466 Tasting Notes


What an incredible jasmine tea! If I haven’t made it clear by now, jasmines are one of my favorite kinds of teas. I love floral flavors to begin with, but there’s something about the taste and smell of jasmine that I just love. This one is absolutely wonderful; light, just on the edge between floral and sweet, and not bitter at all. I was actually concerned that I had oversteeped this or brewed it too hot (it’s so hard to tell with jasmines), but this is so smooth! I would love to have it in my collection.

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This is a nice Dragonwell. There are some vegetal notes—snap peas are the closest I can think of—with a sweet, smooth finish. It’s buttery and light, with no bitterness. Not the best Dragonwell I’ve had but very drinkable. So far I’m impressed by this brand and would love to try more.

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Sipdown and backlog from last night:

I’m having a really tough week right now. I’m still sick (ear infection), on medicine that’s making me jittery, and working on a group project in one of my classes. Unfortunately, it’s one of those that only gets more complicated as you get further into it. My mother was nice enough to offer to make me dinner and tea last night, and when I asked for some kind of plain oolong she brought me a pot of this.

At first this seemed lighter than I usually like my oolongs: slightly earthy, some hay notes, and a touch of greenness. Then as it started to cool the sweet, almost melon-y aftertaste asserted itself and completely changed my mind. This is a very enjoyable tea, and a nice companion for a rough night. I would gladly drink it again (but sadly, it’s all gone).

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My enjoyment of this tea is frankly baffling to me. I don’t like smoky teas at all on the whole, but there’s something about this one that’s just good. There’s not too much smoke (and what smoke there is isn’t too in-your-face), and the base is smooth and lightly sweet. It’s a well-rounded and interesting sip, and I’m finding myself getting through a pot of it in one sitting easily. Nice!

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drank Spring Fest by RiverTea
466 tasting notes

Sipdown! This time around this tea is completely different, and I think I must have gotten almost all the cherry pieces in the last cup. This pot is all about the jasmine, with the papaya just enhancing the floral flavors. I would have liked for this tea to be more balanced, because the cherry and jasmine flavors are good by themselves and I’m sure they would have been great together, but I never really got them in one cup.

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drank Dragon Well Green by Novus Tea
466 tasting notes

Backlog from earlier in the week:
So many things surprised me about this tea. First, I was in a tiny restaurant in a little town and was not expecting to find Dragonwell of all things to drink (let alone with good long leaves in a sachet with plenty of room)! Second, this company is apparently an offshoot of Bigelow. I like Bigelow, but I don’t expect anything very exciting from them—for me they’re a reliable company for bagged black tea that I can count on when I’m traveling. So when the waiter came out with a box of sachets in every flavor we could want I was a little blown away.

This was actually very good, especially considering it was bagged. Lots of sweetness—my favorite thing about Dragonwell—some light vegetal notes and an almost nuttiness. The bag said “chestnut”, and I guess that’s the closest description that fits; more like cooked or preserved chestnuts than raw. It resteeped well and was a delightful surprise on a cold day!

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This is a good spice tea. It starts off balanced but gets a little heavy on the cinnamon toward the bottom of the cup and could use more cardamom for my taste (but then everything could use more cardamom for my taste!). Right now I’m enjoying warming up with it on a cold, windy day, which is perfect.

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This one isn’t really working for me. Having just come back from Poland I’ve had a lot of beets and cabbage recently so I’m very familiar with the taste of both, and despite how dark red this brews up the taste of it is mostly cabbage. It’s oddly sweet, but not in a way that reminds me of beet flavor—beets are just about my favorite vegetable and I would have loved to find more of them in here. Instead it’s reminiscent of cooked cabbage, but not balanced enough with salt or other flavors to be appetizing. The consistency is watery like the other savory teas, but in this case I find it more unpleasant than I found the others. I’ll be giving it a pass.

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Well, I’ve come down with a sinus infection. Luckily for me it’s not a very bad one—I used to get them chronically. For now, at least, my tastes aren’t even off, so I’m not afraid to try out this sample!

Right out of the bag this smells exactly like pie or cobbler, and it only gets more intense as the water hits it. I was a little worried at first because I don’t tend to like dark oolongs, but it’s actually perfect for the apple and cinnamon flavors. There’s a maltiness to it that really compliments the apple flavor and reminds me of baked ones when they’ve soaked up all those spices and they’re practically falling apart right out of the oven. The cinnamon isn’t overwhelming despite how strong the smell is in the bag, instead becoming a sweet background note that compliments the oolong. This one is a gem! I’d definitely buy it.

Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Hay, Honey, Malt

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What a weird and interesting tea. The last savory tea I tried was a lot like soup, and I’d say this is even more so. There’s a feeling of a thin tomato soup, maybe with some cucumber too, herbed and spiced and then packaged in a teabag. It’s definitely not bad and in fact I think it’s very drinkable, but you’d have to be in a certain mood for it.

Flavors: Cucumber, Mint, Pepper, Salt, Vegetables

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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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