2197 Tasting Notes

This is a tea bag that was included with my Christmas card from K S. Thank you, K S!

I have looked up and added the ingredients to the description for a special reason.

First, when I tasted this tea it reminded me very strongly of Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice tea, but wasn’t exactly the same. I had expected it to taste like Constant Comment. Since I couldn’t quite put a finger on what was different, I googled the ingredients. They were not listed on the pouch the bag came in.

In googling it, I found an article about how natural flavor in the ingredient list can mean something we don’t really consider to be natural. They specified this tea as an example and said the company was not forthcoming when they pressed for details about the flavors and how they are made and where they come from, and the article then listed a whole lot of companies that use “natural flavors”, with most of the biggies being in that list, including Teavana. There were only a few companies that use only all natural ingredients.

I do not refute that there is some stuff going in our foods that shouldn’t be there, and I do not take issue with this person’s concerns. We NEED to be informed about our food supply! Read the article. It is worth a read.

What I disagree with was their belief that something was “up”, shall we say, for this tea to be so sweet without sugar. Thanks to Harney and Sons HCS and Penzey’s Cinnamon Blend, I can tell you that when you put the right cinnamons together, you get a super sweet tasting final product.

I did not leave the bag in my cup. I used boiling and gave it close to four minutes steep. While the cinnamon was on top, the ginger was right there blasting away. It added a ton of sweetness in my opinion. Ginger is usually hot to me, and I avoid things that contain a lot of ginger because I don’t like the heat. I can take it and even enjoy it in small amounts. But something about the synergy of this cinnamon with all those herbs and the blast of ginger made me really, really enjoy this cuppa.

I don’t do bagged tea, but if I had to take tea bags with me somewhere, this would probably be one of them.


The complete ingredient list as furnished on the box read: Black tea, natural flavor, rosehip, lemongrass, cinnamon, chamomile, peppermint, jasmine green tea, anise seed, ginger root, orange peel, orange oil.

I don’t catch half the ingredients but enjoyed what I did detect. I immediately thought of Hot Cinnamon Spice as well, and am equally baffled at the sweetness of both.

S.G. Sanders

I knew about Teavana….considering I worked there for 2 years!

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This is a sipdown and that beautiful tin is now empty. What am I going to do with all the beautiful tins? I can’t keep them all! I have given away tons of them, and recycled some, and redecorated some.

This is a really decadent French tea, as only the French can do. This is sweet and flavorful, even without sugar, and I really don’t know how they capture that flavor I call “pastry crust” but when I went back and drank some of this cold, the front of the sip was like biting into a piece of pie. Given the opportunity, I will restock this one.

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drank White Tangerine by Revolution Tea
2197 tasting notes

I can’t believe I didn’t have this listed in my cupboard, mostly because this is the special large sachet that is specially made for PF Changs and I called their wholesale division and offered to buy a case if they would sell it to me even though they don’t list it as available to the public. They sold me the case and I divided it among friends and family.

The instructions say to pour boiling water over and leave the bag in, encouraging customers to go ahead and fill their cups when you get it to the table, and then you resteep. Whatever they did at the restaurant worked, but those parameters did not do well at home.

Today I gave it three minutes in 180F water. It was beautiful. So very citrus-y. I agree that the white tea looks quite dark for a white tea. I only did two steeps because it just didn’t seem like it could handle more.

I noticed that the sachet was big and crunchy, so I cut it open to pour in the compost and the leaves were a very nice size! It was pretty much whole leaf tea in a sachet, with good sized bits of something – probably peel – but I didn’t have time to investigate much.

I am really enjoying this. Had three pots total today of just this one.


oh wow. that’s awesome!

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This was a sipdown! I have been having it for breakfast to whittle down my older stock of Keemun teas. This is good, lighter than Zen Tea’s Keemun Finest, and I have enjoyed, but I do prefer the Zen Tea one.

Keemun teas are funny. There is such an incredible variety of flavor and strength, and you can change it so much just by how you steep and how much leaf you add – true of any tea but really can be a saving grace or complete damnation with Keemun, IMO.

They can be refined or hefty, smokey or cocoa-y, light or strong, wine-y or chocolate-y, brash or smooth. I like mine somewhere in the middle. Afternoons are great for the super refined, smooth, wine-y, lighter fellas, but for mornings I like that scrape of dark cocoa!

Doug F

I just received Upton’s Xiang Luo and it’s delicious—haven’t posted a review yet but I will.

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drank Matcha Sample D25 by Red Leaf Tea
2197 tasting notes

I placed a Red Leaf Tea order recently and this sample was included with my order. Thank you, Red Leaf Tea!

When you participate in the free sample test found on the discussion board, you get a 10g sample of matcha and pay only shipping. Once you review that, you will be sent another free sample with free shipping, and for the third free sample, I believe you receive this one. Mine, however, was simply included free with my order, and I already have another order on the way. Another sample, maybe? Woot woot!

The matcha powder is a lovely shade of green, nice and vibrant, and the aroma was very chocolate-y to me. I felt like it was a milk chocolate smell, but I did pass this around to several people and one of them immediately said it smelled like cocoa. Two others said chocolate, and one who had not heard them say this said it was a familiar smell but they couldn’t place it. Most people smelled chocolate.

I am not a matcha specialist. I am rather new to the matcha game compared to a lot of people, but I have graduated from only liking it as a sweetened latte to really enjoying a bowl whisked every day, plain. I have tried about ten different plain matcha teas, which isn’t very many, so lots of you will be far better qualified to write about these samples.

I usually use 160F water and no sugar. I have made this sample in this way several times now and feel prepared to review.

On the first tasting session with the lady who said it smelled like cocoa, she felt that it lost all chocolate scent once whisked up and said it tasted grassy. She is not a green tea drinker with the exception of enjoying jasmine green. She prefers black tea. I thought it was good. I found that I could work up a good froth, perhaps not as easily as with my KaiMatcha but it definitely got there. I did not find it bitter.

The color is slightly less vibrant than the best grade of matcha I have tried but still had a lovely color, and I stopped to admire the brilliance of the green color left in the white cups and pitcher we had used when we passed it around. The stain in the cups was a gorgeous color and had no trace of brown.

Tonight I even tried – for the first time ever – thick or Koi style using this matcha. I have never tried it before and found it a bit strong for me, but something I think could easily grow on you if you wanted to develop that taste. It wasn’t devilishly bitter, though, which I was afraid ANY Koi style preparation would be.

Thank you, Red Leaf, for your continued excellent customer service and for the sample!

S.G. Sanders

I think if I’d find a Matcha as satisfying as this, I might give it a go. So, I guess I’ll have to place an order soon! I’ve always been one of those people who wanted to like Matcha, but couldn’t. Unless it was mixed with another tea or in a smoothie. However, I’ll have to give this one a try.

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drank Long Jing (Dragon Well) by Teabook
2197 tasting notes

What a surprise! I got this tea in a card from K S and hadn’t gotten around to trying it yet.

When I poured it into my Kamjove I gasped because a lot of powder came out. Could Dragonwell be good like that? I am used to long, thin leaves.

I steeped it twice at 175F and held it to two minutes because of the pieces being so small. I was surprised that tiny dregs didn’t go through the filter but the liquor was clean and clear. Go, Kamjove!

It was super good! It has lots of flavor and wasn’t bitter or sour. One steep that went a bit long had an edge to it, but nothing to put me off. I think we steeped it five times. It was fresh, springtime in a cup!

Thank you, K S. This was a great tea to have with our Asian food tonight!

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A non-tea drinker asked to come to tea yesterday! I have found that people who don’t already drink tea seem to very open to puerh, and many get addicted to it. I can name three people who had puerh at my house and now have a large puerh collection, even though they didn’t drink tea before they came. And I serve other teas, but puerh gets the fans!

Anyway, after showing my guest some loose leaf puerh, flavored puerh, coin puerh, and beengs, I chose this one to serve. She really liked it and said it was her favorite of all the tea we drank. (We started with Teavivre Dian Hong – Golden Tip, then had their Anxi Tie Guan Yin) I made a lot of it in resteeps, then cold steeped the leaves overnight and had the cold puerh with my lunch today. Hubby came home from work and we had grilled cheese sandwiches and creamy broccoli soup with a little grated cheese on top.

I would say this is already better tasting than when I got it 14 months ago. I liked it then, but I think I like it even more now. It has not unseated my beloved and now out of stock Mengku Palace Ripened Golden Buds, though.

This has quite an earthy aroma, but she wasn’t frightened away by it. The taste is earthy, too – more farm-fresh soil than barn and horse.

On another note – I DESPERATELY WANT THOSE CHICKEN TEA PETS FOR SALE AT THE TEAHOUSE SHOP!!! I can not believe it. I have too much stuff, too much tea stuff, too many doodads, and don’t need any more kitsch, but they are so adorable! I never thought I would ever buy a tea pet. Yes, I will probably break down and buy them very soon.

S.G. Sanders

I started out with a milk oolong. It wasn’t until a couple of years when I started working at a tea shop that I was required to try a pu-erh. I must say I’d decide to drink a pu-erh any day over a lot of other teas! They’re so unique and vastly different than most teas.

S.G. Sanders

I splurged today online. I ended up purchasing a huge amount of tea. And afterward, I realized that with my Gaiwan set, I wanted a tea pet. I mean, after watching tea videos all week, I noticed these little clay animals—which at first were peculiar, but interesting…..Anyway, I found the tea pet that’d make my tea drinking….


A little pig. My wife bought me a pig mug on our wedding, and I’ve made it my goal to collect all pig things for my tea drinking.

Hopefully you’ll your chicken tea pet!


That pig is adorable! I have never seen such sass!


Must be the similarity to coffee that garners fans! :)

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I was really shocked to see what low ratings this tea has! Maybe mine was a little different? Or fresher?

It is a type of tea I really don’t drink. It says it is a blend of teas from India and Assam seemed to be the dominant flavor. Thick, malty, and bready came to mind as the best way to describe it. Usually Assam tea gives me a stomach ache and I avoid it, or at least add milk to tone it down when I must drink it. But this was quite good with my breakfast. I was damp and a little chilly from dealing with the chickens and getting rained on as I performed my coop chores, so a hearty tea was more welcome than usual. Breakfast was a fresh egg and homemade Finnish yogurt with a bit of raw honey. It went very well together.

I didn’t buy this – it was given to me by a student in a bag of Christmas goodies and I am just now getting around to drinking it. Someone compared it to Red Rose, which I don’t think I have ever tasted, but I bet they are spot on. This is what I think of as builders’ tea, but I enjoyed it this morning, even though it is a type of tea I don’t usually drink.

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I am a music teacher, tutor, and former homeschool mom (25 years!) who started drinking loose leaf tea about seven years ago! My daughters and I have tea every day, and we are frequently joined by my students or friends for “tea time.” Now my hubby joins us, too. His tastes have evolved from Tetley with milk and sugar to mostly unadorned greens and oolongs.

We have learned so much history, geography, and culture in this journey.

My avatar is a mole in a teacup! Long story…


North Carolina

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