251 Tasting Notes

This was a nice way to start the day today! My husband made up some pad Thai for dinner last night, so it was fun to follow it with a tea that reminds me so much of a Thai iced tea… but without all those super creamy calories!

Like the beverage, it does taste more like a dessert treat than a tea, and the black base vanishes into the background in favor of a lightly balanced cardamon, ginger, and lemongrass.

Pictures are available with my full review:

200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Several months ago Angel at Teavivre sent me five black teas to review. If I had known how absolutely nummy this one is, it wouldn’t have taken me until now to try it out! It’s slightly toasty, with a rich, creamy maltiness that I can just sink into. This tea is a new favorite, and hopefully I can talk hubby into getting me some for my next birthday!

For some pretty pictures, you can visit my blog at:

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 7 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Holiday Blend by Simpson & Vail
251 tasting notes

A sample of this tea came my way for review, and while I did enjoy it I found it quite surprising. The black base is very light, and so the peppermint and floral notes take the forefront. It’s an undercover black tea, and a nice way to enjoy the flavor of an herbal with a kick of caffeine.

You can see the full review at:

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Thank you Angel of Teavivre for this wonderful sample! The package of green teas arrived the other day, and I just couldn’t resist it any longer. I opened this package up for a quick sniff, but it smelled so fresh and tasty that I had to let it jump the queue!

It’s the last week of school, and suitably hectic, so I made this Western-style in my travel mug. Sipping it now, I think it definitely deserves better treatment, so next time I’m going to get out my gaiwan for the full experience.

This morning I added 2tsp of raw sugar (which is actually pretty restrained for me, as I have a horrible sweet tooth) and I think that was just right. The flavor is light and fruity, with a crisp, grassy aftertaste.

I look forward to trying this again in the weeks to come!

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I was feeling like something sweet and soothing tonight, and this is fitting the bill quite nicely. If anything, it’s too sweet! I’ve enjoyed a lot of Della Terra’s rooibos blends, but I’ve found they run very, very sweet.

With my black teas I usually go for a rounded tablespoon of raw sugar, so I scaled this one back to 3 teaspoons. In the future I’ll cut back even further, because this was way too sweet even for my sweet tooth.

And as for the taste? Well, while this was steeping I actually accused my husband of opening a package of strawberry Pop Rocks I was saving for something. Poor guy! While still somewhat affronted, once he tasted the tea he understood. It really does taste – and smell – like strawberry candy.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Thai Chai by Adagio Teas
251 tasting notes

I made the mistake a couple months ago of ordering a lot of Adagio teas at once. I was so disappointed in the ones that I tried that I stopped trying them at all. Picking out this blend today, I was worried I’d be faced with the same experience. Luckily, this seems to be hitting the spot today. It’s not quite as smooth as my favorite Thai-inspired blend (a Teavana) but it’s a huge step up from the Adagio blends that I had been steeping up. I’m getting a lot of coconut and cinnamon, with some other sweet (vaguely pina colada) flavors.

I can’t list quantity and times today, because my husband made it up this morning.

0 OZ / 0 ML

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My husband made me a mug of this for my commute to work this morning, and he usually follows any written directions pretty closely. I think I made a note on this tea’s bag for 1tsp/8oz, boiling water, and a 3-4 minute steep, but I don’t know for sure if that’s how it was prepared. However he made it, I’m getting some pretty similar results when compared to my notes from last time. The Laoshan Black is still front and center, with only hints of additional ingredients at the tail end of each sip.

On a side note, I apologize for going so long in between notes. Between my students’ upcoming graduation, preparing for the school’s move to another part of town, and the battle for and loss of our beloved kitty, things have been a bit hectic lately.


Sorry about your kitty :(

Terri HarpLady

That is a lot! Sorry to hear about your kitty.


I am sorry about your kitty :(


Oh, I’m so sorry about your kitty!


Thank you. We don’t know exactly what it was, but as a kitten Mei-Mei nearly died from a respiratory infection at the shelter. The three and a half years we had with her were a blessing. A truly wonderful little snuggle-bug.


Lots of hugs and love to you all!

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Today was my husband’s birthday, so we decided to try this sample from Angel of Teavivre with our pancakes. It was a great pair-up, and it’s unapologetic brisk, maltiness complimented the meal nicely. Jake loved it! I tend to lean a little more towards blends, and could easily see myself playing with what’s left, as I think it would lend itself wonderfully towards a little mix-up.

You can see pictures here: http://wordsabouttea.blogspot.com/2014/05/premium-keemun-hao-ya-black-tea-by.html

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Happy birthday to your husband.

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drank Choconut Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
251 tasting notes

I was hoping for Nutella and got coffee-caramel Nips instead! Now, I wasn’t able to follow the measurements strictly, because this was a sample that came with one of my DAVIDsTEA orders. I really wish they’d package them by servings instead of by weight!

But still, this was free and it was interesting to try. Not something I’ll be in any rush to repeat, but still a sweet change from the norm.

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

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drank Estate Darjeeling by Tea Forte
251 tasting notes

I received a sample of this tea a while back, but right now I don’t remember exactly who it was from. Sorry! All I knew was that something different sounded wonderful this morning, as I’ve been sipping down a lot of my teas lately, trying to bring order to the chaos taking over my tiny kitchen.

I did use more leaves than I intended, but I didn’t want to put one teaspoon aside for later, only to have it shuffle around in my collection for who knows how long. I don’t know if it was the extra leaves or the tea itself, but this is a bracingly brisk cup, with enough astringency to make me hunt for my water bottle. There’s also a smoky note that haunts the cup, and paired with the aroma of freshly fallen leaves, it hearkens back to cool autumn mornings.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Feel free to browse my cupboard if you’re interested in swapping, but all the mate and pu-erh in our household is my husband’s.

For swapping purposes, please note the apple allergy. Thank you!

I tried to limit my cupboard to teas that were 1oz or larger, but that was a gorgeous failure in terms of swap communication. It’s all going back up.

Okay, I just feel wrong trying to grade things without a rubric – it’s too inconsistent! So, here is the grading breakdown:

0-50: Dump it!
50-60: I might finish the cup
60-70: Possibly finish the pot
70-80: I may keep this on hand
80-90: Cupboard space guaranteed
90-100: Poetry may be involved!


Dallas, TX



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