576 Tasting Notes

81

Started off my workday with this holiday tea. I think it’s actually available year-round, but the name suggests that it’s a Christmas blend. Oh well. It’s delicious regardless!

I don’t taste raisins, or that much apple, but the orange, cinnamon and almond flavors shine through. The cinnamon isn’t very pronounced, but there’s a hint of it. I wish there was more cinnamon flavor, as that’s one of my favorite tastes!

Overall this is a solid, decent tea. Nothing too fancy, nothing too fussy, but nothing too unique either. It’s good, but I’m not sure if I would purchase it regularly.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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89

Upped the rating; made this iced. This is so much better as an iced tea over brewing hot. I can taste the kiwi flavor better. Strange! I made a second glass with a couple kiwi ice cubes and that was even better.

A side note: I tried blending this with a strawberry herbal tisane and the result was surprisingly good.

In conclusion – either iced (with or without matching ice cubes) or pair with a strawberry tisane for the hot variety and I was much happier!

leafyq

I’m imagining such a combination and I almost want to cry because I don’t have it.

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85

Backlog:
I drank this virtually every day when I was fighting The Cold From Hell. I love anise, and this is ANISE to the max. So if you don’t like anise? Avoid. If you do like it, this is a great varieTEA (haha) for you. Not much to say about it – it’s light chamomile and in-your-face Anise. Good!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Like anise!

gmathis

Don’t … so thanks for the warning :)

KeenTeaThyme

I know it’s a love or hate relationship. :)

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100

Backlog:
I can’t believe I haven’t posted this yet! My tin is almost empty! I love drinking this in the evenings. I don’t recommend drinking this at work, unless you can get paid to sleep. Because that’s what this elixir will do to you – put you into the land of ZZZs.

I love the blend of honey and chocolate. I swear I can taste molasses too. I add a little honey sometimes, to enhance the flavor (or that’s what I tell myself), but it’s not required. This is so delish. I steep it for the length of the cuppa, not a moment less. The cuppa doesn’t last too long, though!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 15 sec

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93

Had to get that Indian Summer taste away from my senses. This one was perfect! Love the honeyed almond, the cherry and playfulness of this one.

Azzrian

I have had this same tea from another company. Several places carry it – it is very good though!

KeenTeaThyme

I wish I knew which company was the creator. I know Joys Teaspoon carries it too. It’s so good, it should be available everywhere!

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49
drank Indian Summer by DAVIDsTEA
576 tasting notes

Got this as a free sample from my last order (which was totally FUBARed, FYI).
The second I saw the name on this, the old Gin Blossoms song “Indian Summer” promptly got stuck in my head. Had to play a little Manson in order to clear it out. I like the Gin Blossoms and all, but there is a time and a place.
Enough complaining. On to the tea.
This is a weird one. Very candy-like, which I normally like, but there is a hint of something in the brewed leaves that I don’t care for. It reminds me of an old Yankee Candle fragrance, Watermelon, that used to give me a headache. Taste isn’t that much better. Very fake-y. I’m beyond disappointed in this one, and yet glad that I didn’t get the fall collection.
Here’s hoping the winter collection is better.
Anyone want the other half of this sample?

Babble

LOL at your gin blossoms comment. They recently played at epcot. Kinda wanted to see them, but I only really know their big songs.

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69
drank Lemon Lime Kampai by Teavana
576 tasting notes

This is…weird. Yeah. So I taste natural lemon but artificial lime flavoring, and it’s tart. The tartness is cut by the naturally sweet green rooibos, but it’s still an odd pairing. For some reason. For me. Right now. I normally love any kind of green rooibos, and especially something citrusy. But this just isn’t working for me. Maybe it’s better iced? I will investigate later. But this is not one for my office, this is a temperamental, at-home only tea.

Donna A

I liked this one better iced. But I add stevia, too tart without it. My husband likes it unsweetened as a hot tea. Go figure.

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94

It’s hard to beat the original chai blend from Teavana (White Ayurvedic Chai/Samurai Chat Mate), and I know chais! I’ve hunted for the best one for years, and still think that is the best. I love a deep flavor and the spicy sass of that blend.

This one comes close, but it’s just not there. I can’t figure out why. The oolong adds an interesting edge to the samurai chai, makes it sharper, more pronounced. I can taste the tea leaves more in this version than in the other, which also tastes more like an autumn tea, and this is more winter-y. It’s probably the nutmeg, which I love, but associate with Christmas and calories.

The dry leaves smell wonderful and while steeping the aroma is knee-weakening.

OK, further into the cuppa, I found more of that chai flavor I love. Maybe this one will grow more on me.

I can also steep the other blend for the length of the cuppa so the final drops are fragrant and spicy and awesome. Can’t really do that with an oolong, unless you like bitter teas. ;)

But paying almost $20 for four ounces isn’t always in my budget.

Ze_Teamaker

I don’t know why they do large combos like that. It might almost be cheaper to buy them separate and then combine them…

KeenTeaThyme

I have thought of that! Sometimes it is, but I think they are on to that wallet-friendly solution. I even try to find the teas elsewhere as a major “screw you, Teavana” – but sometimes that doesn’t work either!

Ze_Teamaker

ahaha, yeah same here. Teavana tends to be polarized with me.

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94
drank Cacao Mint Black by Teavana
576 tasting notes

Like thin mints? How about a liquid thin mint?! That’s what this tastes like to me – chocolate and mint nirvana. The ingredients list hazelnut pieces, but I don’t taste a strong hazelnut flavor; it’s more like a subtle, nutty flavor. I taste gobs of peppermint and chocolate goodness. I bet this would be delicious iced.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec
Sil

someday i’ll get to try a thin mint. Once again canadians are screwed over lol our girl guides sell 2 kinds of cookies not the 209348209348 kinds that yours do.

KeenTeaThyme

Have you tried the mint Oreos or the mint dark chocolate M&Ms? I love those too :)

Ellyn

Chocolate and mint is one of the BEST COMBOS EVER!!!!

KeenTeaThyme

@Ellyn – you are so right! :) :)

Claire

This is my brother in law’s favorite tea! I just ordered some of 52teas Chocolate Mint black for him so he can compare them.

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100

Backlogging:
I finally joined the masses and purchased a Keurig recently – a mini one, since we don’t drink much coffee – and it’s teal. Eee! I love it. Anyway, I purchased the Sleepytime K-cups, and after learning the hard way that one should rinse out the machine after brewing a coffee and/or cocoa, this was decent. It tastes the same as the bagged version, which I just love. It’s a great way to end a stressful, busy day. This will be a permanent cupboard Kcup, IMO.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec
Ellyn

Welcome to KCUP world. I have found that the herbal tea k cups are pretty good but the black tea / green tea or anything with actual tea leaves comes out as tea colored water….if you have better luck I would love to know your secret!

momo

I have so many coffee cups and I never drink them. It’s sad. It’s become my hot water dispenser for oolong/white/green teas haha.

BlueKittyMeow

Hmm, you’ve inspired me. We have a Keurig too that I love for coffee, but I’ve been kind of afraid to brew the tea kcups in it. Off to experiment!

Ze_Teamaker

I also welcome you tot Kcup World. I love ours! I love using it for apple cider, coffee and instant hot water. It’s like a multi purpose zojirushi.

Ellyn

how do you all keep your water from tasting like the flavor of the last kcup?

BlueKittyMeow

I ran mine empty twice until the water was clear and didn’t smell like coffee.
Conclusion of my trying one today: actually surprisingly good. I expected it to be thin and watery, but it was dark with good flavor. It’s not something that would make a great cup of oolong tea, but for herbal blends it was great.

KeenTeaThyme

@Ellyn – BlueKittyMeow’s advice is exactly what I do as well – run one or two “cycles” of plain water through the system to clear it out. Works wonders. My husband wants me to do that between the coffee and cocoa too.
@BlueKittyMeow – agreed, herbal or your basic tea that you don’t mind bagged is good. I actually shuddered at the thought of brewing oolong there! The horrors!
@Ze_Teamaker – Apple cider?! Me want! Me want! :) I am on the hunt for a box as I type this…

BlueKittyMeow

@Ze-Teamaker – What kind of apple cider do you like? I’ve only tried one kind so far.

BlueKittyMeow

ETA – oops, sorry, KeenTeaThyme, I didn’t mean to derail your tasting note!

Ze_Teamaker

The apple cider is from Green Mountain Naturals. It is really good! It doesn’t have a lot of fake stuff in it. I love brewing it with a stick of cinnamon.
@BlueKittyMeow: Um, i don’t know. I have really only had it from the K-Cup. There isn’t a lot of apples in Florida.

momo

The apple cider is also good for steeping teas in! If you have something like a cinnamon spice herbal or something like that, it’s so good. Rishi’s Cinnamon Plum suggests it on the tin so now I’m hooked.

BlueKittyMeow

@Te_Teamaker – Ah – I did mean just the k-cup brand :) I do live in apple cider country here, I should probably take more advantage of that. The k-cup brand we use is Grove Square, they have Caramel apple. So good.
@momo – that is such an incredible idea. I’ve never used anything but water (except milk for chai). More experimenting to do…

Ze_Teamaker

CARAMEL APPLE!!! ME GUSTA!

Suziqzer

I got a sample of this with my Keurig and was very surprised at how it turned out. I expected a watery mix, and it actually came out very well.

That being said, I already had a stash of this in the cabinet due to the childhood memories it brings so no reason to spend the extra $$$ on the k-cups. Now if I run out of the bags and I find a good sale, I might splurge for convenience.

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Profile

Bio

Hello fellow tea fans!
I’ve been a tea enthusiast for years but just recently started brewing my own. I’ve created some blends, and enjoy researching about new teas. I combined my love of tea and writing to create a tea-devoted blog, Keen Tea Thyme. I have been writing for most of my life and am a former journalist with a degree in Communications and Social Psychology, and a minor in Writing. Journalism is in my blood, so that means I’m inquisitive by nature, will double-check sources and/or get a second opinion as needed, but also fair and balanced in my reviews. If my reviews seem more positive, energetic and have high ratings, it’s because I love tea. :)

If you are a tea company, I’d love to review some your tea! Free samples are always welcome so I can fully enjoy the freshest selections. I’m also open to tea swaps as I always have too many teas on hand to drink & would love to share with other tea enthusiasts! :)

My Simple Rating Scale (as of Feb. 2011)
>50: I’m NOT a fan. I could barely finish the cup, if I even did. I wouldn’t even recommend this to my worst enemy. Not worth my time nor yours.

51-65: Good aroma, good flavor. Just nothing pops to give the tea that special kick. Recommended to try; our tasting palates differ.

66-79: Yes, finally, tea – unique flavor profiles, great aroma & flavor. Recommended to try; our tasting palates differ.

80-99: These are cupboard essentials – delicious, aromatic and perfect everyday teas. Re-steepable (beyond at least one steeping). Highly recommended, fun for all ages.

100: These are my favorites, the ones I would take with me if stranded on a desert island. Beyond Highly Recommended.

Just Launched: Keen Tea Thyme @ Etsy
http://www.etsy.com/shop/KeenTeaThyme

Check out my shop at Tea Trade:
http://keenteathyme.teatra.de/

Be “keen” on tea at Keen Tea Thyme, my blog:
http://keenteathyme.blogspot.com/
Reviews, blogs, tea leaf readings, puzzles, contests and more.

And check out some of my blends from Adagio:
Toasted Marshmallow
http://www.adagio.com/signature_blend/blend.html?blend=15394&sid=0349b21a92100a51134eea7fc2b52f2d&scrollTop=0

Vampire Lemonade
http://www.adagio.com/signature_blend/blend.html?blend=15766&SID=01971e73a2cbaa7c0b09962b355fdeb8

If you have a signature blend you’d like me to try, we can swap teas! PM me for details! :)

Happy Brewing! :)

Location

Frederick, MD

Website

http://keenteathyme.blogspot....

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