175 Tasting Notes

drank London Tea by New English Teas
175 tasting notes

Santa must have stopped off in London before he got to my house this year and picked up a New English Teas gift pack for me. I really like the cute little tins that are shaped like a British double-decker bus, phone booth, and royal guard station.

This London Tea has a nice mellow flavor. There is a taste of malt, as well as the familiar full black tea flavor that seems to be standard with most of the British blends. The tea has a light mahogany color after brewing for three minutes at 212 degrees.

This variety was phenomenal with the addition of a few cakes of genuine Scottish shortbread. Tea and shortbread are obviously made for each other. Like all of the British varieties I have tried so far, this tea is best described as pleasant and tasty.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Santa Claus was very good to me again this year (even though I wasn’t always a good boy). He brought me some Partridges English Breakfast Loose Tea.

I love powerful bold black teas in the morning to knock me out of my post-slumber stupor; the stronger the better. However, I may have found a black tea that is potentially too strong even for me. This is not a criticism of the tea, but rather, my brewing method. I steeped the tea for five minutes at 212 degrees. I think this tea would have a more mellow flavor with three minutes of brewing. I will try that next time.

This selection has a prominent malty taste. The flavor is full and enduring, providing a big bang with every sip. Even with my over-steeping, the flavor is not bitter, just very rich and strong. The color is like maple syrup.

I do like this tea. It reminds me of other robust UK black teas that I was offered when I visited Scotland years ago. This is the kind of tea that will slap you awake in the morning. I will definitely keep it in my daybreak rotation for those mornings when I need an extra shove to reunite with the land of the living.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank True Love Flower Tea by Teavivre
175 tasting notes

Let me begin this note by saying the True Love Flower Tea by Teavivre is the most entertaining tea that I have experienced thus far. It was a lot of fun to watch the little tea bundle slowly molt into the pretty flowers and greenery!

I hadn’t brewed a flower tea before so I may not have used the proper procedure. I nuked (microwaved) water until it boiled and then I dropped the little bundle into the water. This method made the process very cool to observe. The nest-like ball immediately started to sizzle, open, and bloom, as it gradually sank to the bottom of the pot. I then let it steep for three minutes before I strained the tea into my cup.

If you have been following my tasting notes, you already know that I do not, as a rule, enjoy flowery tasting teas. However, this tea is a great exception to my standard thoughts about floral teas.

The Love Flower Tea has a soft, nice, semi-sweet, nutty flavor. The flowery attributes blend harmoniously with the taste but do not take control. I also didn’t feel like my mouth was full of perfume as I had with other flower power teas I tried in the past. I didn’t detect any bitterness. The flavor lingered pleasantly on my palate after each sip. The brewed color is a light orange/yellow.

This product changed my (tea) life in that I will now be open to trying other flowery teas in the future. True Love Flower Tea is an enjoyable tea, not just due to the delightful flavor, but also because of the great floor show!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

I enjoy flowering teas…….what a pleasurable experience.


Maybe if I try more of them, they’ll start to grow on me. :-)

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Although I usually follow Teavivre’s brewing instructions exactly as recommended, today I deviated from them for this green tea. Teavivre states on the packet that you should brew this tea for one minute at 176 degrees. I didn’t have a problem with the temperature but I knew one minute of brewing was not going to produce flavor strong enough for my tastebuds to tune in. So, I brewed the tea for two minutes instead.

I am very glad that I added an extra minute of brewing for this selection. Even with the additional steeping, this tea does not have a lot of flavor. What is there is pleasant, light, and grassy, but there just isn’t enough taste to rouse me or make me count the minutes until I try it again.

If you prefer green teas over the bolder and more robust black teas, this tea may be just fine for you. Personally, the teas that get me most excited are the ones that flood my senses with flavor and linger on my tastebuds after each sip.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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This morning I was having even more trouble than usual shaking the slumber off of my metabolism so I could face the day. I yearned for some potent black tea which usually does the trick.

However, fate dealt me a different hand as I accidentally, with squinting eyes, reached for the Teavivre Organic Silver Needle White Tea instead. Since, in my half-asleep state, I had already ripped the seal from the packet when I realized my mistake, I decided to make the best of the situation and go with it.

As I raised the cup to my lips and the first few drops of liquid trickled down my throat, my eyes popped open, not from the usual caffeine jolt of black tea, but from the incredible flavor that emerged from this amazing white tea!

I’m not a fan of flowery tasting teas, but the wonderful sweet floral flavor of this tea brought me back to memories of my childhood when I would suck out the sweet nectar of honeysuckle blossoms during the hot and humid New Jersey summers.

This tea has an extremely smooth taste to it. The floral and sweet flavors are in perfect harmony. There is no bitterness and neither flavor sensation overpowers the other.

The clean light golden yellow color of this tea, like white wine, is very inviting. You may want to serve this one in clear mugs to get the full effect.

Teavivre has once again broadened my horizons with another fantastic tea. I now see (and taste) the value and good in all tea colors. Black, white, green; they are now all equal in my sight (and tastebuds).

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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This is my first sampling of Pu-erh tea. If Teavivre’s Ripened Aged Pu-erh Mini Tuocha is representative of other teas of this type, I will be seeking out additional members of this club soon!

This tea is absolutely delicious! It has a rich, robust, and bold wood taste with a sweet edge to it. The color is a full-bodied dark brown, like maple syrup filtered through mahogany wood. The aroma reminds me of freshly cut fine wood in a furniture maker’s shop.

I found myself swirling the tea around my mouth longer than usual with each sip. I just didn’t want to swallow it and end the fabulous flavor ride.

As always, I followed Teavivre’s preparation instructions to the letter. I brewed this tea at 212 degrees for two minutes. That method seemed to perfectly produce one of the best tea experiences I have ever had.

If there is such a thing as a tea drinker’s tea, this has got to be it. I would enjoy this beverage at any time of the day or night. This tea is now listed at the top of my rapidly growing tea shopping list.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

This is the first puerh that made me CRAVE puerh.


Yes, it’s great stuff!

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I’m very new to Oolong tea so I am not sure what to expect when I try each variety. Teavivre’s Tie Guan Yin “Iron Goddess” Oolong tea is fascinating by any distinction. I was struggling to put the wonderful flavor into words until I read the information about this tea on Teavivre’s web site.

Teavivre explains that this tea is from “an area with a mix of mountains, forests, and small creeks.” Bingo! That is also a great description of the flavors inherent in this tea.

The taste of nature is abundant in this selection. It is earthy, fresh, and woodsy. The flavor is not overpowering but just right. I steeped it for the recommended maximum time of three minutes and it was perfect for my tastebuds with no bitterness. It has a light golden color that underestimates the power of its flavor.

This tea would be great to sip all day. Teavivre says that it can typically be infused seven times. I probably won’t be putting that claim to the test today, but excuse me while I prepare infusion #2 for another four cups.

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drank Sapphire Earl Grey by Novus Tea
175 tasting notes

It is probably not fair for me to review this tea because I have to confess that I just do not like tea that tastes like flowers. Jasmine flavored tea almost makes me gag. However, since I took the time and made the effort to down a whole cup of this tea this morning, I guess I have earned the right to put my two cents in (you can decide if my two cents are worth that much to you).

I tried to clear my mind of all prejudices as I took the first careful sip. I knew immediately that I did not like the taste of the Malva flowers. To me, flowered tea is like drinking perfume. I like flowers in the garden and perfume on my woman, but neither down my throat.

Even more disappointing to me was that I did not taste even a hint of Bergamot. Perhaps the Bergamot presence was so weak that the Malva beat it into submission.

The advertisement on the tea bag wrapper states that the “Bergamot and malva flowers add an innovative twist to traditional Earl Grey.” Personally, I think the Malva flowers twisted the life out of the Bergamot.


Sorry it was dissappointing…….


That’s ok, Scott. I think I’ve been spoiled lately by the great loose leaf tea I’ve sampled. Thanks for checking in!

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I went into the office today, which sadly meant I had to be away from my Breville loose leaf tea maker. Even sadder, my only tea options were those of the bagged persuasion. My fiancee gave me a sample tea bag of Sorwathe Rwanda black tea to try so I decided to turn my misfortune into adventure.

This tea is Fairtrade Certified and an Ethical Partner Participant. It is also certified by the Rwanda Bureau of Standards. I wasn’t sure what all of that signified, but I was hopeful that it meant good things inside the tea bag.

I steeped this tea for six minutes at approximately 200 degrees. I figured that was about as high a temperature as the hot water button on the office Flavia machine could muster. The tea that resulted was very dark and almost brown in color. It had a thick appearance and taste. The flavor was overwhelmingly malt. Despite the strong malted dominance of the taste, I didn’t experience any bitterness. I like malt to be PART of the flavor of my tea but I don’t want malt to be the ONLY flavor of my tea.

In my humble opinion, the tea would be much more enjoyable and interesting if there were at least undertones of other tastes within. This tea isn’t terrible, but it is a one horse ride to Mediocreville.

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drank Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavana
175 tasting notes

Yesterday, while we were out Christmas shopping at the local mall, I was again magnetically drawn to the Teavana store. My tried and true Teavana routine is to let the staff recommend what I should buy next. This time it was the Golden Monkey black tea.

After steeping this tea for three minutes at 195 degrees, a dark golden brew emerged. This tea is said to contain cocoa. I didn’t recognize chocolate in the flavor but this tea does have a nice sweet and malty taste. This is not one of the strongest black teas that I have tried, but there is sufficient flavor to satisfy my preference for the bold and beautiful.

While I enjoyed the milder but sweet and pleasing experience of this blend, I found myself longing for a scone or some tea biscuits to accompany it. This might have just been due to the throbbing of my sweet tooth. Or, maybe it was due to Christmas, the time of the year when sweetness fills our senses and our hearts.

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I ventured into the world of serious tea drinking in the Summer of 2011. I started out slowly and gently with bagged tea but climbed to the incredible flavorful heights of loose leaf teas in October of that year. Once you go leaf, you never go bag (except when you get free samples)!


South Carolina, USA

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