317 Tasting Notes


This is my second recorded tasting of this. My bag is near empty, so I know I’ve tried it a couple of times.

Smells good, tastes decent, but this tea is just kind of weak and underwhelming. It doesn’t have the body I want from a black tea; which seems weird, as the description calls it “full-bodied” and “rich” and it’s named after a freakin’ warrior queen!

It seems strange that it gets such high reviews and praise and songs in its honor, and I’m left looking at my cup and going “Am I drinking the same tea?”

Now I am on the second and last cup from my little white teapot (it’s probably a 4 serving teapot, but I drink from huge mugs) and it sat and steeped while I drank the first. It’s got an oversteeped taste, it’s a little brisker, but still underwhelming. I would expect this warrior queen to slap the crap outta me at this point, but it’s more like Queen Elizabeth’s royal wave.

Apparently, Zhu Rongs…

( •_•)>⌐■-■

…don’t make a right for me.

(I’m so sorry, but I had to do it…)

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Chocolate Energy Tea
Tea Man

Black tea, yerba mate, chocolate extract

Working on polishing this tea off, at work. I’m actually enjoying it quite a bit when drinking, but I detest cleaning out the steeping basket after it’s done. Generally, I dump the basket, and let what’s sticking to it air dry, then it pretty much knocks right out. Then I rinse the basket. This stuff though? The yerba mate CEMENTS to the side of the basket, and it takes actual effort to clean. I’m so lazy :D

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Packet 1 of 2 from the most recent Steepster Select box.

I was unsure this would be good after watching it steep and comparing it to the instruction on the packet – 1.5 minutes and it was still pretty light in color.

The scent reminds me of Milk Oolong, and it mentioned being milky and floral, so I tried it as a latte first – good, but a little insubstantial.

Second steeping, I’m having it without milk and it’s been steeping awhile – better, but not spectacular to me. I’ll try the second packet in a gaiwan, I think, when I have time to spare.

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Yesterday, I made a pot of this for the hubs and I. I had some left in the pot when we were done, so I sweetened it and put it in the fridge. Pulled it out, poured it over ice, and added some lime juice.

It’s really good this way. I wish I had some fresh mint or sage to add to it, I think that would be good.

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drank Chai Green by Stash Tea Company
317 tasting notes

Moved onto this from the break room after dumping the rooibus. I dislike Stash’s black chai, but thought I would give it a whirl anyway. The box recommend milk, which seems weird to me – I don’t usually put milk in green teas. Brewed it up, sweetened it and creamed it… it tastes… smokey? I don’t recall drinking a Dragonwell before. Is it generally smokey? The other reviews don’t mention it. Maybe it’s the clove I’m getting?

Hmm… not great, but drinkable.

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drank Kiwi Lime Ginger by Tea Forte
317 tasting notes

Augh! Sneaky rooibus strikes again. There’s a mixed box of Tea Forte bags in the breakroom at work, and I thought Kiwi Lime Ginger sounded just the thing for my scratchy throat. Brewed it up, sat down and took a sniff. Nice, very fruity… not really a tea smell… hey wait, is this not a green? I brought it up here, and saw the dreaded Word. Rooibus. Grabbed the little box each bag comes in… it just says “organic herbal tea / naturally caffeine free” D’oh! dumps tea Dangit :( I don’t know why I assumed it would be a green.

Without Steepster to save me, I would have drank it and had an unpleasant surprise when the stomach cramps set in! Thanks Steepster!

Not rating it, since it might be a perfectly lovely tea – I actually like the taste of rooibus, just not its effects on my stomach!


weird, I thought rooibos was supposed to be good for your stomach. Not in your case, evidently!


Yup, it’s one of the purported benefits… but not for moi. I get stomach aches and cramps. Which makes me sad since people seem to want to put it in half the herbal blends these days.

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I brought some souvenir tins of tea back from England. Two of them are adorable retro WW1 tins with graphics about tea rationing on them. I opened one of those up this morning and brewed up a cup. I am pleasantly surprised – it’s quite good, and I was expecting crap since it was a fairly inexpensive tourist trinket.

You can see the tins I got here: http://www.newenglishteas.com/memorabilia.html

The box says the tea is sourced ethically, which if true, makes me happy.

With cream and sweetener, it smells nice, tastes a bit malty, and isn’t bitter.

Thumbs up! If you are in the UK, want a fun souvenir for yourself or a loved one, I think the tea rations tins are a good choice.

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drank Black Pearl by Mandala Tea
317 tasting notes

Polished this envelope off tonight. Definitely had this more than once, but only managed to review it one other time. I liked it, but I don’t know if I liked it more than Adagio’s black pearls – I don’t think it was as cocoa-y. Still good tea though.

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drank English Breakfast by Steepster
317 tasting notes

I am back from England! Trying to get my body back on Central Timezone instead of Greenwich, so after powering through to at least 8:30 pm before sleeping when I woke up a little after 5 am I decided to go ahead and get up, as that’s only a bit earlier than my normal waking time here.

My Steepster select box came while I was gone, and I thought that trying an English Breakfast was a good way to ease back into being home. Now, I don’t generally like English Breakfast teas that I have been able to get in the states – and I only had a couple in the UK, which where fairly nondescript – but this one is REALLY GOOD. No bitterness that I normally associate with E.B. obtained in the US. It’s malty, which is the Assam, and I taste the carmelized fruit that’s on the description. It’s somewhat dry, but not astringent, which I like. I used sweetener and half&half, and this is a nice gentle morning cuppa to wake before the sun.

That’s part of the weirdness of being back after a fairly long trip – I think I mentioned before that the sky starts getting light before 4 am in Windsor? Here’s it’s almost 6 and it’s only just starting to lighten. That’s a readjustment that’s going to take some getting used to.

Now I am on the second steeping, which was steeping while I drank the first, with the same water from the kettle, which was below boiling. It’s a little bit brisker, not as sweet and caramel-y, but certainly not bad. Still a bit fruity.

Third: Hmm… caramel is back, but there’s a soapy quality. I would recommend sticking with two steeps. The attempt at a 4th was barely colored water.

Overall: Thumbs way up. I really enjoyed the first steeping, and the second was good as well. I would be willing to make a place for this in my cupboard.

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drank Chai by Teapigs
317 tasting notes

I don’t know if it’s just that tea after a long walk in the chilly rain is good, but right now this is the BEST tea I have had so far in the UK! We needed a couple of things for the flat, so I decided to walk to the big Tesco. It took longer than I thought it would, and the day is grey, chilly, and rainy. I got two of the items I needed, forgot one (d’oh!), and added this and a couple of other items to my basket as well. Trudged home like a local with my bags on my arm – very tempted to get one of those wheeled shopping carts I have seen the older ladies with.

Anyway… Got home and brewed up a cup, immediately followed by another. I am now warm and dry and still enjoying it immensely. Very smooth, not overwhelmingly spicy.

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When I was a very young child, I swallowed an ice cube whole. It got stuck in my throat, and my mother had me drink hot tea to melt it away. That started a love affair with tea that has never abated.

I dabbled with Celestial Seasonings and other grocery store teabags for awhile, in my young and foolish days. But a few years ago, I received a tea of the month subscription from Adagio, and I found that there was a whole other world of tea out there that I had never experienced.

I love drinking tea, and I love the personal ceremony of making a glass or pot of tea for myself. It’s like a meditation.


DFW, Texas

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