27 Tasting Notes

94

This tea looks great and smells great – scrumptious blueberry aroma! It has a mellow, sweet, creamy flavor that curbs my cravings for sugar and calorie packed desserts! It is not at all sour or harsh like many berry teas. The fusion of ripe blueberry, creamy yogurt, and earthy rooibos is easy to love. It’s become one of my go-to drinks in the evening.

I like this best hot: when it cools down, the added flavors quiet down and the balance tips more heavily towards the rooibos base.

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49
drank Savasana by Namastea
27 tasting notes

I wouldn’t have picked this one for myself, but I brewed up the sample bag one evening after a long day of traveling. Now, I wouldn’t have picked this because I’m not usually a fan of chamomile, unless it’s used cleverly within a blend.

In Savasana tea, the main star is definitely the chamomile. I like lemon balm and verbena – I even have the prior growing in my yard for steeping up in teas. Unfortunately, here I just get a cooling, medicinal-sweet herbal cough drop/Ricola sort of vibe backing up the chamomile. I can totally get how this would be soothing, but I only drank about half the cup. Once it cooled down it was too much for me.

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100

This tea is just about perfect as far as I’m concerned! This is one of several Teavivre teas that I NEVER want to be without.

The dry leaves are beautiful. The liquor is deceptively pale for a beverage that packs so much flavor! It smells and tastes wonderful, and has a pleasingly buttery mouthfeel. Smooth and slightly sweet, with facets of chestnut and toasted cereal and a subtly grassy, vegetal side. It’s a friendly tea – comforting and uplifting – and holds up well to a second steep to boot.

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100

This tea is a perfect 10/10 in my books! Seriously, you guys. As someone who could eat condensed milk straight out of the can with a spoon, or subsist on nothing but tres leches cake all day, this tea is a godsend. It is a boldly flavored, distinctive tea, so it’s not necessarily the tea I would pick if I had to have one “desert island” tea for the rest of my life, but if somebody told me I could never have baked desserts or candy again, I would use this tea to fill the void!

The dry leaf smell is striking. The tightly rolled, vivid green pellets have a rich sweet cream sort of smell. The buttery fragrance lets you know you’re in for a treat! The first four infusions have a luscious creaminess to them. If I steep it past the point of milky perfection, its flavor profile reminds me a lot of Teavivre’s Tie Guan Yin.

The aroma and flavor calls to mind milky candy, condensed milk, and caramel. A subtle creamy floral note perfectly marries the condensed milk flavors with the smooth, vegetal, green oolong ones just beneath them. Some people initially balk at the notion of a milky caramel candy flavor pressed up against green tea, but the flavors here are so artfully balanced that everyone I’ve offered this tea to has been really impressed. It’s delicious and deeply satisfying, but it also seems so… delicate. It’s not the clumsy slap of a sticky, oily caramel cake that just popped out of a vending machine, it’s the little kiss of a petite treat from a chic pâtisserie.

One of the best things about this tea is its full, creamy mouthfeel. A lot of oolongs have that subtly “buttery”, heavy mouthfeel, but this one is the densest feeling I’ve tried yet! Even without sugar, it’s a subtly sweet treat, but the addition of a little bit of sweetener takes it to new heights of decadence in a tea cup.

Considering how many times I can infuse this tea and still get fantastic flavor out of it, it is a wonderful bargain too. I hope I can keep my cabinets stocked with this for life!

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71
drank Dragonwell by Adagio Teas
27 tasting notes

This is my first Dragonwell tea, so I don’t have much to compare it to besides other green teas! It had a vegetable-like green flavor smoothed over with a unique buttery, roasted nut sort of feel. I liked the roasty smooth flavor. I steeped it three times, but I probably should have stopped at two for this one. The third steep lost a lot of depth, including much of the nuttiness (my favorite thing about it) and gained a bit in the astringency department.

Overall, this tea didn’t blow me away but it intrigued me. I won’t be seeking out more of Adagio’s Dragonwell but I will definitely want to try more of this type of tea from other brands to see some more variations on the theme.

Thanks teaequalsbliss for the sample!

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94

Yum! I am not usually a fan of black teas, but this tea is something else! Bold and round in flavor, yet very mellow at the same time. It’s one of those teas that’s easy to gulp down, but you’ll miss out on the subtleties if you do.

This tea is rich and malty with bready tones, and a very pleasing aftertaste. I’d like to say it calls to mind caramel and cocoa, but that’s not necessarily a very accurate descriptor. It has the gentle, comfortable characteristics of caramel and cocoa without being very sweet about it. Even though it’s not exactly a flavor descriptor, I’d like to say that this tea makes me feel cozy. It’s yummy alone or paired with desserts! Resteeps well at least three times, and it tastes great even if I forget about it and steep it a bit too long. It never gets overly aggressive or tannic! Excellent! Now that I’m out of my sample, I find myself remembering it fondly and craving more.

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76
drank Jasmine Pearls by Adagio Teas
27 tasting notes

There’s nothing wrong with these jasmine pearls, but there’s nothing here to WOW me either. It’s not as intensely heady and floral as the unlabeled jasmine pearls I have from the local Asian market, and it’s not as buttery and nuanced as the jasmine pearls I just tried from Teavivre. However, it’s still good enough to be the flowery fix I needed tonight!

A gentle, mellow jasmine aroma jazzes up an easy-drinking, vegetal green tea. There’s no mistaking this for anything other than a jasmine pearl tea, but the flavor has a delicate, restrained quality. No intoxicating bouquet here, just a delicate sweep of flowery flavor over a balanced green base. There’s no bitterness, sharpness, fishiness… nothing I could pin down as “bad” in any way, but honestly, this tea feels a little bit flat and 2-D to me. There’s very little in the way of a lingering aftertaste. I would not recommend anyone to seek it out above other jasmine pearls, but if somebody handed me another cuppa I’d drink it cheerfully.

Thank you teaequalsbliss for the sample. :)

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82
drank Christmas Cookie by Compass Teas
27 tasting notes

Thank you teaequalsbliss for the sample! When I saw this tea I immediately wanted to try it… Christmas in July? ;) Haha. Cough. Anyway… this tea excited me when I saw it, with the slivered almonds and what I thought was saffron, but later realized was just safflower. It’s a pretty blend and sounds like it would be right up my alley.

The flavor is pretty good too, spicy but soft and comforting. It definitely makes me feel nostalgic for the winter holiday season. Warm cinnamon flavor tinted with a baked, roasty, nutty almond tone jazz up a fairly dry-tasting black tea base. The desserty, cookie like flavoring is distinct but not overly sweet. If anything I would have turned up the volume on the almond – I’m crazy for almonds! I will happily drink the rest of my sample but I won’t go hunt down more of it. The black tea tastes pretty bitter up-front, which keeps this from being a great tea for me.

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92

Thank you so much to Angel for the sample of this tea! I am really impressed by the generosity and social networking/tech savvy of Teavivre. But I won’t let that color my rating and review too much – my first exposure to them was some tea I purchased myself. :)

Anyway – Tie Guan Yin. A quintessential oolong! This example is just lovely, with a balanced flavor and nuanced character. I drank this all day, steeped and re-steeped all kinds of ways, to get a better understanding of it. This tea holds up exceptionally well to multiple steeps, making it a great value.

Early steeps at low temperatures yield a pale celadon-spring green liquor with a dainty aroma, best taken by itself, with no additives or food on the side to muddy the flavor! I got a sweet, floral impression – echoes of orchid and jasmine-like flavors – laid over a pleasantly vegetal green taste that has a pleasantly full-bodied mouthfeel.

Subsequent steeps at higher temperatures and longer brew-times result in a golden colored liquid and a more robust taste. Though the first steeps I prefer to take alone, the next few pair well with a variety of foods, making this a great choice for a tea taken before/during/after a meal or snack. The floral sweetness mostly fades out, and the vegetal green notes, accented with a touch of that cool “mineral” flavor, deepen. The mouthfeel and aftertaste are exactly what I want out of an oolong: it feels somehow round and buttery-smooth. I think this is a great choice if you’d like a green oolong in your cupboard.

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85

I went through the better part of a pound of this stuff! What can I say, I’m often powerless to resist the siren call of a good deal on Amazon. Ahem. Anyway, I was happy to drink this tea up. I drank so much of this last winter and fall – because it’s a rooibos blend, it’s a great go-to drink on a chilly night. Even though it’s very warm and summery now, I’m sipping on one of my last cups – I’m down to just a few more servings. I often drink this tea straight, though now and again I will add a splash of creamer (preferably almond-coconut milk) and/or brown sugar.

Drunk by itself, Fireside Chai is really autumnal, making me think more of mulling spices than an Indian market. The cinnamon and clove pop out first on the palate, along with a suprisingly prominent orange note! The orange peel plays well with the smooth, slightly sweet rooibos holding the tea together. Ginger and cardamom are just present enough to keep this thing tasting like my notion of a masala chai, but the real kick here is provided by black pepper. The longer you steep, the more intense all the flavors get, but especially the pepper! Honestly I prefer my chai to be heavier on the cardamom, so I won’t be replenishing my huge stock of this tea once I sip the last of this. However, this is a very good bet if you want a caffeine-free or rooibos-centered chai and would appreciate an orange-fruity and spicy black pepper bent!

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I drink tea virtually every day – two cups on a busy day, four or even more if I’ve got that luxury! I like oolong, green, and white teas best of all, but I also love a good black chai, and rooibos… really, I am open to all sorts of tea and tisanes! Besides tea, I also enjoy birdwatching, perfume, hoop dance, drawing, cooking, and soaking up lazy entertainment with Spotify or Netflix. :)

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