Back in the day, I’d thought I’d save something special to taste for my 500th tasting note and then write something really thoughtful and penetrating about it. Oh well, c’est la vie.

After finishing off the rest of my Adagio chocolate honeybush sample, I decided to give the vanilla a go.

I didn’t smell vanilla when I opened the little tin. In fact, I wasn’t sure I smelled anything other than honeybush until I opened up the plain honeybush for a comparison sniff. There’s definitely a difference, a stronger scent to the vanilla version, but it’s kind of a sharp, tangy smell that isn’t what I’m used to in vanilla anything. After steeping, the aroma is very herbal but it’s kind of a stretch to find the vanilla. I wonder if my sample is too old to have held the vanilla scent/flavor? Possibly, though the chocolate wasn’t.

There is a subtle vanilla flavor but mostly I taste the honey-sweetness of the honeybush. It’s as though the vanilla brought out the sweet side of the honeybush and the chocolate brought out the woody side. Because I prefer sweet to woody, I’d expect to prefer the vanilla version to the chocolate, but I actually like the chocolate version slightly better. It just seems to have more flavor overall.

In any case, an interesting experiment in self-education about the many things one can do with honeybush, but not something I’ll return to.

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

Congrats on reaching 500!!! Thant is quite respectable! : )


Yay for 500! (Even if it was a non-stellar tea!)

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Congrats on reaching 500!!! Thant is quite respectable! : )


Yay for 500! (Even if it was a non-stellar tea!)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



I’ve updated this bio as it’s been a couple of years since I “started getting into” tea. It’s now more accurate to say that I was obsessed with tea for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it, and I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I’ve recently started writing fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I much prefer to drink tea without additives such as milk and sugar. If a tea needs additives to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’m going to rate it high. The exception is chai, which I make on the stove top using a recipe I found here on Steepster. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs into the harder stuff, but once I learned how to make a decent cup of tea they became far less appealing to me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. I’m revising them slightly to make them less granular as I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas against other similar versions. So I rate Earl Greys, for example, against other Earl Greys, rather than against all teas. If something rates very high with me, though, it probably means it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is; will keep this stocked until the cows come home

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; likely to become a favorite, will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again if in the mood for this particular one or a better, similar version not available

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but probably wouldn’t buy again unless craving this particular flavor

50-59 Okay or run of the mill

Below 50 So-so, iffy, would definitely pass
or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.


Bay Area, California



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