329 Tasting Notes

drank Bai Hao Yin Zen by David's Tea
329 tasting notes

I got a sample of this with a DavidsTea order awhile back. I brought it to work last week, and decided to have it this morning. I opened the little packet (I hate the packaging for their loose leaf samples, BTW – I’m always afraid I’m going to get it all over the place trying to rip through the sticker, and ripping the sticker means I can’t read the label while I sip) and turned it into the brewing basket for the cup I use at work.

I took a sniff of the dry loose tea, and confusion sets in – I smell chocolate. I have never had a white tea that smelled of chocolate. Not malty, not cocoa-y – chocolate. I drank a chocolate flavored tea last week – did I not wash out my brewing mug and basket well enough last week?

Next issue – I sweeten black teas more than green or white, so I grabbed two packets of sweetener by habit, and poured them both in. I should have gone with one. It’s too sweet.

And it tastes of chocolate. There are only 3 reviews of this tea, none of them mention chocolate.

There’s a little bit of the vegetal taste I would expect. But there’s that chocolate too. And it’s overly sweet.

I’m so confused.

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I am polishing off the last of this today! Added some of their Chai Spice mix to it, and brewed. I used more Zhu Rong than needed to see if it would be stronger. No, not really, but with the chai spice, it’s ok.

But hey, more cupboard room developing! I will have enough room for a super spree when my summer spending fast is over!

Edit: I think this is a lot better as a chai base – the spices bring out the cocoa/malt aspects of the tea. It’s still not a favorite, and I won’t reorder, but it works as a base. If I had more of it left, I would play around with mixing.

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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
329 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
329 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
329 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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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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