2109 Tasting Notes

The blend I was most excited about in this month’s tea co-op box was the Senna Leaf and Anise Herbal Pu’er. I don’t see pu’er blends often and I think this is the first herbal/pu’er blend I’ve come across. The small amount of pu’er added a slight earthy flavor, although the dominant flavors were orange, anise, and ginger. There where were a few flavors I couldn’t quite pinpoint (probably the senna leaf or slippery elm which were both new to me.) The only negative I have about this blend is the fact that it gave me one heck of a rash. Apparently I’m allergic to one of the herbal ingredients.

You can read the full review on my blog:

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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This is the kind of tea I like to serve guests because it has a nice smooth flavor without any of the bitterness or astringency that my non-tea drinking guests dislike. It’s not the type of tea you’ll find me drinking late at night, instead I prefer it as an early morning tea or afternoon pick-me-up. It does pack a bit of a caffeine induced punch. Overall I think this is a great everyday tea that will suit a lot of tastes.

You can read the full review on my blog:

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

This is one of the few Assams I grab on purpose.

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Right now I’m sipping on a cup of darjeeling from Golden Tips that has completely blown my mind. It’s a white darjeeling, something I’ve never tried before, but what is so striking about it is how much more complex it is than the Chinese-grown Silver needle teas that I’m more familiar with. There are fruit and floral undertones that give it a sweet flavor and become more pronounced as the tea cools. With later steepings the flavors shift away from sweet and begin to taste more like freshly cut hay. While the flavors of the tea remind me of summer, I think this is a tea best suited to cooler months since it left me with a slightly dry-mouth feel.

You can read the full review on my blog:

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Considering the high cost of saffron I was impressed with how much was in this tea. The bags are flecked with numerous small pieces, rather than entire threads, and impart a bittersweet flavor that is distinctly saffron. The longer you allow the tea to steep the more flavor you draw out from the saffron, but when steeping the tea for more than five minutes you start to draw out the some bitter notes. I don’t particularly care for bitterness, so I prefer to stop steeping the tea around the five minute mark, once it has turned a brilliant yellow-orange color.

You can read the full review on my blog:

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This flavor of this tea is very delicate and unlike any other green tea I’ve tried be it from China, Japan, or elsewhere. It has roasted notes that come out stronger when the tea is served hot and sweet notes that I noticed more as the tea cools. While this didn’t remind me of a green tea I had tried, it did faintly resemble the corn silk tea one of my friend frequently enjoyed. It has the same roasted, yet sweet flavor that I’m finding in this tea. It is certainly a distinct flavor, one I’ve found I rather enjoy.

You can read the rest of the review on my blog:

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

nice, I have been wanting to try this one myself!

Short Sorceress

I highly recommend it. My entire sample was gone in under two days, which is unusual for me. I tend to enjoy more of a variety, but this tea had me hooked from the first sip.

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The first steeping of the tea has a rich, roasted flavor and a slightly sweet finish. There was a noticeable shift in flavors in the later steepings. They developed a deeper roasted flavor, reminding me somewhat of toasted sesame seeds (which I’m not particularly a fan of) and tasted salty. I thought at first my son had been dipping his pretzel rods in my tea again (this has recently become his new favorite game) but I kept noticing the same subtle brine-like flavor every time I prepared a fresh cup. I wasn’t expecting such a radical shift in flavors, it caught me a bit off guard and left me to wonder if I would notice such a huge difference if I had decided to steep the tea at a different temperature. This is one of the rare times I wish Simple Loose Leaf hadn’t decided to decrease the amount of tea in their monthly boxes. The new ¼ ounce size just doesn’t give me enough tea to experiment with if I feel the need, as was the case with this tea.

You can read the rest of the review on my blog:

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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These pearls really stand out from other jasmine teas because the flavor is subtle, not in-your-face floral. They’re nicely balanced with a sweet honeysuckle flavor and a hint of jasmine that becomes stronger the more times you steep the tea. Because the pearls aren’t as heavily scented as other jasmine teas they don’t have the strong soapy flavor I seem to run into time and time again. There is nothing I hate more than a tea that reminds me of soap, or worse yet, potpourri. If I happen to be in the mood for something stronger I can always add additional pearls for a flavor that better suits my mood.

You can read the full review on my blog

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 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, Butiki, Della Terra, Rishi, TeaVivre, and Verdant, 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.

Ingredients I’m on the fence about:

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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