183 Tasting Notes

100
drank Coconut Grove by DAVIDsTEA
183 tasting notes

Wow… did I add milk to this?? I don’t remember doing that, and the color of the tea seems to indicate that I didn’t, but it sure tastes like I did! The mouthfeel is thick and creamy, too, which further reinforces it. The coconut is very present, but the vegetal nature of the green tea fills out the edges of the flavor, giving it depth. I have come to the conclusion that I LOVE coconut in tea, and this is subliminally coconut. Therefore, I find this utterly sublime!

1st steep: 2 minutes
2nd steep: 5-ish minutes? I kind of forgot about it… but it does not seem to have suffered because of it! Just as flavorful and coconutty. :3

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Amaretto by DAVIDsTEA
183 tasting notes

Well. Color me surprised. I got this in a plastic baggie from ashleyelizabeth (thank you!), and before I really looked at it closely, I would have told anyone who asked me that there was rooibos in that bag. That’ll teach me. XD

Anyway, this tea smells VERY much of almond extract—pungent and sweet, almost cloyingly so. It actually reminds me of the wedding cake cupcake that a shop near my house makes. Their icing is VERY sweet, and this smells exactly like biting into one of those.

The brew smells of almonds (though not as strongly) and wet wood, kind of reminiscent of the flavor of a toothpick. Weird, but not altogether unappealing. There’s also quite a bit of “dust” floating around in my cup after steeping, which is not great, but if I like this enough I’ll just steep it in a paper bag from now on.

Unsweetened, this tastes pretty much exactly like a toothpick—woody, and kind of chemical-y, and bitter. Hmm. Perhaps, like its baked counterpart, it needs some sweetness.

Hmm, there might be something there… I added two tsps of sugar, and the toothpick flavor is ALMOST gone, and the almond might be surfacing… I have one more remedy to try.

A splash of milk later, and this tea is the oddest color, like fog, if fog were slightly brown. The milk has taken away the bitter flavor, but it left the toothpick flavor. Blech. I will try it one more time, just to make sure this is not because I scalded the lapacho (I admittedly did not check the recommended temp before pouring boiling water over it), but so far, not a good first impression. I can’t finish this. :(

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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65
drank Lemon Meringue Chai by 52teas
183 tasting notes

Thank you to ashleyelizabeth for this one! Been wanting to try it for a while. :)

The loose leaf smells kind of medicinal… uh-oh. There’s lemon myrtle in here. Well, we’ll see…

I steeped it for a pretty short amount of time, ‘cause I know Frank’s flavored blacks tend to do better that way. The aroma is mostly of cardamom and citrus, with some solid floral notes. Hmm. I’m not sure I’ll like a flowery chai. The very idea is strange, at best.

I added milk, because that’s what you do with chai, and some sugar. It smells a lot more like lemon meringue pie now, for sure! First sip… mmm, interesting. The front of the sip definitely tastes like lemon meringue—sweet and lightly creamy (thank you, marshmallow root), somewhat lemony (although I like my lemon curd a bit more tart than that). The spices are filling the role of the pie crust flavor, bakey and warm… but then the aftertaste is ALL floral. That lemon myrtle… dang, this was almost really good. I just can’t get around it. This tea would be much better off without it. :/

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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83
drank Cha Yen Thai by Teavana
183 tasting notes

It is with a very, very heavy heart that I have to lower my rating of this tea. Teavana, in its “wisdom,” messed with a good thing and changed this tea’s recipe. I restocked it several weeks ago, but as soon as I opened the new bag (having not paid that much attention in the store), I knew something was different. Sure, the fruit and coconut pieces are a bit bigger and healthier looking, but… and I shook the bag a lot just to be sure… there are no pink peppercorns. Anywhere. Sure enough, after I steeped some of the new stuff, the flavor is MOSTLY the same, but it’s missing that delicious spicy bite that I loved so much.

You’ve ruined my day, Teavana. Ruined it.

Flavors: Coconut, Cream

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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59

I was pretty sure I’d reviewed this before… but it wouldn’t be the first time my memory’s been faulty, if I didn’t.

Anyway, I can really smell both the acai and the mango, plus some berry and a little citrus, but the flavor is just not quite right. I think the tap water here is off-tasting (I’m visiting a friend in a rather rural part of Texas…). It’s adding a very musty taste right as I’m swallowing, which makes this whole experience a bit unpleasant… Anyway, that aside, it’s a nice tea. Nothing terribly special, and if I wasn’t out of my house, I probably would have chosen something else.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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85
drank Organic Chai by Tazo
183 tasting notes

I chose this one this morning because I’m traveling and it’s really the only breakfast tea I brought with me. Don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow morning, since I only brought one bag of this.

I prefer chais without anise, but this one is actually subtle enough about it that I don’t mind. :) It’s a decent cupp. Nothing to write home about, but I appreciate that it’s organic.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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10

I took the rest of this out of Traveling Teabox B some time ago and have only just now gotten around to trying it…

The loose leaf smelled vaguely citrus-y, which I guessed was the lemon myrtle. Not a really appealing smell, to be honest. It’s floral and tangy at the same time, but in a way that just is not doing it for me.

Once it cooled off enough to drink, I decided I’d try it unsweetened first. The liquor smells again very strongly of lemon myrtle, but now I’m getting the vanilla in the aroma. Perhaps it won’t be so bad. Not that I have anything against lemon myrtle, but for some reason, the smell of it is turning me off, like maybe I had a bad experience with it that I can’t quite remember at the moment…

Hmm, I have decided my verdict: this tea is bleh. It could speak to the age of the sample (which is unknown by me, maybe someone knows), but the lemon myrtle is just not as good as it could be. I’m assuming that’s what’s causing the tangy-floral flavor that I’m not liking. It’s borderline metallic, almost, and the more it cools, the more astringent the pouchong is, which doesn’t help. In a word, nope.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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100

I decided to have this as my evening wind-down tea. I steeped it according to the package directions and added 1.5 teaspoons of sugar. I probably should have tried it unsweetened first , but oh well. Next time!

This tea is REALLY sweet. Definitely should have tried it unsweetened. There’s a lovely harmony going on among all the flavors, similar to what happens in a baked good: the ingredients get real friendly with one another, until they just mush into each other and become a new flavor entirely. That, and the fact that it’s really very sweet, makes this tea taste like a Hubig’s apple pie. For those of you not familiar with Hubig’s, they make individual size fruit pies, kind of like a turnover except with pie crust instead of puff pastry, deep fry them, and douse them in glaze. You don’t really want to know how many calories are in one of those things. ;) Anyway, I’m completely captivated by the bakey apple flavors going on here, and the cinnamon plays a perfectly in tune second fiddle. The oolong adds some nice honey and nut notes. Delicious!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Whispering Pines Tea Company

Note that you can get 5+ infusions with this one :)

teataku

I’m actually on my fourth steep this morning! Every time I would go to empty my infuser, I smelled the leaves again and I could STILL detect cinnamon! So I steeped it again, and again, and again. It’s not as rich and thick in the mouth as it was the first time, but the flavors are definitely all still there (though the apple is pretty weak now). I am loving this!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

:) yay! So glad you’re enjoying them all!

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100
drank Copper Knot Hongcha by Teavana
183 tasting notes

Sipdown… So sad to see this one go. The hubby and I had this with our continental breakfast. No sugar, no milk, nothing added. It was perfect. Smooth as butter, full-flavored but not too dark, malty but not bitter… mmmm. I really hope the Teavana by my house has this in stock, ‘cause their online stock is so unpredictable. I don’t have anything against helping an employee reach their sales goals, but it would be nice if they would at least show all the teas they carry on the website.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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91
drank Strawberry Blush Rosé by Teavana
183 tasting notes

Backlog from Sunday morning. I went to see my husband this past weekend, and since whenever I take a trip I always devote about half my suitcase to tea and its accoutrements, I had plenty to choose from. We had one with breakfast, and then we steeped this one up to have while we packed up the hotel room. I wanted to review it again because this was the first time I’d actually managed to taste the “champagne” notes. We didn’t have access to much sugar, but we each added about 1/2 a teaspoon, and it was nonetheless quite enjoyable, with the strawberry still making itself known in the background. I usually find that fruit flavors need sweetening before they really taste like themselves, but this time was an exception. I’m impressed.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Profile

Bio

I very clearly remember my first experience with tea. It was in a Target near my house, and my best friend handed me a cup of chai from the Starbucks inside the store and said, “Try this.” I believe I was about 12 at the time, and from then on, I was completely hooked.

Anyway, as my increasingly weirded out family will tell you, my obsession with tea has (almost) steadily escalated since then. I discovered the world of tea slowly, first with just chai, and then with bagged teas I could get from supermarkets and specialty stores, and then with loose leaf teas. I mostly shop for tea at Teavana, but I also patronize other local shops that I’ve discovered within the last couple of years. I’ve ordered a smattering of teas from a few online places, but I’m always leery of buying tea online, since most of how I select teas in person is by smell… unless I’m at The English Tea Room.

My favorite types of tea are blacks and flavored blacks. And oolongs. Right underneath that are rooiboses and whites, and then greens and herbals, and then mates. I’m always looking for a new favorite (I get on tea kicks, which are various lengths of time in which I’ll drink one or two teas religiously, and then I’ll switch), but I appreciate rediscovering old favorites. I like to blend teas, but I never store them that way, mostly because I like to leave myself options.

I prefer nutty/sweet/rich teas to fruity/light-flavored teas or bold/full-bodied teas, but I do try to drink some of everything to widen my palate. I’m always willing to try any tea at least once (except this one tea that Teavana mercifully discontinued… the loose leaf smelled like cheese, I swear). I do perhaps rate teas a little leniently… because I’m not very picky. I will try a tea at least three times before I pronounce that I hate it, and I will always focus on the good aspects of a tea rather than the bad. That’s just how I roll. :3

Location

Louisiana, USA

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