526 Tasting Notes


I had to wake up earlier than I would have wanted on a Saturday for a picture, so when I got back, I needed this cuppa. I went for this tea because I remember it being a very smooth, bold breakfast-y tea. And memory served me right this time around! I don’t really get a lot of subtle different flavors with this tea as I might with some other black teas, but the bold, straightforwardness of it was really hitting the spot today. Unfortunately, it was more than a little astringent, but that was probably because I steeped too long or something. I was a little distracted when making this one. Anyhow, a redeeming start to the day!

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Hmm, first tasting note on this tea, that’s kinda scary! Anyway, I got my first Simple Loose Leaf box in the mail yesterday. When I smelled the dry leaf, it was so wonderfully peachy that I knew I had to cold brew it. I put a couple of teaspoons into a water bottle into the fridge for about half a day (I always forget to take them out in a timely manner). It has a very nice juicy peach flavor that is not too artificial, and the white tea base really helps give it a clean taste to me. It’s quite refreshing as a cold brew! I can’t wait to try it out hot and see how it compares as well. It’ll be interesting to see if the white tea base shows up a bit more when hot.

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Backlog. Had this one after dinner even though I knew that it was probably going to be too much caffeine (and now I’m awake in the middle of the night). But you know what, it was worth it because that lovely creamy, roasty goodness really hit the spot on this rainy, dreary evening.

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drank Monkey-Picked Oolong by Teavana
526 tasting notes

To give this tea another chance, I put 2 teaspoons of it into my water bottle for a cold brew. I accidentally forgot about it and ended up cold brewing for about 20 hours, but it actually turned out okay. Now, I was drinking this while eating dinner, so it was hard to tell the nuances of the tea, but I was getting a pleasant general green oolong taste out of it today. I’ll probably cold brew it again, so I’ll add more detailed tasting notes about that at another time.

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It’s cold again around these parts (but not THAT cold), so I’ve been trying to get in some hot teas. This tea is not hitting the spot for me tonight. I think it’s partially because I steeped a little too long while I was testing out my new camera by taking pictures of the tea steeping in my clear gongfu teapot. Anyway, it’s vegetal with some bitterness mixed in. I think I may dump the leaves after this steep and go for a sweeter tea? We shall see.

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drank Genmaicha by Argo Tea
526 tasting notes

Yes, I did cold brew this one again. I have a feeling it might be all used up in cold brews before I get a chance to have it hot. But I’m okay with that because it makes such a deliciously toasty, refreshing cold brew.

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drank Apple Sencha by Den's Tea
526 tasting notes

This tea comes to be courtesy of Stephanie. I actually had very high hopes for this tea because I really enjoyed the grape sencha. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. It started off hopeful with a very candy-like apple scented dry leaf. It actually really reminded me of the smell of apple Jolly Ranchers. After steeping, though, it also started smelling a bit waxy like crayons, which was confusing. The taste of the tea had that nice candy apple flavor, but followed up with a waxy flavor and a greasy feeling as well. I just couldn’t get over that last part. I will probably give this tea another shot as a cold brew, but it was just not what I was expecting and hoping for.


:/ I agree unfortunately

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drank Caramel & Jasmin by Fauchon
526 tasting notes

I decided to continue with the French teas today with this very generous sample from Stephanie. This tea is very confusing to me. The dry leaf smelled heavily of caramel, but the steeped tea smells more like jasmine. I can taste both the floral and sweet notes in the cup. Also, my mouth seems to fill up with the floral flavor afterwards. It leans a little on the perfume-y side in that aspect. I also feel that there is something a bit nutty in the flavor as well? Overall, this tea is very overwhelming and confusing for me, so it’s hard to know what to think about it.


I agree with your assessment. A confusing tea! :/

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I’m getting so excited that fruits are coming back into season! One of the many perks of warmer weather. Anyway, I did something a little different with this cold steep. In addition to adding the green tea, I added some sliced up strawberries to the water bottle as well. I let the whole concoction sit for about 6 hours with delicious results! The strawberry flavor was much stronger than I anticipated, but I think it complemented the green tea very nicely. Also, it kind of makes me feel like I’m at a spa or something where they have those refreshing fruit infused waters. This was fun, and I think my next target will be orange slices. Gotta love fresh fruits!

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This is the first Mariage Freres tea that I’m trying thanks to Stephanie! I’m actually going to be in Paris in June, so I thought it would be most appropriate on this rainy day to continue planning my trip while sipping on this tea! First off, the dry leaf is so pretty with the blue bits of cornflower (I think) and nuts. Plus, it smelled wonderfully sweet without being overwhelming. I steeped for a few minutes, and right away I can smell the spices. It smells mainly like cinnamon to me, but I have a hard time distinguishing between similar flavors. The tea is nice and sweet with the most distinct notes being cinnamon and almond to me. I do think there is a bit of something missing that makes the tea taste a bit empty toward the end of the sip. It may be the black tea base is not strong enough? Or perhaps I simply underleafed. Anyway, it’s a good thing I have another serving of this one left because it is hitting the spot today!


How exciting! How long are you going to be in Paris? I would have to take an empty suitcase to bring back all the teas and goodies I’d want to get! :)


Haha, I’m already planning on packing light so that on the way back, I can fill every crevice with tea and souvenirs! I’ll be in Paris for 4 days, but I’m also going to Rome, London, Barcelona, and Dubrovnik, so it should be an adventure!

carol who

Lucky you! Think of all the food you will get to enjoy besides the tea. So envious!


That sounds totally awesome! /jealous :)


Woohoo! I’m glad you liked it! I can’t believe you are going to Paris! I’m so jealous ;) Go to Fauchon for me!!!!

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I’m a California girl temporarily located in Boston for school (brrr). I only recently got into teas because I’ve never really liked coffee (too bitter), but I have been a daily barley tea drinker since I was little.

Through some timid tastings and exploring, I so far like:
-Japanese green teas (genmaicha, hojicha, sencha, etc)
-Oolongs! (Most kinds except formosa and dan cong so far)
-Straight black teas
-English Breakfast teas
-Fruity teas (peach, apple, strawberry, other berries)

NOT a huge fan of rooibos, matcha, heavily artificial tasting teas, or anything gingery or peppery, but I’m trying to keep an open mind and taste everything that I can!

I’m trying to sample more straight teas and have been having pretty awesome discoveries so far. Thank goodness for sample sizes!

My tentative rating system:
90-100: Woohoo! I’m loving it, and I’m definitely restocking when I get the chance and/or crying when I’m out.

80-90: Yum! I’ll try to restock if it fits in my budget when I run out.

70-80: Probably would not buy again, but it was nice enough to finish the cup.

50-70: Would not choose this tea for myself if given the situation, but would not reject it if someone offered it to me and would gulp down politely.

50 or less: Nope. Don’t care to taste that tea again, sorry!

I’m always down to swap, so send me a message if anything in my cupboard is calling your name!

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