11 Tasting Notes

83
drank Six Summits by Teavana
11 tasting notes

I would like to take this time to apologize to Oolong tea. I’m sorry I said you tasted like a mix of grass, moss, wet tree bark, and mud. I was wrong. Really wrong. But, can you really blame me when the only Oolong tea I had the misfortune to taste was from a tea bag? But you, Six Summits Oolong from Teavana, have opened my eyes.

The scent of the dried tea is pleasant. Actually, the way I’m about to describe it is kind of odd. But, believe me, pleasant none-the-less. It smells like a combination of dried catnip and red fruit roll-ups, folks. It’s earthy, but the raspberries lend a certain sweetness to the scent.

The Oolong flavor was good. I think my taste buds appreciated the quality of this Oolong tea more than the bagged tea that I had tried a few years prior. Initially, I couldn’t taste the raspberries, they did create a pleasant aftertaste though–sweet and slightly tart, just like a raspberry should taste!

Bottom Line: I received this as a Christmas present from my father. Of all the teas he gave to me, this was the one I was most hesitant to try, so naturally I tried it first. I’m glad I did! Would I purchase this tea in the future? Yea, probably. But, more importantly, it opened my eyes that Oolong could actually taste good. Better than good! I’m more inclined to try out other Oolong teas in the future.

I think there are different versions of this tea. Perhaps I was gifted Six Summits when Teavana still concocted it with dried raspberries, because my tin had loads of them. Teavana did not cheat me out of red raspberries. They were plentiful! And I’m not talking raspberry crumbles either. I’m talking whole. big. red raspberries.

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82
drank My Morning Mate by Teavana
11 tasting notes

My Morning Maté tastes less like the traditional cup of tea and more like…well, coffee, without the bitterness! The blend contains Mate tea, Rooibos tea, black tea, cocoa kernels, carob bits, chocolate chips, orange peels, almonds, cactus blossoms, coriander, pistachio nuts, cracknel bits, red pepper, cornflowers, safflowers, and sunflower petals. Are you drooling yet?

It has a nutty flavor, and initially this made me nervous. I don’t actually like nuts, but they weren’t overwhelming in this cuppa. I’d say they were actually pleasant. And the addition of chocolate is not lost on my taste buds. I’d like to play around with this tea, which is not something I often do. When it comes to both tea and coffee, I refuse to add milk or sugar. But, I think a dribble of honey or some rock sugar would make this tea even better.

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50
drank Earl Grey Black by Teavana
11 tasting notes

I had high hopes for Teavana’s Earl Grey tea. When the sales lady fanned the delightful scent of black tea and citrus in my direction, I practically began to salivate. I thought, “This could be it! This could be the Earl Grey I have been waiting for.” However, after I returned home and brewed a cuppa, I discovered Teavana’s Earl Grey tea did not live up to my expectations. That’s not to say the brew was bad. It’s just the fragrant, citrus scent that wafted in front of my nose was indecipherable in taste.

The one upside to this tea is the price– it’s inexpensive. I think I spent about six dollars on enough tea to make nearly 60 cups. When I first began drinking Teavana’s Earl Grey, I thought I’d eventually return to the store to buy more. If anything, it’s a cheap way to get a caffeine fix. But, overtime I decided I’d rather continue on my journey to find that Earl Grey that is just right even if it is just a bit pricier.

Bottom Line, would I turn away a cuppa if someone offered it to me? No. But, I would rather spend my money on another brand’s blend of Earl Grey.

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73

Upon first sniff, I’m not fond of Teavana’s Frutto Bianco Pearls White Tea. It smells too similar to Hawaiian Punch– sickly sweet and kind of stinky like over-ripe fruit. I dislike Hawaiian Punch. I disliked it as a kid, and I dislike it even more as an adult. But, if you can get over the smell (or for some reason you actually like Hawaiian Punch) I think you’ll like this tea. It’s like a tropical island in a mug!

The candied papaya and pineapple are the two flavors that stick out to me, but this blend also includes: creamy coconut chips, kiwi, lemongrass, lemon peels, and hand-rolled white tea pearls (“from paradise” Teavana’s website notes!)

I’ve gone back and forth about trying this with sugar, but ultimately decided it tasted just fine unsweetened. I love the fruity aftertaste it creates in my mouth. Sometimes the aftertaste seems sweet, although that could just be my imagination. Also, I’ve never had this tea in summer when tropical flavors are appropriate. I’ve only had it in the winter. It reminds me this world isn’t grey, snowy, and cold all the time– just most of the time (here in Michigan, I mean).

Bottom Line, Frutto Bianco Pearls is like Hawaiian Punch for adults. And no, I don’t mean spiked with booze. It’s a pleasant beverage, hot or cold, when I’m not fiending for caffeine.

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85
drank Chestnut by Adagio Teas
11 tasting notes

I should preface this by saying I’ve never had a chestnut, so I can’t say “OMG, this totally tastes like chestnuts” or “Wow, Adagio. This tastes nothing like chestnuts”. I also have to say that I was hesitant to try this simply because it said “chestnut” on the front. I typically don’t enjoy nuts (unless it’s a pistachio). And, chestnuts especially seemed to be about as appealing as a store-bought fruitcake at Christmas. But, I was pleasantly surprised by this tea.

One of my favorite things to do before trying out new tea is to breath in the aroma of the tea. It kind of gives me an idea of what I’m getting in to. When I opened the package, I didn’t even have to bring the leaves to my nose to get a good whiff. The aroma was strong, but not in an unappealing way. It was like walking into a kitchen when someone is baking cookies.

I was surprised how little of the black tea I could smell though. All I could notice was the “chestnut” flavoring. This tea had the most buttery and sugary and nutty aroma. These were the things that popped into my head: burnt sugar. Creme Brule. Multi-grain pancakes from Anna’s, a local restaurant. Smothered in butter and warm syrup of course. Notice how none of those say “chestnut”?
Right.

Only after I brewed the tea did I really notice the black tea. It was full-bodied, but it wasn’t overpowering. The buttery and nuttiness only showed up as a delightful aftertaste. I drank my tea without sugar or milk. It really doesn’t need it. But, I bet a dash of milk and sugar would turn Adagio’s Chestnut Tea into a nice dessert tea.

Bottom Line, I really enjoyed this tea. It left me feeling cozy and wishing for a snowy afternoon. There was one downfall though. I only received a sample of this type of tea, and I can’t stop thinking of it!

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85

Every so often I’ll dive into a cuppa tea without reading into what I’m drinking, and I’ll make some pretty rash assumptions. This happened recently when I was brewing myself a cup of Adagio’s Ooooh Darjeeling. (Did I type all the “O”s?) During my first few brews of Ooooh Darjeeling, I thought to myself “Wow, this is a really nice black tea”. It wasn’t until I read the back of the bag that I realized it was actually oolong tea and not black tea.

A foolish mistake, and yet an easy one to make since Darjeeling tea is usually sold/marketed as black tea. Sometimes I’m such a noob when it comes to tea.

The scent of the leaves is delicate to me– slightly sweet and earthy, but I didn’t really taste either of these once brewed. Ooooh Darjeeling is unlike any oolong tea I’ve had. It doesn’t have that earthy aroma like most oolong teas I have tried. Instead, it tasted more like a black tea but not as strong and without much of the astringency (hence why I jumped to the conclusion that this was a black tea). Ooooh Darjeeling had a subtle floral aroma that I found to be delightful. I think there was supposed to be some fruity aromas as well, but I did not pick up on those.

This tea tastes great both unsweetened and sweet. While I haven’t tried it, I think Ooooh Darjeeling would make a nice iced tea if rock sugar were added (or whatever your sweetener of choice is).

Bottom Line, I really enjoyed this tea! It’s not a breakfast brew for me since I prefer bolder tastes in the morning. But, it’s the perfect cup to enjoy while reading books on a sunny afternoon.

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80

The scent of this tea was so scrummy. It was sweet and fruity, and I was excited to get brewing right away. And let me tell you, the taste of Tropical Goji Green was just as delicious as its smell. “Flavoring” can be a little tricky because it can overpower the tea, but in this tea it was a nice balance. The flavoring was fruity and slightly tangy, and this paired nicely with the fresh, grassy, and light sweetness of the green tea. I decided to go back for seconds and steeped the bag for a second time. The aromas mellowed a bit, but it was still good the second time around.

Bottom line, this tea was pretty darn tasty. I need more of this stuff because I’m thinking it would make a delicious iced tea. Think of how great it would be to enjoy this outside on a warm day while reading a good book. Fruity and refreshing, I’m sure!

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73

This tea surprised me. Mostly because I’d never heard of Gen Mai Cha, so I was blown away when I found little, roasted rice nestled amongst green tea leaves. I had to do a little research on Gen Mai Cha because I couldn’t figure out why someone would want to brew roasted rice. According to good ol’ Wikipedia, Gen Mai Cha was drunk by poor Japanese people back in the day. The roasted rice was a filler to cut down on the cost of the tea.

I was skeptical of the tea because the scent reminded me of Honey Smacks cereal (minus most of the sweetness), and I was never too fond of Honey Smacks. This tea grew on me as is cooled down though. When the tea was still hot, all I tasted was the puffed rice, and I couldn’t help but feel like I was drinking watery porridge. This isn’t necessarily bad because I like porridge, but I would have been disappointed if that’s all it was. When the tea cooled down to a luke-warm temperature, the aroma of the green tea finally surfaced, and the flavors seemed to marry. The aroma of the roasted rice mellowed and became nice and nutty, which tasted good with the fresh and light sweetness from the green tea.

Bottom Line, Two Leaves and Bud’s Organic Gen Mai Cha is a win. Even though I’m still trying to wrap my head around puffed rice in tea, the flavors in this tea just worked, and they only got better with each sip I took.

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56

My experience with Stash tea is pretty hit-or-miss; however, when a birthday offer showed up in my inbox, I had a hard time resisting. I’m such a sucker for discounts. I don’t really have a favorite Stash Tea, so I ended up buying a couple of sampler packs.

The aroma of this one was a little weird; half the time it smelled like Autumn in a cup, and half the time it had this strange old, alcohol scent that reminded me vaguely of my college days… Regardless, I’m glad I didn’t sip this during Autumn when I craved all things pumpkin flavored; it may have turned me off to pumpkin spiced tea forever. The ingredients include: naturally decaffeinated black tea, cinnamon, ginger root, clove, natural pumpkin flavor, natural nutmeg flavors. Even though black tea is the first ingredient, I didn’t catch the black tea flavor at all. Pumpkin Spice wasn’t completely bland though. It did live up to the second half of its name– Spice. This was a spicy, something-flavored beverage that left the most peculiar sensation on my tongue. I have no words for it (the sensation), really.

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34

My experience with Stash tea is pretty hit-or-miss; however, when a birthday offer showed up in my inbox, I had a hard time resisting. I’m such a sucker for discounts. I don’t really have a favorite Stash Tea, so I ended up buying a couple of sampler packs.

Stash Tea’s Cinnamon Apple Chamomile herbal tea was the first tea I tried from my stash (har har, see what I did there?). When I first started brewing this tea, it filled up the room with the most delicious apple cinnamon aroma. It reminded of the apple cinnamon oatmeal I used to eat in the mornings before going to school, so it was particularly comforting. The ingredients include: cinnamon, hibiscus, chamomile, and natural apple flavor, which all seem pretty tempting, but I thought the tea was pretty bland. I didn’t pick up the apple flavor, and I missed the spice of the cinnamon. I’ve never tried chamomile tea, so I can’t honestly say whether or not that flavor came through or not.

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