406 Tasting Notes

drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
406 tasting notes

To my delight, there’s a specialty foods store in Harvard Square that carries Kusmi Tea. Not knowing what to try first, I picked up a box of their “essentials” that has two bags each of twelve of their (I assume) most popular teas. For some reason I was expecting normal-ish bags, so I was pleasantly surprised by the individually-sealed muslin sachets! Now, on to the tea :)

… delicious! Perfectly delicious, hot and plain. I always appreciate black teas smooth enough to easily drink plaint. Sweet and fruity and aromatic – citrus and vanilla, as described, but a very soft citrus. A like lemon coffee cake? I expect to get a second steep out of it, but haven’t yet. I’ll probably try with milk next time, but don’t want to mess with it at the moment – this is just tasty.

I’ll have to try the rest of the sampler first, but this could easily be one to buy a tin of!

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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drank Coconut Oolong by Rishi Tea
406 tasting notes

Mmmm, very tasty. I never used to like coconut much, but the coconut oolongs are definitely converting me. This is a little stronger than I recall Golden Moon’s Coconut Pouchong being, but they are similarly real and well-blended flavors.

I got this with Rishi’s oolong sampler, so the other 3 will be up in the next week or two as I get to them.

The packaging suggests using 190˚F water, though the description here says 175˚. I’ve steeped it a couple of times now, and either seems to work fine. I found the higher temp gave a stronger flavor, lower was sweeter.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 15 sec

Coconut is one of my very favorite tea additives…especially in summer.

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

I think I need to get some of this soon.

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drank Vanilla Mint by Golden Moon Tea
406 tasting notes

Delicious! I don’t usually like mint mixed with things, but this is really tasty. Good vanilla, and peppermint. I love that GM uses real things to flavor the tea – even in my sample I could see chopped vanilla beans. Not sure I’d drink regularly enough to buy, but I’d definitely recommend trying this one.

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
406 tasting notes

Finally bought a big bag of this :D It is hands-down the best decaffeinated vanilla black tea I’ve tasted (… hey, it’s a relevant category!) The tea flavor is a bit overwhelmed by the vanilla, but the vanilla is delicious – round and sweet and creamy. I like this with a bit of honey and/or milk, especially at bedtime.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

Yes, this is the perfect bedtime beverage — so creamy and soothing!


I can’t believe how much of my 1 lb bag is gone! I am going to have to get another when I do my fall ordering!

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drank 1001 Nights by TeaFrog
406 tasting notes

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I got a bag of this at SpecialTeas going out of business sale a few months ago, so it’s a bit old now, but still enjoyable – I just up the leaf a little. Rich malt and honey flavors, but emphasis on the honey; it’s sweet for an Assam.

Taken with a dash of milk.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Moonlight White by Rishi Tea
406 tasting notes

Cold-brewed this overnight, and it turned out pretty well. Teas like this are why I bought a glass waterbottle; it’s delicate enough to be overwhelmed by plastic or aluminum.sweet and refreshing, though- a good tea for a summer morning.

This tea also has the most gorgeous leaves I’ve ever seen, wet or dry: green, and maroon, and sparkly from the “silver” hairs on the needles.

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drank Ancient Emerald Lily by Rishi Tea
406 tasting notes

I just placed an order with Rishi (last day for 20% off with their mother’s day code!) So I’m trying to finish off some of my last round from them. I was looking forward to this one, but tragically didn’t rinse my filter well enough after washing it, so lost a whole mug to soap :(

More rinsing and a fresh batch of leaves makes a better cup, but now I’m paranoid and keep thinking I taste soap. Arg! It is being a little bitter, but I probably just used too much leaf…

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Backlogging: I picked up a tin of this a couple of weeks ago from Cardullo’s, being too overwhelmed by the awesomeness to decide on anything else. (They carry Golden Moon! And Kusmi! I have never seen so many great teas in one store O_O)

I’ll add a rating later, since the slider doesn’t want to cooperate with my phone. This was a little too tart/rooibos-y plain, but tasty with a bit of sugar. Also good chilled! I haven’t decided yet whether it’s better with or without milk.


This sounds wonderful – maybe with a slice of cake to enhance the flavor? If you enjoy it with tea, it’s fat- and calorie-free! (I wish.)

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Some notes on ratings:

I’d have separate rating scales for tea types if that were possible (probably Black, Flavored Black, Darjeeling/Dark Oolong, White/Green/Light Oolong, and Herbal) because the flavors and quality markers are just too different. A flavored black rated 100 isn’t better than every oolong I’ve ever drunk, just delicious for a flavored black.

Ratings are a combination of my enjoyment and the perceived quality – I do often demote teas a few points for artificial flavorings, small quantity of steeps supported, or weakness of flavor (requiring extra leaf).

I pay less attention to the number than the order of my ratings; I don’t necessarily keep a stock of everything rated 80+, but if two breakfast blends are rated 82 and 84 I consistently enjoy the 84 more.

And in case it’s not obvious? I am not an expert. I don’t even know what I like until I taste it sometimes, but I’m ok with that :) I like learning to like new teas, as well as enjoying the comfort of familiar ones.


Boston, MA



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