484 Tasting Notes

drank Fujian Rain by Adagio Teas
484 tasting notes

Sipdown. After the pu-erh this morning I decided to have something I knew I would like, which ended up being a pot and a cup of this. It’s woodier than I remember, and not quite as sweet, but pretty good. Adagio’s oolongs are decent, and unlike a lot of their blacks and greens I would reorder several—including this one, most likely.

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drank Pu-erh Chai by Golden Moon Tea
484 tasting notes

I have a confession to make; I am terrified of pu-erh. After trying this tea, I’m pretty sure it knows. I don’t get any spice out of this, just overwhelming bitterness and earthiness. It tastes like wet, moldy leaves smell in the fall when no amount of raking or collecting seems to get rid of them (and for the record, I am allergic to the mold on those leaves). There’s maybe a hint of orange peel that lingers after the sip, but since I’m not a fan of orange peel either I don’t consider that a plus. I’m going to refrain from rating this since pu-erh seems to really not be my thing. At least I know that for sure now.


That’s been my thought about pu-erh – it senses my fear.

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Backlog. This one was alright, but not nearly as sweet as I expected from the description. I might try icing or even cold-brewing this one, because it seems like it could stand up to it. The apricot flavor of this is intense, right down to the pit. I think that’s the only way I can describe it, because while the edge I taste here isn’t bitter exactly, there’s definitely something less smooth than I expected. Not bad, but I think cold-brewing might make it great instead of just good.

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Backlog. This smelled wonderful but was ultimately a bit much for me. The lavender is intensely herbal and the sencha base is really vegetal, leaving me with a tea that was pretty grassy. I was expecting more floral flavor from the lavender to balance the sencha, but this one was just too strong all around for me. I gave the rest to mom—she loves it.

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Well, having gotten a couple of emails by now about Golden Moon changing the way they do things, I’m looking at the couple of old sample pouches I have left and feeling bemused. I’m not sure what the point of sampling is if they’re going to have all new tea! But at least it’s a sipdown.

This is fine, but I’ve had better jasmines. The floral flavor is intense at the start of the sip and then just disappears. There’s a hint of sweetness but it’s also there and gone, and the base is lackluster. Luckily I’ve already found several jasmines I love, because this is not going to be added to that list.

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Sipdown! And what a fascinating one it is. This one is rolled like an oolong but definitely tastes like a green. Buttery, very lightly vegetal to the point of being almost hay-like, and a soft sweetness at the end of the sip. If a dragonwell, a silver needle white, and a green oolong had a baby, it might just be this tea. Calming and delicious.

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I’ve heard good things about this tea, but for whatever reason I just hadn’t tried it yet. Now that I have I’m sorry I waited! The dry tea smells like candied roses, and as it brews it mellows out slightly. The taste is creamy, floral but not perfumey, and I actually do taste something like wine—a very sweet version, but it’s definitely there. The balance of flavors is amazing and even with all that going on it still doesn’t overpower the base.

Flavors: Champagne, Creamy, Rose, Sweet, White Wine

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drank Phoenix Pearl by Zen Tea
484 tasting notes

This one is a sad sipdown. I’ve had two steeps’ worth in one sitting now because it’s just so delicious, and I’ve decided the second steep is my favorite. On the first steep most of the heavy flavors (malt, tobacco, cocoa, etc.) take over, but on the second steep there’s some woodiness, honey, flowers… It’s wonderful. Once I get my tea count down to a manageable number I’ll definitely be getting more.


I just placed a Zen Tea order, and I forgot to get this one. :( It’s a great tea.

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There’s a lot going on here: cinnamon, clove, cardamom, rose, orange, almond, and vanilla. I don’t taste all of those, but I do taste a surprising number of them and they’re pretty well-balanced. I don’t tend to like orange peel, but it doesn’t take over. The spices are strong and the rose is surprisingly robust, with just a little vanilla at the end of the sip to mellow things out. I wish I got more of the almond and cardamom, but this is quite nice.

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Sipdown! This is pretty good. The oolong is the star here, with just a little citrus sneaking in right before the end. The base itself has a lot of mineral tones up front and then goes intensely sweet in the aftertaste—yum! The additions make the taste smoother, but they don’t overpower.

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Elizabeth, college student, history/anthropology major. I love to read, travel, and try new foods.

I loved tea as a kid, didn’t drink it for about ten years, and then rediscovered it about a year ago. I’m still pretty new to the types and brands of tea out there, but I’m interested in trying some of everything! My favorites are earl greys, yunnans, medium-bodied oolongs, Japanese greens, and fruit flavors. My least favorites are teas that are overly smoked, bitter, or contain strong hibiscus or orange peel.

About Swaps: I am always willing to swap with anyone within continental North America! Just drop me a note. For anyone in the eastern half of the U.S. I’ll gladly swap small samples of things, but further away than that I would prefer if we dealt with larger amounts.


Indiana, U.S.



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