Thank you zentealife.com for sending a sample of this with my order! With teas so good, it’s definitely a smart idea for zentealife.com to send out free samples. It is impossible not to order anything from them after you’ve tried their teas! I knew I would love this one, since it’s Earl Grey Cream and also from Zen. The dry leaves here just SMELL creamier than other EGCs. And the taste is creamier too! There is actually a creamy texture left on my tongue. The black tea isn’t too tough, so that may be why the cream flavor can stand out. The bergamot isn’t too strong… I would have liked it stronger anyway. This is definitely the one to replace my beloved SpecialTeas Earl Grey Cream when that one runs out! Any tea fan really needs to try an Earl Grey Cream, and this is certainly one to start with.
576 Tasting Notes
So I ordered about 23 or so samples from Tealux. They had a sale! I like samples..I can’t help it! I have so many samples, it would take me forever to get through any ounces of tea, so I choose samples. Sadly, they didn’t have any of the Russian Maple Souchong… which is the reason I ordered from them in the first place. This will be the first of many I will be writing tasting notes for.
I thought this would be a fitting tea to drink last night: New Year’s Eve! It seems like it’d be a healthy tea to start the year with right. I love the rainbow of colors in the blend and the idea that all the elements are here— earth, fire, wood, metal, water. Well, I hope there isn’t any metal in here though. The steep color is a bright reddish orange. The flavor is great for a herbal tea.. but I think the lemon grass and the blackberry leaves are making it a little more medicinal than I’d like. I really can’t stand blackberry leaves in a tea.
thank you Momo for sending a sample of this a while back… there are still a couple I’ve yet to write tasting notes for! I think I’ve tried enough 52Teas now to wonder if those working there are either magicians or witches. I can’t tell. After steeping for 2-3 minutes after the water cooled down a while, this is delicious! I think all of the ingredients listed are equally present. There is definitely a nice ripe banana flavor, not artificial at all, but also rum, cinnamon, vanilla, brown sugar. Absolutely amazing. I haven’t actually had bananas foster, so I’m not sure what this is supposed to taste like, but this is delicious anyway. There is a dry mouth aspect to this tea though. But the flavor is well worth it. I’d love to try this again with whipped cream on the top!
Additional notes: Sipdown on my sample! I’m sad that not many others have tried this one. It’s a very strong rooibos, if a rooibos could be called strong. Meaning it has more flavor that most rooibos teas do. But I like that. The rooibos kind of competes for the spotlight with the raspberry and vanilla. I can’t believe this one still tasted so good, since it wasn’t even in a resealable package.
thank you again for the samples, Naturestealeaf.com! This is delicious! The leaves are a gorgeous green (my favorite color) wrapped into little buds.
First steep// 3 minutes// The steep color is a buttery lemon yellow. The taste is as buttery as the color, mellow yet vegetal and fresh. A bit spicy (but that may be from the chai that I had earlier in this infuser). The tea reminds me of a milk oolong I had… maybe because this type of tea would be the base for a milk oolong. This one is sweet and a bit creamy, anyway!
Second steep// 4 minutes// This steep is much less vegetal, much more floral and peachy. Love it!
Third steep// hotter & 4 minutes// This steep seemed to go back to the milk oolong flavor, but this time less vegetal. Still a bit floral, but not as peachy. I think this is my favorite steep. It’s very complex!
I could probably keep steeping! I would imagine there are MANY more steeps left in this. I’d really like to experiment with an oolong one day and just keep steeping the same leaves until there isn’t any flavor left. I think I’ll wait until I have a brew basket though. (I ordered from Tealux instead of Upton, so now I’ll probably have to wait longer to order from them. darn. I must have SOME limits.) I’ll just never stop being amazed at the differences in each steep of an oolong!
It’s NOT by birthday, but I’ll drink this birthday tea if I want to. Sorry, that was bad. I probably only know that song because I spent at least one of my birthdays crying (chicken pox & sweltering heat). And another birthday memory: I also remember bringing ridiculously colored Sesame Street cupcakes to a school birthday one year. When there were some extra cupcakes left at the end of the day, my brother was planted in a high chair in the garage for a good reason — he got blue cookie monster frosting EVERYWHERE.Anyway, thank you Starfevre for this sample! I love anything with vanilla and cream. This might be the first Adagio black tea I’ve tried. This is good! I steeped for three minutes, since I don’t see any instructions anywhere. The dry leaves smell like cake more than the tea tastes like cake. I love the black tea flavor — a bit strong, which may be drowning out the flavors. But I’m okay with that! I needed a tough black tea this morning (or every morning, really.) It’s a nice flavor combination… though more caramel would have been nice. I love the briskness with the sweetness of the vanilla, caramel and cream. I wouldn’t mind having this on my birthday! But now I’m thinking… what about black tea cupcakes??
thank you, Starfevre, for the trade! I adore the BBC Sherlock, that I caught by accident one day. I rarely just sit at the TV and flip channels. That time I caught the first airing of the first episode of Sherlock, sat captivated through it, and watched it for a second time immediately after the first episode aired. I love the idea of Adagio’s fandom teas, so I love to sample them!
This one is delicious. I haven’t tried many of Adagio’s teas but I really like their chai that I’ve tried. Like Starfevre, ginger is probably my least favorite thing in tea other than hibiscus, but I don’t seem to mind it in chai. I do get a bit of a hint of chocolate here, but not much of cream. Otherwise it’s a nice solid black tea mixed with chai. I love the bitterness (in a good way) that this tea has.
Additional notes: I’m loving this one again today. It’s interesting that I did notice that barbequey flavor again, that I noted last time. It’s roasty, smokey, chocolately, earthy, coffee-like. So good!
Thanks Dinosara for the trade! The dry leaves here smell like a fruity champagne. I love the flowers. Though this says it it supposed to be a jasmine tea yet lists rose petals. This tea really could have used a brew basket instead of my infuser… hopefully next time. I wanted to order a brew basket but I just noticed Tea Lux is having a sale!! They have so many delicious sounding teas. Not sure if I should place two orders of tea right now — no money and too much tea! ha. Anyway, this one is very smooth, light, sweet, floral and slightly fruity (but not anything like hibiscus..maybe it’s lemony, but I can barely tell). It’s light flavored, yet complex. It’s very tough to pick out the white and green tea flavors, but I like that it is a blend of both. The steep color looked like it was going to be a light sea green color, before turning yellow. I’ve never seen that before! I really like it! I gulped this one down.
Throw a bunch of… crap together and Yogi will call it “Caramel” and oh yeah, don’t forget that essential Yogi black pepper. There are so many ingredients here though. I have no idea how this is supposed to be caramel! I’m mainly tasting chamomile, which somehow is making it taste like plastic, pepper and stevia. The steep color looks like caramel, anyway! I’ve had better Yogi teas.
I will be treating myself to triple steeps of zentealife.com’s Phoenix Pearls all day tomorrow! (Or I guess today since it’s two in the morning.) I hope everyone is having the best holiday season they can! Happy Holidays!
Thank you, Butiki, for the samples! Now this tea knows what it’s doing. The cantaloupe flavor couldn’t be more like cantaloupe! It is perfectly paired with this white tea. I’m not sure I can taste the white tea at all, unless it is helping the cantaloupe flavor. The cream is good, but I could use more of it. The dry leaves smell more like cream but the tea smells more like cantaloupe. I love these gorgeous little yellow flowers — I’ve never seen them before. I wonder if they help the flavor at all. The steep color was a lovely yellow after three-four minutes. This is a very refreshing, accurate, indulgent tea! I don’t know how the magic behind this one works!
This is an amazing combination! This particular black tea is a perfect pairing with these gorgeous pink rose petals, that actually have a very full flavor present in the cup! I don’t think I’ve had another tea with roses that were so flavorful. The black tea is a medium flavor, a tiny bit brisk, that really showcases the roses. I didn’t think I liked ceylon as much as other black teas, so this was a surprise!
The strawberry & chocolate flavor here is spot on, there just isn’t enough of it. The scent of the leaves is especially scrumptious. I think there may be a milder black tea used for this one, as there is hardly any flavor to the black tea itself. Also, my sample pouch definitely didn’t look like the picture. Look at all those bright strawberries! But in my sample, the strawberries were harder to see (also probably because the leaves were coating the strawberry pieces for some reason… this blend was almost like “black tea covered strawberry” rather than “chocolate covered strawberry”!! The steep color was very light. So this tea was delicious, but there just wasn’t too much flavor. But what flavor is there is very natural. I don’t know why I’m complaining, since any other tea company’s blend like this would be way worse, have even less flavor. But I guess I have a higher level of expectation with Della Terra since their blends are usually so good!
Additional notes: sipdown! I really like this one. The green tea is so silky and smooth and maybe a bit creamy.. but it really fits well with the fruity flavors. So fresh! (Even if this sample was a few months away from being two years old, it still tastes the same as it did originally.) One of my favorite green teas (though there hasn’t been many I’ve tried. I’ll miss this sample… I wonder if Tea Licious would like to send me more samples?? I don’t think Tea Licious has enough tasting notes for their teas. hmm
Additional notes: Having this one again. My sinuses are bugging me (thanks for yet another fun thing, winter! Why not get dark at 4:30PM when there was hardly any light all day anyway? Or any light for weeks? sigh.) I just LOVE this tea. It is the perfect amount of heat & spiciness. Cinnamon, cayenne, chili peppers! This one might be good mixed with something chocolatey, but I wouldn’t want to ruin how perfect this one already is by adding anything to it. And the guayusa is sure to give me an energy boost!
thanks again for sending this one a while back, TeaEqualsBliss! I waited a while to write a steeping note for this one. I wanted to try it again because the first cup was underwhelming. I guess I expect more flavor for the price! I steeped for 15 minutes at boiling, and I’m not sure there is any caramel or chocolate flavor here. The malty black tea is decent enough, but like I said, underwhelming. But this is why tea swaps are so great: you get to try teas without having to buy whole ounces of it! :D (Also, this may or may not have absorbed the flavor of Adagio’s White Cucumber: they are both in baggies and this one was next to it! I’ll have to move it later today…I was planning on reorganizing anyway!)
I decided to have this one tonight because I had some sugar cookies to go along with it! I haven’t reviewed this one yet either, though I’ve steeped this many a time. It’s one of my favorite CS teas. Really, this tea should probably be called ‘butter cookie’. It has a delicious buttery flavor, as well as a buttery lemon yellow color to the steep. I’m surprised they aren’t drowning this one in ridiculous amounts of stevia like they have with their unbearable pumpkin blend if they are calling it ‘sugar cookie’. I’m not exactly sure how this is so sweet if they don’t put much or any stevia in it. But it’s good! The name is surely accurate!
A couple I’ve yet to write tasting notes for in my awesome Della Terra order. The little candies here certainly look like pearls! I think they add a bit of sugar sweetness that really helps the fruit flavors in their deliciousness. Because the strawberry and mango here are scrumtious (though the sweet strawberry is more present than the mango). It might just be me, but I think pu-erh has a much subtler flavor than black teas, which really help other flavors in the blend shine. The rose hips add even more refinement, but I’m not sure they added much flavor (I thought they usually taste more like hibiscus, but I might be wrong). They might have helped the fruits taste even better. Not sure. There is no bitterness at all as it cools. Only one of the 16 teas I’ve tried so far from Della Terra is something I wouldn’t care to drink again. Getting so many samples was a BAD idea… now I’ll be dreaming of getting full size pouches of everything! I’ve heard that pu-erh has more caffiene than black teas (and every other sort of tea). Anyone know if this is true?
thanks TeaEqualsBliss for sending this in a trade a while back. On the site searching for steeping notes, I noticed it mentioned that this was a 1st Place Winner in Oregon’s First State Tea Competition – Sept. 2, 2011. Nice! This seemed to me more of a chai than anything medicinal! The tea looks better than in this picture. There are many colors in the blend! The steep color is a bright orange. The taste is a pretty solid chai… the type not mixed with black tea which is nice sometimes. I like the addition of the licorice… it adds something special! (Even though the tea I had yesterday also had licorice.) Nice and spicy!
I knew I would love this tea! Yunnan black tea! Vanilla! Belgian dark chocolate! It’s the perfect combination. I would pick dark chocolate over regular chocolate every time (you know… it’s healthier anyway… I have an excuse!) The chocolate pieces look like little shavings from a giant chocolate bar. The black tea itself looks perfect, definitely “midnight” as the leaves are very dark. The steep color is more red than a pitch black cup of tea. After steeping for five minutes, the cup certainly smelled like chocolate! I peeked in my infuser and most of the chocolate pieces had melted away. With another steep at boiling, it should take care of the rest of the chocolate! I think even if there wasn’t chocolate included, this is the type of tea that would taste a bit like chocolate anyway. It’s very malty! It has the perfect mixture of bitter and sweet, both from the tea and both from the chocolate. I don’t mean astringency… there is none of that. The vanilla definitely makes itself known too! This was reminiscent of another tea I had… I just can’t remember which one. It might be my beloved Phoenix Pearls from Zen and maybe something else… So so good. I think I might have to order this one when my sample is gone. I’m so glad I got the chance to pick samples from naturestealeaf.com this time around! thank you! A tea like this just makes my day a little bit better. :D
thanks so much Naturestealeaf.com for the samples! I loved choosing which samples I wanted this go around. I picked these interesting little green stones because I’ve never seen any tea like this before. This is little oolong bundles wrapped in powdered ginseng and liquorice grass. They reminded me of the rock tumbler toy I had as a kid, where ordinary looking rocks are tossed around in a toy tumbler and out come colorful gems! (I tried to link to an example but it doesn’t seem to be working.) The smell of the leaves is very grassy and oaty. The taste is exactly the same in the best possible way, but after the sip, there is a unique slightly spicy sweetness that is probably mostly the liquorice but might also be an awesome combination of the oolong and the liquorice grass… and maybe the ginseng… not sure what that is supposed to taste like! I wanted to gulp it right down. The steep color was a golden color, but the second cup was much darker. With the second steep, I used just boiled water for five minutes and a ton more of the liquorice flavor made itself known. And much like the rock tumbler toy, the leaves are like little shells with precious oolong inside, the outer coating kind of crumbles apart to reveal the oolong. It’s amazing this tea seems so simple yet is so tasty and addictive! It also looks like there are a ton of health benefits for this one. I can’t wait to try this tea with a brew basket I’m planning on buying after the new year when I have some cash to spare. (It will be a nice excuse for an Upton order!) I think this tea would really benefit with room to stretch out, rather than being crammed in my tea dipper. The oolong leaves were still curled up in my infuser! Very nice choice and the price is great! I’m honored to write the first tasting note for this “gem”. haha.
I needed some black tea this morning! I’m realizing I don’t have many strong, deep flavored black teas in my stash. Zentealife.com’s Phoenix Pearls are an example, but I can’t drink those everyday… I’ll feel spoiled! But those have the flavor profile I’m talking about. Something like the Della Terra black teas have a great base for the awesome DT flavors, but not enough kick that will wake me up. The leaves here are medium sized, dark and dusty. The brew color is deep and dark. I haven’t had many “English breakfasts” so I’m not sure what to compare this to. The flavor is a bit sweet, punchy, spikey, tougher. I love the fragrance. As it cools, there is something marshmallowy about it. But that may be because I was sipping it with some sweet potato pie.. but that didn’t have any marshmallow on it! The next cup will be my last so consider this an advanced sipdown!
thanks again Dinosara for the trade! First, I must mention there are too many tea companies with the word Zen in them. I am getting confused. (But I must also mention that my very favorite is Zentealife.com!) Also, suddenly I have so many oolongs to write tasting notes for! Where did they all come from?
This one is good! The leaves smell like a sweet ripe raspberry (my favorite!) The first steep was three minutes. The raspberry tastes like a raspberry candy, rather than a tart raspberry. The oolong is hiding! I really can’t taste any. With the second steep (at five minutes), somehow the raspberry tastes more genuine, but maybe that is the oolong helping with that. The oolong flavor is much more present this steep. It is very vegetal but sweet. Not very floral or peachy. I’ll have to try this one iced…
Thank you Momo for sending a sample of this one in your sale a while ago. I recently discovered that maple & brown sugar oatmeal is DELICIOUS and has much less sugar than I assumed it would… less than half of the typical yogurt even. I knew I had this tea waiting to be tried, so a few days later, here goes. Sadly, I would never after a billion guesses think this is maple & brown sugar oatmeal. Maybe it is because my samples have been in tiny sample bags all in one bigger ziplock bag… maybe they have melded together. There is a sweetness to the tea, but that is about it. No maple, no brown sugar, no oatmeal. I brewed it for three/four minutes, not really boiling, so I don’t think I oversteeped. Maybe it should have been boiling. I really wish the instructions would be listed on the steepster descriptions, or at least on the 52Teas bag, since the picture is almost always on steepster and sometimes I can read it from the picture. Overall, this is a good tea, but not if you’re judging it from the description. I’d say this is the least accurate flavor profile in a 52Teas blend that I’ve tried.