1086 Tasting Notes


Once again I was somewhat underwhelmed by the flavor of this blend. It tastes fine but somewhat nondescript. Perhaps Organic Better Rest Blend is supposed to be a bit boring in order better to induce sleep? The flavor seems something like a fourth infusion of a green tea.

The good news is that the lemon grass is not overwhelming despite the obvious preponderance of the little stalks in the sachet. Also a relief is that the stinky valerian does not smell the same infused as it does dry…

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drank Organic Chai by Tazo
1086 tasting notes

I found some bags of this Tazo Organic Chai and decided that since I was severely decaffeinated and the weather was cool and drizzly this would be a perfect opportunity to brew up a large Bodum. I have consumed a lot of this tea in the past, but I’ve been less into chai lately for some reason. It was probably one of those fads which carries us away until we get our wits about us once again.

Anyway, I’ve tried my share of chai blends, and many are “spice cabinet” chais, with much more spice than tea, which always annoys me a little. I mean the word chai means “tea”, does it not???? I mention this today because I checked out the ingredients list for the new Oprah Chai chez Starbucks (which appears to be replacing the Tazo), and the first ingredient listed is cinnamon. Well, I certainly like cinnamon, but as the top ingredient in a chai? No, thank you.

Tazo Organic Chai boasts black tea as its first ingredient, followed by ginger and then cinnamon. Clove is rather far down the list, although I recall that in the loose-leaf, non-organic Tazo Chai, whole cloves figure rather prominently, necessitating the addition of a hefty dose of Assam (usually CTC), if I am to imbibe that blend.

This one, the organic version, is perfectly dosed, with enough black tea to make this seem like a flavored tea, not a tea-tinged infusion of spices. I usually do not sweeten tea, but chai is the exception to the rule. Today I used my all-time favorite chai adulterant: sweetened condensed milk, which adds both the milk and the sweetness all in a few large glob-like spoons (or are they dollops?) of caramel-esque wonderfulness. Needless to say, this beverage is of the meal replacement variety. I was hungry and tired; now I am neither!

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 10 g 30 OZ / 887 ML

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This Mountain Organic indonesian Green Tea from Tea at Sea is very good. The flavor is succulent, the liquor pale green, and the leaves unfurl in the manner of oolong, getting better and better with each subsequent infusion!

As this was my final pot, I am now putting this tea—the first I’ve ever tried from Indonesia—on my wishlist. Many thanks to Tea at Sea for the generous samples—you were right: tasting is believing!

second infusion: whoops! I just read at the Tea at Sea website that the first infusion is supposed to be discarded. So that’s why the second infusion is so good—because it’s really the first! ;-)

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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This is my first experience of tamayokucha, which Two Leaves glosses as “Extremely Green Tea”. Well, the liquor is a pale greenish yellow, but let’s not get carried away!

The flavor seems midway between a sencha and a long jing—almost a hybrid between a classic Japanese and a classic Chinese green. It’s pretty good.

second infusion: better than the first! I am using a large Bodum glass (about 10 ounces), so these sachets are essentially equivalent to two filter bags. Now I’m going to have to try this tea in the loose format…

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 9 OZ / 266 ML

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drank Peppermint by Harney & Sons
1086 tasting notes

I drank a nice glass of this infusion last night after eating a handful of peppermint candies. A perfect match!

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Other reviewers have compared Republic of Tea Ginseng Peppermint to Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer, and there is definitely a lot of overlap, given the eleuthero, the peppermint, and the licorice root, which imparts a decided sweetness to the cloudy golden liquor.

As with Tension Tamer, the dominant flavor seems to me to be licorice. I also can taste the ginseng, which is also somewhat sweet. The mintiness of the peppermint is rather light, probably because the licorice and the ginseng are so strong. Or is that eleuthero? I’m still not sure what eleuthero tastes like.

This blend is making me very drowsy. Perhaps I should go bathe before falling asleep!

Flavors: Licorice

190 °F / 87 °C 6 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Iced Passion Tea by Tazo
1086 tasting notes

The summer has not even begun, and I’ve already logged four iced Passions! I predict that this infusion will take over Refresh as my number one logged tea in the steamy months to come.

Passion is always lip-puckeringly tasty, plus it serves as an excellent palette cleanser after whatever monstrosity I may have consumed first. I usually order this tea as a free refill on my rewards card, but I also have the large iced tea bags at home.

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drank Zhejiang Lung Ching by Adagio
1086 tasting notes

The Adagio Zhejiang Lung Chung sachet beats today’s competitor, Mighty Leaf Organic Dragonwell, but mainly it’s on a technicality: this seems more like Long Jing than that one does. I like them both, but I’m going to have compare the Mighty Leaf with the Wissotzky Timeless Green, memories of both the scent and the taste of which were evoked during this steep-off.

Both glasses brewed up pale greenish yellow, and the generously stoked sachets appear to contain about the same amount of tea. I’ll be reinfusing them later today for some decaffeinated green.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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In today’s steep-off chez sherapop, Mighty Leaf Organic Green Dragon is going sip to sip, sniff to sniff against Adagio Zhejiang Long Jing, both in the sachet format.

My first observation upon brewing up glasses of these teas side by side is that the Mighty Leaf smells more vegetal. In fact, it reminds more of the Wissotzky Timeless Green than any of the Long Jings I’ve tried. It tastes good, but could it be a blend?

Further evidence is that not all of the leaves are of the same flat sheathlike shape characteristic of single origin Long Jing. I do believe that this tea is good (I love the Wissotzky, after all!), but I’m not convinced that this is the better Long Jing.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 9 OZ / 266 ML

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drank Coconut Chai by Zhena's Gypsy Tea
1086 tasting notes

My first experience with Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Coconut Chai was disappointing, as I found the brew quite weak. Today I tried infusing a bag directly in almond-coconut milk. As evidence that this blend is truly tea deficient, the cup of almond-coconut milk remained nearly white through the infusion process. I added a second bag, and by dipping and squeezing the bags, eventually I achieved a beige-colored liquor.

The taste was much better, but it still seemed more like an almond-coconut milk drink than a chai tea beverage. This is definitely the way to prepare this tea, as far as as I’m concerned, but I doubt that I’ll buy any more once my final bag from the sampler tin is gone.

205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 45 sec
carol who

I bought several of the Zhena’s teas at a nearby World Market. I was disappointed and returned it. I got my full amount back. I think the tea was old… or it just wasn’t very good.


carol who: my impression is that this tea has been sitting on the grocery shelf for a long time. Despite the far-off expiration date, it does not have the same vibrancy as the fresh teas purchased directly from tea emporia…

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A long-time tea and perfume lover, I have recently begun to explore the intersections between the two at my blog: http://salondeparfum-sherapop.blogspot.com//

I participate at fragrance community websites, and I care about tea as much as perfume, so why not belong to Steepster as well?

A few words about my ratings. In assessing both teas and perfumes, my evaluation is “all things considered.” Teas do not differ very much in price (relative to perfumes or any luxury items), so I do not usually consider the price when rating a tea.

What I do consider is how the particular tea compares to teas of its own type. So I might give a high rating to a fine herbal infusion even though I would never say that it is my favorite TEA. But if it’s good for what it is, then it deserves a high rating. There is no point in wishing that a chamomile blend was an Assam or a sencha tea!

Any rating below 50 means that I find the liquid less desirable to drink than plain water. I may or may not finish the cup, depending upon how thirsty I am and whether there is another hot beverage or (in summertime) a source of fresh water available.

From 50 to 60 indicates that, while potable, the tea is not one which I would buy or repurchase, if I already made the mistake (I have learned) of purchasing it.

From 60 to 70 means that the tea is drinkable but I have criticisms of some sort, and I probably would not purchase or repurchase the tea as I can think of obvious alternatives which would be better.

From 70 to 80 is a solid brew which I would purchase again.

From 80 to 90 is good stuff, and I probably need to have some ready at hand in my humble abode.

From 90 to 100 is a tea (or infusion) which I have come to depend on and look forward to imbibing again and again—if possible!

If you are interested in perfume, you might like my 2300+ perfume reviews, most of which have been archived at sherapop’s sillage (essentially my perfumelog):



Somerville, Massachusetts, USA



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