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11 Tasting Notes

82

I’ve tried several White Peony varieties lately, and this is one of the better ones. Thank you, RogersCK for the sample!

It is very similar to Adagio’s White Symphony. It is fuller-bodied than many other white teas I’ve tried, but still very smooth with no astringency or bitterness. Like the White Symphony, it’s slightly sweet with a hint of nectar that reminds me of the nectar we sucked out of field clover as a child (I’m guessing this is probably what many describe as honeysuckle).

I steeped at 185 degrees for about two minutes (maybe slightly longer – I like a bolder taste) and added just under 1 tsp of table sugar.

Edited to add: Second steep – even better than the first! Brews to a deeper golden color and the flavor is even a touch more robust. I could be way off here as it’s been a while since I’ve had black tea, but the flavor almost reminds me of a good English Breakfast (but far more delicate).

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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1
drank Cherry Tea by Red Leaf Tea
11 tasting notes

I’m not sure what to say other than “blah.” It smells halfway decent dry, but had almost zero flavor. I wasn’t expecting it to taste like tea, so that’s not it. I would have been completely happy with hot cherry Koolaid, but it tastes like VERY watered down off-brand cherry Koolaid. Two or three sips and the rest went down the drain. I managed to eek out a second cup of Adagio Dewey Cherry that I made this morning and that had twice as much flavor (but only about half of what it was this morning, but I wasn’t expecting much of anything from a second steep).

If you are looking for a good cherry tisane, my first recommendation is the Dewey Cherry and the second is Tea Forte’s Cherry Cosmo. The Dewey is hands down my favorite, but if you are looking for something a bit more tart, try the Cosmo. Neither taste like tea (they aren’t supposed to!), but very yummy.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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92
drank Dewy Cherry by Adagio Teas
11 tasting notes

I’m tasting this side-by-side with Tea Forte’s Cherry Cosmo, which I’ve had numerous times over the last few months and like very much. They are VERY similar. If I didn’t have them side-by-side, I would be hard-pressed to tell the difference.

Both steep to a beautiful dark pink liquor. Both have a strong candy cherry taste. The major difference is the Adagio is far less tart and less stringent. The Adagio definitely wins (and as a bonus, it’s half the price of the Tea Forte)!

Ive had a couple of cups since writing the review above and it’s become my new favorite. I had the last cup this morning from the sample I ordered last week and have already ordered more (and had to restrain myself from having it shipped overnight!). Anyway…came back to up the rating and add a few more notes…

If you are expecting this to taste even remotely like tea, you will be extremely disappointed. It’s not a tea. It’s not supposed to taste like tea. It tastes like hot cherry Koolaid-Aid. Or a cherry Lifesaver dissolved in hot water. It’s a cup of candy (especially if you add as much sugar as I do). So don’t knock it for not tasting like tea!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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24
drank Decaf Mango by Adagio Teas
11 tasting notes

The mango is there, but it’s over-powered by what smells and tastes like vanilla (which is not on the list of ingredients, so I’m not sure where it’s coming from). Unfortunately, I strongly dislike any hint of vanilla in my tea. It’s otherwise probably a decent blend. I’m giving it a lower rating for simply not accounting for the vanilla in the ingredients or description.

Republic of Tea’s Mango Ceylon (regular or decaf) remains in first place as my favorite Mango (by a huge margin!). Interestingly, the list of ingredients is identical.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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10

One word: hibiscus.

Okay… a few more words: Even the liquor looks like hibiscus (red). I taste no mango. VERY tart. I might like it some other time, but tonight I was looking for a nice smooth mango flavor.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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94

I’m still relatively new to the world of tea, and just began exploring white tea as everything I read led me to believe it was an acquired taste. I also don’t like strong tea, but do like it to have a lot of flavor and wasn’t sure I’d like the “delicate” taste of white tea.

Anyway… that’s my “caveat” to this review!

The first white I tried (a couple of days ago) was Adagio’s White Peony. I liked it well enough and thought it could even grow on me. Tonight I tried the White Symphony, and wow!

I used the directed two heaping teaspoons. The package instructions say 195 degrees F (and that’s what I did with the White Peony), but I dropped this one to 185 degrees (the setting for white on my electric kettle. I’ll have to try the White Peony again at the lower temperature.

My impression is not grassy or vegetal at all (something I definitely haven’t acquired a taste for). It has a very subtle and pleasant floral aroma, but does not taste “perfumey.” There is NO astringency at all – I’ve not experienced that before with tea. No aftertaste, which I assume has something to do with the lack of astringency.

It is very slightly fruity and reminds me of the nectar we used to suck out of field clover as a child (perhaps what others describe as honeydew).

I like my tea with what is probably a sacrilegious amount of table sugar (8 oz of black tea get 1.5-2 tsp). This cup got only 1 tsp and I think I might still like it with even half that.

Great introduction to white tea!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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94

This is the tea that led to my discovery that not all teas are created equal. Until I stumbled across this, Republic of Tea is about as exotic as I’d gotten!

Due to a mix-up with our room at the W Hotel in Time Square (tagged along on my hubby’s business trip), we got a free continental breakfast. I opted for tea over coffee and was charmed by the fancy silk pyramid shaped infusers with the cute little leave that sticks out the top.

When I took my first sip, I was in heaven. This is the smoothest, most flavorful tea I’d ever tasted and was instantly hooked. I came home and immediately placed a $70 order with Tea Forte! My first order was a huge variety in the infusers. I actually had the non-decaffeinated version in New York and wanted to try the decaf before committing to a whole canister. I can’t tell the difference between the two.

While I’ve discovered several more I enjoy, the English Breakfast remains my favorite. It also blends very nicely with fruity teas.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Cherry Cosmo by Tea Forte
11 tasting notes

I will also preface my review with saying that I can understand why many tea aficionados wouldn’t like this tea. As previously stated, it’s not very “tea-ish!” I also like fruity teas (when I’m not sipping a nice, traditional black). I love this one and it’s currently in my Tea Forte shopping cart.

I’ve had it at least twice – most recently yesterday. All have been in the silk pyramid infusers (not the traditional loose variety, though with Tea Forte, I’m not sure there’s a huge difference). Used boiling water and steeped for approximately 5 minutes. My most recent cup was blended with a 1:2 ratio (by liquid volume) of English Breakfast (also Tea Forte).

I’m still very much a tea novice, so I’ll skip the reviews of the aroma and whatnot, but will comment about the color – it’s gorgeous! It seemed a shame to pour it into my metal thermos.

It is no doubt extremely tart, but I take all my tea with an obscene amount of sugar, so that isn’t a problem for me. It does NOT taste like cough syrup to me, nor do I get any of the vodka taste that some people have mentioned. My immediate reaction both times was that it tastes like a Sweet Tart. It mellows as it cools (and I prefer my tea on the cool side, anyway) – I think it would be fantastic iced.

Next time I’m going to reverse the ratio of black to cherry (two portions black; one portion cherry). I think that might be a very nice blend!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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This is hands down the best thermos/travel mug EVER! I have three of them and have bought several others as gifts.

There’s also a model with a build-in tea infuser, but I prefer to brew my tea separately. It comes in plum, teal, and silver (the one with the tea infuser is only available in silver).

It truly lives up to its claim of keeping beverages hot for 12 hours. When I make my bedtime tea, I often brew a second mug for the next morning and its still scalding hot (the fuller the mug, the longer it keeps hot).

It’s pretty much spill-proof – as long as the lid is closed! But you can pop it open with one hand – just push the button. And closing it is pretty easy, too.

Finally, the “flow control” feature also works as advertised. I rarely get a faceful of scalding tea with this mug.

My only complaint is that the small “handle” or tab on the back (so you can clip it to a bag/backpack) breaks easily.

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100

I love, love, love this kettle! I held out for the longest time, thinking my newfound love of tea was just a fad… but it wasn’t and I finally bit the bullet. It is especially nice if you sip white or green teas as you select the desired temperature. I have nothing bad to say about it.

As for cleaning it, try this tip: Put a tiny bit of liquid dishwasher detergent in the bottom, add a tiny bit of very hot water (1/2 cut) and use a bottle brush to scrub the instead. I also use this method on my metal thermoses and glass teapots. It removes all the tea stains every time (now if only I could use it on my teeth!).

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Profile

Bio

I spent some time in the south (U.S.) many years ago where I developed a fondness for Southern Sweet Tea (if you’ve never had it, imagine iced tea as sweet as kool-aid and you might be close!). I’ve also liked the occasional cup of hot, but never got into a regular habit.

During a trip to New York last year that involved staying in a high-end hotel, I discovered Tea Forte’s English Breakfast and had the revelation that not all tea is created equal. I’ve since become a bit obsessed with both learning about tea varieties and proper preparation. And now, a year or so later, I have a variable temp electric teapot, sneak new tea into the cupboard when my husband isn’t looking, use the word “tisane” in everyday conversation, and just completed my first (and very successful!) tea swap!

Location

Michigan, USA

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