2132 Tasting Notes

drank Banana Split by Tiesta Tea
2132 tasting notes

I wasn’t a fan of this the first time I tried it so I decided to toss the rest of it in my cold steeping pitcher and make iced tea. This time around I was able to taste the banana flavor, although it had a strong chemical aftertaste. I ended up drinking a few glasses, then dumping out the rest of the pitcher.


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drank Milord's Grey by Kally Tea
2132 tasting notes

While I was traveling I ended up cold steeping this in my travel mug before I went to bed each night. Like magic I woke up to a great cup of cold tea each morning, it was heaven! It tasted heavily of vanilla, with hints of bergamot— the exact opposite of how it tastes when I steep it according to the package directions. I think I prefer this cold steeped since it doesn’t dry my mouth out as much, but either way it’s a delicious tea.

Iced 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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This was one of the teas I brought on my recent road trip. I thought a nice fruity tea would hit the spot once the temperatures started to rise, but I only made it through half the package before abandoning it for something else. The flavor wasn’t bad, it tasted somewhat like lychee, which is a tropical fruit, but not exactly what I was expecting. I’ll cold steep the last of this and finish it off once I get back to Saint Louis next week.

3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Classic Black by Takeya
2132 tasting notes

Overall I would say that Takeya has delivered exactly what the package described, a classic black tea. Much like the iced tea I grew up with the flavor isn’t particularly strong. It does have a slightly sweet, almost fruity flavor that is perfect for iced tea. I did find that once I added ice the tea immediately began to cloud, something that doesn’t bother me, but is a huge sticking point with some iced tea traditionalists. Brewing the tea hot, then allowing it to cool in the fridge instead of adding ice helped somewhat with the issue of clouding while also giving me a stronger flavored tea. Unfortunately that meant I used 4 packages of tea instead of 2 when making a full pitcher. Since there are only 6 to a box, so this method isn’t really cost efficient. I’ve seen these priced around $3.99 per box (and as much as $7.99.) At that price I’ll most likely continue to measure out my tea into sandwich bags if I want to leave it for my husband or take my Flash Chill pitcher with me when I travel.

You can read the full review on my blog:

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Unlike most chai this tea does not use black tea for a base and instead uses Yerba Mate, which has a higher caffeine content and a slightly toasted flavor. I’ve really been enjoying the strong flavor of cardamom mixed in with the citrus from the lemongrass and toasted notes of the yerba mate. The flavors are different than I’m accustomed to seeing in a chai, but they’re delicious— especially the cardamom.

You can read the full review on my blog:

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Considering that this is a tea from Harney & Sons, a company who has been known for quality tea for more years than I’ve been alive, I knew going in that I was in for a treat. I wasn’t disappointed, this is one of the better bottled teas that I’ve tasted. The high-quality back tea that was used as a base for this drink isn’t drowned out by flavoring, even though there is a strong peach flavor. Occasionally I could even pick up hints of honey. The flavors from the sweeteners were light and not overpowering like I find most bottled teas to be and allowed the peach-like flavor to really come through.

You can read the full review on my blog:


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Normally I can hardly taste a thing once allergy season hits… or so I thought. Then I went and accidentally chugged a pint glass full of this tea, unsweetened, thinking it was something else. I found out pretty fast that my taste buds still work. I don’t recommend drinking it this way, it’s a very bitter brew, but with a spoonful of honey or sugar it goes down a lot easier. I’ve been enjoying a cup in the morning to help with some of my allergy symptoms. The tea worked well to ease my sore throat and itchy ears (does anyone else suffer from this annoying problem during allergy season? It drives me nuts!) I could also see it being very useful during cold season. Yarrow has been used for centuries as a fever reducer, horehound has always been my choice for sore throats (although I prefer candy drops,) and wild cherry bark is frequently used to treat coughs.

You can read the full review on my blog:

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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reviewed Smart Soak by Mandala Tea
2132 tasting notes

Every time I’ve complained on Steepster about how hard it is to remove scents and stains from my ingenuiTEA and Mason Jar Drinking Mugs I’ve been told that Smart Soak Tea Stain Dissolver is the product I need. The people who told me this weren’t kidding about how well it worked and I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time scrubbing everything down with baking soda and a baby bottle brush. That method may work, but it is anything but efficient.

Overall, I was suitably impressed with Smart Soak Tea Stain Dissolver from Mandala Tea. I was skeptical at first, but it cleaned everything that I threw at it. I didn’t have to scrub a thing, saving me a tremendous amount of time. Now I understand why so many people recommended this product to me.

You can read the full review on my blog, complete with before and after photos:


I have got to get some of this stuff

Short Sorceress

I wish I hadn’t waited so long to try it, it’s pretty amazing.


I truly enjoyed your review of the product, my dear! So very happy that you are enjoying the Smart Soak. I am grateful.

Short Sorceress

I loved it! My teaware hasn’t looked this good in years :) Thanks again for sending me the samples.

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It took me a few cups to find the perfect way to steep this tea. Single Origin Teas does not provide instructions on their website (other than to say not to use boiling water,) but once found my preferred time and temperature— all I can say is wow. The flavor is mellow, slightly sweet, and almost nutty; but what really stands out is the texture. This tea is exceptionally smooth and almost buttery when you hold it on your tongue. It feels almost as luxurious as the silk sheets I’ve been lusting over the past few years. Since tea is much more affordable than silk sheets, I think I’ll pick up some more of this while I’m in Kansas City. It will be perfect to enjoy during the hot days of summer.

You can read the full review on my blog:

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Comparing this tea to silk sheets is perfect! Man, I have not had White Monkey in forever, it keeps popping up, so clearly I need to get some too at the festival.

Short Sorceress

It’s a great comparison, isn’t it? And yes, you should definitely pick some of this up while you’re there. This really blows the other White Monkey teas I’ve tried out of the water.

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This week I took part in a matcha blind taste test which was sponsored by Red Leaf Tea. Each tea was rated based on color, flavor, and sweetness. Terra Verve Organic Matcha tied for first place. It had a more traditional flavor than the other samples and tasted exactly how I expect matcha to taste like— sweet with a mildly grassy flavor. It was also the most expensive sample, costing $8.52 per ounce. Because of the hefty price tag, it’s not something I could afford to drink every day, but it is something I’d gladly pull out for my tea drinking guests or purchase for a special occasion.

You can read the results from the full taste test on my blog:

175 °F / 79 °C 1 tsp 3 OZ / 88 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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