124 Tasting Notes

63

I really, really regret buying this… The name sounds amazing. The aroma is amazing. The taste, however, was ruined for me by the recognizing the beet taste. My first sip was “okay,” and then Steve read the ingredients and said, “Oh, it’s pink because there’s beetroot in it. Beetroot as in beets.” I like beets, but I do not like them in my tea. Thanks to my stupid brain, now when I drink it I only taste the beets and it is just gross, gross, gross. I’ve tried adding sugar, half-and-half, as well as massive amounts of cinnamon… and I still taste the beets way too much.

Steve thinks the tea tastes fine, and it probably isn’t a bad tea but my stupid brain ruined it for me. Sadly, I bought a BUNCH of this tea (based on the delicious smell). I would like to find someone who enjoys this so I can give it away.

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14

I received a free sample of this tea. I didn’t like this tea, but that’s only because I do not like regular black teas. My black-tea-eww detector made it such that I only noticed that black tea and not any of the spices. (So far, the only black tea I enjoy is mate.) I think this tea is what finally made me realize that I just don’t like most black tea. I couldn’t finish the cup and had to give it to Steve.

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57
drank Monkey-Picked Oolong by Teavana
124 tasting notes

I really enjoy this tea, but I just can’t afford it. A Teavana employee convinced me to buy it (I’m such a sucker… but at least I bought only the smallest amount possible) by saying it could be steeped 4-5 times and still taste great. However, appropriately air drying the leaves is a challenge for me so when I would have this I’d just have multiple cups in quick succession. The first cup was always delicious, and cups 2-4 tasted about the same (but sadly, they lost what made it great the first time. I don’t know how to describe the taste). I got in the habit of steeping 3 times and then tossing the leaves, and usually I would have it three times out of obligation to make it “worth the money” and not because I was really in the mood to drink 42oz of tea.

So while this is quite enjoyable, it’s just too expensive for me and its “re-steepability” is more of a headache (done only to justify the cost) than a bonus.

Debbie

I really want to try this because I’m a bit of an oolong hoar. Can you include some when we swap, please?

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80

With my sample bag, I first made this iced with rock sugar and it was quite good. Well, I just made this hot with rock sugar and a little half-and-half, and WOW!!!! This is so delicious! Very tasty. I even made a little weaker than it should be because I ran out of leaves (I think I used about 3.5 teaspoons for ~14oz, whereas the instructed amount would have been 4 /heaping/ teaspoons per 16oz). When I had it iced I thought it was good but wasn’t going to buy it again (Steve thought it was worth buying again), but after trying it hot I think this might become a regular purchase.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 45 sec

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18
drank Azteca Fire by Teavana
124 tasting notes

This was majorly disappointing. With a name like “Aztec Fire,” it’s reasonable to expect this to have a spicy taste. Instead, it just tasted like weak chocolate-water. (And I’d rather have hot chocolate, which tastes much, much better.) Steve and I each had about three servings of this (one serving is ~16oz for us) before we got to the bottom of the sample bag, and shockingly, we finally got a little bit of spice (I guess it settled at the bottom). However, even that still wasn’t enough to redeem the tea. Serious disappointment.

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92

I made this as an iced tea two nights ago and drank it yesterday, so my memory of preparation won’t be great. I used 4 teaspoons for 32oz of water and I added 2 teaspoons of rock sugar to the leaves. I put it in the fridge overnight. (I think I might have also resteeped the leaves for a second cup, but my memory of how I made this is blurred with the three other iced teas I’ve made over the past four nights…)

The first sip was “WHOA!” delicious. The hazelnut flavor is quite strong and I liked it. It reminded me of the International Delight hazelnut flavored coffee creamer that I would occasionally have 5+ years ago (before I realized I don’t like my coffee sweetened). It also had a creamy taste, despite no added cream. While it was quite tasty, I preferred Adagio’s Honeybush Mango to this one (as did Steve, who has been having each of the iced teas of the past few days with me).

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Masala Chai by Adagio Teas
124 tasting notes

I didn’t follow the preparation instructions fully for my first time trying this tea. The instructions are “two heaping teaspoons” per cup and I had already used most of the sample I’d received to make an iced tea last night (which I haven’t tried yet), so I only had enough for two teaspoons for roughly 11-12oz of water. I also steeped it for about 7 minutes instead of 5 (by accident). I added one teaspoon of rock sugar prior to the water and a little half-and-half.

I didn’t like the first sip, which I think is because I wasn’t ready for the taste… I don’t drink black teas very often and I’d forgotten this is black. But then I remembered that this is masala chai and I recognized that it tasted very similar to the amazing chai I had in Zhongdiang, China and the masala chai I occasionally have in Indian restaurants and then I enjoyed it much more. (Thanks, brain, for changing taste based on perception. Good ole’ top-down processing.) I don’t know if I would buy this again. It’s good, but not as good as the masala chais I’ve had at restaurants. However, I didn’t follow the preparation instructions so this may not have been the best experience.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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80

I made this as an iced tea in two ways (the second was a re-steep). First I made 32oz (4 teaspoons) with 4 teaspoons of rock sugar. (I prefer my iced teas a little sweet). I steeped it for 90 minutes, let it sit out for about 30 minutes, and then put it in the fridge overnight.

The leaves still had an INCREDIBLE aroma (oh my goodness… The smell is amazing) so I thought I might as well give re-steeping a shot. I put about ~20-25oz over the used leaves (without adding more sugar), steeped for 9 minutes, sat at room temperature for about 30-40 minutes, and then put it in the fridge overnight in a separate glass.

Original steep: Very tasty! The clove taste was quite strong, which was good but it meant that I didn’t really taste much else beside the clove. The sugar was a nice addition and I would make it with sugar again.

Re-steep: This was still pretty good (not sweet at all), but again clover was the main taste.

I might buy this one again. While it was good, it wasn’t quite as good as some of my favorites.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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74
drank Honeybush Mango by Adagio Teas
124 tasting notes

I just received the Honeybush Sampler from Adagio Tea, which includes this one. We’re having a heat wave and I was in the mood for iced tea, so I made 32oz yesterday (4 teaspoons) and put it in the freezer immediately afterward for 30 minutes (I was impatient…). I had a sip when it was still hot, and it was okay. Because of my impatience, I had to add ice (which watered it down) and it was slightly better cold than it was hot, but it was still only okay…

…until I made another batch last night with the addition of rock sugar (4 teaspoons). This time I was patient and let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before putting it in the fridge overnight. WOW!!! What a difference the sugar made. I love Teavana’s rock sugar because it enhances the flavor rather than tasting like added sweetener. This was incredible and was possibly the best iced tea I’ve made up to this point. Next time I might put in a little less sugar, but overall I am pretty happy with this as an iced tea.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Tulsi Dosha Chai by Teavana
124 tasting notes

When I’m in the mood for a chai but don’t want caffeine, this is my go-to tea. I make it with rock sugar and a little half-and-half, and every sip is glorious.

scribbles

I used to be in love with this chai….the aroma is glorious. Whenever I brewed this my colleagues were jealous.

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Bio

I started drinking loose leaf tea in December 2011. I usually use Teavana’s Perfect TeaMaker at home, and their Remi Mug at work. Some day I would like to have a cast iron set… a red one with dragons!

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