40 Tasting Notes

drank Holiday Tea by Harney & Sons
40 tasting notes

I received a tin of sachets of this tea for Christmas. I’m pretty happy I did.

The two dominant flavors are citrus and cinnamon. There is a stronger cinnamon aftertaste that feels like it doesn’t belong, but it’s not particular unwelcome either. The tea reminds me of Constant Comment overall, if that’s helpful.

In short, not the best spiced tea I’ve ever had and I’m not sure I’d buy it for myself, but I wouldn’t be sad to see it under the tree again.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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The best part of this tea is it tastes just like a liquid caramel apple. The worst part is, well, do we need a tea that tastes like that?

I don’t taste any cinnamon or hibiscus.

There are other apple teas I enjoy much more. I think it’s just too much with the caramel.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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I received this tea as a free sample. I am not really into that many vanilla teas, so that probably colors my opinion of this tea.

The almond and vanilla combine to form this interesting new flavor that completely overpowers any hint of green tea. It kind of reminds me of what I think hot vanilla flavored almond milk would taste like, if I ever did such a thing.

I get the feeling a lot of people that enjoy vanilla flavored teas would really dig this one. It’s just too bad that’s not me.

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Both brewed and unbrewed, the tea smells strongly of walnuts in a completely wonderful way. The resulting tea is deep redish brown.

The natural spiciness of the rooibos tea is the perfect match for the maple walnut seasoning. It’s both spicy and sweet at the same time. (I did not add any sweetener, but there is some sugar from the maple, according to the website.) The flavor reminds me of a hot version of the maple walnut ice cream my grandmother used to serve us – that’s how close the flavor is. Maybe that’s why I like it so much also.

I would call this a desert tea to be sure, but it’s not as sweet as your typical chocolate or candy like tea. For those of us that don’t like our tea so sweet, this is a wonderful choice.

8 min or more 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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First of all, I know Ambrosia as the ’70’s and ’80’s band that recorded songs like “How Much I Feel” and “Biggest Part of Me,” so there are things I am supposed to get about this tea that I just don’t get. Having said that, I did enjoy this tea quite a bit. I’m pleased I got this as a sample.

Used about 1.5 tsp of tea to about 12 ounces of water.

I can taste the idea of the base white tea more than the tea maybe. It would be interesting to try the base by itself to see how close I am with that.

I detect far more fruit flavor than spice flavor. The apple and the papaya combine to form a unique flavor that’s completely different than they would taste alone. I don’t notice any citrus or nutty notes at all.

It almost makes me want to see what actual ambrosia would taste like, but that seems like far too much work for a rainy Monday morning.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Spiced Apple Cider by Teavana
40 tasting notes

There’s a lot of things people don’t like about Teavana around here, but this tea is something they got right.

The dominant flavor by far is cinnamon, accented by apple and citrus notes. It tastes just like an overly spiced hot apple cider, which is kind of my thing. If you don’t like spiced cider, or are looking for an apple-heavy tea, this is not the tea for you.

The smell of this tea in my travel mug on a cool fall morning just plain makes me happy. It reminds me I’ll be home enjoying the fall and my family 8 short hours from now.

205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Hibiscus. The bane of many Celestial Seasonings teas. It’s present in this tea, but it’s forced way too the back by the dominant flavor of black cherry soda, which I love.

This tea reminds me of playing outside with my friends when I was a kid and there was always this one crazy mother that had a ton of black cherry soda. How can that be anything but good?

I like it cold brewed as iced tea and hot. It has a subtle sweetness both ways.

I’m not saying this is some sort of fancy cherry and fig brew I would drink out of fine china at the table after Thanksgiving dinner. It’s more like a drink it out of a plastic bottle while shooting hoops and playing on the playground, if that’s your sort of thing.

I know it’s mine.

If you like black cherry soda, you’ll love this tea. I expect this to be one of my go to fruity iced tea for years to come.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Earl Grey Bravo by Adagio Teas
40 tasting notes

I used to be big into the Earl Greys, but I’ve slowed down a little bit to try other things. Still, I am really picky about my Earl Grey, so maybe that’s why I didn’t like this tea as much as I hoped.

When brewed hot, the base Ceylon black tea just doesn’t do it for me. There’s a very malty sort of taste that doesn’t belong there. Well, maybe it does, but it’s not welcome to me at least.

The bergamot flavor isn’t as strong as I would like when it’s hot. It’s almost like an afterthought. When I have a hot Earl Grey, I want to feel like I’ve been kicked in the face by that wonderful citrusy sort of flavor.

After saying all that, the tea is interesting when cold brewed overnight as iced tea. The unwelcome flavor from the base tea fades away and allows the bergamot to shine the way it should. It rivals my favorite iced Earl Grey teas.

In the end, I’m happy I tried this iced. Would I buy it again? Maybe, but probably just to make iced tea.

To me, Earl Grey tea tastes like summer, and I don’t get that happy summer feeling when I drink this tea and isn’t that what it’s all about?

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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drank Blood Orange by Adagio Teas
40 tasting notes

It’s not a bad tea, in fact, I like it.

But blood orange? No, I don’t think so. There’s a little bit of tartness and some acidic citrus flavor that reminds me of an actual orange, but not a blood orange.

When it’s hot, there is this ever present hibiscus flavor that kind of balances all of the flavors of the tea. It kind of reminds me of one of the Celestial Seasonings Zinger line of teas. If they made an orange zinger, I bet this is what it would taste like.

The hibiscus and the tartness are both muted a bit when cold brewed into iced tea overnight. The color of the iced tea is this wonderful color that wanders somewhere between orange, purple and yellow, without actually being one of them.

Are there better orange tisanes? Sure. Are there better representations of a blood orange one? Most certainly. But I’m in no way sad I have this in my cabinet, especially due to the price. It was a pretty good bargain.

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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drank Golden Monkey by Adagio Teas
40 tasting notes

I’m not a huge fan of Golden Monkey teas, but I got this one as a free sample so why not?

Looks like a Golden Monkey tea with the curly leaves.

Smells like a Golden Monkey tea. You know, kind of like honey.

Tastes like a Golden Monkey tea. A bit of natural sweetness that balances the tea fairly well and makes it completely unremarkable – unless Golden Monkeys are your thing, I suppose.

Made a great, just slightly sweet iced tea when cold brewed over night.

I enjoyed drinking this tea both hot and cold, but there are other teas I like better.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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