218 Tasting Notes

82

Swap from Cavocorax.
Another tea I couldn’t resist trying right now. Lol.
The leaves are so cute. Curly and bunchy looking. No scent that I could figure but that’s due to the bag and me not feeling like dumping this into a bowl to sniff it.
1.5tsp/12oz @ 210*/5min – I was afraid that brewing it so long would kill it since I’ve never really let first brews go this long (too many killed cups this way), but that’s what Cavo put as a recommendation on the package, so I figure I might as well try it. Lol.
Brewed this has a fruity, smoky, ‘something’ sort of smell. I’m not really sure what that ‘something’ is honestly. It’s not woody, or spicy, or earthy, or malty. It’s just…rrgh. Hard to describe, or rather I don’t know the right word. Lol.
Taste wise this is smooth and slightly fruity and just a hint smokey. And slightly sweet, which is a surprise. It’s not a sugar sort of sweet. Just a nice subtle gentle sort of sweet. I could totally drink this without having to add any sugar or anything.
Also very very little astringency, almost not enough to mention, but I figure I should since it is (vaguely) there.
It’s very good. Barring finding another (better) keemun I’d totally want to keep this in my cupboard. I just wish it wasn’t so expensive. /flops/ XD

Edit: Did a second steep 6min @ 210* – Not as good as the first. Kinda weak and has that woody/sharp sort of taste that I associate with leaves that have already given their best. It’s drinkable, but I’m still probly gonna dump it in favor of one of the other teas I set out to drink today. Lol.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Swap from Cavocorax.
So even though I have lots of other stuff I should be trying first, I’ve wanted to try this one too much to resist now that I have some in my stash.
Can’t comment on the dry smell since all I was getting was the scents that were clinging to the plastic bag.

I wasn’t sure how much I should use so I did my usual 1.5 tsp for my 12oz cup.
Sipping it I get an almost bitter-ish taste that’s not bitter persay, but similar. Sharp and woodsy. Maybe a bit spicy. With an astringency that’s there and vaguely unpleasant, but not enough to bother me overly much. Definitely tiger-ish. Lol!

Maybe my palate just isn’t appreciative of Assams since, well, I’m kinda not blown away by this. It’s a nice tea to be sure, but I’m thinking it’s just not my thing. I have a feeling that Assams are not my thing since I’ve never really fallen head over heels for any of the ones I’ve tried. They’re just alright, and I’d drink one if that’s all that was there, but I’d likely reach for something else given the option.

Thanks so much to Cavo for sending me this. I’m glad I was able to try it instead of having to buy a whole 4.4oz container of it then ending up not liking it as much. Though I’m sure there’s plenty of people here who would take it off my hands. XD

Edit: Did a second steep at 5min/approx 10oz water. It was alright. Generally more mellow than the first brew. Definitely not as bitey. I almost like this one better than the first brew. Lol!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70
drank Ceylon Star by DAVIDsTEA
218 tasting notes

So the first time I had this I thought it was amazing. Kinda spicy chai without being, well, spicy chai…if that makes any sense. Lol!
I’ve been entertaining getting the 250g that’s on sale at DavidsTea right now, but figured I’d make this again just to be sure. Now I’m even more on the fence before.
I remember it being amazing, but this cup is just so-so. I had originally steeped it for 4 min, but it tasted so watery that I dropped the basket back in for another 2 min.
I have a feeling that this was under leafed for the cup I used, since it was a pain to get an actual measure out of this what with the big chunks of star anise & coconut in the blend. I should’ve picked out at least the star anise, measured my cup, then added a few pieces after.
It smells the same as it should, but the cup itself is kinda weak and meh. Disappointing. Though at this point I’m not sure if it’s the measure’s fault, or that I was over-hyping the brew in my head. Lol.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Scottish Morn by Harney & Sons
218 tasting notes

Another swap from Keychange.
Wow. I must’ve done something wrong because this bordered on undrinkable for me. I took a sip and it was like drinking sand it was so astringent for me. So much so that I didn’t really take much note of the taste other than it could’ve been roasty? But after a second sip I couldn’t drink it and ended up dumping the cup. /sigh/ And after I’d read such good reviews about it.
I still have a tsp and a half left so maybe I’ll give it another shot. Or I might swap it away. Uncertain right now.
Not giving this a rating in case it was user error on this.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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48

Swap from Keychange that I’ve finally decided to try. (along with the other 2 she sent me) Wasn’t sure anout the brewing parameters so I went with my basic measures that I tend to fall back on.
Didn’t really have much of a dry scent, but that could just be the baggie it was in.
Brewed it’s kinda malty, fruity, smoke/spicy? Not sure on that last note though. XD
Taste wise it’s kinda fruityish, with that almost smokey/woody/spicy note to it. It’s also more astringent than I’d prefer, but still a nice cup.
Sitting here next to me on my warmer it’s gotten a touch on the bitter side, even with a bit of Truvia added and the astringency is like I swallowed cotton. Bleh.
But it was still a nice cup before it sat, though I can’t see myself ordering it myself.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Black Manas by Teajo Teas
218 tasting notes

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So I’m having this now because it was between Martha and Ten and Ten won for my morning tea, so Martha is for my night tea.
I’m not a fan of rooibos blends. I don’t like the taste of rooibos straight, but I can usually stand them mixed into a blend in small doses. This one was deceptive in that it looks like only a smidge of rooibos in the blend, but when I measured it out, it turned into mostly rooibos with a smidge of black tea leaves.
So strong caramel sort of scent to it, but not really any sort of other scent to indicate the sesame that’s supposed to be in the blend. Brewed the caramel smell is there but it doesn’t translate very strongly taste wise. It’s there, but not in the sense that would make me think ‘Caramel!’ on the sip. There’s a strange other taste that’s kinda…hard to describe. Kinda bitter? Sharp? Musky? I can’t really put my finger on it. And I’m not sure if it’s the rooibos or if this is the sesame coming up in the sip. It’s just strange and vaguely unpleasant to be honest. Also, the astringency on this blend has to be the worse out of all the other Doctor Who blends I’ve had from the set so far. Or at least, bad enough that I’ve actually noticed it.
I tried it with a bit of Truvia mixed in and while it takes some of the bitter edge off and turns the caramel into a sort of dark/toasted/burnt caramel sort of taste, it’s still an unpleasant enough blend that I don’t forsee me brewing this up again, not with other blends from the set that, even if they’re not my favorite, are still tasty.
Also, I’ve held off on giving this a rating since I’m not sure if it’s my dislike of rooibos that makes this blend so unpleasant, or if it’s the blend itself. XD

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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60

First it should be noted that this is a review of the original blend with the guanabana (which Adagio has since discontinued due to unpopularity), from the 10 tin sampler set (which Adagio has also since discontinued….for I believe cost issues). XD
So another one from my sampler. I’m almost all the way through, with this one being one of four left. Technically I have three since I’ve already had the Jack Harkness blend before, but the blend in the tins smells so differently than the blend I had gotten then (Not as in-your-face almond) that I’m planning on giving it another try. I also think I’ve forgotten to review most of the other tin blends since, like I said, I’m almost through with the sampler but there’s only reviews for 4 of them. Lol! I’ll have to go back and retaste the blends then review them since my memory is kinda foggy on them. But I digress. Onto the tea.
It’s got a funky sort of fruity smell in the package that actually kinda reminds me of Ten’s quirkiness on the show. There’s also little chocolate chips mixed into the blend, but ultimately I think this added nothing to the brew aside from looking tempting in the dry mix.
Taste wise it’s a kinda funky banana/fruity taste to it with a strong base of basic sort of black tea taste. Not funky bad, but funky in that it’s banana but with a little something extra that’s hard to put my finger on. This was without sugar. With a bit of Truvia (a little more than I’m used to using, but still less than a tsp, the blend pops a bit more with fruitiness and gets pretty damn tasty. Lol! I definitely prefer it with added sweetness than without. It’s kinda just blah straight.
I’m not sure what the current blend is like, but I imagine that it’s totally different from this version, and possibly not in a positive way. The guanabana adds that extra little quirk to what would possibly be a normal, boring sort of blend. Not at all appropriate to Ten’s character. Lol! Maybe I’ll try to swap for the current blend mix to compare. I’ll be drinking the rest of what’s in the tin, but I don’t expect an order due to the change in the blend.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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46

So my local Jewel Osco is remodeling and apparently clearing a whole bunch of stuff. There were a handful of different bottled teas and this one stood out to me as just something different to try. And it was only $.75 so I couldn’t really go wrong with that.
I tried this straight out of the bottle and I wasn’t really that impressed. Not really sweet but it has that funky acidic taste that I can’t seem to find a unsweetened bottled tea without, which stinks really. And there was a odd floral back note to the tea during the sip. I don’t really get the honeysuckle sweetness that the bottle claims. Just that strange floralness.
I added some truvia and poured it over ice. It’s…..better? Kinda? Lol. I don’t think I added enough truvia to make it ‘sweet’ and it’s still got that acidic and floral note to the tea. But it’s definitely better over ice. Since I got two bottles I might try the other one with just honey instead to see what it’s like.
Overall, nice to try, but I wouldn’t get it again. Meh.

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73

I actually made this a few night ago, but then I forgot about it and it got cold so I had to pour it out. But the sip I had just after brewing it was pretty good, so I figured I’d make it again.
This has a nice vanilla scent with something heavier behind it. I’m guessing that’s the sweet potato? Not sure since I’ve never had another tea with sweet potato in it, so I can’t say for certain.
Taste wise it’s a bit blah straight. Adding a bit of Truvia makes the vanilla pop and mellows the irish breakfast. The sweet potato is just kinda there with a bit of cinnamon/spice and a fuller flavor. Not detracting, just adding to it. Definitely better with sugar added, for me at least.
The version I’m reviewing here is actually different than the one that’s currently on the Adagio website (and the updated info here). The newer version just has Irish Breakfast & Vanilla Green, while the version I have has Sweet Potato as well (which Adagio has since discontinued). I got one of the (also now discontinued) Doctor Who 10 tin sampler sets from one of the stores that had the original blend in it. I’ll probly one day get a sample of the new version to try, but I’m rather disappointed that I won’t be able to get this particular blend again because it’s actually really nice.
I’ll just have to enjoy the rest of the little tin I have. Lol.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Roswell Strange

Oh I didn’t know Adagio had discontinued their Sweet Potato tea. That’s really disappointing; I so desperately wanted to try it, and the main reason I liked Rory’s blend was because of the Sweet Potato. Boo.

Shadowfall

Yeah. It was back before Christmas I think. It’s kinda a bummer since there were some really great blends that included it (Bilbo’s Brew is the other one that comes to mind). According to some of the newer Adagio reviews, the blend doesn’t really suffer from not having the sweet potato in it, but until I try that myself, I can’t confirm that.

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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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