150 Tasting Notes

89
drank Orange Blossom by DAVIDsTEA
150 tasting notes

Got this one in the caffeine-free pack and it is lovely. It smells bright and orangey when dry and tastes like vanilla and citrus in the cup. I’m not big on adding sugar or milk to my tea, but I added the tiniest pinch of honey and it instantly transformed this into Creamsicle… Dreamsicle? the ice cream bar that was orange sherbet and vanilla cream together. If you liked that as a kid (or an adult!), you’ll love this tea.

From what I can tell by letting it cool down in the cup, this would also make a great iced tea.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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90

I’m so sad to be finishing this bag. Artichoke and rhubarb sounded like an unlikely combination, but it works so beautifully in this tea. There’s hibiscus in there too, which may be a dealbreaker for some, but I like it. The mild vegetable flavor of the artichoke is tempered by the rhubarb, making this tea smooth and really, really easy to drink.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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38
drank Candy Apple by Adagio Teas
150 tasting notes

My least favorite of the holiday sampler pack.

Dry, the leaves smell sweet, a little bit like caramel. Brewed, the liquor has a weird artificial smell that I could not identify as apple. But one of my housemates correctly guessed it was apple so I could just be bad at picking out that scent. Whatever it was, that translated into the taste of the tea. No apple, just an odd sweetness.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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67
drank Casablanca Twist by Adagio Teas
150 tasting notes

Other tasters are correct in that this is a predominantly peppermint tea with a light tea base. Replacing the gunpowder green with sungma darjeeling changes that typical smoky characteristic that the words “moroccan mint tea” bring to my mind. Here, the darjeeling acts as a light backdrop for peppermint to shine, without ever getting to that overwhelming toothpaste mint feel.

I’m currently too much in love with Loki blend on Adagio (gunpowder, spearmint, rooibos jasmine) to consider reordering this one, but it does make a nice refreshing, not super caffeinated cup for afternoons.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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73

I agree with previous tasters that the cinnamon is strong with this one. I’m okay with that, since I like cinnamon, and this will do if I’m in a evening chai craving pinch… which happens more often than one would think!

The rooibos is not very noticeable with these spices, which is why I think this is a very successful mixer in other tea blends.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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69
drank Cold 911 (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
150 tasting notes

I was most definitely not expecting to have to break this out of the caffeine free sampler pack so soon! In fact, my throat started to hurt nearly immediately after I left DAVIDs. Not sure whether this is seasonal allergies or an actual cold, but either way, it was enough for me to try this first.

Cold 911 smells like a minty medicinal tea. Steeped it is a surprisingly citrusy tea. I can’t decide if it is an orange peel tea with a mint echinacea or if it’s the other way around. Still, I love citrus, so tasting some orange in here was a nice surprise. I drank it without honey, but I imagine the addition would be great too.

Not bad at all!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

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80
drank Cookie Dough by DAVIDsTEA
150 tasting notes

Feeling like a dessert tonight, and the oven’s broken, so I decided on a tea substitute.

The last time I tried this, I followed the brewing suggestions of boiling water to steep, but I didn’t really like the results, so today I went with 180-190. A good thing, since it turned out much better.

I let it steep about five minutes and inhaled the strong smell of cookie dough. Yum. While it was still hot, it tasted more like chocolate/caramel/walnut, but as it cooled a little, it gained that distinctive cookie dough taste.

Next time I’ll try brewing it at an even lower temperature.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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82

Let’s be honest: I got this because there was super-cute artwork on the front and last year I rediscovered earl grey as an actually good tea. (Early experience with Lipton Earl Grey had me convinced that it tasted like Pine-Sol and was to be avoided.)

I really liked this! The fruity blackberry smell is strong in the bag, but the flavor mellows out into a great accompaniment to the bergamot when the tea cools down. I’m nearly to the bottom of my bag, and I have a few other earl greys in my cupboard I’m going to try first, but I’d definitely order this again or buy it for the tea-loving Doctor Who fans in my life.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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61
drank Paradise Green by Lupicia
150 tasting notes

This tea smells so amazing dry, sort of like Juicy Fruit gum. It’s that mystery ‘tropical fruits’ flavor Lupicia has for their teas. Smelling it, I’d guess mango, pineapple, and …strawberry? Like I said: a mystery.

With that strong aroma, I was expecting some of that fruity essence to carry over to the brewed tea, but alas. The first few times I had this tea, I followed the brewing instructions on the bag and ended up with a pleasant green tea with a muted fruity aftertaste. Very disappointing because it smelled so good.

However, last night I was distracted and measured the tea out with a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon and, woah. Huge difference. The tea finally tastes a little more like it smells, though still not as strongly. Made this way, the tea is a lot fruitier.

But yeah, getting that better cup of tea requires nearly 3-4x as much tea leaf as Lupicia (or anybody) thinks is appropriate. Given the price point of this tea, I’d rather spend money on other fruity green blends where I could just use 1.5-2 teaspoons instead of over a tablespoon and get better value.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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56
drank Thai Chai by Adagio Teas
150 tasting notes

Finishing off the chai sampler pack. First off, there’s a reason this one is the last little chai packet from Adagio to disappear off the shelf. And that reason is: soap.

When I first tried this, months ago, I couldn’t get over how soapy this tea was. I knew it was the lemongrass. Even though I like lemongrass, and drink it in other herbal teas, something about it here just screams SOAP! in my mouth and in my nose. Naturally I wasn’t eager to go for that second cup.

Fast forward some time. I’ve gone through the rest of my open chai teas and this one is still sitting there. Waiting. I read reviews online and bite the bullet. It still smells and tastes of soap, but not to the crazy levels it had before. I added a healthy amount of milk to my cup, and that calms the lemongrass/soap flavor down into manageable levels. I’m not typically one for milk or sweetener, but I’d say milk and honey are a must for this tea. It was much better after their addition.

The underlying taste of the tea is different from other Adagio chais I’ve tried. There are no cloves here, making it a nice change of pace. Not a tea I would reach for first. The rating reflects a “well, it was way better with milk” attitude.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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Bio

I’ve just recently discovered the world of loose tea and am really enjoying myself. I’m still in SAMPLE EVERYTHING mode, and likely always will be.

I love green teas, chai, and citrus flavors. I don’t mind hibiscus. I will drink a bitter green tea, but won’t drink bitter black tea. I’m working on figuring out which black teas work for me.

I tend to drink my tea without milk or sugar.

I’m using Steepster’s Cupboard function to actually reflect my current tea stock, otherwise I’d never be able to remember what I already have.

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