871 Tasting Notes


The looseleaf version of this tea is good (haven’t tried the filter bags and probably won’t…). I brewed up another excellent pot tonight after dinner, followed by a second infusion. I am using a cast-iron teapot without the insert and pouring the brewed tea through a sieve. The spent leaves are huge and beautiful.

Once again, I feel that the character of this lightly embellished decaffeinated green is very close to a white tea.

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Second infusion was delicious—just as good as the first.

Third infusion was lighter but still nice.

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drank Paris by Harney & Sons
871 tasting notes

The greatest thing about frigid, antarctic, insufferable Boston winter is:

hot tea!

Another satisfying pot brewed strong and sloshed with light cream. Makes me wish that winter would never end! Okay, that might be going too far…

I am still trying to figure out what exactly Paris tastes like. Maybe a cross between a blackcurrant tea, a vanilla tea, and an Earl Grey? I do believe that the fruit is blackcurrant. I also noticed today that the spent leaves smell a bit like tobacco, which makes me wonder whether the tea maker added something to impart a true café feeling to the blend…

I still prefer Earl Grey, but this is nice for a change of pace.

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This was my second custom blend white tea at Adagio, designed to honor my beloved HRH Emperor Oliver, who departed from this world on September 16, 2013. I combined snowbud, white cucumber and white monkey for a soft and tender blend—no fruits, no bells and no whistles. Because I used only a small proportion of the cucumber, the scent and flavor are quite light and the brew is very refreshing. I dislike the scent of the straight-up Adagio white cucumber dry—to me it smells like vinegar—but here it is nice in the blend.

hrh emperor oliver #2 can easily serve the same function for me as a cup of sencha after lunch, so I’ll probably alternate back and forth between the two. Since all of the teas here are white, I’ll reinfuse the blend later on for an early evening pot, since most of the caffeine will have come out in this infusion, given that it is water soluble.

I like this tea and will not be tweaking it at all. A thirst-quenching light and limpid halo-white blend!

185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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searching for a taste
simple yellow chamomile
yearning for that scent

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I am confused. I always thought that the famous Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime was a chamomile tea. That’s definitely my memory of it, though I cannot claim to have bought a box of it in years. Yesterday at Whole Foods I decided to grab one, along with one of Vanilla Sleepytime, because I’ve been on a chamomile kick of late. To my surprise, Sleepytime now seems to contain primarily spearmint!

I do like a good spearmint tisane now and then (Tazo Refresh, anyone?), but this new formulation (I presume) is very different from my memory of the Sleepytime of days of lore. It may be that I should stick with the straight up Chamomile from this line. Now I’ll have to pick up another box of that one again since my box from ancient history is disappearing fast. I hope that it won’t smell like dandelions instead!

I do recommend this latest batch of Sleepytime as a spearmint but not as a chamomile infusion.

Boiling 7 min, 15 sec

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drank Coco Chai Rooibos by DAVIDsTEA
871 tasting notes

Another unique herbal blend from Davids Tea, Coco Chai Rooibos seems to me like a cross between a pseudo hot toddy (non-alcoholic) and an infusion of cinnamon. The alcohol flavor is quite marked, and I imagine that it is the secret “artificial flavoring” ingredient. Strangely, no one else seems to be commenting about it. Rum, anyone? No?

Well, to me, it overwhelms just about everything else. There is a strong spiciness reminiscent of ginger here, too, but I believe that the cinnamon adds to the hotness, and I definitely do not catch the taste specifically of ginger. Nor that of coconut. Or even rooibos. Maybe that’s a good thing, though. This could be the rooibos for rooibos naysayers. Also teetotalers…

Boiling 8 min or more

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drank Forever Nuts by DAVIDsTEA
871 tasting notes

My extremely low expectations for Davids Tea Forever Nuts have been exceeded.

I was skeptical, to say the least, that a little sachet seemingly filled with chopped almonds could possibly produce a decent cup of tea-esque beverage. Then, when it brewed up an almost fluorescent reddish color, I really began to worry. Reading the envelope, I learned that the color was due to beetroot, so that was a relief.

To make sure that I got as much flavor as possibly, I smashed the contents of the infused sachet against the wall of the glass (not a double-walled Bodum, which would have shattered…).

I stand corrected: Forever Nuts is quite drinkable and even rather pleasant. My primary regret is that the ingredients include that ugly black box: artificial flavoring. Why????

There is also a somewhat foody aftertaste which makes me want to go brush my teeth (not typical for me after drinking a tisane!). No doubt because the sachet contained food.

Boiling 7 min, 15 sec

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drank Earl Grey by Tea Forte
871 tasting notes

I have the filter bags of Tea Forte Earl Grey, and I imagine that it varies from the loose leaf version which some have raved about. The only ingredients listed on the box are:

organic black tea, natural bergamot flavor and natural orange flavor

So definitely no cornflowers.

This is an acceptable filter bag Earl Grey. It’s not delicious, but it’s certainly drinkable. I find it less perfumed than the Tazo Earl Grey filterbags (the purple paper ones, not the white ones, which I have not tried, nor the loose Tazo, which is naturally better).

The liquor brews up reddish orange and tastes a bit too tannic to me. On the box, the tea is described as deriving from the Assam region and “rich in tannins,” so perhaps there are people who look for that quality in their Earl Grey, in which case this filter bag may fill the need. Even with cream, it’s not as smooth as I prefer my Earl Grey to be. I’ll drink this box but will not purchase again.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Earl Grey by Tazo
871 tasting notes

A vast improvement over Pukka. (faint praise)

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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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