649 Tasting Notes

drank Blueberry by Adagio Teas
649 tasting notes


I’ve blown through this sample pretty quickly. The juicy blueberry flavor and the black tea base are just too good to keep on the shelf. This one will probably be ordered sooner rather than later. As much as I love this tea I’m not rating it any higher because I have to time it perfectly or I end up with a lot of bitterness in my cup. The last two times I’ve made it I’ve used the stopwatch feature on my phone to time the tea as it steeps. Keeping the leaves in for even 15 seconds too long causes bitterness, so I only make Adagio teas when I can be hyper vigilant.

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drank Genmaicha by Zen Tea
649 tasting notes

I had a sudden craving for Genmaicha, so I went digging through my samples until I came out with this. I love the samples Zen Tea throws in when you place an order, and I really love that they’re in foil lined pouches. It makes it easy to tuck them away until I can fully enjoy them.

This is a very good Genmaicha. The savory toasted rice flavor is wonderfully strong. The green tea gives a grssy note and a sweet finish to the sip. The tea also resteeps very well. My second steep gave me a cup that had less of a toasted rice flavor, but the toastiness and the grassy notes from the green tea seemed to blend much more. Even though both steeps were good I enjoyed the second one even more than the first.

Genmaicha is something I only drink on occasion, but when I want it I really really want it! I’ll put the rest of my sample away to be enjoyed the next time a craving strikes.

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drank Spiked Eggnog by Compass Teas
649 tasting notes

Tea of the morning. I decided to finish off this sample that Jackie T sent me months ago. As previously noted the tea does not taste like eggnog or rum, but it is a decent vanilla tea. I added some sugar and milk to my mug which enhanced the vanilla and gave the tea a wonderfully smooth and silky texture.

This isn’t a tea I’ll be ordering, but as a swap tea it was great. Thanks, Jackie T!

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Wow, this is good! Lots of mango flavor. The base tea is hard to pick out when the tea hot because the mango is so strong, but it’s such a delicious fresh fruit taste that I don’t mind. Plus, this tea is decaffeinated, so it’s perfect for night’s like this when I should be sleeping but am browsing Steepster instead.

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I’m trying to work my way through the smaller samples I’ve received in trades. I actually have two separate bags of this one. I know one came from the Here’s Hoping tea box, but I have no idea who sent me the other one. So whoever the generous tea giver was, thank you!

This continues to be a tea with lots of peach flavor but no oolong. It’s easy enough to drink, and if I didn’t know it was an oolong I’d assume I was sipping on a basic peach flavor black tea. But since I do know it’s oolong I find myself really wanting more (any) oolong flavor.

I think I’ll cold brew the rest of this tea. Who knows, maybe that will coax more out of this one.

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drank Vanilla black tea by Zen Tea
649 tasting notes

Tea of the morning. I had to be out of the house earlier than usual, so I grabbed the first sample I laid my hands on and decided it would be in my travel mug asap. This cup wasn’t quite as good as the last offering from this sample. The vanilla doesn’t seem to be as strong. Still, it’s a very nice cup. Strong, smooth, and sweet. I can think of worse ways to start a Monday.

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Morning cup. I thought I was grabbing a different tea, but once I opened it I thought it’d be just as nice. All the same lovely pineapple and cake flavors as before. Good stuff!

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I steeped this at 195 degrees for 90 seconds, and the resulting tea was very pale in color with just a slight grassy flavor. I should have trusted my instincts and steeped it longer, but I was worried about bitterness. I do have enough tea left for one more cup, so I’ll give it another try with a longer steep.

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This is a lovely earthy tea. Given the light color of the liquor I wasn’t expecting such a deep full tea, but it was a nice surprise! Initially there was an earthy forest floor note with a sweet dark caramel flavor at the end of the sip. I did get a little astringency, but no bitterness. Really, really nice.

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drank Adam by Nina's Paris
649 tasting notes

I was expecting a mint tea with a hint of lemon, but this turned out to be a lemon tea with the faintest hint of spearmint. To be fair, this was made from a sample, so it’s entirely possible that a lot of lemon peel ended up in my infuser. That said this was a very nice cuppa. It was very clean and bright with the lemon tasting perfectly natural. This is a tea I’d like to try again and will consider ordering at some point in the future. I’d like to see if the mint, which was such a slight flavor in my cup, is as good as the lemon. If it is then I’d love to have this in my cupboard on a regular basis.

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Tea obsessed since 2010.

Some of my favorite tea companies are:

- Whispering Pines Tea Company
- Zen Tea Life
- Harney and Sons
- 52 Teas
- Teavivre

My Rating System:

100-95 = Teas I actively seek out and keep in my pantry. If you are a guest in my home chances are I will offer you one or all of these teas. Also, if/when these teas are discontinued I openly mourn their loss.

94-85 = Teas I truly like, often have in my pantry, and sometimes restock. These are my variety-is-the-spice-of-life teas.

84-75 = They’re good teas and I enjoy drinking them on occasion.

74-65 = These teas are ok, but not really my thing.

64-55 = meh.

54-45 = I will if I have no other option.

44 and below = Coffee, please.


New Jersey, USA



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