616 Tasting Notes

52

I used more leaf than I normal would (2 tsp for 8 oz), as S&V teas sometimes seem to come out watery to me. And then I got worried, because the liquor seemed to go auburn almost immediately and only get darker from there. I still stuck it out for three minutes, though.

What I got came out smelling cinnamony with hints of cocoa and bread (and definitely tea).

Flavor wise it tastes like a cinnamon black with hints of unsweetened cocoa in the back. The extra leaf definitely gave it a stronger flavor with a kind of thick mouthfeel, it, however, also made a really astringent cup. I feel like I need a glass of milk to add moisture back to my tongue. The flavors here are also kind of muddled and I don’t get any sort of baked goods taste or anything that even makes me think brownies.

I won’t review until I try a couple different brewing parameters, but this one didn’t do much for me.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

Sounds similar to what I just drank.

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54
drank Slow Swing by SerendipiTea
616 tasting notes

I found this tea sold in bulk at a local shop, and it smelled so good I had to snag two ounces. It smells sweetly fruity and almost spicy. And once brewed, is so ridiculously pretty, I don’t even know.

It’s a rich red with just a but of purple. This would be so pretty in a glass teapot, or white cups for company.

Unfortunately it’s too tart for me, and not an awesome fruity tart either. But like. Blackberry leaf tart (which at least isn’t hibiscus tart, I suppose). I can’t really pick out any specific fruit flavors, and the green base is completely lost on me. It’s a good iced tea with a bit of simple syrup (honey would probably also add a nice flavor), but not outstanding.

I wanted more from this than a really photogenic tea.

http://instagram.com/p/eXnKokCnNw/

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70

This got more and more bitter the longer I let it cool on my counter. Almost undrinkable by the bottom of the cup. Bummer.

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84

Fiance and I finally finished off the tea soda mixture today (yay!) It was probably good for 16 or so 14 oz cups, so it definitely lasted a good bit.

This is a sample I got from TeaVivre. Thanks so much to Angel and the TeaVivre team!

Dry, this leaf has such a wonderful cocoa smell, with a small amount of autumnal notes, like wet leaves and moss. This is the perfect tea for the kind of brisk weather we’re having now!

I brewed this western style (mostly because Fiance insisted on a cup too!) so, I popped two heaping tablespoons for 16 oz and went just over two minutes at 212F.

First Steep:

Steeped like this, there are very strong notes of cocoa and a rich earthiness. A toasty, nutty note pops up when the tea hits the roof of my mouth and then lingers through the sip. There’s a slight sweet fruit flavor (kind of peachy, with floral highlights) that hangs on the throat and becomes the aftertase. There’s a slight drying feeling but it’s not distracting.

Fiance said this cup had a really comforting, pleasant taste.

Second Steep (~3 min 30 sec):

This cup is more floral and sweeter, like carmelized sugar sweetness. The highlights are brighter, and the flavor is more nuanced in general. The cocoa is slightly less defined, and gives way to a more mossy earthy flavor. Such a smooth cup! The astringency is also less here.

Fiance has now decided that it’s the toastiness he likes.

Third Steep (5 min):

This one is more caramelized sugar and mineral than nutty or chocolatey. There’s stil a lovely subtle floral aspect to it, the fruit is more apple than peach now. The aftertaste is like a lightly toasted wet rock.

A delightfully warming cup and a great floral oolong when I want something less green tasting. Yum!

Preparation
Boiling

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92

So, what I did to this tea tonight was completely unorthodox. But amazing.

I made a really simple tea soda.

I steeped 4 teaspoons of this in 8 oz of water for 4 minutes. Then I mixed that with 1 cup of sugar to make a simple syrup. And added about 2 tbsp of my syrup to club soda over ice.

So gooooood. It’s like a chocolatey rosey citrusy bubbly happiness. I honestly can’t believe how much the chocolate came through and how delightfully subtle the rose is. This is seriously the most decadent bubbly thing I’ve ever drank, and I love it.

Bonnie

I’ve made Verdant Tea simple syrup before with another tea so I don’t think you’re nuts at all! Sounds good!

K S

Wow that sounds like a lot of sugar. How many glasses can you make from this?

caile

Sounds delicious!!

Terri HarpLady

This is awesome! My son Leif just got a soda stream, & I was thinking some of the flavored teas would be interesting turned into sodas. I’ll have to try this one, only in my case I’ll sweeten with stevia, as I can’t handle the sugar.

ifjuly

i am psyched to try this. the world could be my husband’s soda oyster (soda is his favorite drink but he wishes there were more adult/nuanced options easy to find out there, you know, with the depth of say, cocktails or whiskey or tea) if any good tea could potentially become a decent soda so simply!

JustJames

now i’ll get in line to try this idea out!!! reminds me of when i was a barista making italian sodas…. =0)

CelebriTEA

Sounds fabulous!
I love this tea

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92

This sample came from momo!

What a fun looking tea! There’s huge chunks of cinnamon sticks, bits of popcorn, and maple brittle bits. Oh. And of course tea.

This cup tastes a lot more buttery-cinnamon-y-tea-y than maple-y. The butter and cinnamon flavor is really good, though. Calming and smooth and the buttery flavor and texture definitely helps in capturing the essence of taffy. Unfortunately the maple comes up really light.

Luckily maple syrup to the rescue!

Oh my oh my. This is really delightful with the maple syrup and it doesn’t need too much. It retains the smooth, almost butteriness and it tones down the cinnamon quite a lot. But most of all, it adds maple. Yum.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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This sample came thanks to BrewTEAlly Sweet and is really pushing me right outside of my safe zone.

I cannot possibly be the only one who thinks hibiscus always tastes musty, right? Like, there’s always a residual earthyness after the sip that makes me think of a house that needs a dehumidifier. I guess it’s also kind of metallic. My mouth isn’t really to keen on it.

Unfortunately, this is the same to me. It’s also about a 6.8 on my tart scale, and that’s way too high for me. It’s not enough to dump it out, but I’m definitely scrunching up my face after each sip. This might have a fighting chance in my mouth cold steeped with sugar.

I’m going to withhold a numerical rating on this one, as I know it’s probably my preferences and not the tea in this instance.

Thanks for the chance to try this BrewTEAlly Sweet but hibby and I will just keep not getting along for now.

http://instagram.com/p/eAMWruCnI7/

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec
Terri HarpLady

I don’t mind a little hibiscus, like a pinch, in a tea blend, but by itself it’s too much. Somewhere I read that the proper way to drink hibiscus, also called Jamaica, is to steep the tea, let it cool while you make a simple syrup, sweeten to taste, & pour over ice with slices of orange and/or lime as garnish. I’ve never tried it that way, cuz I can’t handle the sugar.

moraiwe

I don’t mind a little, when it’s well disguised and all. But straight hibiscus, or something that’s really hibby heavy? No way. I’m curious to try that version with sugar over fruit though, but fear the amount of sugar it might need so I don’t hate it.

Terri HarpLady

There’s lots of recipes online. One of my sons just bought himself a ‘soda stream’. I might suggest this to him as a blend to use for soda, instead of buying their disgusting artifial flavored mixes.

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68

Thanks for this one goes to Audra who sent me some with our trade. This is pretty yummy. Like baked apples kind of yummy.

I thought the orange and cinnamon in the apple chai was going to be more prominent because that is all my steeper smelled like when I was done. Instead it’s a balanced apple/cinnamon/clove flavor with slight hints of caramel. I’m not sure I like the EG in here though, as the Bergamot adds a dissonant note. And I’m still not a huge fan of Adagio’s black base, which bleeds through a little bit.

Overall, this is a warming kind of cup and perfect to serve to friends with a knowing “Winter is coming.”

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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88
drank Lemon Chiffon by Della Terra Teas
616 tasting notes

I hate cars.

Fiance’s brother put the new alternator in my car Wednesday. And it worth so well. For a whole day…

Because the alternator ran the battery dry, my throttle control mechanism was affected by the low voltage it had received. Of course, I didn’t know this could happen. So it died. While I was 55 miles from home. Fiance’s brother and his friend borrowed a mutual friends’ trailer and we loaded my car up and carted me home. We paid him in gas, which was definitely less than towing it, also not really a good day.

I got this sample from Courtney (thank you!) and I was really excited to try it, because of all the amazing reviews it’s received. Brewing this tea up smelled so good — like I was baking up a sweet lemon dessert — that that alone set my expectations high.

As far as this tea goes, if more rooibos blends tasted like this, I’d probably like rooibos more. It’s lemon bar deliciousness. There’s sweet lemon and cream flavor on a faintly rooibos background. It has sweet aftertaste, that borders on the artificial, but it’s not a huge detraction from the cup.

I want to make a latte out of this stat.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec
JustJames

i hate cars too. mine’s brand new. not on purpose. i’d tell you the story but i’d just get angry again. i will add to my original statement: never believe a car salesman!!!

i’m sorry your day was challenging, and i’m glad your tea was great!

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77
drank Silver Needle by Adagio Teas
616 tasting notes

Definitely not my favorite Silver Needle, but not bad either. There’s notes of sweet hay and artichoke and a little bit of honeysuckle.

I really wish it had more oomph, but it cleanses the palate really well.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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Profile

Bio

Intro:

Name: Lauren
Location: Wisconsin (previously a Chicago girl)
Occupation: Student by day and super hero by night
Super Hero? Yep!
Which One? I can’t tell you that! Secret identities and such. Just know I’m not the hero they want, but the hero they need.
Sidekicks: Fiance and two budgies, Skitter and Gandalf

Hobbies:

Reading, writing, cooking, video games, computers, drawing, crafting, papercraft. Oh and tea.

A brief history:

I grew up in a family where the only working coffee maker was in my dad’s office. So the name of the game for my mother and I quickly became (bagged) tea. In 2004/2005, I discovered Adagio Teas. I don’t remember how it happened, or why I decided to pursue a purchase but here we are. I haven’t looked back.

My tea tastes have changed over time and I’ve moved from liking solely flavored teas (mostly black and white) to enjoying Darjeelings primarily, though malty unflavored blacks, fresh tasting greens, and lightly oxidized oolongs come in pretty high on my list, too. Of course, I still enjoy a good cup of flavored tea. I prefer caffeinated teas, as I have a horrible caffeine addiction that I don’t plan on kicking any time soon.

Red rooibos and lapsang souchong (or other strongly smoky teas) are my arch nemeses and I will see them defeated and removed by force from my cupboard. Like all thing, there are exceptions, but I assume they’re guilty until proven innocent.

I really don’t like negatively rating things, because I feel like if you don’t have something nice to say, you probably shouldn’t say it. But in the interest of non-biased tea reviews I’m going to give it a shot. I view every tea as a potential adventure so I’ll try most things at least once.

I love trading and swaps are always welcome! Please note, though, what it in my cupboard includes amounts ranging from a couple cups to 4 ounces or more, so please PM me to find out if what you’re seeking is available in that trade amount.

According to my spreadsheet, I also have about 100 other 1-4 cup samples that are not in my cupboard.. Feel free to message if you’re interested in see the spreadsheet for possible swap options as well.

Tea Ratings:

100-95 Nectar of the teagods that has been bestowed upon my unworthy tongue. I will never let this tin run empty.

86-94 These are the teas I would like to keep regularly stocked, but sometimes life gets in the way. Lovely teas, but not quite god tier. I still get cravings for these.

74-85 Good teas, but not amazing. I enjoy these, but may or may not restock once they run out. I would still recommend these to others.

60-73 Not bad. I’ll gladly keep drinking my cup, and wouldn’t say no if someone offered me this tea. I probably won’t rebuy these as there is likely something else that is comparable and better.

47-59 Certainly drinkable and might even have some characteristics that I enjoy, but I won’t pick it up again

30-46 I’ll probably finish my cup, but this tea isn’t to my taste OR it’s just overwhemingly mediocre. Life’s too short for bad tea.

11-29 This cup is in the sink now and I will never willingly consume this again. If you see a tea rated this way, I probably followed it with mouthwash.

0-10 Please say a prayer for the cup I destroyed in the process of disposing of this tea in the quickest manner possible. I may need tea therapy before I drink a similar tea again.

Location

Wisconsin, US

Website

http://atinyteapot.tumblr.com/

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