519 Tasting Notes

drank Jasmine Tea by Golden Moon Tea
519 tasting notes

Brewed lower and shorter than recommended just in case. Jasmine greens have a nasty habit of going bitter on me.

This is really pretty good. I still think there’s better jasmine out there, but brewed this way it’s surprisingly buttery (not a word I’ve ever used for a Chinese green before), and the jasmine is amazingly light and sweet. It’s almost like jasmine cotton candy, if you can imagine that. I may try the resteep a little longer just for comparison’s sake, but this is a good cup.

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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A resteep. This is still delicious the second time around, but I’m getting more of a balance between the guava and ginger. This is a really subtle ginger tea but I actually like that because it doesn’t take over. I’m also getting more of the actual tea flavor this time around. Definitely worth the resteep!

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I think this is the first time both my parents have asked for tea at the same time. Dad’s getting sick (the last in the house, poor dad) and requested a TGY given to him by one of his students and I made mom some of the White Angel I fell in love with a few days ago. No word from dad yet but mom loved her cup! I feel like I’m slowly converting my family, haha.

This smells so amazing! It’s like an Indian dessert or candy (fun fact—Indian restaurants made me love fennel). Amazingly aromatic. Over the course of a few days I’ve fallen head-over-heels for these aromatic spice teas. The taste is incredible. Sweet, aromatic but not too spicy: the smell was good, but the taste is actually better. There’s also a slight baked-apple taste in the background. I’m in love!

ETA: As I get down to the bottom the pepper heat sneaks up on me more. Again, it’s not too much. I actually really like it.

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My box from Beorhthraefn also came today! This was a surprise sample and after smelling it I couldn’t pass up a cup of it. It’s so fruity it’s almost floral. I’m starting to think I should move somewhere tropical since I can’t get enough of these tropical fruits.

The guava in this is lovely—it reminds me of guava juice but without all the sugar. It’s absolutely true to the fruit. The ginger in this is almost floral, not spicy or herbal like I expected at all. The aftertaste is subtly sweet. I’m really liking this!

ETA: As it cools the ginger is more obvious. It’s still floral and fruity and delicious, but I prefer it hot for the strong guava taste.

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drank Sun Kiss by RiverTea
519 tasting notes

My RiverTea order came today! I can’t get over how good their packaging is: it’s clearly labeled with volume, steep time, ingredients, temperature, etc. on the bottom and the cardboard “tins” are really cute. I especially appreciate the volume because I tend to forget how much of each tea I have, pfft! I didn’t pick out the samples myself but they all seem like things I would choose myself. Don’t you love it when that happens?

I admit I wasn’t going to do an order but then I saw this while browsing through the website. Prickly pear? I love prickly pear! When I open the bag it smells like, well, prickly pears. I’m impressed. It also smells like rooibos but I don’t actually mind rooibos in most things so that’s fine with me.

The taste of this is heavy on the rooibos, but it does mix alright with the fruit. I definitely taste prickly pear and some of the kiwi. I think the fruit taste could be upped a little more, and it might need to be overleafed for that; I’m also missing the rose but since it’s not necessarily a rose tea I’m not heartbroken. Still, it’s a pretty good cup and a welcome non-caffeinated addition to my highly-caffeinated cabinet.


I know right? Best packaging and labelling ever!

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Another from MirandaGou! Mom smelled this and requested a cup, so I made this in my little teapot (3 teaspoons tea to 3 cups water). It smells exactly like a truffle in the bag; brewed it’s a little less so and the Della Terra black base comes through more. I’m starting to wonder if it’s DT’s black base I don’t like, because most of the other types of blends are ones I like more! So far none of the blacks have really blown my mind.

This tastes…watered down. Wasn’t that my complaint with Eight Candles, too? It’s thin and the flavors I’m expecting only come through in the aftertaste. There’s almost zero raspberry and the chocolate isn’t assertive. Darn. It’s still an okay cup, but that’s about all I can say.

ETA: Added milk—it’s creamier this way and the chocolate comes out more but any raspberry flavor is now completely hidden.


How much leaf are you using? Della Terra says 1 tsp for 6 oz so most people need at least 1.5 tsps per cup. Also, I find these benefit from overleafing.


Theoretically I’ve been doing that, but they still taste weak. I think I’m going to overleaf by a lot next time just to see if it helps.

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I got this from MirandaGou in our recent swap: thank you! Chocolate sounds good today for some reason, and my feet are cold, so I went for this first. It smells very chocolatey. There is some spice to the scent but it’s mostly chocolate.

The chocolate taste is excellent (probably because I got about ten mini chocolate chips in this teaspoon!). It’s definitely a dark chocolate flavor, and it also has a creamy mouthfeel that just makes it better. I was a little afraid of this one because of the chilis, but I’m only getting the slightest tingle from it. The spices give the chocolate a great flavor, too. Right now I actually want the chili flavor, so maybe next time I should overleaf? Still really good and I’m glad to have it in my cabinet now.

ETA: As I get through the cup there’s more of an afterburn, but it’s not too much for me. This is coming from someone who can’t handle “medium” salsa, so I think most people would find the chili heat just right (unless you like really spicy things!).

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After the near-disaster of earlier I’m not up to anything else new tonight. I decided to go with a favorite, and when I looked into my cabinet I was drawn to this one.

Why was this not rated 100 before? It’s by far my favorite of my full size Golden Moon tins. This is everything I like about simply flavored oolongs. Light, smooth, refreshing, perfect. I brewed this at a lower temperature this time and it made it amazingly creamy. I’ll have to do that again!

170 °F / 76 °C

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drank Zen by Tazo
519 tasting notes

Not amazing, but it settled my stomach. I actually do like spearmint from time to time despite my general mint aversion. The lemongrass is barely there and so is the green tea, but at least for now that’s not a problem.

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Wow. I don’t know why, but for some reason the taste of this is reminiscent of—pardon me—vomit. Not sure what else I can say.

Mom likes it, so it’s all hers. I won’t be touching it again.

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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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