635 Tasting Notes

drank Creme Earl Grey by Element Tea
635 tasting notes

Yet another tea provided by Mercuryhime. Thanks for sharing some awesome teas!

This tea is no exception. It has a well-executed bergamot flavor with a wonderful creamy component added to it. I’m not 100% sure how long I steeped it for because I set my timer for 4 minutes but then didn’t hear it go off. It doesn’t taste oversteeped though, and there’s only a slight bitterness. Nothing unmanageable.

I added milk and sugar and wow! Now it’s ultra creamy and delicious! I can’t believe I’m the first one to rate this tea. If you’re a lover of Earl Grey, you need to check this out immediately! The only reason I’m rating this in the 70s is because Earl Grey has never been one of my favorites. But I do still enjoy it, and this is one of the better EGs I’ve tried.

Very yummy and calming as I try to play Skyrim, which is continuing to freeze repeatedly even after patch 1.5 that was supposed to fix this problem for good. Screw Bethesda. They really suck. How could they release a broken game? It’s so frustrating! The latest patch has only made the freezing worse. It’s literally unplayable now.

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I"ve been wanting to give Skyrim a try but now I’m not sure. :P
I’m glad you’re enjoying the tea though!


Hahaha! Well, Skyrim is one of the best video games I’ve ever played. I cleared out my data folder on the PS3 and re-downloaded the patch. Now it seems to be working fine. But it was really frustrating!


The best. Wow. High praise. :) may I ask what your other favoritse are to see if we have the same taste?


I have it on xbox and it hasn’t frozen yet, but it’s bethesda and I know it’s only a matter of time haha. Really is the best game in the world though, imo!


Dragon Age Origins & Final Fantasy VII & VIII are my other favorites. I also like the original Harvest Moon (SNES & PS1).


Yes! Origins! I have to get back to playing that :) FF VIII froze on me 75% through the game – I couldn’t fix it and I didn’t want to play it again so I may never know what happens lol. Good game choices my dear!


Good games! :) FF VII and VIII have confusing endings but I stlll enjoyed them mightily. I guess I’d probably like Skyrim then! I seem to prefer reading to games these days though. Plus husband is always hogging the PS3 with boring FIFA or some other sport game.


Just have to add — didn’t Bethesda make Fallout 3? My brother would play that game (I loved watching the game like it was a movie), until it froze forever. He couldn’t download the patches because he didn’t have the internet hooked to the xbox. But it IS frustrating that Bethesda makes such detailed games but they don’t fix the bugs before releasing them. It’s like they make the games ALMOST perfect but not quite. Also, glad to hear you like Final Fantasy VII! I have a copy I’ve been waiting to play for a while now (bought it from ebay a few months ago!), but like Mercuryhime, the books are piling up. I just saw these comments because I just reviewed the Element creme earl grey which I loved!


Yeah, they made that one too. They’ve fixed most of the issues with Skyrim now, including the freezing one. But for a while there, it really was unplayable. I just love it too much to give up on it for good. It’s one of my all time favorite games, glitches and all. Play FF7 noooow!!!! That is the best game EVER! Best characters, best story, best music, best magic system, hands down.

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This sounded like the perfect tea for tonight! I love jasmine teas, and I think they are complemented well when paired with citrus flavors. One of my favorite teas is Jasmin Mandarin by Lupicia. So, I have high hopes for this one by Ovation and kindly provided by Mercuryhime!

The dry leaf is very interesting. There are short, flat green leaves, rolled jasmine pearls, marigold petals, and little bits of fruit. Some of the fruit appears to be orange peel but there are these other little things that I swear look like orange seeds! But I’m guessing from the description of the ingredients that it’s little pieces of tangerine. I can’t imagine you’d get much flavor from an orange seed, so I don’t know why anyone would put it in a tea blend.

Anyway, the brewed tea aroma is a lot gentler than I expected. I often find that jasmine teas are overpowering in their aroma, very in-your-face. But this smells more like a citrus-y green tea with subtle hints of floral jasmine. Maybe I didn’t use enough leaf? I followed the directions on the package and brewed this with 1.5 tsp in roughly 8 oz. for 2 minutes at 175 degrees.

The flavor is soft and subtle like the aroma. There’s very little jasmine in this. Maybe the ratio of pearls to green tea was off. Or maybe this tea sat in my cupboard for too long waiting to be brewed, and the pearls have lost most of their jasmine flavoring. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely still good! Just a lot less jasmine than I would expect from a tea called Jasmine Citrus Blossom.

The most prominent flavor is the marigold petals. I’ve gotten used to the way marigold petals taste because of their frequent appearance in 52teas’ blends. It’s a very comforting, soft, floral flavor, and I think it’s a good addition to this tea.

Maybe I should try adding a few of my Teavivre Jasmine Dragon Pearls to the rest of this sample. That will give the added jasmine punch I’m looking for. Those little pearls are practically intoxicating (if one can become intoxicated from sniffing jasmine; uh oh now I’m just giving people ideas)!

Yes, it’s decided. I’m going to add ½ teaspoon of dragon pearls and another ½ teaspoon of this tea to the second infusion. I’ll be back in a few…

The flavor is much improved now. But I can’t say I’m not disappointed. I wanted this tea to stand on its own merits. Maybe I just need a fresher batch. I didn’t exactly store this in ideal conditions. But I’m willing to give it another chance. There’s still enough left to try again, and I might add this to an Ovation tea order. In fact, they’re having a free shipping deal right now. So, this may be the perfect opportunity to try out more of their teas!

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

I don’t even remember sending all these different flavors! Haha I’m sorry this one was subpar. :(


Oh, it’s not your fault! I wouldn’t have even gotten to try it if not for you! I welcome all new tea experiences. ;)

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Thanks to Mercuryhime for this special treat! The aroma of the brewed tea is like nothing else I’ve ever encountered. It’s 100% unique. It smells strangely fruity and meaty at the same time with a dash of pine needles and spice. This is going to be interesting.

I’m not usually a fan of darker oolongs. My first experience with them is funny now in hindsight. I bought an oolong sampler from Adagio, and it was exclusively dark oolongs. I had no idea what was going on because I’d only ever had green oolongs before, which are completely different. I loved the green version and not so much the other. I thought I was losing my mind. Did I even know what oolong was?

The taste is something entirely new compared to the aroma, the beginning of the sip is anyway. It tastes like woodsy honey with a small hint of smoke. The end of the sip mimics the strange aroma from before and lingers into the aftertaste where it morphs yet again into floral, vegetal notes. The aftertaste stays prominently in my mouth for what seems like forever! It’s definitely stayed with me for at least 15 minutes.

And this is only the first infusion! Let’s see what happens with the second steeped for 3 minutes. Hmm, it’s very different and very similar at the same time. It’s less fruity meat and more floral oolong, so that’s a change to my liking. This must be directly halfway between green and roasted. From my research, that would make it a semi-oxidized oolong aka “blue-green tea.” The third infusion for 4 minutes tastes like an above average dark, woodsy oolong with no astringency.

It really is too bad SpecialTeas no longer exists because this is something more people should have the opportunity to try. If it’s from tea trees that have been harvested for over 700 years, hopefully someone else is still harvesting and distributing it. This is harder to describe than anything else I’ve ever tasted. The flavor is so strong yet so capricious. This is truly magical tea.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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drank Pure Mint by Twinings
635 tasting notes

Okay, so I’m a little crazy. But you probably already knew that.

I’m trying to lose weight for my wedding. Part of my plan is to drink tea whenever I’m craving something bad like sweets or snack foods. I really really want to buy some new bagged teas to take to work. But I have so much tea! I really can’t justify buying any more.

So, I’ve made a pact with myself. I can buy new tea when I use up all my old tea bags that are sitting around and collecting dust (not literally, eww! Just thinking about dusty tea gives me the heebie-jeebies). Anyway, that’s how I find myself drinking this Twining’s Pure Mint Black Tea.

It’s really not a bad tea, but it’s also really not what I want right now. I’m thinking a floral oolong would hit the spot nicely. Of course, there’s no bagged floral oolong tea in my desk drawer, so I’m just going to have to get over that.

I added a little bit of sweetener and skim milk. At first, the mint was so surprising that it confused my tongue! It’s not like I didn’t know there’s mint in here. I don’t know how to describe what happened. It just took me by surprise. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had a mint tea in so long that it literally flabbergasted my taste buds!

Either way, I won’t miss this too much when it’s gone. The only reason I won’t re-stock it is because I want to try new things. But it’s still a great tea, and I recommend it to anyone that is looking for a mint-flavored black tea!


I think pretty much every bride tries to lose a bit of weight before the wedding. It was actually great for me since I needed motivation to start exercising again. Half a year later, I’m still running 2 or 3 times a week. Though I’ve stopped the weight training and crunches. Hmm….

As for your tea situation, you can get disposable or reusable tea filters that you fill yourself. That way, you can drink your loose leaf even at work. I kept a bunch of loose leafs at my desk and a pack of tea filters. Here’s an idea of your options:

Good luck!


Thanks for the suggestions, Mercuryhime! :)

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drank Vanilla by Adagio Teas
635 tasting notes

This morning I brewed up some straight Vanilla tea, continuing the Adagio theme from yesterday. With the first sip, it was horridly tannic and I had to add milk and sugar right away. Well, maybe I didn’t need to add the sugar right away, but I did anyway.

Second sip is much more enjoyable. The vanilla is very soft and mellow. I didn’t have quite the same experience as Ninavampi with this tea. I wish it flooded my kitchen with a glorious vanilla scent, but alas, it did not. Although I do agree that it is a simple, comfort tea. Very comforting indeed. I used 1.5 tsp in roughly 8 oz. of water for 3 minutes. But the flavoring is quite light.

Now don’t get me wrong, light is not bad. It’s not so subtle that it’s nonexistent. It’s just a smooth, mellow, waking-you-up-slowly kind of tea. Not my first inclination for what a breakfast tea should be, but still quite enjoyable. Also not quite as good as that Samovar vanilla tea they stopped carrying. Oh, I wish I could get more of that! Sadly, it disappeared from the website shortly after I received my sample. But I’m happy with my choice of tea this morning.

And now it’s off to work with a belly full of tea and English Muffins!

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drank Cream by Adagio Teas
635 tasting notes

My fiancé cooked up some pan-fried chicken last night, so I added that to my rather unsubstantial dinner plan. I didn’t have much of a tea drinking marathon last night either. I re-steeped the Adagio Cream tea and this time added milk and sugar. It was still very yummy! I’m pleased with this tea. I’m not sure it will become a staple in my cupboard, but that’s just because I don’t want to become used to the flavor and then lose my appreciation for it. So, I’m going to save it as a special treat on rare occasions!

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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drank Cream by Adagio Teas
635 tasting notes

I’m going to have a dinner of tea, popcorn, and maybe some Cheetos Puffs.

Do I need to even say it? I’ve had one Hell of a day. Rather than go into the sordid details, I’ll just try to move on with a hot cup of tea in hand and maybe a sappy romance movie to go with the popcorn. I’ll save the Cheetos for dessert.

I’ve had these Adagio teas sitting in my cupboard for what seems like forever. Adagio was one of the first (maybe the first) online tea vendor that I tried when my obsession with tea began two years ago. No, Lupicia was the first. Oh well, then maybe Adagio was the second. Needless to say, I really need to finish up these teas.

First up is Cream! It’s nearly eight o’clock, so I really shouldn’t be drinking caffeinated black tea. But that’s always my excuse for not drinking my black teas when I get home after work. And I never make them during the day because I don’t have my ideal tea making apparatuses at work. Plus, then I’d have to bring milk. I can hardly ever drink black tea without milk. But I digress.

Tonight feels like a cream night. If I wasn’t so lazy, I might go out and buy some whole milk to make a chai latte. Or maybe I’d buy some fresh strawberries and whipping cream and make myself a treat. But alas, I am lazy and don’t plan on leaving the comforts of home even for a minute. The tea kettle is whistling and now it’s finally, months later, time to try this tea that claims to taste like cream.

First whiff of the dry leaves is cream. Second whiff is chocolate. Third whiff is…Robitussin? Yep, smells like cherry cough syrup. How weird. Adagio suggests 1 tsp per cup at boiling water for 3 minutes. I didn’t think 1 tsp of leaves sounded like very much (or looked like very much), so I made it more like 2 tsp minus a little bit because I didn’t want it to be too strong.

The aroma of the brewed tea is now just black tea. I’m expecting to have to add milk and sugar like I always do. But it’s called Cream, so I’m hoping I’ll like it straight, or at the very least without adding milk. It’s still a little too hot to try. I don’t want to burn my tongue and ruin the rest of what could be a fun tea consuming marathon night.

Contemplating the warm aroma while I wait, I think this will be a good one. It has a nice, solid, “I am black tea!” aroma. Hopefully, it will be a good morning tea. I’ve been making coffee lattes to go with my English Muffins for breakfast lately. I know, I know. How can I cheat on tea? Well, sometimes tea just doesn’t cut it. Or more accurately, my tea strainer is almost always still dirty from the night before, and I never want to clean it when I wake up. Coffee seems the only choice.

Okay, at the risk of burning my taste buds off, I’m going to try some now. Wow, it’s still pretty hot. I blew on it and the steam fogged up my glasses. I’m probably going to regret this, so I’ll wait a few more minutes. I should just stop writing and come back in a few when I can actually blog about the tea itself. But as I said, it’s been one Hell of a day. I need to keep myself occupied so I don’t dwell on the negative. I have a habit of downward spiraling into oblivion. I do have to say, something smells excellent in my apartment! I wish I could say it’s this tea (not that the tea doesn’t smell good), but this is something else. Bread? Honey? Butter? I can’t figure it out. Maybe I should eat a more substantial dinner than I have planned. My nose could be trying to tell me something. Nah, where’s the fun in that? ;)

Okay, enough’s enough. (Man, I hate it when my fiancé says that, and now here I am saying it). Enough waiting. First sip…wow! I’m pleasantly surprised! This actually does taste like cream! Sweet cream ice cream to be exact with a light background of black tea. This is insane!!! I can’t believe it! I really wasn’t expecting this. Maybe it’s my dark mood or my empty stomach, but this is just fantabulous! I’m even drinking it straight and enjoying it! I wouldn’t have bet on this, but clearly my instincts were on target the day I bought it. Oh, and that aroma I was smelling earlier? Pie crust. It’s definitely pie crust. Like from a chicken pot pie. Man, I’m hungry.

Anyway, the more I sip on this, the more the black tea begins to take center stage. There’s a slight hint towards bitterness at the end of the sip, but nothing I can’t handle. At the risk of turning this into a normal blah cup of tea, I’m going to add milk and sugar. Nope. I just can’t do it. Walked all the way to the kitchen, opened the fridge, pulled out the milk, took the cap off, and held it over the cup..but no. Maybe on the second steep. I hardly ever re-steep black teas. Don’t ask me why. Okay, now I feel like I have to give an explanation. I’m not really sure why. I guess I find black tea too strong on the first steep (thus my solution is to add milk and sugar) and too weak on the second steep (thus my solution is to not brew it).

Man oh man, this is going to make a great base for something! Maybe I’ll try my hand at creating my very own Adagio custom blend. I also still have some pure peppermint leaves left over. I bet just a touch of those would be great with this! Pretty much anything would be great with this. I’m really impressed, Adagio. I didn’t think you could do it. But this truly does taste like cream! Well done!! :)

And I’m buying a chicken pot pie for dinner tomorrow. :)

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I love this tea…. Tomorrow will be better! Also, I had a tough day today as well, and I also had this tea (but no popcorn or cheetos, just cheese…)! Interesting coincidence! Tea toast for a brighter tomorrow with more yummy tea!


That is a funny coincidence! There’s just something comforting about cream and tea…so what could be better than Cream tea!

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My first cold brew experience brought to us by Mercuryhime. :D

I was patient and waited exactly 24 hours, as suggested. ;) First taste…whoa! Unexpected! It tastes completely different than when hot brewed. It’s hard to describe the difference. I actually get an almost dark chocolate flavor now.

I know there’s no chocolate in this, but that’s what it tastes like. Dark chocolate covered strawberries. I think it’s because of how the cold brewing affects the bai mu dan. The beginning of the sip is earthy and bitter. The end of the sip is where the strawberry comes out. And the aftertaste is where the chocolate flavor morphs into white tea flavor.

Wow, so different! I just can’t get over it. I like the aftertaste the most. It lingers pleasantly on my tongue for minutes at a time. Thanks for the cold brewing suggestion, Mercuryhime! I never would have come up with this on my own! :) I am all smiles tonight! :) :) :)

EDIT: I gave the cup to my fiance to try. “Tell me what you think it tastes like,” I said. He replied, “Snow.” “Snow?!” “Yeah, it’s cold.”

sigh The boy just doesn’t understand tea.


I’ve had plenty of instances where I think white tea tastes/smells like chocolate. You are not alone. :) And I’m glad you liked it. Green oolongs are also great cold brewed. And Japanese greens. And pretty much anything fruity. Good thing warm weather is coming so you’ll be able to experiment. :)

I’m lucky if my boy can tell the difference between strawberry and peach flavor. Boys… At least yours is funny. :)

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After reading the recent posts about this tea, it really made me want some again! Give me that creamy, cherry, cheesecake-y flavor!

I upped the brewing temperature a little bit, and the resulting cup smells heavily of cheesecake and genmaicha. Of course, that’s what it should smell like, right? So far, so good great!

Hmm, this is good but I think I like it better at the lower temperature. The aroma is better now, but the taste is more grassy and less creamy.

Okay, now the rest of this post is going to have nothing to do with tea. But I need some advice. You see, I spend a lot of my time reading. I’ve always loved reading. I have a huge collection of books that I cart around with me every time I move, which unfortunately is quite often. It’s getting to be a bit ridiculous. With the invention of the Nook and Kindle, I’m starting to think that’s the better way to go. You can carry 3500 books in one tiny little tablet! But honestly, it’s hard for me to get over not having the actual book. I like looking at the covers and feeling the pages. I like the smell as they age and the sound of the pages as they turn. I like having a collection of books. Will an eReader really appease me? It’s hard to tell. I know you can’t tell me what to do, but I’d appreciate any advice you can give me. What has your experience been with eReaders? Which eReader would you recommend? Thanks in advance everyone!

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

I’ve been struggling with the same issue!! ebooks just aren’t the same :(
but they are enviro and space friendly!! hrm.


I went through a similar dilema about a year ago. I finaly gave in and bought a kindle. I still love books, and if there is one I love I will but the physical copy just to have in my collection. The kindle has been great for me. I can take it everywhere, get books anywhere, and never have to worry if I am taking too few or too many books at any given point. It has become one of my favorite possetions.

I dont think of it as a replacement for paper books, more as an addition. : )


Also, drinking tea is easier while reading with the kindle! You only need one hand and it is really light! : D


I have a Kindle (what is now called the Kindle Keyboard) along w. a lighted Kindle leather case. As my eyes age, the light and ability to change the font can be great. I also have a very large book collection, and struggled w. this issue too, especially since a lot of my books have been purchased used.
Knowing you like to cost compare, consider this: most bestsellers are not discounted. Recently the prices have gone up too (9.99-14.99 for a Stephen King). If you try to replace your collection by putting them all on a device, do the math first : )
With that said, on Amazon (if using Kindle) there are a LOT of free books and very low cost books (usually by lesser known authors). I vowed to not pay full price for anything when I got my Kindle, until I at least put a huge dent in my regular-books. Check with your local library on their ebook policies too. I have 60-70 books on my Kindle, and have only paid full price for one. Most are free or 99-cent ones.


I have the Kindle Touch. I really like it. It’s pretty fast and easy for me to just stick in my bag a go! It’s not the same as reading a paper book but it is convinent


I have a Kindle Fire and I love it – because I have a really small apartment it saves on space and I also read it on the bus. I still have a ton of books though.


Thanks for all the advice, guys. I think I’m going to get myself a Kindle Touch 3G. And as Ninavampi said, it’ll be in addition to my book collection. Not a replacement. :) Thanks all!!

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I wanted to make this tea over two and a half hours ago, but I’ve had a sleeping kitty on my lap. How could I move and force him to get up when he’s soooo cute? Cutest kitty on the planet!

He must be super tired or super comfortable, because he won’t budge despite my yelling. Why am I yelling? Well, you see, I’m watching 24. If you’ve seen 24, that’s enough of an answer right there. If not, Sean Astin just walked on screen. Without pausing to think, I shouted, “IT’S SAMWISE!!!!!!!!!”

Frodo, my kitty, jolted awake on my lap and then calmly laid his head back down and promptly returned to napping. In case you couldn’t already tell, I’m a wee bit obsessed with The Lord of the Rings. But Frodo didn’t seem fazed by my outburst, so I had to wait him out for another 40 minutes before making this tea.

I can say though that the wait was definitely worth it! The brewed tea aroma is roasty toasty houjicha! Ah, how I love roasted green teas. Oh yum! It’s just so yummy! I’m getting caramel and almond notes, and a bit of milky creaminess too.

This tea is awfully tasty for being nearly one year old. This is renewing my love of houjicha. I’ve been drinking a crappy, minced, bagged version of houjicha lately, and I’ve gotten sick of it. I’d forgotten how wonderful real, fresh houjicha is.

For those of you that haven’t tried houjicha before, GO! DO IT NOW!! BREW PEOPLE BREW!!! But really, try it! It’s nothing like regular green tea. The grassy vegetal flavor is roasted right out of the leaves, and it turns into a soft, mellow, toasted cuppa. Soooo good! Thank you Mercuryhime for yet another amazing tea experience!

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 15 sec

That happens to me frequently as well. I can’t even go to the bathroom if there’s a kitty on my lap.

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Entering the sweet blissful world of tea aromas!

Having discovered this website at the end of July 2011, I’m so excited to share my tea adventures with all of you! I grew up with my grandmother serving Twining’s English Breakfast with cream and sugar.

But on a trip to Seattle in 2010, I stumbled into a Chinese teashop and tried my first oolong tea. I was forever changed! I embarked on a startling new love for green and white teas.

With a world of teas to discover, I was inspired to keep a tea journal to record my thoughts and new favorites. Let’s get brewing!

My ratings are completely subjective and 100% my opinion. All ratings are given in relation to each other (ie. teas are rated in the order of my enjoyment of them). Therefore, my ratings will constantly change as I try more teas.

I love swapping!!! If you see something in my cupboard you’d like to try, just send me a message. If you’d like to trade, anything on my shopping list will do or feel free to send something else entirely. I’m willing to try almost anything (although I’m not really a fan of honeybush, red rooibos, pu’erh, Lapsang Souchong, & banana-flavored teas).


Maryland, USA

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