530 Tasting Notes

drank Fujian Baroque by Adagio Teas
530 tasting notes

I had been saving this tea for two reasons. One, because I know from experience that Fujians don’t really make good iced teas, so I was waiting for chilly weather. And two, because Fujian black teas are my absolute favorite, so I had the urge to hoard it.

The scent of the dry leaf makes me smile. It’s rich and chocolatey like cocoa nibs. I’m also smelling baked goods, like wheat bread or a croissant. As it steeps, the tea grows nice and dark, almost opaque. The wet leaves smell even more like bread.

The flavor is smooth and pleases me greatly. Exactly what I’ve come to love in a Fujian. Deeply satisfying and on the hearty side. A tad malty, but mostly wonderfully chocolate-like. It has lots of layers and notes mixed in harmoniously. I’m really not understanding why so many people here weren’t pleased with it! They must have been oversteeping or something.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate, Cocoa, Hay, Malt, Wheat

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Lapsang Souchong by Adagio Teas
530 tasting notes

I haven’t reviewed this tea? I could have sworn I did. Oh well, maybe I’m thinking about Teavivre’s version.

Anyway, it was 33°F this morning. A harsh wakeup call, if you ask me. So, I wanted something strong and wintery. No iced Earl Grey for me today!

I’ve had lapsangs before, but this one smells like straight up bacon cooked over a wood stove. Or cooked outdoors, at least. It’s smoky, but not in a cigarette way. In a nice fall way. You know that smell that fills your car for a moment when you pass someone burning leaves in their yard? It’s sort of like that.

However, the flavor is much less intimidating than the aroma. It’s actually a very smooth black tea. Hardly astringent and not bitter at all. It also doesn’t taste charred. More cured than burned. In the forefront are smoky pine notes, followed by leather and meat. I know it’s odd to think of tea as meaty, but I definitely taste something that makes me think of bacon.

While I know most people don’t like lapsangs, I still recommend this tea. It’s an unusual experience that I think people should have at least once. You never know, you might love it!

Flavors: Campfire, Dark Wood, Leather, Meat, Pine, Wood

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Viennese Earl Grey by Harney & Sons
530 tasting notes

I can’t believe I haven’t written about this tea yet. I’m dipping into my second tin now, thanks to Kaliska.

This is my favorite Earl Grey to ice. Something about the crisp darjeeling is perfect for it. Though the bergamot is still very, very strong, you can taste some of that foresty flavor coming through. It’s not as heavy as the black base Harney & Sons uses for their more famous EGs. It’s a lovely combination of fresh wood, bergamot, and citrus notes. I can’t really say that the muscatel flavor comes through, though. There’s just too much other stuff going on.

Today, I’m having it with a pinch of Harney’s French Super-Blue Lavender. A pinch is really all you need. That stuff is seriously potent, but I find it soothing. Yum.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus Zest, Green Wood

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

i like this one too. very smooth


Agreed this is a staple around here.

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drank Black Dragon Pearls by Adagio Teas
530 tasting notes

Short review because I don’t actually have the tea in front of me. I finished my sample off yesterday.

This is one of those comforting, naturally chocolatey teas. The little balls remind me of Cocoa Puffs. They’re the same size, shape, and almost the same color. For Adagio, it’s surprisingly complex. They smell sweet and hay-like. The tea brews up dark brown and smells wonderful. I get notes of honey, hay, cocoa, wheat, and bread in the flavor. Mmm.

The only reason I’m giving this tea less than a 90 is because I’ve had Teavivre’s version and it was noticeably better. I know they’re from the same region, but there’s just a slight difference in quality.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Hay, Honey, Wheat

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Vanilla Chai by Just Add Honey
530 tasting notes

About two weeks ago, I left my job of 4 years to find something better. During my week and a half of being unemployed, I did some research on Atlanta-based tea. Sure enough, I found Just Add Honey, with their small brick and mortar store at the edge of downtown. While they weren’t hiring, I got to visit and meet the owner, a kind lady by the name of Brandi. There were a couple teas I wanted up on the wall in jars, but being in between jobs, I just got a sample of chai. (And made sure she had a copy of my resume, haha.)

Let me tell you, this tea packs a punch! It does not disappoint on the spice aspect. When I sniffed it in the glass jar, I was surprised at how clovey it was. Most blends of chai I’ve tasted were a little shy with the clove, or even left it out completely, but not this one. It also has a nice, balanced taste of cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom. Star anise is listed in the ingredients, but I can’t really taste that aspect.

As far as the vanilla goes, it’s interesting. Not a coconutty or French vanilla. It’s a buttercreamy, dessert-like vanilla. Combined with the spices, it comes out to something that tastes like… dare I say it… pumpkin spice. It was definitely a good choice for fall. I might have to go back for more pretty soon. The contrast between the warm spice and the chilly air will be nice!

Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Cream, Creamy, Ginger, Vanilla

4 min, 0 sec 0 OZ / 0 ML

good luck with the job hunt!


Thanks! I’m already working again. :) My friend was quitting her second job and I took over for her, haha.


haha well that’s great news Hopefully it’s better than the last job. :)


(also this sounds really tasty heh)


congrats on the new job. That’s so nice too to discover new nice tea shops locally

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This is another one I bought on a whim from the salvage grocery store. I figured even if it was bad, I could just make it into chai or something.

Turns out, it’s not great. I mean, I’m not a fan of yerba mate in the first place, so I might be biased. It’s strong, rubbery-tasting and cloudy. Very dark and pungent. With a little sweetner, it’s not bad, but it’s defintely not a great black tea experience. There are notes of green plant matter, earth, and hay.

However, they weren’t kidding about it being energizing. Black tea plus yerba mate = cracked-out Tabby. I’m going to have to remember this on days when I’m dragging my feet at work.

So, basically, I don’t recommend this tea for the taste or quality. But I do recommend it for the buzz!

Flavors: Dirt, Earth, Hay

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

Now all you need is some Cubby Wubby Womb Room tea…


Some what…?

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The only reason I have this is because I found it in a salvage grocery store for $1.45. The box was squished, but it wasn’t expired.

As far as bagged chais go, this isn’t the worst one I’ve tried. It also isn’t the best, of course. Cinnamon is the most dominant spice I can taste, while the other spices just sort of blend together in the background. I can hardly taste the base at all.

If you end up with this tea for whatever reason, you might wanna double-up on the amount of bags you’d normally use. It’s really weak and they were stingy with the spice. Or, you know, you could just skip it altogether.

Flavors: Cinnamon

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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drank Coconut by Adagio Teas
530 tasting notes

I tried this as a base to make chai with tonight. As good of an idea it seemed to be, it’s not something I’ll do again. The coconut flavor is just too intense. It mutes the chai spices to the point that they’re hardly noticeable. Good lord.

Still delicious, though.

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At 3 am last night, I decided I wanted to make chai. Not because I wanted a cup at that hour, but because I really enjoy the ritual of it. Also, it makes my kitchen smell amazing. I figured I’d put it in the fridge for the next morning, when it would be greatly appreciated.

I’m almost done with this tub of bulk black tea. I don’t like it very much, but it works well enough as a base to blend with. I’m going to try it with a plain Assam next.

This is my current chai recipe, if anyone’s curious:

4 cups water
8 tsp. black tea
1 tsp. vanilla extract
10 cloves
10 cardamom pods (mine might be a bit old, so you might need less)
5 cinnamon sticks (same goes for this)
1 2" piece of ginger root, sliced up
1 tbsp honey

This makes chai concentrate, so it’s best served over a lot of ice and with milk.

Boiling 8 min or more
Terri HarpLady

I’ll file this one away…thanks! :)


Sounds very good


Impressive! I suspect that most people accept pre-prepared blends. Your recipe sounds delicious…


I’m going to make this right now…gotta decide what tea to use hmmm


Awesome! I wanna know how it turns out!


It was wonderful! I used extra honey, and threw in a vanilla bean instead of extract and used an Upton Assam. thanks for the recipe!!!


Ooh, it sounds like you did it up right! I really want to try using a bean instead of the extract. Glad you liked it, and no problem! Now you can make your chai exactly the way you want it. :D

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drank White Chai by Adagio Teas
530 tasting notes

Mmm, this is unexpectedly the perfect tea for the changing of the seasons. The very first hints of fall are showing here, making me excited for heavy, smoky, and spicy winter teas. But not yet! It’s still in the eighties during the day, and the sun isn’t all the way down until nine.

Anyway! The tea itself is beautiful. Slender, green leaves mixed with bright red peppercorns, white coconut shavings, tan pineapple pieces, yellow lemongrass, brown cloves and cinnamon. The aroma is strong, spicy, and promising. It reminds me a lot of Adagio’s Thai Chai, which is one of my favorites.

This tea brews up to a very light tan, and when the milk is added, it almost goes completely white. Very interesting… I wonder how it would look with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top! Flavorwise, the cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon are in the forefront. There’s really too much going on in this to taste the white tea (at least, in the way that I prepared it). The lemongrass is very present as well, but I can hardly tell there’s any pineapple. Can’t taste that much at all, but it’s there. Same with the coconut. It’s in the very background, but present. Anyway, this is pretty crazy, and I like it a lot. I might have to reorder once it really starts getting cold.

Full disclosure: I didn’t look at the steeping instructions on this. I winged it, for once.

Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Clove, Fruity, Ginger, Lemongrass

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec
carol who

First hints of Fall!!! Eeeeck! Where do you live? I’m not going there. Here in IL it’s still very warm and summer-y. The tea sounds good… but not for a couple months.


Yay fall go away heat…


@Carol Atlanta! But it’s just a weird cool spell. I know it will be blazingly hot again soon, and on until October. It’s summer 8 months out of the year here, haha.

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Quiet, strange, and in love with the world of tea. 20-something and living just outside of Atlanta. Cat lover, electronic music geek, balcony gardener, and collector of fossils. On the hunt for the perfect tea in each of my favorite categories.

I prefer black teas, but I’m trying to broaden my horizons. My favorites tend to be yunnan tips, earl grey, chai, and pretty much any black tea from Fujian, China. My favorite add-ons are plum, cinnamon, sage, apple, coconut, raspberry, lychee, bergamot, osmanthus, cucumber, lavender, vanilla, cardamom, ginger, and caramel.

I’m shy about green tea, curious about white, and learning to love oolong. I hate rooibos and anything with orchid, fennel, or jasmine.

Since joining, I’ve traded with: Kaliska, QueenOfTarts, LiberTEAS, JustJames, Spencer, Ninavampi, Jillian, Teafreak, KeenTeaThyme, and RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas.

You can assume that I’m preparing my tea using the Western method. I use zero-calorie sweeteners and in the hot months, I drink my tea almost exclusively iced.


Decatur, GA



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