616 Tasting Notes

80
drank Cairo by Blue Raven Tea
616 tasting notes

I got this as a sample with my last Blue Raven Tea order, and I’m a little bummed I can’t seem to find it on her website, because this is a pretty tasty tea (and I seem to really like spiced coconut teas) It’s also attractive with big chucks of cinnamon, flowers, and full shreds of coconut.

The spice mixture is the primary focus on the sip here and has a nice bite to it, I get the cinnamon primarily, but also tulsi, cardamom and maybe some vanilla. The coconut hits after you swallow and lingers there until the next sip when the spices get you again. I find myself wishing I had some coconut milk on hand to add, because I think that would elevate this tea to another level.

Any recommendations on other Coconut Chais to try?

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
momo

I like Whispering Pines’ one…wouldn’t recommend Zhena’s – I got zero coconut flavor from it.

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74

So, I might have realized today that with my samples factored in, I have very nearly 350 different teas floating around. (342, to be precise). So. Um. Yikes.

That said, I decided to dip into my samples from Shmiracles today! All her stuff came pacakaged in little resealable bags with neatly printed labels so I feel like a total scrub with my exchanges :p

The first on I pulled out was this one. The Jane Austen Mafia. Which is a fantastic name for a band. And a tea.

So, in honor of Jane Austen, I’m going to write my review with as many titles as I can. I’m going to count each piece from the Juvenilia volumes as a different title!

Dear Reader,

If it helps, you can view this review as a little bit of fun and quirkiness coming through in the form of A Letter from a Young Lady who happens to be passionate about tea.

I may not be able to create A beautiful description of this tea, but I can say that the scent of the dry leaf (blackberries, vanilla, and cream) appeased all of the Sense and Sensibility I have in the area of comforting aromas. It certainly didn’t take much Persuasion to get me to dive in and brew my cup.

While I found that the blackberry was the strongest of the aromas present in the leaf, I think the cream flavor came through the most. But where did my blackberry flavor go? I was determined to solve The Mystery here! The solution became clear when I added a tiny bit of Truvia and popped the juicy fruit flavors.

The mix of teas here work really well together and I’m enjoying this as an after work cuppa. This would make a fantastic latte. I’m still not certain I’m the biggest fan of Adagio’s black base, but that might be A Tale for another time.

With Love and Freindship sic

moraiwe

(I had way too much fun writing this review)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
wheezybee

I love it – what a delightful review to read!

Shmiracles

haha jane austen nerd out fun! awesomeness abounds!

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
616 tasting notes

5 tsp Vanilla Rooibos (Adagio)
6 tsp White Melon Yogurt (California Tea House)
2 quarts water

I’be been trying really hard to get creative with the teas I have in large quantities that I feel like I’ll never get through because I either a) burned myself out of them or b) think they’re overwhelmingly meh.

So, I made a pitcher of this cold steeped.

Aaaaaand. It’s really rooibos-y. Not terrible cedar chip levels of rooibos, but still definitely earthy and a little woody. It pretty much drowns out any subtleties from the white tea. I absolutely still pick up the fruity flavors and the vanilla complements them well, though! It makes a really smooth, almost-desserty fruit cup. It’s a little like eating melted melon ice cream out of an unsealed wood bowl, so you pick up just a little bit of woody earthy flavor with every bit.

I think I’d rather find something else to mix with each of them though.

Rating: 56/100

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87

Man. I know it’s supposed to be pineapple, papaya, and strawberry but this really really tastes like apricot with a mild dose of papaya to me. I smell strawberry too, which makes it weirder. This brewed up more green tea-esque, even as a green/black blend, at the temperature I used, with really faint veggie notes coming through and a lovely golden liquor. The black tea doesn’t add much for flavor, but does lend itself to smoothing the whole cup out. The fruit flavors here are really vibrant and the star of this cup, though.

It reminds me a lot of Della Terra’s Sunshine, though smoother and maybe a little less artificial. If I didn’t have so much tea right now, this would be an awesome addition to a summer iced tea repetoire.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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86

I’ve been babysitting (doggysitting?) my mom’s three greyhounds today (and last night) while she helps my sister move down in Iowa. So I figured while I’m here (mostly) confined to the house, I could pound through samples and sipdowns!

So this one is from my last Butiki order, and my wish list there just keeps growing. This one got added to that.

The guayasa base tastes like fresh lawn clippings. In a good way. It’s refreshing and light. And the tangerine might smell like citrus peel, but the taste is just right and perfectly balanced between loud and subdued taste. The creaminess isn’t really pronounced until the tea starts cooling and then it’s absolutely like a creamsicle. A little touch of honey only furthers the illusion of drippy melted popsicle bliss.

My trigger finger is getting so antsy on the Butiki site. GAH.

My wards: http://instagram.com/p/Z6SQrtinHk/

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Butiki Teas

Awww, super cute pic! :)

Stephanie

Greyhounds are adorable! I want to try this tea…sounds yummy.

Chelle

What cuties!

yyz

So cute!

jessiwrites

I’ve always wanted a greyhound, GAH. And this tea is amazing, I totally agree. Stacy has the best guayusa blends.

JustJames

(insert happy dance) mine’s in the mail. can’t wait!

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85
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
616 tasting notes

This is a really, really smooth cup!

On the sip, I only get that really smooth base with no astringency and some lemony citrus flavor. The bergamont here is really minimal, and not bergamonty which I really like. The vanilla and caramel come as an aftertaste that lingers on the tongue long after the sip.

I don’t know if these are flavors that remind me of Paris, (ATR’s Brioche absolutely gets that honor) but it’s a really satisfying blend of flavors.

Thanks whatshesaid for sending me some of this one!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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71

So, seeing as today is one of my unbirthdays, I thought I’d try this tea!

This reminds me of drinking peaches in unsweetened ginger syrup. Which I happen to like. I did a short(ish) steep because Adagio has made me wary of oversteeping when trying new flavored black teas. The base here was still a little bitter, but very light on the astringency. The flavoring is naturally sweet from the apricot/peach flavor, but there’s very much ginger spice that comes through as well. It would still benefit from additional sweetener and possibly some milk or cream to add some creaminess and interest. The aftertaste totally is peachy gummy rings. Though I don’t get that during the sip.

It’s a fair flavored black tea. And I’d bet it would be really good cold steeped to kill some of the bitterness in the base. I also really like apricot flavors iced. Yum.

I also was hoping for my own personal Cheshire Cat to hop out of the cup and was sorely let down there. Thanks Rie for letting me try for some Disney magic here.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Rie

The tea, it’s just not… Wonderland, enough, is it? :c
The tin though, is amazing. I’ll add the tin description to the tea info to make up for the lack of magic in the leaves themselves, haha.

Shmiracles

“drinking peaches in unsweetened ginger syrup” sounds good to me.

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61

So yesterday my car stalled on the interstate on the way to work (at 5:30 in the morning) and we had to have it towed. And it’s in the shop now. I guess I’m lucky a careless driver didn’t nail me. But that pretty much set the tone for my day.

So I’m back today and hoping things are a little less…terrible.

I actually think this one smells a wee bit better than it tastes. It smells rummy and caramelly and sweet with just a suggestion of vanilla.

The taste here reminds me of the Red Velvet Cake tea with the butterscotch and maple notes. There’s a little bit of an emulated liquor taste here too that definitely gives it a rum feeling. The aftertaste is all butter and richness. This is absolutely a grey morning tea!

I like this one just a wee bit more than the Red Velvet Cake because this one is actually supposed to taste like it did!

Thank you for swapping with me jessiwrites! I can’t wait to try the rest :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Chelle

The aroma of this one is yummy.
Reminds me how behind I am in tasting notes

CHAroma

Oh man, so sorry to hear about your car. That blows.

yyz

Sorry about the car experience as well, but I’m glad that it got resolved safely. I was in a cab that got stalled on the 400 series highways here, and to add to the stress I was on my way to work. ( My job at the time was time sensitive, if I had not been able to get to work on time it would have affected about 200 people ). Luckily, I got a new cab quickly and the driver of my first cab was helped out quickly too. desert and sweet things are always nice after a terrible day.

moraiwe

Thanks guys! Being stalled with cars zipping past at 70, while only being just barely in a shoulder is really scary! It looks like a $150 fix (insurance covered towing!) on the car so it won’t break the bank at least.

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67
drank Red Velvet Cake by DAVIDsTEA
616 tasting notes

Shelley_Lorraine was nice enough to throw this in one of our trades. :) Many thank yous to her for the chance to taste this!

This one is actually pretty tasty, and I’d almost count it as breaking my string of not-so-hot DAVIDsTEA samples. I say almost because it doesn’t taste a thing like red velvet cake to me. It’s more creamy maple and butterscotch with a slight chocolate touch that hits at the end of each sip. The black tea is mellow and gets a little lost with everything else.

The aftertaste is lingering and reminds me of those cheap butterscotch candies in the yellow wrappers. Or like the caramel they sell at the supermarket in the squeeze bottles for ice cream. (Not a bad thing).

Actually, this tea reminds me a lot of a caramel sundae. So, no red velvet here, just delicious ice cream sundaes. It wasn’t what I expected, but I’ll take it.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
616 tasting notes

6 tsp Jasmine Pearls (Adagio)
4 tsp Silver Needle (Adagio)
2 quarts water

So, last night when I was making up my pitcher of jasmine for milk tea, I realized I didn’t have enough of my Jasmine Pearls for the amount of water I wanted to use. Oops.

So, I just went super boring (but practical!) here and mixed it 60:40 with some Silver Needle and made a pretty normal Jasmine Silver Needle. Problem solved!

I might have to do it this way again, because it added a really nice vegetal note and made the whole thing less perfumey. Also, once I added the sugar syrup, milk and boba there was a sweet honeysuckle note from the Silver Needle too. I cold steeped overnight as opposed to normal steeping and serving over ice, and Fiance said it was the best milk tea I’d ever made. So yay!

Rating: 84/100

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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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