2103 Tasting Notes


I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m not normally a fan of citrus flavors. I’ve discovered recently that I really enjoy lemongrass, which while citrusy, is much more mild than pure lemon. Today’s tea combines lemon verbena, lemongrass, and ginger with South African honeybush for a mild and soothing herbal tea. There is only a hint of ginger in this blend and it lacks the bite I was expecting, but overall the tea did helped settle my stomach. A small drizzle of honey did wonders for my sore throat, although I decided to switch to iced tea for a little added relief. Yes, I know it’s supposed to get down to -8°F tonight, but sometimes you need iced tea in the dead of winter. I will admit it’s kind of odd to be sipping on iced tea while wearing thermal underwear and being covered in two blankets. I’ve never once claimed to be normal, just keep that in mind.

You can read the full review on my blog:

200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I ran out of peppermint tea last week while I was sick so I decided to pull this out of the back of my cupboard. I’ve tried it several times, but don’t really care for it, which is why it’s been hiding in the back of my cupboard for over a year now. I don’t really think peppermint and keemun really work well together, so the last of this is going in my swap box.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Even though I’m not really feeling well enough to celebrate the holiday season, or even well enough to have a splash of egg nog with my bourbon, I have pulled out all of my delicious holiday teas. Today’s tea, Christmas Green Tea (Thé vert Rois Mages) from Kusmi Tea – Paris, is a blend of Chinese green teas that is flavored with vanilla, almond, orange, and spices with a sprinkle of rose petals thrown in for good measure. Once steeped, the tea is rich and creamy, very lightly spiced, and tastes like marzipan. There is the barest hint of sweet orange that comes out now and then. Orange can easily overpower the more delicate flavors in a blend. I love that it is noticeable, but not a dominant flavor. It lets the more delicate flavors, such as the rose petals, shine through. While the flavors of this tea may not evoke holiday memories for everyone, it tastes exactly like the orange blossom butter cookies my friend’s mother made every Christmas. I haven’t thought about those cookies in years.

You can read the full review on my blog:

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Mélange Madeleine is a tea I picked up over the summer at Hédiard’s flagship store on Place de la Madeleine in Paris. It was one of the few teas I squirreled away in my already overstuffed suitcase to bring home and share with my friends. It isn’t the type of tea I would typically consider since I’m not a fan of citrus flavors, but I’m glad I went with the recommendation of the store, it’s a fabulous tea. The black base is mellow, yet full-flavored, and has hints of orange, vanilla, and lavender. While I’ve really enjoyed drinking it hot, it makes an excellent iced tea. In fact, most of my tin was consumed during the later part of the summer when the temperatures soared. I’ll likely finish off what is left before the end of the week. This is one of those rare teas I could drink a lot of and that isn’t something I say often when it comes to things that are heavily citrus flavored.

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

Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Vanilla

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

Sounds great! (I may be biased, since my name is Madeline…)

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I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t tend to drink sencha often. I have to be in a very specific mood to enjoy a strong vegetal flavor in my tea. I typically pair it with something salty, such as Chinese takeout, but it also goes well with sushi. This particular sencha has a m flavor than I’m accustomed to. When first steeped the flavor is somewhat vegetal, but as it cools off the flavor mellows out and it becomes slightly sweet. The mild flavor wasn’t what I was expecting, but since I can’t order takeout tonight I find that I prefer the tea this way.

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

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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I thought that I would love this tea, but the flavoring doesn’t taste a thing like plums. I do like the base teas used, although I couldn’t really taste the jasmine. Perhaps this would be better as a cold steep.

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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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