531 Tasting Notes


My package from VariaTEA arrived! I didn’t think I’d ever say it, but: too much tea. No more. At least not until I’ve cut down by at least half. Ideally I’d like to stay under 100 teas (why does that sound so unattainable?!).

Anyway, I went for this first because of stomach trouble again. There’s ginger in it and I also remember MissB saying that pu-erhs calm her stomach, so I thought I’d try it out. I admit I have very little experience with pu-erh but this seems like a good way to try it since I know I like oolongs.

Ooh, this tastes good! I’m getting mostly orange and ginger with an earthiness in the background. It tastes sort of like an herbal, actually. I don’t know if the effect will be permanent, but it is soothing my stomach, too. Hooray!

ETA: As this cools the aftertaste is less bitter and more of a candied-ginger kind of thing. I love it so much I’m upping the rating.

205 °F / 96 °C

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drank Eggnog Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
531 tasting notes

I got my packages from LiberTEAS and QueenOfTarts, which means my cabinet is now overflowing. Good thing this is a sipdown!

I think I didn’t use enough milk in this. The matcha flavor is intense, but it’s still good. The rating stands, although I might want to try this in other flavor levels. At least in the sample it’s too slight to really be eggnog.

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For some reason this isn’t tasting so bad to me right now, and I think I’ve been a little unfair to it. I’m upping the rating since it’s not completely undrinkable cold. For hibiscus and other red-fruit lovers this could be really good.

Out of curiosity, if I created a food blog would anyone on here read it? I’m thinking about writing about my attempts to learn how to cook as well as a few other things (possibly reviews, stories about food, etc.). Obviously you’ve already chosen to see my tasting notes regularly, so that’s a good start. :)


I’m a rare food blog reader myself, unless it’s a diet that I’m experimenting with. That’s just me, though! :)

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Sipdown! Although technically not because it wasn’t in my cupboard yet. The look of the dry tea is good: the spice chunks are much larger than I expected. It also smells really spicy, which is a good start.

The taste of this is intensely spiced. For me this is a good thing, but for people who don’t like cloves and ginger I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s not a sweet spice tea at all, so it stands up well to sugar, and when I added a little milk it became the closest thing to pumpkin pie tea I’ve had. This was a great cup to wake up with!

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This comes to me from Jennkay—thank you! It smells peachy as it brews, but decidedly like a white peach and not a yellow one. The taste is even better than the smell: oh my goodness! It’s a very clear, refreshing fruit taste. If I haven’t bought any of this by my birthday I’ll have to, because it reminds me of summer.

ETA: As it cools it gets sweeter, almost like candy. Delicious both ways.

180 °F / 82 °C

Yes! LOVE this!


Yay! Glad you love it, too :)

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I think I have one more of these packets so it’s not quite a sipdown, but at least I’m halfway there. This smells very roasty, more so than most oolongs I would reach for. There’s still a sweetness to the smell, though.

This is a nice medium-roasted oolong. I wouldn’t call it dark compared to some I’ve had. It’s very sweet brewed up, to the point that it almost tastes like Golden Moon’s Sugar Caramel Oolong. There’s a slight roasted oolong flavor and a strong brown sugar taste. I don’t know that I’d buy it, but it’s really nice.

180 °F / 82 °C

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drank Fujian Rain by Adagio Teas
531 tasting notes

Time for the Puppy Bowl! Which means no more tea after this for a while because I won’t be able to pull myself away from the TV, haha.

This is the darkest Adagio oolong I’ve tried so far. It smells nice and roasty, but not roasty enough to put me off. There are definitely some woody notes to this, along with some nuttiness and a sweet fruit/honey aftertaste. Very nice!

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Not quite a tasting note here but I wanted to report on my tea eggs—a complete success! I’d never had them before but I wanted to give it a try. I used this tea, a splash of soy sauce, a handful each of peppercorns, cinnamon bark, and cardamom, and a dash of garlic powder for five eggs. They’re nice and lightly aromatic but the egg taste isn’t overshadowed. The tea is definitely present too, and just how I remembered: floral, light, a little honeyed. I may give in and buy this one eventually.

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In the process of making tea eggs with the remainder of In Pursuit of Tea’s Golden Yunnan—that means two more sipdowns (uh, sort of). I decided on an oolong sample to brew up while I wait. I’m using the recipe Golden Moon sent out in their newsletter a while back, at least in theory, but I totally changed the spicing because of availability/preference. My kitchen smells amazing right now, so I must have done something right!

This smells gorgeous! It smells a lot like Adagio’s Dancong Aria to me, which is definitely a good thing. Fresh and fruity and lovely. The taste doesn’t quite hold up to the smell, oddly enough. It’s the exact same flavor profile as Dancong Aria—peaches, white flowers, cedar wood, and a little earthiness—but it’s weaker than I expected. It’s not bad, but there’s not enough fruit or floral to it for me and I’ve had better oolongs of this type.

ETA: Now that it’s cooled I’m getting way more fruit. I think this is one that’s great cold but not ideal hot.

Flavors: Cedar, Earth, Fruit Tree Flowers, Peach

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drank Zen by Tazo
531 tasting notes

Stomach trouble again. This has become my go-to for that because I can make it in the microwave (horror!) without making it taste any worse. That sounds kind of sad but I can’t bring myself to really hate this tea: the spearmint flavor is good, and this time I’m getting some lemongrass flavor. Still no green tea, though.

1 min, 30 sec

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Elizabeth, college student, anthropology major, bio and history minor. I love to travel and try new foods (and teas!). I also enjoy music, books, video games as often as I can get my hands on them.

I loved tea as a kid, didn’t drink it for about ten years, and then rediscovered it a couple of years ago. Tea sometimes helps me feel better when chronic illness is making things hard. It’s also fun to experiment with!

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, fruit, vanilla, and floral flavors. My least favorites are teas that are overly smoked, bitter, or contain strong hibiscus or orange peel.


Indiana, U.S.

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