62 Tasting Notes

drank Blackberry Spice by Design a Tea
62 tasting notes

The most tolerable of the teas I’ve tried so far. The blackberry flavor’s pretty good, but the “spice” component tastes and smells like Big Red chewing gum. Blackberries and Big Red isn’t terrible, but not something I think I’d ever want more of.

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drank Banana Caramel by Design a Tea
62 tasting notes

The second of my Design-a-Tea samples. I don’t know why I keep trying with caramel flavored teas. I feel the same way about them many people do about chocolate teas; they just can’t measure up to the real thing. That said, I like chocolate tea. Anyway.

It smelled like nothing dry and like banana candy when brewing. That was fine with me since I like that taste. Flavor-wise it was very, very mild with only hints of banana and caramel coming through as it cooled. The black base is nonexistent and that’s saying something considering how light the flavoring is.

Two samples down, three to go. Not particularly impressed so far.

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drank Pear Honey by Design a Tea
62 tasting notes

So I decided I’d give Design-a-Tea a shot and get some samples. Couldn’t hurt, right? I was curious to see if their pear flavoring measured up to S&V’s, and pear with honey sounded like a nice combo.

This? This tastes neither like pears nor honey. It’s like drinking perfume. I don’t know if it’s the pear or the honey flavoring that’s so flowery, but it’s incredibly floral. Not even pleasantly floral. Soapy floral. No joke, thanks to the scent I thought that I’d somehow gotten a rose tea when I opened the sample, and Design-a-Tea doesn’t even have rose as a flavor option. Sticking to Simpson & Vail if it’s pear tea I’m after, because this is incredibly far off the mark.

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Just a lazy afternoon sipping tea and listening to doom metal. Isole’s pretty awesome. Anyway. Disregard the “Earl Grey” part of this tea’s name. There’s very, very little bergamot in both the flavor and scent. This is, first and foremost, a peach tea.

That said, it’s not a bad tea. The peach taste is strong and accompanied by some sort of creaminess I can’t really put my finger on. Like I said, not all that much bergamot; it’s pretty much lost under the peach and there’s the barest hint of it in the aftertaste. Trying it iced doesn’t change this at all. Either way I’ll gladly finish off my 1 oz. bag, but I wouldn’t go for it if I was wanting Earl Grey that day.

Maybe I’ll throw a bit of plain Earl in with it one time and see how it goes. Couldn’t really hurt, right?

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drank ORGANIC LAVENDER TEA by Divinitea
62 tasting notes

Divinitea’s been pretty hit-or-miss for me. Sometimes you get really good teas like the Persian Plum Rose, and then you get ones that are just…meh. Sadly this falls into the latter category.

It’s terribly finicky to brew. There’s not enough lavender in the mix to stand up to the base tea, so if you steep it a little too long it’s overpowered entirely by tart, astringent black tea. Not really what I was looking for. Too short a steep time and it’s little better than colored water.

I’ve gotten my best results steeping it for 3-3 1/2 minutes and adding sugar. The lavender gets slightly more prominent as it cools, but it’s still very mild. If you like a subtle lavender flavor, this tea might be something you’d want. If you want something strongly floral, skip this one. It’s not for you.

I probably won’t keep drinking it, but if nothing else I figure the remainder will make a nice tea rinse for my hair.

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drank Jasmine Earl Grey by Twinings
62 tasting notes

It’s time for “impulse buys at Netcost” again! I was there to stock up on Ahmad’s Apple Refresh tea, since it’s so hard to find just plain apple-flavored teas lately and no other store around here has it, when I spotted this on the shelf. I figured hey, why not try it? If I like lavender Earl and rose Earl, another floral Earl can’t steer me wrong.

It doesn’t really smell or taste that different from Twinings’ regular Earl Grey. Maybe a little lighter due to the inclusion of the jasmine green. There’s a little bit of floral aftertaste to it, but maybe I’m just imagining things.

It’s a nice lighter alternative to their regular Earl. Just don’t go into it expecting much in the way of jasmine flavor.

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Mild fruit scent, mild mixed-fruit flavor. Nothing to really write home about. It’s not a bad tea, but it’s nowhere nearly as good as the description makes it sound. Drinkable, but not memorable.

On a side-note, I wish the literary teas came in smaller 1 or 2 oz. packages as well. As it stands, you can end up with a sizable quantity of a tea that’s merely okay.

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drank Earl Grey Bella Luna by Adagio
62 tasting notes

This is now known as “Werewolf Tea” in my house considering when it’s available. That said, I love both Earl Grey and coconut-flavored teas, so the idea of a coconut Earl reeled me in along with the clever marketing. Woooo, the limited-time tea tempts you, Orphie.

To be honest it’s not quite what I hoped it would be. It tastes a lot like Earl Grey Moonlight, without as much coconut flavor as I’d have liked. The only way I can tease out a bit more of the coconut is to stick closer to a 3-minute steep time rather than the 4-minute time I usually go for; any more than 3 minutes and the bergamot will overpower the other flavors. It’s still a tasty blend, but I doubt I’ll restock more frequently than every few full moons.

EDIT: Under no circumstances should you ice this. What is a perfectly tasty tea while hot tastes like bitter chemical death when cold. I don’t know if it’s Adagio’s flavorings or their finicky base, but I’ve had no luck icing any of their teas lately.

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Normally I like S&V’s flavored teas because they’re on the whole pretty good. Since I love coconut, I figured I’d try their coconut tea. Should be good, right? Well…not as good as I thought.

My problem with it is that whatever base tea they used is too strong for the coconut. I don’t even smell coconut in the dry mix or the brewed tea so much as I do a funky, musty cardboard-like scent. Normally I don’t mind tasting the tea along with the added flavor, but not this time. It’s a bit jarring when you get a pleasant, if light, coconut taste…and then cardboard funk. I had to play around with it for a bit to work around that unpleasant base.

My advice to you is don’t let it get cold, don’t steep it past 4 minutes, and for the love of all things good don’t try to ice it. As long as it’s warm and not oversteeped you’ll enjoy it. Let it cool or steep it too long though, and you’ll think you’ve brewed the box it was shipped in along with the tea.

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Another one of mine. I’ve been playing (and failing spectacularly at) Bloodborne for the past few months, and so I decided to blend a few Bloodborne-themed teas. I’m a sucker for crows and plague doctor masks, so of course I had to make one for Eileen. To that end I used blackberry, chocolate, and vanilla oolong, adding in ginger and chocolate chips.

The dry mix smells primarily like chocolate and ginger in the bag. Not so much the blackberry, even though it’s 40% blackberry. Go figure.

It tastes kind of like the Valentine’s blend, just with blackberry instead of strawberry. This is not a bad thing in any way. No ginger at all, but I’m convinced the accents are less to add taste and more for decoration sometimes. I assume the chocolate chips helped make it a bit more chocolatey though.

For any other Soulsborne fans out there, you can find what I’ve blended so far here: http://www.adagio.com/signature_blend/group.html?group=9942

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Even though my profile picture’s the worgen crest, rest assured my heart belongs to the Horde.

I’m a gamer girl who drinks a lot of tea. My tastes tend heavily towards black tea, though I won’t turn down a nice green or white either.

I stay away from most herbals because far too many of them have hibiscus. I find hibiscus disgusting. Nor am I a fan of rooibos; the taste has to be pretty heavily masked for me to drink it.

I’ll almost always put sugar in my tea, unless it’s something that really doesn’t work well with it (I will never ever add sugar to lapsang souchong again). Sorry. It’s my taste preference, and if it isn’t yours I don’t really care.

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