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52 Tasting Notes

50
drank Rooibos Caramel by Adagio Teas
52 tasting notes

I love rooibos. It’s been a favorite of mine since I first tried it years ago while visiting Sweden, and I’m once again looking for interested blend that I can count on for another evening tea (though I’m pretty addicted to my decaf Earl Grey right now). This tea doesn’t have a whole lot of caramel flavor, so it’s not terribly interesting. It doesn’t taste all that different from plain rooibos to me, so this is not one I’d buy. There’s certainly nothing wrong with it, and the nice rooibos flavor comes through, but I’m looking for something a little more special.

Thanks to Lariel for this sample! I really wanted to give this a try, and she let me do so.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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73

Backlog from yesterday. This was such a strange tea! It smelled a bit unnatural when I put it in my cup, but the true sweet, caramel nature of this tea truly bloomed when I added boiling water. Smelled apple-like, which is good, and rather fake, which usually isn’t so good. But, this tea tasted pretty awesome…Just a little bit of sugar and this becomes an awesome dessert tea! I was having a niggling desire for candy when I brewed this, and by the time I started drinking my 12 oz. cup with just a teaspoon of sugar, I didn’t even think about sweets again, the tea was enough. So, this is an amazing alternative to have in the cupboard to tame any sweets cravings one may come across.

Not a fan of the fakeness in the scent and flavor, but the overall tea is good enough to make up for it.

Thanks to T.C. for this sample, the tea was definitely fun to play with.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

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85

Well, I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m sure a fan of having wine with breakfast. At least that’s what this lovely wine-infused tea tastes like, and I’m now just a little in love. The tea itself didn’t smell terribly similar to icewine when dry, but as soon as water is poured on the leaves (which become vibrant green and utterly gorgeous), the true scent emerges: light, sweet, slightly fermented. The liquor is slightly red and has a surprisingly full-bodied flavor for a white.

Since I love strong teas in the morning, and this tea satisfies me bright and early, it’s definitely a keeper. Thanks to T.C. for giving me a chance to try this baby!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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First cup of this tea. Pretty tasty, and a nice white….But why the hell did I think it was a good idea to try this for the first time when I was waking up? This is totally a mid-morning tea. I need something stronger, pungent, a$$-kicking to wake me up in the morning. Chais and mates are great for doing that…A fruity white doesn’t cut it. Good tea, though. I will review this baby when I’ve got a mid-morning tea-craving to sate.

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60
drank Masala Chai by Adagio Teas
52 tasting notes

I love chais. It’s just something I have had to accept about myself. I adore the mixture of comforting milk, the sweetness of boiling it with sugar or honey, and the complex spiciness of the resulting tea. That being said, I like interesting chais, and am not a fan of the repetitive spice chai formula that seems to be done by various companies all over the place. So, when I brewed up a bit of the Masala Chai sample I had been given by Adagio, I hoped it would be different from some of the others I’ve tried. Very much like Good Earth chai that I used to drink as a young teen; also similar (though, obviously, not as sickly sweet) to Oregon Chai.

Yes, this formulation is traditional and a standby, and it certainly holds up, but it’s boring having the same ratio all. the. time.

So, Masala is nice and spicy. I love cloves, and you can definitely taste them in this blend. Cloves and cinnamon are the two big flavors in here, and ginger adds some good heat. Cardemom makes an appearance, but is mostly clouded out by the other strong spices.

I would drink again, but not necessarily buy this from Adagio. There are bagged chais that are cheaper and compare to this.

3 teaspoons tea, 12 oz. water and milk in a 1:1, 1 teaspoon sugar.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 30 sec
Alphakitty

I am also a chai addict! I was going to get a free sample of this from the Superbowl Squares thing, but when I went to place my order it mysteriously vanished…

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68

Pretty good for a bagged tea. This one has a ton of flavor, and is a good pick-me-up in the evenings on long days (it’s decaf). This stuff was definitely a craving while I was taking my previous class, TOTALLY stressed out the whole time (in my nursing program, we go through one class at a time, obsessively in-depth), I ended up needing this sweet boost some evenings.

Now, this is my daughter’s favorite. When she goes to my tea cupboard and insists “tea, tea!” this is what she wants. I brew this for her for about 6 minutes, but like many tisanes, it doesn’t hurt to be forgotten for a few minutes.

The bags are good for an 8 oz. cup, and a little sugar goes a long way.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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85

First sip-down since I started Steepster. Finished my first container of Nutty Almond Cream, and wished I had some more. This one is so soothing on a stressful afternoon, and the perfect almond mellowness just makes this utterly drinkable. Hoping to find a place that sells refills of this stuff.

Alphakitty

I believe this is the same blend as Davids’ Forever Nuts, and there’s another nearly identical one at Teavana, but Tiesta seems to be far cheaper.

Elizabeth

And cheap is good! At least while I’m a student again! I may have to make an order from Tiesta so I can get a good refill on this baby.

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34
drank Almond Oolong by Adagio Teas
52 tasting notes

Free sample gotten from Adagio. When I opened the packet, the smell of almond was overwhelming. This, for me, is an intensely good thing since I absolutely adore almond flavored anything.
With boiling water poured in, the smell of almond is still present, but the smokiness of the oolong also shines through.
All in all, it’s a nice tea, good strong flavor. I’ll need another tasting to really decide on this one, though. I’m new to oolong!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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18
drank Lavender Dreams by Teavana
52 tasting notes

Dirty water indeed. The white tea, combined with what I can only assume is purple dye from the candied violets, turns this brew into a supremely unappetizing purple-brown color. The tea itself has a faintly detectable white tea flavor, but it’s mostly masked by the lavender. This tea tastes like herbs de provence smells. Not appealing.

Glad, at least, that I got this super cheap.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

Although I love the smell of lavender & grow it in my garden, I don’t care for it in tea. :p

Elizabeth

Same here! I had no idea what a lavender tea would be like (total newb), and it was cheap, so I gave it a shot. I guess I learned something new! ; )

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42
drank S'mores by Della Terra Teas
52 tasting notes

OK, so I was apparently being overgenerous when I first rated this tea. There are so many other teas with flavored elements that are better than this. It manages to just taste like black tea, with maybe a little chocolate in it. No noticeable sweetness from the marshmallows, and I can’t taste any graham cracker. I don’t see a point in trying this one again.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
canadianadia

It’s funny, when I tried this the first time I felt the same way that your did (little/no flavor and basically a black tea). But I’m drinking it right now, and I’m getting the s’mores taste much more. I think it may depend on the mixture that happens to get scooped out. I personally like a tea that gives more consistent brews so it’s not an absolute love for me either.

Elizabeth

That’s something that I’ve wondered. Perhaps I’m just getting sample that were from the “bottom of the barrel?” It’s frustrating seeing all the great reviews of the Della Terra teas and just not having good experiences with them, especially as someone newer to the scene. I’d be happy to give another go, but I’m wary of buying more…!

Elizabeth

That’s something that I’ve wondered. Perhaps I’m just getting sample that were from the “bottom of the barrel?” It’s frustrating seeing all the great reviews of the Della Terra teas and just not having good experiences with them, especially as someone newer to the scene. I’d be happy to give another go, but I’m wary of buying more…!

canadianadia

I totally agree. I find it difficult to give a tea that dissapointed me another chance, especially with so many other great tea options out there. It’s always possible that it’s just not for you – everyone has different tastes.

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Profile

Bio

First and foremost, I’m a Mommy to my one-and-only daughter. After that, I’m a full-time student-nurse working on degree number two. Then, I’m a wife, a voracious reader, and a newly minted lover of loose-tea.

All my life I’ve enjoyed herbal teas, but am ready and willing to explore other flavors and concepts.

Being a full-time mom and student, the ritual of brewing and enjoying the subtlety of tea is extremely appealing.

I tend to like strong teas: original chais (not boring “masala chai”) are a big deal for me, and I’m hunting for new ones that can accompany my breakfast. I love EGs, especially EGCs, and I hope to find the perfect one some day. Not a huge fan of tisanes or overly fruity teas. I’m starting to love greens and whites, but only if they’re generous enough in the flavor department: no wimps. I’ve got to say, though, I really do not understand pu-erh (yet?).

80-100
Outta the park: delicious, amazing, a cupboard staple.

65-79
Good tea: not a staple, but would brew and/or buy again if in the mood.

50-64
Fair to good: nothing wrong with the tea, but not particularly interesting or not flavored highly enough.

25-49
Not good: can probably finish the cup, but may not brew again.

0-24
Down the drain.

Location

Upstate, NY

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