616 Tasting Notes

79

I’m in the wrong season for this tea, but that’s okay. It’s gloomy and rainy and I wish I were still in bed. So it’s essentially an autumn day.

The smell here invokes images of colorful trees and gusty winds, with rain puddles for jumping in, corn mazes and hay rides. It just screams autumn.

The flavor is exactly what I was hoping for, though! I wish the Culinary Teas Vanilla Cream I had earlier was more like this with the loud, bold flavors and a slight milkiness from the cream aspect. There’s a touch of pumpkin pie spice, but no overwhelming clove or cinnamon flavors, which I appreciate. The pumpkin is pumpkin-y, but more of a pumpkin pancake kind of pumpkin than pumpkin pie though.

A little bit of sweetener brings out a more roasty pumpkin flavor, that I enjoy a bit more than unsweetened. I would imagine a splash of milk would bring out the creaminess more, too. (Latte anyone?)

Overall, this is another really lovely gloomy day kind of cup that encourages blankets, something to cuddle, and books.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec
Shmiracles

oh good idea. today is definitely a good day to finish up my autumn teas.

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56
drank Vanilla Cream by Culinary Teas
616 tasting notes

The cream flavor is really nice. It doesn’t have a nice milky mouthfeel like I was hoping, though. I was also looking for a more vanilla bean flavor in the vanilla, so that’s a bit of a let down; but what is there is decent. The black base is so-so too. It’s on par with mixing Adagio’s Cream and Vanilla with a far less fickle base, but it’s nothing special.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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75
drank Cherry Fantasy by Tealux
616 tasting notes

I just had a revelation.

This would be really tasty mixed with my Art of Tea Cinnamon Fig.

Experiments Ho!

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34
drank Spicy Plum by Cameron's
616 tasting notes

Cold steeped is where this tea is at. It’s extra fruity and the spices add some definite interest.

It’s unfortunately also where the rooibos flavor is at.

Bonus pic: A teacow charm I just made! (being in Wisconsin and all). He’s so fresh I haven’t even baked him yet!

http://bit.ly/13q4m1U

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Rie

Wow! You made it from scratch (clay…?) ?

moraiwe

Yeah. Just polymer clay :)

CHAroma

Super cute!

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100
drank Hashiri Shincha by Den's Tea
616 tasting notes

I’m stuck at home today waiting for the plumber (and then babysitting the plumber) because our dishwasher decided to stop draining last yet. Not the best set up for a good day. So I thought I’d break this in. No, I don’t know I’ve managed to let it sit a week without touching it either.

The dry leaf here smells like the freshest lawn clippings ever. And that is absolutely a good thing.

There was a little brewing hint enclosed advising that ramping up the first brewing temperature to 170-180 would bring out a stronger mouth and nose feeling, so I figured I’d try that first.

My first steeping was at 170 for 90 seconds, using the recommended rounded teaspoon per 2 oz.

I was blown away.

It’s grassy and subtly sweet with very very little astringency. It’s only at the bottom of my cup that I notice any dryness. There’s this wonderful savory brothiness going on too. My (probably bewildered) Fiance received a text that simply stated ‘You need to try this.’

I did a second steeping at the parameters on the package, as well (180 for 30 sec) The second steeping is similar to the first, only a little less full-bodied with more sweetness.

I can already tell this tea and I are going to be really really good friends.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Stephanie

It’s so magical :)

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88
drank Monkey Chops by Bluebird Tea Co.
616 tasting notes

So, this regional dairy company recently released a 1% banana milk that Fiance just insisted on trying. It’s not uncomfortably sweet smelling like some stuff, but it’s definitely got this creamy banana thing going on. That is exactly what this dry leaf smells like. Milky, creamy, natural banana. Yum.

This tea pretty much cements my love of banana flavored tea. Which is weird, because I don’t really much care for real life bananas. Kind of a texture thing. So tea is really the best of all worlds here.

The base here is rich, smooth and has a little of it’s own natural sweetness going on. There’s definitely some astringency here too, but it’s not overwhelming. The astrigency is kind of a neat little thing here too. You know how when you eat a slightly-green banana and the starch makes your mouth a little dry? It’s just like that.

And the banana. The banana is the star here. It’s not loud banana taste. It’s this nice subtle flavor that runs through each sip. It tastes like slightly green (the best) bananas. It doesn’t taste like artificial banana flavor (I’m looking at you Banana Pudding tea) but real, fresh bananas.

I’m going to have to add this to my shopping list too, because I think this would just be too good with milk and sugar and latte-ized.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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71
drank Raspberry by Adagio Teas
616 tasting notes

I seem to be doing a lot of cold steeping lately. But there’s just something so awesome about tossing a thermos in the fridge and crawling out of bed at the crack of dawn and not have to actually do anything. Of course, this crack of dawn I forgot half of my tea here when I left for work so blerg (Fiance was nice enough to put it in the fridge for me when he got up later though!). Oh well. Half a thermos of tea now!

I really do actually think is a pretty decent raspberry tea. The raspberry flavor is natural and raspberry-y. Kind of a fresh picked, maybe a little underripe, thiing. It’s definitely not overly sweet raspberry flavor, or jammy, but it’s fresh tasting and the black tea base is far smoother when cold steeped. This would also pair really well with something like Adagio’s Cream tea to make a pretty decent dessert tea. I think that’ll go in my to-try bucket.

As an aside, I feel really snooty drinking tea while snacking on Wensleydale with figs. But they pair really really well!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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73
drank Sunshine by Della Terra Teas
616 tasting notes

I got this from Kaylee and thank you so much! :D

The dry smell is very peachy and fruity. Almost Snappley. Maybe Arizona Peach Tea? The super fruity smell led me to do my first sample of this as a cold brew because fruit flavors lend themselves really well to iced tea.

Very fresh tasting with apricot in the forefront and mango backing it up. It tastes like a tropical paradise and makes me think of beaches and humidity and sun!

I don’t really get much from the green tea, maybe a little bit of astringency, but overall it’s like drinking a not-so-sweet juice (in a good way)! I could definitely see having this on hand for the summer months. It can wait until I’m down a couple dozen teas first though.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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71

This tea tastes just like fresh baked bread to me this morning. It’s earthy and yeasty and really excatly what I needed as a pick me up. Only have enough for one more cup though :(

Bonus picture of a paper wreath I finished last night! http://i.imgur.com/Y4N3A99.jpg

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85
drank Hot Mama Jama by Bluebird Tea Co.
616 tasting notes

BACKLOG! So I’m going with my terrible notes on my computer here.

Another sample from Bluebird Tea Co. I really gotta get to drinking my last one!

I did a cold steep on this, because I was running around down in the Tri-State area (Iowa/Wisconsin/Illinois; you can cross two state lines in the matter of 20 minutes!) and attending my sister’s graduation in Platteville, so the set and forget method was far more ideal here!

This makes a really nice fruity cold brew. The fruit flavor isn’t specific, but it makes its own unique fruity flavor that is actually pretty tasty! There’s also a really nice hit of lime in here. Unfortunately the cold brew seemed to wash out a lot of the pepper zing and I it wasn’t anything more than a mere suggestion that you noticed only when you were looking for it. Even so, this made a fan-freakin-tastic iced tea and I’m tossing her onto my shopping list for my next purchase from them

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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