1015 Tasting Notes

drank Tazo Rest Herbal Infusion by Tazo
1015 tasting notes

I am chuckling at the wide range of opinions about this Tazo blend. Rest really does taste like very lightly sugar-coated rose petals. A perfume tisane!

Whether that is a good thing or not is obviously open to debate…

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drank Golden Monkey by Tazo
1015 tasting notes

As predicted, this rich reddish amber tea is greatly improved with cream! The cream both smooths out the rough edges and enhances the burnt caramel quality, creating a velvety finish.


My rating for this tea when served with cream (I used half and half): 80.

Flavors: Caramel

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drank Sencha Shizuoka by Thé Santé
1015 tasting notes

Today’s pot of Thé Santé Sencha Shizuoka had a marked seaweed flavor to it.


Flavors: Seaweed

170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML

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(Backlog!) I generally try to write tasting notes in real time, but my computer was invaded by goblins last night, and for some reason they would not let me post. Here’s what I wrote in a state of semi-consciousness:

My one-pound bag of chamomile from Harney & Sons arrived a couple of days ago. The Harney & Sons advocates in the forum were right: they sell by the pound, not by volume (as does Adagio at least some of the time…). The bag is enormous—essentially equivalent to the amount of chamomile in sixteen of the Palace Gardens tins. Looks as though I’ll need another dozen or so to be able to store the loose flowers in appropriately beautiful housing.

For now, I continue to sip my way through the first two. I may just be addicted to chamomile. Since my recent discovery that the sachets make great eye compresses, I realized that I won’t be able to move exclusively to the loose flower format! Fourteen more tins will be 210 pairs of eye compresses. That should keep my eyes soothingly covered for a while…

Flavors: Flowers


Wow, that’s a lot of chamomile you’ve got there!


It is a lot, keychange. I might take a chamomile bath soon…

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Today was a big day for me today: I lost my Teavana store virginity. Yes, I was at the mall and so decided to go pick up an ounce of gyokuro as a reward on my Starbucks card. The Teavana atmosphere was bizarre, to put it mildly. For one thing, it’s not even a place where one can sit down for a cup of tea! Very odd. Instead, it’s a bunch of aggressive sales people trying to sell people tetsubins at $180. Seriously, there must have been eight different people working and swirling about maybe three customers. Really very strange. I probably won’t return any time soon. They tried to sell me some of the Christmas discount tins, but I mentioned that I did my holiday shopping online. What is the point of these stores? Why go to a tea emporium where there is nowhere to sit? Can someone help me out here? We can place orders on the internet, so what is the draw of the instore experience supposed to be—aside from aggressive salespersons attempting to sell overpriced tetsubins?

As you can readily see, I found the experience rather stressful and unpleasant, so I returned to Starbucks for a second refill. Relief is always only a grande Refresh away.


Mine is mostly staffed by old Teaopia people, much more laid back. Avoid eye contact and the won’t try to sell you anything. The turn off for me are the samples the first time I tried it I wanted to spit it out. It was so sweet…it made me nauseous.


yyz: you are right that the samples were all sweetened! Not a great way to showcase the quality of a tea!

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drank Zen Iced Green Tea by Tazo
1015 tasting notes

Today’s trip to Starbucks began with a grande triple shot soy milk cafe mocha extra hot with foam on top. My refill? A Zen iced tea. I needed something cool and refreshing and I was inside a mall, and starting to feel a bit toasty in my thick sweater and bulky winter coat.

Iced Zen is a nice blend. Lemongrass and a touch of mint are used to embellish the green tea. There’s also some lemon verbena in here. I’m not sure which green tea is the star of this show—it appears to be a blend of China greens, but I’m not entirely sure. Anyway, it’s a balanced and pleasant brew, and the lemongrass is used judiciously and so does not overwhelm, as I sometimes find in blends.

I find that the iced Zen tends to vary from store to store and from barista to barista, depending upon their personal view on the proper level of dilution. Today’s cup was on the light side.

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I found a handful of these individually wrapped green tea bags from Kirkland in a purse! I drank a lot of this tea a while back, and it was my very first experience with the sachet format. I wonder whether Kirkland was the first to create the sachet? Well, anyway the biggest surprise was always that this purveyor of high quality Japanese green tea was somehow affiliated with … Costco!!!!

I loved this tea. The bag I drank this afternoon sadly tasted a bit stale, but now this tea is old, and I am thinking that maybe it was a sencha/genmaicha blend, because I’ve noticed that genmaicha sometimes becomes stale as a result of the popped rice. I believe that there is some matcha implicated as well, because some of the dark green powder sifts through the sachet pores.

Since this tea is no longer in its prime, I’ll refrain from rating it today. If I come across a fresh box at some point, then I’ll try it again. I do recall that I loved it before…

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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drank Mint Verbena by Harney & Sons
1015 tasting notes

Another sachet experience new to me from Harney & Sons, Mint Verbena is quite refreshing and has apparently (according to the box) both spearmint and peppermint along with the verbena. There is more body to this brew than to the straight-up peppermint from H&S.

In some ways, I am reminded of Tazo Refresh—partly because of the spearmint but also because there’s some real oomph to it. Of course, there’s no tarragon here, and I cannot say that the verbena really smells or tastes very much like citrus, but it does seem to be adding to the flavor weight, so to speak.

Since I have a box of twenty—now nineteen—sachets, this mint blend will be in regular rotation with the Harney & Sons peppermint!

Boiling 8 min or more 2 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
1015 tasting notes

I have been wanting to try this decaffeinated vanilla tea from Harney & Sons, and my twenty sachet box arrived today, so tonight’s the night!

The black tea base is Ceylon, and it appears to be very similar if not identical to the H &S decaffeinated Ceylon. A bit lighter than I am accustomed to for flavored teas—usually China black or Assam—but still good. The vanilla is fairly light as well, but together the Ceylon and the vanilla make a fine blend, which is enhanced by some cream. I used half and half.

It’s nice to have some camellia sinensis suitable for imbibing right before bed!

Flavors: Vanilla

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 2 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Today’s trip to Starbucks began with a tall Americano, long shots, extra hot. Well, that was my intention, anyway. My barista wrote “ristretto” on the cup, because she seemed to think that it means “long”. When I received my order, I discovered that the brew was weak, so I asked the woman who made it what happened and she said that she did what it said: “ristretto”. I said that I had ordered long shots and that in Italian, ristretto means “short”. Eventually I realized that I had to disabuse my original barista of her error, so I confronted her as politely as I could. She was embarrassed, but at least she will never make the same mistake again. Now she knows that long shots in Italian is “lungo” and short shots in is “ristretto”.

In the end, I drank both cups with half and half, but the lungo was about a million times better than the ristretto.

My refill? Refresh, naturally. It was freezing outside, albeit sunny, and there was tons of snow on the ground, so it shone in the sun and lifted my spirits along with the tiny wafts of spearmint and tarragon through the hole in the top of my cup. Refresh remains my number one choice for a refill after a coffee drink at Starbucks. It’s simply good.

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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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