517 Tasting Notes


I’m going to be honest; I don’t trust bagged oolongs. Oolong is The one type of tea I think really needs space to bloom in the cup. That said, this is very good for bagged! It’s my favorite medium-bodied kind, a little bit floral. It’s not quite fruity, but it verges on fruity the way floral flavors sometimes do. There’s also some woody flavors, but they’re not as strong as in some oolongs. That might actually be a good thing for people who are new to this type of tea or who don’t like that kind of flavor. I’m glad I decided to try this one.

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Well, I found this amazing little café in one of the buildings on campus. It’s about 2/3 of the way between two of my classes on Friday, so I know where I’ll be going every week. Their tea is great, too (loose leaf? on my campus?!). Sadly, I have no idea what brand it is. The shop itself is an offshoot of Lavazza but their tea looks nothing like what I had. What a mystery! Maybe I’ll ask if I ever catch them at a slow time.

On to the tea: this jasmine green is really good in a subtle way. The jasmine flavor sneaks up on you. It’s a little bit fruity at first, then sweet, with a beautiful floral aftertaste. The green flavor is a steadying presence in the background but never overwhelms; the whole cup is subtle. Utterly delicious (and even better with a lemon bear claw)!


lemon bear claw… drool


Interesting. There are Lavazza’s in Europe (I just saw one last night in Belgium), and I noticed each one is a bit different. Maybe the suppliers change based on location?

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Whoa. This one is seriously heavy on the ginger. There’s also quite a bit of cinnamon. It’s surprisingly bold for an herbal tea, and while I do get the gingerbread (as in bread, not cookies) comparison, I mostly taste hot, spicy ginger snaps. Not bad at all!

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drank Paris by Harney & Sons
517 tasting notes

I don’t know what it is about this tea that keeps me coming back. I wouldn’t count it amongst my favorites, per se, but every so often I just crave it. I almost always drink it with milk added, and it reminds me of some kind of creamy berry pie concoction. Even better, it seems to suit any time of day perfectly; for example, I just now had a cup while reading through my psychology homework in my PJs. My rating definitely needs to go up.

Flavors: Berry, Creamy, Dried Fruit, Vanilla

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To me this isn’t a chocolate tea at all, but that’s completely okay. Why? Because it tastes like dates and coconut, which might just be better. If you haven’t had date coconut rolls, and you can’t find them near you, this tea is a pretty good approximation. It’s definitely as addictive as they are! I’ll likely be restocking this when it’s gone thanks to my date (and coconut) addiction. Mm.

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Well, I did go back and get another box of Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride. I like it too much not to. There were two other seasonal teas on sale as well (this one and the gingerbread one), so I grabbed those too.

One thing this has going for it is actual pumpkin in the ingredients list. And I can taste it, too! Very happy about that. Not so happy about the intense fake sweetener taste. This smells like a pumpkin pastry of some kind but tastes like dipping my tongue in a bag of stevia. Hmm. I get the feeling if I brewed this with extra black tea it’d be better. The pumpkin flavor is very nice, but I wish that fake sweetness was gone.

Flavors: Pumpkin, Sweet

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I don’t know what it is about this tea, but it’s seriously good. I keep turning to it on days when I need to relax or I’m feeling a little off. Maybe because it’s like someone baked cookies for me! Today that feeling is much appreciated—I’m already sick after a week and a half of classes. Oops. Maybe I’ll go back to the store I got this from and see if they have any more on sale. I could use a stockpile for bad days.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Cookie, Orange Zest, Sugar

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drank Apricot Vanilla Creme by Tazo
517 tasting notes

Another surprise! It seems my grocery store has some good options (including some I’d never seen before yesterday, like this one). The white tea in this is actually the strongest flavor, with the sweet hay notes blending into the apricot seamlessly. The fruit is subtle but it enhances the base tea in a great way. The vanilla is more like an aftertaste, and it reminds me of whipped cream on a fruit dessert. Really good, especially for a brand I’d nearly given up on.

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This is a shock! I made a cup of this while cleaning up my room, and within two minutes it smelled like I had been baking. The taste is warm and comforting too, and somehow this tea manages to be buttery, just like a cookie. I admit my reasoning for getting it was “hey, it’s on sale,” but I’m glad I went for it. Yum!

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This is surprisingly good! I got it mostly because teabags are convenient for dorm living and loose tea isn’t as much (oops), but I think I chose well. The pineapple is strong and sweet and makes an interesting contrast with the vegetal, almost spinachy green tea. The ginger is soft but there as an aftertaste, adding some spice and a savory herbal flavor. I like the combination a lot and will have to try it iced sometime.

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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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