamon and ginger, with an overtone similar to maple syrup. Imagine a sweetened, fruity chai.

The body is somewhat binary: The first hit is wrought with cinnamon, the second hit is a tart plum flavor. In between is a very slight floral taste — this tea is not at all on the flowery nor planty side, despite containing chamomile and rosehips, perhaps because the floral taste is flooded out by spice. Due to the combination of cinnamon and high tanginess, there is a slightly grainy and light mouthfeel, which leaves the tongue rough after the sip.

There is a lingering spicy aftertaste, which leaves the tongue feeling somewhat “prickly”.

Due to the intensity of this tea, DO NOT for more than a minute; else, the taste gets rather extreme, sure to overwhelm most taste buds. Even when steeped shortly, it ends up being a very rich, nearly wine-like cool red color with slight clouding from particulate spices.

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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As is with a lot of Celestial Seasoning’s flavored teas, it gives off an extremely strong scent as hot water is poured over it. I had a friend grab me a whole bunch of boxes of this, since it’s both A) Seasonal and B) Legendary on Tumblr.

What exactly is “natural sugar cookie flavor”? Who cares! This tea is absolutely delicious. It tastes like I’m drinking liquid (and diluted) sugar cookie. Don’t expect it to literally taste like a sugar cookie. It is tea, after all. It’s very good though, and I can gulp down several cups of it without getting sick of it. It’s barely tea, however, in terms of taste. That doesn’t make it NOT delicious though! ^^

When it’s brewed, it has a very, very light color. I always recommend putting in sugar, because I love sugar in my tea.

190 °F / 87 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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I believe this tea isn’t available online anymore, so it really excited me when I found this at the local World Market.

Compared to the single other cherry flavored black tea that I used to drink, this cherry flavor is quite a bit more prominent. In fact, it is so prominent, that one may at first be inclined to say the flavor is slightly artificial solely because of the concentration of cherry flavor. I can’t say I very much enjoy the black tea base, however; bitters up very easily.

There isn’t much in the way of chocolate taste, at least typical caocao taste, in my opinion. It can perhaps be better augmented with a bit of sugar.

185 °F / 85 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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Somewhat new to tea—and very obsessed with it.

Got into it junior year at engineering school. It was a good way to stay sane.


Cleveland, Ohio



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