2147 Tasting Notes


The addition of American oak during AriZona’s brewing process adds a distinctive flavor to the final brewed tea, but there was an overwhelming sour taste I found incredibly off-putting. Even more off-putting is the fact that this unsweetened tea actually contains three different sweeteners: honey, sugar, and maple sugar—a fact that completely escaped my notice until I had finished most of the bottle.

Yes, you read that correctly, this unsweetened tea contains three different types of sugar!

This completely blows my mind…

These sweeteners are only included in small amounts—less than 1g—an amount that according to the label is deemed a dietary insignificant amount of sugar, but the fact that they are included at all in a tea labeled unsweetened really troubles me. For that reason alone I wouldn’t recommend this tea, but quite frankly, the sourness that is present overwhelms the delicate oak flavor, ruining the entire beverage.

You can read the full review on my blog:


’twas nasty stuff

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I know that I’m not the only one struggling with how to take matcha with me when I travel, fortunately manufacturers have begun to take notice as well—there are quite a few who are offering single serve packets of matcha. At first glance these seem like a match made in heaven for anyone who travels, commutes, or wants to take matcha with them during the day so I decided it was time I finally gave a few different brands a try to see if these would solve my matcha woes. Up first: entireTea, a ceremonial-grade matcha sweetened with monk fruit.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with monk fruit, don’t worry, I wasn’t either—it seems to be a fairly new zero-calorie fruit-based sweetener. Not being familiar with it I was taken back by just how sweet it is and the fact that it has an aftertaste somewhat reminiscent of artificial sweeteners. You can tell immediately this drink wasn’t sweetened with cane sugar and it’s so sweet you can barely taste the matcha. Now depending on your tastes that could be considered a good or bad thing. If you’re having difficulty adjusting to the taste of matcha, this might be a good alternative to try, however if you’re a matcha purist or want a drink that is only slightly sweet, this isn’t the product for you.

You can read the full review on my blog:


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There are plenty of people playing around with alcoholic tea, incorporating everything from wine to hops, but Rummy Pu is so far beyond what I’ve seen others working on. It’s safe to say that one sip and my mind was blown, I’ve never tasted anything quite like this. It was hands-down my favorite discovery at the Midwest Tea Festival. The depth of flavor the tea picked up during the aging process is astounding. Opening up a fresh package smelled as if I had popped open a bottle of spiced rum for a mid-day tipple. The flavor changes subtly each time it’s steeped, but even after using the same leaves for the third, fourth, and fifth time I was met with a distinct spiced rum flavor backed up with deeper notes of chocolate, earth, and eventually a slight sweetness. This is a truly remarkable tea!

You can read the full review on my blog:

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I’ve never actually seen Camellia Sinensis blossoms included in a tea before, which is somewhat surprising because they add such a wonderful touch to an already unique tea. The flavor is gentle, with a slight kiss of cherry and citrus, and has a slightly sweet undertone. Even when steeped in boiling water this tea doesn’t grow astringent, so those of you who prefer a complete lack of bitterness in your tea will enjoy it immensely.

You can read the full review on my blog:

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I never think to make a latte out of my flavored rooibos tea, but I sat in on one of the tasting cafe sessions at the Midwest Tea Festival last year where Queen’s Pantry paired this tea with almond milk. The tea is already on the sweet side, so there isn’t any need for additional sugar and the combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla make for an incredibly tasty latte that’s perfect to serve as an after dinner treat. I couldn’t resist stopping by their booth for a second time to pick up a couple ounces of tea to take home with me.

You can read the full review on my blog:

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Last year during the Midwest Tea Festival I stumbled across one of the Kansas City area’s best kept secrets: Anna Marie’s Tea Shop. The shop is nestled away in Liberty, Missouri—a small suburb of Kansas City—and carries a wide variety of flavored teas. Flavored teas aren’t always enough to make me sit up and take notice of a new-to-me shop, but I had the opportunity to sample a number of their offerings and was immediately struck by how similar they tasted to the teas that were offered by Della Terra before they went out of business almost two years ago. If you’ve been looking for a company to fill the void that Della Terra left behind then you’ll want to check this shop out immediately, especially if you’re missing old favorites like Lemon Chiffon or Pineapple Upside Down Cake Black Tea. Anna Marie’s even offers sample sizes for those of you who are like me and must try all of the teas.

You can read the full review on my blog:

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

gawd that sounds good just based on the name.


of course i’d have to use a tea mule heh no shipping to canada OR they’ve never been asked/thought about it heh


That sounds amazing

Short Sorceress

I’d say they most likely don’t have much call for international shipping, but you could always ask. The ladies that run the shop were incredibly helpful when I spoke with them last year.

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This is quite different from the Yunnan Chinese breakfast tea I’m accustomed to drinking. The scent is faintly fruity, but the flavor is bold, slightly sweet, with a malty undertone and the barest trace of minerality. Whether I steep it for three minutes or five it doesn’t seem to produce much in the way of astringency and only leaves me with the barest hint of dry mouth. During the summer I prefer teas that lack astringency, so this would make an excellent choice for iced tea—it’s absolutely delicious iced or hot.

You can read the full review on my blog:

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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The flavor of this tea varies greatly depending on how you prepare it. If you follow the package directions it’s strongly floral with hints of an almost orange-like citrus. I actually found it to be a little overpowering this way, even though I love floral teas. Instead I prefer to cut the amount of dry leaf I use in half, which produces a lightly floral cup with strong hints of citrus and a slightly sweet undertone. This is one of those teas that gives you a lot of wiggle room in terms of preparation, so it can be prepared to fit a variety of tastes, but brewing it at a higher temperature tends to bring out a somewhat astringent note. If you’re a fan of floral oolongs or even jasmine scented teas this will be right up your alley.

You can read the full review on my blog:

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I am always interested in swapping so if you see anything in my cupboard that you want to try just send me a message. Please keep in mind that I order most of my teas in sample sizes and may not have a lot to swap. I’m also trying to keep my swaps limited to one a month so I don’t break the bank.

My favorite tea companies to order from are American Tea Room, Rishi, TeaVivre, and Single Origin Teas, however I am constantly lured away from my favorites by a good sale.

Ingredients I love in tea
rose, peach, oolong, osmanthus, vanilla, marshmallow root and peppermint

Ingredients I dislike in tea:
spearmint, chocolate, orange, hibiscus, sage and for the most part lemon.

I am a firm believer that sage only belongs in my thanksgiving stuffing/dressing and absolutely not in my tea.

Cinnamon, Chocolate, Burdock Root, and Goji Berries

FORLIFE Curve Teapot, 24oz
Adagio ingenuiTEA, 16oz
Adagio Iced ingenuiTEA, 32oz
Zojirushi Water Pot, 4L
Libbey Country Fair drinking jars for ice tea
TeaVivre Travel Gaiwan

Rating Guidelines:

100 – 90: Pantry essential and some of my all time favorites that I can’t live without.

89 – 80: You’ll have a pretty good chance of finding this is my pantry on a regular basis, but it isn’t the end of the world if I run out.

79 – 70: I might consider restocking this at some point if the price was right.

69 – 40: Not undrinkable, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it again.

39 – 20: What in the world were they thinking? Probably still finished this just because I hate to waste anything.

19 – 0: Wow, that’s so terrible chances are pretty good I dumped it out and gave away the rest.

My current top five favorite teas:

China Black – Rishi Tea
Earl Grey Cream – Zen Tea
Lemoncello – American Tea Room
Nonpareil Anxi Qing Xiang TieGuanYin Oolong – TeaVivre
White Tea Rose Mélange – Rishi Tea


Oregon, WI



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