218 Tasting Notes

42
drank Black Dragon Pearls by Tazo
218 tasting notes

I finally decided to open the bag of Black Dragon Pearls I got from Tazo. They were 50% off and since I really liked the pearls from Adagio, I got 4oz instead of the 2oz i was planning.

It says 2 pearls for every 8 oz, so I used 3 for the 12oz I was making. Brews up dark reddish with a tang to the scent.
That tang follows into the taste also. It has an almost…citrus sort of taste? I’ve never really gotten that from a tea, so I’m not sure if I’m figuring it correctly. I want to say it’s almost peppery, but again I’ve never encountered that particular taste in a tea that I figured out immediately, so I’m only going from a guess.
And it’s kinda….sour? But that might be the citrus taste from before.

The second steep was pretty similar to the first except a bit weaker than I was expecting. The leaves are kinda still twisted together, so they could probly do a third steep, but the taste just isn’t there for me to do so. Not to mention it’s just about midnight and I really should hold off on more tea. Lol.

It’s definitely not the rich malty tea I was expecting, that’s for sure. I might try this again with double the pearls with the same water, but I can’t see me getting the taste I want from these pearls.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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15
drank Peach Cobbler by Tazo
218 tasting notes

I finally dove into my Tazo order that I bought before they turned into Starbucks. Granted that was, uhh, almost 6 months ago ish, but I figured it was all sealed so I’d drink the stuff I had in my cupboard that wasn’t. These all have best by dates good until the end of this year, so I’m not worried about them going stale or something. Lol.
Anyway, this one smelled pretty good in the bag. Peachy, but also kinda strange. Might be the pu-erh in the blend. I’m not exactly sure.
Unfortunately this was a complete disaster to make. I made it twice and both times it’s essentially undrinkable to me because it turned out so bitter. The first time I didn’t exactly follow the package time for steeping. The package said 5 min, which for a black tea made me give it a dubious look, so I did 4 min @ 208*. I should’ve gone with my first instinct and did less because UGH! Horribly bitter, so much so that I didn’t take more than a small sip before pouring it out.
But I wasn’t about to give up so easily, especially not since I still had so much of it. Lol. So I heated some more water up, this time to 200* and only let it steep for 2 min. While it was still bitter, at least it was vaguely drinkable. I don’t really get much peach or apple taste out of it. Just mediocre black tea that’s bitter. It’s rather frustrating actually.

I’m not really sure what to do with this now. I’m tempted to try it one more time with much cooler water and maybe a minute steeping time, but then again, I’m not sure I should bother since it seems so finicky to me. I guess this tea just isn’t working for me.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

Mmmm at peach cobbler :-) boo for the tea :-(

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49

I figure I should probly put a tasting note up for one of the teas I’m drinking. I don’t remember what I thought of this one, so I picked this over the Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black.
Brews up a very dark reddish. Clean bready, woody smell. I say clean because because it’s, well, strangely clean smelling.
Taste wise I definitely get a oaky/woodchip sort of note. Kinda peppery/sharp. Not much in the way of fruityness, but maybe a second steep?

Delayed Edit – The second steep on this turned out to be rather ‘Meh’. Woody and vaguely something like fruityness, but nothing really much of anything.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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drank Phoenix Pearl by Zen Tea
218 tasting notes

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65

Sipdown of this tea, though I’ve never gotten around to putting a tasting note up before. I’m pretty horrible at remembering reviews, or even logging my tea lately.
Mildly spicy, but strongly nutty/hazelnut scented brew. Tastes just about the same. Turned out a bit weaker than I usually make it since I used my usual 12oz of water, but only had a tsp and a half ish of tea. I like using at least two tsp for 12oz but poured the water without thinking, so hence, weaker. But still good. Spicy-esque without a chai sort of spice taste. And there’s enough hazelnut that it’s nicely nutty. I don’t get the berries/fruity taste that I was hoping for because it’s rather overpowered by everything else. Even adding some Truvia doesn’t bring anything else up.
Also I need to remember to use a 2:30 min steep time since it became slightly bitter with the 3min, and I’m getting some astringency poking around as it cools. But nothing I can’t drink through. ^^
Possible reorder for this one day since it’d be nice to have occasionally. But nothing more than that for me.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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60

So I got this as a sample from the creator and I’m now down to my last mug of it. I’m not sure why I haven’t put a tasting note down for it yet. Maybe because I hate being the first note, but with a custom blend like this, I’m not really surprised since Adagio in general doesn’t seem to be one of the more popular brands. So here goes.
This is one of those weird teas that I’m undecided on what I think about it. It’s not really a tea that I can say I like, but I also find myself craving it now and then.
Smell wise it’s vaguely cinnamon-y and green, but not green in the sense of being vegetal or grassy. It’s strange. Kinda smokey green? This is a horrible description but I’m at a loss for proper words. That’s my one disappointment when I’m reviewing. I can never seem to find the right words for what I’m tasting.
Taste wise it’s kinda smokey but not in a lapsang sort of campfire smoke. Just kinda midway between smokey and roasted but without the burnt edge of roasted and missing the beef jerky kind of edge of smokey.
Mild black tea taste but nothing overly notable. I don’t really get any sort of chocolate or caramel notes from the tiger eye aside from maybe a vague smooth/sweetness from it. And it’s vaguely nutty, which is a strange association to have since nothing in this tea should be nutty. It’s probly just in my head. XD

Overall this is kind of ‘Meh’ for me. It’s a nice tea to drink, but relatively unremarkable and unnoteworthy to me. Maybe if I was better able to write down how it tasted to me, this would be more helpful. I wish Adagio did smaller bags (like 1 oz or 1.5 oz) because I can’t see myself going through a full 3 oz of this, but I’d like to have it in my cupboard. /sigh/ If there were more teas in the Zelda sampler set I’d just get that, but that’s another issue entirely. And since I find myself rambling, I’ll go away now. LOL!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Another Butiki tea for the day. I wanted something out of the box so I grabbed this to try. It’s so dark and tightly curled, and after reading the other reviews here, I knew I’d probly be drinking this awhile. So I actually had started this a few hours ago and just got around now to putting the log in.
The dry leaves had a roasty and faintly fishy sort of smell, but I didn’t let that deter me.

1st Steeping – 4min/182* – The leaves are still tightly curled but I’m not really surprised by that. The brew itself has a heavy roasted/burnt coffee smell which nearly makes me not want to drink it. I dislike the smell of coffee intensely, but I’ve made it so I might as well try it. Definitely surprised by the taste which is woody and rich taste. There’s a very faint burnt coffee taste, but not as heavy/strong as it smells (also might be a taste association carryover from the smell). Slight grassy notes that I find if I think about it for a moment.
For as strong as the brew smells, it’s overall a very delicate, light sort of taste.

2nd Steeping – 5min/182* – Same sort of scent to the brew but lighter. Definitely has a greener sort of taste to it. Still roasty/burn-y tasting, but I’m also getting a vaguely fishy sort of taste to it now. Bleh. I didn’t even want to finish the cup.

The leaves are still pretty tightly curled and I bet I could get another couple steeps out of them. But honestly I just want a different tea. This one was good to try but it’s definitely not my thing. At least not past the first steeping. Unfortunate but it’s the swap bin for this one.

Extra note – I tossed the leaves into a jar with some water and stuck it in the fridge to cold brew for the night. So I’ll be interesting to see what comes of it.

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70
drank Irish Breakfast by Butiki Teas
218 tasting notes

First tea of the day. It’s snowing quite a bit outside and thankfully I don’t have to go to work. So today is a stay in and drink tea sort of day.
I was going to make this last night but I read it’s more of a, well, breakfast tea, so I saved it for breakfast. Lol. Glad I did. This was a lovely way to start the day.
It’s milder than I was expecting so maybe next time I’ll use a smidge more leaves or steep longer….or maybe not since this is nice as is. It’s nicely malty and there’s just enough astringency to let you know it’s there but not claw your throat out.
Maybe a vague chocolaty note to it? Though I couldn’t be sure since I’m horrible at picking those sorts of notes out in tea.

Overall I really liked this. I think I might like the Black Lotus (English Breakfast) better, but I’ll definitely finish this batch off instead of trying to swap it.

Edit – One steep wonder for me. Second steep turned almost sharp and pokey….Which I know doesn’t make sense, but I’ll fix it later. Lol!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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65
drank White Rhino by Butiki Teas
218 tasting notes

New tea #2 since the last was such a bust. And I’ll keep going through tea until I find one I can sip at while playing Diablo tonight….Then again, that might just take all night. I hope not though.

The leaves for this are gorgeous. (I never thought I’d say that about a tea. Lol) They’re wiry with gold fuzz on them, but some are kinda silvery. And damn are these hard to measure. Definitely on par with Caramel Vanilla Assam to measure. So I’m not even sure if I got the right ratio for this cup. There needs to be a gram measure instead. Lol.
Anyway, I get a sweet hay/grass sort of scent when I put my nose really close tot he dry leaves. But’s not not an unpleasant smell.
The brew I get that same sort of hay scent and the color is this nice golden tone.
Maltiness and a vaguely fruity tone. Also sweetness, though it’s very light. And a mild hay sort of taste though it just adds to the rest instead of being an unpleasant focus.
It is rather astringent to me, but I’m wondering if that’s something left over from my cold or just how I am right now, since I’m getting a strong dry sort of sensation in the back of my throat. And now that I’m pondering it, I get a strange fuzzy sensation at the top of my mouth and tip of my tongue. It’s similar to the sensation I remember getting if I bit into that brown stuff that pecans have around the meats when you’re cracking them yourself to eat, but without the horrible bitter/sour/UGH! sort of taste. (That stuff probly has a name, but I can’t remember it. Lol)

Taste wise overall it’s a bit watery, but I had a feeling that would be the case. So next time I’ll measure out more leaves.
I’m surprised that this was a white tea. But then with the color of the leaves and the name I guess I should’ve realized it.

Overall it was a nice tea past the astringency. I’ll most likely give this another go later on to see if it was just the remnants of the cold, or actually something I didn’t like.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Courtney

I also had both the Irish Cream Cheesecake and White Rhino today haha. I agree about the measurement! Though, I didn’t get any astringency from this one.

Butiki Teas

You might want to try a little less leaf if you are getting some astringency.

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Got this for Christmas and figured now that the cold is gone I could start drinking new teas again. So this was my pick from my new Butiki stuff.
I definitely get a sweet cheesecake smell from the dry leaf so I had high hopes for the brew.
Unfortunately I didn’t get that same wonderful-ness in the brew. My first impressions were bitter and strong astringency with a sharp-ish sort of grass sensation. It’s so astringent that the back of my throat is fairly clicking each time I swallow. I vaguely get what might be a cheesecake taste after adding some sugar, and this strange other taste that I can’t really identify. Maybe that’s the ‘Irish Cream’ taste, though since I’m not sure what that tastes like by itself, I have no way to verify.
So this one’s a no go for me. I’m not going to give it a rating though because I did add a smidge more leaf to the pot since I was using just over 8oz of water, so maybe that would account for the bitterness. But I can’t imagine that it would count for the astringency.
So into the no bin this goes.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

I wanted to cut soda out of my life, so I started drinking more tea. Now I’m quickly becoming addicted. But that doesn’t seem like so bad of a thing considering all there is out there to try.

I started with blacks, but oolongs are quickly becoming my new favorite. Unfortunately, I haven’t really been able to find a green or white tea that I really enjoy. Eventually maybe.

Always open for swaps. If you see something in my cupboard that you’re interested in, feel free to send me a message about it. I do have alot of sample sizes in my cupboard, so there might be a few that I won’t be able to swap. But it never hurts to ask. ^^

Likes – Fruity teas (Peach, Apricot & Pineapple to be specific, but I’d likely be open to others). I’m always on the lookout for a good caramel tea too…and a vanilla one. Or any sweet, dessert teas.
Oolongs and Blacks over any others.

Indifferent/Undecided – White teas are a bit delicate for me but I’m not opposed to trying something new. I haven’t yet found a green tea I like since I dislike vegetal flavors, but there has to be something out there. Coconut can be too strong, or alright depending on the tea.

Dislikes – Spicy/chai stuff not so much since I can’t seem to get past the spice taste to anything underneath. Anything overly astringent, though I can’t imagine anyone /liking/ astringency (but I’m probly wrong. Lol). Earl Greys, heavy florals, tart/sour teas, rooibos heavy, mint of any sort, vegetal, musky/leathery, citrus, hibiscus, coffee-esque flavors, lemon.

Allergies – Mangos, some nuts especially walnuts, cherries. Rose petals/heavy rose teas make me ill though it’s not an allergy so to speak. Heavy artificial flavors also make me ill.

Brief ‘How I rate things’ scale:
(Subject to change at any time. Lol)
100-80: I’d definitely reorder this/Keeping this in my cupboard.
79-50: Possibly reorder these. Either if there’s a sale or I’d consider swapping for it’s on a list and I don’t see anything else.
49-40: It’s alright. Glad I tried it but I won’t be ordering/reordering this.
39-20: Glad I tried before buying ‘cause I’d be ticked if I bought this. Ick.
20-lower: UGH! Get it away!

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